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Wang Xian

Chen Family Taijiquan Tuishou


Chenjiagou Wenxian County Henan, China

Published by INBI Matrix Pty Ltd po box 775, Maroubra 2035 NSW Australia English Edition
2009 INBI Matrix Pty Ltd Copyright 1998 Wang Xian

All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced or utilized in any form or by any
means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information
storage or retreival system, without permissing in writing from the publisher.

First edition, 2009 Printed in China

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Project management & design: Roman Mukhortikov Editors: Juliana Ngiam, Tom Watson
Translation: Zhang Yanping

ISBN-13: 978-1-87693-500-6 ISBN-10: 1-87693-500-6

Thoughts on Taiji

Ever since it came into being, Taiji has been passed down from generation to generation.
Foremost among many historic figures, was Chen Zhaopi (1893-1972), who stands out for his
determination to train young successors. Thus, today we witness a substantial and energetic
development of Taiji in the Chen Village, from where its reputation has spread worldwide,
inspiring both young and old in the practice of Taiji. Chen Zhaopi was passionate in sharing his
heritage and knowledge. My only regret is that I failed to be more focused and to practice more
diligently. As a successor of the Chen family heritage, I have undertaken to continue his legacy
by writing this book, but despite all best attempts, I struggle to reveal all the subtleties in this
vast body of knowledge. I sit with a lonely lamp, recalling the past and sigh to the sky.

Wang Xian

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Preface to original edition


I cannot express how excited I am on hearing the news that Chen Style Taiji Tuishou
Techniques, newly written by Master Wang Xian, is to be published. I recall Master Wang
working on two manuscripts which he carried around in his bag during his visit to Tokyo in
November 1995. One of the finished manuscripts resulted in this book, an impressive feat of
concentration and energy considering Master Wangs teaching workload. Indeed, his high
disciplinary standards and outstanding martial arts techniques serves as an inspiration to all Taiji
learners in Japan and we greatly appreciate his tremendous contribution to Sino-Japan Taiji
relations and the spread of Taiji knowledge all over Japan in years past. More than ever, the
Japanese are coming to love Taijiquan and the great charm of Chinese culture, indubitably a
result of the efforts of Taiji followers in both countries. In the spirit of Taijis original meaning,
to exist everywhere, to consist of everything, we believe that Taiji, as an expression of the
profound spirit inherent in all human beings, belongs not only to China but to the rest of the
world. I shall always be greatful for Master Wang and Taijiquan for leading me to a totally
different worldview and life. I look forward to Master Wangs future works with great
enthusiasm. Atsuko Noguchi January 1998, Tokyo, Japan

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Table of Contents
Chapter One: Introduction 1. 2. 3. 4. The Origin of Taijiquan Tuishou
...............................................................3 Tuishou Practice Going Inward, Step by Step
.....................................4 The Core of Tuishou
....................................................................................... The Relationship Between Three Stages

of Taijiquan Practice and Tuishou


.........................................................................................................10 5. Tuishou: the Only
Criterion to Judge the Gongfu of Taiji....................13

Chapter Two: Interpretation on the Ten Forces of Tuishou 1. Listening to Energy


.....................................................................................16 2. Dongjin Realization of Energy
..............................................................18 3. Zhan Nian
Techniques...............................................................................21 4. Lian Sui Energies
........................................................................................23 5. Misleading and Transforming
Techniques ..............................................25 6. Na (Seizing) Techniques
...........................................................................26 7. Opening and Closing
.................................................................................29 8. Energy Explosion
........................................................................................31 9. Ti (Raising) Energy
....................................................................................34 10. Reeling Silk
..................................................................................................35 Chapter Three: Single Form
Practice 1. Introduction .................................................................................................38 2. Feet
Practice .................................................................................................40 3. Leg Practice
..................................................................................................55 4. Fist Practice
..................................................................................................63 5. Palm Practice
...............................................................................................72 6. Elbow Practice
.............................................................................................84 7. Kao (Push)
Practices...................................................................................97 8. Na (Seizing) Practices
..............................................................................105 9. Jietuo (Escape)
Practices...........................................................................117

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Chapter Four: Health and Qi Enhancement Practices 1. Introduction


...............................................................................................132 2. Wu Ji Zhuang (Wu Ji
Posture)................................................................ 133 3. Hunyuan Zhuang (Circle Posture)

......................................................... 138 4. Kai He Zhuang (Opening and Closing Zhuang)


.................................142 5. San Ti Shi (Three
Postures).....................................................................146 6. Chan Si Zhuang (Reeling Silk
Posture) ................................................149 7. Wu Zhuang Huan Yuan (Returning to Wu Ji
Zhuang) .....................154 Chapter Five: Practice for the Buttocks and Crotch ....................... 157
Chapter Six: Chen Style Taiji Tuishou Categories 1. Classifications of Tuishou
........................................................................168 2. Tuishou Handwork Techniques
..............................................................171 3. Tuishou Footwork
Techniques................................................................175 4. Hand Techniques in Tuishou
Reeling....................................................179 5. Tuishou Steps
............................................................................................ 183 Chapter Seven: Solo Practice in
Tuishou 1. Introduction ..............................................................................................186 2. Solo
Ping Yuanwan Hua ..........................................................................187 3. Solo Wan Hua
...........................................................................................193 4. Solo Double-hand Flat Circle
Wan Hua ..............................................195 5. Solo Double-hand Wan Hua in a Vertical Circle
.................................197 6. Solo Tuishou With Static Footwork
......................................................200 7. Shun Bu Tuishou
.......................................................................................203 8. Solo Danren Da L Tuishou
...................................................................209 9. Solo Luan Cai Hua Tuishou
....................................................................210 Chapter Eight: Pair Practice in Tuisho 1.
Introduction ...............................................................................................214 2. Single-hand
Horizontal Wan Hua in Pair Practice ............................. 215 3. Single-hand Vertical Circle Wan
Hua in Pair Practice .......................218 4. Shuang Shou Ping Yuanwan Hua
...........................................................220 5. Shuang Shou Li Yuan Wan
Hua.............................................................224 6. He Bu-Tuishou
...........................................................................................227 7. Pair Practice in Shun Bu
Tuishou...........................................................230 8. Pair Practice in Da L Tuishou
...............................................................239 9. Pair Practice in Luan Cai Hua
Tuishou.................................................240

CHAPTER ONE:

inTRoDuCTion

1.1

The Origin

Of

Taijiquan TuishOu

Tuishou originated in the Chen Village, Wenxian County, Henan Province, China. Its creator,
Chen Wangting, was the creator of Taijiquan and 9th generation head of the Chen Family, in the
period between the Ming and Qing Dynasty. According to the book, The Family Tree of Chen,
Chen Wangting, (also known as Zouting) was a famous martial arts master, and he was
recognized as the creator of Chen Family boxing, sword and stick routines. Using the foundation
of the 108 Form (Tongbei Changquan) which he inherited from previous generations and from
other Ming period martial arts practitioners, Chen Wangting developed the creative and athletic
routines of Taijiquan and Taiji Tuishou. In doing so, he drew on the theories of the Yijing (I
Ching, the Book of Changes), the Huangdi Neijing (The Canon of Huangdi) and acupuncture,
as well as the principles of Yin and Yang. Tuishou, originally known as Jieshou or Dashou, is a
practical combat technique based on grabbing, catching, transforming, throwing and striking. As
a combat techniqiue, it helps build health and defence as well as to develop a sensitivity to
movement. Taiji Tuishou practice is not restricted by a practitioners age, gender, location or
access to equipment. As it is not stressful to the body, it helps maintain fitness, agility and
flexibility, reducing illness and prolonging a healthy life. With the accelerated pace of modern
life, awareness of Taijiquan and Tuishous health & fitness benefits have spread far beyond
China to all corners of the globe, and will continue to do so in years to come.

1.2

TuishOu

pracTice

gOing inward,

sTep-by-sTep

To practice Tuishou, you must know its significance, principles, and what it consists of.
Literally, Tuishou translates as push hands, that is, an athletic activity based on mutual pushing.
Less well known is Tuishous other application as a technique for internal transformation.
Learning Tuishou will quickly expose any weaknesses in ones internal Gongfu. A Taijiquan
proverb pertains also to Tuishou, From the familiarity of forms, to the realization of Jin; from
the realization of Jin, to the Deity. Initially, Tuishou practice should be soft and modest. Follow
the circling movements with the whole body, be relaxed, listen to each others energy flow, and
do not disconnect or oppose your partners energy. Become familiar with the single hand
horizontal and vertical practice, followed by the double hand horizontal and vertical practice,
pacing your learning step-bystep. Relaxation is fundamental, transformation is the basis. You
will not realize inner transformation, nor will you be able to intuit your opponents energetic
intention, or appreciate the interplay of the slow/quick, hard/ soft, advance/retreat movements
until your sense of touch develops to a level where your reactions to any external stimulus
becomes immediate, intuitive and subconscious. With sustained practice over a period of time,
your entire body surface will become very sensitized and your inner listening abilities very
finely honed, so much that you will be able to apply combat techniques, such as grasping,
catching, throwing, and striking, with greater efficacy and subtlety. As you reach the level of
adept, you will be able to release explosive energy to both small and large targets, enabling you
to throw opponents meters away without hurting them. Note that adepts earn their title only when
they attain the ability control and use combat techniques in an appropriate manner.

Remember that inner listening is the one essential skill required to improve your technique. To
cultivate inner listening, be calm and concentrated in your demeanour, combining your heart,
mind and spirit with determination, force and speed in your actions. Skill arises from consistent
and accumulated practice. In solo practice, imagine a partner practicing or competing with you.
Practice makes perfect, but never practice just in order to practice, your intention and
commitment must be deeply held. As long as you practice persistently and make progress, you
will ultimately enhance your health and combat techniques.

1.3

The cOre Of

TuishOu

The core of Tuishou consists of Zhan, Nian, Lian, Sui (stick, adhere, continue, follow) and
Chansi Jin (Reeling Silk), which are also the essential elements of Taiji. Tuishou practice is
based on thirteen forms or energies, while its theoretical basis builds on the philosophies of Yin
and Yang. The thirteen forms are: Ward off Roll back Press Push Pull down Split
Elbow strike Shoulder strike Advance forward Retreate back Look backward Gaze
forward Central equilibrium Peng L Ji An Cai Lie Zhou Kao Jin Tui Gu Pan Ding

Tuishou flows seamlessly between the application and combination of opposites. Movements
alternate freely between Gang (hard) and Rou (soft), Qing (light) and Zhong (heavy), Kuai
(quick) and Man (slow). When you can control these energies within yourself, it will enable you
to feel, with the lightest of touches, your partners weight, speed, distance and direction of
energy. You will learn to follow your partners intention and forget your own. At a more
advanced stage, you will develop the capacity to subconsciously anticipate quick or slow
changes, attacks or retreats, actions to the left or right, upward or downward movements,
opening or closing, gathering or exploding, and so on.

Points to remember:
Move with great flexibility

Change your movements constantly using elastic yet tense Neijin (internal energy).
Note: by elastic we mean energy that is able to return to its original

state after compression, expansion, stretching, or other deformation. Like a balloon whose air has
been exhausted, this energy refills automatically to its original full state.
Use the forces of elasticity and friction

Use these forces when applying techniques such as draw the opponent into ones orbit to
destroy their centre of gravity, utilize the opponents energy and conquer the strong with the
weak.
Note: friction forces are often applied in Tuishou as you come

in contact with the opponents hands, it is the force of friction that enables you to hold and seize
their arms etc.
Master the fundamentals

Basically, Tuishou centers around listening and following techniques: react fast to fast
attacks, follow slow attacks unhurriedly, if the opponent does not move, dont move, if the
opponent moves slightly, move before they do etc.
Attack the opponents centre of gravity

Use techniques such as control a stronger opponent with weak force and defeat weak points
with a stronger force.
When releasing explosive energy, be calm and relaxed

To release bursts of energy effectively, concentrate on one direction at a time.

As stated in the General Song of Taijiquan by Chen Wangting (also known as the Song of Taiji
Practitioners): remembering the principle of following, whether ascending or descending, I
perform strictly to the principles so as to make me unassailable. Even if attacked by a monster, I
can conquer a force of a thousand jin with a tiny force of four Liang. Chen Changxing, the 14th
generation master, also states: No one knows when I gather or stretch. I follow my partner,
utilizing the techniques of Kao. I always follow their intention, whether they strike or twist.
This technique, known as Shang Long Xia Ti (which means to place the opponent in a passive
position unawares by holding close to his or her upper body while lifting their lower body),
results in the shaking off of the opponents upper body and lifting of their lower body, and is
worth remembering. Using this, none of your opponents can defeat you, no matter how hard they
press, push or strike. Similarly, when you move forward in your turn to press, push or strike your
opponent you do so without alerting them in order to capture their energy. As Chen Changxing
says: There are so many people who wear the mask of a hero, yet few who can actually strike
the enemys heart and ribs with agility and effectiveness. The canon of Taiji teachings is rich
with such sayings, and they serve as concise and comprehensive guidelines for Taiji and Tuishou
practice through the ages.

Another essay defines the five levels of Tuishou: One with one Yin and nine Yang is as stiff as a
stick, One with two Yin and eight Yang is a San Shou One with three Yin and seven Yang is still
considered tough, One with four Yin and six Yang is among the group of the adepts, Only one
with five Yin and five Yang is called adept. Here, the relative practice methods for each stage
with differing ratios of Yin and Yang are clearly defined. As a science, the study of Taijiquan
Tuishou is a profound undertaking which knows no bounds, requiring us to further our
exploration and improve our practice of it. In order to inherit and develop this Chinese cultural
heritage, I sincerely hope Taijiquan followers will embark on a serious study of this art and strive
toward the as yet unbounded acme of this science.

1.4 The relaTiOnship


TuishOu

beTween

The Three sTages

Of

Taijiquan

pracTice

and

A brief description of the three stages of Taijiquan practice will be provided here, with fuller
details available in Chapter Two of my book, Chen Style Taiji Laojia (Old Routine). The three
stages of Taijiquan are: 1. Zhao Shu (familiarity with the forms) Outer form drives Qi. 2. Dong
Jin (realizing the inner energy) Qi drives outer form. 3. Shen Ming (dual cultivation of inner
energy and outer form) One is regarded as a Deity. Correspondingly, Taiji Tuishou also consists
of three stages with three respective practice methods:

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1. Da Quan (big circle) This is the stage whereby one-yin nine-yang, as stiff as a stick evolves
to two-yin eight-yang, is San Shou. 2. Zhong Quan (medium circle) At this stage, three-yin
seven-yang, still regarded hard turns into fouryin six-yang, one comes into the group of the
adepts.

3. Xiao Quan Naizhi Wuquan (small circle or even no circle) This is the final stage where fiveyin five-yang, one is regarded as a Deity. Note that no circle denotes a state of subtlety and
skilfulness, and does not mean total stillness.

The three stages of Taijiquan practice are interrelated with the three stages of Taiji Tuishou. That
is to say, at the first stage, we practice Mingjin (apparent energy) by utilizing Yi Xing Dai Qi
(external form guides internal Qi), along with the Tuishou practice of Da Quan (big circle). At
the second stage of Dong Jin (realization of energy), we practice An Jin (invisible force) through
Yi Qi Cui Xing (external form driven by Qi), along with the Tuishou practice of Zhong Quan
(medium circle). At the third stage of Shenming (deity), we practice Ling Jin (spiritual force)
through Nei Wai Jian Xiu (culitivation of both internal and external qualities), with the practice
of Xiao Quan Shenzhi Wuquan (small or even no circle). We must pay attention to different
methods during different stages of practice, as well as the combination of the respective
techniques applied in the big, medium and small circles. Following a correct program of practice
as outlined above, in addition to a diligent assimilation of knowledge, students will improve stepby-step and attain the ultimate stage of Deity or Xing Shen Jian Bei, that is, the complete fusion
of external form and internal spirit. Those who attain the level of Deity will be able to execute
movements with tremendous flexibility and smoothness, possess abundant internal energy, enjoy
a feeling of lightness, and be able to achieve constant internal changes between Xu and Shi (void
and solid), that is, random alternations between states of energy gathering and releasing within a
relaxed and elastic body. By this stage, all parts of the body become as highly sensitized as
finger tips so that when competing, an adept may say, I hit with any part of my

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body that is attacked by my opponent, even though I dont know how I do it. Also known as
Five-Yin Five-Yang, those who reach this stage posess energy without imbalance and can
achieve Lianshen Huanxu (cultivation of Shen spirit and return to the void). This is not
unattainable, as our ancestors tell us, Taiji practice is like rowing in the river, if you dont make
efforts to go forward, you surely go backwards.

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1.5

TuishOu,

The

Only criTeriOn TO

judge

The

gOngfu

Of Taiji

Not only is Tuishou a reliable test of ones level in any martial art form, it is also the key
criterion against which ones level of Taijiquan Gongfu can be measured. In contrast with Quan
(form) practice where the focus is on solo practice and developing self-awareness, Tuishou
develops ones sensitivity to others, hence it is essentially a competitive activity. While
appearing deceptively easy, Tuishou actually requires a strong sense of balance and an ability to
combine energy and force. Without the latter, no techniques can be executed. Nevertheless, it
doesnt imply Diu (a common defect due to failure in Zhan Nian, meaning loss of energy, or
losing tracking to the opponents energy) or Ding (a common defect due to failure in
relaxation, Ding meaning stiff resistance), nor is it just a matter of pitting ones physical force
against others. It simply requires practitioners to have sufficient physical force for competition.
When forces are equally matched during competition, softness can break through hard, tough
energy. This is called, Weak side strikes strong side, four Liang defeats thousands of Jin.
However, thousands of Jin (i.e. the stronger force) also can defeat the weaker force. It is this
dynamic that we need to explore during practice. Hence, try to feel your partners tracks of
energy while controlling your own centre of gravity during practice. In other words, try to feel
the extent and speed of your partners motions with your sense of touch while listening to their
stance and angles of movement. Only by being fully aware of the changes in your partners
movement can you react promptly to any attack. Remember too where your weight is placed to
maintain control of your centre of gravity. Skilled practitioners rely on a highly developed sense
of touch. When they reach the level of a good hand with invisible four-yin six-yang energy in
medium circles, they are able to strike back instantly in response to an opponents movement
using conditioned reflexes derived from highly sensitized skin alert to every minute stimulus.
These reflexes are faster than thought and only come with constant practice.

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CHAPTER TWO:

inTeRpReTaTions on The Ten FoRCes oF Taiji

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2.1

lisTening TO energy

In the context of Taiji and Tuishou, the act of listening has profound resonances, alluding not
only to listening with the ears, but also with the eyes, the skin, and a highly-tuned awareness of
sensations in the heart and nerves as well. The level of ones overall listening ability is
determined by ones internal energy (Gongfu). Listening can be divided into three areas:
listening with the bones, with the skin and with the fine hairs on the body surface. What is
listening with the bones? It is the ability to anticipate an attack by listening through the skin and
responding swiftly to an opponents attempt to seize, squeeze and press. What is listening with
the skin? It means following the command of the heart and mind, and taking Zhan Nian Lian Sui
(stick, adhere, continue, follow) as fundamentals. Ones skin is the key weapon. With your skin,
feel your partners movements, her changes in rotation, position and magnitude. The entire body
surface of a high level practioner is highly sensitive, her body light and flexible, filled with
abundant internal Qi. During Tuishou sparring, any signals of attack will be transmitted as
sensations through the minute hairs on ones skin, no matter if the changes are in the opponents
rotation, a rise or fall in height or changes in weight. On receiving these signals, a practioners
body can react instantly with great accuracy and flexibility. When Wu-Yin Wu-Yang (energy

equal and balanced) is attained, sensing through the skin enables reaction in any manner within
the rules, allowing both body and mind to enter into the level of deity and transformation. At this
stage, every single hair is so delicate and sensitive it can detect a feather just before it touches the
skin. Similarly, when an opponent touches ones fine body hairs, ones force is injected into the
marrow. Hence the saying, Without being known, I know others and sweep all enemies aside.

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Finding a really peaceful place to practice will help concentration and improve ones sensitivity
to listening. While the majority of practitioners are able to listen with the bones, very few
achieve the ability to listen with the skin. Listening is essential to Tuishou. It requires cultivation
of a finely-honed sensitivity to the sensations on ones minute body hairs, which is essential for
constant adjustments to frequently changing circumstances. This is why we recommend the
practice of Zhan and Nian (stick and adhere) energies as a preparation for listening practice.
Without this preparation, listening would be impossible, let alone the attainment of energy for
combat. Just as a deaf person is unable to comprehend a conversation as he cannot hear, so a
practioner cannot generate energy for sparring if he or she is unable to listen. Listening practice
should strictly follow the Four Principles (Zhan Nian Lian Sui) as well as the Essential Formula
fast, slow, descending, calm, emptiness, solidity, opening and closing (
). In all this, special attention should be paid to the intervals of fastness and slowness;
descending Qi and steady steps; clear manifestation of emptiness and solidness; coordination of opening and closing and maintaining a fluid continuity between all these
techniques. Only through accumulated practice can ones sensations detect the smallest changes,
where every knot of ones body opens and stretches without crude force. As Sunzi Bingfa says,
The most super-human strategy is formless and soundless, that is why it destroys the strongest
of enemies. How good it would be to attain this level. Failure to do so will cause ones energy
to remain stuck in the chest, blood and breath, rising to the upper body, making all ones muscles
stiff. Your reactions will become slow, your listening untrue, your judgement confused. You will
look without seeing, listen without hearing, until it is too late to repel danger. Nervously, you
fight back, defending and attacking blindly, leading only to failure.

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2.2

dOngjin

realizaTiOn

Of energy

Realizing energy is a key concept in Taiji and Tuishou. It is the ability to note present or
potential changes in emptiness and solidity, hardness and softness, speed, length, direction,
straightness and curvature, magnitude and hitting point. It is the ability to conquer ones
opponent by using proper rhythm and techniques such as Yin, Hua, Na, Fa (yin lead; hua
change, transform; na capture; fa explode) at the appropriate opportunity. Realizing
energy is based on listening. Without hearing the energy of ones partner, you cannot realize it,
that is, you cannot note any of the above changes in the oponent. While beginners may find this
difficult to achieve, this skill may eventually be attained with diligent practice and a good
teacher. Be warned that mistakes will occur on this learning path. You may find yourself being
too stiff (Jiang), your posture too straight (Zhi), your energy too resistant (Ding) or being lost
unnecessarily (Diu). Even for those who achieve this skill, new challenges such as being too
fond of competing, await them. A further thirty-five shortcomings need to be overcome at this
stage: Chou (draw), Ba (pull out), Zhe (hide), Jia (stiff ), Ke (knock), Meng (sudden), Duo
(escape), Shan (dodge or flash), Qin (intrude), Ling (pressing), Zhan (chop), Lou (hold), Cuo
(rub), Qi (insult), Ya (push down), Gua (hang on), Li (leave), Zhuan (cheat), Bo (move with
hand), Tui (push), Hun (mix up), Ying (stiff ), Pai (squeeze out), Dang (block off ), Ting (stick
out), Ba (seize by force), Teng (jump), Ji (hit), Zhi (straight), Shi (tight), Gou (hook), An (press),
Peng, Di (resist) and Gun (roll). Failure to overcome these shortcomings would be to fail to
realize energy. Bing (defect) signifies the inability to follow principles such as maintaining ones
centre of gravity, vertical axis and flexibility, the ability to circle and the principles of Zhan Nian
Lian Sui. We call such shortcomings, faulty palms or faulty body.

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The practice for realizing energy also tests ones position, angle, form and quality of Tuishou.
The quality of ones form practice and Tuishou level speaks for itself it is reflected in ones
ability to freely move forward or backward, look around and maintain an upright axis during
Tuishou practice, and also in ones facilitiy with the eight energies or techniques (Peng, L, Ji,
An, Cai, Lie, Zhou and Kao). Concordant with the adage that external forms are the method and
the pathway, these eight techniques form the method for Tuishou. Ultimately, the Tuishou
practitioner must aim to apply these techniques (seizing, grasping, falling, transforming, striking,

jumping, dodging, twisting, changing ones centre of gravity and flexibility) in synchronous
movements, rather than use them as disparate forces to enhance ones attacking prowess. Whilst
all Chinese martial arts possess unique characteristics, they share the common practice of
realizing energy, which is used not only in Tuishou, but also in the combat arts and and Sanda
(free sparring). In effect, Tuishou is the combat application of Zhan Nian Lian Sui, and shares
many common principles with Sanda (free sparring). In fact, Sanda can simply be taken as a
higher evolution of Tuishou, developed from further transformations of Tuishou routines. Whilst
acknowledged as a combat technique in its own right, Sanda complies with basic Tuishou
principles, hence its continuing ties with Tuishou and, ultimately, with Taijiquan. Hence, the
poplular stereotype of Taijiquan as a non-combat, relaxation and health practice for the old and
infirm, is misleading and does not take into account its fundamental role across the Chinese
martial arts. As Chen Changxing, 14th generation Taiji master from the Chen family, says in a
verse from his book, The Taijiquan Formula: No one knows when I gather or stretch; I follow
my partner, utilizing the techniques of Kao in spiralling. When attacking, I always keep
remembering to follow their intention, no matter if they use the technique of Kao or twist.

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You need to go forward in order to chop, strike, push or press. The attacks from me by twisting,
Li, and horizontal Cai are also irresistible. Everyone knows how to hook, ward off, press and
hold back, yet who knows the tactful way to turn ones back and dodge suddenly? From the
above verse, we can clearly see that in all movements, Chen Changxing exhorts practitioners to
maintain a keen awareness of self and other parties, to act naturally and follow ones intention.
This ability is encapsulated in the phrase Zhan Nian Lian Sui, that is, listening and realizing
energy. The second sentence of the verse means to follow the other partners intention while
circling them. The author stressed the importance of follow, that is, to forget about ones own
intentions and follow the opponents. The third, fourth and fifth sentences refer to the application
of Taiji Sanshou. Again, this verse confirms Taijiquan as a profoundly practical Martial Art,
adaptable to both Tuishou and Sanshou. As mentioned, Tuishou is a combat practice method
designed to prevent injury to the body whilst Sanshou is the appliction of Tuishou in actual
combat. With the development of modern weapons, the Chinese martial arts have evolved into
health and fitness promoting practices, leading to a wider understanding of the profound benefits

and applications of Taijiquan. Indeed, Taijiquan and Sanshou are practiced synchronously today
to enhance health and selfdefence skills, along with the Four Essentials and realizing energy
techniques in Tuishou. It is through the practice of Tuishou and Sanshou that one garners the true
meaning of Taijiquan. In addition to applying Master Chen Changxings advice, one must also
realize energy through diligent practice and the exchange of ideas with ones sparring partner.
Chen Xin once said, From the familiarity of forms, to the realization of energy, step by step,
until I come to the level of Deity. Hence, only with accumulated practice can one exert energy
flexibly and

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effectively, and come to realize the laws of movement and force. Ultimately, this results in a
deeper and more precise understanding of energy, and its natural and intuitive use. Realizing
energy is the middle stage of the three major phases in Taiji development, the first being
familiarity with form and the last being realizing deity. A practitioner, on reaching the final
stage of deity, will be able to instantly sense the delicate changes in the movement, magnitude,
extent, direction and the position of a partners energy flow. At this point, he or she will be able
to prevent their opponent from escaping with zhan energy by following his intention, capturing
and transforming his energy and using it to attack at the first opportunity, in this way maintaining
the upper hand at all times. This ability comes through great patients and a life-long perseverance
of effort through the three stages.

2.3

zhan

nian Techniques

Zhan & Nian are forces directed forward. They are external manifestations of internal forces
arising from prolonged reeling silk practice. Whilst it is said that form practice cultivates a
capacity to know oneself, Tuishou practice cultivates the capacity to know others. Only with the
awareness of both oneself and others can others be conquered. Through reeling-silk practice,
Zhan Nian techniques develop ones capacity for high precision, with which ones opponent will
find difficult to escape. This is why it is said, Form practice is the essence of Zhan Nian
training, while Tuishou exposes the quality of Zhan Nian techniques. Zhan literally means
stickiness, that is, the adhesive force that allows a practitioner to become strongly attached, like
glue, to ones opponent, so that he finds it hard to escape. It is commonly used in attacking
strategies. Conversely, Nian means to chase and follow ones opponent. Zhan Nian energies
work as a pair, with Zhan as the dominant force since without a

21

good mastery to stickiness (Zhan), one can never accomplish quality chasing (Nian). It is
Zhan energy that envelops the body, an internal energy manifesting externally. Zhan techniques
are fundamental to Tuishou one needs to stick to the opponent to react appropriately, as
indicated by these teachings: Follow my partners intention, and forget my own; I dont move
if they dont move; I move before them on feeling their slightest motion; I win by striking
after the enemy has struck (My fist starts late, yet arrives at the hitting point earlier than the
opponent); Fast reactions to fast attacks, slow reactions to slow attacks, and so on. When Zhan
Nian techniques are applied, the opponent will find it difficult to detect any weaknesses and
hence any opportunity for attack. Simultaneously, these techniques will lead the opponent into
faulty moves. Understandably, beginners find Zhan Nian energy difficult to comprehend let
alone detect, but even many long-term practitioners find total understanding or realization
elusive, especially those who, despite prolonged practice, have failed to attain high proficiency in
the art, as reflected in their stiff bodies and tense, inflexible muscles and joints. Ultimately, Zhan
Nian energies can only be realized through thorough theoretical understanding and careful,
continuous and diligent practice. Zhan Nian energies can be detected by sensations that start at
the palms, flow up the arms to the shoulders and back, and then through the entire body. Once
the whole body is enveloped, the practitioner can exert Zhan Nian forces towards the opponent.
During Tuishou, contact with the opponents palms allows the practitioner to estimate the
opponents circle of reach and the level of their energy for transformation. This is why it is said
that at this relatively high level, victory or defeat is decided in an instant. Not an easy task for
ordinary practitioners, but certainly achievable for diligent practitioners with good teachers.

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2.4

lian

sui energies

Lian Sui energies are twin companions of Zhan Nian energies, and can only exist in the presence
of the latter. Used in concert with Zhan Nian energies, Lian Sui means to follow the partner
constantly and closely thereby preventing their escape. Their inter-dependence requires both
Zhan Nian and Lian Sui energies to be used in concert to work effectively. Only if we can achive
quality work on Lian Sui (continue and follow) based on good mastery of Zhan Nian, can we
execute Yin Jin Luo Kong efficiently, misleading and upseting the opponents centre of gravity
by attack and thus strike and ultimately conquer the opponent. Lian is dependent on ones use of
Zhan. Without Zhans adhesive force over the partner preventing escape, there can be no Lian.
Lian has a rich amalgam of meanings, including consistency, continuity, adhesiveness, nonpressing, non-forcing, fast reactions to fast attacks, slow reactions to slow attacks, and no chance
to escape. It can be summarized as co-relating to the opponent, that is, the act of connecting
and maintaining the continuity of ones movements with those of the opponent, so that as one
falls, another rises. In so doing, one observes and reacts to the opponents Zhan Nian
techniques. Sui, to react while following, emerges from the application of Lian. Unless one
follows the opponent with Lian (co-relation), how can Sui be achieved? Sui technique means to
react, follow and move in the same direction as ones opponent, moving effortlessly between
quick/slow and forward/ backward movements. Once palms come in contact, the opponent
cannot escape because if one follows closely using Zhan Nian, Bu Diu Bu Ding (no loss of
energy, no resistance), taking any opportunity to attack.

23

As a teaching goes, applying Lian Sui provides a good opportunity to observe the partners
weaknesses: Lian and Sui are the means to mislead the opponent into our territory and to put
them into a passive position. Lian and Sui can never function without the other; therefore it is
advisable to practice the combined application of both, whether through form practice or
Tuishou. Beginners may attain the preliminary stage of Lian Sui, the basic ability to follow the
opponents movements. Adepts, on the other hand, successfully use Lian and Sui to attack and
prevent escape. It is vital that beginners are able to feel the movement of internal energy inside
their bodies, so that they can ascertain if their energy levels match the purpose and intention of
their actions. As the teaching says, The lower body automatically follows any motions of the
upper body; upper and lower coordinate any motion in the middle. Internal and external energy

flows relay the most valuable quality inside those adepts who can coordinate their energies
closely, without any break in flexibility or continuity. Here we refer to the ability to keep every
part of the body functioning as an integrated whole. Only with unimpeded energy flow and
smooth internal co-ordination can one interact seamlessly with ones Tuishou partner, following
their energy flow without interruption.

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2.5

Misleading and

TransfOrMing Techniques

Yin is the main force used to mislead opponents. Literally meaning to draw or to lead, Yin is
the ability to draw the opponents energy into ones control, hence misleading and transforming
the opponents energy. Hua is the transformative force, and cannot exist without Yin first being
applied. Using these complementary techniques, the adept draws the opponent into his or her
domain, neutralizing any opportunity for attack. A particularly effective combination is Luo
Kong, striking the opponent with explosive energy while applying Yin Hua (literally to mislead
and transform). Note that while applying Yin and Hua forces, one should avoid Diu and Ding
(losing energy and resistance). When we feel the changes in our opponents energy flow, we
should apply She Ji Cong Ren without being detected, using Lian Sui to follow their energy
flow. Use these principles whether you are going backward or forward, turning left or right,
going up or down, and in this way mislead and neutralize your opponents energy. Once
neutralized, we then use our shoulders, elbows, hips, knees, palms, or feet to upset their centre of
gravity. As Chen Xin explains, We strike by coordinating forces from different directions (Yin
Jin Luo Kong), using our arms, hands, legs and so on. While moving, I use Yin Jin Luo Kong to
constrain my partners energy while simultaneously gathering energy carefully to prepare for an
explosive release of energy at any angle or position. For instance, if my partner presses my right
arm with their palms, I apply Shun reeling downwards, then gradually upwards, so as to mislead
my partners energy and upset their centre of gravity. When applying Yin, I lower my body then
stretch my right foot toward his or her crotch, reeling my back inward before suddenly striking
outward.

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Yin Hua can be applied in many ways, depending on circumstances. However, continuous solo
practice is required to absorb knowledge thoroughly before techniques can be put to effective
use. When I attack, my Taiji harmony within emerges so that even ghosts fail to predict my next
move. I know my partner without being known. As Chen Changxing advises, I roll over, tie up,
touch, sweep, dodge, shock, look one way and go another, using all these techniques to mislead
my opponent, destabilizing their centre of gravity and transforming their energy in order to
conquer them. It is important to remember that one must gather energy well before misleading
ones opponent, just as one should attack forcefully without hesitation. As Chen Xin suggests,
gather energy as if pulling on the bow; explode energy as if releasing the arrow. That is to say,
the more one stretches the bow, the further ones arrow flies, and hence the harder the opponent
falls. In Tuishou and San Shou, one must cultivate the forces of Yin, Hua and Xu (gathering), so
as to accumulate and release energy effectively.

2.6

na (seizing) Technique

The Na technique or Way of Seizing consists of seizing opponents by their arms, elbows,
wrists or hands to inhibit their rotation or movement, hence rendering them helpless. Opponents
will feel as if their tendons and bones are about to break, and their pain penetrates right to the
marrow. In this way, they are conquered.

26

While many martial arts schools may practice their own interpretation of the Na technique, that
of Taijiquan is accepted as the most refined. Any hard fan guanjie (joint twisting, i.e. rotate an
opponents joint towards its unnatural direction, meaning the direction which hurts the natural
structure of joint, so that the opponent is hurt and caught) or low stances are not always
necessary for a good practitioner to conquer opponents. Instead, he or she can easily capture his
opponent through the combined use of all

their gathered forces. This is called dual-utilization of seizing and gathering. With the
combined application of seizing, throwing, transforming and striking, a Tuishou practitioner can
exert the invincible might of Taiji. Indeed, Tuishou accentuates Taijiquans martial power. The
seizing technique in Tuishou is very important. There is a saying, Na (seize) always goes with
Da (strike); in order to strike well, you need to seize first. In Tuishou, techniques such as Zhan
Nian Lian Sui, Zhua (grabbing), Na (seizing), Shuai (throw), Hua (transforming) are all
preconditions for striking (Da). Only with the synchronous use of various techniques can a
Tuishou practitioner put their opponent at a disadvantage position and conquer them, thus
reaching their goal. This is why it is said that Na is the pre-condition of Da. I utilize Na to
prevent my partner from escaping or from transforming their energy, so that I can strike them
cleanly and successfully. When utilizing Na, I move using the principles of Qing Ling Huo Qiao
(lightness, agility, flexibility and skilfulness), so that I may capture my opponent without
hesitation or detection. Only this, as Sun Zi Bing Fa says, is called the best of the best. To
apply Qing Ling Huo Qiao while seizing ones opponent means to exert ones spiral energy on
them on contact, applying the energy smoothly and judiciously without over-exertion. Make sure
Shun reeling and Ni reeling happens continuously when you utilize Na techniques. To apply Na
effectively, you must react quickly and flexibly to any changes in your opponent. If you fail to
attack lightly and skilfully and your intentions are detected, strengthen your force so that your
opponent finds it too difficult to escape or transform their energy. If he or she succeeds in
escaping, you still have the opportunity to move in quickly and seize them by their palms before
they move away. These recovery measures also depend on a light, agile, flexible and skilful
exertion of Zhan Nian Lian Sui as well as other techniques.

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When applying Na, remember to maintain a relaxed state by lowering your whole body. Never
let Qi float upward and never let your feet lose their roots. If Qi ascends, your root will become
unsteady, your centre of gravity destabilized and you will find it difficult to protect yourself.
How then can you hope to seize another? Indeed, if you want to seize your opponent, you have
no option but to relax your joints. By relaxing, your chest rolls inward naturally, and your ribs,
shoulders and crotch all gather downward in concert. When relaxed, every part of your body
works in harmonious cooperation, with no part tense, and all parts in a gathering motion, just as

it is stated, No part of my body is not peaceful. In peace every part of my body moves at the
time of movement. Na is the synchronous manifestation of the internal and external. Exert your
energy first lightly then with force, making sure your hitting points are clearly defined. Then
strike directly forward in a spiral and hit your target accurately, releasing your force like bullets
rushing out of a gun. Na technique works together with Cai technique, the targets for both being
the arms, chest, stomach and the protruding and concaved parts of the shoulders. If you fail to
Peng (ward off ) your opponent adequately, he will be able to press forward, in which case, seize
him then guide his pressing force into your territory using L energy. Next, twist his right arm
inward with your left hand, both palms covering his right wrist. The combination of Na-Cai with
gathered chest energy has a force twice more powerful than Na alone. Using this will overcome
the opponent without fail. During practice, use the Na technique carefully to avoid hurting your
sparring partner, whether you exert Na by the co-ordination of your hand and chest or with your
ribs, stomach and legs. Common problems, especially amongst beginners, include controlling
ones speed and magnitude of attack, application of appropriate angles and techniques, and
sensing the amount of force the partners joints can withstand. Miscalculations often result in
injuries, hence it is advisable to heed the teaching, Never be rude and rash when you begin to
practice Na.

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Work on your technique step-by-step: develop a closed crotch, solid stomach and slightly
concave chest. Inhale from the stomach so that it remains solid. Gather the ribs, relax the
shoulders, making sure all movements are steered by the waist. Listen to the tracks of your
opponents energy while applying Na and Bi (closing). Keep every joint relaxed before you exert
Na. Remember to attack your target with agility and flexibility requires long accumulated
practice.

2.7

Opening

and

clOsing

In the martial arts, Opening (Kai) means to stretch and reach; Closing (He) means to draw in,
preserve, transform, bend and gather. OpeningClosing is a physical expression of Yin-Yang
qualities: hardness versus softness, gathering versus exploding. As complementary opposites,
one cannot open without first being closed and vice-versa, hence this technique epitomizes
the dual nature of Taiji the opposite yet complementary. OpeningClosing techniques, often
meaning to guide and attack in the martial arts, are widely used in Tuishou, Sanda and form
practice. In all Tuishou and Taiji movements, every part of the body is engaged in the action of
opening and closing. This is an important concept which bears deeper contemplation. As Chen
Xin says, How can the circulation of stillness and movement have fixed directions? No matter

under conditions of movement or stillness, opening and closing illustrate the subtlety of
Taijiquan. The opportunity to transform the partners energy lies in the process of movements in
various directions. Indeed, just as Chen Xin mentioned in his works, opening and closing
imbues Taijiquan with a subtle elegance that is as difficult to define as the motion of snowflakes.
Even masters of Chinese philosophy Kungfuzi, Mengzi, Laozi and Zhuangzi have been
unable to describe the subtlety

29

and beauty in the opening-closing movements of Taijiquan. As the saying attests, OpeningClosing, these changing motions, with the qualities of both solidity and emptiness, sometimes
appear before our eyes, and sometimes they disappear. Only diligent practitioners have the
opportunity to experience this phenomenon. The Opening-Closing technique starts from the
closed state. In practice, this means that one needs to be closed first before one can open. The
quality of the effort you put in to closing determines your ability to open with power and effect.
Without closing well, you will find your opening powerless, crude and slow. Closing not only
means to bend and withdraw your upper body, but also to coordinate the heart (Xin), your
intention (Yi), muscle energy (Qi), external shape (Xing) and spirit (Shen), so that all parts of the
body work together. The art of opening or exploding your energy is akin to setting off
firecrackers the tighter the paper is rolled, the louder the explosion. Likewise, if your energy is
gathered and conserved well, your opening explosion will be natural, forceful, swift and
powerful. Your heart acts as the guide and leader during energy explosion when your heart
opens, every part of your body follows suit, since Yi (intention) follows wherever Xin (heart)
goes. Yi moulds changes in external shape while Jin (force) rises with Qi, so that your targets
become accurately defined and attacks successful. In using Yis guiding qualities during form
practice and opening-closing in Tuishou, you will find that Qi penetrates your whole body more
smoothly and powerfully, filling you with great vigor. Kai (opening) energy originates in the root
of your body, that is, from the soles of the feet. While standing, grasp the floor with the toes and
soles, pressing the ground with your heels to empty the Yong Quan points. Thus positioned, the
rebounding force exerted by the ground can be used to energise any upward movement. This
means your root will not be disturbed and the flexibility of your reactions may even be enhanced.


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As you explode energy, land on the ground on your in-steps, then spiral your internal energy up
the legs to the waist, then to every corner of the body. The explosion should be short, the energy
released unhindered, or you may find your Kai technique lacking in power and precision.
Exploding energy at close-range is best as Kai energy, albeit swift and powerful, is limited by its
short duration and small coverage which extends only as far as your body. Beyond this range,
strikes may not find their mark, or worse still, your centre of gravity may be lost, presenting your
partner with opportunities to attack. The solution is to make your energy round, flexible and
compact enough to mislead and upset your opponents centre of gravity. To gather energy of this
quality, you will need to drop and relax the shoulders, keep your elbows down, roll your chest
slightly inward, lower your waist and let Qi flow along the spine. After exploding energy, the
whole body returns to a state of softness and relaxation.

2.8

energy explOsiOn

Energy explosions consist of either long or short energy (Doujin or vibrating power). Doujin is
also known as cun jin (very short energy) as cun is the Chinese unit of measurement for small
lengths equivalent to 3.33 cm. Exploding Doujin comes from releasing energy gathered during a
state of relaxation when energy permeates the whole body. This energy originates from the soles
of the feet, spirals up the legs to the waist control-center, which then distributes it to the other
extremities. Exploded energy is an elastic force which can only be controlled through intense
concentration and physical flexibility only attained through accumulated practice. To master this
elastic force, you need to train your muscles in relaxation and gathering, and to develop high
sensitivity and rapid responses to external stimuli. Practitioners also need to build-up a
reasonable level of muscular strength, while being mindful of the adage,

31

use thought and intention, not strength, not relying on rigid or crude force. When doing
Tuishou exercises, it is necessary to distinguish clearly the respective functions of internal force
and external force, and to explore the interactive relationship between them. The main external
force that we humans experience is gravitational force from the earth, which manifests as our
weight. However, there are also a myriad of other forces which influence our bodies supporting
forces, counter forces, frictional forces, internal forces, spiral forces, straight forces, horizontal
forces and so on. The force that you and your partner exert on each other in Tuishou is external
force. Failure to counter your partners force means, in effect, that you are unable to neutralize,
utilize, dissipate or absorb her external force. The external force of both parties affects eachs
internal energy flow. Your performance in competition depends not only on the quality of your
sensitivity, but also that of your internal energy and combat strategy. Without these, consistent
good performances will not be achievable, though random wins may happen. Daily cultivation of
Yuan Qi (primordial Qi) and vital energy flow throughout the body are essential for decisive
wins, which are characterized by firm and ferocious attacks where internal energy is released
with an explosive Ha! sound, and with that outburst, your opponent is vanquished. Constant
diligence, abundant internal energy and intense physical and energetic concentration, together
with the abovementioned techniques of grasping the ground as energy explodes using the earths
rebounding power, and exploding energy with elastic vibrations, all these are prerequisites to
destroy something already in a state of ruin. Gathering, transforming and attacking are closely
related. Transforming and gathering are preconditions for energy explosions used in attacks
striking without transforming energy leads to stiff explosions while transforming without
gathering results in powerless ones. Transforming and gathering are complementary and cannot
function without each other. To combine the power of the three, one must explode energy
smoothly, skilfully, flexibly and harmoniously. To do this, you must practice Changjin

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(long energy) and Duanjin (elastic short energy) by doing stretching and relaxation. For example,
during Tiaozhou practice (upward strike with elbow), imagine a line between the navel and
Mingmen, below which energy flows downward and above which energy flows upward. Upward
energy and downward energy exist in opposition to each other, a quality leveraged for precise
attacks: upward energy is used to explode energy vigorously, while downward flowing energy
helps maintain a firm and stable root. By mastering the key points of energy explosion,
especially exhaling-inhaling and opening-closing motions, you will find it easier to hit targets
more accurately and swiftly. At the transitional stage between Three-Yin Seven-Yang; Still

Tough and Four-Yin Six-Yang, Good Hands, it is not advisable to exert Changjin (long
energy), despite its ferocity. As it is said, Without striking the partner from a distance of three
metres, there would be no striking the partner from one inch. This means that if one finds it
difficult to attack from a distance, one should not attack at close target. Close-range attacks
require a high-level of competence, and even when elastic cunjin (hitting a target at very close
range) is executed, easy conquest of the opponent does not necessarily follow. Only very highlevel practitioners may achieve this, as their attacks flow naturally from their heart and intention.
At this level of Gongfu, the whole body moves as a synchronized force to follow the slightest
movement of intention, leading to very smooth and swift responses. An attack, even with the
slightest touch, will find the opponent flung far and wide. To reach this level, beginners need to
do the following: do the big circle practice, the medium circle practice, and the small or no circle
practice. Alternate between these three with slow, quick, instantaneous, elastic or vibrating
variations. Continue developing these techniques step-by-step until the level of deity is reached.

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2.9

Ti

(raising) fOrce

Ti means to rise spirally. Using Zhan Nian Lian Sui, you lift your partner with spiralling energy
to destabilize their centre of gravity and draw them into your control. To conquer your opponent,
combine your rising force with your elastic force. When applying Ti, keep agile so that the
opponent may not detect your energy flow and will thus be unprepared for escape. The rising
force is difficult to use if forced, and may lead to loss of control. Remember Master Chen
Changxings advice to hold [your opponents] upper body under your control before you lift his
lower body, then your instant and precise attack can never fail. This means that no matter what
Tuishou techniques you use, never let your partner know your intention before you act. Instead,
shadow your opponent with agile steps, skilfully changing your tack to distract them from your
true intentions until you have destabilized their centre of gravity and they are caught off-balance.
To lift your opponent up with Ti requires the combined effort of legs, waist and arms. The arms
and legs work together, powered by upward spiralling energy, while you keep your intentions
and energy flow undetected. First, you need to destabilize your opponents centre of gravity by
inserting one leg between your opponents legs and lifting it quickly outward using spiralling

energy. Remember to maintain your centre of gravity with the coordination of the other leg. At
the same time, spiral your forearms upward with guidance from the waist toward your
opponents upper body. Even if not thrown completely off balance, your opponents upper body
will shift out of their control, at which point you quickly change to exert L and Cai downward
to throw them to the ground. To apply Ti successfully requires the whole body to work in
coordination. Remember to maintain full concentration, keeping your axis upright and combine
your eyes, heart, and intention into one entity. As Qi flows up the spine, rotate your Dantian so
that your body lifts with greater speed and accuracy, while you maintain a state of relaxation.
Pay attention to defending your territory it is better to relinquish victory than to lose territory

34

and power. Attaining high-level skills will make you braver, so you feel able to protect your
descendents and kill the rebels. You will attack like a flying dragon; walk with such assurance
as to shock evil spirits; your attacks will never fail. You roll, tie, touch or sweep in response to
the circumstances and you remain always observant and alert, whether you rise or descend, go
forward or backward. Your incredible speed allows you to gain ground easily while your
opponent feels as if they are fighting perched on a ball, on the verge of losing their centre of
gravity, their root and they will certainly fall. For beginners, follow the primary principles and
develop your skills stepby-step. Do not try to strike others before you have attained a reasonable
level of competence. Adequate practice will naturally lead to success.

2.10

reeling silk

Reeling Silk is a spiralling, revolving energy which originates internally in the body, and
manifests externally as it permeates through to the fine hairs on the skin. This energy is created
using the Reeling Silk technique and penetrates all movements during form practice. Though
undiscernible initially, you will come to sense it with practice, as it emerges from the feet, passes
through the legs up the spine and arms, until it reaches the fine hairs of the skin. When this
happens, you will find it easier to follow, mislead, transform and defeat your opponents
attacking energy. Mastering this energy requires much effort and practice, but once attained, you
will be able to transform energy while striking, your force will reach its target just with intention,
you will lose awareness of your physical body and location, and not even know from whence
your power emanates. The Reeling Silk consists of great varieties: reeling inward, reeling
outward, reeling upward, reeling to the left or reeling to the right, reeling in big or

35

small circles, Shun reeling (conforming) and Ni reeling (contrary), reeling forward and
backward, reeling to the front or reeling aside, reeling horizontally or reeling vertically, and so
on. When being utlilized, all these reeling movements are always comprehensively combined
together and closely connected. While reeling, remember to keep your Zhongqi (energy to keep
your axis upright). Yin (guiding, misleading) always comes with Jin (approaching forward or
attacking) and vice versa. The principle of Circulation between Yin and Yang clearly
dominates the reeling process. When using Reeling Silk energy, one must avoid being too soft or
too tough. Excessive softness (Ruanshou or weak hands) makes you too weak to fight; excessive
toughness makes you get too rigid, and thus renders you unable to react properly and to be easily
manipulated by the opponent. The solution lies in the middle path: keep a balance between
softness and toughness, maintain the interplay between solidness and emptiness. As for posture,
apply the principle of Dingjin (suspending force): hold the neck upright and relaxed, collapse the
waist and establish a stable centre of gravity in the legs. Keep a firm root, remain balanced, quiet
and calm, and apply opening and closing techniques. Be humble and respectful during form
practice, focusing your energy internally and guiding the flow of your responses from Yin to
Yang.

36

CHAPTER THREE:

single FoRm pRaCTiCe

37

3.1

inTrOducTiOn

This is a practical lesson in combat practice.

3.1.1 Yilucultivates Qi, Erlu explodes


In this technique, Yilu (First Form) cultivates energy while Erlu (Second Form) releases it. This
means that Yilu fosters Zhongqi so that, if practice is diligent, relaxed and soft, Qi will flow
around the body to the extremities and skin. Because Yilu lacks speed and Gang (tough) energy,
so the Single Form Practice and Erlu help to compensate for this disadvantage. Erlu and Single
Form practice help to accumulate and strengthen Gang. Single Form practice is essential for
developing techniques which form the basis of Taiji Tuishou: Peng, L, Ji, An, Cai, Lie, Zhou,
Kao, Ti, Da, Shuai (fall), Hua (transform) and Na. This practice requires a solid foundation in
preparatory exercises, for example, full relaxation of the joints. It also demands a period of
diligent practice to ascend gradually through the primary, medium and high-level stages. As we
know, the purpose of form practice is to get energy to reach the tips of the four limbs, where
Qi spreads to the whole body, goes through the Sanguan (Three Gates), interlinks the Santian
(the three Dantian) and reaches the Yong Quan point. In this way, movements gradually become
agile and flexible. Single Form practice is vital for hand-to-hand Gongfu combat. To win, you
need to execute Jin (go forward), Tui (go backward), Shan (dodge), Zhan (battle), Faji (attack)
effectively under any conditions, keeping your energy tracks undetected by the opponent, who is
then inevitably conquered. A wide variety of single movements must be practiced repeatedly, as
well as techniques focussing on various target areas of the body. Take special care to avoid
losing energy (Diu) while practicing relaxation (Song), and exerting energy too forcefully (Ding)
while exploding energy. Keep learning and eventually you will be able to use intention (Yinian)
alone to execute techniques appropriate to each circumstance rather than conscious thought.


38

Gongfu masters, be they exponents in internal Gongfu or external Gongfu, each have their own
unique combat style drawn from continuous tempering in their practice. Well known examples
include the foot techniques of Li Bantian, the seizing techniques of Eagle Claw King, the
throwing technique of Zhang Zhidie and Master Dong Hais Baguazhang technique of [striking]
the world by a half-step Beng (burst apart). Also legendary is Master Chen Fadous ability to
vanquish competition partners with just a touch. Master Chen Zhaokui was celebrated for his
sudden dodges and incredibly small rebounding circles, as well as for his subtle and delicate jinlu
(energy tracks) in Qinna (arresting). Chen Zhaopi was the undisputed master of Gun (rolling),
Shuan (tie), Da (touch) and Sao (sweep). No matter how steady his partners stood in the
beginning of a fight, they always got hit and thrown to the ground. He was known to say that he
found throwing partners too easy, more like a relaxing stretch to enjoy the subtle, inner meanings
of the mysterious art rather than a competition. Lastly, we have Master Feng Zhiqiang who is
venerated for his steady, sober movements and his relaxed yet vigorous energy explosions.
Though widely differing in style, these masters have attained their expertise through a shared and
unwavering focus in Single Form practice. The world of Taiji is replete with pithy sayings that
provide useful guidance to the attentive practitioner, such as: Profound principles emerge by
themselves, after you practice the form ten thousand times; Skills come naturally when you are
familiar with forms; You practice, you harvest, you dont, you fail and so on. These clearly
advise diligent practice of the shoulders, back, elbows, hands, legs and hips using relevant
principles, so that the path to deeper understanding and realization may be paved. To do
otherwise would be to attend to trifles and neglect the essentials, resulting in loss of vigor and
effectiveness. If prolonged, neglectful practice becomes increasingly difficult to rectify. Hence,
Single Form practice is of vital importance. Significant gains may be attained by practicing the
single forms step-by-step.

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3.2

feeT pracTice

Feet practice includes the following movements, alternating between both legs: kicking forward,
horizontally, upwards and sideways, trampling, pedalling forward, swinging up and down and so
on.

3.2.1 ExerciseOne

Squat slightly, chest rolled slightly inward, stomach gathered and head suspended from above.
With one hip relaxed and the opposite foot slightly touching the ground, bend and raise your
knee slightly, face to the front.

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Fig.3.1

3.2.2 ExerciseTwo
This is actually a series of exercises focusing on various kicking movements: forward,
horizontal, sideways, up and down, stepping, pedaling, upward and downward swing, feet
hanging backward and so on. Descriptions of some of these exercises are provided below. a)
Forward Kick The Forward Kick consists of kicking directly forward at mid-level and to the left
and right. Kicking smoothly, bend the other leg with toes grasping the ground to maintain a
firm centre of gravity. Roll the chest inward and aggregate energy with the whole body,
collecting the energy at the abdomen. Relax the feet so energy can reach the toes where it is
required; make sure your in-step is stretched moderately tightly.


Fig.3.2

41

Fig.3.3

This technique is applicable to the toes, edges of the foot plate and the sole (Fig. 3.3).

Beginners should practice slowly, gradually developing until they reach the point of whole body
integrity with the unification of Yi-Qi-Xing (intention-energy-form). At this point, they will be
able to direct energy explosions to targets with precision and ferocity. b) Horizontal Kick

42

The key points of the Horizontal Kick are basically the same as those of the Forward Kick,
except that the Horizontal Kick is higher and targets the opponents pubic region and lower
abdomen. It should be practiced with both feet so that, for example, if you kick with the right leg,
your left foot prepares to kick with the toes or instep as the right foot lands. On landing with
either foot, use the rebounding force of the earth to bounce up and propel your kick (Fig. 3.4,
3.5).

Fig.3.4

Fig.3.5

c) Upward Kick (Shang Ti Jiao)

Fig.3.6

43

Fig.3.7

The Upward Kick is used for high targets, usually the opponents chin. The whole body must be
kept balanced and straight when kicking upwards. The kick should be light, flexible and quick.
Only if ones kick is quick and powerful can kicking be initiated precisely and the target hit
cleanly. The Upward Kick should match the rhythm of the hands movements, a principle also
applicable to the Double Kick (Er Qi Jiao). There is no jumping in the Upward Kick; instead,
practice kicking with each foot sequentially.


44

d) Stepping Down (Xia Cai Jiao) Follow the sequences as follows: Stand with the feet shoulder
width apart. Switch your centre of gravity to the left foot.

Bend the left knee, grasp the ground with the left toes and, standing with left leg, raise the right
knee gradually (Fig. 3.8), all the while rolling the chest slightly inward, gathering the stomach
and collapsing the waist to ensure you stand with the left foot firmly rooted.

Fig.3.8

Then stamp your right foot on the ground, keeping the right foot at the same distance from the
left foot as before. As your right foot explodes energy stamping downward, cup your right fist
and left wrist together in front of the chest, feet firmly grasping the ground. Then empty the
Yong Quan point, exploding energy as quickly and fiercely as you can. Make sure that your
centre of gravity does not switch to your right foot right after it touches the ground, but try to
keep some weight in the un-weighted side as well.


45

Fig.3.9

Regardless of which leg steps forward first, remember to follow instantly and quickly with the
other leg. The key points here are the same as those for the previous segments, including the
alternating use of the legs (Fig. 3.9). e) Forward Kick This consists of a straight kick forward
with the sole of the foot. Kick as high as your opponents stomach and chest. The distance of the
kick depends on your skill level a good kick hits the opponent at an angle of 25o from the
horizontal, and then withdraws elastically like a rubber band springing back into shape. In Single
Form exercise, you can practice with the alternation of legs (after praciticing with the right leg
for a while, practice with the left leg) (Fig. 3.10).

46

Fig.3.10

Fig.3.11

Kick mainly with the heels, sometimes with the soles. Avoid leaning backward when kicking
keep your axis upright to maintain your centre of gravity. Before kicking, prepare well by
relaxing the chest and stomach to ensure your kick is fast, fierce and perfectly targeted. As you
reach a higher level of skill, your reach will grow naturally and you will find it easier to execute
kicks with greater ease (Fig. 3.11). f) Sideways Kick The Sideways Kick consists of the Inward
Kick (Fig. 3.12) and the Outward Kick (Fig. 3.13).

The Inward Kick is executed upwardly to the front, with hitting points mainly on the inside of
the foot (with the occasional use of the outside).

47

Fig.3.12

Fig.3.13

The Outward Kick is executed outward and upwardly, with the hitting points mainly on the
outside of the foot (occasionally inside). Bend the kicking leg about 25o and lean slightly
backwards as you kick to maintain a stable root and ensure straightness exists in bending, as
bending exists in straightness (meaning the body becomes bent when gathering (preparing for
kicking), while the body becomes straightened when kick is streched); this reflects the
relationship between Yin and Yang. In the Sideways Kick, the whole body gathers together then
opens up with an explosion of energy, as instructed in the Essay on Quan: Gather energy like
stretching a bow, explode energy like releasing the arrow. This emphasises the importance of
good quality energy gathering as a precondition for fast and powerful kicking.


48

g) Upwards Swinging Kick

Place one foot in front of the other. Squat slightly, toes grasping the ground and all muscles of
the body relaxed. Eye your target and prepare for the kick by gathering your internal energy and
lowering it. Before kicking, use the Gen Bu (follow-on Steps), which allows you to use quick
and continous forward steps. Kick upward with the back foot, then swing it outward in a natural
arc, then bring it backward (Fig. 3.14). While swinging outward to the level of the shoulder,
smack the foot with your hand to ensure the integrity of the energy. Your swinging foot is
targeted at the back of the opponents head, while your hands are targeted at the face. If kicking
with the right foot, turn the body to the left to ensure a smooth and powerful forward swing of
the foot and vice versa (Fig. 3.15). Always coordinate the kick with your hands, be it with the
right or left foot.


Fig.3.14

49


As a Tuishou poem states:

Fig.3.15

With openings and closings, I take the back of the opponents head as target, And kick upward
along with palms coordinated with L; I smack in the air by switching into the track of a swing
arc, And smash enemies to pieces.

50

Practice these kicks repeatedly so that they become smooth and continous and you may
eventually hit distant targets using a combination of kicks with agility.

h) Back Hanging Foot (Hou Guan Jiao) This kick is widely applied in Huo Bu Tuishou (Tuishou
with Moving Footwork). Hang one foot backward, rotating it slightly so that it slants to one
side. Hold the body in a squatting position for the next few movements. Swing both hands
backward to the side of the back hanging Foot, palms facing outward. Use both hands to
execute L on one arm of opponent behind the body. Lower the back hanging foot to the
ground then switch the front foot to Tou Bu (sneaking step) and move it forward. Meanwhile
the hand assists the foot hanging and covers towards the chest of the opponent. The powers of
hand and foot combine together. The foot hangs to the calf suddenly to make the opponent lose
his balance; meanwhile two hands attack the chest of the opponent and strike the opponent down

to the earth. Pay attention to that you finish this action with the guiding of the waist and back.
The action must be quick and powerful. You should finish L, Gua (hanging) and Gai (covering)
in a second, otherwise the power will become Ding force (a deadly disadvantage: energy going
up) and you will be defeated. During solo practice, keep your footwork flexible and neat.
Backward Hanging Foot can be used as an initial step or as a follow-on (Gen Bu) to initial
approaches toward the opponent, depending on the distance between you. No matter which you
use, remember to balance upward Long (close) movements with downward Ti (raise),
coordinating both with Tou Bu (sneaking steps).

51

Fig.3.16

Start by executing Yin (guiding) then move forward to attack with Jin (forwarding and attacking)
force. Hold your position and collect yourself enough to kick upward then swing downward.
Move forward with Tou Bu (Sneaking Steps), twisting the waist and rotating the back to exert
more power (Fig. 3.16). Then lower your foot to the ground, your face looking upward.

52

The secret of Back Hanging Foot is to plot the method to seize the opponent down and to fiercly
bring him under your control without detection. As a Tuishou poem states: With Yin and then Jin
techniques, I take the opponents upper body and chest as target, And kick upward along with
palms smashing downward; I explode my energy with the rotation of my waist, And enemies fall
to the ground with face to the air.

Fig.3.17

i) Downward Swinging Kick

Take one step forward and switch your centre of gravity to the front leg (Fig 3.17). Practice this
transfer of weight by alternating the legs, mindful that while one is in the air, the other should not
leave the ground until the centre of gravity is transferred to the heel of the front foot to lighten its
weight. The attacking leg must be flexible enough to swing to the left or right. Use Front Bow
Steps to practice this movement (Fig. 3.18, 3.19). Note that while weight distribution ratios may
be used as a guide (e.g., 40:60, 30:70, 20:80), these may not provide an accurate picture of
weight changes required in practice or combat, since these are in a constant state of flux
depending on the circumstances.

53

Fig.3.18

Fig.3.19

Using Short Energy: Short energy should be used in both inward and outward kicks, so that the
strikes are as rapid and powerful as possible. Avoid using long energy as it is likely to dissipate
the concentration and power of your attack, making your intention easily anticipated. Short
energy attacks are often used to give a shock to the lower limbs, seize the upper body or
coordinate an outward strike with internal energy gathering. As one master said:

54

I move my centre of gravity, shock their lower limbs and unbalance their upper body with my
feet, waist and hands. Moving my feet in Ni (reverse) circles and my body in Shun (conforming)
circles, I explode and shock the ghosts.

3.3

leg pracTice

Leg practice includes Shunchan Tui (Legs Reeling in Shun Circles), Nichan Tui (Legs Reeling in
Ni Circles), Lihe Tui (Inward Knee Strike), Waibai Tui (Legs Swinging Outward), Xiacai Tui
(Downward Cai energy), Zhuangxi Tui (Strike with the Knee) and Houbai Tui (Backward
Swinging Kick).

3.3.1 ShunchanTui Legs Reeling inShunCircles

Stand with the feet a shoulder-width apart. Move the left foot half a step to the left. Change your
weight to the left, then squat and step out with your right foot, making sure your leg is no higher
than 15 cm above the ground. Keep your legs reeling from left to right. Lower the tip of the toes
of your unweighted right foot to the ground, a shoulder width apart from the left foot. As the toes
touch the ground, step your right foot 40 cm forward to the right. Relax your legs and inject
energy into the heels with Chun Chan for smooth and easy reeling. When the right foot lands
fully on the ground, change the weight to the right and step out with the left foot, repeating the
movements while keeping reeling from the left to right. Practice continuously alternating both
legs.

Note: When stepping forward, look in the direction of the moving leg,

that is, toward the target. Use intention (Yi) rather than physical force (Li), Yong Yi Bu Yong
Li, just as in form practice. Begin with slow practice, working up your speed in gradual stages.

55

3.3.2 NichanTui Legs Reeling in Ni Circles

Step the left foot leftward so that the feet are a shoulder-width apart. Step the right foot forward,
and then rotate 360o left stepping on the toes (Fig. 3.20). Next, step forward 40 cm with the right
foot, transferring all your weight to the right. Raise the left foot, rotate to the left forward at an
angle of 360o, then step forward 40 cm to the left, transferring all your weight to the left.
Practice these steps in continuous alternating cycles, remembering that the inner side of the heel
is the striking point.

Note: It is best to practice Shunchan and Nichan by varying the distance between you and your
partner. You also need to practice Nichan and Shunchan with both legs, striking to both sides
with each leg. Inner knowledge can only develop with concerted, continuous practice.

Fig.3.20

56

3.3.3 LiheTui Inward Knee Strike


Lihe Tui is an inward strike using the inner side of the knee and is widely used in Qian Gong Bu
(Front Bow Steps) and Ban Gong Bu (Half Bow Steps). Stand at attention, then transfer your
weight to the left before moving the right foot forward (Fig. 3.21). While practicing, change
your weight to the front foot, attack with Lihe and then move 90% of your weight to the back leg
(Fig. 3.22). Combine Lihe Tui with the rotation of the waist and spine. In Huobu Tuishou
(Tuishou while walking), we usually attack with Lihe Tui using the right leg; whilst in Shun Bu

Tuishou (Tuishou while walking back and forth) Lihe is usually applied with the left leg. As
such, practice with both legs and with change of directions.

Fig.3.21 Fig.3.22

57

3.3.4 WaibaiTui Legs Swinging Outward


Waibai Tui is based on Qian Gong Bu (Front Bow Steps), and requires a sudden outward swing
of the leg as weight is transferred. Take care not to exert too much energy in the arms and legs to
initiate the swing or your intention will be anticipated by your partner. During practicing Waibai
Tui, step forward with one leg and swing the other outward and then closing inward. Practice this
technique with both legs alternately once you feel your energy flowing smoothly (Fig. 3.23).
Waibai Tui is usually applied during Da L (L in large scale movement) and the best way is to
seek out opportunities for attack is while moving. Through diligent solo Tuishou practice,
practitioners will come to realize the deep significance of their efforts. Being content with a
superficial understanding is fruitless, regardless of whether you practice day and night (Fig.
3.24).

Fig.3.23 Fig.3.24

58

3.3.5 XiacaiTui Downward Cai Energy


Cai means to pull down. Xiacai Tui consists of Cai to the left, Cai to the right, Shun Cai (Pulling
Down in Conforming Circles) and Ni Cai (Pulling down in Reverse Circles). Shun Cai and Ni
Cai are based on Front Bow Steps. Start with your centre of gravity at the back leg. To do Ni
Cai: move the back leg forward, then Cai (pull down) with Ni (reverse circles) at an angle of
180o from the inside out, placing your toes slightly outward. To do Shun Cai: Cai downwards
from the outside in using Shun Chan (conforming circles), placing your toes slightly inward.
Targets of this technique are typically the upper and middle parts of the inner side of the lower
leg of the opponent. The outer side can also be targeted once your ability improves.

Fig.3.25 Fig.3.26

59

While applying Cai (pulling down), keep ankles relaxed and Qi descending (Fig. 3.25). Bend

your knees about 40o more than this and you will lose your centre of gravity. Train your body
to understand the meaning of stretching consists in bending, bending consists of stretching.
Deepen your understanding of Jin Li (energy and force distribution). With a spiralling move
forward, you can enter the opponents territory (Fig. 3.26). Practice with alternating legs during
Single Form practice.

3.3.6 ZhuangxiTui Strike with the Knee


Zhuangxi Tui consists of four types of strikes: striking left and right, striking to the front, striking
inward and striking outward.

Fig.3.27 Fig.3.28

60

All the above incorporate shifting of weight forward and back. Move the left foot forward then
strike out the right knee, aiming it at the partners crotch (Fig. 3.27). While striking forward, roll
the chest slightly inward and gather energy in the abdomen. Also, keep the hip and ankle relaxed,
focusing your energy exertion on the target. Change your weight to the front, raise the knee, then
strike it with an open palm (Fig. 3.28).

Li He Bu (Tuishou with Static Footwork) requires you to bend your knee, strike to the left, hit
the inner side of partners right leg or the outer side of his left leg. (Fig. 3.29). Striking up and
outward is called Waizhuang (Striking Outward). Key points are the same as in the previous
striking practice (Fig. 3.30).

Fig.3.29 Fig.3.30

61

3.3.7 HoubaiTui Backward Swinging Kick


This is a wide-spanning movement and beginners are advised to imagine an opponent or target as
they perform the technique during solo practice. Lift the right foot to step forward and as you
lean forward, swing the right leg backward using both the waist and spine. As the right leg
swings backward, fend off the opponents arm and attack with both hands. This technique of
attacking the upper parts and shocking the lower parts is often used to throw opponents to the
ground (Fig. 3.31). Key points to remember are the same as in preceding techniques, all of which
require whole body involvement.

62

Fig.3.31

3.4

fisT pracTice 3.4.1 Shangchong Quan Fist Striking Upward

This technique consists of striking either fist spirally upward. Step forward with the left leg,
bending your knees slightly to transfer your centre of gravity to the left leg, then strike with the

right fist using the Ligou Quan (Fist Hooking Inward) technique, taking care not to overshoot
your blow above the opponents head. Simultaneously, use your bent right knee to hit at the
opponents crotch (Fig. 3.32). Integrate both fist and knee strikes with practice principles of
rolling the chest slightly inward (Hanxiong), lowering the waist (Tayao), relaxing the stomach
(Songfu), and drawing up the anus (Tigang). Strengthen your centre of gravity to improve your
accuracy by ensuring your left leg is slightly bent with toes grasping the ground (Fig. 3.33).

Fig.3.32 Fig.3.33

63

3.4.2 XiaZaiQuan Fist Striking Downward


This technique encompasses a downward strike with either fist at any angle. For example: If the
right leg goes forward, transfer your centre of gravity from the right to the left leg. Clench the
right hand into a fist, thumb tucked inside neither too tightly nor too loosely. Strike the
opponents upper body with the right fist, using your left arm to balance your movement. You
can also use the Bei Kao technique or attack with the elbows as well. Again, effectiveness of
this technique requires involvement of the whole body in the movement: once you move, your
whole body follows (Fig. 3.34).

64

Fig.3.34

3.4.3 ShuangFenQuan Splitting Fists or Double Bursting Fists

Take a half-step to the left (or right). Bend your knees slightly and gather both fists to the chest,
centres (Quanxin) facing downward (Fig. 3.35). Prepare to strike by gathering in the crotch and
knees, and rolling the chest and shoulders slightly inward. To strike, transfer your weight to the
right (or the opposite leg) and simultaneously split both fists explosively from the chest to either
side of the torso, fists facing upward. As you strike, open the crotch, knees, chest and shoulders.
Remember to keep the external and internal energy consistent, and the energy flow smooth (Fig.
3.36).

Fig.3.35

Fig.3.36

65

3.4.4 XiaZaQuan Fists Smashing Downward

Fists Smashing Downward shares many common traits with Splitting Fists: both strike with the
back of the fists and require practitioners to look to the side of the stepping foot. However, there
are three main distinctions: the trajectory of the fists and target differ with Fists Smashing
Downward and one or both fists may be used.

Take a half step to the right with the right foot. Rotate the right toes slightly outward as the foot
lands. Hold the right fist close to the left side of the chest, fist centre facing inward. Rest the left
fist beside the left leg (Fig. 3.37). Next, change your weight to the right leg and step your left
foot forward. Rotate the body to the right then strike downward with the back of the right fist, at
the same time hooking the left fist upward.

66

Fig.3.37

Fig.3.38

Fig.3.39

Again, involve your whole body in the attack. After striking, step the left foot horizontally over
the right one. Return both fists to their original positions (raise the right fist from its downward
strike position back to the left side of the chest, and lower the left fist from its upward strike
position back to the left side of the body). Then repeat with the other foot, stepping the right foot
forward and exploding the fists before landing, downwards on the right and upward on the left.
Practice these steps, alternating both sides continuously (Fig. 3.38).

In summary, the fists are raised from the sides across the chest as one foot steps horizontally in
front of the other. For example, as the left foot steps forward (weight on the right), the right fist
is raised above the left side of the chest for more power and then smashes down to the right.
Likewise, when the right foot steps forward (weight on the left), the left fist rises above the right
side of the chest and smashes down to the left. For each step, both left and right fists rise and
descend at the same time. (Fig. 3.39)

67

3.4.5 DanBiZhiChongQuan Single Fling Fist


Single Fling Fist is a forward punch unique to Taijiquan in that its power is generated by rotating
spiral energy at the waist and back, then guided outward with Yinian (intention) to manifest in a
quivering punch. Step the left foot forward, stretching the left hand upward, fingers vertical.
Gather the right fist under the right rib (Fig. 3.40). Sink your weight into the right foot and
rotate the waist to the right to gather energy. Then fling the right fist forward in Ni reeling,
concentrating your power in the Quanding (the front of the fist). Sychronise both arms so that
while the right fist flings forward, the left arm gathers inward and strikes backward to the left
with the elbow. This counter-balancing movement helps to accelerate the punch of the right fist.
Practice this technique on both sides. Make efforts to cultivate both internal and external
energies (Neiwai Jianxiu) and you will develop power; avoid the temptation of focusing too

much on the external look of the punch this will lead to nothing but the loss of energy (Fig.
3.41).

Fig.3.40 Fig.3.41

68

3.4.6 Baokong Quan Half-Moon Fist


Baokong refers to the half-moon shape that is formed by the arms as you strike the centre of one
palm with the other fist.

Step the right foot forward, simultaneously gathering the right fist beside the right ribs. Then step
the left foot forward, bringing the left palm to the front of the body (Fig. 3.42). Transfer your
centre of gravity from the back to the front and hit the right fist into the centre of the left palm
(Fig. 3.43). Repeat with the other side, and practice alternating both sides.

Baokong Fist shares the same characteristics as Zhichong Quan (Fling Fist), the main difference
being that in the former, energy does not manifest externally. Instead, only about 40% of the jin
force generated is exerted as short rather than long energy, so that the strike manifests within a
narrow range yet internally it contains great power and flexibility. The power of this technique
depends very much on the practitioners physical condition.

Fig.3.42 Fig.3.43

69

3.4.7 Dianxue Quan Nail-Shaped Fist


Dianxue refers to the internal injury caused by hitting a specific acupuncture point with a sharp
force, like hammering a nail. Clench your fist so the middle joint of the middle finger
protrudes. This forms the peak of the fist. Brace the middle finger with the index and ring
fingers, and press the tip of the thumb against the middle fingernail. This makes the fist peak
stable and solid. Strike with force and ferocity with this fist using short energy. Attack to the
left or right, up or down, using small agile steps (Fig. 3.44).

70

Fig.3.44

3.4.8 DingziQuanGuanyang
Nail-shaped Fists targeting acupoints on the temple

Dingzi Quan is also another term meaning Nail-shaped Fist; Guanyang means to hit the
temples with two nails. Practice both methods using both legs. Method 1

Method 2

Step forward with either leg. Form two nail-shaped fists and strike from both sides using short
energy. Bring the fists together in the middle about 25 cm apart. Roll the chest and shoulders
slightly inward, gather the ribs and lower your energy to the Dantian (Fig. 3.45).

Place your weight on one leg. Bend the other leg then strike both fists upward together, hence
creating a dual attack with both fists and knee (Fig. 3.46).

Fig.3.45 Fig.3.46

71

3.5

palM

pracTice 3.5.1 ShuangZhenZhang Double Shaking Palms

This technique includes shaking palms with both short and long energy, though in the initial
stages, practice using long energy first. Step forward with either leg. Place your hands in front
of the chest, palms facing forward, fingers pointing up (Fig. 3.47). Step forward with the other
leg, transferring your weight to the front. Prepare for the strike by ensuring your axis is upright,
the chest rolled slightly inward and the spine slightly lifted. Strike forward with both palms,
thrusting them forward with explosive force, while making sure the chest is relaxed, the ribs

gathered, and lower the energy to the abdomen (Fig. 3.48).

Fig.3.47 Fig.3.48

72

Fig.3.49

When practicing with short energy, gather the chest and stomach like a cat stalking a rat. Just
before the explosive strike, lower your energy abruptly and push forward with short energy using
small steps. Make sure your shoulder, elbows and wrists are lowered. As the energy reaches the
wrists, thrust your arms out about 50% (Fig. 3.49).

3.5.2 DanzhangXunlianfa Single Palm Technique


This technique consists of the Single Palm Explosion with Shun Bu (walking forward and back),
using long or short energy (Fig. 3.50, 3.51, 3.52). Thrust the right palm forward or diagonally
to the side. At the same time step forward with the left leg. Repeat using the left palm. The
power, speed, energy range and flexibility of movement of both Single and Double Palm Push all
rely on the practitioners abilities and internal energy. To be effective, a Double Palm Push needs
to be sudden and exerted directly forward, while the Single Palm Push requires the rotation of
waist and back to exert a frontal or inclining push.

73

Start this practice slowly, gradually increasing the speed, abruptness and power of the push. With
continuous practice, you will be able to explode energy with natural ease by combining both
external form and internal spirit, and hence conquer your opponents without effort.

Fig.3.50

74

Fig.3.51

Fig.3.52

3.5.3 BiPengQiantuiZhang Push with Ward-Off


This technique is used to fend off an arm strike from the opponent with an upward hand strike,
whilst using the other palm to push at the opponents chest or strike at their stomach.

Step one foot forward and ward off an arm attack with one hand, while gathering the other hand
beside the ribs (Fig. 3.53). Direct energy above the waist upward and energy below the waist
downward. This creates an energy balance that stabilizes your centre of gravity, enabling you to
hit your target with more precision and power (Fig. 3.54).

Fig.3.53

Fig.3.54

75

3.5.4 DanshouTuoZhang Single Palm Upward Push


This technique uses the inner side of the root of the palm (Zhanggen) to push upward, first at an
angle then vertically upward. To push with the right palm: bend the right knee, and then
straighten it while pushing the right palm upward. At the same time, press downward with the
left hand as a counterbalance between the upper and lower body (taking the waist as the dividing
line). As you push upward, open the right side of the chest and stomach, while gathering energy
on the left side. Explode this energy through the right side of body out through the right palm.
Keep the hips relaxed, the stomach gathered and the chest rolled inward (Fig. 3.55).

Fig.3.55

76

3.5.5 ZuoyouLianhuanShuangjiZhang Attack with Both Palms


This is also called the Attack with One Palm Guiding and Other Hand Pushing. Apply this

technique during Single Palm practice. Step the right foot forward and extend the right hand
outward to ward off the opponents attack (Fig. 3.56). At the same time, rotate your body to the
right, stepping forward with the left foot and extending the left hand forward in Ni Shun reeling
(Ni means first; Shun means sequence) (Fig. 3.57). Then swiftly draw the opponent into
your domain by touching their back with your left hand, then quickly striking their chest with
your right palm (Fig. 3.58). Keep your body and energy lowered while doing this.

Fig.3.56 Fig.3.57

77

Fig.3.58

Also apply the usual principles: roll the chest inward, lower the shoulders, and gather the ribs
and dantian. Coordinate the movements of your body with those of the palms, moving the body
quickly forward, left and right. This helps to concentrate energy in the palms.

3.5.6 ShunniTuoYaoZhang Push Partners Waist with Shun or Ni Reeling


This technique enables you to push the opponent to either side using both Shun and Ni reeling.
For example, if the opponent seizes your right hand and twists it outwards with Shun reeling,
apply the following steps: Step your right foot forward and lower your body and centre of

gravity to the right. As you lower the body, incline your body outward with Ni reeling whilst
following the opponents Shun reeling.

78

Fig.3.59

Fig.3.60

As you do this, thrust forcefully at the opponents right ribs by exploding energy with your left
hand, extending the thumb and fingers (Fig. 3.59). Unify the three actions of stepping forward,
inclining outward and exploding with the left palm (Fig. 3.60). Next, lure the opponent into your
territory to destabilize his centre of gravity (Yinjin Luokong) by swiftly moving your right foot
further forward and lowering the body while your right hand reaches forward.

If the opponent seizes your left hand and twists it with Ni reeling, respond in this way: Step
forward with the left foot, lower your body then extend it forward with Shun reeling. Again,
thrust forcefully at the opponents ribs, this time at the left side with your right hand. Key
points are the same as with the left hand push above.


79

Fig.3.61

Increase the effective of solo practice by sparring with an imaginary enemy in mind, especially
when stepping forward and exploding energy (Fig. 3.61). Also, coordinate the waist and legs
when exploding energy, regardless of the technique or force used, so that energy flows to the
very tips of the body, as advised in an essay, Energy comes from heels, goes through legs,
dominates the waist and penetrates to every part of body.

3.5.7 DanzhangShunniChanFa Shun or Ni Reeling with Single Palm

80

This technique consists of using either hand to seize the opponent using Shun or Ni short
spiralling energy. Step the right foot forward and seize (Na) the opponents hand with your left
hand while reeling downward in Shun circles. Relax your joints to enhance energy application.
As you seize, change your centre of gravity from the left to the right, roll your chest slightly
inward and bend your right arm inward.

Fig.3.62

Fig.3.63

With your right arm, reach under your opponents front arm. Change your right hand to Shun
reeling and your left to Ni reeling. Thus, you are able to use both palms to seize the opponent
(Fig. 3.62).

If the opponent escapes, change sides so that your right hand seizes the opponent by Ni reeling
and the left by Shun reeling (Fig. 3.63). To speed up your response, practice alternating the
seizing between right and left hands, listening closely to your partner as you do so.

3.5.8 ShuangDaiZhangDanshiYanlianFa Double Dai[1] Palms Single Form


Practice
Step your right foot forward and transfer your centre of gravity to the front. At the same time,
reach out with your left palm and guide your opponent to the left by reeling in Shun circles with
thumb extended, palm open.

81

[1] Dai means to lead, guide or bring along

Fig.3.64

Fig.3.65

Extend your right arm forward, fingers pointing to the front (Fig. 3.64). Change your weight to
the back and turn to the right, moving your arms to stabilize this rotation. Clench the left hand
into a loose fist and push it forward. Bend your right arm 90o inward and form a fist with your
right hand. Then hit the opponent with the right arm (Fig. 3.65).

Practice on both sides.

82

3.5.9 QianchuanZhang Forward Piercing Palms Single Form Practice

Step the left foot forward, face the left palm outward, fingers up. As your step forward, gather
the right hand beside the ribs, palm up, fingers to the front (Fig. 3.66). Transfer your centre of
gravity to the front.

Fig.3.66

Fig.3.67

Lift the left palm over the right, and then explode both palms forward with a piercing thrust. To
increase the precision and power of the fingers, place the left thumb and little finger in
opposition while the remaining fingers face forward. Also, to increase the speed and power of
the explosion, coordinate the waist and spine when shaking the right palm forward in Shun
reeling. Next, reel the right hand in Shun reeling to the right and step the right foot forward. As
the right foot lands on the ground, move the left hand and foot quickly forward together. Return
the hands to their original positions before the next energy explosion.

Practice alternating the position of both palms, left under right and right under left (Fig. 3.67).

83

3.6

elbOw pracTice

3.6.1 LiZhouStanding Elbows

Step forward with the left foot. At the same time, bend both arms at 900 and gather both hands
into fists close to the ribs to either side of the body, palms facing in (Fig. 3.69). As you change
your weight to the front, strike forward with the right elbow while hitting backward with the left
elbow. In this case, the left arm counter-balances the movement of the right. Practice striking
with both elbows with corresponding weight changes to either side. Remember to apply long
energy before you apply short energy (Fig. 3.69).

Fig.3.68 Fig.3.69

84

3.6.2 QianZaiZhouFalling Front Elbows

Change your weight to the left and turn the body to the right. At the same time, bend the right
elbow inward, gather it close to the right ribs, and clench the right hand into a fist, wrist turned
inward and the palm facing backward. Prepare for the downward elbow strike by raising the right

arm while touching the back of the right fist with the left hand (Fig. 3.70). Step the right foot
forward and strike the right elbow down forcefully as the foot lands. Lift the left hand when the
right elbow completes 90o of its descent. Alternatively, slap the right shoulder with the left palm.
As the right elbow descends, take a small step forward with the left foot. After the strike, return
the elbow to the right side, palm up. At the same, step the right foot forward again and extend the
left arm forward. Then strike the right elbow down for the second time (Fig. 3.71).

Fig.3.70 Fig.3.71

85

3.6.3 YaoLanZhouElbow Block at Waist

Step the right foot forward. Rotate slightly to the left, then turn right with the right toes facing
slightly out.

Fig.3.72

Fig.3.73 Fig.3.74

86

At the same time, raise the right hand across the front of the chest to the left in an upward arc, as
if warding off (Fig. 3.72). As you do this, clench the right hand into a fist, palm facing in. Lower
right fist to the left side of the body so that the right arm is held at 900 while stepping the left
foot forward (Fig. 3.73). Gather the body by bending it slightly, then step forward with the right
foot, transferring your centre of gravity to the left. Turn to the left and strike out explosively with
the right elbow, clasping the right forearm with the left palm. Focus on hitting upward with
your right elbow so as to destabilize the opponents centre of gravity and lift them off from the
ground (Fig. 3.74).

Practice with the other arm. Remember that the right leg moves forward with the right arm and
vice-versa.

3.6.4 ShunLanZhouSmooth Elbow Block

Roll the chest slightly inward so that it is concave; gather the ribs and lower your Qi. Step the
left foot forward, toe tips slightly touching the ground, so that both feet are approximately 50 cm
apart. Gather the body to prepare for attack by lowering the body slightly (Fig. 3.75). Step the
right foot to the left and bend the right arm, clasping the right forearm with the left palm. Move
the body to the left and transfer your centre of gravity to the right and back.


87

Fig.3.75

Fig.3.76

Spiral the right arm forward with Ni reeling, gathering it horizontally in front of the chest, the
right fist lowered to front of the left armpit, palm down. Next, step right with the right foot,
turning the body to the right. Simultaneously, strike the right elbow to the right, balancing this
movement with the left hand.

In the initial stages, practice with long and slow energy. Once familiar with the practice, use
short and fast energy. Practice with both sides (Fig. 3.76).

88

3.6.5 XinZhouTechniqueHeart Piercing Elbow


This technique consists of an elbow strike at the heart. Footwork and hand movements are
similar to those of Shun Lan Zhou (Smooth Elbow Block), with the following differences:

Shun Lan Zhou is aimed slightly to the back, while Xin Zhou is targeted to the front (Fig. 3.77).
In Xin Zhou the left palm touches and lightly holds the right wrist as the right elbow strikes (Fig.
3.78).

Fig.3.77

Fig.3.78

3.6.6 ShangTiaoZhouUpward Striking Elbow


This technique consists of concentrating energy in the elbow and striking upward with it. Stand
at attention with the arms relaxed at the sides. Jump the left foot half a step to the left. Before
the foot lands, jump slightly with the right foot, toe tips on the ground, landing approximately 50
cm apart from the left foot. Simultaneously, extend your left palm forward, fingers pointing up,
palm facing right. Turn the body to the right and reel the right palm across the chest to the
right. Touch the right knee with the right palm, palm down.

89

Fig.3.79

Fig.3.80

Fig.3.81

90

Prepare to explode energy by looking to the right and gathering the body (Fig. 3.79). Next, step
the right foot forward, toe-tips on the ground, then transfer your centre of gravity to the right. As
you change weight, clench both palms into fists, placing the left fist below the right. Move the
right fist toward the right shoulder using Shun reeling, bending the wrist before striking upward
quickly with the back of the right fist. Look to the right side of body while striking upward.
While striking on the right, gather the left side of the body so that your attack will have a clear
division of Xu (emptiness) and Shi (solidity). Also, avoid letting all your energy flow upward as
this will destabilize your root. Instead, balance the energy between the upper and lower body,
taking the waist as the dividing line. After the strike, step the left foot to the left, followed by the
right foot, toe tips touching the ground (Fig. 3.80). Return the left fist beside the right ribs (Fig.
3.81).

Practice on both sides, starting with slow movements initially until the steps become familiar,
then gradually using short and fast energy.

3.6.7 ShuangKai ZhouDouble Open Elbows


This technique consists of striking simultaneously with both elbows by holding the arms in front
of the chest, then exploding both elbows horizontally.

Step to one side with either leg. Gather the fists close to the chest (Fig. 3.82). If you stepped to
the left, place the left arm inside the right. In this position, the right elbow executes the dominant
attack, while the left the supplementary strike. Change your weight to the left, then strike with
the right elbow, looking to the left and concentrating energy in the elbow tips (Fig. 3.83).

Practice alternating both sides.

Fig.3.82

Fig.3.83

91

3.6.8 ShuangKouZhouorShuangHeZhou Double Closing Elbows


This technique consists of a center strike with both elbows.

Step one foot forward, holding fists on either side of the ribs (Fig. 3.84). As your weight
transfers to the front, prepare for the stike by gathering the wrists inward, looking to the front
and rolling the chest and shoulders inward. This increases the force of your attack. Try to feel the
effect of this preparation during practice (Fig. 3.85).

92

Fig.3.84

Fig.3.85

3.6.9 GuaZhouHanging Elbow

Step the left foot forward and extend your left hand forward simultaneouly, palm to the front. As
your centre of gravity shifts to the left, take a big step forward with the right foot in front of the
left. At the same time, clench the left palm into a half fist and place it beside the left leg.
Simultaneously, clench the right hand into a fist, palm facing inward and inclining backward,
then lift it so that the right elbow is positioned over the right knee (Fig. 3.86). As the weight
shifts to the left, rotate the body to the right, extend the left hand forward and simultaneously
strike the right elbow downward past the back (Fig. 3.87).

You can begin a new round by stepping forward with the other foot and repeating the movements
on the other side. Practice alternating both sides.

Fig.3.86 Fig.3.87

93

3.6.10 PieZhouTechnique Pushing Aside with Elbow


Pie Zhou signifies conquering conforming force (Shun Jin) with transverse force (Heng Jin). As
one of the Eight Forces, the aim of Pie Zhou is to convert conforming force into transverse force
(Shun Zhong Qiu Heng). Step the right foot forward, shifting your centre of gravity to the front.
Extend the right hand outward, palm up, then lower it over the right knee. Change your
weight to the left. Shape the right hand into a hook (Diao Shou) and place it in front of the left
thumb. Shift your weight abruptly to the right and form a half fist with the left palm, moving it
beside the left ribs. At the same time, strike forward explosively with the right forearm using a
short-energy (Fig. 3.88). Make sure both hands move and arrive at their destinations
simultaneously. In this way, you apply Pie (Pushing Aside) force by meeting conforming force

with the transverse force of your arms. After exerting Pie force, the legs should be parallel to
each other. All movements are guided by the rotation of the waist and spine.

Fig.3.88

94

3.6.11 CaiZhou Snatching Elbow


This is a capturing and immobilising technique using the elbow. Keep the left hand open so the
thumb is separated from the fingers. Step backward with the left foot shifting your weight to
the left, and extend the left hand forward to the right, closing it slightly. Raise the right hand
from the right side, bending the elbow. Form a hook (Diao Shou) with the right hand with the
little, ring and middle fingers. The thumb and index finger form the character Ba . Then,
using downward Ni reeling, lower the left hand from the front of the chest to the left ribs, palm
up, using guiding energy from the little finger. Shift your weight more to the left as you do this
(Fig. 3.89). While lowering the left hand, use Cai technique to strike out explosively with the
outside of the right forearm and elbow, coordinating the explosion of energy with a twisting of
the crotch and rotation of the waist and spine. In this way, both internal and external movements
are integrated with the movements of the body and limbs.

Fig.3.89

95

3.6.12 XieChuanZhou Slanted Piercing Elbow


This technique consists of using the elbow to strike backward, especially useful as a defensive
move when being attacked while in a passive situation.

Bend the left knee, toes grasping the ground, and extend the right leg backward. At the same
time, the right thumb guides energy flow, and then, you raise the right hand in Ni reeling to
descend the elbow (Fig. 3.90). Relax the crotch and incline (Xia Fu) the body abruptly forward
using Pie technique, moving your weight to the right (Fig. 3.91). While transferring weight,
strike the right elbow backward at an upward angle (Shang Chuan Zhou).

Note: For maximum effectiveness, make sure power is gathered properly through the whole body
and that your timing is correct before you strike.

96

Fig.3.90

Fig.3.91

3.7

kaO (push) pracTices

Kao practices can be divided into seven techniques: Qian Zai Kao, Ce Jian Kao, Ying Men Kao,

Xiong Kao, Shuang Bei Kao and Qi Cun Kao.

3.7.1 QianZai Kao Front Shoulder Push

Step the right foot forward, and bend the right arm over the inside of the right leg while the left
hand rests gently on the outside of the right arm. As you shift your weight to the right, bend the
right arm inward to position the right shoulder in readiness to execute Zai Kao. The right foot
and right arm should reach their positions at the same time (Fig. 3.92).

Fig.3.92 Fig.3.93

97

Then, use the outside of the right shoulder to execute Qian Zai Kao, pushing it forward and
down. As the body inclines forward significantly during this move, take care to maintain your
centre of gravity by not stretching too far forward (Fig. 3.93). On completion of the shoulder
push, step forward with the left foot and place it next to the right foot. Then step the right foot
forward again to execute Zai Kao for a second time. Repeat these steps for both sides.

Note: Only push when you are in the correct position. Do not make the mistake of weakening
your defences by being too eager to attack and moving beyond your territory.

3.7.2 CeJianKao Side Shoulder Push


This technique consists of pushing the shoulder at the opponents ribs.

98

Step forward with the right foot (Shang Bu). As the heel touches the ground, raise the right hand
from the inside to fend off and steer the opponents hand to the right. The left hand follows the
right hand in support and comes to a rest in front of the right shoulder. Then take another big step
forward with the right foot, quickly pushing the front of the right shoulder forward to execute Ce
Jian Kao (Fig. 3.94). After executing the above, if you find you get into an appropriate space for
attacking, you can choose not to use Follow-on Steps (Dian Bu) as this will result in Ce Jian Kao

being pitched too directly forward.

Fig.3.94

Notes:

Finding the right rhythmic flow to your movements is key to effective attacks. This only comes
with closely combining the Yin (guide), Dai (lead and pull) and Ji (attack) energies together.
Work consistently to master the key points until you are able to execute the movements in a way
that is quick but not loose, lowering down but not stiff, light but not floating .

3.7.3 YingMenKao Door Push with Shoulder


Ying Men Kao refers to the ancient tradition of comparing the arms to two iron doors. When
firmly closed, arms are a defense against attacks; conversely if one is able to open the doors of
the opponent, then techniques such as Ying Men Kao can be used to penetrate defences and
attack.

99

Fig.3.95

Fig.3.96

100

Take a large step forward with the right foot. At the same time, cross the hands in front of the
chest, the right hand above the left, fingers pointing up and palms facing the sides of the body.
Separate the hands of the opponent to expose his chest (Fig. 3.95). Next, move both arms to each
side of the body and push the right shoulder forward in attack (Fig. 3.96). Once the attack is
completed, move the left foot forward parallel to the right foot and repeat the sequence for
another attack. Practice the steps in alternating rounds between right and left until you can
execute the technique with speed and power. The success of this technique depends on the extent
of coherency and how quickly and smoothly the steps can be executed.

Note: There are two ways your can attack with Ying Men Kao: You can lower your power
slightly so that the tip of the shoulder protrudes more. It is easier to hurt the partner using a
narrower attacking surface. You can use more of the shoulder surface in the attack.

3.7.4 Xiong Kao Chest Push


This technique uses the chest to push at the opponent. To begin, the chest and waist are in a
collapsed position. Step the right foot forward, shifting your weight to the front. Extend both
arms from the sides to the front in an embracing gesture. Change your weight to the left while

pulling the opponent toward your chest using your palms (Fig. 3.97). Then roll the chest inward
and shift your weight quickly from left to right, using this shift to deliver a sudden push with the
chest (Fig. 3.98). After this move is completed, move the left foot parallel to the right.
Practice this technique in rounds by stepping the right foot forward again and repeating the
sequence above. Note: Focus on sharpening your sense of timing during practice. A good sense
of timing is essential for defeating the opponent. Only with a thorough mastery of this technique,
can you execute it in actual combat (because you may easily hurt yourself ).

Fig.3.97 Fig.3.98

101

3.7.5 ShuangBeiKao Push with Both Shoulders


This technique consists of a simultaneous attack from both shoulders. Shuang Bei Kao requires
Duan Tan Dou Jing prowess (short, rebounding and shaking power), a capability that comes only
with extended Quan practice. Stand with feet parallel, shoulders slightly concave and with
power guided by the thumbs (Fig. 3.99). Gently rotate backwards with both palms facing
backwards. When the whole body holds and collects to a moderate extent, take a sudden breath
in and push the chest forward quickly, as the shoulders deliver Bei Kao backwards (Fig. 3.100).
You may lead with either leg. When the weight moves forward the chest rolls inwards, and the
shoulders execute Bei Kao to the right . Note: As mentioned in previous techniques, remember to
gather and withhold energy before delivering the strike. This technique also uses Duan Jing
(short power).

Fig.3.99 Fig.3.100

102

3.7.6 BeiZheKao Lean with back


To attack by moving backwards is called Bei Zhe Kao. This technique consists of drawing your
partner into your territory (Yin Jin) while you move backwards to attack. Extend the right foot
and arm forward. Gradually move the right arm downward toward to the inside of the right leg,
fingers pointing down. Start doing Shun reeling with your right hand as you move your weight
slightly to the front. Turn the body slightly to the left as the right hand rises. Find a stable
centre of gravity with the body and gather your body in this position. Once your root is
stabilized, continue to transfer your weight to the right, and at the same time deliver a forceful
backward push (Hou Bei Kao Jing) with the right arm and shoulder (Fig. 3.101). Practice
pushing from both the right and left sides. Note: If the opponent is at close-range, use short
power in your push; if further away, extend the distance of your Kao slightly.

Fig.3.101

103

3.7.7 QiCunKao Seven Cun Kao


The name of this technique indicates that the body should be seven cun (approximately 23 cm)
above the ground. This technique uses largescale movements and requires the body to be
inclined while keeping the suspending upright power (Ding Jing).

Take a large step diagonally forward with the left or right leg. Incline the body forward in the
same direction. Place the elbow below the knee (Fig. 3.102). Practice this sequence in rounds
from left to right.

Note: Power applied in the initial stages should be slow rather than quick. This technique is
particularly difficult to apply in combat and can only be executed successfully if real efforts are
made during practice.

Fig.3.102

104

3.8

na (seizing) pracTices

Na practices can be divided into eight techniques: Shun Ni Na, Xiong Na, Fu Na, Shuang He Fu
Cai Na, Chan Rao Na, Tui Na, Diao gai Na, and Shuang He Na.

3.8.1 ShunNiNa Seizing in Shun and Ni reeling


This seizing technique employs both Shun and Ni reeling. Extend the left foot and left hand
forward, palm facing in. Rest the right hand near the right ribs, palm up (Fig. 3.103). Relax
the left side of the crotch and shift your weight forward to the left. Take the left thumb as the
guidance of energy flow and reel the left hand in Ni direction from outside in. At same time,
draw the right hand inward in Shun reeling toward the left hand and seize forcefully (Fig. 3.104).


Fig.3.103 Fig.3.104

105

While seizing with both hands, lower the shoulders, drop the elbow, roll the chest in, tighten the
ribs, and lower your waist and Qi. After seizing, move the weight slightly backward then move
forward again, changing the weight from left to right. Repeat the above sequence, this time
reeling in Shun direction with the left hand and Ni direction with the right.

Note: Shun and Ni reeling are interdependent and cannot be separated.

If you try to seize the opponent using Shun reeling on the left hand and Ni reeling on the right,
but she evades your attack by ducking down, then you must respond promptly by swapping the
reelings to the opposite hands, i.e. Shun reel with the right hand and Ni reel with the left, in order
to block the opponents energy path. Observe your opponents changes and respond accordingly:
if the opponent uses long power, you should use short power so that with one closing and one
opening you can quickly reach the right position before the partner, even though you deliver the
power later than the partner. With practice, youll be able to apply this technique automatically
and even defeat your opponent if you apply it well. Seizing techniques are quite difficult to
practice. Try to relax at every step while applying the seizing action firmly. When seizing, spread
the energy up and down the length of your body like a bow so that power is distributed
everywhere.

106

Closing with the left while seizing with the right and vice versa, you will be able to execute these
changes quickly and smoothly, if you practice each side diligently. Your moves will become
more effective as your internal Qi integrates more closely with the external movements.

3.8.2 XiongNa Seize with Chest


This seizing technique uses the Cai power of the chest with the help of the hands.

Step forward with the left foot and move the right hand in front of chest to fend the opponent off
upwards to the right at head level (Fig. 3.105). Then lower the right hand to the right ribs, palm
out. Relax the left side of the crotch. Then rotate the right hand and body to the right, and shift
your weight to the right side. At the same time, extend the left hand forward to rest in front of the
body (Fig. 3.106). Again, relax the left side of the crotch and shift your weight to the left. As you
do this, roll the chest in, tighten the ribs, lower the Qi, and clench the right hand into a fist,
placing it in front of the chest. The shift to the left enables you to hit the target clearly (Fig.
3.107).

Fig.3.105

Fig.3.106

Fig.3.107


107

Remember that Qi gathers in the Dantian and the Three Powers (Jing Qi Shen) unify to become
one power. The strike is actually applied by the left side of the chest, while the two hands serve
as supports. As it states in the poem: Raise the left hand and extend the right hand upward to
draw a circle. Relax the crotch, rotate the body, and gather energy in the ribs. Shift your weight
forward and accumulate power well; the force of upward suspension maintains the axis. Match
the speed of your movements to that of your partner. Make sure to keep your own axis when
seizing the opponent. Move quickly and follow your partner but do not lose power. Move the
whole body in a natural and relaxed state.

3.8.3 Fu Nang Seize with the Abdomen


This technique consists of seizing with the abdomen filled with descending Qi with the
assistance of the hands. Step the right foot forward and pass the right hand across the left side
of the body, extending it forward in an arc until it comes to a rest in the front of the right side of
the abdomen. Draw the arc with the intention of meeting the opponents hand, the palm forming
a (Ba) shape, palm facing left (Fig. 3.108). Step the left foot forward and extend the left
hand to the front, palm facing right (Fig. 3.109). Relax the left side of the crotch and shift your
weight to the left by stepping the right foot on the ground. As the weight shifts to the left, reel
with both hands in a Shun direction. The left hand leads by closing the power causing the right
hand to follow. At the same time, lower Qi to the abdomen in preparation for the inward roll
and seizing. Close the crotch, roll the chest slightly inward and gather the ribs.

108

Fig.3.108

As the Qi descends, clench the left hand, seize with the right and roll the abdomen these three
actions combine to become one power. The abdomen provides the main supporting element; the
left hand moves lightly and assists the right, whose movement is heavier (Fig. 3.110). The eyes
look forward and to the left.

Fig.3.109 Fig.3.110

109

In summary, the right foot steps forward, followed by the left, and both feet standing steadily as
the hands move. Both hands extend forward in sequence, the right hand moving down while the
left moves up. Concentrate your energies then pounce on your opponent like an agile cat. Move
swiftly without hesitation; do not be kind to the foe for the opportunity to attack comes just once;
keep your intention firm for victory or failure will be decided in a second.

3.8.4 ShuangHeFuCaiNa Seize from Both Sides with Abdomen

This seizing technique uses the combined efforts of the abdomen and hands, whereby the
abdomen gathers power to support the hands, while the hands use Na (seizing) power to collect
inward, capture and immobilize the opponent.

110

Take a half step forward with the right foot, and commence shifting your weight forward. At the
same time, extend both arms to the front, bending them at the elbows, palms about 10 cm from
the lower abdomen, facing in so that the fingers are directed towards each other. Direct the eyes
to the front. Continue to shift your weight forward, roll the chest slightly inward, gather the ribs
and lower Qi to the abdomen so that internal strength flows through the Dantian and the Three
Powers (Jing Qi Shen) may unify to guide the attack. As your weight shifts, move the palms up
to chest level and seize the opponents elbows using Na power, immobilizes their wrists by
bending them outwards, and gather them towards you (Fig. 3.111). As you seize, push the
abdomen out suddenly (Fig. 3.112).

Fig.3.111

Fig.3.112

Note: It pays to practice as if sparring with a partner who is pushing forward with his or her
hands on your abdomen, so that you respond by moving your weight forward, and lower Qi in
your abdomen before protruding it forward.

3.8.5 ChanRaoNa Seize by Reeling


This technique uses the gathering power of one hand to seize while the other reels from the inner
side of the opponent.

Step the right foot forward and pass the right hand across the chest, fending the opponent off
upward to the right (Fig. 3.113). Step the left foot forward and shift your weight to the left. Reel
the left hand forward, supported by the warding right hand. Lower the right hand then cover it
with the left.

111

Fig.3.113

Fig.3.114

Put your body in a squatting position by bending the knees slightly. Collect the body by rolling
the chest slightly inward, gathering the ribs and lowering the waist and Qi. Collect the hands
inward to about 15 cm in front of the chest. Combine them with the power of chest to become
one power (Fig. 3.114). Step the right foot forward again and repeat the above steps. Alternate
practice on both right and left sides, by taking a step forward (Shang Bu) each time.

112

Note: If Qi descends smoothly, this technique can be used effectively to break wrists, bones,
tendons and veins. But remember: practice like an adept, not like a thug.

3.8.6 TuiNa Seize with the Leg


This technique uses the combined power of both hands and one leg. Step forward with the left
foot and extend the left arm to the front. Bend the left arm inward to gather both palms; fingers
pointing forward. As you step, shift your weight forward and bend the knees slightly so that the
body squats like a bent bow. Lower your Qi, roll the chest in and gather the ribs (Fig. 3.115).
As the weight moves forward, lower the left arm in a downward arc using Shun reeling and
extend the right hand forward in Ni reeling to seize downward from the right side. The powers of
the left arm and right hand unify as one. As soon as the right hand reaches the level of the left
leg, swing the left knee inward to gather the left leg so that it serves as a supporting point during
the seizing. As the knee swings inward, relax the crotch, and move both hands to assist the left
leg. In this way, the Three Powers (Jing Qi Shen) combine to seize the opponent.


Fig.3.115 Fig.3.116

113

After seizing, shift your weight quickly to the left and step forward with the right foot. The
changing of the legs happens quickly. As you step forward, spiral the right hand up from the
right side into an arc, guiding it to the right ribs for support (Fig. 3.116). Then step forward with
the left foot, shift your weight to the front and extend the left arm again to repeat the steps and
seize once more.

3.8.7 DiaoGai Na Seizing with Both Hands


This technique uses both hands to seize: the right hand moves up from the right to grasp the
opponents arm from the bottom while the left presses down from the top. Step forward with
the right foot. At the same time, extend the right arm and pass it from the upper left side of the
body to the right in a warding off motion (Fig. 3.117). Then lower the right arm by executing
L downward in Ni reeling, gradually guiding it inward to rest in front of the right ribs.

Fig.3.117 Fig.3.118

114

Fig.3.119

As soon as the right foot touches on the ground, shift your weight to the right and move the left
foot and hand forward (Fig. 3.118). Then move the right hand forward in Shun reeling until it
reaches the same level as the nose. When the right hand moves up, the left palm moves down in
Shun reeling to cover the the arm of the opponent so that the forces of both arms work as one. As
the hands move, lower the shoulders, roll the chest slightly inward and bend the knees slightly
into a squatting position. The intention is to have the whole body collecting and seizing together
with the hands. Continue to move the right hand and foot forward. As the right foot touches the
ground, shift your weight to the right and step forward with the left foot. Then extend the right
hand forward to cover and seize with both hands with Gai power (Fig. 3.119).

115

3.8.8 ShuangHeNa Seize by Gathering Both Hands

This technique uses the gathering power of both hands to seize, strengthed by whole body
coordination.

Sweep the right hand from left to right in a warding off movement (Peng) to fend the opponents
arm out and upward (Fig. 3.120). At the same time, step forward with the left foot and shift your
weight to the front. This step marks the transformation of Peng (ward off ) to Na (seizing). Bend
your knees so your body squats like a bending bow, then gather both hands and grasp the
opponents wrist firmly downwards. Prepare for the seizing by lowering Qi to the Dantian,
rolling the chest inward and tightening the ribs. Combine this with the power gathered in both
hands and seize with one force. Make sure you have a clear line to your target by lowering the
shoulders and elbows before seizing downward (Fig. 3.121).

Fig.3.120 Fig.3.121

116

3.9

jie TuO (escape)

pracTices

The practice of Jie Tuo is divided into nine techniques: 1. Guan Gong Jie Dai 2. Diao Wan Qu
Zhi Jie Tuo 3. Shuang Wan Zhi Jie 4. Chuan Zhang Jie 5. Qu Wan Fan Na Jie 6. Shan Jing Ce
Jian Jie 7. Shan Jing Zhen Zhang Jie 8. Fan Na Cu Bu Jie 9. Shuang Shou Wai Fen Jie

3.9.1 GuanGongJieDaiGuan Gong Style Escape


According to the book, Wars Among Three Countries by Guan Yu, the Guan Gong Jie Dai
technique is said to be named after its creator, Guan Gong. This technique enables a practitioner
to avoid capture or break a hold, such as a waist grasp from the rear to throw you down. Stand
with both feet in parallel, shoulder-width apart. Hang the hands naturally at the sides, eyes
looking forward. Inhale, then exhale as you bend the knees slightly to put the body in a
squatting position (Fig. 3.122). Move Qi in from the outside and lower it to the Dantian. Next,
curve the fingers into hooks and raise them in front of the ribs with the little finger leading, then
the ring finger, middle finger, and finally the index finger.

117

Fig.3.122

Fig.3.123

Synchronise the speed of this movement with that of the body, and also with the speed of Qi
descending. In this way, the squatting of the body, the gathering of the ribs and the hooking of
fingers should combine to become one unit; otherwise it is not easy to unfold (Fig. 3.123).

This technique becomes effective only after extended practice.


118

3.9.2 DiaoWanQuZhiJieTuo Escape by Hooking Wrist & Bending Fingers


This technique is especially useful to release a hand hold by an opponent. If the fingers are being
held, hook the wrist and bend the fingers to escape. This technique is always applied to Liu Feng
Si Bi Dan Bian (Six Sealing and Four Closing Single Whip).

Fig.3.124

Fig.3.125

If the fingers of one hand are seized by the opponent, join the fingers of your hand together and
point them diagonally upward to the right (Fig. 3.124). Move your body to transform the
attacking power, relaxing the shoulders, lowering the elbows, rolling the chest inward, and

lowering your Qi as you do so. By doing this, you relax and elongate your encaptured arm,
unblocking the arm area being attacked, so that Tuo (escaping) power can reach the fingers
effectively. As you move, slowly bend the wrist and fingers. By the end of your movement, your
conjoined fingertips and knuckles should be able to escape with ease (Fig. 3.125). Practice these
steps with both hands in turn.

This technique is only to be used if you have become proficient in it after extended solo practice.

119

3.9.3 ShuangWanZhiJie Escape by Spiralling Wrists Upward


This technique is used to escape a double wrist-hold. It consists of spiralling the inner sides of
both wrists upward to force the opponent to open his hand.

Step one foot forward and shift your weight to the other leg (Fig. 3.126). At the same time,
clench both hands into fists, then move your arms forward and upward as your weight shifts
forward (Fig. 3.127). While doing this, roll the chest inward, tighten the ribs, bend the arms,
lower the shoulders and elbows, and lower the Qi so that power can flow smoothly to the inner
side of the wrists.

It is not necessary to use large movements in this technique. Just focus on relaxing and lower the
Qi, closing your hands while opening the opponents.


Fig.3.126 Fig.3.127

120

3.9.4 ChuanZhangJieTuo Escape by Crossing the Hands before the Chest


This technique consists of crossing both hands before the chest when you move to the left or
right to transform power. It is most often used in the transition between the Jin Gang Dao Zhui
posture (Buddhas Warrior Attendant Pounds Mortar) and the Lan Zha Yi posture (Lazily Tying
Coat). Two feet stand flatly and the body stands straight, two eyes look forward horizontally.
Bend the knees slightly to place the body in a squatting position, and roll the chest inward,
tighten the ribs, and lower the shoulders, elbows, and Qi. Bend both arms 90o inward and cross
them in front of the chest, placing the right hand on the left (Fig. 3.128).

Fig.3.128 Fig.3.129

121

If you choose to turn to the left: rotate the body to the left then right, and move the right hand in
Shun reeling while the left does Ni reeling. Then ward off (Peng) by pushing both palms
outward, and lock the palms of the opponent, then rotate forward again. Do not rush forward but
defend you territory in straight postures (Fig. 3.129). If you choose to turn to the right: rotate the
body to the right then left, swapping the Shun and Ni reeling to the opposite hands.

3.9.5 QuWanFanNaJie Escape by Bending the Wrist and Seize the Opponent
This technique is used to counter-attack a hold on the right fingers. It requires you to twist the
captured fingers outward in Shun reeling, then to follow your opponent by bending your wrist in
Ni reeling while you rotate to the right position so as to extend the left hand and seize with the
right.

Fig.3.130 Fig.3.131

122

Fig.3.132

Fig.3.133

Extend your right arm forward, then bend it about 450, palm facing left (Fig. 3.130). Rotate the
arm about 1800 outward in Ni reeling, wrist bent inward in readiness to seize and fend off danger
(Fig. 3.131). As you do this, relax the shoulders, raise the elbows, open the joints throughout the
body and stretch the muscles so that power can flow through to the wrist and move to its end
point more smoothly. While rotating the arm, step the right foot forward (Fig. 3.132). As the
right toes touch the ground, extend the left hand forward to support the right hand as it seizes
downward (Fig. 3.133).

Note: Use the waist as the boundary dividing rising energy above the waist and descending
energy below the waist. Your movements should be relaxed and executed with power at all
times. Apply the principle of constant change and flexibility in Taiji circles. If you practice
diligently, it will be difficult for opponents to overcome your attacks.

123

3.9.6 ShanJingCeJianJieEscape by Flashing Back


This technique is applied when the opponent seizes your wrist in Shun reeling. In response, you
should rotate externally and upward in Ni reeling, then move swiftly to the right to destabilize
the opponent. Next, incline the body and attack with the Ce Jian Kao technique (Side Shoulder
Push). Together, this sequence of movements make up the Shan Jing Ce Shen Jie technique.
Extend the right arm horizontally and bend it 900 inward. The right wrist bends inward with the
arm to rotate the hand in Ni reeling, right fingertips initially pointing downward, the palm
gradually guided by Ni reeling to slant externally to the right. Simultaneously, roll the chest
inward, coordinating it with the lifting of the back and the descending Qi. As the right palm

reels outward, move the left hand rightward to the front of the chest, palm facing right, so that
the power of the left hand combines with the right to become one.

Fig.3.134 Fig.3.135

124

As your left hand moves, shift your weight to the left , then quickly step the right foot forward
(Shang Bu), touching the ground with the toe tips (Fig. 3.134). The above movements of both
arms and the right foot should occur in one very smooth and swift motion. Almost at the same
time, make a big step forward with the right foot, then project the right shoulder forward to push
at the opponents right rib using the Ce Jian Kao technique (Side Shoulder Push). All the above
movements of the hands, feet and shoulder should integrate into one resolute force and terminate
at the same moment (Fig. 3.135). The force of this attack can help wrest you free from the
opponents grip and dislodge your wrist from his or her grasp.

Note: Move in Ni reeling while the opponent moves in Shun reeling. Use your whole body to
collect energy and attack: the Yin force (guiding) from the upper body and Jin force (inserting
and attacking) from the lower body. Project your shoulder forward using Shan Jing (Sudden
Flash Back) and it will break the copper wall.

3.9.7 ShanjingZhenZhangJie Quick Shaking Palm Stun


This technique uses very swift abrupt (Shan) power to stun the opponent, giving him a sense of
losing of Qi, and thus enabling one to evade capture. So Shan and Jing serve as the pre-condition
of escaping, because with these, you find it easy to execute Zhen Zhang (Shaking Palm) and thus
to escape. If the opponent seizes your forearms: Retreat half-a-step with the left foot, then bend
your knees slightly to place your body in a squatting position so that you can collect and hold
energy.

125

At the same time, clench the hands into fists and place them at the sides of the body (Fig. 3.136).
Next, slowly raise both hands and bend them inward about 1800, palms facing up and eyes
looking forward. Shift your weight forward and extend both arms forward to break the power of
the opponents grip on your forearms (Fig. 3.137). At the same time, open both fists and shift
them away from the sides of the body, palms facing up and the two little fingers placed on the
middle of each arm, then the whole body sends a Dou in a circle in Shun reeling (short power).
Simultaneously, use both hands to draw the opponents arm toward you and destabilise their
center of gravity. As soon as you surprise and destabilize them with your moves, step forward
quickly and attack with the palm (Fig. 3.138). When the body and two hands send the Dou
power, the body squats, and both palms draw inward, then Shang Bu (take a step forward), and

the extending palm reaches the right position at the same time. This power should be quick and
strong.

Fig.3.136 Fig.3.137 Fig.3.138

126

It is just like the poem reads: It is not a failure if you retreat your pace, because sometimes
appropriate retreating gives one a closing power, holding and collecting a quicker speed. It is not
wise to grasp the opponents elbow with your fingers, which is against principle, since he or she
can easily twist your fingers and get you caught. Two elbows draw inward and hands move
outwards, the partner cannot reach you though his attacking power is strong. With Shan and Jing,
you find escaping easy.

3.9.8 Fan NaCuBuJie Escape by Stomping


This is a composite technique consisting of seizing and twisting the opponents joints (Fan Na)
using the Fan Guanjie (Reverse Joints) technique, and attacking by the Cu Bu or Dun Bu
technique (stomping).

Step forward with the right foot and commence Shun reeling with the right arm, first bending it
inward then moving it outward to the right, palm facing out, fingertips slanting up (Fig. 3.139).
Bend the knees slightly to place the body in a squatting position, then shift your weight to the left
and inclining the body to the right to hold and collect. Step diagonally right with the right foot.
At the same time, extend the left hand from left to right. As the right foot steps on the ground,
extend the right hand diagonally forward to the side. Then push the left palm to the right, thumb
separated from the fingers (Fig. 3.140).

127

Fig.3.139

Fig.3.140

Notes The Cu Bu stomp requires a large incline to the side to project an abrupt burst of power.
This power can only be gathered with greatly unified power. Even if you sense the opponents
intention to move, do not react or become anxious but remain confident in your prowess. Stand
rooted like a big tree, paying attention to the upper and lower body and your surroundings.
Incline your body and explode the energy with great unity by stomping with the right foot, side
pushing with the left palm and exhaling at one time. Then you will free yourself from capture.
During the practice, the body should move from high to low, from slow to quick, from long
power to short power. Be patient and diligent with practice, only by this will you increase in
strength.

128

3.9.9 ShuangShouWaiFenJie Escaping by separating hands


This technique is used to wrest free of a double wrist grip by separating the arms. Step the right
foot forward. Extend both arms forward, bending inward about 90o, palms facing each other,
eyes looking forward (Fig. 3.141). Then bend both wrists inward, palms facing in (Fig. 3.142),
breathing in as you do this. Next, separate the hands to the sides of the body, the left hand in Ni
reeling and the right in Shun reeling. As you do this, exhale, lower the shoulders and elbows, roll
the chest in, tighten the ribs and lower Qi to the Dantian. In this way, the hands wrest free of
the opponents wrist grip.

Fig.3.141 Fig.3.142

129

Fig.3.143

Fig.3.144

Notes The extent to which you separate your hands depends on the opponents grip. If you
cannot push the opponents hands away, get your wrists free by moving the right hand in Shun
reeling and the left hand in Ni reeling. During practice, insert both palms downward (Xia Cha
Zhang, Palm Inserting Down) (Fig. 3.143), then separate them to each side, finally returning
them to the front of the chest to repeat the cycle (Fig. 3.144). If you still cant free your wrists
with this technique, then raise your hands, keeping both arms tightly together like pincers. You
can escape from seizing by one closing and one opening, then you transform and eliminate the
seizing on your wrists.


130

CHAPTER FOUR

healTh anD qi enhanCemenT pRaCTiCes

131

4.1

inTrOducTiOn

Taiji Yangsheng Zengqi Gong is a collection of health and Qi enhancement practices essential
for the formation of robust Taiji and Tuishou techniques. It also incorporates Qigong and body
combat techniques and may be regarded as an advanced form of Qigong. This group of practices
is used to strengthen the Prenatal and Postnatal systems of the body, unblocking the whole vessel
system by enhancing Qi and blood flow through the body and helping the accumulation of Qi in
the Yong Quan point (known as the Bubbling Spring located on the sole of the foot). As Qing
Dynasty Taiji Master, Chen Xin, states: If a tree has deep and strong roots, its leaves and
branches must flourish. Taiji Yangsheng Zengqi Gong is an extension of Jing Qigong (Quiet
Qigong), incorporating both movements inner quietness and more active techniques such as the
Wu Ji posture, rising and falling, opening and closing, Peng, L, Ji and An. These movements
are applied throughout the whole system of Taiji and Tuishou practices. Taiji Yangsheng Zengqi
Gong can be divided into six postures, each of which can be practiced individually or in
sequence: 1. Wu Ji Zhuang (Wu Ji Posture) 2. Hunyuan Zhuang (Circle Posture)


132

3. Kai He Zhuang (Opening and Closing Posture) 4. San Ti Shi (Three Postures) 5. Chan Si
Zhuang (Reeling Silk Posture) 6. Wu Zhuang Huan Yuan Zhuang (Returning to Wu Ji stance)
Diligent practice and application of all the postures in these six groups of Qigong practices will
yield great results for Taiji and Tuishou practitioners.

4.2

wu

ji zhuang (wu

ji pOsTure)

4.2.1 Postures

a) Posture 1

Stand upright, feet parallel and shoulder width apart, eyes closed. Hang both arms at the side of
the body and relax, breathing gently and slowly. Open your eyes gradually. Concentrate your
intention (Yi) in the Dantian, keeping your mind relaxed.

Fig.4.1

133

b) Posture 2

Raise the arms to the sides, the right hand rotating in Shun reeling and the left in Ni reeling.
Maintain the hands at shoulder height, palms facing downward and slanted diagonally (Fig. 4.2).

c) Posture 3

Curl the little fingers towards the thumb and slowly draw the arms down to the middle of the
body. Lower the hands onto the abdomen, the right over the left for male practitioners, the
reverse for females (Fig. 4.3).

Try to expand your arms moderately. Overdoing this will raise your Qi to your upper body so
that it becomes blocked in your chest and destabilizes your feet. On the other hand, do not do it
so gently that Qi becomes too soft and weak to reach every part of the body, when it should
actually be solid. Take care of these points and you will not lose power (Diu Jin) unnecessarily.

Fig.4.2 Fig.4.3

134

4.2.2 Therequirementsforeverypartofthebody
1. Concentrate your intention (Yi) at the Bai Hui point and apply power to this point. The neck
should be firm and straight, the mind and facial muscles naturally relaxed. 2. Your shoulders
should be loose and slightly lowered. Your elbow joints should be lowered. 3. Gather the chest
and ribs inward, so that the waist descends naturally. The whole body will be steady if you
gather the internal organs consistently. 4. Relax the crotch so that the inner and middle parts of
the lower limbs are also relaxed. Lift the buttocks and anus up a little, bend the knees slightly
and grasp the ground gently with the toes. The Yong Quan point should be kept empty and
relaxed so that any stagnant Qi can flow through smoothly when it descends.

4.2.3 Breathing
Breathing is one of the main elements of the Zhan Zhuang (Standing Posture). Pay attention to
the following points when practicing the Zhuang posture: 1. Inhale through the nose and exhale
through the mouth The tip of the tongue should touch the palate when inhaling; lower it when
exhaling. The palate is the commencing point of Du Mai while the tip of the tongue is the
beginning of Ren Mai. Let the Ren Mai and Du Mai meet during breathing: then lower the tip of
tongue, inhale and then swallow saliva down into the stomach, guiding the Qi and saliva through
to the middle Dantian, until they reach the lower Dantian. It is important to practice this
diligently to unblock both the Major and Minor Zhoutian circulation.

135

2. While inhaling Gather your chest and abdomen inward while breathing in Qi. Raise your Yi
(intention) from the Hui Yin point (perineum), through the Wei L Guan point, up along the
spine, across the Yu Zhen point, until it reaches the Bai Hui point. Maintain your vertical axis,
keeping your body upright and lifting your back slightly. Do not lift the back too much while the

Qi rises as this causes both the Qi and blood to rise even further, leading to Qi filling and
blocking the chest. Feel the sensation of all the body joints, skin and fine hairs opening as the Qi
rises. 3. While exhaling Lower every part of the body, including the internal organs, so that they
all have the same rhythm. While lowering the internal Qi, roll the chest slightly inward, lower
the waist and gather the Qi in the Dantian.
Note: Do not press the abdomen down too much as it will swell naturally

as it lowers. By practising the above key points, you will enlarge your vital capacity and exercise
the diaphragm muscles, which will help with the distribution of Qi around the body. Practice also
enhances your ability to guide Qi with Yi (intention), and ease the Major and Minor Zhoutian
circulation (Da Zhou Tian and Xiao Zhou Tian).

136

4.2.4 AdditionalNotes

In Taiji Yangsheng Zeng Qigong, Qi cannot be separated from Yi (intention). Qi follows Yi, just
as Xing (posture, external movements) follows Qi. Beginners generally find it difficult to
remember the postures and key points, so it is recommended that they do not practice Yi and Qi
until they become familliar with the form. Practitioners should modify the scope of their practice
according to their level and progress. During Wu Ji Zhuang, you need to concentrate your
intention on the Dantian so that all other distracting ideas may be replaced (Yi Yinian Dai
Wannian). Only through mastering your mental activities such as intention, consciousness,
thinking, and emotions, can the mind obtain full rest and be adjusted so that every organ system
may be well promoted. The key requirements for practice are relaxation, quietude and
concentration. Only these can guarantee normal and healthy internal Qi circulation, and achieve
the smooth Zhoutian circulation and help with body combat. However, these can be
accomplished only by hard learning, patients and the correct mastery of key points.

137

4.3

hunyuan

zhuang

(circle pOsTure)

Zhuang skill, also known as Standing Zhuang or Standing like a tree Qigong meditation, is an
important basic skill in Chinese Martial Arts, as reflected in the following sayings: You wont
make progress if you practice Chinese Martial Art forms without praticing basic skills. and
Practicing Martial Art routines without practicing Zhuang skill is like a house without pillars.
Hence, people who practice Taiji will make more progress only if they practice not only routines
but also Zhuang skill.

4.3.1 Postures

Fig.4.4 Fig.4.5

138

a) Posture 1

Start with the same initial posture as the previous posture. Next, shift your weight to the right
and lift the left foot and take half a step to the left. Stand with your feet parallel, a little more
than shoulder-width apart. Bend the knees so that the body is squatting a little. Keep the head
naturally erect, the neck, waist and back straight. The upper body should be kept upright. Relax
the shoulders, waist and crotch, then lower the waist (Fig. 4.4).

b) Posture 2

Separate the hands when the left foot reaches ground, then move them back to the middle. Lower
the elbows and shoulders slightly. Execute the posture as if embracing a big tree. Keep the
fingers evenly open and slightly bent as if half grasping a sphere. The palms face each other,
fingers pointing at their counterparts about 30 cm apart. Leave your eyes naturally open or close
them. If your eyes are open, focus on a static object at the same level as your eyes; if closed,
focus your attention on the Dantian (Fig. 4.5).

4.3.2 Bodyrequirements

a) Zhuang Skill Adjustment Hunyuan Zhuang can be practiced at three levels of body stance:
high, mid-level and low. The old and weak may practice using a high body stance, with practice
duration increasing gradually from short to long.

139

The young and strong should start with a high stance, graduating to midlevel, then a low stance.
Practice duration can last just a few minutes in the initial stages, becoming gradually longer.
More benefits may be gained if initial practice lasts for at least ten to fifteen minutes, increasing
to thirty or forty minutes at later stages. Beginners will find that the thighs may ache after two
weeks of practice, and slight trembling may occur. The trembling may only be detected by touch
or by close observation of the leg muscles, although this may become more obvious with
prolonged practicing at mid or low stances. In this case, the thigh muscles and even the whole
body may tremble rhythmically. Should this happen, you should raise your stance slightly to rest,
then lower your body again. This relieves or may even stop the trembling for a period. Continue
standing for as long as you can as this helps build fatigue resistance and enhances control of the
muscles. b) Rising and Falling Method This method refers to the subtle rise and fall of the body
during Standing Zhuang following the rhythm of the breath. For example, when doing Standing
Zhuang at a high stance, inhale slowly first, then bend the knees to lower the body until the
buttocks are at the same level as the knees. Inhale again as the body rises. At the same time,
touch the palate with the tip of the tongue, raise Qi from the heels up the legs, through the Ren
Mai, Que Qiao, Du Mai, Wei L Guan, up the spine, past the Yu Zhen point, until it reaches the
Baihui point. At this point, intention and internal strength join together at the end of Du Mai
(which is also the beginning of Ren Mai). Now lower the tongue and inhale, swallowing your
breath with saliva, and guide the saliva down to the middle and lower Dantian.

140

As you exhale slowly, the body lowers slightly and Qi moves down to the Yong Quan point
along the inner sides of the legs. Practice this process repeatedly.

4.3.3 Breathing
Breathing is an important element of Zhuang skill. Zhuang skill is actually a practice using static
strength and tension, but the apparent non-activity is misleading. The body weight is always
subtly moving in various directions, as it responds to the circulating blood, breathing motions
and digesting processes. This is explained in the Song of Huanyuan Zhuang: The body ascends
or descends corresponding with the breath. It rises and falls like a boat in the ocean, like a wild
goose flies off and falls. The upper body is Xu (void) while the lower part is Shi (solid) with feet
grasping the ground. Standing on the ground steadily like a mountain, the body quivers in a
relaxed and peaceful state of mind.

141

4.4

kai

he zhuang

(Opening and

clOsing zhuang)

The standing posture of Kai He Zhuang is the same as Hunyuan Zhuang, as are the requirements
and key points for the body parts. The only difference is that in this posture, the middle fingers
connect, the palms face inward and the eyes are slightly closed (see Fig. 4.8).

4.4.1 Postures
a) Posture 1

Inhale and slowly separate both arms to each side. At the same time, the body rises slightly with
the inhalation. Gather the chest and abdomen, relax and open the internal organs. The navel and
Ming Men are in the same rhythm. The distance between both arms starts short then grows
longer. In the initial stages of practice, the breath is usually short; extend your breath slowly
through the practice process.

Fig.4.6 Fig.4.7

142

Note: when you inhale and open up, Qi appears between finger tips of

both hands like a magnetic force. Guide this Qi from the fingertips and palms into the sphere in
front of your abdomen, using your intention (Yi). Do this practice slowly. b) Posture 2

Exhale and gather the organs. At the same time, crouch down and lower the elbows. Drop the
wrists and hold the palms facing inwards in a concave shape. Relax the body, the navel and the
Ming Men Mai swell out. Roll the chest slightly inward, lower the waist and gather the rib
muscles. All internal organs are filled with strength.

Focusing on your intention (Yi), you will detect a current of energy released from both palms
which seems to be difficult to gather at this point. Acting slowly, use your intention to guide the
current outward.

Fig.4.8

143

The main aim of practising Kai He Zhuang is to enhance the strength of the lower limbs and to
promote the shrinking and expanding abilities of the navel and Ming Men. This practice also
strengthens the practitioners root, and also helps the practitioner build skills in relaxation and
quietness, as well as breath control. Lastly, it also helps increase internal strength and distributes
Qi around the whole body.

4.4.2 TherelationshipbetweenThought, IntentionandQi


Kai He Zhuang is directly related to the Three Internal Combinations: thought and intention,
intention and Qi, Qi and strength. For thought (or attention) to combine with intention, ones
thoughts need to implement intention consistently. For example, when extending the hands, only
when you can mentally trust that you feel the Qi in your hands can you apply the practice
techniques to good effect. To combine intention with Qi means to guide Qi so that it follows
your intention as you practice Zhuang techniques. Qi here refers to the fresh air exchanged
between the lungs and the outside, as well as the internal Qi moving in the body with the
guidance of your intention. It will take some practice before you will be able to sense Qi and feel
it move with the rhythm of your breath. This is called, the internal Qi moves inside.

144

Qi combines with strength when Qi descends the whole body and internal organs relax, and
when Qi rises the body and internal organs gather slightly. In this way, the ebb and flow of Qi
and strength (or power) are in synch with each other. For example, if you require the breath to be
slow, gentle and even, then your strength must be soft.

The relaxing and gathering of the internal organs mentioned here refers to the activities of the
internal organs and the muscles around the midriff area under the ribs, the chest, abdomen and
back. In particular, the regular up-down movement of the midriff muscles are very important in
Kai He Zhuang, and are one of the main requirements in Zhuang skill. Its purpose is to stimulate
the nerve system by muscle movement. Guided by intention, this movement becomes a
conditioned reflex and helps move muscles which are normally static. With practice, you will
reach the point where internal Qi may be guided by intention to move freely in your body along
desired routes.

145

4.5

san

Ti

shi (Three pOsTures)

The core content of San Ti posture is the method of drawing in and pushing forward. a) Posture 1


146

Stand with feet parallel and take a step forward with the right foot. At the same time, raise both
hands above the right leg, the right hand in front of the left, then shift your weight forward from
the left foot to the right knee. Expand the crotch like a circle. This posture could also be called a
sideways Bow Step (Fig. 4.9). Start the posture with your eyes closed, focusing your intention in
the Dantian, then open your eyes and look into the distance. Next, inhale and move your weight
backward. When inhaling, make sure your eyes are drawn inward to looking internally. Gather
the Lao Gong points of both hands inward. The fingers are poised as if grasping the air. The
rhythm of the navel and Ming Men should be consistent with the breathing in and drawing in.
The length of inhalation should match the speed of the weight shift. When the weight shifts
completely to the left leg, fill the body with strength and withdraw the limbs to prepare for the
next pushing posture. Swallow the fresh air inhaled, suffusing it with saliva and Qi and lower it
to the middle and lower Dantian. Purify this saliva with your intention, then breathe it out slowly
as you move forward (Fig. 4.10).

Fig.4.9

b) Posture 2

As Qi is lowered into the Dantian, lower the waist. You need to have the feeling of closing
before opening. As you exhale and shift your weight forward, close and fold your strength into
your chest and waist, then push both hands forward slowly (Fig. 4.11). Repeat this process
alternating the left and right sides.

Fig.4.10 Fig.4.11

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Notes: Remember to cultivate and apply the Three Spirits: confidence, determination, and
persistence. You can persevere only if you firmly believe in the benefits of Zhuang skills.
Practitioners who apply the Three Spirits can develop good Zhuang skills and attain the expected
results. Through serious dedication, confident and diligent practice, and great determination,
practioners will make the expected progress. If, on the contrary, your belief is half-hearted, your
practice hesitant and inconsistent, then your progress will be poor. Indeed, confidence is a
critical prerequisite. With confidence comes determination; with confidence and determination,
persistence may be engendered. So where does confidence come from? From practice. Beginners
tend not to have much confidence or belief in Zhuang skills because their practice has only just
begun. Only after prolonged practice can confidence be nurtured, leading to progress and
experience of the benefits. Confidence in Zhuang skills grows with practice as difficulties are
overcome. In sum, practitioners are required to cultivate their Three Spirits when they begin
practice, and hold firm to these attributes throughout path of practice and study.

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4.6

chan

si

zhuang

(reeling silk

pOsTure)

Chan Si power generated by practising Chan Si Zhuang is the core content of Chen Style

Taijiquan. Chan Si Zhuang refers to practices using silkreeling power built on the foundation of
Zhuang skill.

4.6.1 ThepracticemethodofChanSiZhuang
a) Posture 1

Step forward with the right foot and shift your weight forward. As you step forward, extend both
hands forward with the right hand before the left, inhaling all the while (Fig. 4.12).

The difference of this posture from that of San Ti posture is: Both hands extend outward with
Peng energy to prepare for the opponents L gesture. The fingers of the both hands point to
each other, both palms facing forward. At the same time, relax the chest and midriff muscles to
provide balanced strength between the upper and lower bodies (with the waist as the dividing
line). In this way, Peng force is maintained while the foundation of the body is reinforced as
well.

149

Fig.4.12

150

Fig.4.13

Fig.4.14

b) Posture 2

Next, step the right foot on the ground, relax the left crotch and shift your weight to the left
Move the left hand down in Ni (contrary) reeling and the right hand down in Shun (conforming)
reeling. Both hands make a half fist when reeling. As you shift your weight, lower the shoulders,
drop the elbows, turn the waist and twist the crotch. When the left hand executes L (roll back)
to the middle of the body, relax both arms, inhale and crouch the body slightly. At the same time,
rotate the left hand in Shun reeling in front of the lowered abdomen. As this happens, withdraw
the right hand so it intersects the left, keeping the left hand inside and the right outside (Fig.
4.13). Inhale and swallow saliva, suffusing it with Qi before lowering it down to the middle and
then lower Dantian. When this happens, gather and close the whole body so it forms a posture
prepared for opening activities.

c) Posture 3

Next, relax the right crotch and shift your weight gradually to the right. As the weight shifts,
open both fists into palms facing inward, the right hand in front of the left. Apply Peng (ward off
) and Ji (press) outwards with both hands as you shift weight and exhale (Fig. 4.14). When both
hands reach their full extent (your Peng and Ji cant exceed your orbit or territory, otherwize, you
will lose your weight and axis), you start to repeat the sequence.

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4.6.2 BreathinganditsPurposeinChanSiZhuang
When practicing Zhuang skill, your breath should be natural and of the proper duration so that it
enhances body combat and health. Inhalations and exhalations should be of proper length. It is
incorrect to exhale with a long breath and inhale with a short breath (known as too much Yin)
or vice-versa (too much Yang). Therefore, the most essential principles to apply when
practicing Zhuang skill is intentional natural breathing and intentional technical coordination.
Only by this can you avoid errors and side effects. After mastering the key principle of natural
breath, you should focus on increasing the duration and depth of your breath. The normal breath
frequency of adults is six to twenty times per minute, inhalation/exhalation being one breath.
After practicing Zhuang skills for a period, the breath can become slower and longer, decreasing
to seven or ten breaths per minute, then to five times per minute, and even to one or two times
per minute. The purpose of deep breathing is to make sure every small cell of your lungs takes
part in the breathing, so that your lung capacity is enlarged and the contact area between the
capillary vessels of the alveolus and fresh air is increased. This helps in the exchange of carbon
dioxide and promotes metabolism in the body. Dual practice with Yi (intention) and Qi connects
the whole body. When you practise Zhuang skills to a certain level, you will feel your key joints
and your arteries and veins become unblocked and re-connected. This is a primary sign of
beneficial Zhuang practice, and comes only after accumulated practice. This phenomena of
connected arteries, veins and joints is known as the connected Ren Mai and Du Mai in

Zhuang skill terminology. Ren Mai and Du Mai are two of the eight channels (Ji Jing Ba Mai).
Ren Mai starts

152

from the tip of the tongue, reaches the perineum through the Dantian and then connects to Du
Mai. Du Mai starts at the perineum, reaches the Bai Hui point through Wei L Guan, Jia Gu
Guan, and Yu Zhen Guan, then reaches the maxilla through the ears and cheeks to finally
connect to the tip of the tongue. The whole process of moving Qi through Ren Mai and Du Mai,
then infusing Qi into the Dantian, is called Xiao Zhou Tian (Minor Zhoutian) of Yin Yang
circulation. Da Zhou Tian (Major Zhoutian) is an extension of Xiao Zhou Tian, the difference
being that Da Zhou Tian extends Qi to the lower limbs. The Qi of Da Zhou Tian originates from
the Yong Quan point, then rises through the backs of the legs before joining the routes of Xiao
Zhou Tian. In Da Zhou Tian, Qi descends to the Yong Quan point through the inner sides of both
legs after which it returns to the Dantian. The practice method for Da Zhou Tian is the same as
that for Xiao Zhou Tian, except that the breathing in the former is longer, deeper, more gentle,
even and quiet. For both, the body should be relaxed, all channels extended and unfolded, the
five sense organs internally gathered, and Yi and Qi should move in the required routes.

153

4.7

wu

zhuang huan

yuan

(reTurning

TO wu

ji zhuang)

Wu Zhuang Huan Yuan is also called Closing Practice. Its practicing method can be
summarized thus: when you finish Peng and Ji outwards with both arms in Chan Si Zhuang,
close your eyes and inhale. a) Posture 1

Shift your weight gradually to the left leg, then bring in the right foot so that both feet are a
shoulder-width apart. At the same time, bring in the arms and place both palms in front of the
abdomen (Fig. 4.15). Swallow Qi down with saliva and guide it down to the middle Dantian,
then infuse it into the lower Dantian. Leave it there for a little while to nourish the Dantian
before disgorging the Qi slowly.

Fig.4.15 Fig.4.16

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b) Posture 2

Inhale and with thumbs guiding the energy flow, separate the arms to the sides, fingertips
pointing obliquely down, palms facing in (Fig. 4.16). Then using the little fingers to guide the
energy, lift both arms upright, pointing the fingertips upward, palms facing each other. Relax the
whole body and raise it up slightly to open the joints throughout the body (Fig. 4.17). Clench
both hands into fists and lower them to ear level as the body lowers, finally placing them in front
of the shoulders. As the body lowers, swallow Qi and saliva and infuse them into the lower
Dantian (Fig. 4.18).


Fig.4.17 Fig.4.18

155

Fig.4.19

Fig.4.20

c) Posture 3

156

Lower the body into a crouch and open the fists into palms. Move them slowly to the outside of
the legs and push down slowly while exhaling. Stop pushing when exhalation is complete (Fig.
4.19). Inhale again and slowly raise the body, extending the arms to the sides and lift them
upright again. Repeat this process six times. When you finish, detach the tip of the tongue from
the palate, open your eyes slowly. Join the hands together and heat them up by rubbing. Then use
your warm hands to rub your face, neck, chest and other parts of the body. This method of
warming helps relax the acupoint channels, stretches the tendons and muscles, and promotes the

generation of Qi (Fig. 4.20).

CHAPTER FIVE

pRaCTiCes FoR The BuTToCks anD CRoTCh

157

5.1

pracTice fOr The buTTOcks

5.1.1 Overview
The requirements for positioning the buttocks in Taijiquan practice are very strict. It requires the
practitioner to put Wei L (coccygeal end, at the end of spine) in an upright position when
practicing, gathering and raising it naturally so that the buttocks do not protrude nor swing too
much, otherwise the buttocks will be unable to rise and lower naturally. Taijiquan novices
sometimes err on over-gathering or raising the buttocks, which can result in various negative
effects. For example, if the buttocks are gathered too far forward, the posture will become
unnaturally stiff and not follow the natural straight alignment of the body; in addition, this
posture may also impede natural breathing as it blocks smooth circulation of Qi throughout the
body and may even destabilize the firmness of the weight of the lower limbs. Gathering or
raising buttocks in routine and Tuishou practice must be applied in accordance with each specific
practice and not generalized. For example, while relaxing the the joints and muscles in the Lan
Zha Yi posture (Lazily Tying Ones Coat), the buttocks should be raised slightly as the waist is
lowered so that Qi can descend smoothly into the Dantian. If the buttocks are pushed too far
forward, the lowering of the waist is impeded and consequently, Qi cannot cannot descend

through the Dantian and separate into two streams to flow through the Yong Quan point through
to the legs.

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5.1.2 ApplicationtoSparring:BeiKao
An example of applying this principle in Tuishou sparring is as follows: if the opponent executes
L on you, you need to relax, lower your Qi and gather your buttocks before executing the Bei
Kao move (Kao with the back). In this move, gathering the buttocks helps to concentrate power
drawn from the heels and transported up the legs before it is unleashed at the target. In contrast,
raising rather than gathering buttocks at this point will hinder full release of striking power and
thwarts any attempt to transform the opponents energy. Bei Kao is an opening-closing move,
consisting of lightening-quick power exertion and rebound, during which you need to guide Qi
upward to explode energy. To do this, you need to roll the chest slightly inward and bend knees a
little, then stamp on the ground to generate rebounding power and ascending Qi. The gathering
of buttocks at this point is essential so that Qi can descend instantaneously after energy release.
Protruding the buttocks will impede Qi flow downwards, resulting in Qi blockage at the chest
which affects the stability of a practitioners stance and may even be harmful to health. These
key points in the above example need to be practised and applied assiduously during routine and
Tuishou practice.

159

5.2

pracTices

fOr

The crOTch

(dang)

5.2.1 Overview
Dang refers to the crotch area where the legs connect to the body. To open the Dang area, the
thighs need to be stretched apart as much as possible so that the waist and crotch can rotate
freely. Any obstruction of Dang movement will negatively affect routine and Tuishou practice.
The opening-closing of Dang, that is, the transition between emptiness and solidity of the crotch
area, has a direct impact on the flexibility of the practitioners body and his or her ability to
change speed and weight. The shift between emptiness and solidity of the Dang area is used as a
measure to monitor and adjust movement and speed of movement, and also serves as the key
point to increase the power to be exploded. The firmness of Dang relates to their exertion of
power and resistance. Mastery of Dang power and posture in routine and Tuishou practice helps
increase flexibility, emptiness and stability of waist and legs, reinforces the foundation and
enhances your practice. Adjustments to the waist and Dang are usually the first steps taken when
you feel there is something not quite right with your movements routine or Tuishou practice. As
Master Chen Xin said, When you attain realization of Taiji, even a bird cannot fly out from
under you during Taiji movement. In other words, the openingclosing of Dang is key to
increasing and exerting power. When Dang is closed, the whole body is directed toward closing
(He); when Dang opens, the body opens. Hence, Dang is essential to Xu (gathering), He
(closing), Yin (guiding), and Fang (releasing) in routine and Tuishou practice.

160

The Anus In the same way that the positioning of Dang is very precise, the positioning of the
anus also needs careful attention. A brief introduction is provided below. In ancient times, it was
realized that the anus and perineum were two of the most vulnerable parts of the human body.
After humans evolved to the upright posture and started to walk, the perineum and its soft tissue
started to bear greater pressure from such internal organs as the liver, womb and so on, and it
became difficult for vena blood to flow to heart. This realization caused the ancients to suggest
that the ground door should be always closed, advocating contraction of the anus during
physical exercise as a remedy. In Taiji practice, anus contraction should only be slight and done
in a natural way. Doing so over an extended period can have a positive effect in curing
hemorrhoids, rectocele, womb prolapse and so on. To help you master correct Dang postures in
routine and Tuishou practice, a short introduction of key Dang movements, Yuan Dang, Ding
Dang, Jian Dang and Tang Dang, are described below:

5.2.2 YuanDang Round Crotch


Yuan Dang refers to the opening of the Dang area in a circular shape, when the distribution
between the weight-bearing leg and the other leg is at a ratio of 3:7 or 4:6. For example, in the
Dan Bian (Single Whip) posture of the Chen style Taiji Lao Jia routine, the weight distribution is
3:7, which means that the left leg bears 30% of body weight while the right leg bears 70% of
body weight. This requires the left leg to be solid with the lower leg standing upright, the left
knee and ankle vertically aligned to each other and the ground. The right leg should be relaxed
with the right knee inclined slightly outward and the Dang gathered inward so that both form a
strong pair.

161

In this way, energy in the legs is strengthened and the body is well supported. This positioning of
Dang also means that it fulfils the Taiji principle of opening in closing, closing in opening
and that Dang should open in a full circle. Hence, Yuan Dang reinforces the foundation and
allows flexible body rotation in any direction.

5.2.3 DingDang Tight Crotch


Ding Dang refers to a common mistake made by novice practitioners whereby one leg supports
the body without relaxing. For example, at the end of the Dan Bian (Single Whip) posture, the
right knee should incline outward, the root of Dang should be relaxed. That is, when the right leg
moves to the side, the body crouches as the right knee moves outward, and at this moment Dang
should open in a circle so that both legs can support all parts of the body. Ding Dang arises when
the area connecting the weight-bearing right leg to the crotch remains tight. If a practitioner is
advised to relax, he or she will typically re-distribute weight between the legs to a ratio of 4:6 or
5:5, which means there will not be opening-closing power if he or she crouches in the Horse
Stance. This should be corrected at the earliest stages of learning. In traditional teaching
methods, teachers do not typically correct their students mistakes as the emphasis was on
students digesting teachings gradually and adjusting mistakes themselves. These traditional

teaching methods should be changed as implied by the adage, It is easy to teach but hard to
change what is learnt. Indeed, it is very difficult to correct bad practice habits solidified with
prolonged practice. A practitioner trying to eliminate the habit of Ding Dang in his or her
postures will require a long period of re-adjustment as the new correct Dang posture will initially
feel very uncomfortable. As for practitioners, there are many opportunities and responsibilities.
Some perform better than others due to learning abilities, innate talents,

162

and quality and length of practice, rather than due to a teachers attention. Some practitioners are
happy to help the teacher out and teach others, their intention being to allow the teacher more
rest. Students are also happy to learn from co-practitioners as this may help to accelerate
learning.

5.2.4 JianDang Sharp Crotch


In Jian Dang position, the Dang area is shaped like an inverted A, the bottom tip of the Dang
area is tight and not relaxed. In this case, Dang cannot be lowered during routine and Tuishou
practice, and Yuan Dang cannot be formed at all. Moreover, the Bow Step is hampered, ones
gait becomes unsteady, and the upper body becomes heavy while the lower body is unrooted,
swaying to the right or left, while the feet are also unsteady. This mistake may be tolerated by the
old and weak if their aim is just to improve health, but cannot be ignored by younger
practitioners who want to improve combat skills. Because with Jian Dang, some get easily
unrooted, some find they cant get clear distribution of weight, some find it so hard to shift the
weight because they put exceeded weight onto one leg. If the habit of Jian Dang is allowed to
form over a period of time, practitioners will become used to it and feel comfortable in this
incorrect stance, which should be avoided. On the contrary, one must learn to identify and
cultivate the twin qualities of emptiness-solidity in the legs through the practice of Taiji routines.
Novices practicing Dang will inevitably develop aching feet. This is no cause for worry, as these
are normal physical indications of body development and they will disappear when you reach a
certain level. For example, after a bout of Tuishou sparring, novice practitioners may feel a little
ache in the arms and legs, and indeed, the whole body may ache after a little rest. This is because
you are not used to the intense exercise and some capillary blood vessels may have been
strained. This ache will lessen gradually after extended practise, as the body becomes stronger,
blood circulation improves and lung capacity is increased. At this stage, any additional

163

muscle ache resulting from further increase in practice will ease off more quickly. Hence, do not
be deterred by any aches and apply Yuan Dang when practicing Taiji and Tuishou, so that Jian
Dang may be prevented from developing. Without patience, Taiji skills cannot be improved.

5.2.5 TangDang
Tang Dang happens when the legs are spread too far apart, out of proportion to the weight
distribution required on the legs and the lowered Dang. As a result, the movements of the legs
are hampered as they are not able to move forward and back or turn to the sides with natural
ease. This situation is also called Ta Dang, meaning collapsing Dang. The Taijiquan routine is a
whole body practice, suitable for people of all ages, body constitutions and those engaged in
mental and physical work. Typically, practice methods for Taijiquan routines start from large
circle movements to smaller ones, then from smaller circles to no-circle movements. However,
the opposite is true for Dang practice, which starts with smaller scale movements, growing to
larger-scaled practice. This requires Dang to be positioned a little higher in the beginning before
becoming lower and wider gradually. As with Ding Dang and Jian Dang, be careful not to form
the habit of committing to Tuishou movements that bring a lot of pressure to the knee joints, as
Tang Dang not only increases pressure, but may also cause harm. This results in chronically tight
muscles which will eventually cause bad blood circulation in the legs. The Tang Dang posture
has particular impact on the stimulation of the on the nerves in the knee joint, so hindering the
supply and renewal of blood in the leg muscles. Prolonged Tang Dang positioning will result in
aching knee joints and a very heavy feeling in the legs. In some large-scale movements, Tang
Dang

164

may actually be intentionally applied, such as in the Seven Cun Kao movement, that is Kao
applied in the Xie Xing or oblique walk where the distance between the ground and shoulder is
seven cun (about 23 cm). Yet even in this movement, heavy pressure on the legs last only an
instant and the legs can recover quickly, so Tang Dang poses no real issues. However, largescale movements cannot be applied to the whole practice; hence Tang Dang is considered
harmful to health and body combat if applied for extended periods in routine and Tuishou
practice. Generally speaking, Dang practice should begin modestly with a slight lowering of the
body, gradually growing to bigger movements. Most importantly, it should match the physical
conditions of the practitioner and the requirements of body combat so that the practitioner does
not incur any injury.

165

166

CHAPTER SIX

Chen sTyle Taiji Tuishou CaTegoRies


167

6.1

Overview

Within the Chen style Taiji routine, Tuishou is commonly divided into eight categories. In this
chapter, we will describe how to apply these eight Tuishou techniques in sparring practice, since
both the attacking and defensive movements are interrelated and cannot be separated. For
example, if you advance using Ying Men Kao (Kao diagonally to the front), your opponent may
respond defensively with Xiong Kao (Kao by chest). Indeed, the attack-defense stances change
dynamically, with attackers changing to defensive roles in an instant and back again without
warning. For example, if the opponent attacks using Jian Kao (Kao with shoulder), you can
defend using An (pressing), then strike back with Jian Kao. While the combinations of Tuishou
moves are infinite, practitioners may master its secrets and principles with serious study.

168

6.1.1 ChenStyleTaijiTuishouCategories
The Chen style Taiji Tuishou Routines can be divided into: 1. Dan Wan Hua (Coiling Flower
with Single Hand, i.e. silk reeling in the shape of a flower) 2. Shuang Shou Wan Hua (Coiling
Flower with Double Hands) 3. Li Yuan and Ping Yuan (Vertical Coiling Flower and Horizontal
Coiling Flower) 4. He Bu Tuishou with static footwork, also known as Ding Bu Tuishou
(Coiling Hand with Static Footwork) 5. Shun Bu Tuishou (Tuishou with movable footwork,
normally a forward step then a backward step) 6. Da L (larger scale movements) 7. Jin San Tui
San (both parities advance and then retreat for 3 steps, while Tuishou) or Jin Wu Tui San (both
parities advance and then retreat for 5 steps, while Tuishou) 8. Luan Cai Hua (Picking Flower,
which is regarded as the highest level of Tuishou, where the the practitioners are no longer
oblidged to the sequences or fixed routines, and any movements can be exerted by intention.

169

6.1.2 TypesofTuishouHandworkandFootwork
Tuishou handwork is commonly divided into four classifications, as follows: 1. Dan Tuishou
(Tuishou with single hand) 2. Shuang Tuishou (Tuishou with double hands) 3. Xuan Wan
(rotating wrists) 4. Qie Zhang (palm chop) In static footwork, Si Zheng Shou (Peng, L, Ji, An)
is usually applied. In moving footwork such as Shun Bu (walking backward and forward) and Da
L, Si Yu Shou hand techniques are always used; these consist of the Cai, Bie, Zou, or Kao hand
techniques. During sparring, practitioners should be able to switch flexibly between Si Zheng
Shou and Si Yu Shou techniques as circumstances require, and not be limited to one or the other.
However, novices should start by learning one set at a time. There are many categories of
footwork techniques, including: 1. Ding Bu (static footwork) 2. Huo Bu (moving footwork) 3.
Lian Jin Lian Tui (moving forward/back/right/left continuously) 4. Lian Huan Zuoyou
Xuanzhuan (moving continously with body rotation)

170

5. Cha Bu (inserting steps) 6. Bing Bu (step touch, i.e. feet placed together ) 7. Duli Bu (standing
on a single foot) 8. Dian Bu (stepping on toe-tips)

6.2

TuishOu

handwOrk

Techniques 6.2.1 LiZhang Palm vertical to the ground

Li Zhang is used at the initial stages of a sparring bout, when both players retreat after being
mutually warded off. In this posture, one arm is extended horizontally sideways, with the
forearm bent toward the upper arm at an angle of 450, palm facing in. The roots of the fingers

are relaxed, the four fingers extended and joined together to form a slightly concave palm (Fig.
6.1). In single practice, it is also often used when pushing or rotating in various directions in both
Shun and Ni reeling; it is also applied to Gun (roll), Shuan (bind), Da (meet) and Sao (sweep)
movements.

6.2.2 CuttingwithPalm
This technique uses the edge of the palm to cut downward in a vertical or diagonal direction.
When cutting downward, you need to place the body in a crouching position, roll the chest
slightly inward and lower the waist and shoulders. The elbow must be dropped, with the wrist
lowered and fingers relaxed. All these adjustments must be executed simultaneously so that
power can reach the palm edge and hit the target clearly (Fig. 6.2).

Fig.6.1 Fig.6.2

171

6.2.3 WaLongZhang Roof Tile Palm


The Wa Long Palm is shaped like a Chinese roof tile where the sides curl upward and the middle
is low. This techniqueis often applied in Shun Chan (conforming reeling) and Yin Jin (drawing
into your territory). As you rotate the hand downward or outward, the little finger is used to
guide energy and draw inward toward the thumb. The remaing three fingers turn slightly outward
so that the palm becomes concave (Fig. 6.3). For example, if the opponent executes L on you,
change your palm to Wa Long Palm as you follow your opponent and reel in the Shun direction
as the palm rotates upward.

6.2.4 XieTuoZhan
In this technique, the hand is stretched upward to the sides (Fig. 6.4). During sparring, when
hands are rotating horizontally in a circle, one player may guide the other to reel first in the Shun
direction, then reverse to the Ni direction when the hands arrive at his or her body. The palm
posture during this direction change is called Xie Tuo Zhang. Xie Tuo Zhang is also applied in
the process of Big L, where the raised hand lies above the middle of the upper arm. In this
instance, the power lies in the root of the palm.

Fig.6.3 Fig.6.4

172

6.2.5 ChaZhang Slanting Palm


In this technique, the hand is inserted upward or vertically/diagonally downward, fingers slightly
parted (Fig. 6.5). Cha Zhang is widely used in Tuishou, for example: When you rotate both
hands in vertical circles, as the hands insert downward, separate them and switch to Cha Zhang.
When the opponent executes L on your hand during Si Zheng Shou (handwork in four
directions, see above), insert your hand downward and rotate it in the Shun direction, then lower
your shoulders and drop the elbows, and gradually press your hands toward the opponent. This
technique is called Diagonally Upward Cha. Cha Zhang is also adopted in Shun Bu Tuishou
(see above) with moving footwork. In Luan Cai Hua (palms reel in non-predictable angles, see
above), Cha Zhang can be applied via the same application methods as with the Si Zheng Shou
(stated above).

Fig.6.5

173

6.2.6 BaZiShou
Ba Zi Shou (hand posture in character ): separate the thumb and the index finger to form a
shape, it is called Ba Zi hand because is pronounced ba in Chinese (Fig. 6.6). This
type of hand is always used in Qin Na (arresting) and Tuishou with single hand in a horizontal
circle. When you guide your partner via Shun reeling to the front of your chest, and your partner
exerts An to your hand, you can rotate your arm with the middle finger, the ring finger, and the
little finger bending inward, while the thumb and the index finger form a shape. This way,
you find it earsier to eliminate the opponents power by rotating your waist outwards with
relaxation.

Fig.6.6

174

6.3

TuishOu

fOOTwOrk

Techniques

6.3.1 QianGongBu Forward Bow Step


This technique requires the soles of the feet to touch the ground, toe tips bent slightly inward.
One knee is bent so that the body is in a half crouch, the thigh nearly parallel to the ground, the
knee positioned approximately above the tip of the foot (Fig. 6.7). The other leg bends with the
intention to straighten, following the principle of straightening in bending. This knee is turned
slightly outward to provide a frame for all parts of the body. The toe tips point slightly inward,
the sole fully touching the ground. In this posture, the Yong Quan point should be empty while
the Dang is open with the intention to close, following the principle of closing in opening.

Fig.6.7

175

6.3.2 HouZuoBu Back Seat Step


In this posture, body weight is transferred from the front Bow leg to the back leg during in Shun
Bu Tuishou pairwork. When the weight is completely transferred, straighten the front leg so that
the back leg becomes the Bow leg, knee bent slightly over the toe tips. Position both feet fully on
the ground, toes grasping the ground. Keep the Yong Quan point empty so the straightened leg
can be lifted later if the body weight is kept on the Bow leg (Fig. 6.8).

Fig.6.8

6.3.3 QianDianBu Forward Tipping Step


In this step, the heel touches the ground with the toes pointing up at about 450 (Fig. 6.9). It is
applied widely in Tuishou, for example: In Ping Yuan Tuishou (Tuishou in horizontal circles),
if the opponent presses on any part of your body with his or her hands or arms, you can move
your the weight back to transform their power by raising your toe tip and hence causing the heel
to touch the ground naturally. This step is always used in Shun step, big L and Luan Cai Hua.

176

Fig.6.9

6.3.4 HouDianBu Back Tipping Step


This step is applied in three Tuishou techniques: a) Shun Bu Tuishou big L, and Luan Cai Hua
For example, if an opponent applies L on you, move your weight back and withdraw the front
leg backward by stepping the toe tip back first, followed by the sole then heel (Fig. 6.10).

Fig.6.10

177

Fig.6.11

b) Pu Bu (Falling Step) Pu Bu is only applied to Big L (i.e. L applied through large-scale


movements) (Fig. 6.11). For example, in the Dragon sweeps ground form. When the opponent
applies Big L on you, quickly fall to the ground with a large-scale ground sweep of the Bow
leg, which now lies close to the ground. Hence the name Falling Step. c) Duli Bu (Standing on
Single Foot) Duli Bu refers to having one foot raised while the other stands on the ground. This
posture is applied to Shun step, Big L and Luan Cai Hua, and is widely used in forward or
backward movements (Fig. 6. 12).


178

Fig.6.12

6.4 hand
reeling

Techniques

in TuishOu

reeling 6.4.1 ShunChan Conforming

In Taijiquan, the term reeling means to spiral energy. In Silk Reeling technique, power rises
from the heels up the legs, spirals around the waist and shoulders, enters the bone marrow
through gaps in the scapula and travels down the arms. It then rises from the internal to manifest
externally through the skin and fine hairs until it reaches the fingers, where it returns to its
original position of circulation. Shun Chan means to spiral energy from the outside to the inside,
with the little finger guiding energy as it points to the thumb when it is drawn inward, with the
other fingers slightly turned outward. The principle of Shun Chan is that with the elbows guiding
the hands, the shoulders guiding the elbows and the waist guiding the shoulders, you draw the
opponent inward into your territory. In addition, you can also use Shun Chan to attack to the side
or directly on to the opponent after drawing them into your territory. For example, in Bei Zhe
Kao (Lean with back), when the opponent executes L on you, you can use Shun Chan to gather
energy and edge into the opponents territory, while simultaneously executing Kao on the
opponent. This move is called Shun Ji Shun Fa (i.e. exerting Ji and Na in confronting reelings).

Fig.6.13

179

6.4.2 NiChan Reverse reeling


Ni Chan is the reverse of Shun Chan and may also be called Ni Silk Reeling Outwards. In Ni
Chan, the thumb gathers inward and guides the little finger, while the other fingers turn out
slightly (Fig. 6.14). Ni Chan is used to open outward, by using the waist to urge the shoulder, the
shoulders to urge on the elbows and the elbows guiding the hands.

6.4.3 ShunNiZuoWan Wrist descending in Shun and Ni directions


This technique consists of lowering the wrist gradually during the transition from Shun to Ni
Chan. In horizontal circle rotations with single hand, extend your right hand and guide the
opponent to rotate in Shun reelings towards your leftside. You then Ni reel to your right ribs and
change the attacking hand into shape so that you can easily capture your opponent. Here,
Zuo Wan (descending wrist) technique is adopted (Fig. 6.15).
Note: to apply this technique precisely, concentrate you energy in the wrist,

roll your chest slightly inward and lower your waist, shoulders and elbows.

Fig.6.14 Fig.6.15

180

6.4.4 DiaoWan Hooked Wrist


This technique is often used when the Ni Chan changes to Shun Chan. At this point, the Shun
hand changes to Diao Shou (Hooked Hand), which is formed by pointing the little, ring and
middle fingers vertically downward while the thumb and the index finger form a shape (Ba
Zi). The wrist is drawn inward to form a Diao Wan (Hooked Wrist), to provide a closing and
opposing force with the three fingers (Fig. 6.16). Diao Wan has two functions: Diao Wan can
be used as one option to enhance the ability of Zhan Nian (adhering to the opponent), by holding

on to the opponent by the hand, while trying to listen, and adhere to him or her. For example,
in case of single hand rotation in the horizontal circle, your right hand rotates at 90o towards the
right side of body in Ni reeling, then quickly switches to Shun reeling and you easily seize the
wrist of your partner by hooking hand. Diao Wan is also widely applied in response to a L
attack, through any of the four front-oriented Si Zheng Shou techniques (Si Zheng Shou Peng,
L, Ji, An) or four side-oriented Si Yu Shou techniques (Si Yu Shou, Cai, Lie, Zhou, Kao).

Fig.6.16

181

6.4.5 ShunChanYangZhang Raised palm in conforming reeling


This can be divided into inward Yang (palm rising) and outward Yang (palm rising), which are
always used in the four front oriented techniques (called Si Zheng Shou in Chinese, i.e. Peng,
L, Ji, An) and four side oriented techniques (called Si Yu Shou in Chinese, i.e. Cai, Lie, Zhou,
Kao). First, if the partner executes L on your right arm, you insert loosely in Ni reeling, and
then advance and press inwards by Shun reeling, raising the hand while advancing. It is called Yi
Yang Zhang (palm raised inward), because at this time the palm is facing inward and upward.
Second, if you guide the partner and withdraw your step, the partner will likely expose some
weak point after you raise your palm in Ni reeling. To lift the partner in this openning provides
preparation for your closing, i.e. to capture your partner in Shun reeling quickly. At this time
your palm is facing upper outward, so it is called Wai Yang Zhang (palm raised outward)
Internally, whether in outward Yang or inward Yang, you should coordinate whole body
movements coherently. Yang is a kind of opening, so at this time the body should close, so as to
support each other and not be separated. Practitioners must pay attention to these principles in
practice.


Fig.6.17

182

6.5

TuishOu

sTeps 6.5.1 ShangBu Forward Step

Shang Bu is a forward step with one foot, and begins with both a step forward and the bending of
the knees so that the body is slightly crouched, five toes grasping the ground (Fig. 6.18). This
preparatory posture resembles a cat ready to pounce on a rat, and allows you to step forward
lightly and flexibly. Like a cat, you should prepare first by gathering energy, then extending the
foot while listening and feeling intently. Step first with the heel then uncurling the rest of the foot
flat on the ground. This procedure will limit your vulnerability.

6.5.2 TuiBu Retreating Step


The Tui step consists of moving one leg backward in an arc, and it can consist of more than one
step (Fig. 6.19). Key to the Tui Bu is the bending of the weight-bearing knee. How much this
knee bends and hence how much your body squats depends on the size of the Tui step. The
bigger your retreating step, the lower you will have to bend your knee. However, it also depends
on your body condition. Whatever the case, the Tui step has to be done flexibly and lightly and
not with stiffness.

Fig.6.18 Fig.6.19

183

6.5.3 GenBu Following Step


The Gen Bu can also be called the Dian (adding) Step (Fig. 6.20). This step is used in the
situation where one normal step is too small to reach the target while two steps too excessive. In
this instance, one is said to Gen (follow) or Dian (add) a small step after a normal step to reach
the target distance. Gen is applied to the four front orientated techniques, Si Zheng Shou (Peng,
L, Ji, An), big L and Luan Cai Hua. The main purpose of Gen Bu is to get closer to the
opponent to decrease their chances of escape. However, note that the Gen step is completed
without the opponents awareness, a technique called Die Fa (a general concept of body combat
techniques, referring to the comprehensive techniques and strategies to defeat the opponents, on
the basis of quality listening to their speed, weight and power in Tuishou). The importance the
Gen step in Tuishou is reflected in the saying, You cannot reach the depth and secrets of
Tuishou without understanding Die Fa.

184

Fig.6.20

CHAPTER 7

solo pRaCTiCe in Tuishou

185

7.1

inTrOducTiOn

Solo Tuishou practice consists of individual practices useful for improving flexibility, agility and
responsiveness to combat. Typically, body movements are initially executed at a high stance,
gradually lowering to mid then lower stances. However, practitioners should practise according
to their body condition. Likewise, beginners should start with practicing at slow speed, gradually
working up to faster then very swift movements. At each stage, slow movements should not
become blocked, fast movements not energy-losing, and very fast movements not chaotic. In
other words, you should not lose energy in slow practice, nor be obstructed in fast movements.
On the contrary, you should keep the consistency, coherence and Liu He (the Closing and
Consistency of six parts of the body), and avoid any disorder and energy loss.When one part of
body moves, all other parts follow and coordinate. In solo Tuishou, you should act as though
following your partner neatly, and always keep attention concentrated, shoulder blades relaxed,
and movements flexible. Execute solo practice as if you were actually fighting with a partner,
with the fight so vivid that it brings you more interest in your practice. As a result, after thorough
sole practice, the whole body moves flexibly, neatly and smoothly, and you are able to do well in
actual paired Tuishou.

186

7.2

sOlO ping

yuanwan hua (sOlO

hOrizOnTal

cOiling

flOwer) 7.2.1 Part1

Stand at attention with toe tips pointing slightly outward to form a shape. Relax the arms
and hang them at the sides, palms lightly touching the sides of the legs. Maintain the vertical
axis, straightening the neck and lifting the top of the head, eyes looking forward (Fig. 7.1).

7.2.2 Part2

Relax the crotch and bend the knees slightly to place the body in a squatting position. Shift your
weight slowly to the left leg, the left toes grasping the ground. As your weight shifts, empty the
Yong Quan point, relax the crotch and lift the right knee. Point the right toe tips down naturally
as your weight shifts completely to the left and you stand with a left leg posture (Fig. 7.2).

7.2.3 Part3

Maintain the vertical axis and lift the top of the head slightly. Continue relaxing the crotch, bend
the left knee and draw in the lower abdomen slightly to stabilize the weight-bearing left leg, in
preparation for the right leg step forward lightly. Step the right foot forward, heel first with toes
pointed up, then slowly roll down the rest of the foot to the ground. Your step should be light,
precise and full of intention of listening, so as to avoid empty stepping (i.e. stepping without
thought) (Fig. 7.3).

187

Fig.7.1

Fig.7.2

Fig.7.3

7.2.4 Part4

Shift your weight slowly to the right leg to form a right Bow step. As the weight shifts, extend
the right arm forward then bend the forearm about 450 inward while also lowering the shoulders,
right elbow and wrist. Complete the movement by raising the right fingers to form the Li (erect)
palm. While the right arm moves, relax the left arm so that the left hand hangs down, thumb
behind the fingers (Fig. 7.4).

188

Note: in later movements, the left elbow and the right hand should move coherently in
collaboration with each other.

Fig.7.4

Fig.7.5

7.2.5 Part5

Focusing your right hand on the imaginary partner move it about 900 in Shun reeling to the left
of the body. As you reel, relax the left side of the crotch and shift your weight slowly to the left
so that the inner side of the right foot touches the ground. The right knee follows the movement
of the right hand and rotates inward at the same speed (Fig. 7.5).

189

Fig.7.6

Fig.7.7

7.2.6 Part6

190

As the right hand completes its reel to the left, change from Shun reeling to Ni reeling and
continue moving in a downward arc to the front of the left ribs, right palm facing down and wrist
bending 450 inward using the little finger as a guide. The other fingers reel outwards in
coordination with the elbow (Fig. 7.6). The right forearm now moves transversely in front of the
abdomen, the elbow in a slightly warding off (Peng) position in coordination with the little
finger. This gesture enhances the movement by making the downward movement of the arm
more precise and structured (Fig. 7.7). When the right arm moves downward, the weight shifts
completely to the left. At this point, draw the right knee slightly inward to prepare for an
increased range of movement in the ensuing steps. Step the right foot either flatly on the ground
or with toe tips pointing up.

7.2.7 Part7

Using the little finger to guide the energy, continue reeling the right arm outward until the palm
faces upward and the thumb and the first finger form a shape. While the right arm reels,
bend the knees slightly to place the body in a squatting position, draw the chest slightly inward
and relax the right side of the crotch. Rotate the waist to the right, using it as a pivot to rotate the
right shoulder rightward, followed by the hand, until it reaches the front of the right ribs. At this
point, power is most concentrated and exerted on the external side of the thumb and index finger.
Use the rightward rotation of the waist and torso to steer and guide the partners power into your
territory towards your right side so you can eliminate it.

7.2.8 Part8

With the right hand, a 900 arc to the right side of body, changing into Ni reeling. Then place the
palm downward (Fig. 7.8). As the arm changes to Ni reeling, shift your weight to the right,
pointing the right knee slightly outward and moving it in a helix.

7.2.9 Part9

Now using Ni reeling, extend the right hand slightly forward, then draw an arc to the left where
you met yourtpartner at the beginning the posture of palms. Return the bent arm and the bow leg
to their original positions (Fig. 7.9). The 3600 rotation of the arm follows this sequence of
changes: Shun, Ni, Shun, Ni, Shun, that is, three Shun reelings and two Ni reelings.


191

Fig.7.8

Fig.7.9

The left arm rotates from the left, the reeling sequence being Ni, Shun, Ni, Shun, Ni, that is,
three Ni reelings and two Shun reelings. Practice alternating rotations with both arms so that
there is a feeling of balance.

Notes In these horizontal-circle rotations, the arms rotate with the waist and the axis while the
hand guides the energy. Relax the waist and shoulders, rotate the wrist, and ensure your body
weight moves back and forth in synch with the body movements. The movement of every part of
the body should be continuous and synchronised when the upper body moves, the lower body
follows, that is, the upper body guides the lower bodys movement. The middle body moves in
coordination with the upper and lower bodies. Practice until you reach a level where when one
body part keeps still then all other body parts keep still, when one body part moves then all other
body part follow, all parts moving together collectively. When you feel tired practicing on the
right, practice on the left by switching to the left leg and the left hand.

192

7.3

sOlO wan hua (flOwer

cOiling) in verTical

circle

This is a single hand practice involving movements of a smaller range. It only requires vertial
hand revolution and very small shifts in weight. These shifts are not immediately apparent as
they occur mainly between the front and back sides of the legs and feet. The whole movement is
mainly guided by the rotating waist and relaxed shoulders. This vertical rotation may be
developed to the quality of Silk Reeling and may be used as a combat technique or for listening
practice. The range and intensity in the arm rotations may be increased gradually depending of
the level of the practitioner.

Keep your body weight on the left leg and step forward, heel first with the right foot, with the
rest of the foot gradually fully touching the ground. Extend the right arm forward (either below
or above the head) with the arm bending inward about 45o and with the left hand akimbo. Bend
the left leg so that you squat slightly; lower your Qi, with eyes looking forward (Fig. 7.10). Next,
relax the left side of the crotch, then turn the body to the left and raise the right hand in Shun
reeling, drawing an arc of about 90o to the left, palm slanting upward with intention to gently
guide and draw in. Focus the eyes on the right palm (Fig. 7.11). Next, switch to Ni reeling,
drawing an arc of about 180o which goes downward and then up to the right, then switching to
90o Shun reeling. Finally, return your hand to the original Da Shou position (meet the opponent
with the hand) (Fig. 7.12).

193

Fig.7.10

Fig.7.11

Fig.7.12

When rotating in the opposite direction, reel in Ni to the right at 90o, then reel in Shun, then
draw a 180o arc to the left side of the body with palm facing left and finger tips slanted upward.
Finally, return to the Da Shou position (meeting the opponent with your hand) by a 90o upward
arc in Ni reeling. Practice rotating both arms in turn.

Notes The single-hand vertical circle is not completely vertical but slightly slanted at an angle to
allow you to guide and draw the opponent in. Vertical arm rotation is guided by spiraling
movements of the waist and back.

194

7.4

dOuble-hand

flaT

circle wan

hua

Stand at attention with the body upright and relaxed, eyes facing the front (Fig. 7.13). Raise the
forearms 90o upward, palms facing to each other. Shift your weight gradually to the left leg, then
raise the right foot, toes relaxed and pointing downward (Fig. 7.14). Bend the left knee to put the
body in a crouching stance, then step the right foot forward while simultaneously extending both
hands vertically in front of abdomen. This body posture is now one of holding and collecting, in
preparation for action (Fig. 7.15). Relax the left crotch and while focussing on the right crotch,
shift your the weight gradually forward, pushing both palms forward (Tui Palm) at the same
time.

Note: when applying Tui Palm, the palms should move forward at an

inclined angle (see picture). Also, the forward shift of the body should stop once the palms reach
their natural end position, otherwise the shape of the posture will be lost (Fig. 7.16).

Fig.7.13 Fig.7.14 Fig.7.15

195

Fig.7.16

Fig.7.17

Next, shift your weight backward and separate both hands to the sides of the body, imagining the
hands seizing the opponents wrists by Diao (Fig. 7.17). Continue shifting your weight backward
while both hands return to the original position in front of the abdomen (Fig. 7.15) by drawing a
circle by the sides of the body, then lowering to the front of the abdomen, palms vertical. Repeat
the Tui Palm movement again, this time relaxing the right crotch and focussing on the left crotch,
then pushing both hands forward. Practice this cycle.

196

7.5

sOlO dOuble-hand

wan hua in

a verTical

circle

One cycle consists of one Shun reeling plus one Ni reeling of each hand.

Preparation postures are the same as those of Double Hand Horizontal Wan Hua, stated as
follows: Stand at attention with the body upright and relaxed, eyes facing the front. Raise the
forearms 90o upward, palms facing to each other. Shift your weight gradually to the left leg, then
raise the right foot, toes relaxed and pointing downward (see Fig. 7.14). Bend the left knee to put
the body in a crouching stance, then step the right foot forward while simultaneously extending
both hands vertically in front of abdomen. This body posture is now one of holding and
collecting, in preparation for action (Fig. 7.18). While raising the hands, draw the chest inward,
lower the waist and shoulders, drop the elbows and sink the Qi downward. Grasp the ground
lightly with the toes and face the eyes forward (Fig. 7.19).

Fig.7.18 Fig.7.19

197

Fig.7.20

Fig.7.21

198

Next, cross both hands slowly in Shun reeling, extending the hands forward so that the left hand
crosses over the inner side of the right wrist, both palms facing inward. Extend both hands
forward in an offering stance, with the intention of supporting something upward. At the same
time, step the left foot on the ground and shift your weight forward (Fig. 7.20). During this
process, continue to draw your chest inward, open your back slightly and withdraw the elbows
slightly inward so that power can easily reach the inner edges of the hands. Next, push the
crossed palms over the head in Ni reeling, palms facing forward. Then, after another small Ni
reeling upward, the palms descend to the sides, stopping at shoulder level (Fig. 7.21). As both
hands separate upwards, finish the weight shift to your right leg.

Note: as both hands separate outward, each associated body part strikes

out in a Peng attack (Ward Off ) from the sides of the body, that is, the chest, shoulders, upper
arm, forearm, then hands, strike out in succession to the sides so that the arms become a pulled
bow. You will feel the power after long practice.

Now the left hand reels in Ni while the right hand reels in Shun. Both hands then draw a
downward arc to fall to each side of the abdomen, palms facing each other, finger-tips pointing
down. Closing form: palms continue to Shun reel, while weight totally switches to the left. With
body gathering, palms cross together, so as to start a new cycle.

Note: Hand techniques are of the same as that of Solo Ping Yuan Wan

Hua, only that palms in the latter move horizontally.

199

7.6

sOlO TuishOu

wiTh sTaTic fOOTwOrk

Solo practice for He Bu Tuishou with static footwork is based on the four Zheng hands: Peng,
L, Ji, and An. When practicing, act as if sparring with a partner. Open every body part to make
your rotations natural and flexible. Coordinate the movements of your hands, eyes, body and
steps. Note that one should practice with intention rather than by force. Stand at attention. The
key points are the same as those of solo Tuishou. Shift your weight to the left leg and lift the
right foot to step forward, heel first, with the foot gradually stepping fully on the ground. As the
weight shifts, extend the right hand diagonally forward to the right, then bend it inward 45o,
palm facing in. Extend the left hand transversely and place it on the middle of the right upper
arm, palm facing forward, thumb pointing down and the little finger pointing upward.

Fig.7.22 Fig.7.23

200

The left arm intends to Peng outward, the arm opens like a circle, and the eyes look forward to
the right (Fig. 7.22). Relax the right crotch and turn the body to the right. Shift your weight to the
left slightly then to right, lower the right shoulder and drop the right elbow. Move the right hand
in Shun reeling, the wrist bent slightly inward and palm facing inward. Meanwhile, as the left
hand moves inward in Ni reelings, coordinate and execution of Ji forward to the right with the
right hand acting as a joint force (Fig. 7.23). Next, raise both hands in Ni reeling, the left hand
ahead of the right. As the left hand rises, focus your intention on meeting and holding the

opponents hand, and so continue to Peng upward before executing L. At the same time,
visualize placing the outer edge of the right hand on the outside of the opponents elbow joint
Then execute L with both hands slowly to the left side of the body until the right hand reaches
the front of the right breast. During this process, relax the left crotch, shift your weight left and
focus your eyes on the front of the right hand (Fig. 7.24).

Fig.7.24 Fig.7.25

201

Relax the right crotch and shift your weight to the right as the upper body moves and turns right.
As this happens, visualize your left hand pressing down on the hand of the opponent, pushing it
outward. The right hand reels in Ni direction also with the intention to push outward (Fig. 7.25).
Execute An forward with both hands the palms facing each other about 33 cm apart. The edges

of the hands become power-exerting points. At this point, shift your weight forward to the right
leg, eyes looking forward. Now withdraw the left hand quickly and imagine placing it on the
middle of the right upper arm of your partner (Fig. 7.22). This is the same as the starting posture
of Da Shou posture. Repeat the process, alternating left and right sides. If the left leg is in the
front, the right hand executes Peng, and the left hand helps the right to execute L. You will also
need to use your left shoulder to push and use the right hand to help press forward.

an instant.

Note: In this movement, Peng and An are transitional actions executed in

202

7.7

shun

bu TuishOu

(sOlO

TuishOu

wiTh

a fOrward

and

backward

sTep)

Shun Bu Tuishou consists of two basic steps one moving forward and one moving backward.
Hand movements consist of four Zheng hands: Peng, L, Ji and An. In practice, moving forward
is combined with Ji and An hand movements; moving backward uses Peng and L hand
movements.

Step forward with the right foot then shift your weight forward. As the weight moves forward,
raise both hands to attack by pushing them to the front right of the body. Face the outer hand
edges, where the pushing power is exerted, outward. Step the left foot on the ground with the
inner side of the foot touching the ground. Lower the waist, draw the chest inward, sink the
shoulder downward and drop the elbows. These actions drive two the hands forward. Keep the
eyes looking to the front right (Fig. 7.26).

Fig.7.26 Fig.7.27

203

Fig.7.28

Fig.7.29

204

After the pushing attack, withdraw the left hand gradually and place it on the middle of the right
upper arm, thumb pointing down and palm facing down. At the same time, rotate the right hand
slightly downward in Ni reeling, turning the right elbow out and upward, with the intention to
close before opening, and in preparation for moving. Note that Qi should not be allowed to float
upward. As the arm moves, shift your weight to the left and lift the right foot, toes pointing down
(Fig. 7.27). Bend the left leg to squat further and extend the right foot forward. The body moves
forward following the shift in weight. Raise the right hand in Shun reeling. Push the shoulder
forward, followed by the arm and the hand (Fig. 7.28). Relax the left crotch after pushing and
shift the weight to the left. At the same time, the right hand moves upward in Ni reeling while
the right foot takes a step backward without turning the body, tiptoe first. As this happens, move
the left hand downward then draw a forward arc to form a L posture with the right hand. Eyes
look to the front right (Fig. 7.29).

Fig.7.30

Fig.7.31

Relax the left crotch and shift your weight to the left. Visualize sending the opponents right
hand out to the left side of your body. Next, raise the right hand quickly to push forward together
with the left hand toward the left side of the body. The outer edges of the hands are powerexerting points. Eyes look to the front left (Fig. 7.30). The front push of the right hand provides
an instant defense. Withdraw the right hand quickly in Ni reeling and place it on the middle of
the left upper arm, thumb pointing down and palm facing forward,which takes place in an
instant. Then the right hand switches to L. Eyes look to the left (Fig. 7.31). Reel the left hand
first in Ni direction, then in Shun direction downward to the left, then draw a circle downward.
Next, raise the left hand in a spiral to form a L movement with the right hand. Both hands are
about 33 cm apart (Fig. 7.32). While the right hand switches to L, the upper and lower body
form a balanced block of strength with the waist as the boundary. Eyes look to the front left (Fig.
7.33). Raise the right foot and take a step backwards to the right, then shift your weight to the
right. As the weight shifts, gradually squat the body.

205

Fig.7.32

Fig.7.33

Both hands execute L from left to right following the body, until the left hand reaches the
middle line of the body. Eyes look to the front left (Fig. 7.34). Raise the body gradually and
slowly shift your weight to the left leg. As the weight shifts, take a step forward with the right
foot. At the same time, extend the right hand to the right front of the body following the right
foot, the right arm then bends to 450 inward.

Fig.7.34 Fig.7.35

206

Fig.7.36

Fig.7.37

Simultaneously, place the left hand on the right upper arm, thumb pointing down. Then shift
your weight slightly rightward. Eyes look to the front right (Fig. 7.35). Continue shifting your
weight to the right while pressing the right arm forward in a relaxed manner with descending
energy. Note that the waist power descends to the left first then the right. Eyes look to the front
right (Fig. 7.36).

Fig.7.38 Fig.7.39

207

Relax the left crotch and shift your weight to the left. As soon as both arms finish pressing
forward, move the right hand in front of the left hand quickly, then execute L movement with
both hands to the left side of the body until the right hand moves in front of the right breast. Eyes
look to the front right (Fig. 7.37). Relax the right crotch and shift your weight to the right. At the
same time, execute L downward with the left hand, then move it out to the right, visualizing
that you are pushing the opponents hand outward to the right. Eyes look to the right (Fig. 7.38).
Next, raise the right hand quickly and exert An forward with power. Start a new cycle (Fig.
7.39).

208

7.8

sOlO danren

da l

TuishOu

Da L is based on four hand techniques in the main directions Peng, L Ji and An. It uses the
combat techniques of the four hand techniques in corner directions Cai, Bie, Zou, and Kao. The
circulating of steps in Da L when practicing Peng, L, Ji and An is the same to those in Shun
Step (forward or backwards Step), the only difference being that the extent of the steps in Da L
is bigger. It is not easy to practice Cai, Lie, Zhou, Kao with large-scaled body movements.
Furthermore, a good foundation in Taijiquan and solo Tuishou is required before you can
become proficient in using Cai, Bie Zou, and Kao. If not, the whole body will become stiff when
you try to squat down in the big body movements, a major weakness with which you cannot even
hope to attack the opponent. As such, beginners should first practise the routines, then the fives
methods of solo Tuishou practice. In this chapter, we will only refer to two main Da L postures
as shown in the pictures which follow. One is Da Pu Bu, literally meaning big falling step, like
the dragon sweeps ground routine in which Player A executes L on Player B. The other
picture demonstrates the big Frontward Bow Step, whereby Player B executes L on Player A.
The other movements are the same as the movements in Shun Step (forward or backward step).

Fig.7.40 Fig.7.41

209

7.9

sOlO luan cai

hua TuishOu

The gait in Luan Cai Hu is called San Bu (scattered steps) or Hua Jiao Bu (steps in flower
tracks). Its features include free movement with no fixed direction, and flexible, precise
rotation. Luan Cai Hua is also built on the foundation of Peng, L, Ji, and An, and also uses the
Si Zheng Shou. In the Luan Cai Hua Tuishou practice, you should pay attention to the following
points. The body movement and gait should be neat and swift. You need to rotate neatly when
executing a step forward as the partner changes his or her direction. You should adjust your

direction and position by applying small Gen steps so that you can stick to the partner tightly and
prevent their escape. This way you will not lose energy unnecessarily nor become stiff. See how
to execute Dian step in Figure 7.42.

Fig.7.42

210

In this technique, the steps are small but the speed is fast. When circulating the four Zheng hand
techniques (Peng, L, Ji, An), the extent of the arm rotations should be small to match the
changes in gestures and the revolving steps. Do not just practice at fast speeds or you will lose
your energy or get stiff, and thus impede any progress in Tuishou. Your movements should be
quick but not chaotic, light but not empty and floating, heavy but not stiff. When you apply Luan
Cai Hua in Tuishou sparring, you feel the partners energy as you rotate, looking for the
attacking opportunity, and entice the partner to advance and show his or her weak points. You try
to sense the partners intention by through pressing and pushing precisely and lightly, getting
close to their upper body while causing them to raise their lower body or slant it. If you are able
to put the partner in a passive position you can fullfil your intention without being noticed. You
should practice listening repeatedly. It is not easy to apply Die Fa. The steps and gestures in
Luan Cai Hua Tuishou are the same as Da L and in Shun Step, the only difference being in the
stances of the body.

211


212

CHAPTER 8

paiR pRaCTiCe in Tuishou

213

8.1

inTrOducTiOn

Pair practice in Tuishou consists of applying a combination of techniques with partners and
sparring. Partners should pay attention to co-operating with each other and using different
practice methods at different stages in pair practice. Like solo practice, pair practice should start
slowly, gathering speed in the later stages; similarly, the practice stance should start high,
lowering to mid-height then low stance. In addition, movements in pair practice should start
simply before gaining in complexity. Lastly, development should follow the stages of San Shou
to Zhan (coherence), Nian (sticking), Lian (connecting) and finally Sui (following). If possible,
try to choose a partner of similar level for pair practice. Faster progress may be made if your
partner is proficient in Taiji. If both partners have Taiji proficiency, pair practice becomes
beautiful to watch. Pair practice Tuishou improves combat skills, so you must strive to
concentrate, moving as the partner moves, like a flowing river: smooth, agile, flexible and rapid.
If solo Tuishou is described as imagining you are fighting with a person though you are
practicing alone, then pair Tuishou may be described as acting as if there is no partner
although you have one, whereby your actions should be precise, flexible and without
weaknesses. Pair Tuishou embodies the essence of Taiji Tuishou. An introduction to Tuishou
pair practices has been provided in the following pages. I hope that the reader will use this to

practice diligently and master the key points.

214

8.2

single-hand

hOrizOnTal

wan hua in

pair

pracTice

Player A refers to the male practitioner dressed in a dark blue. Player B refers to the female
practitioner dressed in red. These may be shortened to A and B.

8.2.1 Posture1
Both players stand at attention facing each other, an arms length from each other so that their
fists touch when arms are outstretched. Their bodies are upright, toes pointing slightly outward to
form a shape, arms hanging relaxed by the sides.

Fig.8.1

Both players take a step forward with their right feet, gradually forming a front Bow Step. The
distance between both right feet should be about 10 cm.

215

While the right feet step forward, both players raise their right palm and extend it forward, using
the middle line of the nose as the boundary. The back of the palms touch each other, with the
middle fingers at nose level, eyes focussed on the right hands. The right hand extends forward
with the left hand akimbo. Alternatively, the left hand can also be placed naturally along side the
body, corresponding with the rotation of the waist.

Fig.8.2

8.2.2 Posture3

216

Player A guides Player B to draw a 90o arc from the waist midline toward his left, and B
continues to reel 90o in the Ni direction until her hand falls to the front of As lower abdomen.
As both players draw this arc, As weight shifts backward, and his body crouches slightly to
form a closing power. Bs weight continues to move forward to form a single-hand An (pushing)
power. Both players watch their hands throughout this step.

Fig.8.3

8.2.3 Posture4
Player A relaxes his right crotch and Shun reels 90o to the right, then Ni reels 90o to the front of
Player Bs abdomen. At the same time, B shifts her weight gradually backward while her hand
draws an arc following Player A, then she guides As hand to the front of his abdomen. Repeat
this cycle.


Fig.8.4

217

8.3

single-hand

verTical

circle

wan hua in

pair pracTice 8.3.1 Posture1

The preparation postures are the same as that of single-hand horizontal circle rotation; the only
difference being that here the Da Shou (meet partner with hand) position is higher.

Fig.8.5

8.3.2 Posture2

218

After both players complete a Da Shou (meet partner with hand), Player A guides Player B to
move first in Shun reeling, then then draws a 90o arc to the left. Both players then rise, before
crouching again as they Ni reel downward 90o until their hands reach the front of the lower
abdomen, both hands perpendicular to each other and eyes looking forward.

Fig.8.6

8.3.3 Posture3
Player A relaxes his right crotch and turns his body to the right, guiding Player B to Ni reel 900
to his right side. A continues to Shun reel a 900 arc upward until he returns to the original Da
Shou position. During the above process, B always adheres to A. For example, when A draws an
arc to the right side, Partner B relaxes the left crotch, turning to the right (Bs left side), with eyes
looking at the same direction.

Fig.8.7

219

8.4 shuang shOu ping yuanwan hua (hOrizOnTal


hands) 8.4.1 Posture1

cOiling

flOwer

wiTh dOuble

Both players stand at attention facing each other. Both players step forward simultaneously with
their right foot, heel first, toes turned up (optional), having first shifted their weight onto the left
leg. Both right feet start to uncurl to the ground, with aim to form a front Bow Step. Player A
raises two hands in front of his chest. Then Player B extends her hands forward, placing them
outside As hands. Now both players wait in a defensive mode, ready to move and attack if
hands touch. While waiting, they lower their waists, draw their chests inward and gather their
ribs, lower the shoulders and drop the elbows, eyes looking forward.

Fig.8.8

220

8.4.2 Posture2
Player A relaxes his right crotch and continues to shift his weight forward while pushing his
hands forward in Ni reeling. He stops pushing when his hands are 20 cm away from Player Bs
chest. Here, As weight shift to the right foot has been fully completed. As Player A pushes his
hands forward, Player B listens to As power and shifts her weight backward to force A to
increase his pushing distance. As Bs weight moves backward, her hands reel in Shun, with her
little finger lightly hanging on As wrists to guard against any sudden attacks. In other words,
Bs little fingers stick to A throughout the process.

Fig.8.9

221

8.4.3 Posture3
Player A pushes first and then separates his hands by reeling in a Ni direction, then separates
Player Bs hands to the sides of her body at shoulderlevel, using the outer edges of his palms.
While Player A separates, B senses the speed of As pushing and separating power as her hands
are tightly guided by his hands and separated by them to the sides. She relaxes her chest as her
hands separate.

Fig.8.10

8.4.4 Posture4
Player A switches to Shun reeling and draws an arc inward. He shifts his weight backward, his
little fingers catching Player Bs wrists to the sides of the body as the two hands draw arcs.
While A draws arcs, B moves her weight forward to form a Bow Step. Then both players return
to the original position.

222

Fig.8.11

223

8.5 shuang shOu li yuan


hands) 8.5.1 Posture1

wan

hua

(verTical

cOiling flOwer

wiTh dOuble

Player A and B stand facing each other, then step their right feet forward simultaneously, with
the inner sides of both feet facing each other and 10 cm apart. Now, the weight for both parties
starts to shift to the right. Both players extend and raise their hands in front of their bodies with
Player Bs hands placed on the outer edges of Partner As hands. The positions of all hands are

higher than the eyes; all eyes look forward.

Fig.8.12

224

8.5.2 Posture2
Player A reels in the Ni directon and contitues to shift his weight forward, guiding Partner B to
raise her hands, draw a vertical circle outward, and separate hands to the sides of the body at
shoulder level. Now, As weight is all at the right foot. B has been shifting her weight to the left.
The two parties eyes always follow their movements.

Fig.8.13

8.5.3 Posture3
Player A switches to Shun reeling, his little fingers slightly catching Player Bs wrists, and draw
arcs to the lower abdomen, while he shifts his weight backward. Player A draws outwards while
Partner B draws inwards. While Player B rotates her arms downward following Player A, she
shifts her weight forward to form a front Bow Step. Both players eyes face forward.

Fig.8.14

225

8.5.4 Posture4
Player A continues Shun reeling, his hands crossing before the chest with both palms facing in;
the body squats to prepare for openning. Player B follows Player A closely and feels his change,
and continues to move her weight forward. Both players face forward. Then Player A returns to
the original position by Ni reeling and separating his arms outward. Repeat this cycle.
Note: The steps are the same, whether Player A separates B or vice versa.

Both players can practice this in turn.

226

8.6

he bu

TuishOu

(TuishOu

wiTh cOiling hands

and

sTaTic

fOOTwOrk)

8.6.1 Posture1
The gait of He Bu Tuishou is the same to that of the Vertical Coiling Flower with Double Hands.
Player A and B stand facing each other, then step their right feet forward simultaneously, with
the inner sides of both feet facing each other and 10 cm apart. Now, the weight for both parties
are both in the left, yet start to shift to the right. Both players then shift a little more weight to the
right, and then extend their right hands forward so they cross each other, backs of the hands
touching, eyes looking forward.

Fig.8.15

227

8.6.2 Posture2
Player A shifts his weight forward, then turns his right hand left in Shun reeling following the
turn of his body. While the right arm turns, he places his left hand on the middle of the right
upper arm, palm facing out and thumb pointing down so that both arms form an outward Peng
(ward off ) power posture. Player B places her left hand on the right upper arm of Player A as he
moves. Her right hand presses Player As right hand slightly downward, then extends forward to
press against As left forearm. In this way, both of Bs arms form an An (Pushing) power.

Fig.8.16

8.6.3 Posture3

228

Player A holds the left hand of Player B to ward it off outward. At the same time, he places his
right hand on the middle of Bs left upper arm, gradually switching from Peng (ward off ) to L
leftward. During this process, Player A relaxes his left crotch and moves his weight slightly
leftward. Player B withdraws her left hand quickly when Player A executes Peng and puts it on
the middle of her own right upper arm.

Fig.8.17

8.6.4 Posture4
Player B executes Ji (press) on Player A. In response, Player A executes L on Bs hand and
presses it downward, then moves quickly forward to press the middle of Player Bs right upper
arm with his left hand, shifting his weight forward to add more pressure. In response, Player B
switches from An (push) to Peng (ward off ). Then Player B wards off Player As left hand
upward, and executes L (roll back) again. Partner A withdraws his pressing hand and places it
on his own right upper arm, thus returning to the original position. Repeat this cycle.

Fig.8.18

229

8.7 pair pracTice in shun bu


fOOTwOrk) 8.7.1 Posture1

TuishOu

(TuishOu

wiTh MOveable

Both players stand at attention. Player A steps his right foot forward to form a front Bow Step.
Player B steps her right foot forward at the same time, placing it on the outside of As right leg,
so that both knees touch (As inner knee and Bs outer knee). Player A raises his right arm as his
right leg moves, bending it 450 inward, then places his left hand on the middle of his right upper
arm, palm facing outward. Player Bs right hand crosses the outside of As right hand, and places
her left hand on the middle of As right upper arm. As left hand then crosses with Bs left hand.
Both players look at each other from the side.


Fig.8.19

230

8.7.2 Posture2
Player A then relaxes his right crotch, turns his body to the right, shifts his weight slightly to the
right, and switches both hands to double-hand Shun reeling to ward off outward gradually. As
Player As body turns right, Player B shifts her weight forward to double her pressing power.
Both players look to the front.

Fig.8.20

8.7.3 Posture3
Player A relaxes his left crotch first, and moves his weight leftward. At the same time, he lowers
his left shoulder and left elbow, raises his left hand, and then wards off Player Bs left hand
upwards. Simultaneously, he places his right hand on the middle of Bs left upper arm, executing
L (roll back) with his right hand. This switch from Peng to L happens in an instant. Player B
continues to move her weight forward when Player A applies L, then withdraws her right hand
and puts it on the middle of her right upper arm to form a Ji (press) power to counter Partner A
quickly. Both players look to the front and gather themselves to prepare for futher movements.

231

Fig.8.21

8.7.4 Posture4
Player A relaxes his right crotch and turns his body slightly to the right. At the same time, he
presses Player Bs left hand downward to the front of her lower abdomen, then pushes her left
hand rightward, with the aim of getting her to fall to his right side. A then extends his left hand
up and forward and presses the middle of Partner Bs right hand, forming an An force, with the
coordination of his right hand. When Player A presses downward, Player B exerts a strong Peng
force to Player As right upper arm touching As right hand with her right hand.

Fig.8.22

232

8.7.5 Posture5
Player Bs left foot steps on the ground, her right crotch relaxes and she shifts her weight to the
right. At the same time, both her hands follow the body and turn right to execute L (roll back)
on the right side of Player As right arm until her left hand reaches the mid-line of her body. As
Player B executes L, Player A moves his weight first to the left and lifts his right foot quickly to
step forward. He then pushes his shoulder and upper arm towards Bs chest in response to Bs
L. In this move, As upper and lower body move as one, and his forward push corresponds to
the hardness or softness and speed of Bs L power.
Note: both players should not move too quickly as this would hinder the

rotation of the arms and result in blockages.

Fig.8.23

8.7.6 Posture6
Player A shifts his weight back to the left leg after pushing. At the same time, his right hand
switches to Ni reeling to force Player B to step backward, tiptoe first, then her foot gradually
steps on the ground fully.

233

At the same time, Player A places his left hand on Bs right upper arm, so as to form Peng and
L with both of his hands. While this happens, Player B relaxes her left crotch, shifts her weight
leftward, then takes a step forward with her right foot. B steps forward in synch with As guiding
hand, and steps within As left leg so that their two knees connect. Simultaneously, B also places
her left hand on the middle of her right upper arm, palm out, to form Ji (press) power with her
right arm. Both players look to the side at each other.

Fig.8.24

8.7.7 Posture7


234

Player A relaxes his left crotch, turns his body slightly left and shifts his weight slightly leftward,
then pushes Player Bs right hand first down then left using the pressing power of his left hand.
In response, Player B wards off slowly outwards with both hands in Shun reeling, shifting her
weight gradually rightward. Both players look diagonally to the front.

Fig.8.25

8.7.8 Posture8
Player A relaxes his left crotch then shifts his weight to the left. At the same time, Player B
lowers her left shoulder and left elbow, then raises her left hand in an upward Peng on As left
hand. Simultaneously, B also places her right hand on the middle of As right upper arm, then
switches her left hand instantly from Peng to L.

Fig.8.26

235

As this happens, Player A continues to shift his weight forward, then withdraws his right hand to
place it on the middle of his left upper arm, then quickly forms a pushing power towards B. Both

players look diagonally to the front.

8.7.9 Posture9
Player B relaxes her right crotch and turns her body slightly to the right. At the same time, she
presses Player As left hand first down to the front of his lower abdomen, then to her left. Then
with her left hand, she presses forward on the middle of As right lower arm. Both Bs hands
work together to form an upward pressure pose. As Player B pushes As left hand downward, A
responds first by flowing downward, then raising his left hand upward onto Bs right upper arm
to warding off (Peng). His right hand then comes into contact with Bs right hand. In this
instance, both As arms form an outward Peng power. Both players look to the sides.

Fig.8.27

236

8.7.10 Posture10
Both players keep moving and rotating. Player A steps his left foot on the ground, relaxes his left
crotch, shifts his weight to the right and rotates both hands to the right following the body to
execute L on the right side of Player Bs right arm. He moves in L until his left hand reaches
the mid-line of his body. In response to As L, Player B shifts her weight first to the left, then
steps forward quickly with her right foot and pushes her shoulder and upper arm forward toward
As chest, following As L power.

Fig.8.28

Notes: Player Bs upper and lower body should follow each other when pushing forward, and the

speed and extent of her forward push should be dependent on the speed and hardness or softness
of Partner As L. Both players should defend and stick to defend their own territory, taking care
not to go beyond their territory as this would mean that the transferring and changing of
movements would not be as quick and flexible, leading to increased exposure to attacks.

237

8.7.11 Posture11
After pushing forward, Player B shifts her weight backward to her left leg. At the same time, her
right hand changes to Ni reeling to force Player A to step back, tiptoe first, foot gradually steps
fully on the ground. Simultaneously, B places her left hand on the middle of As right upper arm,
her two hands forming a L posture. As B shifts her weight backward, A relaxes his left crotch,
shifts his weight leftward, then takes a step forward (Shang Bu) with his right foot to step on the
inside of Bs leg. Both their knees connect. At the same time, Player A places his left hand on the
middle of his right upper arm, palm out, to form a Ji power with his right arm. Both playesr look
diagonally to the front. Posture 11 is the same as Shun Bu (moving forward and back in one step)
Tuishou. The rotating methods are the same as those on Figures 8.25, 8.26, 8.27, and 8.28.
Finally, both players return to their original positions, and are ready to start a new cycle. You
may have found that, for both of the two players, one full cycle consists of one step forward and
one step backward, as well as an accomplishment of one cycle of Peng, L, Ji and An.

238

8.8

pair pracTice in

da l

TuishOu

(large scale l TuishOu)

Da L Tuishou pair practice is the fourth technique of of Chen-style Taiji Tuishou, and is based
on Shun Bu Tuishou. This technique consists of larger scale body movement, requiring both
players to crouch on one leg while extending the other fully forward with calf touching the
ground. In this low body movement, which is aimed at reinforcing your lower body stance and

leg power in this technique, you should combine Si Zheng Shou practice with Si Yu Shou, which
is Cai, Bie, Zhou and Kao. The practice of Da L movements is very important in learning how
to apply low body movements in combat without impacting on other combat movements or
losing agility and flexibility.

Fig.8.29

239

8.9

pair pracTice in

luan cai

hua TuishOu

(cOiling

flOwer

TuishOu)

Luan Cai Hua is also known as Hua Jiao Bu. This Tuishou technique combines the handwork of
Si Zheng Shou and the footwork of Shang Xia Bu (moving forward and backward) in varying
degrees, depending on the circumstances. The technique also uses the deft and precise handwork
of Shang Long Xia Ti (which means, to place the opponent in a passive position unawares by
holding close to the upper part of their body while lifting their lower body). Other handwork
techniques used to render opponents passive are: Da Sao (support and sweep), Gun Shuan (roll
and seize), Bi Ya (push and press) and so on. In Da Sao, Da means to put your hand on the hand
of the opponent with the intention of using it as a touchpoint and support. Sao means to sweep or
clear away, hence sweeping your arm horinzontally left and right after meeting your opponent in
Da Shou (meet partner with hand). With this method, the opponent cannot discern your target, or
power direction, nor the location of your body weight. Gun Shuan is an extension of Da Sao.
Instead of sweeping the arms horizontally, reel them in Shun and Ni directions, up and down, left
and right, so as to transform the opponents power. Shuan means to put an arm across the chest
like a locked door bolt to protect against attack. From this position, push and press against the
opponent to force them into a defensive mode. During combat, use your elbow or Kao (shoulder
strike) to attack when you find a weak point. If you choose not to attack under some
circumstances, try to feel the Gongfu level gap between you and your opponent by listening.
Only this way, can you win consistently.


240

Your footwork should be coordinated with your handwork. Your footwork should be based on
the speed, direction and angle of changes. Place yourself in a strong and active position by
applying Dian Bu (adding half paces) continuously when executing Shang Bu (stepping
forward). Your Dian Bu should be light, flexible, agile and swift, coordinated with Shang Long
Xia Ti. Combine the power of both your hands so that they become one indivisible power. Apply
Ti (lift) and Long (holding close) unpredictably and precisely, transforming the power of your
opponent so that he or she becomes trapped in a passive position unawares. This is an example of
the Die Fa. Actually, there are no restrictions in the application during practical body combat.
For example, if the opponent retreats one step, you can advance two or three steps to gain a
territorial advantage, which you think harmful to your opponent. These are the main methods and
purpose of Luan Cai Hua pair practice.
Fig.8.32 Fig.8.30

Fig.8.31

241

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