Chinese Thermal Diet explained: 4000 years of food classification

last update: 3-31-2015

“The most important thing is Qi” – Dr. Amy Tseng

Traditionally the Chinese way of eating is based on ‘Qi’ energy (force that maintains our vital signs). This is done to maximize the daily amount of qi that we are given. It is important to note that many indigenous cultures seem to have naturally figured out what is best suited for them. For instance- those in tropical regions tend to eat what naturally cools them down, while those in Polar Regions tend to eat what will keep them warm. The diet is based on some of the principles of the macrobiotic diet- which is eating according to where you are. Currently I am living in a North American temperate zone that has four seasons- Winter, Spring, Summer and Fall, so I must adjust my diet to this climate. If I were to move to a polar or tropical temperate zone then I should change accordingly, but because I am a zone that has 4 seasons, I must not eat as if I were in any other zone. This means that tropical fruits and vegetables, imported fruits and vegetables from Europe, Asia, Africa, etc. are really of no use for me. If I were to live in the Tropical region then it is good to eat the local foods there, including the spicy which will make a person sweat to prevent heat exhaustion or heat stroke; however the tropical diet is not important for my current living zone. The best concentration of food sources are local and regional areas. Another good thing to consider in diet is organic food sources. Today our meats and vegetables are not fully raised properly. Livestock is often raised in factory type settings with steroids and anti-biotics, farms may be using toxic pesticides, and industry farming can deplete the minerals in the soil.

More dietary therapy with Chinese Doctor:/

The Chinese diet is based on thousands of years of research in many Taoist monasteries. These places have researched the energies of the diet for health and medical benefits. The food energies are based on 5 energy types. Cold food energy is a weak force that makes the person feels generally tired. Cool food energy generally has a cooling effect on the persons system. Warm food energy have a warming and nourishing effect on the human body. Hot or Fire food energy is strong and has a heating effect that generally makes the person seem to have a lot of energy, but is the most dangerous of them all. Neutral food energies do not change body temperature. The cold and fire foods are the ones to avoid because they throw the ‘qi’ off balance by being extremes. A combination of these cold and hot/fire extremes leads to ‘Empty Fire’ leading to serious imbalances.

Cold energy foods are usually raw and uncooked vegetables, tropical fruits and vegetables, raw meats like cold cuts and sushi. Eat these very rarely if at all, if you are in cold weather regions. The raw and uncooked foods tend to make the stomach overwork thereby using much of the bodies ‘qi’ energy just to be able to break and digest it. We are not concerned with vitamins and minerals of the food, but how to maximize your daily energy. This diet is not based on calories, carbohydrates nor protein but solely the ‘qi’ energy. People with cold energy symptoms may be more timid or afraid, prone to feeling cold, have a hard time waking up, feel generally fatigued.
Some of the cold foods include:
Sushi, Salads, Celery, cucumbers, pineapple, coconuts, mangos, cold cuts, cold drinks, cauliflower, Bok Choi, Mung bean sprouts, seaweed, turnip, tofu, Asian pear, banana, kiwi, rhubarb, watermelon, grapefruit, clams, crab, lobster, scallops, shrimp, veal, juices.

Hot or Fire foods Should be avoided, or very rarely. These are foods cooked under direct fire like barbecued, grilled, baked, and cooked in oil, spicy, fried, roasted, melted cheese. These are also foods with high amount of toxins and sugars.
Some of these Hot/fire foods include: caffeine, coffee, chocolate, deep fried foods, baked foods like pizza, black pepper, curry, MSG, poppy seeds, sesame, spicy, candy, soda, avocado, chili, chips and fries, eggplant, raw onion, red pepper, roasted nuts, lychee, tangerine, eel, lamb, venison, hot chocolate, alcohol, cigarettes, and other stimulant drugs.

Cool foods are good for the human body on summer days, warmer days of spring and fall. These foods are geared towards stabilizing the negative effects of fire foods.
Some Cool foods are: apples, oranges, lemons, blueberries, pears, peppermint, strawberries, grapes, alfalfa sprouts, Brussel sprouts, dill, lettuce, mushroom, mint, parsley, snow peas, white corn, cantaloupe, cranberry, honeydew, lime, nectarine, red banana, starfruit, cabbage, salt, honey, sugar, vinegar.

Warm foods are ideal all year around and are more important in winter as well. These are foods that are cooked by way of simmering, stews, soups, wok, etc. Staple foods like grains, pasta, bread, and rice are also very ideal in all cultures and are considered warm foods. Teas are also considered warm as well.
Warm foods include- beef, chicken, fish, pork, eggs, duck, cheese, ham, rabbit, milk, wines, bread, rice, soups, stews, teas. black beans, adzuki beans, broccoli, carrots, kale, lentils, peas, potatoes, soybeans, pumpkin, squash, string beans, zucchini, ginger, garlic, onion, tomato, apricot, currants, blackberry, cherry, guava, papaya, plum, raisin, almond, date, peach, raspberry, basil, bay, chives, paprika, sage, thyme, white pepper, cinnamon, nutmeg, butter, artichoke, bell pepper, cous cous, oatmeal, small bok choi.

The Charts below share: Food| Thermal property| Flavor| Organ it influences and Medicinal action

Click on image for larger view of: Grains
Grains

Click on image for larger view of: Meats
Meats

Click on image for larger view of: Vegetables
vegetables

Click on image for larger view of: Fruits
Fruits

Click on image for larger view of: Herbs and Spices
Herbs-spices

Click on image for larger view of: Nuts and Seeds
Nuts-seeds

Click on image for larger view of: Seafood
Seafood

The Chinese diet is a varied diet designed to help alleviate symptoms of illness often produced by the wrong foods. Acute and chronic conditions can be heighten by eating the wrong types of foods, and alleviated by eating the correct foods. The wrong foods for example can cause lung issues like asthma, phlegm, and chronic colds. PMS, cramps, infertility, and heavy or scanty periods are affected by wrong foods. High blood pressure and diabetes are affected by foods.

Food flavor categories:
Sweet: enters the Stomach and Spleen, helps to boost deficiency.
Pungent: enters the Lungs and large intestines, promote distribution and circulation.
Sour: enters the Liver and Gall bladder, helps to arrest the abnormal discharge of fluids.
Bitter: enters the heart and Small Intestines, it helps to clear heat and dry dampness.
Salty: enters the Kidney and Bladder, helps to dissipate accumulations and nourish blood.

Warm and hot energy foods, pungent and sweet will have a tendency to make the Qi energy rise upwards and float out, while the cooler and cold, sour, bitter and salty, will lower down and sink into the body.

Many of the foods in the grocery store are not even good for the body. The foods that are hot in nature really need to be removed since they cause inflammation. The alkaline and glycemic index diets are naturally already in the Chinese diet. Most vegetables are alkaline in nature so to get 6 cups of veggies, just eat 2 cups of veggies for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

Since the diet is Qi based, by correcting the Qi, the body can work towards homeostasis and weight management. A weak and skinny body will being to fill out to normal “original” weight and stomach becomes balanced, a over-weight person Qi will balance allowing them to make better food choices and naturally shed off the pounds towards “original” weight. That is entirely up the the individual to make the right choices and will to put the correct things in their body. Health is in your hands.

Try to eliminate wheat, corn, coffee, and quinoa from the diet since they are “fire” in nature. This excess heat burns off the positive blood and fluids and is just a fake energy in the beginning. They will leave you dry and inflamed in the end. Coffee has a 6 hour half-life, have it for breakfast if you must, but we suggest green tea as a healthier alternative to caffeine “fire”.
Reduce dairy as it can cause phlegm, reduce sugar as it causes a spleen imbalance. Sugar has a false sense of yin energy, then you crave more and it becomes a cycle.
Peanuts are acidic and inflammatory and cause phlegm.

References:

Traditional Chinese Medicine Youtube:
Christina Kapothanasis, L. Ac., Dipl. O.M.
Journal of the Tao Experience Foundation: Wilson Pitts with Dr. Amy Tseng
Qi magazine issue 1, vol. 1.
Shennong website

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Jinji Duli- “Rooster on One Leg” by Sun Jian-Yu interviewed by Bradford Tyrey

Bradford Tyrey Book at Lulu.com

PicsArt_1426258578675

A: As I have said before, exceptional boxing masters of the past generations had most carefully
and deliberately given exact names to each posture or set of movements as the basis of true
instruction. Each name taught a meaning or double meaning, method of practice, and often a
philosophical teaching. A good example for me to speak on is the taijiquan set of movements
called 金鷄獨立 Jinji Duli (Golden Rooster Stands Alone).

Gongji公鸡 (roosters) have the ability to sense the approach of evil in the form of demons.
When a rooster cries out it called gongming公鸣 (a crowing rooster), its crowing is able to
frighten demons, making them flee. According to the taijiquan posture Gongji Duli 公鸡独立
(Rooster Stands Alone), my father said that his taijiquan master, Hao Wei-Zhen, expounded
on the posture’s name which teaches the lesson of self-diligence and reliance in one’s own
courage to confront and overcome any hindrances encountered in life. A double meaning,
according to a play on words, is another reason the posture’s name was created. Duli 独立 (to
stand alone), has a similar enunciation as duli 独力 (individual effort). The inferred
connotation is that one can ‘stand alone’ at the very top of a summit, and through trusting his
own attentiveness in studies can be fruitful in passing the civil service examinations, thereby
attaining the rank of a high official or government minister.

Sun taijiquan’s three sequential postures composing
金鷄獨立Jinji Duli (Golden Rooster Stands Alone).

Master Sun also taught his students the double meanings of many postures. For example,
gongji 公鸡 (rooster) has the same pronunciation as ji 吉 (lucky, auspicious). The morning rooster that crows (gong ming 公鸣) sounds very similar to功名gong ming (merit and fame).
My father’s taijiquan teacher, Master Hao Wei-Zhen, had taught many further meanings of 独立(to stand alone), many are deeply philosophical, others are profound methods of internal practices. These are taught throughout the practice of neijiaquan.

Author’s Notation:
One of my classmates under Madam Sun was a professor of history at Bei Da (Beijing University). He had explained the following to us, as it had direct bearing on Jinji Duli (Golden Rooster Stands Alone).
[The expression 独立潮 duli chao (to stand alone before the tide) was well known during past generations. The character 潮 chao (tide) has the same pronunciation as the character 朝 (court [government]). In essence, 独立潮 duli chao (to stand alone before the tide) has a veiled meaning, that being a high ranked government officer ‘standing alone before the emperor.’

Temple of Heaven

templeheaven

In the 1980s Master Liu Xing-Han taught us that from 1911-1937 the Temple of Heaven in Beijing became a very special meeting place for both baguazhang and xingyiquan sects to practice and exchange information. His friend and one of his teachers Master Cheng You-Xin [Cheng Ting-Hua's youngest son], regularly conducted classes there near the stairway to the upper platform. The photo here was taken in the early 1920s when these classes were flourishing. Masters Yin Fu, Liu Bin, Cheng You-Long, Sun Lu-Tang, Cheng You-Xin and others held classes there on a regular basis. I was given this photo (rather traded for it) by Master Liu Xing-Han. I hope that all of you will treasure it as part of the cultural heritage of neijiaquan.

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San-t’i shi explained by Sun Jian-Yun, interviewed by Bradford Tyrey

Click here to get to Bradford Tyrey books on LuLu.com

Sun_lu-tang

In the 1980s I asked Madam Sun Jian-Yun (Sun Lu-T’ang’s daughter) and Wang Xi-Kui (Sun Lu-T’ang’s disciple) many questions over the years. Here are two explanations provided by Madam Sun, and further substantiated by Wang [unfortunately Wang passed away only a couple of years after studying with him]. The explanations below are the initial explanations that were given when entering into neijiaquan practices. Further detailed clarifications were given with each palm or fist set.

Q: Would you explain the true meaning of 三體式(san-t’ishi), according to the explanation of
your father [Sun Lu-T’ang] and his teacher, Master Guo Yun-Shen?

Compiler’s Notation: The Chinese character 體(t’i), according to period dictionaries during the lives of masters
Guo and Sun, means: the whole body; a frame consisting of many parts; substance; essentials; to embody; a solid; a
partition; completeness. The character (體) is composed of two radicals: bone [the human skeleton] and sacrificial
vessel. These meanings will help you to understand Madam Sun’s response. As she had been an art teacher of fine
painting methods, she explained this written character according to its two radical parts, and to the teachings of her
father and Master Guo. Therefore, 三體式 (san-t’ishi) can, in part, be translated as: Three Embodiments Posture;
Three Substances Posture; or Three Essentials Posture. It is safe to say that collectively, these three translations of
三體式 will bring you closer to understanding its inclusive meaning. I have chosen to use ‘embodiment’ as the fore
fronting translation based upon clarifications presented by both Madam Sun and Wang Xi-Kui (Sun Lu-T’ang’s
disciple).

A: There have been so many general explanations of this meaning, most falling far from its true
explanation and significance. Let me clarify this meaning as I was taught. First, are the san-
wait’i(three external embodiments): one’s head, hands and feet. The tip of the head [one’s
nose], the tips of the lead hand [fingertips], and tips of the lead foot [tips of the toes] must
point toward a central forward position. These are often referred to as san-duanshi(three
sections posture], and are but one part of the Three Embodiments.Second, are the san-neit’i
(three internal embodiments). These are the san tan-t’ien(three pill fields [cauldrons of qi]),
Located in the upper, middle, and lower regions. The outer three are paired with kai (to open
[extend]), while the inner three are paired with he’r(to unite [contract]. Thereby, outer and
inner conjoin to transform within the principle of kai-he’r(open-unite) within the three
neijiaquan arts: taijiquan, baguazhang and xingyquan. We can now form an overall
understanding of 三體(san-t’i). The character三(three) refers to three things: the outer three,
inner three, and the three neijiaquan arts. The character 體refers to the complete interior and
exterior structure of the human body as a vessel [sacrificial vessel], which is the embodiment,
unification and transformation of the 三. Three further represents: Heaven, Man, and Earth.

Sun_and_Cheng

Q: Your father taught the 十六處練法Shiliu Chu Lian Fa (Sixteen Governing [Distinguishing] Training Methods). Would you explain the meaning of each of the governing skills and how each applies to neijiaquan practice?
1. A be an exact inch, but rather a step that is very, very small, near to that of an inch. My father taught that brutish force stems from large, aggressive stepping that relies upon muscular generation. The smallness of an inch in stepping requires that largeness [force] must come from the many parts of the body conjoining to produce ‘unified force’ that is issued through only a single inch of advancement or retreat. In this manner the other fifteen governing parts [developed skills] merge to become an overwhelming force and are carried by a single inch, thereby totaling the sixteen methods. When we practice taijiquan or any boxing art,the action of cunbu(inch stepping) can be used throughout the form or in specific movements. Such stepping is the governing foundation to practice cunji(inch striking) in which whole body strikes and can hit an adversary with great force from only an inch away. This is the union of the upper [hands] and lower [feet] regions. Both regions reflect and support the other. Fault in one shall result in fault in the other region. This is why I often remind all of you to adhere to the shiliu fa (sixteen methods), as they form the structure for correct inner and outer development and attainment. Do not forget!

Translation note on the character 寸 :Formed of the radicals: hand and one beneath it, to denote the pulse of the wrist, an inch from the hand. The Chinese inch or punto, which is regarded as equal to the middle joint of the finger; it measures one-tenth of a cubit or foot, thereby meaning ‘a very little.’

踐Jian(Trample on or over); from the radicals: foot and in a narrow, small place. 踐Jianrefers to your feet [including the legs] feeling as if they are like that of a wild horse’s hooves and are able to swiftly trample anything in their path. This feeling, as if to restrain a horse about to gallop, is kept abet by the tether of one’s spirit. Jian is the skill of moving with overwhelming force, yet without such force. It is the ability to initiate the impetus of movement within the cocoon of tranquility. This means that jian(trampling) can assume [take] any position that is desired, as nothing can stand against its force. One can step fully, half-step, obliquely step, withdraw or jump, each possess the method of jian. However, within jian it is essential to maintain one’s zhong din (central equilibrium), else improper leaning and loss of balance will cause one to fall, thereby the skill of ‘trampling’ instantly vanishes. Though correct stepping methods forefront jiangong(trampling development) it is zhangshen(long [the entire] body) that must be applied toward skill attainment. Students have further asked if the hands also follow the practice of jianfa(the trampling method)? My father told his students that the hands and feet are like the four hooves of a horse, all are the same; all adhere to 踐.: Yes, I will present the fundamental explanation according to how my father taught this within our family. You must remember that each governing skill must be so very carefully practiced and refined over the years. The mistake that most students make is that they learn of these skills though never pursue the secrets of each. Without unlocking these skills, the essential parts of true development within neijiaquan cannot be attained. The order of these skills is not so important, as some students must begin with the seventh, another with the thirteenth. It is the integration of all parts that is most important and most necessary.
Notation: Madam Sun’s explanations were presented to us while attending classes. However, I felt it important to explain each Chinese written character according to radicals and explanations from Chinese dictionaries that were period to the days of Master Sun Lu-T’ang and his teachers.This approach significantly helped me to understand Madam Sun’s meanings in a more comprehensive manner. In fact, she was impressed by this method that she asked the other members of the class do the same. For me, it was a matter to understand how to correctly practice the 十六處練法Shiliu Chu Lian Fa (Sixteen Governing [Distinguishing] Training Methods), as one misinterpretation, according to Madam Sun, would unravel the thread that binds the sixteen together.
2. 寸Cun (Inch) ~ refers to one’s foot taking a step that is near to that of a single inch. Whether the step is forward, to the rear, or to an angle the entire force of the body must be generated through and into an inch of stepping. This step is referred to as cunbu(inch step).

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Taiji Da Shou: 5 Hammers (punches) of Yang Taijiquan Gong fu

last edit 3/3/2015

5 hammers (punches) of Yang Taijiquan are:
1. Step, parry, deflect, and hammer strike (punch). 6x
2. Twist body hammer.3x
3. Unload, parry, deflect, and hammer.3x
4. Punch down hammer.1x
5. Punch crotch (bladder) hammer.1x

Put together, they are done approximately 14 times in the Long form.

The core sequence that includes the most hammers 3x are strung together in the classic long form is the #2 twist body hammer with the #3 unloading step, parry, deflect and hammer found in the Yang Long Form. Its significance is important as it is performed 3x in the Long form. First from “Flash Hands” or “Open Fan/Fan through the back”,and from the “Punch Down” hammer, and lastly from the second “Flash hands” in the latter half of form. It is a segment that starts with a series of fist and open palm strikes using the momentum of a 180 degree turn to the rear, followed by the classical ending sequence: ‘turn, chop with fist, step, parry, punch‘.

turnchop

Yang Family website lists them as:
http://www.yangfamilytaichi.com/about/forms/hand-103
14. 进步搬拦捶 jin4 bu4 ban1 lan2 chui2 Step forward, Parry Block and Punch
28. 转身撇身捶 zhuan3 shen1 pie1 shen1 chui2 Turn Body and Chop with Fist
29. 进步搬拦捶 jin4 bu4 ban1 lan2 chui2 Step Forward, Parry Block and Punch
42. 进步栽锤 jin4 bu4 zai1 chui2 Step Forward and Punch Down
43. 转身撇身锤 zhuan3 shen1 pie1 shen1 chui2 Turn Body and Chop with Fist
44. 进步搬拦锤 jin4 bu4 ban1 lan2 chui2 Step Forward, Parry Block and Punch
52. 进步搬拦锤 jin4 bu4 ban1 lan2 chui2 Step Forward, Parry Block and Punch
81. 转身白蛇吐信 zhuan3 shen1 bai2 she2 tu4 xin4 Turn Bodyand White Snake Spits out Tongue
82. 进步搬拦捶 jin4 bu4 ban1 lan2 chui2 Step Forward, Parry Block and Punch
91. 进步指裆锤 jin4 bu4 zhi3 dang1 chui2 Step Forward and Punch Groin
99. 进步搬拦捶 jin4 bu4 ban1 lan2 chui2 Step Forward, Parry Block and Punch

In Mastering Yang Style Taijiquan by Fu Zhongwen he lists:

Postures containing the hammers/punches:
#12 Advance step, deflect, parry punch.
#24. Turn body and strike.
#25 Advance step, deflect, parry and punch.
#34: Advance step, plant punch.
#35: Turn body and strike.
#36: Advance step, deflect, parry punch.
#44: Advance step, deflect, parry punch.
#66: Turn body and strike with White Snake spits tongue.
#67: Advance step, deflect, parry punch.
#74: Punch Toward the groin.
#82: Advance step, deflect, parry punch.

From the book: p.34 Taijiquan Shi by Xu Yu-Sheng.

“People of the southern region [Guandong] use the written character “hammer” to refer to a fist that strikes like a hammer, pounding something downward. Therefore, the name of this posture should be ‘Step Forward, Parry, Deflect, and Strike with a Hammer”.

Xu Yu-sheng lists them in his book as:

#8- Advance, Parry (remove), Deflect (block, and hammer, (strike).
#23- Twisting body hammer.
#24- Unload step, Parry (remove), Deflect (block, and hammer, (strike).
#35- Forward step, plant hammer.
#42- Overturn body, and twist body hammer.
#60- Advance, Parry (remove), Deflect (block, and hammer, (strike).
#66- Brush knee and crotch hammer.
#72-conclusion contains- Advance, Parry (remove), Deflect (block, and hammer, (strike).

The Chinese words for this sequence are:
Twist body hammer- Lei Xia Hiao Cha shou- (Under rib Intersecting cross hand) into Bei Shen Chui- (Twist body hammer). Continuing into the unloading step series of hammers:
Guo ban shou- (wrapping parry hands), and Qian da chui- (forward striking hammer), and then the step-parry deflect hammer sequence containing a repeat of Guo ban shou, then Wei lan Shou- (outer stopping hand), and again Qian da chui.


Yang sequence showing several of the hammers, Da Jia “Large Frame” version in the Long form.

One thing, that I like about the ‘core section’ I’m talking about called:
[ Twist body hammer + Unload, parry, deflect, and hammer] or as Fu Zhongwen lists as:
#24. Turn body and strike,
#25 Advance step, deflect, parry and punch.

….is that when I first learned in back in 1994, the first thing I though of was “Well damn, now here is the lost pugilistic portion of Yang Taijiquan!!,” since it is a quick series of offensive punches and palm strikes not found in previous forms I had learned. It has a nice rotational action with consecutive rolling punches using whole body power. It feels much closer to pugilistic boxing than it does Chen’s Taiji fajin boxing.

The No-nonsense combative form of partner striking drilling called “Da Shou” or ‘hand striking skills’ is encoded in this specific sequence of hammer movements, before it was modified for more less contusion and bruising version called “Tui Shou” or “push hands”. It also encodes a vertical arm pung jin as a defensive whipping, rolling, and intercepting motion.

Later when Coach Pei taught more details of that Long form section, he taught along with it “Da Shou (Striking hands)” two-man drills, thus it all made sense to me. There are several types of two-man paired drilling and conditioning based on certain form sections. This is not to confuse you with the rare 88 “San shou” the 2-man choreographed fighting set which is something entirely different. The three main well know are the Single hand sets, Double hands “4 Square (Peng-Lu-Ji-An) Tui Shou” and “Da Lu (Big Rollback,Tsai-lieh-zhou-kao)”. The lesser known “Lan Chiao Wei (Grasp Bird tail) Qin-na set”, Forearm banging drills, and Da Shou (Strike hand) drills. There are several more I can elaborate on another time.

Da Shou in this Video sampler

This unique sequence of hammers uses a clever use of the waist when expressing fajin as an expansive force, concealing a simultaneous retraction quality at the 1st hammer to the Face, palm strike to chest, and 3rd hammer to the lower ribs to the Great Luo of the Spleen (SP21).

http://acupunctureschoolonline.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/12/SP-21-Great-Wrapping-DABAO-Acupuncture-Points-1.jpg

Every Tai Chi “short form” ever created and Wushu modified Long forms all have successfully failed to add this important and critical section into their sets. Most just include what I call the “standard step-parry-deflect punch” and “punch down” hammer.


Hammers on the bag with hand conditioning:
as a clue to the usage in ‘da shou‘ hand striking.

There is a lot more in that section than just hammer strikes. Elbow is apparent, and the “open hand” version of 5 Hammers is called “White Snake Spits tongue” with the difference is the vertical shaped “pung jin” that expresses a fajin with a flick of the fingers to the opponents eyes.

Sources:
-Training in Shanghai China Fu Zhong Wen’s Yongnian Association 1994.
-Mastering Yang Taijiquan- Master Fu Zhong Wen, translated by Louis Swaim 1999.
-Yang family Taijiquan Association. 2004
-USWA (United States Wushu Academy) Coach Pei, a student of Yang Zhenjia, Yang Zhendou, and Fu Zhongwen 2011.
-Translation of Xu Yu-Sheng’s book Taijiquan Shu by Bradford Tyrey 2015.

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13 Yang style linear walking animals and 13 Standing gong practice.

Last edit- 3/5/2015

Here is a method of training we used to do at the Yongnian Taijiquan school in Richmond Virginia long ago. We did not call them “Animals”, I did some research on various Yang styles and found a VCD in Chinese (no English subtitles) and they used the linear walking forms, but called them “animal xing” (shapes). The VCD was on Yang Jianhou’s 13 animal shapes. In discussion with other folks, it has come to my awareness that Ginsoon in Boston teaches these Yang 13 animals but in a more “Hsingyiquan” type of way with stepping and speed.

Some of the lines I remember doing over the years are:

Prelim:
Walking without hand: forward (hands on tan tien), back (fists on kidneys), sideways.
With hand:
1. Forward moving gong bu with raise hands.
2. Sideways step with loosening/fly arms.

Core: performed on both sides for balance.
1. Part Horse Mane. Holding posture: white crane spread wings.
2. Brush knee. holding posture: Play pipa.
3. Guang Ping style Wind blows lotus leaves (half horse stance w/Spread wings). Hold: half horse.
4. Repulse monkey. hold posture: Slant fly.
5. Grasp bird Tail. Hold posture: An.
6. Cloud Hands. hold posture: single whip.
7. Separate Left and right foot. hold posture: double strike temples.
8. Snake Creeps down (Wu style variant). Hold: drop stance.
9. Rooster on one leg. Holding: rooster one leg.
10. Leg circles, Shaolin Stance, Heel kick lines. Hold: heel kick.
11. Fair Maiden plays shuttles (both Yang and Wu variations). Hold: shuttles.
12. Pull and Press/deflect and press. Hold: press.
13. Step, deflect, parry punch. Hold: punch.

As to how they were performed and what they looked like, that is for me to know and for you to find out. I’m pretty sure some of you have already learned many of these already.

The way I was taught was slow Taiji speed. The VCD from China however had a more different way of performing the animals not to the current Yang Family / Fu Zhong Wen style of the more standard “Da Jia” or “Large frame” style, but was more of Yang Jianhou’s older way of doing them. His way was both similar in appearance to both Chen and Wu (Quanyu) styles. I changed them here closer to the way I learned them and as we did them. The only part I included is adding more standing using the Taiji Wu Ji and Taiji Ma Pu stance holding to put in more holding posture time for the benefit of getting more gong training in. Our class was dedicated to do several of these Taiji walking forms as “Basics” or Jibengong. It is a lot of grinding, deep leg work, and most of the class time was done using these and the standing forms combined. Stretching is necessary before doing these. Be prepared to have sore legs in a good way if you put in the hard work.

13 Linear Animals
13animals2

13 Standing Gongs
13standing2

Combined 13 linear animal walking and standing gong

Essence standing: Each form starts with:
Wu Ji posture- take 3 breaths cycles (1 cycle = 1 inhale and 1 exhale to dan tien).
Next: widen stance, sink down, and bow the back, arms and legs for:
Taiji Ma pu- “Holding the One” posture with 3x breath cycle to dan tien.

Ending a Form: reverse from above.
Taiji Ma pu- “Holding the One” posture with 3x breath cycle to dan tien.
Next: close stance, rise up to Wuji posture. 3 x cycle breathing at Dan tien.

Basic without hand movement: Beginners should practice these movements without use of arms. place hands on tan tien.
1. Taiji walking forward.
2. Taiji walking backward.
3. Taiji walking sideways.

13 Animal linear forms
1. Horse Xing- Start with both Essence standing postures, begin Taiji walking with Part horse mane repeatedly. Holding: use the Grasp bird tail postures (ward off, roll back, press, and push). Finish with Essence standing: Taiji Mabu and Wuji postures.

2. Lion Xing- Start with both Essence standing postures, begin Brush knees repeatedly, Holding: Pipa (alternate left and right side).Finish with Essence standing: Taiji Mabu and Wuji postures.

3. Sparrow Xing- Start with both Essence standing postures, repeat moving the through the Grasp bird tail postures both sides. Holding: after repeating them moving, end with holding Grasp bird Tail postures (Ward off, roll, back, press, push). Finish with Essence standing: Taiji Mabu and Wuji postures.

4. Dragon Xing- Start with both Essence standing postures, walking through cloud hands 4x, Hold: Single whip, repeat clouds hands 4x, Hold: Single whip repeat. Finish with Essence standing: Taiji Mabu and Wuji postures.

5. Monkey Xing- Start with both Essence standing postures, Hold: Pipa (left or right), next move through Repulse monkey 5x, Hold: Slant flying. Repeat. Finish with Essence standing: Taiji Mabu and Wuji postures.

6. Rooster Xing- Start with both Essence standing postures, moving forward Rooster with slap kick (pai jao) repeatedly, Holding: Pluck-kick posture. Finish with Essence standing: Taiji Mabu and Wuji postures.

7. Tiger Xing- Start with both Essence standing postures, moving forward with Hit tigerrepeatedly. Hold: hit tiger. Finish with Essence standing: Taiji Mabu and Wuji postures.

8. Snake Xing- Start with both Essence standing postures, move through snake coils/holding ball method repeatedly, Holding: Shoulder Bump/strike. Finish with Essence standing: Taiji Mabu and Wuji postures.

9. Phoenix Xing- Start with both Essence standing postures, move though slanted flying (Wu style method) repeatedly. Holding: Slanted fly posture. Finish with Essence standing: Taiji Mabu and Wuji postures.

10. Frog Xing- Start with both Essence standing postures, repeat snake creeps down using the Swallow skims water method. Holding: pluck-kick. Finish with Essence standing: Taiji Mabu and Wuji postures.

11. Crane Xing- Start with both Essence standing postures, move through Fair maiden plays shuttles repeatedly. End with holding Grasp bird Tail postures (Ward off, roll, back, press, push). Finish with Essence standing: Taiji Mabu and Wuji postures.
Finish with Essence standing: Taiji Mabu and Wuji postures.

12. Bear Xing- Start with both Essence standing postures, repeatedly move through Single whip left and right sides (Yang Jianhou method), Holding: single whip. Finish with Essence standing: Taiji Mabu and Wuji postures.

13. Panther Xing- Start with both Essence standing postures, repeat the Double punch temples, chop with fist and parry-punch series both left and right sides. End with holding Grasp bird Tail postures (Ward off, roll, back, press, push). Finish with Essence standing: Taiji Mabu and Wuji postures.

standing postures information:
Cultivating the Chi- by Stuart Olsen

http://www.amazon.com/Cultivating-Chi-Secrets-Energy-Vitality/dp/0938045113

13 animals information:
Wang Dianzhen: “Yang Family Taijiquan of Yang Jianhou” set of VCDs:

Yang Family Taijiquan of Yang Jianhou set of VCDs.
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