Yang Style Long Form
Tai Chi Chuan
This Lesson Contains:
Movement # 93 – Wave Hands Like Clouds
This is the third and last repetition of Clouds Hands. This time I am defending against a kick to my lower body. I join, neutralize, and throw the opponent away. The side step is repeated three times, as it is in both of the previous repetitions. This time my side step comes from the two feet being together. The first repetition was shoulder width; the second was hip width, and now feet together. It adds interest, different balance challenges, and application variety.
My opponent is again Anna. She was the Grand Champion at the recent Northwest Push Hands Championships. Congratulations to her and all the winners and participants.
Shift the weight onto the right foot, and as you do, turn the torso to the right, allowing the left foot to pivot inward. At the end of the shift and turn, the nose, torso, right knee, and left toe all face north.
The left arm moves down and to the right with the torso. It ends in front of the lower body with the palm facing inward. It is actually going to be making a large counterclockwise circle in front of the body. The right hand relaxes and moves into center position. Focus on the left wrist/forearm.
Note: Because of my body turn to the right, even if the kick lands, it will be a glancing blow. The left forearm catches the extended leg of the attacker. In the hard styles, my left hand could actually attack the opponent’s knee with a hard striking fist.
Shift the weight onto the left foot, turning the torso to the left until the nose points to the left toe. There are no foot movements to this first part of the movement.
The left hand continues its large circle in front of the body and ends in front of the left shoulder with the palm still facing inward.
The right hand starts down to make a large clockwise circle in front of the body.
At this time, it is in front of the crotch.
Focus on the left forearm.
Note: Having joined with the opponent’s leg, I issue Peng Jing (up and expanding) to the left, upsetting her balance.
Bring in the right foot and place it next to the left foot. Keep the weight down, and both knees facing forward. The hands are continuing their circles.
As you turn the torso to the right, step out the left foot, placing it as far to the left as you can without leaning the upper body. The left toe should face north. The hands continue their circles.
Note: The timing of the circles with the side step and turn of the torso is the difficult part of this movement. When you step to the side, the hands should be on the right side of the body. Duei La.
Shift the weight onto the left foot. The right leg should be straight. The torso turns to the left. The left arm does Peng and the right follows down to guard the lower body.
Bring in the right foot and place it next to the left foot. The right hand moves to the left with the step. It is almost as if the right hand moves the foot to the left.
I have now done one Cloud movement. I will repeat this two more times.
The end of Clouds Hands is when the weight is on the left foot, but the right foot hasn’t yet been brought in next to the left.
Note: Clouds Hands is actually Ward Off to the side. If you study this carefully and compare it to Movement # 2, you’ll see that they are very similar, only the direction is different.