Gilman Studio On-Line Lessons



Tai Chi Partner Cane Form


This Lesson Contains:

Movement # 2 – Breaking the Branch

This movement seems contrary to the principles of Tai Chi – that is using force against force. So be it. In this movement, I step back to avoid the opponent’s strike to my head, and in doing so, I gather energy into my Kua and waist. I then release it into the opponent’s cane, hopefully breaking it or knocking it out of his hand.


Step back with the left foot, touching down the toe. Sink the weight into the right Kua.

The cane is going to make a small clockwise circle to gain momentum for the strong snapping motion needed to break the opponent’s cane. This energy comes from the center and out into the right arm. See if you can picture and feel the energy spin around in the belly in a counterclockwise direction as you glance downward inside, like you are looking at a phonograph record spinning. This energy then moves upward into the right arm.

Focus on the energy in the belly.





Shift the weight onto the left foot. The right toe pivots in to face the starting direction (west). The torso turns slightly to the left in order to snap the chi out into the cane and stop the opponent’s cane on the left side of the body. The power for this snapping energy comes from the legs, of course, and is stored in the Kua region, before being released by the waist. It is for this reason that we sink first into the right Kua when stepping. Now as we shift the weight back, there is plenty of stored energy for the release.

The cane ends up comfortably in front of the left side of the body at about a 45-degree angle tilt. The left hand touches the right forearm for support.

Focus on the cane about a third of the way down from the tip.





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