Taiji Appliations 2011 Online Video Class: Part 3 The 4 Essential Taijiquan Techniques

by John Upshaw on 2020/06/14

In the previous section I covered The  4 Essential Taijiquan Techniques, which included Peng, Lu, Ji & An.  I left that lesson on here for review and quick reference.  In this finial section, part 3, I will cover The 4 Corner/Auxiliary Techniques, which include Cai, Lie, Zhou & Kao.  It is located after section 2.   Subsequent information from Master Chen’s writing will also be included in the descriptions. For those that are interested, I will moderate a Zoom discussion about all 3 sections this coming Sunday July 5th at 8 am CST. If you want to attend and can’t, please message me and we can set up a private Zoom session.

Section 2 Lesson: The  4 Essential Taijiquan Techniques (section 3 proceeds this)


In the video Master Chen describes peng as expanding, no bending, no stopping, consistent , even and as one piece.  Every move must have peng in it.  It is the initial contact with the opponent.  It is to touch with inflated energy, thus absorbing the energy of the opponent and neutralizing the incoming attack.  It means being “full” making your body strong. It is adding the opposite direction of your opponent’s push.

In the GIF below, you can see the “fullness”


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 In the GIF below, Master Chen is full, and adds one


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Lu is used to deflect and control an approaching opponent by following the incoming impact from an opponent.  One must follow the opponent without deviation.  The the opponent’s move is complete, you add one the same direction and one the same trajectory.  You must match or mirror with him/her that will give that feeling of emptiness.

Master Chen demonstrates being full and adding the same direction as the opponent and on the same line on the GIF below

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Another example of Lu that adheres to the same principles as previously described

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Below Master Chen Shifting between Peng And Lu

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Is to “press” or “squeeze” without applying power ye,  to take out space!  It is subtle and difficult for the opponent to detect until it is to late!  Master Chen made a sttatement in the video that out of all 8 of the techniques, this is the one to train the most.

Watch Master Chen take out the empty spaces

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Again Master Chen goes to where he is not

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All the space is taken out…just totally engulfed

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In this GIF Master Chen see’s the empty spaces and moves in without needing a contact point

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To press or push.  It is a sudden release of energy…attach & release.  Like a hammer tapping a nail.  Separation is crucial!  The body does not move with when the tap occurs.  In the 2 GIFs below observe the sudden release without the other body parts being drawn into it.


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Section #3 Lesson: The 4 Corner/Auxiliary Techniques


“Pluck,” or “pull down.” This is a pulling or yanking technique that uses the body weight and connection. This method adheres to the principle of Opening.  It is upward or downward, “anything to pull up the root”.

See GIFS below

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To cause a split or break.  This is a  movement that can be viewed as an extension to Cai. First, it is a larger movement than Cai. Secondly, it changes direction after completing the Cai portion of this movement. This method adheres to the principle of Opening and Splitting.

In the GIF below Master Chen demonstrates a move that 1st is cai and turns it into lie.

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Below are GIFS of lie.

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This means to twist.  The GIFS below make it very clear.

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This is a method of striking with the shoulder and the whole body. A typical application is the move of “to Walk Like a Wall” in the second set Cannon Fist of the Chen Style Taijiquan. This move adheres to the principle of Opening and Splitting.  It is Peng (full) with the back foot.  It most commonly uses the shoulder, back of the shoulder and hip during applications or in fighting.

Please see GIFS

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1. Beginning. 2. Basic Energies in Taiji Applications. 3. 8 Techniques in Taijiquan. 4. Some Applications.
Presenter: Chen Zhonghua   Length: 53 min.   In: English   Year: 2011  Difficulty:3/5  At:Daqingshan International Taiji Training Center

Taiji Applications 2011
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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Edward Liaw June 15, 2020 at 10:06 am

I thought this was a really clear example of An:


John Upshaw June 16, 2020 at 7:19 pm

Edward, you can practice this on me the next time we train with each other!


John Upshaw July 4, 2020 at 9:29 am

John Upshaw is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.

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John Upshaw July 4, 2020 at 4:10 pm

Section completed with GIFS.


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