Gilman Studio On-Line Lessons



Yang Style Long Form

Tai Chi Chuan


This Lesson Contains:

Movement # 90 – Ward Off Left

Movement # 91 – Grasp The Bird’s Tail

We now head into some repeated movements. The first is Ward Off done in a different direction, facing east instead of north. We then repeat Grasp the Bird’s Tail (with the addition of right Push Upward). I have shown Ward Off Left and Right Push Upward in this lesson because they have slightly different applications and transitions into the movement. The remaining movements of Grasp the Bird’s Tail – Roll Back, Press Forward, and Push, are the same as Movement # 21 and done in the same way. Again, I urge you to print a copy of that lesson and place it after this lesson so you can have the complete visual to remind you of what the whole movement contains.

In Movement # 90, following my Punch, the opponent grabs my right fist with his right hand. I pull back my right arm and at the same time, press his holding arm down with my left forearm to break his hold or pull him out of his root. He holds on, so I attack him with the back of my left forearm. If he had let go when I pulled back, I most probably would have followed his retreat with a push to send him flying. This application would not work nearly as well if opponent grabs with his left hand. My pressing down with my forearm would be less effective because I would be pressing into his elbow fold and he would be much more open to attack me.

In Movement # 91, John grabs my left wrist with his left hand. I draw his arm across his body, close him up, and uproot him by turning my body to the left. As he tries to regain balance, I step behind him and throw him over my right leg.

To complete this movement, repeat Roll Back, Press Forward, and Push.


Movement # 90 – Ward Off Left 

John has grabbed my right wrist with his right hand. I start to pull back.

The weight starts to shift back into right foot sit stance and the torso starts to turn toward the right.

As the body starts to move backwards, the right fist opens and the palm turns downward. The left hand remains in pretty much the same position, near the elbow.

Focus on the right wrist where it is attached to the opponent.

This is the testing phase of the movement. What is my opponent going to do if I withdraw? In this case he maintains the grip.





My withdraw upsets his root because he is determined to hold onto me. I use my left forearm to help pull him down, and/or break his grip on my wrist.

The weight has shifted completely onto the right foot. The left foot remains in place with a little root still in it. The torso has turned until the center faces half way between east and south.

As the weight shifted to the right foot, the left forearm presses down and ends up in front of the body. The right hand moved up slightly to end up by the right side of the chest. You are now in center position.

Focus on the left forearm to press down.

Make sure the right Kua is activated so you can spring the return energy forward. It is a common mistake to lean the body back at this point, thus not using the Kua.





The energy is returned in the form of Peng Jing. Since I didn’t step behind the opponent, I use the Peng Jing to strike him instead of throwing him over my leg.

Shift the weight back onto the left foot and turn the torso until the nose points east. There have been no foot movements.

As the weight shifts, the left forearm is raised until it ends up in front of the chest with the palm facing inward. The right hand has moved down to the right hip with the palm facing down and slightly to the rear. The hand movements are the same as Movement #2.

Focus on the left forearm for expanding outward and the right hand for maintaining a pull.





Movement # 91 – Grasp the Bird’s Tail.

The first part of this movement is Right Push Upward. It is basically the same as Movement #3, but starts from a different direction.

John grabs my left forearm with his left hand. I turn to the left to escape and see how he will respond.

Keeping the weight on the left foot, turn out the foot to the left and sink the weight onto the left Kua. Roll up onto the right toe.

The hands move into center position. The right hand is brought over to the left by the turning of the torso, and the left hand ends up by the left side of the chest, with the palm facing slightly outward towards the opponent.

Focus on the turning to the left of the torso, and the left hand for sticking.





I now upset John’s root by pulling to the left, and at the same time, I step my right foot behind him to seal his probable retreat.

Sink the weight deeper into the left foot as you step forward with the right foot, slightly to the right of east. The heel touches down. Don’t add weight yet.

The hands remain in the same position as you step.

Focus on the left hand for pulling, and the right foot for correct placement.

My torso is actually pulling John out of his root. Don’t do the pull with the hand and arm by itself. Always use the body to make the movement effective.





I throw the dreaded opponent over my right leg.

The weight shifts onto the right foot, and the torso turns to end up with the center facing slightly to the right of east. Move ahead until the knee just covers the toe. As the weight is near the end of the shift, turn in the left toe to face half way between north and east.

The right arm moves upward as the torso turns, to end up with the palm facing inward in front of the right shoulder. The left palm has followed the body and remains on the left side of the chest with the palm facing forward. Keep the elbows drooped.

Focus on the back of the right forearm.

Note: You now do Roll Back, Press Forward, and Push.





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