One night I observed my student struggling to do a few movements he had recently learned. I asked him what was so difficult about doing Yang style. Surely it cannot be more difficult than doing the Chen style form he had learned in the past.
Interestingly, he said that our Yang style was more difficult to do than Chen style despite the fact that the Yang style outer movements seemed so much simpler than Chen style form movements.
I asked him and he said that doing Chen style was easier because the level of details was so much simpler. By comparison, Yang style has a lot of intricate details and the requirements for doing the movements are so much more rigorous.
I was two minds about this because I feel that Yang style is really easier to do than Chen style otherwise we would not be able to apply it against different types of opponents using a variety of techniques. The more practical techniques tend to be straightforward because against a resisting opponent you have to deal with speed and power. If your techniques are overly complicated and take too much time to do then the probability of them working is much lower.
Thinking back now I have to say that it was a surprise to hear that Yang style is more difficult to practice than Chen style because its always the common impression that the reverse is true.