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‘.


Yang Family website lists them as:
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).


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.

-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.


About Administrator

Coach Matt Stampe is a Database Administrator and I.T. professional. In the world of Bodywork, he has been a Certified Massage Therapist (CNT) licensed with the Virginia Board of Nursing, and has a “Master of Science in Acupuncture” (MSA) at Virginia University of Integrative Medicine (VUIM.edu). He is a candidate with the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM). He has taught hundreds of people Authentic Yang Tai Chi Kung Fu for over 25 years. He was President of the Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) Martial arts club, Secretary and Treasurer of USA chapter of Yongnian Association under Sifu He Weiqi. Experience includes: Kung fu schools: Omei Shaolin (Sifu Lu Xiaoling) 3rd degree Black Sash, Chinese Martial Arts Institute (Sifu Clarence Burris), United States Wushu Academy (Coach Christopher Pei), and Qi Elements (Sifu Nancy Bloomfield), Former Head Coach: Virginia Beach Parks and Recreation centers(Adults Tai Chi), Hope Chinese school (kids classes), NOVA MMA gym in Arlington (kids classes), and VUOM Martial Arts Tai Chi club (Fairfax). He has positively impacted peoples lives whether for health, sport, strength, combat, and spirit. As a true combat athlete, he teaches methods so people can be confident to defend themselves.
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