Step Back to Chase the Monkey Away

倒 攆 猴
Tao Nian Hou

Photo is of Yang Chengfu and the illustrations are from Chen Kung’s work

Note: In earlier works this posture was sometimes translated as “Backstepping a Monkey,” and “Withdraw Step to Expel the Monkey.” The posture name comes from an earlier martial art technique called, “Withdraw the Waist With Backstepping,” as seen in some works of Long Boxing (長 拳, Zhang Quan).

Posture Instructions

Following from the preceding posture of Fist Under Elbow, the waist is drawn back in a stepping rotation [left, right, left]. When the left foot retreats one step and a Withdraw the Waist With Backstepping, the right fist opens up and is raised beside the right ear, and then proceeds to perform Push. When the right hand is stretching out, the left hand is at the same time drawing back and stopping beside the left groin with the palm facing upwards. 

These are a set of actions of the Right Backstep. As to the set of actions of the Left Backstep, the right foot retreats one step and the left hand from the side of the left ear then makes a Push. All actions are just like the right manner, only opposite.

Both sets of actions of the right and left Backsteps alternate one with the other until the third or fifth set of actions of the Right Backstep is done.

Posture Applications

Step Back to Chase the Monkey Away is in many ways the opposite application of Brush Knee and Twist Step. With the latter the body is being moved towards the front and in the former it is being moved to the rear.

There is a Pulling Back action of the opponent’s arm, and then a Pushing action to the opponent’s chest to repel him. Just like Brush Knee and Twist Step there is a simultaneous use of Pull and Push.

During the Push, the weight must remain in the rear leg and the Push is generated by rising up in the rear leg.

Note: It is recorded that Zhang Sanfeng (張 三 豐, the founder of Taijiquan) used the repetitive actions of this posture to bring the Qi up his spine. But to do so the backstepping must be done so that the buttocks remains open and relaxed. This, then, entails making sure the sides to feet remain pointing forward. The toes pointing out to the sides will pinch the buttocks and obstruct the Qi from rising up the spine.

Translation Copyright ©2019 by Stuart Alve Olson

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