海 底 針Hai Di Zhen Note: Sometimes translated as Sticking Needle Into Bottom of the Sea or Placing Needle on the Ocean Floor. Posture Instructions From the posture Brush Left Knee Twist Step, the upper part of the body bends forward with the left retreating a half step back into a Left Empty Stance. The right-hand […]
In 1919, Master Xu Yusheng (許禹生), an early student of the Yang family, published an incredible and informative book simply titled, Tai Chi Chuan (太極拳), one of the earliest literary records on Tai Chi Chuan. Master Xu’s book appeared nearly twenty years prior to publications released by Chen Kung and the Yang family.
A portion of Master Xu’s book deals with the actual meanings of the Taijiquan posture names. He did this because the posture names during his time were just handed down verbally, and many pugilists were for the most part illiterate. Therefore, depending on the dialect and tones uttered by the teacher, the true meaning of a posture name and use could be misunderstood by students. Master Xu then wrote a record to ensure that the posture names tallied with the actual posture and application.
斜 飛 式Xie Fei Shi Photo is of Yang Chengfu and the illustration is from Chen Kung’s work Note: Sometimes the name of this posture is translated into English as Diagonal Flying. The image created in this posture is from an old depiction of an immortal taking off obliquely into flight. Posture Instructions Following the […]
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 […]
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 […]
抱 虎 歸 山Bao Hu Gui Shan Photograph of Yang Chengfu with drawings from Chen Kung’s work. Note: In some works this is translated as Embrace Tiger, Return to Mountainor Holding the Tiger to Bring it Back to the Mountain. Posture Instructions The right foot retreats one step to the right corner and behind, moving into an Insubstantial Stance with […]
雙 鳳 掛 耳Shuang Fen Gua Er Photograph of Yang Chengfu with drawing from Chen Kung’s work. Note: In present times this posture is called Strike Both Fists to the Ears or Double Winds. Posture Instructions From the preceding posture of Right Heel Kick, the right foot is left hanging and bent, with the right knee striking upwards. Both palms face upwards alongside […]
披 紳 縛 虎Bi Shen Fu Hu Photographs of Yang Chengfu with drawings from Chen Kung’s work. Note: In present times this posture is just called Strike the Tiger. Posture Instructions After kicking, bring the right foot down, dropping to be placed near the left foot. The latter steps sidewards into a Left Bow and Arrow Stance. Both […]
回 神 左 蹬 脚Hui Shen Zuo Deng Jiao Photograph of Yang Chengfu with drawing from Chen Kung’s work. Note: An early English translation of this posture was Turn Body Around and Make a Heel Strike Posture Instructions Turn the body completely around from the west to the east, leaving the left leg bent and foot hanging. Both hands cross the […]
右 左 分 脚You Zuo Fen Jiao Photographs of Yang Chengfu with drawings from Chen Kung’s work. Note: An early English translation of this posture was Kick With Both Left and Right Tiptoes in Turn. Posture Instructions From the preceding posture, the left foot moves diagonally into a Left Bow and Arrow Stance to the left corner, with […]
高 探 馬Gao Tan Ma Photograph of Yang Chengfu with drawing from Chen Kung’s work. Note: In some early translations this posture was called “Raising Higher to Handle the Horse.” Literally this term would translate as “Mounted Scout Sitting High on a Horse.” In general the idea is showing someone patting or swiping the hand over the […]