Gilman Studio On-Line Lessons



Tai Chi Partner Cane Form


This Lesson Contains:

Applications –

   Special Note: There are a lot of pictures so it will take quite a while for all the pictures to download. Be Patient.

   This lesson is very long and it explains applications for all the moves of the form. As in all forms, I show one application for each movement, even though there are many possibilities. I suggest you learn the movements with the applications given, and after you have mastered the form, feel free to make up your own.

In this lesson I will show a movement and its application without showing the defense, so you can see what would happen if there was no defense. I will then show the defense. In this lesson, I’m not concerned with exactness of stances, directions, and all the other small details that learning a form require. That will follow in the break down of each move. For now, just study the pictures, and get a feeling for the form. Notice the change of levels during the various attacks. Also notice that the hand not holding the cane is mostly kept on or near the wrist of the hand holding the cane. This is because the hand is a good target and should be kept out of harm’s way. It can also add energy to strong strikes.


1) Start facing partner slightly further apart then the space that can be bridged by the cane.  We will call Stephanie’s side, Side A, and my side will be Side B. We will say Afaces north and B faces south just to get a feel for the changes in direction.

2) Holding the cane by the side, bow to the partner.







A – Open the Door

1) A steps straight ahead with her left foot and pokes B’s belly.

Poke to middle level.


B – Move the Branch Aside

2) B steps back with his right foot, joins and neutralizes the attack to the right side. Just stepping back probably would have been enough to avoid the poke, but joining with her cane helps to feel A’s energy.





A – Snapping the Branch

1) A steps in with her right foot and protects her head while stepping by forming what I call a roof with her cane. The tip is angled down so B can not just slide his cane up to hit A’s hand as she steps. You’ll see this position more easily when we move to the break down of the movements.


2) A shifts her weight onto the right foot and strikes B’s temple with the tip. The temple is a favorite target for the cane as it is easy to knock someone out by hitting this point.

Strike to upper level.

Note: This step in and strike is all one movement. There is no stopping between the stepping in and shifting.





B – Stopping the Branch

1) B steps back with his left foot to avoid the strike and uses his cane to block. Depending on B’s skill and strength of cane material, he can either break A’s cane, knock it away, or stick.


B – Hit the Snake

2) B steps in and to the left side, covering his head with the roof, in preparation for the strike.





1) B shifts his weight onto the left foot and strikes down on A’s wrist.

   Strike to middle level.


A – Whirlwind

2) A sits back avoiding the hit to her wrist. At the same time she joins with and leads B’s cane slightly to the right side, opening up his upper level.





1) A shifts forward and strikes to B’s temple.

   Strike to upper level.


B – The Dragon Attacks

2) B ducks to avoid the strike. As he does this, he protects his head with a roof.






1) strikes A’s knee.

   Strike to lower level.


A – Ride the Wind

2) A steps back to avoid the strike and at the same time neutralizes and leads B’s cane to her right.





1) The dragon finishes his attack to A’stemple by stepping forward with his right foot.

   Strike to upper level.


2) A completes Ride the Wind by stepping back to avoid B’s attack. She uses her cane to block.






A – Look for the Snake

1) A starts her attack by stepping in and slightly to the left while protecting her head with a roof.


2) A finishes her attack by shifting onto the left foot and striking downward to B’s knee.

   Attack to lower level.





B – Ride the Tiger

1) B avoids the knee attack by shifting to the left foot and getting the right foot out of the way. He also blocks with his cane.


B- Eagle Spreads Wings

2) B immediately follows with a strike to A’stemple by stepping down with the right foot and shifting the weight onto it.

   Strike to upper level.




A – Rising Stick

1) A sits back and brings up her cane to join, stick and lead. She has to stick and lead in order to let B overextend and open up a target.


A – Piercing Stick

2) A shifts forward and pokes towards B’s belly.

   Poke to middle level.





B – Move the Branch Aside

1) B sits back and joins, sticks and leads A’scane to the right side.


A- Snap the Low Branch

2) A steps forward and inside B’s defense with her right foot and makes a roof to protect her head.





1) A finishes her attack to B’s knee.

Attack to lower level.


B – Tornado Rises Dust

2) This a fun movement. B is going to spin in and around A to attack the back of her knee. Firstly, he gets the right knee out of the way of A’s attack and joins with her cane, leading it to his right.





1) B puts his right foot down in front of, and at an angle to, the left foot. His body is turning to the right.


2) B now steps around with his left foot, and turning right, attacks A’s right knee.

Attack to lower level.






A – Snake Attacks the Feet.

1) A gets her right foot out of the way and stops B’s cane with hers.


2) Stepping behind him, she attacks the back of his knee.

Attack to lower level.

Note: We are now on an east/west axis.





B – Snap the Branch

1) B blocks the attack with his cane.


2) Stepping around to the right, B uses the cane to protect his head and back as he spins around for the strike.






1) Completing his move, B strike A’s temple with his cane.

   Attack to upper level.


A – Break Branch and Raise Dust

2) This is the trickiest move of the form. Afirst stops B’s attack with her cane as she steps back to avoid B’s strike.





1) A now slightly drops her cane below B’s.


2) She then sharply knocks B’s cane to her right. She might knock it out of B’s hand, or as happened here, cause his cane to move sharply to his left.






1) A actually spins around and in to end up attacking the back of B’s knee.

Attack to lower level.


B – Drop the Stick

2) B steps his right foot out of the way and blocks with his cane.





B – Snake Bites the Neck

1) B steps around to the left and strikes down on A’s neck.

Attack to upper level.


A – Protect the Head from the Rain

2) A quickly raises up her cane to protect against the strike.


Note: This is the end of the form. There is a transition that follows where changes to and vice versa. I will show the ending when I break down the movements.






A to B

1) Following A’s movement #11- Protect Head From the RainA does B movement # 3 – Hit the Snake. She strikes down on the wrist. Stephanie now will do the rest of the Bside movements, having left out the first two on the A side.


B to A

2) Michael now moves into A side by doing movement #3 – Whirlwind. Here he sits back and neutralizes B’s attack to the right.





Transition Continued

1) Michael, now A, completes Whirlwindby striking Stephanie’s, now B, temple.

Note: This is the only tricky thing in the transition. As A strikes to the temple, he steps back with his left foot. This will put him in the same foot position the old A was when she did Whirlwind, because she started out from a different place.


2) B now does movement # 4, The DragonAttacks, by sinking down to avoid the strike. She follows by attacking A’s knee, and the form continues as before.





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