Taijiquan fist
   
     

classes     taijiquan     self defence     qigong     tai chi for health     about us     reviews     a-z


Closed hand

The hand in taijiquan does not really make a fist - instead, the hand simply closes. The fingers curl naturally inward. The thumb is placed upon the first finger. The hand is firm but not rigid.
This is called a vertical fist or a standing fist.


Not a typical fist

A taijiquan fist is totally different from a conventional fist, where the thumb is curled around the first two fingers and the hand is curled very tightly shut.
The 'normal' fist causes tension in the back of the hand and the wrist.


Baby hand

A taijiquan fist is softly closed without tension - like a baby's hand. It is as if you were gently holding a stone - the hand is relaxed and there is a slight space in the palm. This space is vital.


Functional

The taijiquan fist offers many striking planes:

  1. Heel

  2. Thumb point

  3. Backfist (big knuckle)

  4. Standing/vertical fist (bottom two knuckles)

  5. Horizontal fist (big knuckle)

  6. Tiger fist (big knuckle)

  7. Tiger palm (palm down)

These methods will only work if the hand shape is 'natural' and not distorted/twisted from tension.


Strange methods?

There are no one-knuckle punches or other odd hand positions/punches in taijiquan.


Seizing

The taijiquan fist facilitates rapid opening and closing of the hand; making it ideal for seizing. Thumb and first finger are used for pinching. Closing the entire hand enables seizing.


Quan

The word 'quan' (or fist) means combat/self defence. The soft nature of the taijiquan fist highlights taijiquan's approach to combat - yielding to force rather than resisting.
Taijiquan is not an aggressive martial art.


In taijiquan we pay attention to ourselves, not the opponent.
When attacked treat your attacker as if he were armed with a piece of paper or a feather duster.
Ask yourself if you are really relaxed.

(Cheng Man Ching)
 


school database


Page created 18 April 1995
Last updated 27 April 2020