Monday, September 22, 2008

Zhaobao tai chi chuan

Zhaobao Taijiquan is a style of Taijiquan that is often considered to be a modern style, but actually has a strong documented lineage that confirms its authenticity as an ancient style of Taijiquan and as a true transmission from Jiang Fa.

Form and Characteristics

The main set of Zhaobao Taijiquan, or Zhaobao Jia, consists of 108 movements progressing in difficulty. Great emphasis is placed on Yi in Zhaobao training. Like many other styles, Zhaobao Jia can be practiced at three heights, each providing a different degree of complexity. Generally students begin with the Middle Frame , progress to the Low Frame and end with the High Frame .

Zhaobao Taijiquan's practical applications rely heavily on spiral uprooting techniques controlled through the use of Qinna, often followed with the use of sweeps or trips to bring the opponent to the ground. Flowing and coordinated the techniques conform successfully to the basic tenets of the Taiji Classics.

Zhaobao Taijiquan also has its own Neigong system based on traditional Daoist practice, that enables the practitioner to develop the required physical and mental skills needed for successful mastery of the art.

History and Lineage

The Zhaobao Taijiquan style shares a lot of similarities with Chen style Taijiquan, and this commonality is considered by the school to be the manifestation of influences introduced by a member of the famed Chen family- Chen Qingping. He created a style known as the "New Frame", which he taught to many disciples including He Zhaoyuan and . The result of this influence means that the Zhaobao Taijiquan style is often considered by observers to simply be a recent off-shoot of the Chen style. But actually the style has a much longer history and retains many unique qualities based on traditional Taijiquan theory and practice, clearly differentiating it as a complete and separate system of practice. See lineage diagram below.

The evolution of the Zhaobao Taijiquan style can be compared effectively to the evolution of Yang style Taijiquan. Yang Luchan the founder of the Yang style was a disciple of a Chen family teacher called Chen Changxing, and is said to have adapted the fundamentals of the martial arts he was taught to fit his own interpretation of Taijiquan practice and principles, and thus originated a similar looking, yet independent style of Taijiquan.

Zhaobao Taijiquan is not a family style and has traditionally been passed down from master to chosen disciple. The Zhaobao name is given to the style as a way of honouring Chen Qingping and the village where he lived; Zhaobao Village in Wenxian County, Henan Province, China.

According to the style's tradition Chen Qingping was the 7th generation master from the time that the grand master Jiang Fa brought the style taught to him by Wang Zongyue to the local area in Wenxian County.

Zhaobao Taijiquan's lineage down to Chen Qingping is as below:

Zhao Bao Tai Chi

Zhao Bao Tai Chi

The Zhao Bao style of Tai Chi originated from the town of Zhao Bao in the sixteenth century. Located fourteen kilometers east of the county of Wen in the central Chinese province of Henan , Zhao Bao is known for its idyllic atmosphere. The town looks south over the Yellow River’s northern banks, and gazes north into the Taihang foothills, turning east into the capital(京畿), and extending west toward Luo Yi . Since antiquity, this propitious location has made Zhao Bao a center of travel and trade. According to legend, Zhao Bao was once the elaborate Jin Yin Zhong(金銀塚)burial grounds of the soldiers of Zhao Dynasty during the Warring States Period(戰國時期趙國); thus earning the town the title of “Zhao Bao” or “Zhao’s stronghold,” a name which has continued into usage today.

In the closing years of the Ming(明) Dynasty , the town’s name became well-known in the world of martial arts when a Zhao Bao native named Jiang Fa studied Tai Chi under Shan Xi master Wang Zong Yue(王宗岳). Jiang Fa later chose fellow townsmen Xing Xihuai as a worthy disciple to on pass his own skills to, and thus began an illustrious new tradition of martial arts in the town of Zhao Bao. During the Kanxi(康熙) Period , the later emperor Yong Zheng visited Zhao Bao and admired the Tai Chi grandmasters so much that he gifted a handwritten inscription to the local Temple of Guandi to commend the martial prowess of the Zhao Bao Tai Chi masters.

The tenets of Zhao Bao Tai Chi emphasize simplicity, stressing that one should be as “hard as iron, soft as cotton, slippery as a fish, and tenacious as glue.” Its philosophy is expressed in the composition of its stances, in movements that harmonize and flow with the anatomy of the human body. Its aesthetic draws inspiration from nature with the goal of achieving movement as light as a cloud and as fluid as water. The martial art derives the structure of its theory from canonical Chinese scriptures including, “I Ching”(易經) , “Zhongyong” , as well as Neo-Confucian thought , uniting “The Three Teachings” , under a new umbrella of thought. Its art of attack and defense emulates the inscrutable shifts of clouds as well as the deceptively smooth pull of powerful ocean waves, attacking at the most unexpected to leave an opponent senseless.

Zhao Ba Tai Chi is still evolving in the long river of history. For seven generations Zhao Bao’s conservative leaders kept the art exclusively within the clan, giving rise to the saying that, “Zhao Bao Tai Chi would never leave its village.” Towards the end of the nineteenth century, however, this direct line of descent was broken, and many new practitioners entered the school. Then, in the 1930s, tenth generation Zhao Bao Tai Chi Grandmasters Zheng Wuqing and Zheng Boying both left Zhao Bao, respectively, and brought a definitive end to the axiom that “Zhao Ba Tai Chi would never leave its village.” The two Grandmasters both settled in the nearby city of Xi’an and dedicated their lives to cultivating and promoting the art of Tai Chi to the greater public.

In the 1990s, Zhao Bao Tai Chi’s eleventh generation Grandmaster Song Yun-Hua (宋蘊華)and Master Wayne Peng, the twelfth generation master of Zhao Bao Tai Chi, took the reach of Zhao Bao Tai Chi even further to Hong Kong as well as overseas and their work has received worldwide acclaim.

Yang style tai chi chuan

Yang family style tai chi chuan in its many variations is the most popular and widely practised style in the world today and the second in terms of seniority among the primary five family styles of tai chi chuan.


The Yang family first became involved in the study of tai chi chüan in the early 1800s. The founder of the Yang style was Yang Lu-ch'an , aka Yang Fu-k'ui , who studied under Ch'en Chang-hsing starting in 1820. Yang's subsequent expression of tai chi chuan as a teacher in his own right became known as the Yang style, and directly led to the development of the other three major styles of tai chi chuan . Yang Lu-ch'an came to prominence as a result of his being hired by the to teach tai chi chuan to the elite Palace Battalion of the Imperial Guards in 1850, a position he held until his death.

Yang Lu-ch'an passed his art to:
*his second son but oldest son to live to maturity, Yang Pan-hou , who was also retained as a martial arts instructor by the Chinese Imperial family. Yang Pan-hou became the formal teacher of Wu Ch'uan-yü , a Manchu cavalry officer of the Palace Battalion, even though Yang Lu-ch'an was Wu Ch'uan-yü's first tai chi chuan teacher. Wu Ch'uan-yü became Yang Pan-hou's first disciple. Wu Ch'uan-yü's son, Wu Chien-ch'üan , also a Banner officer, became known as the co-founder of the .
*his third son Yang Chien-hou , who passed it to his sons, Yang Shao-hou and Yang Ch'eng-fu .
*Wu Yu-hsiang who also developed his own , which eventually, after three generations, led to the development of Sun style tai chi chuan.

Yang Ch'eng-fu removed the vigorous ''Fa-jing'' , energetic jumping, stamping, and other abrupt movements to emphasise ''Ta Chia'' . This style has slow, steady, expansive and soft movements suitable for general practitioners. Thus, Yang Ch'eng-fu is largely responsible for standardizing and popularizing the Yang style tai chi chüan widely practised today. Yang Ch'eng-fu moved to Shanghai in the 1920s, teaching there until the end of his life. His descendants are still teaching in schools associated with their family internationally.

Tung Ying-chieh , Ch'en Wei-ming , Fu Zhongwen , Li Yaxuan and Cheng Man-ch'ing were famous students of Yang Ch'eng-fu. Each of them taught extensively, founding groups teaching T'ai Chi to this day. Cheng Man-ch'ing, perhaps the most famous outside of China, significantly shortened and simplified the traditional forms Yang taught him.

Yang Family Tree

Zhang Sanfeng*
circa 12th century

Wang Zongyue*
Chen Wangting
1600-1680 9th generation Chen

| |
Chen Changxing Chen Youben
1771-1853 14th generation Chen circa 1800s 14th generation Chen
Chen Old Frame Chen New Frame
| |
Yang Lu-ch'an Chen Qingping
1799-1872 1795-1868
Chen Small Frame, Zhao Bao Frame
| |
+---------------------------------+-----------------------------+ |
| | | |
Yang Pan-hou Yang Chien-hou Wu Yu-hsiang
1837-1892 1839-1917 1812-1880
Yang Small Frame |
| +-----------------+ |
| | | |
Wu Ch'uan-yü Yang Shao-hou Yang Ch'eng-fu Li I-yü
1834-1902 1862-1930 1883-1936 1832-1892
| Yang Small Frame |
Wu Chien-ch'üan | Hao Wei-chen
1870-1942 Yang Shou-chung 1849-1920
1910-1985 |
| Sun Lu-t'ang
Wu Kung-i 1861-1932
| |
Wu Ta-k'uei Sun Hsing-i
1923-1972 1891-1929


from Yang Ch`eng-fu
| |
Cheng Man-ch'ing |
1901-1975 |
Short Form |
Chinese Sports Commission
Beijing 24 Form

Notes to Family tree table

Names denoted by an asterisk are legendary or semilegendary figures in the lineage, which means their involvement in the lineage, while accepted by most of the major schools, isn't independently verifiable from known historical records.

The Cheng Man-ch'ing and Chinese Sports Commission short forms are said to be derived from Yang family forms, but neither are recognized as Yang family tai chi chuan by current Yang family teachers. The Chen, Yang and Wu families are now promoting their own shortened demonstration forms for competitive purposes.

Yang Shou-chung

Yang Shou-chung was the oldest son of Yang Ch'eng-fu by his first marriage, and started learning his family style when he was 8 years old under the strict supervision of his father.

In 1949, he escaped from the Chinese communists to Hong Kong. There he taught many students privately at his home until his death in 1985.

He had three daughters, Tai Yee, Ma Lee and Yee Li, all continue teaching in Hong Kong. Over the years he had taught many people but he accepted only three people as his disciples. These Yang family tai chi chuan practitioners are
*Master Ip Tai Tak in Hong Kong, who unfortunately died during the spring 2004. Ip Tai Tak had 2 disciples, 1st - John Ding, 2nd Robert Boyd . Other students that continue teaching and practice in Hong Kong include:Hui Kuk Chan, Shui Hung Lam, and Kok Kuen Lau.
*Master Chu Gin Soon in Boston, USA. With the permission of his master he founded the Gin Soon Tai Chi Club in 1969 to propagate Yang-Style Tai Chi Chuan in North America.
*Master Chu King Hung in United Kingdom. Chu is head of the International Tai Chi Chuan Association which was founded by him and Yang Shou-chung in 1971 and at present has branches all over Europe. He already has accepted several disciples.

Yang Zhenduo

Master Yang Zhenduo is the 4th Generation of the Yang family. He was born in Beijing in 1926 and is the son of Yang Ch'eng-fu. He started studying with his father when very young and continued studying with his elder brother after his father died. In 1960 Yang Zhenduo moved to Taiyuan, Shanxi Province. Since then, Yang style tai chi chuan has gradually spread within Taiyuan and to other cities, provinces, and countries.

Since 1980 he has served as Vice-President of the Shanxi Wushu Association. In 1982 Yang Zhenduo founded the Shanxi Yang Style Tai Chi Chuan Association, and has served as President since. The Association has now grown to over 30,000 members throughout the Province and is the largest martial arts organization of its kind in China. In October 1998 Yang Zhenduo founded the International Yang Style Tai Chi Chuan Association, serving as Chairman of the Board. Under his leadership, in just one year the International Association has grown to 18 centers in 9 countries with over 350 members. The Chinese Wushu Academy recognized Master Yang Zhenduo in 1996 as one of the top 100 Wushu Masters in China. He has also been honored by proclamations from the Mayors of San Antonio, Texas and Troy, Michigan.

Wudang tai chi chuan

Wudang Tai Chi Chuan 武當太極拳 is the name of a system of Tai Chi Chuan that was developed by a Hong Kong 香港 based Tai Chi Chuan master known as Cheng Tinhung 鄭天熊. While Cheng Tinhung never claimed to be teaching any particular school of Tai Chi Chuan, his uncle was a disciple of the 吳 school of Tai Chi Chuan, which may or may not have had some influence on his own approach to the art.

The Wudang Tai Chi Chuan system is now being taught in Europe by two of Cheng Tinhung’s disciples, Dan Docherty and Ian Cameron, both based in the United Kingdom. The system also continues to be taught in Hong Kong, and the current head of that school is Cheng Tinhung’s son Cheng Kamyan 鄭鑒恩, whose school is called the ''Hong Kong Tai Chi Association'' 香港太極總會.

Zhang Sanfeng 張三豐, a highly mythologised figure said to be the founder of Tai Chi Chuan, lived in the Wudang Mountains 武當山 and the name "Wudang" used for this Tai Chi Chuan system was used in order to acknowledge Zhang Sanfeng's status as the founder of Tai Chi Chuan. There are other schools of Tai Chi Chuan that also use this name.

The Wudang Tai Chi Chuan system is also known as “Practical Tai Chi Chuan”. This name comes from that given to Cheng Tinhung's style by various Chinese martial arts journalists in Hong Kong during Cheng Tinhung’s heyday, and from the school's assertion that its tai chi is eminently useful as a form of self-defense.

The Wudang Tai Chi Chuan system teachers publish that they have links to famous Tai Chi Chuan masters , including 陽班侯 , 吳全佑, Wu Jianquan 吳鑒泉, Cheng Wingkwong 鄭榮光, Chen Gengyun 陳耕雲, and Wang Lanting 王蘭亭.

Qi Minxuan

It is thought that Qi Minxuan 齊敏軒 came from from Wen County, Hebei Dao in Henan Province. He was a teacher of Tai Chi Chuan and neigong. After losing his family during the Japanese Occupation and Second World War, Qi Minxuan became an itinerant martial arts instructor teaching Tai Chi Chuan to those that would give him board and lodgings. His father Qi Gechen 齊閣臣 was a disciple of the famed Tai Chi Chuan master Wu Quanyou. Qi Minxuan also learnt from a Buddhist monk known as Jing Yi 静一 , who learnt Tai Chi Chuan from Wang Lanting 王蘭亭. Qi Minxuan’s Buddhist name was Zhi Meng 智孟 and was an enthusiastic student of Chan Buddhism. The fate of Qi Minxuan is unknown.

Cheng Tinhung

Cheng Tinhung 鄭天熊 . As a young boy he studied Southern Boxing 南拳 from his father Cheng Minchueng 鄭綿彰, which was a family style, learnt from his father Cheng Lin 鄭麟 who was a professional martial artist. As Cheng Tinhung grew older his uncle Cheng Wingkwong 鄭榮光 took an interest in teaching him Wu style Tai Chi Chuan. Cheng Wingkwong was a formal disciple of Wu Jianquan, who eventually held the rank of Shifu 師父 in the Wu family's Hong Kong school. At that ranking he had their encouragement to take on disciples of his own and open his own school. Cheng Wingkwong knew of an itinerant martial artist known as Qi Minxuan whose father was a disciple of the founder of the Wu 吳 School, Wu Quanyou. Cheng Wingkwong arranged for his nephew to train with Master Qi from the summer of 1946 to the winter of 1948. Qi Minxuan advised his new disciple Cheng Tinhung, that in order to gain a good reputation as a master of Tai Chi Chuan he must be both sound in mind and body and also be able to defend himself, thus being able to represent the art in its true form. Cheng Tinhung later took the nickname of the "Tai Chi Bodyguard" for his enthusiastic defence of Tai Chi Chuan as a martial art. By all accounts, Cheng was a hellraiser--he liked to drink, eat, and fight as well as train and teach. His predilections may have contributed to the ill health that plagued him in his later years.

Dan Docherty

Dan Docherty was born in Glasgow, Scotland, in 1954. He graduated with an LLB in 1974 and soon after moved to Hong Kong where he served as an inspector in the Royal Hong Kong Police Force until 1984 .

Soon after he arrived in Hong Kong in 1975 he started training Tai Chi Chuan under Cheng Tinhung and within a few years was elected to represent Hong Kong in Full-contact Fighting competitions. In 1980 he won the Open Weight Division at the 5th South East Asian Chinese Pugilistic Championships in Malaysia .

In 1985 he was awarded a Postgraduate Diploma in Chinese from Ealing College, London.

He is now based in London and travels extensively teaching and writing about Tai Chi Chuan.

Ian Cameron

Ian Cameron was born in Edinburgh, Scotland, in 1944.

He first came under the tutelage of Cheng Tinhung in 1971 whilst serving in the armed forces in Hong Kong. On his return to Edinburgh he set up his class which was to evolve into the Five Winds School Of Tai Chi Chuan.

Ian Cameron teaches in Edinburgh. He also supervises other classes in Scotland and England.

Wudang Tai Chi Chuan Lineage

Wu style tai chi chuan

The Wu family style t'ai chi ch'uan of Wu Ch'uan-yü and is the second most popular form of t'ai chi ch'uan in the world today, after the , and fourth in terms of family seniority. This style is different from the of t'ai chi ch'uan founded by Wu Yu-hsiang. While the names are distinct in pronunciation and the Chinese characters used to write them are different, they are often romanized the same way.


in 1850, Wu Ch'uan-yü was a military officer cadet of Manchu ancestry in the camp in the Forbidden City, Beijing and also a hereditary officer of the Imperial Guards Brigade. At that time, Yang Lu-ch'an was the martial arts instructor in the Imperial Guards, teaching t'ai chi ch'uan.

In 1870, Wu Ch'uan-yü was asked to become the senior disciple of Yang Pan-hou , Yang Lu-ch'an’s oldest adult son, and an instructor as well to the Manchu military.

Wu Ch'uan-yü's son, Wu Chien-ch'üan , and grandchildren: grandsons Wu Kung-i and Wu Kung-tsao as well as granddaughter Wu Ying-hua were well known teachers. Wu Chien-ch'üan became the most widely known teacher in his family, and is therefore considered the co-founder of the Wu style by his family and their students. He taught large numbers of people and his refinements to the art more clearly distinguish Wu style from Yang style training. Wu Chien-ch'üan moved his family south from Beijing to Shanghai in 1928, where he founded the ''Chien-ch'uan T'ai Chi Ch'uan Association'' in 1935.` Wu Kung-i then moved the family headquarters to Hong Kong in 1948, his younger sister Wu Ying-hua and her husband, Ma Yueh-liang , staying behind to manage the original Shanghai school. Between 1983 and her passing in 1996 Wu Ying-hua was the highest ranked instructor in the Wu family system. Her sons continue teaching and today manage the Shanghai school as well as schools in Europe.

Wu Kung-i's children were also full time martial art teachers: Wu Ta-k'uei was active in the resistance to the , yet he later taught t'ai chi ch'uan in Japan after the war. His younger brother, Wu Ta-ch'i , supervised the family's Hong Kong and southeast Asian schools for many years and opened the family's first western hemisphere school in Toronto, Canada in 1974. Wu Kung-i's daughter, Wu Yen-hsia , was known as an expert with the t'ai chi , while her cousin, Wu Ta-hsin , was also known as a weapons specialist, particularly with the t'ai chi .


The Wu style's distinctive , pushing hands and weapons trainings emphasise parallel footwork and horse stance training with the feet relatively closer together than the modern Yang or , small circle hand techniques and differs from the other t'ai chi family styles martially with Wu style's initial focus on grappling, throws , tumbling, jumping, footsweeps, leverage and , which are trained in addition to more conventional t'ai chi sparring and fencing at advanced levels. Another significant feature of Wu style training is its routinely placing the body's weight 100% on one leg; "''yin'' and ''yang'' separation". The leg that supports 100% of the body weight is actually the ''yang'' leg, as this leg is "full". The ''yin'' leg is that which has no weight on it, it is "empty". It is also common in Wu style to maintain a straight line of the spine from the top of the head to the heel of the rear foot when it is at an angle to the ground; an inclined plane alignment intended to extend the practitioner's reach.

Generational senior instructors of the Wu family t'ai chi ch'uan schools

''1st Generation''

Wu Ch'uan-yü , who learned from Yang Lu-ch'an and Yang Pan-hou, was senior instructor of the family from 1870-1902.

''2nd generation''

His oldest son, Wu Chien-ch'üan , was senior from 1902-1942.

''3rd Generation''

His oldest son, Wu Kung-i was senior from 1942-1970.

''3rd Generation''

Wu Kung-i's younger brother, Wu Kung-tsao , was senior from 1970-1983.

''3rd Generation''

Wu Kung-i's younger sister, Wu Ying-hua , was senior from 1983-1997.

''4th Generation''

Wu Kung-i's daughter , Wu Yan-hsia was senior from 1997-2001.

''4th Generation''

Wu Kung-tsao's son, Wu Ta-hsin , was senior from 2001-2005.

''5th Generation''

The current senior instructor of the Wu family is Wu Ta-kuei's son Wu Kuang-yu .

Wu Style Tai Chi Fast Form

The different slow motion solo form training sequences of T'ai Chi Ch'uan are the best known manifestation of T'ai Chi for the general public. In , they are usually called the ''hand form'' or just the ''form''; in it is usually called ''ch'uan'': 拳 .

They are performed slowly by beginners and are said to promote concentration, condition the body and acquaint students with the inventory of motion techniques for more advanced styles of martial arts training. There are also solo weapons forms, as well as much shorter and repetitive sequences to train power generation leverages as a form of . The various forms of Wu style pushing hands have two person drill routines as well, which fulfill some of the same functions as the power generation drills.

In 1914 Xi Yui-seng established the Athletic Research Institute in Beijing and Invited Yang Shao-hou, Yang Ch'eng-fu and Wu Chien-ch'uan to teach. From then on T'ai Chi was taught to the public changing the ancient closed door policy where T'ai Chi was only taught privately to very close and well known people within a limited circle known as the tutor disciple relationship.

Grand Master Wu Chien-ch'uan revised and enriched the art of T'ai Chi Chuan handed down from his father Wu Ch'uan-yu. His development of the slow set led to the creation of the style of T'ai Chi today known as Wu Style Tai Chi Chuan..

He omitted some of the repetitions, Fa-jing, stamping and jumping movements to make the form smoother, more structured with continuous steady movements. This form promoted the health aspects of Tai Chi and was more suitable for general practitioners though it still contained all the martial applications and training.

Yang Ch'eng-fu of Yang style Tai Chi Chuan also modified his own in a similar way at the same time. His brother, Yang Shou-hao's form had a high frame with lively steps alternating between fast and slow movements with hard and crisp Fa-jing. Chen Pan-ling, who was a student of Yang Shao-hao and Wu Chien-chuan describes T'ai Chi form practice beginning with slow movement changing to fast and returning to slow movement. He also points out learning to excercise rapid movement in the form and training from soft to hard and hard to soft movements.

The Shanghai Wu Style Fast Form kept the original Fa-jing 發勁 , jumping, attacking and stamping movements to be studied by those eager to advance their T'ai Chi practice. This advanced form was not yet taught openly.

In December 1982 there was a martial arts meeting held in Beijing to foster the traditional martial arts of China. Wu Ying-hua and Ma Yueh-liang of The Shanghai Jianquan Taijiquan Association contributed to this effort by disclosing the original Wu Style Fast Set for the first time to the public. In 1983 their adopted daughter Shi Mei Lin demonstrated the Wu Style Tai Chi Fast Form at the All China Traditional Martial Arts competition in Nanchang where she received the Award of Excellence. .

Other Wu style fast forms

The Wu family's Hong Kong branch also teaches a somewhat different .

Shanghai Wu style fast form list

The following list is an English translation from Chinese of the empty hand or fist form list published in Ma Yueliang's, Wu Yinghua's and Shi Mei Lin's ''Wu Style T'ai Chi Fast Form'..

The 95 postures of the fast form style of T'ai Chi Ch'uan are listed below.

1. The Preparation

2. The Beginning Form

3. Grasp the birds tail

4. Single whip

5. Raise hand and step up

6. White crane flaps its wings

7. Brush knee, twist step

8. Brush knee, twist step

9. Brush knee, twist step

10. Brush knee, twist step

11. Hand strums the lute

12. Step up, diverting and blocking fist

13. As if closing up

14. Tiger and leopard spring to the mountain

15. The cross hands

16. Oblique brush knee, twist step

17. Turn body, oblique brush knee, twist step

18. Grasping the bird's tail

19. Oblique Single Whip

20. Fist under the elbow

21. Step back and repulse the monkey

22. Flying oblique

23. Raise hands and step up.

24. White crane flaps its wings

25. Brush knee and twist step

26. Needle at the sea bottom

27. Fan through the back

28. Turn body, parry and punch

29. Remove step diverting and blocking punch

30. Step up, grasping the bird's tail

31. Cloud hands

32. Cloud hands

33. High pat on horse

34. Open body and kick

35. Open body and kick

36. Turn body, pedaling foot

37. Step up, planting punch

38. Turn body, parry and punch

39. Turn body, double kicking

40. Retreat step, beat the tiger

41. Right parting leg

42. Strike the ears with both fists

43. Open body, kick

44. Turn body, pedaling foot

45. Step up, diverting and blocking fist

46. As if closing up

47. Tiger and leopard spring to the mountain

48. The cross hands

49. Oblique brush knee, twist step

50. Turn body, oblique brush knee, twist step

51. Grasping the birds tail

52. Oblique single whip

53. Parting wild horse's mane

54. Parting wild horse's mane

55. Parting wild horse's mane

56. Jade girl works the shuttles

57. Jade girl works the shuttles

58. Parting the wild horse's mane

59. Jade girl works the shuttles

60. Jade girl works the shuttles

61. Grasping the bird's tail

62. Cloud hands

63. Cloud hands

64. Downward posture

65. Golden cockerel stands on one leg

66. Golden cockerel stands on one leg

67. Step back, repulse the monkey

68. Flying oblique

69. Raise hand and step up

70. White crane flaps its wings

71. Brush knee and twist step

72. Needle at the bottom of the sea

73. Fan throug the back

74. Turn body, parry and punch

75. Step up, diverting and blocking punch

76. Grasping the birds tail

77. Cloud hands

78. High pat the horse

79. Palm goes to meet the face

80. Turn body, cross swing lotus

81. Brush knee, twist step

82. Planting punch to groin

83. Grasping the bird's tail

84. Downward posture

85. Step Up to form seven stars

86. Retreat step, ride the tiger

87. Turn body, palm meets face

88. Turn body, double lotus swing

89. Curve bow, shoot the tiger

90. Step up and pound down

91. Palm goes to meet the face

92. Turn body, parry and punch

93. Step up, grasping the bird's tail

94. Like single whip

95. Closing T'ai Chi

Wu (Hao) style tai chi chuan

The Wu or Wu style of t'ai chi ch'uan of Wu Yu-hsiang , is a separate family style from the more popular of . Wu Yu-hsiang's style was third among the five t'ai chi ch'uan families in seniority and is fifth in terms of popularity.

Wu Yu-hsiang was a scholar from a wealthy and influential family who became a senior student of Yang Lu-ch'an. There is a attributed to Wu Yu-hsiang on the subject of t'ai chi theory, writings that are considered influential by many other schools not directly associated with his style. Wu Yu-hsiang also studied for a brief time with a teacher from the , Chen Ch'ing-p'ing, to whom he was introduced by Yang. His most famous student was his nephew, Li I-yü , who also authored several important works on t'ai chi ch'uan. Li I-yü had a younger brother who was also credited as an author of at least one work on the subject of t'ai chi ch'uan, Li Ch'i-hsüan. Li I-yü taught Hao Wei-chen , who taught his son Hao Yüeh-ru who in turn taught ''his'' son Hao Shao-ju Wu Yu-hsiang's style of training, so that it is now sometimes known as Wu/Hao or just Hao style t'ai chi ch'uan. Hao Wei-chen also taught the famous Sun Lu-t'ang. Hao Yüeh-ru was teaching in the 1920s, a time when t'ai chi ch'uan was experiencing an initial degree of popularity, and he is known for having smoothed out and standardized the forms he learned from his father in order to more effectively teach large numbers of beginners. Other famous t'ai chi ch'uan teachers, notably Yang Ch'eng-fu, Wu Chien-ch'üan and Wu Kung-i, made similar modifications to their beginning level forms around the same time.

Wu Yu-hsiang's t'ai chi ch'uan is a distinctive style with small, subtle movements; highly focused on balance, sensitivity and internal development. It is a rare style today, especially compared with the other major styles. While there are direct descendants of Li I-yü and Li Ch'i-hsüan still teaching in China, there are no longer Hao family members teaching the style. The last inheritor to learn under Hao Shao-ju currently living is Liu Jishun, who has many students around the globe but only two disciples in the United Kingdom.

World Tai Chi and Qigong Day

World Tai Chi and Qigong Day also spelled World T'ai Chi and Ch'i Kung Day, is an annual event held the last Saturday of April each year to promote the related disciplines of T'ai Chi Ch'uan and qigong in sixty countries since 1999.

The mission of this multinational effort is ongoing, to expose people to the growing body of medical research related to traditional Chinese medicine and direct them to teachers in their home towns. The global WTCQD directory doesn't screen or recommend the teachers it lists based on any vetting process or discriminate between T'ai Chi Ch'uan or qigong styles
over others. The directory is an open directory anyone can post to.

World Tai Chi & Qigong Day also acts as a public, government, and media source for information on those disciplines, and works in conjunction with such divergent institutions as the National Council on the Aging, The National Parkinson's Foundation Annual Conference, the Fibromyalgia Coalition International, Folsom Prison , Rotary Clubs International, etc.


The annual April event is open to the general public, and begins in the earliest time zones of New Zealand at 10 am, and then participants across Oceania, Asia, Africa, Europe, North America, and South America take part, with celebrations in sixty nations and several hundred cities, ending with the final events in the last time zones of Hawaii almost an entire day later. Celebrations include mass Tai Chi Chuan and qigong exhibitions in many cities, and free classes in most participating cities.

World Tai Chi and Qigong Day's stated goals are to:

1) Educate the world about emerging medical research revealing health benefits that Tai Chi Chuan and qigong offer.

2) Educate about the increasing use of these ancient traditional Chinese medicine modalities in business, education, penal and drug rehabilitation.

3) Provide a global vision of cooperation for health & healing purposes across geopolitical boundaries, and also an appeal to people worldwide to embrace wisdom from all the cultures of the world.

Official recognition

World Tai Chi and Qigong Day events have been recognized by the United Nations World Health Organization for participation in the UNWHO's "Move for Health" movement, and World Tai Chi and Qigong Day has been officially proclaimed by governors for their states including the US states of California, Connecticut, , Illinois, Kansas, Maryland, Massachusetts, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, New Jersey, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Texas, and Utah. Senates and legislatures have officially proclaimed World Tai Chi and Qigong Day, including the Senate of the state of New York, the Senate and Legislature of the state of New Jersey, California's State Assembly, and in 2005 the national Senate of Puerto Rico proclaimed "Dia Mundial de Tai Chi y Qigong" for Puerto Rico.

Mayors of many major cities have also officially proclaimed World Tai Chi and Qigong Day for their cities, including South Buenos Aires , Austin Texas, Osasco , Cupertino , , Hastings , Pemberton and Willingboro , Patchogue & Rochester , San Angelo , Scranton & York , St. Louis , St. Augustine , Toledo , Asheville , and Suffolk County .


The event's international organizing center provides information on Tai Chi Chuan and qigong, including health research, information on how Tai Chi Chuan and qigong relate to traditional Chinese Medicine , what people new to Tai Chi Chuan and qigong can expect when they attend classes, and video and audio samples of various Tai Chi Chuan and qigong exercises and forms. The site also provides links to Tai Chi Chuan and qigong publications, associations, schools, and groups in many states and countries, with a searchable database that lists schools by their country or US state. The site is viewable in nine languages with translation instructions via babel fish translation programs, although the translations can be difficult to decifer at times, but still useful.

The local events are independently organized by local Tai Chi Chuan and qigong schools, groups, and associations. The format of events varies by locality, although most involve free classes and mass exhibitions. International organizing for the event is done at the World Tai Chi and Qigong Day office in Overland Park, Kansas.


The global event began in 1999. However the first event, that inspired the global event, was held in Kansas City, Missouri in 1998 on the lawn of the Nelson Atkins Museum of Art in midtown Kansas City, where the Kansas City Tai Chi Club held a mass Tai Chi exhibition and teach-in involving nearly two-hundred people. CNN Headline News covered the event, which generated interest beyond Kansas City to quickly grow into a national and international event in the following years.

Online Video Examples of Various Tai Chi Forms


Media Resource History

International Herald Tribune - June 5, 2006 -

BBC Worldwide Radio - April 27, 2006 - Interview with World Tai Chi & Qigong Day Founder

USA Weekend - February 24-26, 2006 -

Parade Magazine - October 9, 2005 -

Reader's Digest - January, 2004 - "Limitless Energy"

New York Times - Sunday, April 1, 2001 - "Tai Chi Time"

South China Morning Post - April 1, 2000 - "Slowly Breathing in Strength"

Health Issue, Tai Chi, Qigong, and Support Groups

Attention Deficit Disorder

Allergies & Asthma

Alzheimer's Disease


Cardiac Rehabilitation


High Blood Pressure

Irritable Bowel Syndrome

Menopause, Bone Loss, Depression

Parkinson's Disease

Weight Loss

Photos of World Tai Chi & Qigong Day Events

Comprehensive Photo Gallery:
* ''2006'' -
* ''2005'' -

Tui na

Tui na , is a form of manipulative therapy often used in conjunction with acupuncture, moxibustion, fire cupping, Chinese herbalism, tai chi and qigong.

''Tui na'' is a hands-on-body treatment using acupressure that is a modality of Chinese medicine whose purpose is to bring the body into balance. The principles being balanced are the eight principles of Traditional Chinese Medicine The practitioner may brush, knead, roll/press and rub the areas between each of the joints to open the body's defensive chi and get the energy moving in both the meridians and the muscles. The practitioner can then use range of motion, traction, massage, with the stimulation of acupressure points and to treat both acute and chronic musculoskeletal conditions, as well as many non-musculoskeletal conditions. Tui na is an integral part of Traditional Chinese Medicine and is taught in TCM schools as part of formal training in Oriental medicine. Many East Asian martial arts schools also teach ''tui na'' to their advanced students for the treatment and management of injury and pain due to training. As with many other traditional Chinese medical practices, there are several different schools with greater or lesser differences in their approach to the discipline. It is related also to Chinese massage or ''anma'' .

In ancient China, medical therapy was often classified into "external" and "internal" treatments. Tui na was one of the external methods, especially suitable for use on the elderly population and on infants. Today it is subdivided into specialized treatment for infants, adults, orthopedics, traumatology, cosmetology, rehabilitation, sports medicine, etc. Tui na has been used extensively in China for over 2,000 years.

Tui na has fewer side effects than modern drug-based and chemical-based treatments. It has been used to treat or complement the treatment of many conditions; musculo-skeletal disorders and chronic stress-related disorders of the digestive, respiratory, and reproductive systems.


Massage techniques are ubiquitous in almost all early human cultures. Similar techniques date at least as early as the Shang Dynasty, around 1700 BC. Ancient inscriptions on oracle bones show that massage was used to treat infants and adult digestive conditions. In his book ''Jin Gui Yao Lue'', Zhang Zhongjing, a famous physician in the Han Dynasty , wrote, "As soon as the heavy sensation of the limbs is felt, "Daoyin", "Tui na", "Zhenjiu" and "Gaomo", all of which are therapeutic methods, are carried out in order to prevent... the disease from gaining a start." Around 700 CE, Tui na had developed into a separate study in the Imperial Medical College.

The first reference to this type of external treatment was called "anwu", then the more common name became "anmo". It was then popularized and spread to many foreign countries such as Korea and Japan.

As the art of massage continued to develop and gain structure, it merged with another technique called tui na, which was the specialty of bone-setting using deep manipulation. It was also around this time that the different systems of tui na became popular, each with its own sets of rules and methods.

Today, the term Tui na has replaced anmo within China and in the West. The term anmo is still used in some surrounding countries such as Japan.

It is not unusual to see practitioners working on street corners and parks in modern China. Tui na is an occupation that is particularly suitable to those with physical disabilities and in China, many blind persons receive training in the art of tui na, where their heightened sense of touch is a great benefit.


The words Tui Na translate into "push-grasp" or "poke-pinch" in Chinese. Physically, it is a series of pressing, tapping, and kneading with palms, fingertips, knuckles or implements that help the body to remove blockages along the meridians of the body and stimulates the flow of qi and blood to promote healing, similar to principles of acupuncture, moxibustion, and acupressure. Tui na's massage-like techniques range from light stroking to deep-tissue work which would be considered too vigorous or too painful for a recreational or relaxing massage. Clinical practitioners often use liniment, plasters, herbal compresses and packs to aid in the healing process, which should be used with caution on sensitive skin. Tui na is not used for conditions involving compound fractures, external wounds, open sores or lesions, phlebitis, or with infectious conditions such as hepatitis. Tui na should not be performed on the abdominal portion of a woman in menstrual or pregnant periods, and it is not used for treatment of malignant tumors or tuberculosis.

In a typical adult tui na session, the patient wears loose clothing and lies on a massage table or floor pad. After answering some brief questions about the nature and location of the health problem as well as basic questions about general health, allergies and other existing conditions, the practitioner will concentrate on specific acupressure points, energy trigger points, muscles and joints surrounding the affected area. Occasionally, clothing is removed or repositioned to expose a particular spot that requires direct skin contact. The patient should always be informed before this act, and no inappropriate or unexpected contact should ever be made in a professional session. Treatment sessions last from 10 minutes to over an hour. Patients often return for additional treatments for chronic conditions.

Taoist Tai Chi Society

The International Taoist Tai Chi Society is an umbrella organization for the governance of its member associations around the world, which are dedicated to the teaching of . Its primary endeavor is Taoist Tai Chi.
As of 2007, the organization has 40,000 members, including 15,000 in Canada,
and is present in 26 countries.

Society aims & objectives

The Taoist Tai Chi Society has four aims and objectives:
* To make Taoist Tai Chi available to all.
* To promote the health-giving qualities of Taoist Tai Chi internal arts and methods.
* To promote cultural exchange .
* To help others.


Member associations are incorporated as non-profit organizations in their own countries
and many are also registered as charitable organizations.
For example, the Taoist Tai Chi Society of Canada
is registered as a charitable organization in Canada.

and the Taoist Tai Chi Society of the USA is a 501 non-profit, charitable organization in the United States.

The Society operates on a membership basis rather than a fee for service basis. Payment of membership dues permits a member to participate in any class offered by any member association.


The Taoist Tai Chi Society was founded by . He arrived in Toronto, Canada in 1970 to start teaching .
which he felt was too difficult for most students. Therefore, he modified the orthodox Yang style Tai Chi Chuan form that he knew and called it Taoist Tai Chi. Over the years Moy trained many of his students to become instructors/teachers of Taoist Tai Chi. In order to coordinate these people and their activities a formal organization was necessary. After expansion into the United States, and later into Europe, New Zealand and Australia the ''International Taoist Tai Chi Society'' was formally established in 1990.

On a 42-hectare rural property near Orangeville, Ontario, the Society has built
its residential Health Recovery Centre and Quiet Cultivation Centre, where members from around the world can gather and train together. The Quiet Cultivation Centre includes a large temple of Chinese design dedicated to Confucian, Buddhist and Taoist teachings, which was opened on 2007-09-08 with the participation of some 2500 members. The construction was funded entirely by donations.


Classes are taught by volunteer instructors accredited by the Society. In order to become a volunteer instructor one has to express the desire to do so, and be able to show the elements of the form to new students. Criteria against which to judge the suitability to be an instructor are set by the Society itself. An instructor is required to contribute monthly membership fees and attend a number of workshops every year.

A teacher of Taoist Tai Chi is encouraged to live by what Moy called "Eight Heavenly Virtues":
* Sense of Shame
* Honor
* Sacrifice
* Propriety
* worthiness
* Dedication
* Sibling Harmony
* Filial piety.

These principles are rooted in traditional Chinese Confucian ethics.

Moy's stated goal for Tai Chi was to help people regain their health. His curriculum features no martial content or any of the terminology of traditional Chinese medicine. In the way his form is transmitted is unlike traditional Tai Chi forms transmission since there are no self-defence applications, or mention of the . Neither is there a focus on the traditional energy concept of qi. Which criteria are used by the Society to judge the correct way a move should be carried out is unclear, except for the that give some limited guidelines about the structure of a position.

Moy encouraged students to think of Tai Chi in relation to Western physiology . The reasoning for this may be found in the ways of traditional schools: "to provide a level playing field for all students by instilling respect and care for one's seniors, peers and juniors, so that everyone, not just the physically gifted, has an opportunity to benefit from the training provided in a martial art school."

As a Taoist meditative practice, Moy also considered Taoist Tai Chi a method that would lead practitioners towards "taming the heart" i.e. developing an attitude of calm and compassion when dealing with stress.

Sister and subsidiary organizations

Since the death of Moy Lin-shin in 1998 the Taoist Tai Chi Society has been amalgamated with the Fung Loy Kok Institute of Taoism and ''The Gei Pang Lok Hup Academy''.

The Academy was established by Moy in 1988. It was established with the intent to teach the internal martial arts other than Tai Chi, mainly Lok Hup Ba Fa . Instructors there teach a 66 posture form derived from lineage of teachers at the Chin Woo Athletic Association in Shanghai whose teachers were of Wu Yi Hui lineage. The Gei Pang Lok Hup Academy is a 501 non-profit organisation in the through the Society.

Taoist Tai Chi

Taoist Tai Chi is an exercise form of tai chi chuan which is taught in more than 25 countries by the non-profit and associated national Taoist Tai Chi ® societies. It is a modified form of Yang style Tai Chi Chuan developed by Taoist monk Moy Lin-shin. Moy incorporated principles of and other internal arts
to increase the health benefits of practising the form.

Taoist Tai Chi Awareness Days have been proclaimed by municipal governments across Canada since the 1980s to acknowledge that "the slow and graceful movements of Tai Chi relax and strengthen the body and mind, help to relieve stress, develop flexibility and coordination which is particularly beneficial to seniors and others in combating a variety of health conditions and disabilities"

These proclaimed days also serve to acknowledge that "members of the Taoist Tai Chi Society contribute many hours of service to our community, conducting fund-raising campaigns and events that have benefited many charitable organizations and other worthy causes"

Form principles

Taoist Tai Chi has several principles of movement that are meant to be a part of every posture;, these principles are what defines Taoist Tai Chi as a unique tai chi practice. Several of these are attributes espoused by many non-Society teachers, but are expressed somewhat differently than is traditional within Taoist Tai Chi. Here is a brief description.

;Position of the feet "45/90": the principle of 45/90 refers to the desired degree of the feet in relation to one another, usually with the front foot at 90 degrees and the back foot at 45 degrees outward. This is meant to aid in squaring the hips.
;"Squaring the hips": at the end/forward position of a movement the hips of a practitioner should be square or facing completely forward and in line with the front or "90" foot. Conversely, when at the rollback or beginning of a posture the hips should be in line with the back or "45" foot. The professed health benefit of this is that it facilitates a turning/stretching of the spine and an opening of the pelvic region .
;"In-stepping/out-stepping": In order to properly square the hips, the feet should be placed on either side of a straight imagined line. Stepping either too far outside or inside the line makes the space between the feet either too large or to small to square the hips.
;"Head to heel": there should be a straight line from the top of the head to the heel of the rear foot in all forward positions.
;Knee requirement: The knee should not extend beyond the toes to prevent injury.
;Weight placement: In Taoist Tai Chi, similar to the teaching of Wu style Tai Chi Chuan, only one foot should be weight bearing at a time. Also referenced as one foot being Yin or empty and another being Yang or full.

Foundation exercises

In addition to the full 108 Taoist Tai Chi set, students are taught a unique group of cyclical foundation exercises that focus on the joints, called "the jongs". Most of these exercises, either in their form or execution, are completely unique to Taoist Tai Chi. These exercises are not only used as preliminaries to the form, they are espoused as being the basic elements that provide health benefit in the varying movements of Taoist Tai Chi. Instructors often explain postures by referring to a foundation exercise.

The main foundations include:
* A basic forearm rotation: the forearms are held up and forward and rotate in and out. The hands are located in front of the left and right . The elbows are stationary.
* A rotation of the arms in front of the body: making a circular motion with the hands: where one pushes away the other pulls in. The thumbs move from the central axis of the body. It is mainly an upper body stretch in which the arms move outward from the center and then back.
* "Dan Yu" . A squatting exercise meant to work primarily the pelvic region, the legs and the lower back. Fifty or more repetitions may be performed in advanced classes. The feet are placed in a stance wider than the shoulders. When squatting the knees move in the direction of the feet.
* "Tor Yu" . The feet are at the typical "45/90" position, minding the "in-stepping/out-stepping". The pelvis alternates between weight over the front "90" and the back "45" foot. Thus the trunk moves following the pelvis. The hands follow the body and cross in front of the lower Dan Tien when the body moves backward to the '45 back" position, and then uncross and push away towards the "90 front" position leading the trunk. For the outside observer it seems that the hands make a circular motion, however they don't for the practitioner. In addition to its purported health benefits this exercise is particularly similar to the Silk reeling of other styles in that it helps develop the theory of movement present in all of Taoist Tai Chi.
* An arm separation such as in kicks: the arms start crossed in front of the body, move sideways, backward and down, and forward up again with the hands crossed on the centerline in front of the chest.
* A variant of the "Wave Hands like Clouds" move.
* Stationary stance versions of the posture "Snake Creeps Low", in which the practitioner may come to a full standing position in between left and right sides of the posture.
* Sometimes repetitions of various other movements but usually movements that lend themselves to repetition.

Form list

The 108 movements of the Taoist Tai Chi set are:


Taijijian is a straight two-edged sword used in the training of the Chinese martial art Taijiquan. The straight sword, sometimes with a tassel and sometimes not, is used for upper body conditioning and martial training in traditional Taijiquan schools. The different family schools have various warmups, forms and fencing drills for training with the jian.

Historical use of jian in Taijiquan

The and families were involved in Qing dynasty military officer training, and taught jian technique to their students. Traditional Taijijian forms are rooted in martial application, and are thus originally designed to make use of the weapons available at the time of their development. As there was no historical jian type created specifically for taijiquan, the forms were designed around the use a functional jian of the day, being of appropriate weight, balance, sharpness and resilience to be effective in armed combat.


A lighter version of the traditional sword and theatrical versions of traditional sword forms are also used in the "taijiquan" routines of curriculum. The wushu sword is a narrow, double-edged Chinese jian with a thin blade designed to make noise when it is shaken by the competitor during competition and a tassel is always attached to the pommel. The jian variants used for taijijian wushu display or as training tools in modern day martial arts schools often have properties that render them unsuitable for historically accurate combat. These properties, such as extreme blade thinness or a high degree of flexibility compared to historical battlefield quality jian, are intended to add auditory and visual appeal to a wushu performance.

Tai chi classics

The Tai chi classics are classical texts used as guides for the practice of the Chinese martial art of tai chi chuan. These texts, which vary from school to school, are usually written in classical Chinese and are used by modern schools that trace their lineage from the or from them through the .

While great antiquity is usually claimed for texts by legendary authors, modern scholarship has not been able to date any of them earlier than the late 19th century.

Among the writings accorded the status of a Classic are:

#T'ai Chi Ch'uan Classic attributed to the legendary founder of tai chi chuan, Chang San-feng 張三豐 , claimed to be ca. 12th-14th century.
#Salt Shop Manual 鹽店譜 containing the T'ai Chi Ch'uan Treatise attributed to the legendary Wang Tsung-yueh 王宗岳 . The text was said to have been found stored in the back room of a Beijing salt shop by Wu Yu-hsiang's brother Wu Ch'eng-ch'ing 武澄清.
#Miscellaneous texts: Song of Thirteen Postures, Mental Elucidation of the Practise of T'ai Chi Ch'uan and the Song of Sparring handed down in the Yang and families.
#Texts by Wu Yu-hsiang 武禹襄 , a central figure in Wu/Hao style Tai Chi Chuan, and his relatives; especially his nephew Li I-yü 李亦畬 .
#Forty Chapters of writings, with the last three chapters directly attributed to Chang San-feng, preserved in the Yang and Wu Chien-ch'uan families.
#T'ai Chi Ch'uan Illustrated 太極拳圖說 published in 1919 by Ch'en Hsin 陳鑫 an important Chen family scholar.
#The Study of T'ai Chi Ch'uan 太極拳學 first published in 1924 by Sun Lu-t'ang 孫祿堂 , the founder of the fifth and last classical style of tai chi chuan.
#Yang Ch'eng-fu 楊澄甫 published his Complete Principles and Applications of T'ai Chi Ch'uan in 1934, a work considered authoritative in schools influenced by his many students and progeny. The book includes the well known "Ten Essential Points of Taijiquan Theory" authored by Ch'eng-fu .
#Wu Kung-tsao 吳公藻 provided original texts and commentary on the previously mentioned Forty Chapters in Wu Family T'ai Chi Ch'uan . Wu's grandfather Wu Ch'uan-yu 吳全佑 had inherited the Forty Chapters from Yang Pan-hou 楊班侯 . The book was first published in Changsha in 1935. In 1980, when the book was published again in Hong Kong, the famous wuxia author Jin Yong contributed a postscript to Wu Kung-tsao's text in which Jin described influences from as far back as Lao Tzu and Chuang Tzu on contemporary Chinese martial arts.

Collections, Translations, and Studies

*Davis, Barbara, "The Taijiquan Classics: An Annotated Translation"
*Jou, Tsung-hwa, "The Tao of T'ai Chi Ch'uan"
*Liang, T.T., "T'ai Chi Ch'uan for Health and Self-Defense:Philosophy and Practice
*Lo, Benjamin, Martin Inn, Robert Amacker, Susan Foe, "The Essence of T'ai Chi Ch'uan: The Literary Tradition"
*Wile, Doug, "Tai Chi Touchstones: ''Yang Family Secret Transmissions''"
*Wile, Doug, "Lost T'ai-chi Classics from the Late Ch'ing Dynasty"
*Xin, Chen, "The Illustrated Canon of Chen Family Taijiquan"

Tai chi chuan philosophy

In many extant writings the dependence of tai chi chuan on Chinese philosophy is acknowledged. Tai chi teachers have historically asserted that the principles of tai chi chuan practice can be applied to a student's lifestyle.

'Tai chi chuan' is often translated ''supreme ultimate pugilism'' or ''boundless fist''. This refers to the ancient . However in terms of philosophy '''' has a wider meaning. The concept of ''tai chi'' or the ''Supreme Ultimate'' is used in various Chinese philosophical schools, usually to represent the contrast in opposing categories, or the interplay of those categories usually termed . These abstract terms represent the relationships used to describe perceived opposites in the phenomenal world: full and empty, movement and stillness, soft and hard, light and dark, hot and cold, et cetera. This scheme has had a lasting influence in traditional Chinese culture, shaping theory in schools as diverse as Confucianism, Taoism, and, to a lesser extent, Chan Buddhism, as well as traditional Chinese medicine and feng shui. Tai chi chuan, a relatively recent development compared to the aforementioned schools was even named by some of its earliest known exponents after the ''tai chi'' concept, possibly as late as the mid-nineteenth century.

In the "Forty Chapter" tai chi classic text supplied by Yang Banhou to Wu Quanyou in the late nineteenth century, there are the following references to the philosophy of tai chi chuan as applied to a practitioner's lifestyle:

14. An Explanation of the Spiritual and Martial in Tai Chi

The spiritual is the essence, the martial is the application. Spiritual development in the realm of martial arts is applied through the ching , ch'i and shen - the practise of physical culture. When the martial is matched with the spiritual and it is experienced in the body and mind, this then is the practise of martial arts. With the spiritual and martial we must speak of "firing time," for their development unfolds according to the proper sequence. This is the root of physical culture. Therefore, the practise of the martial arts in a spiritual way is soft-style exercise, the sinew power of ching, ch'i and shen. When the martial arts are practical in an exclusively martial way, this is hard style, or simply brute force. The spiritual without martial training is essence without application; the martial without spiritual accompaniment is application without essence. A lone pole cannot stand, a single palm cannot clap. This is not only true of physical culture and martial arts, but all things are subject to this principle. The spiritual is internal principle; the martial is external skill. External skill without internal principle is simply physical ferocity. This is a far cry from the original nature of the art, and by bullying an opponent one eventually invites disaster. To understand the internal principles without the external skill is simply an armchair art. Without knowing the applications, one will be lost in an actual confrontation. When it comes to applying this art, one cannot afford to ignore the significance of the two words: spiritual and martial.

19. An Explanation of the Three Levels of the Spiritual and Martial in Tai Chi

Without self-cultivation, there would be no means of realising the Tao. Nevertheless, the methods of practise can be divided into three levels. The term level means attainment. The highest level is the great attainment; the lowest level is the lesser attainment; the middle level is the attainment of sincerity. Although the methods are divided into three levels of practise, the attainment is one. The spiritual is cultivated internally and the martial externally; physical culture is internal and martial arts external. Those whose practise is successful both internally and externally reach the highest level of attainment. Those who master the martial arts through the spiritual aspect of physical culture, and those who master the spiritual aspect of physical culture through the martial arts attain the middle level. However, those who know only physical culture but not the martial arts, or those who know only the martial arts without physical culture represent the lowest levels of attainment.

20. An Explanation of the Martial Aspect of T’ai Chi

As a martial art, T’ai Chi is externally a soft exercise, but internally hard, even as it seeks softness. If we are externally soft, after a long time we will naturally develop internal hardness. It’s not that we consciously cultivate hardness, for in reality our mind is on softness. What is difficult is to remain internally reserved, to possess hardness without expressing it, always externally meeting the opponent with softness. Meeting hardness with softness causes the opponent’s hardness to be transformed and disappear into nothingness. How can we acquire this skill? When we have mastered sticking, adhering, connecting and following, we will naturally progress from conscious movement to interpreting energy and finally spiritual illumination and the realm of absolute transcendence. If our skill has not reached absolute transcendence, how could we manifest the miracle of four ounces moving a thousand pounds? It is simply a matter of “understanding sticky movement” to the point of perfecting the subtlety of seeing and hearing.

103-form Yang family tai chi chuan

T'ai Chi forms

The different slow motion solo form training sequences of T'ai Chi Ch'uan are the best known manifestation of T'ai Chi for the general public. In , they are usually called the ''hand form'' or just the ''form''; in it is usually called ''ch'üan'': 拳 . They are usually performed slowly by beginners and are designed to promote concentration, condition the body and acquaint students with the inventory of motion techniques for more advanced styles of martial arts training .

Differences between schools

The following is an English translation from Chinese of the form list used by the current Yang family teachers. Other Yang style schools may have significantly different enumeration schemes.

Yang style form list

The 103 postures of the family style of T'ai Chi Ch'uan are listed as follows:

1. Preparation Form

2. Beginning

3. Grasp the Bird's Tail

4. Single Whip

5. Lift Hands and Step Up

6. Lifts Wings

7. Left Brush Knee and Step

8. Hand Strums Lute

9. Left Brush Knee and Step

10. Right Brush Knee and Step

11. Left Brush Knee and Step

12. Hand Strums Lute

13. Left Brush Knee and Step

14. Step Forward, Deflect, Parry and

15. As Though Sealed and Closed

16. Cross Hands

17. Embrace Tiger and Return to Mountain

18. Fist under Elbow

19. Right Repel Monkey

20. Left Repel Monkey

21. Right Repel Monkey

22. Diagonal Flying

23. Lift Hands and Step Up

24. White Crane Lifts Wings

25. Left Brush Knee and Step

26. Needle at Sea Bottom

27. Fan through Back

28. Turn Body and Flip Fist Past Body

29. Step forward Deflect Parry and Punch

30. Step Up and Grasp the Bird's Tail

31. Single Whip

32. Cloud Hands

33. Cloud Hands

34. Cloud Hands

35. Single Whip

36. High Pat Horse

37. Right Separate Foot

38. Left Separate Foot

39. Turn Body, Left Heel Kick

40. Left Brush Knee and Step

41. Right Brush Knee and Step

42. Step Up and Punch Down

43. Turn Body and Flip Fist Past Body

44. Step Forward, Deflect, Parry and Punch

45. Right Heel Kick

46. Left Strike Tiger

47. Right Strike Tiger

48. Turn Body, Right Heel Kick

49. Two Peaks Box Ears

50. Left Heel Kick

51. Turn Body, Right Heel Kick

52. Step Forward, Deflect, Parry and Punch

53. As Though Sealed and Closed

54. Cross Hands

55. Embrace Tiger and Return to Mountain

56. Diagonal Single Whip

57. Right Wild Horse Parts Mane

58. Left Wild Horse Parts Mane

59. Right Wild Horse Parts Mane

60. Grasp the Bird's Tail

61. Single Whip

62. Jade Lady Passes through the Shuttle

63. Grasp the Bird's Tail

64. Single Whip

65. Cloud Hands

66. Cloud Hands

67. Cloud Hands

68. Single Whip

69. Low Form

70. Left Golden Cock Stands on One Leg

71. Right Golden Cock Stands on One Leg

72. Right Repel Monkey

73. Left Repel Monkey

74. Right Repel Monkey

75. Diagonal Flying

76. Lift Hands and Step Up

77. White Crane Lifts Wings

78. Left Brush Knee and Step

79. Needle at Sea Bottom

80. Fan through Back

81. Turn Body, White Spits Tongue

82. Step Forward, Deflect, Parry and Punch

83. Step Up and Grasp the Bird's Tail

84. Single Whip

85. Cloud Hands

86. Cloud Hands

87. Cloud Hands

88. Single Whip

89. High Pat Horse with Palm Thrust

90. Cross Kick

91. Step Forward and Punch Groin

92. Step Up and Grasp the Bird's Tail

93. Single Whip

94. Low Form

95. Step Up Seven Stars

96. Step Back and Ride Tiger

97. Turn Body and Swing over

98. Bend Bow and Shoot Tiger

99. Step Forward, Deflect, Parry and Punch

100. As Though Sealed and Closed

101. Cross Hands

102. Closing

103. Return to Normal

Tai chi chuan

Tai chi chuan is classified as Wudangquan or an . Tai chi is typically practiced for a variety of reasons: its , demonstration competitions, health and longevity. Consequently, a multitude of training forms exist, both traditional and modern, which correspond to those aims. Some of tai chi chuan's are well known to Westerners as the slow motion routines that groups of people practice together every morning in parks around the world, particularly in China.

Today, tai chi has spread worldwide. Most modern styles of tai chi trace their development to at least one of the five traditional schools: Chen, Yang, Wu/Hao, Wu and Sun. The origins and creation of tai chi are a subject of much argument and speculation. However, the oldest documented tradition is that of the Chen family from the 1820s.


The term "t'ai chi ch'uan" literally translates as "supreme ultimate fist", "boundless fist," or "great extremes boxing" . The concept of the "supreme ultimate" appears in both Taoist and Confucian Chinese philosophy where it represents the fusion or mother of Yin and Yang into a single ultimate represented by the Taijitu symbol. Thus, tai chi theory and practice evolved in agreement with many of the principles of Chinese philosophy including both Taoism and Confucianism. Tai chi training first and foremost involves learning solo routines, known as ''forms'' . While the image of tai chi chuan in popular culture is typified by exceedingly slow movement, many tai chi styles have secondary forms of a faster pace. Some traditional schools of tai chi teach partner exercises known as ''pushing hands'', and martial applications of the postures of the form.

Tai chi chuan is generally classified as a form of traditional Chinese martial arts of the Neijia branch. It is considered a martial art — an art applied with — to distinguish its theory and application from that of the . it has developed a worldwide following among people with little or no interest in martial training, for its benefit to health and . support its effectiveness as an alternative exercise and a form of martial arts therapy.

Focusing the mind solely on the movements of the form purportedly helps to bring about a state of mental calm and clarity. Besides general health benefits and stress management attributed to tai chi training, aspects of traditional Chinese medicine are taught to advanced tai chi students in some traditional schools. Some martial arts, especially the Japanese martial arts, use a uniform for students during practice. Tai chi chuan schools do not generally require a uniform, but both traditional and modern teachers often advocate loose, comfortable clothing and flat-soled shoes.

The physical techniques of tai chi chuan are described in the tai chi classics as being characterized by the use of leverage through the joints based on coordination in relaxation, rather than muscular tension, in order to neutralize or initiate attacks. The slow, repetitive work involved in the process of learning how that leverage is generated gently and measurably increases, opens the internal circulation

The study of tai chi chuan primarily involves three aspects:

* Health: An unhealthy or otherwise uncomfortable person may find it difficult to meditate to a state of calmness or to use tai chi as a martial art. Tai chi's health training therefore concentrates on relieving the physical effects of stress on the body and mind. For those focused on tai chi's martial application, good physical fitness is an important step towards effective self-defense.
* Meditation: The focus and calmness cultivated by the meditative aspect of tai chi is seen as necessary in maintaining optimum health and in application of the form as a soft style martial art.
* Martial art: The ability to use tai chi as a form of self-defense in combat is the test of a student's understanding of the art. Tai chi chuan martially is the study of appropriate in response to outside forces; the study of yielding and "sticking" to an incoming attack rather than attempting to meet it with opposing force.

History and styles

There are five major styles of tai chi chuan, each named after the Chinese family from which it originated:

The order of verifiable age is as listed above. The order of popularity is Yang, Wu, Chen, Sun, and Wu/Hao.

When tracing tai chi chuan's formative influences to Taoist and Buddhist monasteries, there seems little more to go on than legendary tales from a modern historical perspective, but tai chi chuan's practical connection to and dependence upon the theories of Neo-Confucianism is claimed by some traditional schools. In these legends, Zhang Sanfeng as a young man studied Tao Yin breathing exercises from his Taoist teachers and martial arts at the Buddhist Shaolin monastery, eventually combining the martial forms and breathing exercises to formulate the soft or internal principles we associate with tai chi chuan and related martial arts. Zhang Sanfeng is also sometimes attributed with the creation of the original . These 13 movements are in all forms of tai chi chuan. Its subsequent fame attributed to his teaching, Wu Tang monastery was known thereafter as an important martial center for many centuries, its many styles of internal kung fu preserved and refined at various Taoist temples.

Family trees

These family trees are not comprehensive. Names denoted by an asterisk are legendary or semi-legendary figures in the lineage; while their involvement in the lineage is accepted by most of the major schools, it is not independently verifiable from known historical records. The Cheng Man-ch'ing and Chinese Sports Commission short forms are derived from Yang family forms, but neither are recognized as Yang family tai chi chuan by standard-bearing Yang family teachers. The Chen, Yang and Wu families are now promoting their own shortened demonstration forms for competitive purposes.

Legendary figures

Five major classical family styles

Modern forms

Training and techniques

As the name "tai chi chuan" is held to be derived from the Taiji symbol , commonly known in the West as the "yin-yang" diagram, tai chi chuan is therefore said in literature preserved in its oldest schools to be a study of ''yin'' and ''yang'' principles, using terminology found in the Chinese classics, especially the Book of Changes and the Tao Te Ching.

The core training involves two primary features: the first being the , a slow sequence of movements which emphasize a straight spine, abdominal breathing and a natural range of motion; the second being different styles of pushing hands for training movement principles of the form in a more practical way.

The solo form should take the students through a complete, natural range of motion over their center of gravity. Accurate, repeated practice of the solo routine is said to retrain posture, encourage circulation throughout the students' bodies, maintain flexibility through their joints and further familiarize students with the martial application sequences implied by the forms. The major traditional styles of tai chi have forms which differ somewhat cosmetically, but there are also many obvious similarities which point to their common origin. The solo forms, empty-hand and weapon, are catalogs of movements that are practiced individually in pushing hands and martial application scenarios to prepare students for self-defense training. In most traditional schools, different variations of the solo forms can be practiced: fast–slow, small circle–large circle, square–round , low sitting/high sitting , for example.

The philosophy of the style is that if one uses hardness to resist violent force, then both sides are certain to be injured at least to some degree. Such injury, according to tai chi theory, is a natural consequence of meeting brute force with brute force. Instead, students are taught not to directly fight or resist an incoming force, but to meet it in softness and follow its motion while remaining in physical contact until the incoming force of attack exhausts itself or can be safely redirected, meeting yang with yin. Done correctly, this yin/yang or yang/yin balance in combat, or in a broader philosophical sense, is a primary goal of tai chi chuan training. Lao Tzu provided the archetype for this in the Tao Te Ching when he wrote, "The soft and the pliable will defeat the hard and strong."

Tai chi's martial aspect relies on sensitivity to the opponent's movements and center of gravity dictating appropriate responses. Effectively affecting or "capturing" the opponent's center of gravity immediately upon contact is trained as the primary goal of the martial tai chi student. The sensitivity needed to capture the center is acquired over thousands of hours of first ''yin'' and then later adding ''yang'' martial training; forms, pushing hands and sparring. Tai chi trains in three basic ranges, close, medium and long, and then everything in between. Pushes and open hand strikes are more common than punches, and kicks are usually to the legs and lower torso, never higher than the hip depending on style. The fingers, fists, palms, sides of the hands, wrists, forearms, elbows, shoulders, back, hips, knees and feet are commonly used to strike, with strikes to the eyes, throat, heart, groin and other acupressure points trained by advanced students. Joint traps, locks and breaks are also used. Most tai chi teachers expect their students to thoroughly learn defensive or neutralizing skills first, and a student will have to demonstrate proficiency with them before offensive skills will be extensively trained. There is also an emphasis in the traditional schools that one is expected to show , martial virtue or heroism, to protect the defenseless and show mercy to one's opponents.

In addition to the physical form, martial tai chi chuan schools also focus on how the energy of a strike effects the other person. Palm strikes that physically look the same may be performed in such a way that it has a completely different effect on the target's body. A palm strike could simply push the person forward, be focused in such a way as lift them vertically off the ground breaking their center of gravity, or terminate the force of the strike within the other person's body with the intent of causing internal damage.

Other training exercises include:
*Weapons training and fencing applications employing the straight ''sword'' known as the ''jian'' or ''chien'' or ''gim'' , a heavier curved ''sabre'', sometimes called a ''broadsword'' or ''tao'' , folding '''' also called ''san'', wooden staff known as '''' , 7 foot '''' and 13 foot ''lance'' . More exotic weapons still used by some traditional styles are the large ''Dadao'' or ''Ta Tao'' and ''Pudao'' or ''P'u Tao'' sabres, '''' , ''cane'', ''rope-dart'', ''three sectional staff'', ''Wind and fire wheels'', ''lasso'', ''whip'', ''chain whip'' and ''steel whip''.
*Two-person tournament sparring ;
*Breathing exercises; ''nei kung'' or, more commonly, ''ch'i kung'' to develop ch'i or "breath energy" in coordination with physical movement and or combinations of the two. These were formerly taught only to disciples as a separate, complementary training system. In the last 50 years they have become better known to the general public.

Modern tai chi

Tai chi classes have become popular in hospitals, clinics, community and senior centers in the last twenty years or so, as baby boomers age and the art's reputation as a low stress training for seniors became more well-known. As a result of this popularity, there has been some divergence between those who say they practice tai chi primarily for self-defense, those who practice it for its aesthetic appeal , and those who are more interested in its benefits to physical and mental health. The wushu aspect is primarily for show; the forms taught for those purposes are designed to earn points in competition and are mostly unconcerned with either health maintenance or martial ability. More traditional stylists believe the two aspects of health and martial arts are equally necessary: the ''yin'' and ''yang'' of tai chi chuan. The tai chi "family" schools therefore still present their teachings in a martial art context, whatever the intention of their students in studying the art.

Along with Yoga, tai chi is one of the fastest growing fitness and health maintenance activities in the United States.

Health benefits

Before tai chi's introduction to Western students, the health benefits of tai chi chuan were largely explained through the lens of traditional Chinese medicine, which is based on a view of the body and healing mechanisms not always studied or supported by modern science. Today, some prominent tai chi teachers have advocated subjecting tai chi to to gain acceptance in the West. The studies also show some reduced pain, stress and anxiety in healthy subjects. Other studies have indicated improved cardiovascular and function in healthy subjects as well as those who had undergone coronary artery bypass surgery. Patients that suffer from heart failure, high blood pressure, heart attacks, arthritis, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson's, and Alzheimer's may also benefit from tai chi. Tai chi, along with yoga, has reduced levels of LDLs 20–26 milligrams when practised for 12–14 weeks. However, a thorough review of most of these studies showed limitations or biases that made it difficult to draw firm conclusions on the benefits of tai chi. There have also been indications that tai chi might have some effect on noradrenaline and cortisol production with an effect on mood and heart rate. However, as with many of these studies, the effect may be no different than those derived from other types of physical exercise.

In one study, tai chi has also been shown to reduce the symptoms of Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorder in 13 adolescents. The improvement in symptoms seem to persist after the tai chi sessions were terminated. Tai chi's gentle, low impact movements burn more calories than surfing and nearly as many as downhill skiing. In addition, a pilot study, which has not been published in a peer-reviewed medical journal, has found preliminary evidence that tai chi and related qigong may reduce the severity of diabetes.

A recent study evaluated the effects of two types of behavioral intervention, tai chi and health education, on healthy adults, who after 16 weeks of the intervention, were vaccinated with VARIVAX, a live attenuated Oka/Merck Varicella zoster virus vaccine. The tai chi group showed higher and more significant levels of cell-mediated immunity to varicella zoster virus than the control group which received only health education. It appears that tai chi augments resting levels of varicella zoster virus-specific cell-mediated immunity and boosts the efficacy of the varicella vaccine. Tai chi alone does not lessen the effects or probability of a shingles attack, but it does improve the effects of the varicella zoster virus vaccine.

Now that the majority of health studies have displayed a tangible benefit to the practice of tai chi, some health professionals have called for more in-depth studies to determine mitigating factors such as the most beneficial style, suggested duration of practice to show the best results, and whether tai chi is as effective as other forms of exercise.

Tai chi chuan in fiction

Tai chi and neijia in general play a large role in many wuxia novels, films, and television series; among which are ''Tai Chi Master'' starring Jet Li, and the popular ''Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon''. A movie that features a traditional tai chi chuan teacher as the lead character is '''', Ang Lee's first western film. It is also used as the basis for fictional "Waterbending" in ''Avatar the Last Airbender''.In the video game Dead or Alive, Lei Fang uses Tai chi chuan. Internal concepts may even be the subject of parody, such as in ''Shaolin Soccer'' and ''Kung Fu Hustle''. Fictional portrayals often refer to Zhang Sanfeng and the Taoist monasteries on Wudangshan.

Further reading


Tai chi chih

T’ai Chi Chih is a series of 19 movements and 1 pose that together make up a meditative form of exercise to which practitioners attribute physical and spiritual health benefits. Some studies
have found the practice to reduce stress and relieve certain ailments.

Developed in Albuquerque, New Mexico in 1974 by Justin Stone, T’ai Chi Chih has spread mostly through word-of-mouth in a grassroots fashion among practicing individuals. It is now taught and practiced in the US and Canada, France, Italy, New Zealand, Zimbabwe, Namibia, and other countries.

T’ai Chi Chih has visual similarities to Tai chi chuan, but no martial arts aspect. According to practitioners, T’ai Chi Chih focuses on circulating, developing and balancing the .

Sun style tai chi chuan

The Sun style tai chi chuan was developed by Sun Lu-t'ang , who was considered expert in two other styles: and before he came to study tai chi chuan. Today, Sun style ranks fourth in popularity and fifth in terms of seniority among the five family styles of tai chi chuan. He was also considered an accomplished Neo-Confucian and Taoist scholar, especially in the I Ching and the tai chi classics. Sun learned from Hao Wei-chen , who was Li I-yü's chief disciple.

Besides his earlier hsing-i and pa kua training, Sun's experiences with Hao Wei-chen, Yang Shao-hou, Yang Ch'eng-fu and Wu Chien-ch'üan influenced the development of what is today recognized as the Sun style of tai chi chuan. Sun's son Sun Cunzhou and daughter, Sun Jianyun were tai chi chuan teachers, as well as Sun Cunzhou's daughter Sun Shurong who taught in Beijing until her death.

Sun style tai chi chuan is well known for its smooth, flowing movements which omit the more physically vigorous crouching, leaping and Fa jing of some other styles. The footwork of Sun style is unique, when one foot advances or retreats the other follows. It also uses an open palm throughout the entirety of its main form, and exhibits small circular movements with the hand. Its gentle postures and high stances make it very suitable for geriatric exercise and martial arts therapy.

Single whip

Single Whip is a common posture found in most forms of tai chi chuan. Typically at the end of the posture the left hand is in a palm outward push and the right hand held most commonly in the form of a hook or closed fist. Notable exceptions are the Single Whip in and Wu/Hao style tai chi chuan which finish with both hands open, palms outward.

Single Whip is one of the movements/postures most repeated in the solo training forms. Its first appearance in most forms follows the Grasp Sparrow's Tail sequence and is seen later as a variant renamed Snake Creeps Down. There is also a posture in the form called Single Whip Fusing Throat.

The martial applications of Single Whip are many. There are various strikes, throws, changeups and kicks derived from this posture trained by different schools.

Silk reeling

Silk reeling , also called winding silk energy chánsījìng , refers to a set of neigong principles frequently used by the and of t'ai chi ch'uan. The name derives from the metaphorical principle of "reeling the silk from a ". In order to draw out the silk successfully the action must be smooth and consistent without jerking or changing direction sharply. Too fast, the silk breaks, too slow, it sticks to itself and becomes tangled. Hence, the silk reeling movements are continuous, cyclic patterns performed at constant speed with the "light touch" of drawing silk.

As described by Wu Kung-tsao:
This resembles the strands of spun silk. Winding silk energy is applied in pushing hands when opponents probe, use , neutralize, vie for control, and practice tactical movements around each other's space.There are six methods of winding silk energy: inner, outer, upper, lower, forward and backward. They are applied from anywhere on the body: the arms. legs, hips and waist, with the body moving continuously, with endless circularity, wrapped together like intertwined filaments of silk.
One who is skilled at winding silk energy is keenly sensitive and can accurately probe and stay with the opponent as he extends and contracts.

Chen style silk reeling movements originate from the ''dantian'' and trace a ''taijitu'' pattern. Starting first with the outside circle and then adding the "tear shapes" while shifting the weight from leg to leg; this motion in turn drives the rest of the joints of the body in a fluid, spiraling motion.

Some of the most common silk reeling exercises are:
* Single and double hand front silk reeling
* Single and double hand side silk reeling
* Dragon Lands like a sparrow left and right
* Lean with the back left and right

Qiang (spear)

Qiang is the term for spear. Due to its relative ease of manufacture, the spear in many variations was ubiquitous on the pre-modern Chinese battlefield. It is known as one of the four major weapons, along with the ''Gun '', '''', and the '''', called in this group "The King of Weapons".

Common features of the Chinese spear are the leaf shaped blade and red horse-hair tassel lashed just below. When the spear is moving quickly, the addition of the tassel aids in blurring the vision of the opponent so that it is more difficult for them to grab the shaft of spear behind the head or tip. The tassel also served another purpose, to stop the flow of blood from the blade getting to the wooden shaft . The length varied from around 7 feet long, commonly used by infantry, increasing up to the length of 13 feet favoured by cavalry. The spear is typically made of wax wood, a strong but flexible wood. It bends to absorb impact preventing breakage. The bending motion combined with the horse hair tassel makes the spear tip very hard to follow.

Many Chinese martial arts feature spear training in their curriculum. The conditioning provided by spear technique is seen as invaluable and in many styles it is the first weapons training introduced to students. Moreover, some schools of empty handed fighting in China credit spear technique as their foundation, notably Xingyiquan and Bajiquan.