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T’ai Chi and Chi kung.

Tai Chi is the commonly used transliteration (using the Wade Giles system of Romanization) of the Chinese characters 太 极 it may also be written as taiji using the Chinese government Pinyin system and it means "grand ultimate".

Its full title t'ai chi chu'an (taijiquan) as it is known in China would translate as "ultimate fist". However it is perhaps not so simple a translation as taiji is actually a Chinese philosophical term meaning "the great ultimate" (see wikipedia).

Certainly this fighting art is more inextricably linked with Chinese philosophy and Taoism than may be first apparent. "All movements conform to the theory of the mutual promotion of yin and yang." ¹
Taiji is a number of things to its various practitioners; it is a meditation system, a gentle exercise, a fighting / self defence system.

Taiji has been proved to have many health benefits such as improving heart conditions and reducing the incidence of falling in the elderly. However for most of its practitioners it is believed to promote all round good health.

The "Taiji classics" become an important part of the study of taiji for the advanced student, but the translation of classical Chinese can be difficult for Chinese let alone a westerner with neither the language nor the cultural background.

¹Wu style taichichuan - forms concepts and application of the original style. Wu Ying-hua & Ma Yueh-liang.


 太极单扇(tai chi single fan)
Chinese                  English                                                           Pin Yin
1预备式                      preparation form                                       yu bai shi
2 起式                         beginning form                                         qi shi
3 揽雀尾                      grasping birds tail                                    lan qui wei
4 楼膝拗步                   brush knee twist step                              lou xi ao bu                                      
5 分扇七星                   parting seven star                                   fen jian qi xing
6 斜弓步合扇               oblique bow step and close fan               xie gong bu he shan
7 云扇                         move the fan like cloud                                  yun shan
8 独立平开扇              stand on right leg, open fan at chest level      du li pin kai shan
9 虚步架扇                  empty step, lift up fan                                     xu bu jia shan             
10 虚步平刺                empty step, stab the chest                             xu bu ping si               
11 转身平开扇            turn and open fan at chest level                      zhuan sheng ping kai shang
12 转身虚步平压扇     turn, empty step and press fan down              zhuan shen xu bu ping ya shan
13倒撵猴                    step back, repulse monkey                             dao nian hou           
14 左斜飞式                left flying oblique posture                               zhu xie fei shi
15右斜飞式开扇         right flying oblique posture and open fan       you xie fei shi kai shan
16 下势                      downward posture                                          xia shi
17弓步平刺                bow step and stab chest                                  gong bu ping ci  
18开扇弹腿                open fan and kick                                           kai shan tan tui
19歇步压扇                lower body step and press the fan down        xie bu ya shan            
20丁步亮扇                T- step and raise the fan                                  ding bu lian shan
21上步开扇                step up and open the fan                                 shang bu kai shan
22弓步截扇                bow step, blocking form with fan                     gong bu jie shan
23转身劈扇                turn and split                                                   zhuan shen pi  shan
24提膝上刺                lift up the knee and stab upwards                    ti xi shang ci
25连环扇                    move the fan like linked chain and ring                       lian huan fan
26大鹏展翅                big bird stretches its wings                             da peng zhan chi
27夜叉探海                Ye Cha* explores the sea                                ye cha tan hai
28左云斜开扇             left step and cloud hands with open fan          chuo yun xie kai shan
29转身歇步抱扇         turn, lower body step and hold fan                  zhuan shen xie bu bao shan
30 天王托塔                Tian Wang* holds the pagoda                        tian wang tuo ta                     
31上步反开扇             step up, open fan backwards                          shang bu fan kai shan
32右平推扇                push the fan at the chest level                         you ping tui shan
33左弓步撩扇             left bow step and draw fan up in circle           zhuo gong bu liao shan
34盘根指雁                twisted root, point to the wild goose                pan gen zhi yan                      
35转身摇旗                turn around, wave banner                               zhuan shen yao qi       
36一指朝阳                point at the rising sun                                      yi zhi zhao yang                     
37金鸡独立                golden cockerel stands on one leg                   jin ji du li  
38马步推扇                horse riding step and push the fan                  ma bu tui shan
39钩挂链环                hook and hand chain of rings                          gou gua lian huan
40收式                       closing form                                                     shou shi
*Ye Cha – transliteration of the sanshrit yaksa or a budhist guard. *Tian Wang – one of name from the legend.

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