Fist Under Elbow

肘 底 看 捶
Zhou Di Kan Chiu

Photograph of Yang Chengfu with drawing from Chen Kung’s work.

Note: Literally this posture translates as Seeing a Fist Under the Elbow or Look at the Fist Under the Elbow or even Punch Under the Elbow.

Posture Instructions

From Carry Tiger to the Mountain and performing the movements of Grasping the Bird’s Tail and Eight Diagram Two Fishes posture [Single Whip]. When both hands turn to the left side, the right palm clinches into a fist and the left hand from the left side makes a circle and stretches out with the elbow placed on the upper end of the right fist. The left bends slightly and the palm uprightly faces the nose.

Posture Applications

In Taijiquan there are two types of actions within the posture, one is kinetic and the other, potential. Fist Under Elbow is a potential action, there is actually no punch being delivered, but the conditions are being set up for it.

Fist Under Elbow, when used kinetically, is designed to create a hidden punch to an opponent. The left hand palm sweeps over the opponent’s arm so that the fist under your elbow can not be seen by the opponent. Therefore, this creates the ability to punch the opponent’s ribs without him seeing it coming.

Translation Copyright ©2019 by Stuart Alve Olson

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