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48 Form Tai Chi Chuan Teaching

III. Basic Technical Essentials

(II) Hand Techniques

l. Ward off: Curve the arm, move the forearm forward from below to block and ward off, and place it in front of the body, palm inside at shoulder level. Focus the force on the outside of the forearm.

2. Stroke: Bend both arms slightly, palms oblique facing each other, and curve the palms while turning the waist, from in front of the body backward to the sides of the body, or to behind the sides of the body.

3. Push: Push both arms forward together, with the rear hand close to the inside of the front hand. After pushing, form the arms into a circle to a height between the shoulder and the chest. Focus the force on the palm fingers of the rear hand and the forearm of the front hand.

4. Press: Push and press both palms forward from behind. After pressing, keep the wrists at a height between the shoulder and the chest, palm forward, fingers up, arms slightly bent and elbows relaxed and dropped. The pressing should be coordinated with the bowing of the legs and the relaxing of the waist.

5. Thrust fist(s): Turn and thrust the fist(s) forward from the waist. After thrusting, keep the fist eye and the thumb at a height between the shoulder and the crotch, arm slightly bent and elbow not too stiff. Focus the force on the fist face.

6. Plunge downward: Plunge the fist from above forward and downward. After plunging, keep the fist face forward down, with the thumb to one side. Focus the force on the fist face.

7. Sweep the fist inward: Sweep the fist horizontally from sideways below oblique upward. Bend the arm slightly, fist eye oblique up. Focus the force on the fist face.

8. Chop the fist: Chop the fist from above forward, fist center oblique up at head level. Focus the force on the fist back.

9. Thread the fist: Extend the fist forward from the inner side of the other hand or the thigh.

10. Swing the fist with bent arm: First bend the arm and stretch it to raise the fist from below forward or forward down to strike. After striking, keep the fist center down, not higher than shoulder level, or lower than crotch level.

11. Hold the palms: Keep the palms facing each other or stagger them slightly as if holding a ball in front of the body or by the side of the body, upper hand not higher than the shoulder and lower hand about waist level. Keep the Palms in a round shape and arms curved. Relax the shoulders and drop the elbows.

12. Part palms: Move the palms oblique apart, one forward and the other backward, or one up and the other down. After parting, put the front hand in front of the head or the body, and press the rear hand to the hips. Bend the arms in a slight curve.

13. Circle palm: Circle the palms horizontally in front of the knees to the hips, palm down.

14. Push palm: Push the palms forward from above the shoulders or in front of the chest, palm forward and fingers up, fingers not higher than the eyebrow or lower than the shoulders. Bend the arms in a slight curve. The elbow should not be stiff or straight.

15. Thread palm: Thrust the palm forward over the inner side of the other arm, or the thigh.

16. Wave hands like clouds: Cross palms in front of the body to draw vertical circles to both sides, fingers not higher than the head or lower than the crotch. Wave the palms like clouds.

17. Swing the palms: Swing the palms from below board or forward down, palm upward or forward, not higher than the chest or lower than the crotch.

18. Palm block: Bend the arm and lift it up to block oblique in front of the forehead, palm oblique outward.

19. Open palms: Open the palms, move them apart, one upward and the other down, and prop them up powerfully and symmetrically.

20. Press palm: press the palm downward, with the thumb inward and the palm down.

21. Hold up palm: Hold the palm up from below.

22. Pluck palm: Pull and stroke the Palm oblique from front downward.

23. Beat: Use the palm to beat oblique outward.

24. Lean. The shoulders, back, or upper arms release the force outward oblique.

All hand techniques should be executed in curved lines, with forearms turned correspondingly, not straight or stiff. They should be coordinated with the body techniques and footwork. After the arms are stretched out, the shoulders and elbows should relaxed and dropped, wrists relaxed and flexible, and palms

fully extended. Nothing should be stiff or soft. The force points of the hand techniques are mainly for attack and defense. Attention should be paid to consciousness rather than to force. Stiff force should not be used intentionally.

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