Tai Chi - "the Grand Ultimate" is a collection of practices
that involve the development of health, combative, and spiritual powers.

It involves an emphasis on the nurturance and use of internal force
for all three of these aspects of the practice of Tai Chi Chuan.

In the development of this internal force taijiquan reflects its cousin,
the essence of the art of energy, qigong (Chi Kung).

Taoist cultivation involves 3 stages:

1) Cultivating jing (essence) to become chi (energy)
2) Cultivating chi to become shen (spirit)
3) Cultivating shen to return to the cosmos.

Chi Kung is the bridge leading from the physical jing to the spiritual shen

In learning one begins wit the stances and breathing
to develop a "pearl of energy" at abdomen (dantien).


Start with Wuji Zhuang (Infinite ultimate stance) move into Tai Chi Stance

"From the infinite ultimate or the void is born the grand ultimate or the cosmos" (Wong, 1996, pp. 41-42).

The are 8 basic movement of the hands:
peng - ward off

lu - roll back

qi (chi) - press

an - push

lie (liat) - spreading (splitting)

cai (chai) - taking (pull down)

zhou - elbow(ing)

koa - leaning (shoulder)


There are 5 fundamental movements of the feet

jin - moving forward

tui - moving back

ku - moving to left

pan - moving to right

ding - remaining at centre

Silk Reeling Exercises (Chan Ssu Chin)

also are an integral part of tai chi where there are 8 principles of movement to train and develop (Zhang, 1992).

These are:

Opening and Closing

Rising and Lowering

Emptying and Filling

Circling and Spiraling



Wong, K.K. (1996). The complete book of Tai Chi Chuan: A comprehensive guide to the principles and practice. Rockport, Mass: Element.

Zhang, X.X. (1992). China's Living Treasures: Volume Fifteen Chan Ssu Chin - Silk Reeling Cocoon Training exercises. Mamaroneck, NY: One Hand Video.