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Taijiquan Training Requirements 
  Taijiquan requirements are written in a Chinese poetic rhythm where five letters phrases are used and it is my intention to get this in it's original phrases to be memorized so that during practice the practitioner can remember the requirements. 
  The Chen style Taijiquan training requirements are as below: 
  虚领顶劲 (xū lǐng dǐng jìn) 
  立身中正 (lìshēn zhōngzhèng) 
  松肩沉肘 (sōng jiān chén zhǒu) 
  含胸塌腰 (hán xiōng tā yāo) 
  心气下降 (xīn qì xià jiàng) 
  呼吸自然 (hū xī zì rán) 
  松胯屈膝 (sōng kuà qū xī) 
  裆劲开圆 (dāng jìn kāi yuán) 
  虚实分明 (xū shí fēn míng) 
  上下相随 (shàng xià xiāng suí) 
  刚柔相济 (gāng róu xiāng jì) 
  快慢相间 (kuài màn xiāng jiàn) 
  外形走弧线 (wài xíng zǒu hú xiàn) 
  内劲走螺旋 (nèi jìn zǒu luó xuán) 
  以身领手(yǐ shēn lǐng shǒu) 
  以腰为轴 (yǐ yāo wèi zhóu) 
  Meaning of 虚领顶劲 (xū lǐng dǐng jìn): 
  虚领顶劲 (xū lǐng dǐng jìn) is the most important and elusive of all the taijiquan requirements. There are many different interpretations on this requirement, some to the extend to stick up the head awkwardly like a tortoise that blocks chi flow. 虚领顶劲 (xū lǐng dǐng jìn) actually means to keep the head upright, chin slightly tuck in and the mind calm. In Chen Xin's book, he explained it as an imaginary string pulling upward the Bai Hui (DU20) acupuncture point. When the head is as if suspended or raised upward, the resulting position of the head enable it to turn freely and aids the balance of the body. 
  Keeping the head upright may sounds simple but in actual practice, beginner will usually sway the head either to the left and right or up and down. 
  Meaning of 立身中正 (lìshēn zhōngzhèng): 
  立身中正 (lìshēn zhōngzhèng) means keeping the body upright. If the body is not held upright then there will be excessive muscular activites leading to stiffness. Again, keeping the body upright sounds really simple but in actual practice, most people simply do not know how to stand up straight or can't stand straight. Most of the time we either tilt to one side or lean backwards. This creates stiffness around the spine and across the body and hip. 
  Meaning of 松肩沉肘 (sōng jiān chén zhǒu): 
  松肩沉肘 (sōng jiān chén zhǒu) means drop your shoulders and sink the elbow. 松 ( sōng ) means relax and relax in taijiquan context is to loosen the muscle strain to prevent stiffness. The prevention of shoulder stiffness allow chi to flow freely from the chest to the shoulder, elbow and then to the hand. 
  Meaning of 含胸塌腰 (hán xiōng tā yāo): 
  含胸塌腰 (hán xiōng tā yāo) means keeping the chest slightly curve inwards and waist slightly pressed forward. Simple enough, yet a lot of time this is misunderstood by hunching the back. 
  Meaning of 心气下降 (xīn qì xià jiàng): 
  心气下降 (xīn qì xià jiàng) means sink the qi to the dantian and lower parts of the body. It is the same as 气沉丹田 (qì chén dān tián). The purpose of 松肩沉肘 (sōng jiān chén zhǒu), 含胸塌腰 (hán xiōng tā yāo) and 心气下降 (xīn qì xià jiàng) is basically to relax the upper body portion and keep the upper body in balance for front, back, left and right. 
  Meaning of 呼吸自然 (hū xī zì rán): 
  呼吸自然 (hū xī zì rán) means breath naturally. 
  Meaning of 松胯屈膝 (sōng kuà qū xī): 
  松胯屈膝 (sōng kuà qū xī) means to relax the hip and keep the knees bent. Slightly bend your knees, and slightly tuck the lower pelvis forward, as if about to sit down. This will relax the the hip or “kua”. 
  Meaning of 裆劲开圆 (dāng jìn kāi yuán): 
  裆劲开圆 (dāng jìn kāi yuán) means keeping inner side of the thighs and the genital area in an arch shape like a bridge. 
  Meaning of 虚实分明 (xū shí fēn míng): 
  虚实分明 (xū shí fēn míng) means to keep the mind pure and clear. Look forward and the ear concentrate to listen at the back. 
  Meaning of 上下相随 (shàng xià xiāng suí): 
  上下相随 (shàng xià xiāng suí) is to keep the upper and lower part of the body movement synchronized. 
  Meaning of 刚柔相济 (gāng róu xiāng jì) 
  刚柔相济 (gāng róu xiāng jì) means to adjust hardness and softness accordingly. 
  Meaning of 快慢相间 (kuài màn xiāng jiàn): 
  快慢相间 (kuài màn xiāng jiàn) means to practice fast and slow pace intermittently. 
  Meaning of 外形走弧线 (wài xíng zǒu hú xiàn) and 内劲走螺旋 (nèi jìn zǒu luó xuán): 
  This two phrase have to be used together. 外形走弧线 (wài xíng zǒu hú xiàn) means the outer part of body moves in arch shape while 内劲走螺旋 (nèi jìn zǒu luó xuán) means the internal force churn in spiral form. Basically this is what taijiquan is all about. It is qi moving in the Fibonacci spiral form. 
  Meaning of 以身领手(yǐ shēn lǐng shǒu): 
  以身领手(yǐ shēn lǐng shǒu) means that the body leads the hand. In another words, the dantian leads all movements. 
  Meaning of 以腰为轴 (yǐ yāo wèi zhóu): 
  以腰为轴 (yǐ yāo wèi zhóu) is to take the waist as the main movement axis. 
  Dantian Rotation ( 丹田) 
  Dantian ( 丹田) or more accurately the Lower dantian (下丹田, Xia Dantian) is an acupoint located about three fingers width below the navel and two fingers width behind the navel. 
  The lower dantian is the most important acupoint in Taijiquan as it is: 
  The center to store chi (气 ) or internal energy 
  The center that radiate chi (气 ) or internal energy to the whole body 
  The center of balance and gravity 
  The point where jin (劲).force originate 
  In Chen Style Taijiquan, the most important principle to grasp is to train the whole body to support the dantian and for the dantian to support each and every parts of the body in return. When the dantian rotate the chi will flow from joints to joints and the body moves accordingly. 
  Dantian basically can be imagined as a tiny ball and it can orbit or rotate in two rotational axis. One axis is the up, forward, down and backward rotation. The other orbital axis is the up, left, down and right rotation. 
  Microcosmic Orbit (小周天) 
  The meridian or jing luo (经络) is a path through which the life-energy known as chi (气) is believed to flow. There are generally 72 channels of therapeutic importance. The most important and essential ones for the circulation of Chi, and for most therapeutic applications are the twelve Primary Meridians and eight Extraordinary Meridians. 
  The Eight Extraordinary Meridians represent the body’s deepest level of energetic structuring and are carriers of Yuan Chi (元气). Yuan Chi or original energy in direct translation from Chinese, is the ancestral energy (prenatal energy) which corresponds to genetic inheritance. They function as deep reservoirs from which the twelve main meridians can be replenished or drain their excesses. 
  The specific meridians belonging to the “ Eight Extraordinary Meridians” are: 
  Du Mai ( 督脉, Governing Vessel) 
  Ren Mai (任脉, Conception Vessel) 
  Chong Mai ( 冲脉, Penetrating Vessel) 
  Dai Mai (帶脉, Belt Channel) 
  Yang Chiao Mai ( 阳跷脉, Yang Motility Channel) 
  Yin Chaio Mai ( 阴跷脉, Yin Motility Channel) 
  Yang Wei Mai (阳维脉, Yang Regulating Channel) 
  Yin Wei Mai ( 阴维脉 , Yin Regulating Channel) 
  The Du Mai, Ren Mai, Chong Mai and Dai Mai are the most important of the Eight Extraordinary Meridians. The functions of the Du Mai meridian are to regulate the circulation of blood and chi in the Yang meridians. The function of the Ren Mai meridian are to regulate the circulation of blood and chi in the Yin meridians. The Chong Mai flows vertically deep within the body and is most closely associated with Yuan Chi. The Dai Mai circles the waist, and is the only horizontally flowing meridian that acts as a belt to contain the other vertically flowing meridians. 
  Breathing (呼吸) in Taijiquan 
  Breathing in taijiquan is an important portion of the taijiquan practice. If you are a beginner, then you will only need to know that you have to breath naturally during your practice. As a general rule, when the hand or body moves backward or inward we inhale (breath in). When the hand or body moves forward or outward we exhale (breath out). When the we punch or attempt to fa jin (发劲) we blow out. 
  Further down in practice, the taijiquan practitioner will need to learn the reverse abdominal breathing. In reverse abdominal breathing, we divide our abdomen into two parts, using our navel as a divider. Our abdomen from our navel up is the upper abdomen, and the part below the navel is the lower abdomen or dantian (丹田). When we inhale, air goes into our lungs and upper abdomen, and at the same time the qi (气) from lower abdomen travels up the Du Mai ( 督脉, Governing Vessel) from the back of our body. Therefore, our chest and upper abdomen expand while our lower abdomen contracts when we inhale. When we exhale, the air goes out of our lungs, and at the same time qi (气) in the mouth travels down the Ren Mai (任脉, Conception Vessel) to the lower abdomen. Therefore our chest and upper abdomen contracts while our lower abdomen expands when we exhale. This is also covered in the microcosmic orbit explanation. 
  13 Postures (十三式) 
  Shi San Shi (十三式) or Thirteen Postures does not mean thirteen different postures or movements steps but actually means thirteen basic skills. The 13 postures are also known as Bafa Wubu (八法五步) and Bamen Wubu (八门五步). 
  The hand skills of Taijiquan follow the principle of Bagua trigram. Bafa (八法) or Eight Method are eight hand skill methods of Jin force. All hand skills and techniques are generated from the Eight Method. 
  Eight Methods Trigram Name Direction Attribute Key Acupoint Map to Five Element 
  Peng, 掤 Kuan North Water Mingmen Water 
  Lu, 履 Li South Fire Xuanguan Fire 
  Ji, 挤 Zhen East Thunder Jiaji Wood 
  An, 按 Dui West Marsh Tanzhong Metal 
  Cai, 采 Qian Northwest Sky Xinggong Metal 
  Lieh, 列 Kun Southwest Earth Dantian Earth 
  Zhou, 肘 Gen Northeast Mountain Jianjing Earth 
  Kou, 靠 Xun Southeast Wind Yuzhen Wood 
  The footwork of Taijiquan follows the philosophical concept of Wuxing (五行) or Five Elements. Wubu (五步) or Five Footwork are the five footwork skills. It is more about Shenfa or body movement skills because footwork and body movement have a very tight relationship. 
  Five Footwork Attribute Direction Element Acupoint 
  Jinbu, 进步 Step forward North Water Huiyin 
  Tuibu, 退步 Step backward South Fire Zuqiao 
  Zuogu, 右盼 Sideway step forward East Wood Jiaji 
  Youpan, 左顾 Sideway step backward West Metal Tanzhong 
  Zhongding, 中定 Central equilibrium Center Earth Dantian 


杨澄甫式太极拳拳谱 91  

Traditional Yang Family Tai Chi  Chuan 91 action                             sequences


     Preparation Form

1.   起式      Beginning

2.   揽雀尾  Grasp the Bird's tail

3.   单鞭      Single whip

4.   提手上势     Raise Hands and Step Forward

5.   白鹤凉翅     White Crane Spreads its Wings

6.   左搂膝拗步 Left Brush Knee and Push

7.   手挥琵琶     Hand Strums the Lute

8.   左搂膝拗步 Left Brush Knee and Push

9.   右搂膝拗步 Right Brush Knee and Push

10.  左搂膝拗步 Left Brush Knee and Push

11.  手挥琵琶   Hand Strums the Lute

12.  左搂膝拗步 Left Brush Knee and Push

13.  进步搬拦捶 Step forward, Parry Block and Punch

14.  如封似闭   Apparent Close Up

15.  十字手  Cross Hands  


16.  抱虎归山  Embrace the Tiger and Return to Mountain

17.  肘底捶  Fist Under Elbow

18.  倒撵猴  Step Back and Repulse the Monkey, Left

19.  斜飞式  Diagonal Flying

20.  提手上势   Raise Hands and Step Forward

21.  白鹤凉翅   White Crane Spreads its Wings

22.  左搂膝拗步 Left Brush Knee and Push

23.  海底针  Needle at Sea Bottom

24.  扇通背  Fan Through the Back

25.  转身撇身捶 Turn Body and Chop with Fist

26.  进步搬拦捶 Step Forward, Parry Block and Punch

27.  上步揽雀尾 Step Forward and Grasp the Bird's Tail

28.  单鞭    Single whip

29.  云手    Cloud Hands  

30.  单鞭    Single whip

31.  高探马  High Pat on Horse

32.  右分脚  Right Separation Kick

33.  左分脚  Left Separation Kick

34.  转身左蹬脚 Turn Body and Left Heel Kick

35.  左搂膝拗步 Left Brush Knee and Push

36.  右搂膝拗步 Right Brush Knee and Push

37.  进步栽锤   Step Forward and Punch Down

38.  转身撇身锤 Turn Body and Chop with Fist

39.  进步搬拦锤 Step Forward, Parry Block and Punch

40.  右蹬脚  Right Heel Kick

41.  左打虎式   Left Strike Tiger 

42.  右打虎式   Right Strike Tiger

43.  回身右蹬脚 Turn Body and Right Heel Kick 

44.  双峰贯耳   Twin Fists Strike Opponents Ears

45.  左蹬脚  Left Heel Kick 


46.  转身右蹬脚 Turn Body and Right Heel Kick

47.  进步搬拦锤 Step Forward, Parry Block and Punch

48.  如封似闭   Apparent Close Up

49.  十字手  Cross Hands 

50.  抱虎归山  Embrace the Tiger and Return to Mountain

51.  斜单鞭  Diagonal Single Whip

52.  右野马分鬃 Parting Wild Horse's Mane, Right

53.  左野马分鬃 Parting Wild Horse's Mane, Left

54.  右野马分鬃 Parting Wild Horse's Mane, Right

55.  揽雀尾  Grasp the Bird's tail

56.  单鞭    Single Whip

57.  玉女穿梭   Fair Lady Works at Shuttles

58.  揽雀尾  Grasp the Bird's tail

59.  单鞭    Single Whip

60.  云手    Cloud Hands (1)  

61.  单鞭    Single Whip

62.  单鞭下势   Snake Creeps Down

63.  左金鸡独立 Golden Rooster Stands on One Leg, Left

64.  右金鸡独立 Golden Rooster Stands on One Leg, Right

65.  倒撵猴  Step Back and Repulse the Monkey, Left

66.  斜飞势  Diagonal Flying

67.  提手上势   Raise Hands and Step Forward

68.  白鹤凉翅   White Crane Spreads its Wings

69.  左搂膝拗步 Left Brush Knee and Push

70.  海底针  Needle at Sea Bottom

71.  扇通背  Fan Through the Back

72.  转身白蛇吐 Turn Bodyand White Snake Spits             out Tongue

73.  进步搬拦捶 Step Forward, Parry Block and Punch

74.  上步揽雀尾 Step Forward and Grasp the Bird's tail

75.  单鞭    Single Whip

76.  云手    Cloud Hands (1)

77.  单鞭    Single Whip

78.  高探马穿掌 High Paton On Horse with Palm              Thrust

79.  十字腿  Cross Kick

                         80.  进步指裆锤 Step Forward and                                                                  Punch Groin

81.  上步揽雀尾 Step Forward and Grasp the Bird's tail

82.  单鞭     Single Whip

83.  单鞭下势   Snake Creeps Down

84.  上步七星   Step Forward Seven Stars

85.  退步跨虎   Step back and Ride the Tiger

86.  转身摆莲   Turn Body and Swing Over Lotus

87.  弯弓射虎   Bend the Bow and Shoot the Tiger

88.  进步搬拦捶 Step Forward, Parry Block and Punch

89.  如封似闭   Apparent Close Up

90.  十字手  Cross Hands

91.  收式    Closing

还原      Return to Normal 


Tai chi history

Tai chi is a centuries-old Chinese martial art that descends from qigong, an ancient Chinese discipline that has its roots in traditional Chinese medicine. (The people that you see moving gracefully with flowing motions in parks throughout China, and increasingly throughout much of the modern world, are practicing tai chi.) According to some records, tai chi dates back as far as 2,500 years! It involves a series of slow, meditative body movements that were originally designed for self-defense and to promote inner peace and calm. According to the tai chi historian Marvin Smalheiser, some tai chi masters are famous for being able to throw an attacker effortlessly to the floor with the attacker and spectators unable to clearly see how it was done. Their movements use internal energy and movements too subtle for most people to observe, reflected in the notion that "four ounces can deflect a thousand pounds." At this high level of skill, a defender can use a small amount of energy to neutralize the far greater external force of an attacker.

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