CLOUD HANDS: FROM CHI FLOW MOVEMENTS TO PATTERNS AND SETS
Zhang San Feng was already a great scholar-warrior when he graduated from the Shaolin Monastery and settled on the Wudang Mountain to continue his Taoist cultivation. Hence, he did not need to invent a new art to promote health or train combat because he was already very healthy and combat efficient. What he did was to continue his spiritual cultivation to attain the Tao.
While in the extreme stillness of his standing mediation, chi swelled inside him resulting in spontaneous movements. This was expressed in Taijiquan principles as “extreme yin generates yang”. His movements were fluid, fast and powerful, and were poetically described as “flowing water floating clouds”, later shortened as “cloud hands”.
Zhang San Feng taught these “cloud hands” to his inner-chamber disciples to help them attain Tao. Later these “cloud hands” movements were stylized into patterns, and then linked together to form a kungfu set, which came to be known as “Wudang Kungfu”. A few centuries later, another great scholar-warrior named Chen Wang Ting employed Taiji principles to explain its philosophy, and called this style of kungfu “Taijiquan”.These video clips were taken at the Guan Yin Temple on the Blue Mountain
Cloud Hands is a very important aspect of Taijiquan training. Here Cloud Hands is performed with the hands moving in circles with the stance at a stationary poise.
Cloud Hands is performed here with the hands in more rectangular movements with the hips gently rotating to both sides.
Participants move in various directions using various stances while performing Cloud Hands. This is an excellent method to train footwork as well as energy flow.
The spontaneous “flowing water floating clouds” movements, or “Cloud Hands”, are stylized into patterns. These patterns, called “Immortal Waves Sleeves”, “Double Dragons Carry Pearl”, “Push Boat According to Current”, “Black Bear Sinks Hips” and “Open Window to Look at Moon” in Wahnam Taijiquan, are collectively known as “Grasping Sparrow's Tail” in Yang Style Taijiquan.
Following Playing the Lute are Thrust Kick, Fierce Dragon, White Snake, Catch Snake, Thrust Punch, Straight Punch and Vertical Punch.
The movements conclude with Side Kick, Fierce Dragon, Striking Tiger, White Crane and Circulating Hands. This set of movements is named “Cloud Hands” after the movements poetically described as “Flowing Water Floating Clouds”.
Wahnam Taijiquan Training from Basics to Free Sparring
- Part 1 — The Secret of the Internal Force Masters
- Part 2 — Cloud Hands: From Chi Flow Movements to Patterns and Sets
- Part 3 — Developing Combat Skills in Pushing Hands
- Part 4 — Practicing Combat Techniques in Striking Hands
- Part 5 — Applying Kicks, Throws and Grips in Striking Hands
- Part 6 — Combat Sequences 1 and 2: Top, Middle, Bottom and Sides
- Part 7 — Combat Sequence 3: Pressing Attacks and How to Defend against Them
- Part 8 — Combat Sequences 4 and 5: Thrust Kick, Side Kick and Whirlwind Kick
- Part 9 — Combat Sequence 6: Felling Opponents with Carrying Tiger Back to Mountain
- Part 10 — Combat Seqeences 7 and 8: Chin-Na or Gripping Attacks and their Defences
- Part 11 — The Eight Simplified Combat Sequences of Wahnam Taijiquan
- Part 12 — From Guided Sparring to Free Sparring in Wahnam Taijiquan
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