How to Ride the Tiger

July 29th, 2008

Two diagrams from Ride the Tiger to the Mountain, a taijiquan instruction manual by Martin and Emily Lee.

The first “figure shows the dynamic of yin-yang balance. The right side of the diamond follows the yang elements of T’ai Chi. The left side follows the yin elements” (p34).

yin-yang balance

The second “figure illustrates the T’ai Chi fitness system” (p169).

taiji fitness

Connection in Taijiquan

April 16th, 2008

A diagram from Kuo Lien-Ying’s T’ai Chi Boxing Chronicle. The diagram connects several of taijiquan‘s significant energies, or jins, representing the nature of each jin with an expressive curve.


For example, the serpentine curve between Open and Close represents Folding: “Folding transitions are connected without interruption. Folding is done with the hands, revolving is done with the legs. Folding brings the opponent’s movements to the extremity; thus you fold when you receive. It lengthens energy and is never intermittent or broken off.

“If you intend to move upward, then first fold from below. If you intend to move to the left, then the folding must start from the right. This way the energies are mutually connected. Also, a firm grasp of this drawing of silk exists, so one never receives straight, directly, or rigidly. This contains the idea of the hands working together in accordance with the steps. Regardless of whether you enter forward or retreat backward, the steps must follow the turning of the body to the left or right. Never enter straight or retreat rigidly. The energy inside the legs is stable and sinks without being intermittent or broken off. Boxing chronicles say that the forward and returning motions must have folding; enter and retreat must have revolving” (p103).