Yang Lu-ch'an's "Root" forms of Tai Chi

Yang Lu-ch'an invented a brief fighting solo form for each of the main self defence postures in his Old Form. These are called "Root" forms. Every posture has many fighting applications so to make it easier to take the great fighting and healing benefits from the postures, Lu-ch'an gives us a form to practice. These forms teach us about fa-jing, dim-mak and how internalize the postures thus making the maximum use of one's body for healing and self defence. This first volume takes you from the beginning of the form up to and including "Single Whip". Each root form of tai chi takes its name from the main posture from which is comes.

What follows is a brief description of those "Root" forms of tai chi up until K'ao (Shoulder Press)

Yang Lu-ch'an's Root Methods, Forms of Tai Chi.


Root Forms of Tai Chi No. 1 "Grasping Swallow's Tail"

Power Stance: Stand with Rt foot fwd. Hands in normal "Lift Hands" sort of position.

Arn Left: Turn slightly Rt as you load Rt palm. Bring fingers across to attack eyes. Re-load slightly and then slam down into his LU5 point on his Rt forearm with your Back Rt Wrist.

P'eng and Double P'eng: Then Two back palms into his ST5 point and ST 9 points.

Step half step fwd and Rt elbow to CV22.

Roll Back: Wrap right palm around his neck CW circle, and raise Left palm. Do plumb blossoms movement as your also do sort of "Pigeon Flies" move as you break his neck. Left hand ends up in front and you are now facing S. L foot fwd. Step L slightly as you do Chee: There is also a slight slide to the left as you do this, Into his neck or blocking his attack. Follow this with Elbow to side of neck. Arn: Circle right palm around his neck CW, and turn back to N. as you take a step fwd into a power stance with your Rt foot. Lock neck and swing L foot around to rear keeping the torque with the Rt foot. Then release that torque with a slap step to the N as both hands spear fwd and into ARN. Finish in Power Stance.


Root Forms of Tai Chi No. 2 "Fishes In Eight"

Rt foot fwd. Hands in normal Power Stance start position. Do the application for "Sit Back Ready" by slamming his inner forearm as it attacks and poking Rt fingers into eyes or CV22.

Swing around to the SW as you slam down with Rt palm as L palm comes underneath it and your Rt elbow attacks this first attacker. Your L palm will slam into 2nd attacker's GB3 point.

Take your Rt palm over top of your L palm to take him around back of neck. Swivel back to NW jerking his neck w. Rt palm and L palm attacks to back of head and is in front of Left , a slightly different posture than in the form.

Turn Rt foot to Rt and step fwd with L foot into power stance as you turn to the rear and your Rt palm will slam down thus blocking his low attack. The Rt palm does an 8 to go to the other side of his wrist then lifts his wrist up, grabs it, jerks it down as you do a plumb blossoms half movement to attack with Left palm to head.

Step fwd with L foot and hit him w Rt elbow to neck or GB3.

A sbefore, take Rt wrist around back of neck and swivel back to rear as your L palm again attacks to back of head. Wgt on the L foot! Unlike in the form.


Root Forms of Tai Chi No. 3 "Single Whip"

Rt foot fwd. Do Single Whip "Whip" to neck thus blocking and attacking vital neck points.

Hook the hook around his neck as L p'eng comes overtop to break neck. Momentum causes swivel on Rt heel to the S. with P'eng held.

L palm grabs his Rt wrist and twists down as your Rt hook is brought fwd into his temple fingers upward and you have done a plumb blossoms half jump so that your Rt foot is fwd.

Figure 8 with Rt hook into another strike to neck or ST5 with this time back of hook. Figure 8s upward and strikes down his centre-line with back of hook finger tips pointing toward you. Finish with Rt palm to head.

Slam down with your Hook as in small san-sau onto his Rt inner elbow and hook his arm to your Rt. bringing your Rt palm upward under his arm to attack across his neck as with the beginning move and attack the neck points using hook again. You have also broken his Rt elbow as you do this. The Hook can this time be to different points on the fwd neck.

Rt palm hooks around his neck again as Left comes overtop again and swivel to rear just like before but this time, finish with a palm strike to the back of his head as in traditional Single Whip ending.


Root Forms of Tai Chi No. 4 "Pierce to Rear & Double Dragon Hands"

L foot fwd, Wgt on Rt foot, Spear Rt fingers to rear thus avoiding his Rt attack and sticking him. Plumb Blossoms around with L foot fwd to S. as your Rt palm grabs his Rt wrist and your L palm slams down onto his head or neck.

Swivel to the rear as your both arms spear outward, L to his neck and R to a new attacker from behind. Plumb Blossoms around with L foot fwd to N. as your Rt palm grabs his Rt wrist and your L palm slams down onto his head or neck. Follow with Rt elbow to neck.

Rt palm around back of neck, swivel to NW as you drag his neck and your L palm slams in to his kidney region.

Rt palm grabs his head as you turn back to N dragging his head again and block down w. L palm then do "Double Dragon Palms" to N. "Inspect Horse's Mouth" to neck. Again perform the "Reverse Dragon Palms" to rear as you drag his head. This time though, you will also block an oncoming attack from his Rt hand slamming your Rt palm into his head as well, then throw his Rt out to your left as you step in to attack with Rt centrifugal palm to neck and L pumping palm to lower rib area.

Lift Hands: This posture just ends this set. Rt palm back attacks to his neck again as L palm blocks down heavily to his inner Rt forearm. Both hands fly upward as you plumb blossom half turning backward and both knife edges strike down his centre line as your Rt heel kicks to his knee.


Root Forms of Tai Chi No. 5 "Lift Hands:"

From the starting position Rt foot fwd do like the beginning of Large San-Sau. Punch his temple and kick his knee etc.

Violently grab and jerk his Rt wrist downward as your L palm attacks to his neck and face. Change hands as your Rt palm attacks to the L side of his neck and your L palm guards.

Step fwd w. L foot and take his head with your R. hand and L hand on the R side of his head as you turn 180. and break his neck.

Jump fwd with L foot and kick to his knee with Rt heel as R, palm slams his L elbow and L palm pulls on wrist thus breaking elbow.

Place R foot down where it is and turning back 180. R. Knife edge to his neck.

L palm slams down to block another R. low attack as your R palm further attacks the previous attacker to the neck with back of palm (opening).

Jump fwd as kick with Rt heel and both palms rise and cut down across his mid face.

Place R foot down and step w L foot then turn around 180 again slamming down with Rt back palm. Circle Rt palm under his arm to lock it as L palm attacks face and Rt heel kicks.


Root Forms of Tai Chi No. 6 "Shoulder Press

R Ft Fwd. BLock his R w L palm as R palm upward strikes to temple or eyes. Flick Rt palm over To instantly attack to side of head. Grab head w R palm and use "Roll Back". Strike his Head w L palm and then finish off with Shoulder.

Bring Rt hand up as for Stork, but hinge block his L strike to your L 90 degs. Tuck your Rt hand under his Rt Rt and take his Rt elbow pulling point jerking it down as your L strikes to his face. L then takes over grabbing as your Rt shoulder attacks to L scapular.

Bring Rt palm up underneath his L arm as in Stork and attack his ST9. Leap around plumb blossoms style to end up w L ft fwd attack head or neck w L palm as Rt controls. Step in and strike w L shoulder.