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太陳 王

西

極氏





Wang Xi’an

Chen
Family
Taijiquan
tuishou

Chenjiagou
Wenxian County
Henan, China
陈 Published by
氏 INBI Matrix Pty Ltd
po box 775, Maroubra 2035
太 NSW Australia

极 English Edition © 2009 INBI Matrix Pty Ltd

拳 Copyright © 1998 Wang Xi’an


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


First edition, 2009
Printed in China

Project management & design: Roman Mukhortikov


Editors: Juliana Ngiam, Tom Watson
王 Translation: Zhang Yanping

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

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Thoughts on Taiji 陈



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 succes-
sors. 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. 技
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 法
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 Xi’an


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Preface to original edition 陈

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 拳
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 concentra- 推
tion and energy considering Master Wang’s teaching workload. Indeed, his
high disciplinary standards and outstanding martial arts techniques serves 手
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 技
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 follow-
ers in both countries.
In the spirit of Taiji’s 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 Wang’s future works with great enthusiasm.

Atsuko Noguchi 西
January 1998, Tokyo, Japan 安

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viii
Table of Contents 陈

Chapter One: Introduction

1. 
2. 
The Origin of Taijiquan Tuishou ................................................................3
Tuishou Practice – Going Inward, Step by Step ......................................4

3. 
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 手
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
西
8.  Na (Seizing) Practices...............................................................................105
9.  Jietuo (Escape) Practices............................................................................117

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陈 Chapter Four: Health and Qi Enhancement Practices
1.  Introduction................................................................................................132
2.  Wu Ji Zhuang (Wu Ji Posture)................................................................. 133
氏 3.  Hunyuan Zhuang (Circle Posture).......................................................... 138
4.  Kai He Zhuang (Opening and Closing Zhuang)..................................142
太 5.  San Ti Shi (Three Postures)......................................................................146
6.  Chan Si Zhuang (Reeling Silk Posture).................................................149

极 7.  Wu Zhuang Huan Yuan (Returning to Wu Ji Zhuang)......................154

Chapter Five: Practice for the Buttocks and Crotch........................ 157


拳 Chapter Six: Chen Style Taiji Tuishou Categories

推 1.  Classifications of Tuishou.........................................................................168


2.  Tuishou Handwork Techniques...............................................................171
3.  Tuishou Footwork Techniques.................................................................175
手 4.  Hand Techniques in Tuishou Reeling.....................................................179
5.  Tuishou Steps............................................................................................. 183
技 Chapter Seven: Solo Practice in Tuishou

法 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 Lü Tuishou....................................................................209
9.  Solo Luan Cai Hua Tuishou.....................................................................210

Chapter Eight: Pair Practice in Tuisho


1.  Introduction................................................................................................214

王 2.  Single-hand Horizontal Wan Hua in Pair Practice.............................. 215


3.  Single-hand Vertical Circle Wan Hua in Pair Practice........................218

西 4.  Shuang Shou Ping Yuanwan Hua............................................................220


5.  Shuang Shou Li Yuan Wan Hua..............................................................224

安 6.  He Bu-Tuishou............................................................................................227
7.  Pair Practice in Shun Bu Tuishou............................................................230
8.  Pair Practice in Da Lü Tuishou................................................................239
9.  Pair Practice in Luan Cai Hua Tuishou..................................................240

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chapter one:

INTRODUCTION









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1.1  The Origin of Taijiquan Tuishou

Tuishou originated in the Chen Village, Wenxian County, Henan Province, 氏
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 太
Qing Dynasty. According to the book, ‘The Family Tree of Chen’, Chen
Wangting, (also known as Zouting) was a famous martial arts master, and 极
he was recognized as the creator of Chen Family boxing, sword and stick
routines. 拳
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 theo-

ries 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 strik-

ing. 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 practitioner’s age, gender, loca-
tion or access to equipment. As it is not stressful to the body, it helps main-
tain fitness, agility and flexibility, reducing illness and prolonging a healthy
life. With the accelerated pace of modern life, awareness of Taijiquan and
Tuishou’s health & fitness benefits have spread far beyond China to all
corners of the globe, and will continue to do so in years to come.

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陈 1.2  Tuishou practice – going inward, step-by-step

氏 To practice Tuishou, you must know its significance, principles, and what
it consists of. Literally, Tuishou translates as ‘push hands’, that is, an athlet-
太 ic activity based on mutual pushing. Less well known is Tuishou’s other
application as a technique for internal transformation. Learning Tuishou
极 will quickly expose any weaknesses in one’s internal Gongfu. A Taijiquan
proverb pertains also to Tuishou, ‘From the familiarity of forms, to the real-
拳 ization of Jin; from the realization of Jin, to the Deity’.

推 Initially, Tuishou practice should be soft and modest. Follow the circling
movements with the whole body, be relaxed, listen to each other’s energy
手 flow, and do not disconnect or oppose your partner’s energy. Become famil-
iar with the single hand horizontal and vertical practice, followed by the
技 double hand horizontal and vertical practice, pacing your learning step-by-
step. Relaxation is fundamental, transformation is the basis. You will not
法 realize inner transformation, nor will you be able to intuit your opponent’s
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 grasp-
ing, catching, throwing, and striking, with greater efficacy and subtlety. As
you reach the level of adept, you will be able to release explosive energy
王 to both small and large targets, enabling you to throw opponents meters
away without hurting them. Note that adepts earn their title only when
西 they attain the ability control and use combat techniques in an appropriate

安 manner.

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Remember that ‘inner listening’ is the one essential skill required to improve
your technique. To cultivate ‘inner listening’, be calm and concentrated in 陈
your demeanour, combining your heart, mind and spirit with determina-
tion, force and speed in your actions. 氏
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 commit-
ment must be deeply held. As long as you practice persistently and make

progress, you will ultimately enhance your health and combat techniques. 拳




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陈 1.3  The core of Tuishou

氏 The core of Tuishou consists of Zhan, Nian, Lian, Sui (stick, adhere,
continue, follow) and Chansi Jin (Reeling Silk), which are also the essential
太 elements of Taiji. Tuishou practice is based on thirteen ‘forms’ or energies,
while its theoretical basis builds on the philosophies of Yin and Yang.
极 The thirteen forms are:
拳 • Ward off Peng
• Roll back Lü
推 • Press Ji
手 • Push
• Pull down
An
Cai
技 • Split Lie
• Elbow strike Zhou
法 • Shoulder strike Kao
• Advance forward Jin
• Retreate back Tui
• Look backward Gu
• Gaze forward Pan
• Central equilibrium Ding
Tuishou flows seamlessly between the application and combination of
opposites. Movements alternate freely between Gang (hard) and Rou (soft),
王 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
西 the lightest of touches, your partner’s weight, speed, distance and direction
of energy. You will learn to follow your partner’s intention and forget your
安 own. At a more advanced stage, you will develop the capacity to subcon-
sciously anticipate quick or slow changes, attacks or retreats, actions to the
left or right, upward or downward movements, opening or closing, gather-
ing or exploding, and so on.

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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. 极
Like a balloon whose air has been exhausted, this energy refills auto-
matically to its original ‘full’ state. 拳
Use the forces of elasticity and friction 推
Use these forces when applying techniques such as ‘draw the opponent
into one’s orbit to destroy their centre of gravity’, ‘utilize the opponent’s 手
energy’ and ‘conquer the strong with the weak’.

Note: friction forces are often applied in Tuishou – as you come
in contact with the opponent’s hands, it is the force of friction that 法
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 oppo-
nent does not move, don’t move’, ‘if the opponent moves slightly, move
before they do’ etc.
Attack the opponent’s 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
西
To release bursts of energy effectively, concentrate on one direction at

a time.

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陈 As stated in the General Song of Taijiquan by Chen Wangting (also known
as the ‘Song of Taiji Practitioners’):

氏 “…remembering the principle of following, whether ascending or


descending, I perform strictly to the principles so as to make me
太 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:
拳 “No one knows when I gather or stretch. I follow my partner, utiliz-
推 ing the techniques of Kao. I always follow their intention, whether
they strike or twist.”
手 This technique, known as Shang Long Xia Ti (which means to place the
技 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
法 opponent’s upper body and lifting of their lower body, and is worth remem-
bering. 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 enemy’s heart and ribs with agility and
effectiveness’.

The canon of Taiji teachings is rich with such sayings, and they serve as
西 concise and comprehensive guidelines for Taiji and Tuishou practice
安 through the ages.

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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. 拳
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.


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陈 1.4  The relationship between the three stages of
Taijiquan practice and Tuishou

A brief description of the three stages of Taijiquan practice will be provid-
太 ed here, with fuller details available in Chapter Two of my book, ‘Chen
Style Taiji Laojia’ (Old Routine).

拳 The three stages of Taijiquan are:

推 1. Zhao Shu (familiarity with the forms)


Outer form drives Qi.

技 2. Dong Jin (realizing the inner energy)
Qi drives outer form.
法 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:

1. Da Quan (big circle)


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

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

The three stages of Taijiquan practice are interrelated with the three stag-
es 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 inter-
nal 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 推
(invisible force) through Yi Qi Cui Xing (external form driven by Qi), along
with the Tuishou practice of Zhong Quan (medium circle). 手
At the third stage of Shenming (deity), we practice Ling Jin (spiritual force)
through Nei Wai Jian Xiu (culitivation of both internal and external quali-

ties), 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 prac-
tice as outlined above, in addition to a diligent assimilation of knowledge,
students will improve step-by-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, 王
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
西
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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陈 body that is attacked by my opponent, even though I don’t know how I do
it’. Also known as ‘Five-Yin Five-Yang’, those who reach this stage posess

氏 energy without imbalance and can achieve Lianshen Huanxu (cultiva-


tion 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 don’t make
太 efforts to go forward, you surely go backwards.”







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1.5  Tuishou, the only criterion to judge  
the Gongfu of Taiji 陈
Not only is Tuishou a reliable test of one’s level in any martial art form, it is 氏
also the key criterion against which one’s level of Taijiquan Gongfu can be
measured. 太
In contrast with Quan (form) practice where the focus is on solo practice
and developing self-awareness, Tuishou develops one’s 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 doesn’t imply Diu (a common defect due to failure in Zhan

Nian, meaning ‘loss of energy’, or ‘losing tracking to the opponent’s energy’) or
Ding (a common defect due to failure in relaxation, Ding meaning ‘stiff resis-

tance’), nor is it just a matter of pitting one’s 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 stron-
ger force) also can defeat the weaker force. It is this dynamic that we need
to explore during practice. Hence, try to feel your partner’s tracks of energy
while controlling your own centre of gravity during practice. In other words,
try to feel the extent and speed of your partner’s 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 partner’s movement can you react
promptly to any attack. Remember too where your weight is placed to main-
tain 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 medi-
um circles’, they are able to strike back instantly in response to an opponent’s
西
movement using conditioned reflexes derived from highly sensitized skin 安
alert to every minute stimulus. These reflexes are faster than thought and
only come with constant practice.

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西

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chapter TWO: 手
Interpretations 技

on the ten
forces of taiji


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陈 2.1  Listening to energy

氏 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
太 eyes, the skin, and a highly-tuned awareness of sensations in the heart and
nerves as well. The level of one’s overall listening ability is determined by
极 one’s 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
拳 surface.

推 What is listening with the bones? It is the ability to anticipate an attack by


listening through the skin and responding swiftly to an opponent’s attempt
手 to seize, squeeze and press.

技 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,

法 follow) as fundamentals. One’s skin is the key weapon. With your skin, feel
your partner’s movements, her changes in rotation, position and magni-
tude. 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 one’s skin, no matter if the changes
are in the opponent’s rotation, a rise or fall in height or changes in weight.
On receiving these signals, a practioner’s 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
王 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 deli-
西 cate and sensitive it can detect a feather just before it touches the skin.
Similarly, when an opponent touches one’s fine body hairs, one’s force is
安 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 one’s sensitivity to listening. While the majority of practitioners 陈
are able to listen with the bones, very few achieve the ability to listen with
the skin. 氏
Listening is essential to Tuishou. It requires cultivation of a finely-honed
sensitivity to the sensations on one’s 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. 手
Listening practice should strictly follow the Four Principles (Zhan Nian
Lian Sui) as well as the Essential Formula – fast, slow, descending, calm, 技
emptiness, solidity, opening and closing (快、慢、沉、稳、虚、实、
开、合). In all this, special attention should be paid to ‘the intervals of 法
fastness and slowness’; ‘descending Qi and steady steps’; ‘clear manifesta-
tion of emptiness and solidness’; ‘co-ordination of opening and closing’ and
maintaining a fluid continuity between all these techniques.
Only through accumulated practice can one’s sensations detect the small-
est changes, where every knot of one’s 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 one’s
energy to remain stuck in the chest, blood and breath, rising to the upper
body, making all one’s muscles stiff. Your reactions will become slow, your 王
listening untrue, your judgement confused. You will look without seeing,
listen without hearing, until it is too late to repel danger. Nervously, you
西
fight back, defending and attacking blindly, leading only to failure. 安

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陈 2.2  Dongjin – realization of energy

氏 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
太 softness, speed, length, direction, straightness and curvature, magnitude
and hitting point. It is the ability to conquer one’s opponent by using prop-
极 er rhythm and techniques such as Yin, Hua, Na, Fa (引yin – lead; 化hua
– change, transform; 拿na – capture; 发fa – explode) at the appropriate
拳 opportunity.

推 Realizing energy is based on listening. Without ‘hearing’ the energy of


one’s partner, you cannot realize it, that is, you cannot note any of the
手 above changes in the oponent. While beginners may find this difficult to
achieve, this skill may eventually be attained with diligent practice and a
技 good teacher. Be warned that mistakes will occur on this learning path.
You may find yourself being too stiff (Jiang), your posture too straight
法 (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
王 realize energy.
西 Bing (defect) signifies the inability to follow principles such as maintaining

安 one’s 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 one’s position, angle, form and
quality of Tuishou. The quality of one’s form practice and Tuishou level 陈
speaks for itself – it is reflected in one’s ability to freely move forward or
backward, look around and maintain an upright axis during Tuishou prac- 氏
tice, and also in one’s facilitiy with the eight energies or techniques (Peng,
Lü, Ji, An, Cai, Lie, Zhou and Kao). Concordant with the adage that ‘exter- 太
nal forms are the method and the pathway’, these eight techniques form
the method for Tuishou. Ultimately, the Tuishou practitioner must aim 极
to apply these techniques (seizing, grasping, falling, transforming, striking,
jumping, dodging, twisting, changing one’s centre of gravity and flexibility) 拳
in synchronous movements, rather than use them as disparate forces to
enhance one’s attacking prowess. 推
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 continu-
ing 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 funda-
mental 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; 王
I follow my partner, utilizing the techniques of Kao in spiralling.
When attacking, I always keep remembering to follow their inten-
西
tion, no matter if they use the technique of Kao or twist. 安

19
陈 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

氏 irresistible.
Everyone knows how to hook, ward off, press and hold back,
yet who knows the tactful way to turn one’s back and dodge
太 suddenly?

极 From the above verse, we can clearly see that in all movements, Chen
拳 Changxing exhorts practitioners to maintain a keen awareness of self and
other parties, to act naturally and follow one’s intention. This ability is
推 encapsulated in the phrase ‘Zhan Nian Lian Sui’, that is, ‘listening and real-
izing energy’.
手 The second sentence of the verse means to follow the other partner’s inten-
tion while circling them. The author stressed the importance of ‘follow’,
技 that is, to forget about one’s own intentions and follow the opponent’s. The
third, fourth and fifth sentences refer to the application of Taiji Sanshou.
法 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 devel-
opment 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 self-
defence skills, along with the Four Essentials and ‘realizing energy’ tech-
niques in Tuishou. It is through the practice of Tuishou and Sanshou that
王 one garners the true meaning of Taijiquan.

西 In addition to applying Master Chen Changxing’s advice, one must also


‘realize energy’ through diligent practice and the exchange of ideas with
安 one’s 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

20
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 陈
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 ‘real-
izing 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 partner’s energy flow. At this point, he or

she will be able to prevent their opponent from escaping with zhan ener-
gy 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. 手

2.3  Zhan Nian techniques

Zhan & Nian are forces directed forward. They are external manifesta-
tions 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 one’s capacity for high precision,
with which one’s 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 one’s opponent, so 西
that he finds it hard to escape. It is commonly used in attacking strategies.
Conversely, Nian means to chase and follow one’s opponent. Zhan Nian 安
energies work as a pair, with Zhan as the dominant force since without a

21
陈 good mastery to ‘stickiness’ (Zhan), one can never accomplish quality ‘chas-
ing’ (Nian). It is Zhan energy that envelops the body, an internal energy

氏 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 partner’s intention, and forget my own’; ‘I don’t move
太 if they don’t 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
极 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
拳 applied, the opponent will find it difficult to detect any weaknesses and
hence any opportunity for attack. Simultaneously, these techniques will
推 lead the opponent into faulty moves.

手 Understandably, beginners find Zhan Nian energy difficult to comprehend


let alone detect, but even many long-term practitioners find total under-
技 standing or realization elusive, especially those who, despite prolonged
practice, have failed to attain high proficiency in the art, as reflected in their
法 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
opponent’s palms allows the practitioner to estimate the opponent’s 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
王 instant. Not an easy task for ordinary practitioners, but certainly achiev-
able for diligent practitioners with good teachers.
西

22
2.4  Lian Sui Energies

Lian Sui energies are twin companions of Zhan Nian energies, and can only 氏
exist in the presence of the latter. Used in concert with Zhan Nian ener-
gies, Lian Sui means to follow the partner constantly and closely thereby 太
preventing their escape. Their inter-dependence requires both Zhan Nian
and Lian Sui energies to be used in concert to work effectively. Only if 极
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, 拳
misleading and upseting the opponent’s centre of gravity by attack and
thus strike and ultimately conquer the opponent. 推
Lian is dependent on one’s use of Zhan. Without Zhan’s adhesive force
over the partner preventing escape, there can be no Lian. Lian has a rich

amalgam of meanings, including consistency, continuity, adhesiveness,
non-pressing, 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 conti-

nuity of one’s movements with those of the opponent, so that ‘as one falls,
another rises’. In so doing, one observes and reacts to the opponent’s Zhan
Nian techniques.
Sui, ‘to react while following’, emerges from the application of Lian. Unless
one follow’s the opponent with Lian (co-relation), how can Sui be achieved?
Sui technique means to react, follow and move in the same direction as
one’s 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.

西

23
陈 As a teaching goes, applying Lian Sui provides a good opportunity to
observe the partner’s weaknesses:

氏 “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
太 never function without the other; therefore it is advisable to practice
the combined application of both, whether through form practice or
极 Tuishou”.

拳 Beginners may attain the preliminary stage of Lian Sui, the basic ability to
follow the opponent’s movements. Adepts, on the other hand, successfully
推 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
手 they can ascertain if their energy levels match the purpose and intention of
their actions. As the teaching says,
技 “The lower body automatically follows any motions of the upper
法 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 inter-
nal co-ordination can one interact seamlessly with one’s Tuishou partner,
following their energy flow without interruption.


西

24
2.5  Misleading and Transforming Techniques

Yin is the main force used to mislead opponents. Literally meaning ‘to 氏
draw’ or ‘to lead’, Yin is the ability to draw the opponent’s energy into one’s
control, hence ‘misleading’ and transforming the opponent’s energy. Hua is 太
the transformative force, and cannot exist without Yin first being applied.
Using these complementary techniques, the adept draws the opponent into 极
his or her domain, neutralizing any opportunity for attack. A particularly
effective combination is Luo Kong, striking the opponent with explosive 拳
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
opponent’s 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 opponent’s 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 partner’s energy
while simultaneously gathering energy carefully to prepare for an explosive
release of energy at any angle or position. For instance, if my partner press-
es my right arm with their palms, I apply Shun reeling downwards, then
gradually upwards, so as to mislead my partner’s 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. 西

25
陈 Yin Hua can be applied in many ways, depending on circumstances.
However, continuous solo practice is required to absorb knowledge thor-

氏 oughly 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
太 advises, I “roll over, tie up, touch, sweep, dodge, shock, look one way and
go another”, using all these techniques to mislead my opponent, desta-
极 bilizing their centre of gravity and transforming their energy in order to
conquer them. It is important to remember that one must gather energy
拳 well before misleading one’s opponent, just as one should attack forcefully
without hesitation. As Chen Xin suggests, “gather energy as if pulling on
推 the bow; explode energy as if releasing the arrow”. That is to say, the more
one stretches the bow, the further one’s arrow flies, and hence the harder
手 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
技 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.

王 While many martial arts schools may practice their own interpretation of
the Na technique, that of Taijiquan is accepted as the most refined. Any
西 hard fan guanjie (joint twisting, i.e. rotate an opponent’s joint towards its
unnatural direction, meaning the direction which hurts the natural struc-
安 ture 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

26
their gathered forces. This is called ‘dual-utilization of seizing and gath-
ering’. With the combined application of seizing, throwing, transforming 陈
and striking, a Tuishou practitioner can exert the invincible might of Taiji.
Indeed, Tuishou accentuates Taijiquan’s martial power. 氏
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 pre-

conditions for striking (Da). Only with the synchronous use of various
techniques can a Tuishou practitioner put their opponent at a disadvan-

tage 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 手
their energy, so that I can strike them cleanly and successfully. When utiliz-
ing Na, I move using the principles of Qing Ling Huo Qiao (lightness, agil- 技
ity, 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 法
“best of the best”’.
To apply Qing Ling Huo Qiao while seizing one’s opponent means to exert
one’s 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 effec-
tively, 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 王
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, flex- 西
ible and skilful exertion of Zhan Nian Lian Sui as well as other techniques.

27
陈 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

氏 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,
太 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
极 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
拳 it is stated, ‘No part of my body is not peaceful. In peace every part of my
body moves at the time of movement’.
推 Na is the synchronous manifestation of the internal and external. Exert
手 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
技 target accurately, releasing your force like bullets rushing out of a gun.

法 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 Lü 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 spar-
ring partner, whether you exert Na by the co-ordination of your hand and
王 chest or with your ribs, stomach and legs. Common problems, especial-
ly amongst beginners, include controlling one’s speed and magnitude of
西 attack, application of appropriate angles and techniques, and sensing the
amount of force the partner’s joints can withstand. Miscalculations often
安 result in injuries, hence it is advisable to heed the teaching, ‘Never be rude
and rash when you begin to practice Na.’

28
Work on your technique step-by-step: develop a closed crotch, solid stom-
ach and slightly concave chest. Inhale from the stomach so that it remains 陈
solid. Gather the ribs, relax the shoulders, making sure all movements are
steered by the waist. Listen to the tracks of your opponent’s energy while 氏
applying Na and Bi (closing). Keep every joint relaxed before you exert Na.
Remember – to attack your target with agility and flexibility requires long 太
accumulated practice.


2.7  Opening and Closing 推
In the martial arts, Opening (Kai) means to stretch and reach; Closing

(He) means to draw in, preserve, transform, bend and gather. Opening-
Closing is a physical expression of Yin-Yang qualities: hardness versus soft-

ness, gathering versus exploding. As complementary opposites, one cannot
‘open’ without first being ‘closed’ and vice-versa, hence this technique epito-

mizes the dual nature of Taiji – the opposite yet complementary. Opening-
Closing 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 condi-
tions of movement or stillness, opening and closing illustrate the subtlety
of Taijiquan. The opportunity to transform the partner’s energy lies in the
process of movements in various directions’.

Indeed, just as Chen Xin mentioned in his works, opening and closing
西
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
陈 and beauty in the opening-closing movements of Taijiquan. As the saying
attests, ‘Opening-Closing, these changing motions, with the qualities of

氏 both solidity and emptiness, sometimes appear before our eyes, and some-
times they disappear.’ Only diligent practitioners have the opportunity to
experience this phenomenon.
太 The Opening-Closing technique starts from the closed state. In practice,
极 this means that one needs to be closed first before one can open. The qual-
ity of the effort you put in to closing determines your ability to open with
拳 power and effect. Without closing well, you will find your opening power-
less, crude and slow. Closing not only means to bend and withdraw your
推 upper body, but also to coordinate the heart (Xin), your intention (Yi),
muscle energy (Qi), external shape (Xing) and spirit (Shen), so that all
手 parts of the body work together.

技 The art of opening or exploding your energy is akin to setting off firecrack-
ers – the tighter the paper is rolled, the louder the explosion. Likewise, if
法 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 Yi’s 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
王 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
西 positioned, the rebounding force exerted by the ground can be used to ener-
gise any upward movement. This means your root will not be disturbed
安 and the flexibility of your reactions may even be enhanced.

30
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 陈
body. The explosion should be short, the energy released unhindered, or
you may find your Kai technique lacking in power and precision. Exploding 氏
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 太
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 oppor- 极
tunities to attack. The solution is to make your energy round, flexible and
compact enough to mislead and upset your opponent’s centre of gravity. To 拳
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 推
and let Qi flow along the spine. After exploding energy, the whole body
returns to a state of softness and relaxation. 手

2.8  Energy explosion

Energy explosions consist of either long or short energy (Doujin or vibrat-
ing 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 accu- 王
mulated practice. To master this elastic force, you need to train your
muscles in relaxation and gathering, and to develop high sensitivity and 西
rapid responses to external stimuli. Practitioners also need to build-up a
reasonable level of muscular strength, while being mindful of the adage,

31
陈 “use thought and intention, not strength”, not relying on rigid or crude
force.

氏 When doing Tuishou exercises, it is necessary to distinguish clearly the


respective functions of internal force and external force, and to explore the
太 interactive relationship between them. The main external force that we
humans experience is gravitational force from the earth, which manifests
极 as our weight. However, there are also a myriad of other forces which influ-
ence our bodies – supporting forces, counter forces, frictional forces, inter-
拳 nal 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
推 force. Failure to counter your partner’s force means, in effect, that you
are unable to neutralize, utilize, dissipate or absorb her external force. The
手 external force of both parties affects each’s internal energy flow.

技 Your performance in competition depends not only on the quality of


your sensitivity, but also that of your internal energy and combat strat-
法 egy. Without these, consistent good performances will not be achievable,
though random wins may happen. Daily cultivation of Yuan Qi (primor-
dial 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 above-
mentioned techniques of grasping the ground as energy explodes using the
earth’s rebounding power, and exploding energy with elastic vibrations, all
these are prerequisites to “destroy something already in a state of ruin”.

王 Gathering, transforming and attacking are closely related. Transforming


and gathering are preconditions for energy explosions used in attacks –
西 striking without transforming energy leads to stiff explosions while trans-
forming without gathering results in powerless ones. Transforming and
安 gathering are complementary and cannot function without each other. To
combine the power of the three, one must explode energy smoothly, skil-
fully, flexibly and harmoniously. To do this, you must practice Changjin

32
(long energy) and Duanjin (elastic short energy) by doing stretching and
relaxation. 陈
For example, during Tiaozhou practice (upward strike with elbow), imag-
ine 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. 推
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 手
(long energy), despite its ferocity. As it is said, “Without striking the part-
ner from a distance of three metres, there would be no striking the partner 技
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 法
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 high-level 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 slight-
est 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. 王
Alternate between these three with slow, quick, instantaneous, elastic or
vibrating variations. Continue developing these techniques step-by-step
西
until the level of deity is reached. 安

33
陈 2.9  Ti (Raising) Force

氏 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
太 into your control. To conquer your opponent, combine your rising force
with your elastic force. When applying Ti, keep agile so that the opponent
极 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.
拳 Remember Master Chen Changxing’s advice to “hold [your opponent’s]
upper body under your control before you lift his lower body, then your
推 instant and precise attack can never fail”. This means that no matter what
Tuishou techniques you use, never let your partner know your intention
手 before you act. Instead, shadow your opponent with agile steps, skilfully
changing your tack to distract them from your true intentions until you
技 have destabilized their centre of gravity and they are caught off-balance.

法 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 spiral-
ling energy, while you keep your intentions and energy flow undetected.
First, you need to destabilize your opponent’s centre of gravity by insert-
ing one leg between your opponent’s 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 opponent’s upper body.
Even if not thrown completely off balance, your opponent’s upper body
will shift out of their control, at which point you quickly change to exert Lü
and Cai downward to throw them to the ground. To apply Ti successfully
王 requires the whole body to work in coordination.
西 Remember to maintain full concentration, keeping your axis upright and

安 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 defend-
ing 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 陈
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 氏
and you remain always observant and alert, whether you rise or descend,
go forward or backward. Your incredible speed allows you to gain ground 太
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 极
fall.
For beginners, follow the primary principles and develop your skills step-

by-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 法
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 undiscern-
ible 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 opponent’s 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, 西
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
陈 small circles, Shun reeling (conforming) and Ni reeling (contrary), reeling
forward and backward, reeling to the front or reeling aside, reeling hori-

氏 zontally 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
太 to keep your axis upright). Yin (guiding, misleading) always comes with
Jin (approaching forward or attacking) and vice versa. The principle of
极 ‘Circulation between Yin and Yang’ clearly dominates the reeling process.

拳 When using Reeling Silk energy, one must avoid being too soft or too
tough. Excessive softness (Ruanshou or weak hands) makes you too weak
推 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.
手 The solution lies in the middle path: keep a balance between softness and
toughness, maintain the interplay between solidness and emptiness.
技 As for posture, apply the principle of Dingjin (suspending force): hold the
法 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.


西

36






chapter THREE: 手
Single Form 技

Practice


西

37
陈 3.1  Introduction

氏 This is a practical lesson in combat practice.

太 3.1.1      Yilu cultivates Qi, Erlu explodes

极 In this technique, Yilu (First Form) cultivates energy while Erlu (Second
Form) releases it. This means that Yilu fosters Zhongqi so that, if practice
拳 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
推 Form Practice and Erlu help to compensate for this disadvantage. Erlu and
Single Form practice help to accumulate and strengthen Gang.
手 Single Form practice is essential for developing techniques which form
技 the basis of Taiji Tuishou: Peng, Lü, Ji, An, Cai, Lie, Zhou, Kao, Ti, Da,
Shuai (fall), Hua (transform) and Na. This practice requires a solid foun-
法 dation 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), inter-
links 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
王 tracks undetected by the opponent, who is then inevitably conquered. A
wide variety of single movements must be practiced repeatedly, as well as
西 techniques focussing on various target areas of the body. Take special care
to avoid losing energy (Diu) while practicing relaxation (Song), and exert-
安 ing energy too forcefully (Ding) while exploding energy. Keep learning and
eventually you will be able to use intention (Yinian) alone to execute tech-
niques 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 temper- 陈
ing in their practice. Well known examples include the foot techniques of
Li Bantian, the seizing techniques of Eagle Claw King, the throwing tech- 氏
nique of Zhang Zhidie and Master Dong Hai’s Baguazhang technique of
‘[striking] the world by a half-step Beng (burst apart)’. Also legendary is 太
Master Chen Fadou’s ability to vanquish competition partners with just a
touch. Master Chen Zhaokui was celebrated for his sudden dodges and 极
incredibly small rebounding circles, as well as for his subtle and delicate
jinlu (energy tracks) in Qinna (arresting). Chen Zhaopi was the undis- 拳
puted master of 滚Gun (rolling), 拴Shuan (tie), 搭Da (touch) and 扫Sao
(sweep). No matter how steady his partners stood in the beginning of a 推
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 手
to enjoy the subtle, inner meanings of the mysterious art rather than a
competition. Lastly, we have Master Feng Zhiqiang who is venerated for 技
his steady, sober movements and his relaxed yet vigorous energy explo-
sions. Though widely differing in style, these masters have attained their 法
expertise through a shared and unwavering focus in Single Form practice.
The world of Taiji is replete with pithy sayings that provide useful guid-
ance 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
don’t, you fail’ and so on. These clearly advise diligent practice of the shoul-
ders, 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 王
increasingly difficult to rectify.
Hence, Single Form practice is of vital importance. Significant gains may
西
be attained by practicing the single forms step-by-step. 安

39
陈 3.2  Feet Practice

氏 Feet practice includes the following movements, alternating between both


legs: kicking forward, horizontally, upwards and sideways, trampling,
太 pedalling forward, swinging up and down and so on.


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



西 Fig. 3.1

40
3.2.2      Exercise Two

This is actually a series of exercises focusing on various kicking movements:
forward, horizontal, sideways, up and down, stepping, pedaling, upward 氏
and downward swing, feet hanging backward and so on. Descriptions of
some of these exercises are provided below. 太
a) Forward Kick 极
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, 手
collecting the energy at the abdomen.
• Relax the feet so energy can reach the toes where it is required; 技
make sure your in-step is stretched moderately tightly.


西

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 (inten-
tion-energy-form). At this point, they will be able to direct energy explo-
sions to targets with precision and ferocity.
b) Horizontal Kick

The key points of the Horizontal Kick are basically the same as those of
王 the Forward Kick, except that the Horizontal Kick is higher and targets
西 the opponent’s 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
安 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).

42







Fig. 3.4 Fig. 3.5

c) Upward Kick (Shang Ti Jiao) 法


西

Fig. 3.6

43







技 Fig. 3.7 

法 The Upward Kick is used for high targets, usually the opponent’s chin. The
whole body must be kept balanced and straight when kicking upwards.
The kick should be light, flexible and quick. Only if one’s 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.

王 d) Stepping Down (Xia Cai Jiao)


西 Follow the sequences as follows:
安 • Stand with the feet shoulder width apart.
• Switch your centre of gravity to the left foot.

44
• Bend the left knee, grasp the ground with the left toes and, stand-
ing with left leg, raise the right knee gradually (Fig. 3.8), all the 陈
while rolling the chest slightly inward, gathering the stomach and
collapsing the waist to ensure you stand with the left foot firmly 氏
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 王
energy as quickly and fiercely as you can.
• Make sure that your centre of gravity does not switch to your right 西
foot right after it touches the ground, but try to keep some weight
in the un-weighted side as well.

45







技 Fig. 3.9
法 Regardless of which leg steps forward first, remember to follow instant-
ly 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 opponent’s stomach and chest. The distance of the kick
depends on your skill level – a good kick hits the opponent at an angle of
王 25o from the horizontal, and then withdraws elastically like a rubber band
springing back into shape.
西 In Single Form exercise, you can practice with the alternation of legs
安 (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 back-

ward 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 西
points mainly on the inside of the foot (with the occasional use of
the outside).

47







技 Fig. 3.12 Fig. 3.13

法 • 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
王 up with an explosion of energy, as instructed in the ‘Essay on Quan’:
“Gather energy like stretching a bow, explode energy like releasing
西 the arrow”. This emphasises the importance of good quality energy
安 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. 推
• Your swinging foot is targeted at the back of the opponent’s head,
while your hands are targeted at the face. If kicking with the right 手
foot, turn the body to the left to ensure a smooth and powerful
forward swing of the foot and vice versa (Fig. 3.15). 技
• Always coordinate the kick with your hands, be it with the right
or left foot. 法


西

Fig. 3.14

49







技 Fig. 3.15


As a Tuishou poem states:
With openings and closings,
I take the back of the opponent’s head as target,
And kick upward along with palms coordinated with Lü;
I smack in the air by switching into the track of a swing arc,
And smash enemies to pieces.

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

50
h) Back Hanging Foot (Hou Guan Jiao)

This kick is widely applied in Huo Bu Tuishou (Tuishou with Moving
Footwork). 氏
• Hang one foot backward, rotating it slightly so that it slants to one
side. 太
• 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 Lü on one arm of opponent behind the

body. 推
• Lower the back hanging foot to the ground then switch the front
foot to Tou Bu (sneaking step) and move it forward. 手
• Meanwhile the hand assists the foot hanging and covers towards
the chest of the opponent. The powers of hand and foot combine 技
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 Lü, 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 西
between you. No matter which you use, remember to balance upward Long
(close) movements with downward Ti (raise), coordinating both with Tou 安
Bu (sneaking steps).

51







技 Fig. 3.16

法 • 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.
The secret of Back Hanging Foot is to plot the method to seize the oppo-
nent down and to fiercly bring him under your control without detection.
王 As a Tuishou poem states:
西 With Yin and then Jin techniques,
安 I take the opponent’s 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.

52





Fig. 3.17 推
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 法
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. 王
西

53







技 Fig. 3.18 Fig. 3.19

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

54
3.3  Leg practice

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

3.3.1      Shunchan Tui … Legs Reeling in Shun Circles

• 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 手
right foot, making sure your leg is no higher than 15 cm above the
ground. 技
• 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 move-
ments 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),
西
‘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      Nichan Tui … Legs Reeling in Ni Circles

• Step the left foot leftward so that the feet are a shoulder-width apart.
氏 • Step the right foot forward, and then rotate 360o left stepping on

太 the toes (Fig. 3.20).


• Next, step forward 40 cm with the right foot, transferring all your
极 weight to the right.
• Raise the left foot, rotate to the left forward at an angle of 360o,
拳 then step forward 40 cm to the left, transferring all your weight to
the left.
推 • Practice these steps in continuous alternating cycles, remembering
that the inner side of the heel is the striking point.
手 Note: It is best to practice Shunchan and Nichan by varying the distance

技 between you and your partner. You also need to practice Nichan and
Shunchan with both legs, striking to both sides with each leg. Inner knowl-
法 edge can only develop with concerted, continuous practice.


西

Fig. 3.20

56
3.3.3      Lihe Tui … 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). 拳
• 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. 技


西

Fig. 3.21 Fig. 3.22

57
3.3.4      Waibai Tui … Legs Swinging Outward

氏 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
太 exert too much energy in the arms and legs to initiate the swing or your
intention will be anticipated by your partner.
极 During practicing Waibai Tui, step forward with one leg and swing the
other outward and then closing inward. Practice this technique with both
拳 legs alternately once you feel your energy flowing smoothly (Fig. 3.23).

推 Waibai Tui is usually applied during Da Lü (Lü in large scale movement)


and the best way is to seek out opportunities for attack is while moving.
手 Through diligent solo Tuishou practice, practitioners will come to real-
技 ize the deep significance of their efforts. Being content with a superficial
understanding is fruitless, regardless of whether you practice day and night

法 (Fig. 3.24).


西

Fig. 3.23 Fig. 3.24

58
3.3.5      Xiacai Tui … 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 推
Chan (conforming circles), placing your toes slightly inward.
• Targets of this technique are typically the upper and middle parts 手
of the inner side of the lower leg of the opponent. The outer side
can also be targeted once your ability improves. 技


西

Fig. 3.25 Fig. 3.26

59
陈 • While applying Cai (pulling down), keep ankles relaxed and Qi
descending (Fig. 3.25). Bend your knees about 40o – more than

氏 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’.
太 • Deepen your understanding of Jin Li (energy and force distribu-
极 tion). With a spiralling move forward, you can enter the oppo-
nent’s territory (Fig. 3.26).
拳 • Practice with alternating legs during Single Form practice.

推 3.3.6      Zhuangxi Tui … Strike with the Knee


手 Zhuangxi Tui consists of four types of strikes: striking left and right, strik-
技 ing to the front, striking inward and striking outward.


西

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 partner’s crotch (Fig. 3.27).
• While striking forward, roll the chest slightly inward and gath-

er 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 partner’s right leg or the outer side
of his left leg. (Fig. 3.29). Striking up and outward is called Waizhuang 推
(Striking Outward). Key points are the same as in the previous striking
practice (Fig. 3.30). 手


西

Fig. 3.29 Fig. 3.30

61
3.3.7      Houbai Tui … Backward Swinging Kick

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



西 Fig. 3.31

62
3.4  Fist Practice

3.4.1      Shangchong Quan … Fist Striking Upward 氏
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 opponent’s head. 拳
• Simultaneously, use your bent right knee to hit at the opponent’s
crotch (Fig. 3.32). 推
• Integrate both fist and knee strikes with practice principles of roll-
ing the chest slightly inward (Hanxiong), lowering the waist (Tayao), 手
relaxing the stomach (Songfu), and drawing up the anus (Tigang).
• Strengthen your centre of gravity to improve your accuracy by ensuring 技
your left leg is slightly bent with toes grasping the ground (Fig. 3.33).


西

Fig. 3.32 Fig. 3.33

63
3.4.2      Xia Zai Quan … Fist Striking Downward

氏 This technique encompasses a downward strike with either fist at any
angle. For example:
太 • If the right leg goes forward, transfer your centre of gravity from
the right to the left leg.
极 • Clench the right hand into a fist, thumb tucked inside neither too
tightly nor too loosely.
拳 • Strike the opponent’s upper body with the right fist, using your left
arm to balance your movement.
推 • You can also use the Bei Kao technique or attack with the elbows

手 as well.
• Again, effectiveness of this technique requires involvement of the
技 whole body in the movement: ‘once you move, your whole body
follows’ (Fig. 3.34).


西
安 Fig. 3.34

64
3.4.3      Shuang Fen Quan  
Splitting Fists or Double Bursting Fists 陈
• Take a half-step to the left (or right). 氏
• Bend your knees slightly and gather both fists to the chest, centres
(Quanxin) facing downward (Fig. 3.35). 太
• 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, 手
and the energy flow smooth (Fig. 3.36).

Fig. 3.35 Fig. 3.36 王


西

65
3.4.4      Xia Za Quan … Fists Smashing Downward

Fists Smashing Downward shares many common traits with Splitting
氏 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:
太 the trajectory of the fists and target differ with Fists Smashing Downward
and one or both fists may be used.
极 • Take a half step to the right with the right foot.
拳 • Rotate the right toes slightly outward as the foot lands.
• Hold the right fist close to the left side of the chest, fist centre
推 facing inward.
• Rest the left fist beside the left leg (Fig. 3.37).
手 • Next, change your weight to the right leg and step your left foot

技 forward.
• Rotate the body to the right then strike downward with the back
法 of the right fist, at the same time hooking the left fist upward.


西

Fig. 3.37

66






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 王
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,
西
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      Dan Bi Zhi Chong Quan … Single Fling Fist

Single Fling Fist is a forward punch unique to Taijiquan in that its power
氏 is generated by rotating spiral energy at the waist and back, then guided
outward with Yinian (intention) to manifest in a ‘quivering punch’.
太 • Step the left foot forward, stretching the left hand upward, fingers

极 vertical.
• Gather the right fist under the right rib (Fig. 3.40).
拳 • Sink your weight into the right foot and rotate the waist to the
right to gather energy.
推 • Then fling the right fist forward in Ni reeling, concentrating your
power in the Quanding (the front of the fist).
手 • Sychronise both arms so that while the right fist flings forward, the
left arm gathers inward and strikes backward to the left with the
技 elbow. This counter-balancing movement helps to accelerate the
punch of the right fist.
法 Practice this technique on both sides. Make efforts to cultivate both inter-
nal 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).


西

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. 氏
• 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 拳
the right fist into the centre of the left palm (Fig. 3.43).
• Repeat with the other side, and practice alternating both sides. 推
Baokong Fist shares the same characteristics as Zhichong Quan (Fling Fist), 手
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 技
short rather than long energy, so that the strike manifests within a narrow
range yet internally it contains great power and flexibility. 法
The power of this technique depends very much on the practitioner’s phys-
ical condition.


西

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 acupunc-
氏 ture point with a sharp force, like hammering a nail.

太 • Clench your fist so the middle joint of the middle finger protrudes.
This forms the ‘peak’ of the fist.

极 • Brace the middle finger with the index and ring fingers, and press
the tip of the thumb against the middle fingernail. This makes the
拳 fist ‘peak’ stable and solid.
• Strike with force and ferocity with this fist using short energy.
推 • Attack to the left or right, up or down, using small agile steps (Fig. 3.44).



王 Fig. 3.44

西

70
3.4.8      Dingzi Quan Guanyang  
Nail-shaped Fists targeting acupoints on the temple 陈
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 极
• Step forward with either leg.
• Form two nail-shaped fists
• Place your weight on one leg.
• Bend the other leg then

and strike from both sides
using short energy. Bring the
strike both fists upward
together, hence creating a

fists together in the middle
about 25 cm apart.
dual attack with both fists
and knee (Fig. 3.46).

• Roll the chest and shoulders
slightly inward, gather the

ribs and lower your energy
to the Dantian (Fig. 3.45).


西

Fig. 3.45 Fig. 3.46

71
陈 3.5  palm Practice

氏 3.5.1      Shuang Zhen Zhang … Double Shaking Palms

太 This technique includes shaking palms with both short and long energy,
though in the initial stages, practice using long energy first.
极 • Step forward with either leg.

拳 • Place your hands in front of the chest, palms facing forward, fingers
pointing up (Fig. 3.47).
推 • Step forward with the other leg, transferring your weight to the
front.
手 • Prepare for the strike by ensuring your axis is upright, the chest
rolled slightly inward and the spine slightly lifted.
技 • Strike forward with both palms, thrusting them forward with
explosive force, while making sure the chest is relaxed, the ribs
法 gathered, and lower the energy to the abdomen (Fig. 3.48).


西

Fig. 3.47 Fig. 3.48

72





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

This technique consists of the Single Palm Explosion with Shun Bu (walk-
ing 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 practitioner’s abilities and internal 西
energy. To be effective, a Double Palm Push needs to be sudden and exert-
ed directly forward, while the Single Palm Push requires the rotation of 安
waist and back to exert a frontal or inclining push.

73
陈 Start this practice slowly, gradually increasing the speed, abruptness and
power of the push. With continuous practice, you will be able to explode

氏 energy with natural ease by combining both external form and internal
spirit, and hence conquer your opponents without effort.







法 Fig. 3.50


西
安 Fig. 3.51 Fig. 3.52

74
3.5.3      Bi Peng Qiantui Zhang … 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 opponent’s

chest or strike at their stomach.

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


Fig. 3.53 Fig. 3.54



西

75
3.5.4      Danshou Tuo Zhang … Single Palm Upward Push

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

技 inward (Fig. 3.55).


西

Fig. 3.55

76
3.5.5      Zuoyou Lianhuan Shuangji Zhang  
Attack with Both Palms 陈
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 opponent’s 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 推
their back with your left hand, then quickly striking their chest
with your right palm (Fig. 3.58). Keep your body and energy 手
lowered while doing this.


西

Fig. 3.56 Fig. 3.57

77






手 Fig. 3.58

技 • Also apply the usual principles: roll the chest inward, lower the
shoulders, and gather the ribs and dantian.
法 • 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      Shunni Tuo Yao Zhang 


Push Partner’s Waist with Shun or Ni Reeling

This technique enables you to push the opponent to either side using both
Shun and Ni reeling.
王 For example, if the opponent seizes your right hand and twists it outwards
西 with Shun reeling, apply the following steps:
• Step your right foot forward and lower your body and centre of
安 gravity to the right.
• As you lower the body, incline your body outward with Ni reeling
whilst following the opponent’s Shun reeling.

78







Fig. 3.59 Fig. 3.60

• As you do this, thrust forcefully at the opponent’s 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: 王
• Step forward with the left foot, lower your body then extend it
forward with Shun reeling. 西
• Again, thrust forcefully at the opponent’s ribs, this time at the left
side with your right hand.

• Key points are the same as with the left hand push above.

79





推 Fig. 3.61
手 Increase the effective of solo practice by sparring with an imaginary
enemy in mind, especially when stepping forward and exploding energy
技 (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
法 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      Danzhang Shunni Chan Fa 


Shun or Ni Reeling with Single Palm

This technique consists of using either hand to seize the opponent using
王 Shun or Ni short spiralling energy.
西 • Step the right foot forward and seize (Na) the opponent’s hand
with your left hand while reeling downward in Shun circles. Relax
安 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.

80





Fig. 3.62 Fig. 3.63

• With your right arm, reach under your opponent’s front arm.

• Change your right hand to Shun reeling and your left to Ni reeling. 技
• 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      Shuang Dai Zhang Danshi Yanlian Fa 


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 王
opponent to the left by reeling in Shun circles with thumb extend-
ed, palm open.
西

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

81






手 Fig. 3.64 Fig. 3.65

技 • Extend your right arm forward, fingers pointing to the front (Fig.
3.64).
法 • 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.

王 3.5.9      Qianchuan Zhang  


Forward Piercing Palms Single Form Practice
西 • Step the left foot forward, face the left palm outward, fingers up.
安 • 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.

82






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

83
陈 3.6  Elbow Practice


3.6.1      Li Zhou … Standing Elbows
太 • Step forward with the left foot.
极 • 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
拳 in (Fig. 3.69).

推 • As you change your weight to the front, strike forward with the
right elbow while hitting backward with the left elbow. In this case,

手 the left arm counter-balances the movement of the right.


• Practice striking with both elbows with corresponding weight
技 changes to either side.
• Remember to apply long energy before you apply short energy
法 (Fig. 3.69).


西

Fig. 3.68 Fig. 3.69

84
3.6.2      Qian Zai Zhou … Falling 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 氏
the right ribs, and clench the right hand into a fist, wrist turned
inward and the palm facing backward. 太
• 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). 极
• Step the right foot forward and strike the right elbow down force-
fully 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). 法


西

Fig. 3.70 Fig. 3.71

85
3.6.3      Yao Lan Zhou … Elbow Block at Waist

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

太 slightly out.







Fig. 3.72


西

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 陈
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). 太
• Gather the body by bending it slightly, then step forward with the
right foot, transferring your centre of gravity to the left. 极
• 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 opponent’s
centre of gravity and lift them off from the ground (Fig. 3.74). 推
Practice with the other arm. Remember that the right leg moves forward 手
with the right arm and vice-versa.

3.6.4      Shun Lan Zhou … Smooth Elbow Block 法
• 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. 王
• Move the body to the left and transfer your centre of gravity to the 西
right and back.

87







技 Fig. 3.75 Fig. 3.76

法 • Spiral the right arm forward with Ni reeling, gathering it horizon-


tally 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).

王 3.6.5      Xin Zhou Technique … Heart Piercing Elbow


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

88
• Shun Lan Zhou is aimed slightly to the back, while Xin Zhou is
targeted to the front (Fig. 3.77). 陈
• In Xin Zhou the left palm touches and lightly holds the right wrist
as the right elbow strikes (Fig. 3.78). 氏







Fig. 3.77 Fig. 3.78

3.6.6      Shang Tiao Zhou … Upward 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 approx-
imately 50 cm apart from the left foot.

• Simultaneously, extend your left palm forward, fingers pointing 西
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






手 Fig. 3.79 Fig. 3.80 Fig. 3.81

• Prepare to explode energy by looking to the right and gathering


技 the body (Fig. 3.79).
• Next, step the right foot forward, toe-tips on the ground, then
法 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
王 upper and lower body, taking the waist as the dividing line.

西 • After the strike, step the left foot to the left, followed by the right
foot, toe tips touching the ground (Fig. 3.80).
安 • 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.

90
3.6.7      Shuang Kai Zhou … Double 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. 极
• 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). 技
Practice alternating both sides.


西
Fig. 3.82 Fig. 3.83

91
陈 3.6.8      Shuang Kou Zhou or Shuang He Zhou
Double Closing Elbows
氏 This technique consists of a center strike with both elbows.

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


王 Fig. 3.84 Fig. 3.85

西

92
3.6.9      Gua Zhou … Hanging 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. 极
• At the same time, clench the left palm into a half fist and place it
beside the left leg. 拳
• Simultaneously, clench the right hand into a fist, palm facing
inward and inclining backward, then lift it so that the right elbow 推
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 法
repeating the movements on the other side. Practice alternating both sides.


西

Fig. 3.86 Fig. 3.87

93
3.6.10      Pie Zhou Technique … Pushing Aside with Elbow

氏 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

太 convert conforming force into transverse force (Shun Zhong Qiu Heng).
• Step the right foot forward, shifting your centre of gravity to the front.
极 • Extend the right hand outward, palm up, then lower it over the
right knee.
拳 • Change your weight to the left. Shape the right hand into a hook
(Diao Shou) and place it in front of the left thumb.
推 • Shift your weight abruptly to the right and form a half fist with the
left palm, moving it beside the left ribs.
手 • At the same time, strike forward explosively with the right forearm

技 using a short-energy (Fig. 3.88). Make sure both hands move and
arrive at their destinations simultaneously. In this way, you apply

法 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.


西

Fig. 3.88

94
3.6.11      Cai Zhou … 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 ‘八’. 拳
• Then, using downward Ni reeling, lower the left hand from the
front of the chest to the left ribs, palm up, using guiding energy 推
from the little finger. Shift your weight more to the left as you do
this (Fig. 3.89). 手
• While lowering the left hand, use Cai technique to strike out
explosively with the outside of the right forearm and elbow, coor- 技
dinating the explosion of energy with a twisting of the crotch and
rotation of the waist and spine. In this way, both internal and 法
external movements are integrated with the movements of the
body and limbs.


西

Fig. 3.89

95
3.6.12      Xie Chuan Zhou … Slanted Piercing Elbow

氏 This technique consists of using the elbow to strike backward, especially
useful as a defensive move when being attacked while in a passive situation.
太 • Bend the left knee, toes grasping the ground, and extend the right

极 leg backward.
• At the same time, the right thumb guides energy flow, and then,
拳 you raise the right hand in Ni reeling to descend the elbow
(Fig. 3.90).
推 • Relax the crotch and incline (Xia Fu) the body abruptly forward
using Pie technique, moving your weight to the right (Fig. 3.91).
手 • While transferring weight, strike the right elbow backward at an
upward angle (Shang Chuan Zhou).
技 Note: For maximum effectiveness, make sure power is gathered properly
法 through the whole body and that your timing is correct before you strike.


西
安 Fig. 3.90 Fig. 3.91

96
3.7  Kao (Push) PracticeS

Kao practices can be divided into seven techniques: Qian Zai Kao, Ce Jian 氏
Kao, Ying Men Kao, Xiong Kao, Shuang Bei Kao and Qi Cun Kao.

3.7.1      Qian Zai Kao … Front Shoulder Push 极
• 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. 推
• 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 手
right foot and right arm should reach their positions at the same
time (Fig. 3.92). 技


西

Fig. 3.92 Fig. 3.93

97
陈 • Then, use the outside of the right shoulder to execute Qian Zai
Kao, pushing it forward and down. As the body inclines forward

氏 significantly during this move, take care to maintain your centre of


gravity by not stretching too far forward (Fig. 3.93).

太 • 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
极 forward again to execute Zai Kao for a second time.
• Repeat these steps for both sides.

推 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
手 moving beyond your territory.

技 3.7.2      Ce Jian Kao … Side Shoulder Push


法 This technique consists of pushing the shoulder at the opponent’s ribs.

• 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 opponent’s 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

王 pushing the front of the right shoulder forward to execute Ce Jian


Kao (Fig. 3.94).
西 • After executing the above, if you find you get into an appropriate
space for attacking, you can choose not to use Follow-on Steps
安 (Dian Bu) as this will result in Ce Jian Kao being pitched too
directly forward.

98







Fig. 3.94 技
Notes: 法
• 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, lower-
ing down but not stiff, light but not floating” .

3.7.3      Ying Men Kao … 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; 西
conversely if one is able to ‘open’ the doors of the opponent, then tech-
niques such as Ying Men Kao can be used to penetrate defences and attack. 安

99






手 Fig. 3.95 Fig. 3.96

技 • Take a large step forward with the right foot.


• At the same time, cross the hands in front of the chest, the right
法 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
王 how quickly and smoothly the steps can be executed.

西 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
安 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.

100
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. 太
• Extend both arms from the sides to the front in an embracing gesture.
• Change your weight to the left while pulling the opponent toward 极
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. 技
Note: Focus on sharpening your sense of timing during practice. A
good sense of timing is essential for defeating the opponent. Only with a 法
thorough mastery of this technique, can you execute it in actual combat
(because you may easily hurt yourself ).


西

Fig. 3.97 Fig. 3.98

101
3.7.5      Shuang Bei Kao … Push with Both Shoulders

氏 This technique consists of a simultaneous attack from both shoulders.
Shuang Bei Kao requires Duan Tan Dou Jing prowess (short, rebound-

太 ing and shaking power), a capability that comes only with extended Quan
practice.

极 • Stand with feet parallel, shoulders slightly concave and with power
guided by the thumbs (Fig. 3.99).
拳 • Gently rotate backwards with both palms facing backwards.
• When the whole body holds and collects to a moderate extent,
推 take a sudden breath in and push the chest forward quickly, as the
shoulders deliver Bei Kao backwards (Fig. 3.100). You may lead
手 with either leg.
• When the weight moves forward the chest rolls inwards, and the
技 shoulders execute Bei Kao to the right .

法 Note: As mentioned in previous techniques, remember to gather and


withhold energy before delivering the strike. This technique also uses
Duan Jing (short power).


西

Fig. 3.99 Fig. 3.100

102
3.7.6      Bei Zhe Kao … 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 氏
move backwards to attack.
• Extend the right foot and arm forward. 太
• 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 推
stable centre of gravity with the body and gather your body in this
position. 手
• Once your root is stabilized, continue to transfer your weight to
the right, and at the same time deliver a forceful backward push 技
(Hou Bei Kao Jing) with the right arm and shoulder (Fig. 3.101).
• Practice pushing from both the right and left sides. 法
Note: If the opponent is at close-range, use short power in your push; if
further away, extend the distance of your Kao slightly.


西

Fig. 3.101

103
3.7.7      Qi Cun Kao … Seven Cun Kao

氏 The name of this technique indicates that the body should be seven cun
(approximately 23 cm) above the ground. This technique uses large-
太 scale movements and requires the body to be inclined while keeping the
suspending upright power (Ding Jing).
极 • Take a large step diagonally forward with the left or right leg.

拳 •

Incline the body forward in the same direction.
Place the elbow below the knee (Fig. 3.102).
推 • Practice this sequence in rounds from left to right.

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


西

Fig. 3.102

104
3.8  Na (Seizing) Practices

Na practices can be divided into eight techniques: Shun Ni Na, Xiong Na, 氏
Fu Na, Shuang He Fu Cai Na, Chan Rao Na, Tui Na, Diao gai Na, and
Shuang He Na. 太
3.8.1      Shun Ni Na … 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. 推
• 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).


西

Fig. 3.103 Fig. 3.104

105
陈 • While seizing with both hands, lower the shoulders, drop the elbow,
roll the chest in, tighten the ribs, and lower your waist and Qi.

氏 • After seizing, move the weight slightly backward then move


forward again, changing the weight from left to right.
太 • Repeat the above sequence, this time reeling in Shun direction with
the left hand and Ni direction with the right.
极 Note: Shun and Ni reeling are interdependent and cannot be separated.

拳 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
推 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
手 opponent’s energy path.

技 Observe your opponent’s changes and respond accordingly: if the oppo-


nent uses long power, you should use short power so that with one closing
法 and one opening you can quickly reach the right position before the part-
ner, even though you deliver the power later than the partner. With prac-
tice, you’ll 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 distrib-
uted everywhere.
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
王 side diligently.
西 Your moves will become more effective as your internal Qi integrates more

安 closely with the external movements.

106
3.8.2      Xiong Na … 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 太
chest to fend the opponent off upwards to the right at head level
(Fig. 3.105). 极
• 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). 法


西
Fig. 3.105 Fig. 3.106 Fig. 3.107

107
陈 Remember that Qi gathers in the Dantian and the Three Powers (Jing Qi
Shen) unify to become one power.

氏 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:
太 “Raise the left hand and extend the right hand upward to draw a
极 circle. Relax the crotch, rotate the body, and gather energy in the ribs.
Shift your weight forward and accumulate power well; the force of
拳 upward suspension maintains the axis. Match the speed of your move-
ments to that of your partner. Make sure to keep your own axis when
推 seizing the opponent. Move quickly and follow your partner but do not
lose power. Move the whole body in a natural and relaxed state.”
手 3.8.3      Fu Nang … Seize with the Abdomen

This technique consists of seizing with the abdomen filled with descending
法 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 opponent’s hand, the palm form-
ing a “八” (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

王 stepping the right foot on the ground.


• As the weight shifts to the left, reel with both hands in a Shun
西 direction. The left hand leads by closing the power causing the
right hand to follow.
安 • 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.


西

Fig. 3.109 Fig. 3.110

109
陈 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

氏 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
太 comes just once; keep your intention firm for victory or failure will be
decided in a second.

拳 3.8.4      Shuang He Fu Cai Na 
Seize from Both Sides with Abdomen

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

法 • Take a half step forward with the right foot, and commence shift-
ing 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 inter-
nal strength flows through the Dantian and the Three Powers (Jing
Qi Shen) may unify to guide the attack.
王 • As your weight shifts, move the palms up to chest level and seize
西 the opponent’s elbows using Na power, immobilizes their wrists by
bending them outwards, and gather them towards you (Fig. 3.111).
安 • As you seize, push the abdomen out suddenly (Fig. 3.112).

110






Fig. 3.111 Fig. 3.112 手
Note: It pays to practice as if sparring with a partner who is pushing 技
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 法
protruding it forward.

3.8.5      Chan Rao Na … 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. 西
• Reel the left hand forward, supported by the warding right hand.
• Lower the right hand then cover it with the left.

111






手 Fig. 3.113 Fig. 3.114

技 • Put your body in a squatting position by bending the knees slight-


ly. Collect the body by rolling the chest slightly inward, gathering
法 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.

Note: If Qi descends smoothly, this technique can be used effectively to


王 break wrists, bones, tendons and veins. But remember: practice like an
adept, not like a thug.
西

112
3.8.6      Tui Na … 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 极
so that the body squats like a bent bow. Lower your Qi, roll the
chest in and gather the ribs (Fig. 3.115). 拳
• As the weight moves forward, lower the left arm in a downward
arc using Shun reeling and extend the right hand forward in Ni 推
reeling to seize downward from the right side. The powers of the
left arm and right hand unify as one. 手
• 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 support-

ing 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.


西

Fig. 3.115 Fig. 3.116

113
陈 • After seizing, shift your weight quickly to the left and step forward
with the right foot. The changing of the legs happens quickly.

氏 • 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).
太 • 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
极 more.

拳 3.8.7      Diao Gai Na … Seizing with Both Hands

推 This technique uses both hands to seize: the right hand moves up from the
right to grasp the opponent’s arm from the bottom while the left presses
手 down from the top.
• Step forward with the right foot.
技 • At the same time, extend the right arm and pass it from the upper

法 left side of the body to the right in a warding off motion (Fig. 3.117).
• Then lower the right arm by executing Lü downward in Ni reeling,
gradually guiding it inward to rest in front of the right ribs.


西

Fig. 3.117 Fig. 3.118

114






Fig. 3.119 手
• As soon as the right foot touches on the ground, shift your weight 技
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
西
(Fig. 3.119). 安

115
3.8.8      Shuang He Na … Seize by Gathering Both Hands

氏 This technique uses the gathering power of both hands to seize, strengthed
by whole body coordination.
太 • Sweep the right hand from left to right in a warding off movement

极 (Peng) to fend the opponent’s arm out and upward (Fig. 3.120).
• At the same time, step forward with the left foot and shift your
拳 weight to the front. This step marks the transformation of Peng
(ward off ) to Na (seizing).
推 • Bend your knees so your body squats like a bending bow, then gath-
er both hands and grasp the opponent’s wrist firmly downwards.
手 • Prepare for the seizing by lowering Qi to the Dantian, rolling the
chest inward and tightening the ribs. Combine this with the power
技 gathered in both hands and seize with one force.
• Make sure you have a clear line to your target by lowering the
法 shoulders and elbows before seizing downward (Fig. 3.121).


西

Fig. 3.120 Fig. 3.121

116
3.9  Jie Tuo (Escape) Practices

The practice of Jie Tuo is divided into nine techniques: 氏
1. Guan Gong Jie Dai 太
2. Diao Wan Qu Zhi Jie Tuo
3. Shuang Wan Zhi Jie

4. Chuan Zhang Jie 拳
5. Qu Wan Fan Na Jie 推
6. Shan Jing Ce Jian Jie
7. Shan Jing Zhen Zhang Jie

8. Fan Na Cu Bu Jie 技
9. Shuang Shou Wai Fen Jie

3.9.1      Guan Gong Jie Dai … Guan 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 王
in a squatting position (Fig. 3.122).
• Move Qi in from the outside and lower it to the Dantian. 西
• 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







技 Fig. 3.122 Fig. 3.123

法 • 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.

3.9.2      Diao Wan Qu Zhi Jie Tuo  


Escape by Hooking Wrist & Bending Fingers

西 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.
安 This technique is always applied to Liu Feng Si Bi Dan Bian (Six Sealing
and Four Closing Single Whip).

118







Fig. 3.124 Fig. 3.125

• If the fingers of one hand are seized by the opponent, join the 法
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 王
to escape with ease (Fig. 3.125).
• Practice these steps with both hands in turn.
西
This technique is only to be used if you have become proficient in it after

extended solo practice.

119
陈 3.9.3      Shuang Wan Zhi Jie  
Escape by Spiralling Wrists Upward
氏 This technique is used to escape a double wrist-hold. It consists of spiral-
太 ling the inner sides of both wrists upward to force the opponent to open
his hand.
极 • Step one foot forward and shift your weight to the other leg
(Fig. 3.126).
拳 • At the same time, clench both hands into fists, then move your arms
推 forward and upward as your weight shifts forward (Fig. 3.127).
• While doing this, roll the chest inward, tighten the ribs, bend the
手 arms, lower the shoulders and elbows, and lower the Qi so that
power can flow smoothly to the inner side of the wrists.
技 It is not necessary to use large movements in this technique. Just focus on
法 relaxing and lower the Qi, closing your hands while opening the opponent’s.


西

Fig. 3.126 Fig. 3.127

120
3.9.4      Chuan Zhang Jie Tuo  
Escape by Crossing the Hands before the Chest 陈
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 (Buddha’s 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. 手
• Bend both arms 90o inward and cross them in front of the chest,
placing the right hand on the left (Fig. 3.128). 技


西

Fig. 3.128 Fig. 3.129

121
陈 • 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

氏 Ni reeling.
• Then ward off (Peng) by pushing both palms outward, and lock
太 the palms of the opponent, then rotate forward again. Do not rush
forward but defend you territory in straight postures (Fig. 3.129).
极 • 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.

推 3.9.5      Qu Wan Fan Na Jie  
Escape by Bending the Wrist and Seize the Opponent
手 This technique is used to counter-attack a hold on the right fingers.
技 It requires you to twist the captured fingers outward in Shun reeling, then
法 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.


西

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). 法
• 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
西
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      Shan Jing Ce Jian Jie … Escape by Flashing Back

氏 This technique is applied when the opponent seizes your wrist in Shun
reeling. In response, you should rotate externally and upward in Ni reeling,
太 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).
极 Together, this sequence of movements make up the Shan Jing Ce Shen Jie
technique.
拳 • Extend the right arm horizontally and bend it 900 inward.
• The right wrist bends inward with the arm to rotate the hand in
推 Ni reeling, right fingertips initially pointing downward, the palm
gradually guided by Ni reeling to slant externally to the right.
手 • Simultaneously, roll the chest inward, coordinating it with the lift-
ing of the back and the descending Qi.
技 • As the right palm reels outward, move the left hand rightward to

法 the front of the chest, palm facing right, so that the power of the
left hand combines with the right to become one.


西

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 陈
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. 氏
• Almost at the same time, make a big step forward with the right
foot, then project the right shoulder forward to push at the oppo- 太
nent’s right rib using the Ce Jian Kao technique (Side Shoulder
Push). All the above movements of the hands, feet and shoulder 极
should integrate into one resolute force and terminate at the same
moment (Fig. 3.135). 拳
• The force of this attack can help wrest you free from the oppo-
nent’s 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 (guid-
ing) 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      Shan jing Zhen Zhang Jie  
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 西
to place your body in a squatting position so that you can collect
and hold energy.

125
陈 • At the same time, clench the hands into fists and place them at the
sides of the body (Fig. 3.136).

氏 • Next, slowly raise both hands and bend them inward about 1800,
palms facing up and eyes looking forward.
太 • Shift your weight forward and extend both arms forward to break
the power of the opponent’s grip on your forearms (Fig. 3.137).
极 • 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
拳 on the middle of each arm, then the whole body sends a Dou in a
circle in Shun reeling (short power).
推 • Simultaneously, use both hands to draw the opponent’s arm toward
you and destabilise their center of gravity. As soon as you surprise
手 and destabilize them with your moves, step forward quickly and
attack with the palm (Fig. 3.138).
技 • When the body and two hands send the Dou power, the body
squats, and both palms draw inward, then Shang Bu (take a step
法 forward), and the extending palm reaches the right position at the
same time. This power should be quick and strong.


西

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 appro-

priate retreating gives one a closing power, holding and collecting a
quicker speed. It is not wise to grasp the opponent’s 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 拳
find escaping easy.

3.9.8      Fan Na Cu Bu Jie … Escape by Stomping 手
This is a composite technique consisting of seizing and twisting the oppo- 技
nent’s joints (Fan Na) using the Fan Guanjie (Reverse Joints) technique,
and attacking by the Cu Bu or Dun Bu technique (stomping). 法
• 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 diago-
nally forward to the side.

• Then push the left palm to the right, thumb separated from the 西
fingers (Fig. 3.140).

127







技 Fig. 3.139 Fig. 3.140

法 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 opponent’s 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
王 time. Then you will free yourself from capture.

西 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 prac-
安 tice, only by this will you increase in strength.

128
3.9.9      Shuang Shou Wai Fen Jie 
Escaping by separating hands 陈
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), breath- 拳
ing in as you do this.
• Next, separate the hands to the sides of the body, the left hand in 推
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 手
and lower Qi to the Dantian.
• In this way, the hands wrest free of the opponent’s wrist grip.


西

Fig. 3.141 Fig. 3.142

129






手 Fig. 3.143 Fig. 3.144

技 Notes
法 The extent to which you separate your hands depends on the opponent’s
grip. If you cannot push the opponent’s 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 can’t free your wrists with this technique, then raise your hands,
keeping both arms tightly together like pincers. You can escape from seiz-
ing by one closing and one opening, then you transform and eliminate the
王 seizing on your wrists.

西

130






Chapter Four


Health and Qi 法
Enhancement
Practices


西

131
陈 4.1  Introduction

氏 Taiji Yangsheng Zengqi Gong is a collection of health and Qi enhancement


practices essential for the formation of robust Taiji and Tuishou tech-
太 niques. It also incorporates Qigong and body combat techniques and may
be regarded as an advanced form of Qigong. This group of practices is used
极 to strengthen the Prenatal and Postnatal systems of the body, unblocking
the whole vessel system by enhancing Qi and blood flow through the body
拳 and helping the accumulation of Qi in the Yong Quan point (known as the
‘Bubbling Spring’ located on the sole of the foot).
推 As Qing Dynasty Taiji Master, Chen Xin, states:
手 “If a tree has deep and strong roots, its leaves and branches must
flourish.”
技 Taiji Yangsheng Zengqi Gong is an extension of Jing Qigong (Quiet Qigong),

法 incorporating both movements inner quietness and more active techniques


such as the Wu Ji posture, rising and falling, opening and closing, Peng, Lü,
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)
3. Kai He Zhuang (Opening and Closing Posture)
王 4. San Ti Shi (Three Postures)
西 5. Chan Si Zhuang (Reeling Silk Posture)

安 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.

132
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. 拳
• 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. 技


西

Fig. 4.1

133
陈 b) Posture 2
• Raise the arms to the sides, the right hand rotating in Shun reeling
氏 and the left in Ni reeling.
• Maintain the hands at shoulder height, palms facing downward
太 and slanted diagonally (Fig. 4.2).

极 c) Posture 3
• Curl the little fingers towards the thumb and slowly draw the arms
拳 down to the middle of the body.
• Lower the hands onto the abdomen, the right over the left for male
推 practitioners, the reverse for females (Fig. 4.3).

手 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 destabi-
技 lizes 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
法 be solid. Take care of these points and you will not lose power (Diu Jin)
unnecessarily.


西

Fig. 4.2 Fig. 4.3

134
4.2.2      The requirements for every part of the body

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 氏
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 natu-

rally. 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 推
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 手
point should be kept empty and relaxed so that any stagnant Qi can
flow through smoothly when it descends. 技
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 王
meet during breathing: then lower the tip of tongue, inhale and then swal-
low saliva down into the stomach, guiding the Qi and saliva through to the 西
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
陈 2. While inhaling

Gather your chest and abdomen inward while breathing in Qi. Raise your
氏 Yi (intention) from the Hui Yin point (perineum), through the Wei Lü
Guan point, up along the spine, across the Yu Zhen point, until it reaches
太 the Bai Hui point.

极 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
拳 both the Qi and blood to rise even further, leading to Qi filling and block-
ing the chest. Feel the sensation of all the body joints, skin and fine hairs
推 opening as the Qi rises.

手 3. While exhaling
技 Lower every part of the body, including the internal organs, so that they
法 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).

西

136
4.2.4      Additional Notes

• In Taiji Yangsheng Zeng Qigong, Qi cannot be separated from Yi
(intention). Qi follows Yi, just as Xing (posture, external move- 氏
ments) 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 推
on the Dantian so that all other distracting ideas may be replaced
(Yi Yinian Dai Wannian). Only through mastering your mental 手
activities such as intention, consciousness, thinking, and emotions,
can the mind obtain full rest and be adjusted so that every organ 技
system may be well promoted.
• The key requirements for practice are relaxation, quietude and

concentration. Only these can guarantee normal and healthy inter-
nal 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.


西

137
陈 4.3  Hunyuan Zhuang (Circle Posture)

氏 Zhuang skill, also known as ‘Standing Zhuang’ or ‘Standing like a tree’


Qigong meditation, is an important basic skill in Chinese Martial Arts, as
太 reflected in the following sayings:

极 “You won’t make progress if you practice Chinese Martial Art forms
without praticing basic skills.”

and
推 “Practicing Martial Art routines without practicing Zhuang skill is
手 like a house without pillars.”

技 Hence, people who practice Taiji will make more progress only if they
practice not only routines but also Zhuang skill.

4.3.1       Postures


西

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 太
apart. Bend the knees so that the body is squatting a little.
• Keep the head naturally erect, the neck, waist and back straight. 极
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 coun-

terparts 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      Body requirements

a) Zhuang Skill Adjustment



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

139
陈 The young and strong should start with a high stance, graduating to mid-
level, then a low stance. Practice duration can last just a few minutes in the

氏 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.
太 Beginners will find that the thighs may ache after two weeks of practice,
极 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
拳 more obvious with prolonged practicing at mid or low stances. In this
case, the thigh muscles and even the whole body may tremble rhythmi-
推 cally. 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
手 period. Continue standing for as long as you can as this helps build fatigue
resistance and enhances control of the muscles.

法 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 Lü Guan, up the spine,
past the Yu Zhen point, until it reaches the Baihui point. At this point,
王 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, swal-
西 lowing 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 陈
repeatedly.

4.3.3      Breathing 太
Breathing is an important element of Zhuang skill. Zhuang skill is actually 极
a practice using static strength and tension, but the apparent non-activity
is misleading. The body weight is always subtly moving in various direc- 拳
tions, as it responds to the circulating blood, breathing motions and digest-
ing processes. 推
This is explained in the Song of Huanyuan Zhuang: 手
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.


西

141
陈 4.4  Kai He Zhuang (Opening and Closing Zhuang)

氏 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
太 is that in this posture, the middle fingers connect, the palms face inward
and the eyes are slightly closed (see Fig. 4.8).

拳 4.4.1      Postures

推 a) Posture 1

手 • Inhale and slowly separate both arms to each side. At the same
time, the body rises slightly with the inhalation. Gather the chest

技 and abdomen, relax and open the internal organs.


• The navel and Ming Men are in the same rhythm.
法 • 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.


西

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 陈
palms into the ‘sphere’ in front of your abdomen, using your intention (Yi).
Do this practice slowly. 氏
b) Posture 2

• Exhale and gather the organs. 极
• At the same time, crouch down and lower the elbows.
• Drop the wrists and hold the palms facing inwards in a concave 拳
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. 技
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.


西

Fig. 4.8

143
陈 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

氏 the navel and Ming Men. This practice also strengthens the practitioner’s
‘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
太 distributes Qi around the whole body.


4.4.2      The relationship between Thought,  
拳 Intention and Qi

推 Kai He Zhuang is directly related to the Three Internal Combinations:


手 thought and intention, intention and Qi, Qi and strength.
For thought (or attention) to combine with intention, one’s thoughts need
技 to implement intention consistently. For example, when extending the
hands, only when you can mentally trust that you feel the Qi in your hands
法 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”.
Qi combines with strength when Qi descends – the whole body and inter-
nal organs relax, and when Qi rises – the body and internal organs gather
王 slightly. In this way, the ebb and flow of

西 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
安 be soft.

144
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 陈
– 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 氏
Zhuang, and are one of the main requirements in Zhuang skill. Its purpose
is to stimulate the nerve system by muscle movement. Guided by inten- 太
tion, this movement becomes a conditioned reflex and helps move muscles
which are normally static. With practice, you will reach the point where 极
internal Qi may be guided by intention to move freely in your body along
desired routes. 拳




西

145
陈 4.5  San Ti Shi (Three Postures)

氏 The core content of San Ti posture is the method of drawing in and push-
ing forward.

极 a) Posture 1

拳 • 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
推 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.
手 • This posture could also be called a sideways Bow Step (Fig. 4.9).
• Start the posture with your eyes closed, focusing your intention in
技 the Dantian, then open your eyes and look into the distance.
• Next, inhale and move your weight backward. When inhaling,
法 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.

王 • Swallow the fresh air inhaled, suffusing it with saliva and Qi and
lower it to the middle and lower Dantian. Purify this saliva with
西 your intention, then breathe it out slowly as you move forward
(Fig. 4.10).

146






Fig. 4.9
b) Posture 2 手
• 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.


西

Fig. 4.10 Fig. 4.11

147
陈 Notes:

Remember to cultivate and apply the Three Spirits: confidence, determi-


氏 nation, and persistence. You can persevere only if you firmly believe in the
benefits of Zhuang skills. Practitioners who apply the Three Spirits can
太 develop good Zhuang skills and attain the expected results. Through seri-
ous dedication, confident and diligent practice, and great determination,
极 practioners will make the expected progress. If, on the contrary, your belief
is half-hearted, your practice hesitant and inconsistent, then your progress
拳 will be poor.

推 Indeed, confidence is a critical prerequisite. With confidence comes deter-


mination; with confidence and determination, persistence may be engen-
手 dered. So where does confidence come from? From practice. Beginners
tend not to have much confidence or belief in Zhuang skills because their
技 practice has only just begun. Only after prolonged practice can confidence
be nurtured, leading to progress and experience of the benefits. Confidence
法 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.


西

148
4.6  Chan Si Zhuang (Reeling Silk Posture)

Chan Si power generated by practising Chan Si Zhuang is the core content 氏
of Chen Style Taijiquan. Chan Si Zhuang refers to practices using silk-
reeling power built on the foundation of Zhuang skill. 太

4.6.1      The practice method of Chan Si Zhuang


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
opponent’s Lü 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.

西

149






手 Fig. 4.12


西 Fig. 4.13 Fig. 4.14

150
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 太
hand down in Shun (conforming) reeling. Both hands make a half
fist when reeling. 极
• As you shift your weight, lower the shoulders, drop the elbows,
turn the waist and twist the crotch. 拳
• When the left hand executes Lü (roll back) to the middle of the
body, relax both arms, inhale and crouch the body slightly. 推
• 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). 西
• When both hands reach their full extent (your Peng and Ji can’t
exceed your orbit or territory, otherwize, you will lose your weight 安
and axis), you start to repeat the sequence.

151
陈 4.6.2      Breathing and its Purpose in Chan Si Zhuang

氏 When practicing Zhuang skill, your breath should be natural and of the
proper duration so that it enhances body combat and health. Inhalations
太 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
极 vice-versa (“too much Yang”).
Therefore, the most essential principles to apply when practicing Zhuang
拳 skill is intentional natural breathing and intentional technical coordina-
tion. Only by this can you avoid errors and side effects.
推 After mastering the key principle of natural breath, you should focus on
手 increasing the duration and depth of your breath. The normal breath
frequency of adults is six to twenty times per minute, inhalation/exha-
技 lation being one breath. After practicing Zhuang skills for a period, the
breath can become slower and longer, decreasing to seven or ten breaths
法 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
王 and your arteries and veins become unblocked and re-connected. This is a
primary sign of beneficial Zhuang practice, and comes only after accumu-
西 lated practice.

安 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 陈
Hui point through Wei Lü Guan, Jia Gu Guan, and Yu Zhen Guan, then
reaches the maxilla through the ears and cheeks to finally connect to the tip 氏
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 太
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. 手
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, 技
even and quiet. For both, the body should be relaxed, all channels extend-
ed and unfolded, the five sense organs internally gathered, and Yi and Qi 法
should move in the required routes.


西

153
陈 4.7  Wu Zhuang Huan Yuan (Returning to Wu Ji Zhuang)

氏 Wu Zhuang Huan Yuan is also called “Closing Practice”. Its practicing


method can be summarized thus: when you finish Peng and Ji outwards
太 with both arms in Chan Si Zhuang, close your eyes and inhale.

极 a) Posture 1
拳 • Shift your weight gradually to the left leg, then bring in the right
推 foot so that both feet are a shoulder-width apart.
• At the same time, bring in the arms and place both palms in front
手 of the abdomen (Fig. 4.15).
• Swallow Qi down with saliva and guide it down to the middle
技 Dantian, then infuse it into the lower Dantian. Leave it there for a
little while to nourish the Dantian before disgorging the Qi slowly.


西

Fig. 4.15 Fig. 4.16

154
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 极
throughout the body (Fig. 4.17).
• Clench both hands into fists and lower them to ear level as the 拳
body lowers, finally placing them in front of the shoulders.
• As the body lowers, swallow Qi and saliva and infuse them into the 推
lower Dantian (Fig. 4.18).



西

Fig. 4.17 Fig. 4.18

155







技 Fig. 4.19 Fig. 4.20
法 c) Posture 3
• 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
王 and other parts of the body. This method of warming helps relax
the acupoint channels, stretches the tendons and muscles, and
西 promotes the generation of Qi (Fig. 4.20).

156






Chapter Five

Practices for 技
the Buttocks 法
and Crotch


西

157
陈 5.1  Practice for the Buttocks


太 5.1.1      Overview

极 The requirements for positioning the buttocks in Taijiquan practice are


very strict. It requires the practitioner to put Wei Lü (coccygeal end, at the
拳 end of spine) in an upright position when practicing, gathering and rais-
ing it naturally so that the buttocks do not protrude nor swing too much,
推 otherwise the buttocks will be unable to rise and lower naturally.

手 Taijiquan novices sometimes err on over-gathering or raising the buttocks,


which can result in various negative effects. For example, if the buttocks are

技 gathered too far forward, the posture will become unnaturally stiff and not
follow the natural straight alignment of the body; in addition, this posture

法 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 One’s 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 imped-
ed and consequently, Qi cannot cannot descend through the Dantian and
王 separate into two streams to flow through the Yong Quan point through
to the legs.
西

158
5.1.2      Application to Sparring: Bei Kao

An example of applying this principle in Tuishou sparring is as follows:
if the opponent executes Lü 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 trans-
form the opponent’s energy.

Bei Kao is an opening-closing move, consisting of lightening-quick power 推
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 手
bend knees a little, then stamp on the ground to generate rebounding
power and ascending Qi. 技
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 practitioner’s 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.


西

159
陈 5.2  Practices for the Crotch (Dang)


太 5.2.1      Overview

极 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
拳 that the waist and crotch can rotate freely. Any obstruction of Dang move-
ment will negatively affect routine and Tuishou practice.
推 The opening-closing of Dang, that is, the transition between emptiness

手 and solidity of the crotch area, has a direct impact on the flexibility of the
practitioner’s body and his or her ability to change speed and weight. The

技 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

法 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 opening-
closing of Dang is key to increasing and exerting power. When Dang is
王 closed, the whole body is directed toward closing (He); when Dang opens,
the body opens. Hence, Dang is essential to Xu (gathering), He (closing),
西 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 posi-
tioning of the anus also needs careful attention. A brief introduction is 氏
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 it’s soft tissue start-

ed 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. 技
To help you master correct Dang postures in routine and Tuishou practice,
a short introduction of key Dang movements, Yuan Dang, Ding Dang, Jian 法
Dang and Tang Dang, are described below:

5.2.2      Yuan Dang … 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
西
inclined slightly outward and the Dang gathered inward so that both form 安
a strong pair.

161
陈 In this way, energy in the legs is strengthened and the body is well support-
ed. This positioning of Dang also means that it fulfils the Taiji principle of

氏 “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.

极 5.2.3      Ding Dang … Tight Crotch

拳 Ding Dang refers to a common mistake made by novice practitioners

推 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

手 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

技 at this moment Dang should open in a circle so that both legs can support
all parts of the body.

法 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
王 practice habits solidified with prolonged practice. A practitioner trying to

西 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
安 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 teacher’s attention.
Some practitioners are happy to help the teacher out and teach others, their 陈
intention being to allow the teacher more rest. Students are also happy to
learn from co-practitioners as this may help to accelerate learning. 氏

5.2.4      Jian Dang … 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 拳
cannot be lowered during routine and Tuishou practice, and Yuan Dang
cannot be formed at all. Moreover, the Bow Step is hampered, one’s gait 推
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 手
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 技
want to improve combat skills. Because with Jian Dang, some get easily
unrooted, some find they can’t get clear distribution of weight, some find it 法
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, practi-
tioners 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 develop-
ment 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 王
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 西
capillary blood vessels may have been strained. This ache will lessen gradu-
ally after extended practise, as the body becomes stronger, blood circula-

tion improves and lung capacity is increased. At this stage, any additional

163
陈 muscle ache resulting from further increase in practice will ease off more
quickly.

氏 Hence, do not be deterred by any aches and apply Yuan Dang when prac-
ticing Taiji and Tuishou, so that Jian Dang may be prevented from develop-
太 ing. Without patience, Taiji skills cannot be improved.

极 5.2.5      Tang Dang


拳 Tang Dang happens when the legs are spread too far apart, out of propor-
推 tion 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
手 move forward and back or turn to the sides with natural ease. This situa-
tion is also called Ta Dang, meaning collapsing Dang.
技 The Taijiquan routine is a whole body practice, suitable for people of all
法 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 move-
ments. 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.
王 This results in chronically tight muscles which will eventually cause bad
blood circulation in the legs. The Tang Dang posture has particular impact
西 on the stimulation of the on the nerves in the knee joint, so hindering the
supply and renewal of blood in the leg muscles.
安 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 陈
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 氏
the legs can recover quickly, so Tang Dang poses no real issues.
However, large-scale movements cannot be applied to the whole prac-

tice; 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 require-
ments of body combat so that the practitioner does not incur any injury.




西

165









西

166






Chapter six

Chen Style 技
Taiji Tuishou 法
Categories


西

167
陈 6.1  Overview

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

技 While the combinations of Tuishou moves are infinite, practitioners may


master its secrets and principles with serious study.


西

168
6.1.1      Chen Style Taiji Tuishou Categories

The Chen style Taiji Tuishou Routines can be divided into:

1. Dan Wan Hua (Coiling Flower with Single Hand, i.e. silk reeling in 太
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) 推
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) 法
6. Da Lü (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.

西

169
陈 6.1.2      Types of Tuishou Handwork and Footwork

氏 Tuishou handwork is commonly divided into four classifications, as


follows:
太 1. Dan Tuishou (Tuishou with single hand)
2. Shuang Tuishou (Tuishou with double hands)
极 3. Xuan Wan (rotating wrists)
拳 4. Qie Zhang (palm chop)

推 In static footwork, Si Zheng Shou (Peng, Lü, Ji, An) is usually applied.

手 In moving footwork such as Shun Bu (walking backward and forward)


and Da Lü, Si Yu Shou hand techniques are always used; these consist of
技 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
法 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)

王 5. Cha Bu (inserting steps)


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

170
6.2  Tuishou Handwork Techniques

6.2.1      Li Zhang … Palm vertical to the ground 氏
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 extend- 太
ed 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 极
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), 推
Shuan (bind), Da (meet) and Sao (sweep) movements.

6.2.2      Cutting with Palm 技
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 法
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).


西

Fig. 6.1 Fig. 6.2

171
6.2.3      Wa Long Zhang … Roof Tile Palm

The Wa Long Palm is shaped like a Chinese roof tile where the sides curl
氏 upward and the middle is low. This techniqueis often applied in Shun
Chan (conforming reeling) and Yin Jin (drawing into your territory). As
太 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
极 slightly outward so that the palm becomes concave (Fig. 6.3).

拳 For example, if the opponent executes Lü on you, change your palm to Wa


Long Palm as you follow your opponent and reel in the Shun direction as
推 the palm rotates upward.

手 6.2.4      Xie Tuo Zhan

技 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
法 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 Lü, where the raised hand lies above the middle of the
upper arm. In this instance, the power lies in the root of the palm.


西

Fig. 6.3 Fig. 6.4

172
6.2.5      Cha Zhang … 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: 太
• When you rotate both hands in vertical circles, as the hands insert
downward, separate them and switch to Cha Zhang. 极
• When the opponent executes Lü 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).


西

Fig. 6.5

173
陈 6.2.6      Ba Zi Shou

氏 Ba Zi Shou (hand posture in character ‘八’): separate the thumb and the
index finger to form a “八” shape, it is called Ba Zi hand because “八” is
太 pronounced ‘ba’ in Chinese (Fig. 6.6).
This type of hand is always used in Qin Na (arresting) and Tuishou with
极 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,
拳 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 “
推 八” shape. This way, you find it earsier to eliminate the opponent’s power
by rotating your waist outwards with relaxation.


Fig. 6.6


西

174
6.3  Tuishou Footwork Techniques


6.3.1      Qian Gong Bu … 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 prin- 推
ciple 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, 手
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’.


西
Fig. 6.7

175
6.3.2      Hou Zuo Bu … Back Seat Step

氏 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
太 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
极 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
拳 Bow leg (Fig. 6.8).





Fig. 6.8

6.3.3      Qian Dian Bu … 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:
王 • In Ping Yuan Tuishou (Tuishou in horizontal circles), if the oppo-
西 nent 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
安 by raising your toe tip and hence causing the heel to touch the
ground naturally.
• This step is always used in Shun step, big Lü and Luan Cai Hua.

176





Fig. 6.9 推
6.3.4      Hou Dian Bu … Back Tipping Step

This step is applied in three Tuishou techniques: 技
a) Shun Bu –Tuishou big Lü, and Luan Cai Hua

For example, if an opponent applies Lü 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).


西

Fig. 6.10

177




Fig. 6.11
拳 b) Pu Bu (Falling Step)
推 Pu Bu is only applied to Big Lü (i.e. Lü applied through large-scale move-

手 ments) (Fig. 6.11). For example, in the ‘Dragon sweeps ground’ form.
When the opponent applies Big Lü on you, quickly ‘fall’ to the ground
技 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 Lü and Luan Cai Hua, and is widely
used in forward or backward movements
(Fig. 6. 12).

西

Fig. 6.12

178
6.4  Hand Techniques in Tuishou Reeling

6.4.1      Shun Chan … Conforming reeling 氏
In Taijiquan, the term ‘reeling’ means to spiral energy. 太
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. 推
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 手
inward, with the other fingers slightly turned outward. The principle of
Shun Chan is that with the elbows guiding the hands, the shoulders guid- 技
ing the elbows and the waist guiding the shoulders, you draw the opponent
inward into your territory. 法
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 Lü on you, you
can use Shun Chan to gather energy and edge into the opponent’s 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).


西

Fig. 6.13

179
6.4.2      Ni Chan … Reverse reeling

氏 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
太 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,
极 the shoulders to urge on the elbows and the elbows guiding the hands.


6.4.3      Shun Ni Zuo Wan  
推 Wrist descending in Shun and Ni directions

手 This technique consists of lowering the wrist gradually during the transi-

技 tion 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

法 towards your leftside. You then Ni reel to your right ribs and change the
attacking hand into ‘八’ shape so that you can easily capture your oppo-
nent. 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.


西

Fig. 6.14 Fig. 6.15

180
6.4.4      Diao Wan … 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 ‘八’ 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: 拳
• 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 推
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 Lü attack, through any of the four

front-oriented Si Zheng Shou techniques (Si Zheng Shou Peng, Lü,
Ji, An) or four side-oriented Si Yu Shou techniques (Si Yu Shou,
Cai, Lie, Zhou, Kao).


西

Fig. 6.16

181
陈 6.4.5      Shun Chan Yang Zhang  
Raised palm in conforming reeling
氏 This can be divided into inward Yang (palm rising) and outward Yang
太 (palm rising), which are always used in the four front oriented techniques
(called ‘Si Zheng Shou’ in Chinese, i.e. Peng, Lü, Ji, An) and four side orient-
极 ed techniques (called ‘Si Yu Shou’ in Chinese, i.e. Cai, Lie, Zhou, Kao).
First, if the partner executes Lü on your right arm, you insert loosely in Ni
拳 reeling, and then advance and press inwards by Shun reeling, raising the
hand while advancing. It is called Yi Yang Zhang (palm raised inward),
推 because at this time the palm is facing inward and upward.

手 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
技 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
法 facing upper outward, so it is called Wai Yang Zhang (palm raised outward)
Internally, whether in outward Yang or inward Yang, you should coordi-
nate 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.


西

Fig. 6.17

182
6.5  Tuishou Steps

6.5.1      Shang Bu … Forward Step 氏
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 resem-
bles 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      Tui Bu … 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). 法
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.


西

Fig. 6.18 Fig. 6.19

183
6.5.3      Gen Bu … Following Step

氏 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
太 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
极 distance. Gen is applied to the four front orientated techniques, Si Zheng
Shou (Peng, Lü, Ji, An), big Lü and Luan Cai Hua.
拳 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 with-
推 out the opponent’s awareness, a technique called Die Fa (a general concept
of body combat techniques, referring to the comprehensive techniques and
手 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
技 Tuishou is reflected in the saying, “You cannot reach the depth and secrets
of Tuishou without understanding Die Fa.”


西 Fig. 6.20

184






Chapter 7


Solo Practice 法
in Tuishou


西

185
陈 7.1  Introduction

氏 Solo Tuishou practice consists of individual practices useful for improv-


ing flexibility, agility and responsiveness to combat. Typically, body move-
太 ments are initially executed at a high stance, gradually lowering to mid then
lower stances. However, practitioners should practise according to their
极 body condition.

拳 Likewise, beginners should start with practicing at slow speed, gradually


working up to faster then very swift movements. At each stage, slow move-
推 ments should not become blocked, fast movements not energy-losing, and
very fast movements not chaotic. In other words, you should not lose ener-
手 gy in slow practice, nor be obstructed in fast movements. On the contrary,
you should keep the consistency, coherence and Liu He (the Closing and
技 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.
法 In solo Tuishou, you should act as though following your partner neat-
ly, 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.


西

186
7.2  Solo Ping YuanWan Hua
(Solo horizontal Coiling Flower) 陈

7.2.1      Part 1
• Stand at attention with toe tips pointing slightly outward to form 太
a “八” 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      Part 2 手
• 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      Part 3
• 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 王
preparation for the right leg step forward lightly.
• Step the right foot forward, heel first with toes pointed up, then
西
slowly roll down the rest of the foot to the ground. Your step 安
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






手 Fig. 7.1 Fig. 7.2 Fig. 7.3

法 7.2.4      Part 4

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

西

188






Fig. 7.4 Fig. 7.5


7.2.5      Part 5

• 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).


西

189






手 Fig. 7.6 Fig. 7.7

技 7.2.6      Part 6
法 • 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 abdo-
men, the elbow in a slightly warding off (Peng) position in coordi-
nation with the little finger. This gesture enhances the movement
by making the downward movement of the arm more precise and
王 structured (Fig. 7.7).
• When the right arm moves downward, the weight shifts complete-
西 ly to the left. At this point, draw the right knee slightly inward to
prepare for an increased range of movement in the ensuing steps.
安 • Step the right foot either flatly on the ground or with toe tips
pointing up.

190
7.2.7      Part 7

• Using the little finger to guide the energy, continue reeling the
right arm outward until the palm faces upward and the thumb and 氏
the first finger form a “八” shape.
• While the right arm reels, bend the knees slightly to place the body 太
in a squatting position, draw the chest slightly inward and relax the
right side of the crotch. 极
• 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 partner’s power into your territory towards your right

side so you can eliminate it. 技
7.2.8      Part 8

• 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      Part 9

• Now using Ni reeling, extend the right hand slightly forward, then
draw an arc to the left where you met yourtpartner at the begin-

ning the posture of palms. Return the bent arm and the bow leg to
their original positions (Fig. 7.9).
西
• The 3600 rotation of the arm follows this sequence of changes: 安
Shun, Ni, Shun, Ni, Shun, that is, three Shun reelings and two Ni
reelings.

191






手 Fig. 7.8 Fig. 7.9

技 • The left arm rotates from the left, the reeling sequence being Ni,
Shun, Ni, Shun, Ni, that is, three Ni reelings and two Shun reel-
法 ings. 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 body’s movement.
王 The middle body moves in coordination with the upper and lower bodies.

西 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
安 body part follow, all parts moving together collectively.
When you feel tired practicing on the right, practice on the left by switch-
ing 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 氏
only requires vertial hand revolution and very small shifts in weight. These
shifts are not immediately apparent as they occur mainly between the front 太
and back sides of the legs and feet. The whole movement is mainly guided
by the rotating waist and relaxed shoulders. 极
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 touch- 技
ing 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).
西

193




拳 Fig. 7.10 Fig. 7.11 Fig. 7.12

手 • 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
技 body with palm facing left and finger tips slanted upward. Finally,
return to the Da Shou position (meeting the opponent with your
法 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.

西

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). 极
• Bend the left knee to put the body in a crouching stance, then step
the right foot forward while simultaneously extending both hands 拳
vertically in front of abdomen. This body posture is now one of
holding and collecting, in preparation for action (Fig. 7.15). 推
• Relax the left crotch and while focussing on the right crotch, shift
your the weight gradually forward, pushing both palms forward 手
(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).


西

Fig. 7.13 Fig. 7.14 Fig. 7.15

195






手 Fig. 7.16 Fig. 7.17

技 • Next, shift your weight backward and separate both hands to


the sides of the body, imagining the hands seizing the opponent’s
法 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.


西

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. 氏
• 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). 推
• Bend the left knee to put the body in a crouching stance, then step
the right foot forward while simultaneously extending both hands 手
vertically in front of abdomen. This body posture is now one of
holding and collecting, in preparation for action (Fig. 7.18). 技
• While raising the hands, draw the chest inward, lower the waist and
shoulders, drop the elbows and sink the Qi downward. Grasp the 法
ground lightly with the toes and face the eyes forward (Fig. 7.19).


西

Fig. 7.18 Fig. 7.19

197






手 Fig. 7.20 Fig. 7.21

技 • Next, cross both hands slowly in Shun reeling, extending the hands
法 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 inten-
tion 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
王 palms descend to the sides, stopping at shoulder level (Fig. 7.21).
• As both hands separate upwards, finish the weight shift to your
西 right leg.

198
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 陈
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 氏
after long practice.

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


西

199
陈 7.6  Solo Tuishou with sTatic Footwork

氏 Solo practice for He Bu Tuishou with static footwork is based on the four
Zheng hands: Peng, Lü, Ji, and An.
太 When practicing, act as if sparring with a partner. Open every body part
极 to make your rotations natural and flexible. Coordinate the movements
of your hands, eyes, body and steps. Note that one should practice with
拳 intention rather than by force.
• Stand at attention. The key points are the same as those of solo
推 Tuishou.
• Shift your weight to the left leg and lift the right foot to step
手 forward, heel first, with the foot gradually stepping fully on the
ground.
技 • As the weight shifts, extend the right hand diagonally forward to

法 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.


西

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). 陈
• 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 氏
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 opponent’s hand, and so continue to Peng upward

before executing Lü. At the same time, visualize placing the outer
edge of the right hand on the outside of the opponent’s elbow joint

• Then execute Lü 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).


西

Fig. 7.24 Fig. 7.25

201
陈 • Relax the right crotch and shift your weight to the right as the
upper body moves and turns right. As this happens, visualize your

氏 left hand pressing down on the hand of the opponent, pushing it


outward. The right hand reels in Ni direction also with the inten-
tion to push outward (Fig. 7.25).
太 • Execute An forward with both hands the palms facing each other
极 about 33 cm apart. The edges of the hands become power-exerting
points.
拳 • At this point, shift your weight forward to the right leg, eyes look-
ing forward.
推 • 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
手 the same as the starting posture of Da Shou posture.
• Repeat the process, alternating left and right sides. If the left leg is
技 in the front, the right hand executes Peng, and the left hand helps
the right to execute Lü. You will also need to use your left shoulder
法 to push and use the right hand to help press forward.

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


an instant.


西

202
7.7  SHun bu Tuishou
(Solo Tuishou with a forward and backward step) 陈
Shun Bu Tuishou consists of two basic steps – one moving forward and

one moving backward. Hand movements consist of four Zheng hands:
Peng, Lü, Ji and An.

In practice, moving forward is combined with Ji and An hand movements; 极
moving backward uses Peng and Lü hand movements.
• Step forward with the right foot then shift your weight forward.

• As the weight moves forward, raise both hands to attack by push-
ing them to the front right of the body. Face the outer hand edges,

where the pushing power is exerted, outward. 手
• Step the left foot on the ground with the inner side of the foot
touching the ground. 技
• Lower the waist, draw the chest inward, sink the shoulder down-
ward and drop the elbows. These actions drive two the hands 法
forward. Keep the eyes looking to the front right (Fig. 7.26).


西

Fig. 7.26 Fig. 7.27

203





推 Fig. 7.28 Fig. 7.29

手 • After the pushing attack, withdraw the left hand gradually and
place it on the middle of the right upper arm, thumb pointing
技 down and palm facing down.
• At the same time, rotate the right hand slightly downward in Ni
法 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).

王 • 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
西 the right foot takes a step backward without turning the body,
tiptoe first.
安 • As this happens, move the left hand downward then draw a
forward arc to form a Lü posture with the right hand. Eyes look to
the front right (Fig. 7.29).

204





Fig. 7.30 Fig. 7.31 推
• Relax the left crotch and shift your weight to the left. Visualize
sending the opponent’s right hand out to the left side of your body.

• Next, raise the right hand quickly to push forward together with 技
the left hand toward the left side of the body. The outer edges of
the hands are power-exerting points. Eyes look to the front left 法
(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 Lü. 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 Lü movement with the right hand.
Both hands are about 33 cm apart (Fig. 7.32). 王
• While the right hand switches to Lü, the upper and lower body
form a balanced block of strength with the waist as the boundary. 西
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





推 Fig. 7.32 Fig. 7.33
手 • Both hands execute Lü from left to right following the body, until
技 the left hand reaches the middle line of the body. Eyes look to the
front left (Fig. 7.34).
法 • 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.


西

Fig. 7.34 Fig. 7.35

206





Fig. 7.36 Fig. 7.37

• Simultaneously, place the left hand on the right upper arm, thumb 手
pointing down. Then shift your weight slightly rightward. Eyes
look to the front right (Fig. 7.35). 技
• 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).


西

Fig. 7.38 Fig. 7.39

207
陈 • Relax the left crotch and shift your weight to the left.
• As soon as both arms finish pressing forward, move the right hand
氏 in front of the left hand quickly, then execute Lü movement with
both hands to the left side of the body until the right hand moves
太 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
极 same time, execute Lü downward with the left hand, then move
it out to the right, visualizing that you are pushing the opponent’s
拳 hand outward to the right. Eyes look to the right (Fig. 7.38).
• Next, raise the right hand quickly and exert An forward with
推 power. Start a new cycle (Fig. 7.39).




西

208
7.8  Solo Danren Da Lü Tuishou

Da Lü is based on four hand techniques in the main directions – Peng, Lü
Ji and An. It uses the combat techniques of the four hand techniques in

corner directions – Cai, Bie, Zou, and Kao. 太
The circulating of steps in Da Lü when practicing Peng, Lü, Ji and An
is the same to those in Shun Step (forward or backwards Step), the only 极
difference being that the extent of the steps in Da Lü is bigger. It is not
easy to practice Cai, Lie, Zhou, Kao with large-scaled body movements. 拳
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 推
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 手
the opponent. As such, beginners should first practise the routines, then
the fives methods of solo Tuishou practice. 技
In this chapter, we will only refer to two main Da Lü 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
Lü on Player B. The other picture demonstrates the big Frontward Bow
Step, whereby Player B executes Lü on Player A. The other movements
are the same as the movements in Shun Step (forward or backward step).


西

Fig. 7.40 Fig. 7.41

209
陈 7.9  Solo Luan Cai Hua Tuishou

氏 The gait in Luan Cai Hu is called San Bu (scattered steps) or Hua Jiao Bu
(steps in flower tracks). It’s features include free movement with no fixed
太 direction, and flexible, precise rotation. Luan Cai Hua is also built on the
foundation of Peng, Lü, Ji, and An, and also uses the Si Zheng Shou. In the
极 Luan Cai Hua Tuishou practice, you should pay attention to the following
points.
拳 The body movement and gait should be neat and swift. You need to rotate
推 neatly when executing a step forward as the partner changes his or her
direction. You should adjust your direction and position by applying small
手 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.
技 See how to execute Dian step in Figure 7.42.


西

Fig. 7.42

210
In this technique, the steps are small but the speed is fast. When circulat-
ing the four Zheng hand techniques (Peng, Lü, Ji, An), the extent of the 陈
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 氏
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 partner’s energy as you rotate, looking for the attack-

ing opportunity, and entice the partner to advance and show his or her
weak points. You try to sense the partner’s 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 技
steps and gestures in Luan Cai Hua Tuishou are the same as Da Lü and in
Shun Step, the only difference being in the stances of the body. 法


西

211









西

212






Chapter 8


Pair Practice in 法
Tuishou


西

213
陈 8.1  Introduction

氏 Pair practice in Tuishou consists of applying a combination of techniques


with partners and sparring.
太 Partners should pay attention to co-operating with each other and using
极 different practice methods at different stages in pair practice. Like solo
practice, pair practice should start slowly, gathering speed in the later stag-
拳 es; similarly, the practice stance should start high, lowering to mid-height
then low stance. In addition, movements in pair practice should start
推 simply before gaining in complexity. Lastly, development should follow the
stages of San Shou to Zhan (coherence), Nian (sticking), Lian (connect-
手 ing) and finally Sui (following).

技 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 part-

法 ners have Taiji proficiency, pair practice becomes beautiful to watch. Pair
practice Tuishou improves combat skills, so you must strive to concen-
trate, moving as the partner moves, like a flowing river: smooth, agile, flex-
ible 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”, where-
by 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 follow-
ing pages. I hope that the reader will use this to practice diligently and
王 master the key points.

西

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 氏
refers to the female practitioner dressed in red. These may be shortened
to ‘A’ and ‘B’. 太

8.2.1      Posture 1

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 推
upright, toes pointing slightly outward to form a 八 shape, arms hanging
relaxed by the sides. 手

Fig. 8.1

西
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
陈 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

氏 back of the palms touch each other, with the middle fingers at nose level,
eyes focussed on the right hands.

太 The right hand extends forward with the left hand akimbo. Alternatively,
the left hand can also be placed naturally along side the body, correspond-
极 ing with the rotation of the waist.





Fig. 8.2

8.2.2      Posture 3

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

216






8.2.3      Posture 4
Fig. 8.3

Player A relaxes his right crotch and Shun reels 90o to the right, then Ni

reels 90o to the front of Player B’s abdomen. At the same time, B shifts her
weight gradually backward while her hand draws an arc following Player

A, then she guides A’s hand to the front of his abdomen. Repeat this cycle.


西

Fig. 8.4

217
陈 8.3  Single-Hand Vertical Circle Wan Hua in Pair Practice

氏 8.3.1      Posture 1

太 The preparation postures are the same as that of single-hand horizontal


circle rotation; the only difference being that here the Da Shou (meet part-
极 ner with hand) position is higher.





Fig. 8.5 

8.3.2      Posture 2

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

218





Fig. 8.6  推
8.3.3      Posture 3 手
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. 法
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 (B’s left side), with eyes looking at the same direction.


西

Fig. 8.7

219
陈 8.4  Shuang Shou Ping YuanWan Hua
(Horizontal Coiling Flower with Double Hands)
氏 8.4.1      Posture 1

Both players stand at attention facing each other.
极 Both players step forward simultaneously with their right foot, heel first,
拳 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
推 Step.

手 Player A raises two hands in front of his chest. Then Player B extends her
hands forward, placing them outside A’s hands.

技 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
法 inward and gather their ribs, lower the shoulders and drop the elbows,
eyes looking forward.


西

Fig. 8.8

220
8.4.2      Posture 2

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 B’s chest. Here, A’s weight shift to the
right foot has been fully completed.

As Player A pushes his hands forward, Player B “listens” to A’s power and 极
shifts her weight backward to force A to increase his pushing distance.
As B’s weight moves backward, her hands reel in Shun, with her little finger

lightly hanging on A’s wrists to guard against any sudden attacks. In other
words, B’s little fingers “stick” to A throughout the process.



Fig. 8.9

西

221
陈 8.4.3      Posture 3

氏 Player A pushes first and then separates his hands by reeling in a Ni direc-
tion, then separates Player B’s hands to the sides of her body at shoulder-
太 level, using the outer edges of his palms.
While Player A separates, B senses the speed of A’s pushing and separating
极 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      Posture 4

Player A switches to Shun reeling and draws an arc inward. He shifts his
weight backward, his little fingers catching Player B’s wrists to the sides of
王 the body as the two hands draw arcs.

西 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 手


西

223
陈 8.5  Shuang Shou Li Yuan Wan Hua 
(Vertical Coiling Flower with Double Hands)
氏 8.5.1      Posture 1
太 Player A and B stand facing each other, then step their right feet forward
极 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
拳 players extend and raise their hands in front of their bodies with Player B’s
hands placed on the outer edges of Partner A’s hands. The positions of all
推 hands are higher than the eyes; all eyes look forward.



Fig. 8.12 

8.5.2      Posture 2
王 Player A reels in the Ni directon and contitues to shift his weight forward,
西 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, A’s weight
安 is all at the right foot.
B has been shifting her weight to the left. The two parties’ eyes always
follow their movements.

224





Fig. 8.13 

8.5.3      Posture 3

Player A switches to Shun reeling, his little fingers slightly catching Player 技
B’s wrists, and draw arcs to the lower abdomen, while he shifts his weight
backward. Player A draws outwards while Partner B draws inwards. 法
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.


西

Fig. 8.14

225
陈 8.5.4      Posture 4

氏 Player A continues Shun reeling, his hands crossing before the chest with
both palms facing in; the body squats to prepare for openning.
太 Player B follows Player A closely and feels his change, and continues to
move her weight forward. Both players face forward.
极 Then Player A returns to the original position by Ni reeling and separating
拳 his arms outward. Repeat this cycle.

推 Note: The steps are the same, whether Player A separates B or vice versa.
Both players can practice this in turn.



西

226
8.6  He Bu Tuishou  
(Tuishou with coiling hands and static footwork) 陈

8.6.1      Posture 1 太
The gait of He Bu Tuishou is the same to that of the Vertical Coiling

Flower with Double Hands. 拳
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 推
cm apart. Now, the weight for both parties are both in the left, yet start to
shift to the right. 手
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. 法


Fig. 8.15 西

227
陈 8.6.2      Posture 2

Player A shifts his weight forward, then turns his right hand left in Shun
氏 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
太 thumb pointing down so that both arms form an outward Peng (ward off )
power posture.
极 Player B places her left hand on the right upper arm of Player A as he
拳 moves. Her right hand presses Player A’s right hand slightly downward,
then extends forward to press against A’s left forearm. In this way, both of
推 B’s arms form an An (Pushing) power.



Fig. 8.16 

8.6.3      Posture 3

王 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 B’s left upper arm, gradu-
西 ally switching from Peng (ward off ) to Lü leftward. During this process,
Player A relaxes his left crotch and moves his weight slightly leftward.
安 Player B withdraws her left hand quickly when Player A executes Peng and
puts it on the middle of her own right upper arm.

228





Fig. 8.17 推
8.6.4      Posture 4
Player B executes Ji (press) on Player A. In response, Player A executes

Lü on B’s hand and presses it downward, then moves quickly forward to
press the middle of Player B’s right upper arm with his left hand, shifting

his weight forward to add more pressure. 法
In response, Player B switches from An (push) to Peng (ward off ). Then
Player B wards off Player A’s left hand upward, and executes Lü (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.


西

Fig. 8.18

229
陈 8.7  Pair Practice in Shun Bu Tuishou 
(Tuishou with moveable footwork)
氏 8.7.1      Posture 1

Both players stand at attention.
极 Player A steps his right foot forward to form a front Bow Step. Player B
拳 steps her right foot forward at the same time, placing it on the outside of
A’s right leg, so that both knees touch (A’s inner knee and B’s outer knee).
推 Player A raises his right arm as his right leg moves, bending it 450 inward,

手 then places his left hand on the middle of his right upper arm, palm facing
outward.

技 Player B’s right hand crosses the outside of A’s right hand, and places her
left hand on the middle of A’s right upper arm. A’s left hand then crosses
法 with B’s left hand.
Both players look at each other from the side.


西

Fig. 8.19

230
8.7.2      Posture 2

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 氏
reeling to ward off outward gradually.
As Player A’s body turns right, Player B shifts her weight forward to double

her pressing power. Both players look to the front. 极





Fig. 8.20 

8.7.3      Posture 3

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 B’s left hand upwards. Simultaneously, he places
his right hand on the middle of B’s left upper arm, executing Lü (roll back)
with his right hand. This switch from Peng to Lü happens in an instant.

Player B continues to move her weight forward when Player A applies Lü,
then withdraws her right hand and puts it on the middle of her right upper 西
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





推 8.7.4      Posture 4
Fig. 8.21

手 Player A relaxes his right crotch and turns his body slightly to the right.
At the same time, he presses Player B’s left hand downward to the front of
技 her lower abdomen, then pushes her left hand rightward, with the aim of
getting her to fall to his right side.
法 A then extends his left hand up and forward and presses the middle of
Partner B’s 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 A’s right upper arm touching A’s right hand with her
right hand.


西

Fig. 8.22

232
8.7.5      Posture 5

Player B’s 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 Lü (roll back) on the right side of Player A’s
right arm until her left hand reaches the mid-line of her body.

As Player B executes Lü, Player A moves his weight first to the left and 极
lifts his right foot quickly to step forward. He then pushes his shoulder
and upper arm towards B’s chest in response to B’s Lü. In this move, A’s 拳
upper and lower body move as one, and his forward push corresponds to
the hardness or softness and speed of B’s Lü power. 推
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      Posture 6
西
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 back-

ward, tiptoe first, then her foot gradually steps on the ground fully.

233
陈 At the same time, Player A places his left hand on B’s right upper arm, so
as to form Peng and Lü with both of his hands.

氏 While this happens, Player B relaxes her left crotch, shifts her weight left-
ward, then takes a step forward with her right foot. B steps forward in
太 synch with A’s guiding hand, and steps within A’s left leg so that their two
knees connect.
极 Simultaneously, B also places her left hand on the middle of her right
拳 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      Posture 7

王 Player A relaxes his left crotch, turns his body slightly left and shifts his
weight slightly leftward, then pushes Player B’s right hand first down then
西 left using the pressing power of his left hand.

安 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.

234





Fig. 8.25  推
8.7.8      Posture 8 手
Player A relaxes his left crotch then shifts his weight to the left. 技
At the same time, Player B lowers her left shoulder and left elbow, then
raises her left hand in an upward Peng on A’s left hand.

Simultaneously, B also places her right hand on the middle of A’s right
upper arm, then switches her left hand instantly from Peng to Lü.


西

Fig. 8.26

235
陈 As this happens, Player A continues to shift his weight forward, then with-
draws his right hand to place it on the middle of his left upper arm, then

氏 quickly forms a pushing power towards B.


Both players look diagonally to the front.

极 8.7.9      Posture 9

拳 Player B relaxes her right crotch and turns her body slightly to the right.

推 At the same time, she presses Player A’s left hand first down to the front of
his lower abdomen, then to her left. Then with her left hand, she presses
手 forward on the middle of A’s right lower arm. Both B’s hands work togeth-
er to form an upward pressure pose.
技 As Player B pushes A’s left hand downward, A responds first by flowing
downward, then raising his left hand upward onto B’s right upper arm to
法 warding off (Peng). His right hand then comes into contact with B’s right
hand. In this instance, both A’s arms form an outward Peng power.
Both players look to the sides.


西

Fig. 8.27

236
8.7.10      Posture 10

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 太
to execute Lü on the right side of Player B’s right arm. He moves in Lü
until his left hand reaches the mid-line of his body. 极
In response to A’s Lü, 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 A’s chest, following A’s Lü power. 推


Fig. 8.28
Notes:

Player B’s upper and lower body should follow each other when pushing
forward, and the speed and extent of her forward push should be depen-
dent on the speed and hardness or softness of Partner A’s Lü.

Both players should defend and stick to defend their own territory, taking 西
care not to go beyond their territory as this would mean that the transfer-
ring and changing of movements would not be as quick and flexible, lead-

ing to increased exposure to attacks.

237
陈 8.7.11      Posture 11

氏 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
太 step back, tiptoe first, foot gradually steps fully on the ground.
Simultaneously, B places her left hand on the middle of A’s right upper
极 arm, her two hands forming a Lü posture.

拳 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
推 on the inside of B’s leg. Both their knees connect.

手 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.
技 Both playesr look diagonally to the front.

法 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, Lü, Ji and An.


西

238
8.8  Pair Practice in Da Lü Tuishou (Large Scale Lü Tuishou)

Da Lü Tuishou pair practice is the fourth technique of of Chen-style Taiji 氏
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. 推
The practice of Da Lü movements is very important in learning how to
apply low body movements in combat without impacting on other combat 手
movements or losing agility and flexibility.

Fig. 8.29

西

239
陈 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
太 combines the handwork of Si Zheng Shou and the footwork of Shang Xia
Bu (moving forward and backward) in varying degrees, depending on the
极 circumstances.

拳 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
推 by holding close to the upper part of their body while lifting their lower
body). Other handwork techniques used to render opponents passive are:
手 Da Sao (support and sweep), Gun Shuan (roll and seize), Bi Ya (push and
press) and so on.
技 In Da Sao, Da means to put your hand on the hand of the opponent with

法 the intention of using it as a touchpoint and support.


Sao means to sweep or clear away, hence sweeping your arm horinzon-
tally 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 hori-
zontally, reel them in Shun and Ni directions, up and down, left and right,
so as to transform the opponent’s power. Shuan means to put an arm across
the chest like a locked door bolt to protect against attack. From this posi-
tion, push and press against the opponent to force them into a defensive
王 mode.

西 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 circum-
安 stances, 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 陈
should be based on the speed, direc-
tion and angle of changes. Place your- 氏
self in a strong and active position by
applying Dian Bu (adding half paces) 太
continuously when executing Shang
Bu (stepping forward). 极
Your Dian Bu should be light, flex-
ible, agile and swift, coordinated with Fig. 8.30

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, trans-
forming 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 Fig. 8.31
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 王
purpose of Luan Cai Hua pair
practice.
西

Fig. 8.32

241
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