Wudang Tai Chi Chuan

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Tai Chi Chuan Chinese Characters

Tai Chi Glossary

An - Directed push/press
Ba Gua Zhang - Eight Trigram Palm
Internal martial art based on Eight Trigrams.
Ba Gua/Pa Kua - Eight Trigrams
Consisting the four cardinal points and four corners.
Before Heaven Kun (Earth), Ken (Mountain), Kan (Water), Sun (Wind), Chen (Light), Li (Fire), Tui (Sea and River), Chien (Heaven) The creation of the eight trigrams is credited to the legendary Emperor Fuxi.
Ba Jin - Eight forces/tactics
Baduanjin - Eight Pieces of Brocade
Chinese soft exercise for health, sometimes including techniques to stimulate the reproductive system.
Bai Shi - Ceremony of ritual initiation
Bao Yi - To embrace the one (i.e. the Tao)
Bu - Footwork and stances
Bu Diu Ding - Not to lose contact and not to use force directly against force
Cai - A plucking or uprooting force
Cai Lang - Uprooting Wave or wave that uproots
Name of advanced pushing hands technique/concept.
Cai Lang Hua/Lan Cai Hua/Luan Cai Hua Advanced pushing hands concept
Catty - Chinese unit of measure weighing more than one pound
Chan Si - Reeling Silk
Also the name of a pushing hands technique/concept linked with gyrating arms.
Chang Chuan - Long Boxing
An alternative name for Tai Chi Chuan as well as the name given to a hard style boxing form.
Chen - To sink
e.g. Using the sabre to press down on the opponent's weapon or body.
Chi Kung/Qi Gong - A method of training developed to increase the vital energy
Training can consist of various static postures and/or callisthenics and is used for martial, health or meditative purposes, these can be hard or soft in nature and often have an emphasis on breathing or visualising the movement Chi around the body.
Chi/Qi - Vital energy
Including the air and breath. (N.B. not the same Chi as in Tai Chi!).
Chien - Trigram/hexagram
Representing Heaven and Supreme Yang.
Ching/Jing - Classic or Book
Chou - To draw forth
e.g An upward diversion with a sword using a whipping action.
Chuan/Quan - Fist
By extension a system of fighting or boxing.
Ci - To stab/pierce
e.g. Stabbing with a sabre.
Da Lu - Great sideways diversion
Popular name for famous pushing hands exercise more properly known as Four Corners or Eight Gates Five Steps.
Dan/Tan - To rebound
e.g. A shorter version of An, slamming down with a spear on an opponent's weapon and immediately thrusting or striking.
Dan Tian/Tan Tien
- Cinnabar field
Area just below the navel where Chinese alchemists considered internal energy was developed.
Dao - The sabre
Dao - To invert
e.g. When the butt of sword guard is up and the tip is pointing down in a defensive or counter defensive way.
Dao Yin Tu Na - Dao Yin means leading and conducting
e.g. Tu Na means pushing and holding Taoist massage.
Di Zi - Disciple
Dian - To thrust or dot, similar to Ji
e.g. With a spear but this term is used when there is no spearhead and the force is focused on just one point.
Dian Xue - see Dim Mak
Die Pu
- Throwing and striking
Die means fall/stumble and Pu is striking/leaning against/falling
A counter attacking method whereby opponent may be thrown to ground with the possibility of a follow up strike or lock or where a strike/s may be used to distract opponent forcing him to release his hold enabling a counter throw (Die).
Dim Mak/Dian Xue - Vital point attacks
Dong Jin - To understand educated force
Fa Jin - Discharging Jin
Fu Qi - Spirit writing
Where the medium suspends a writing brush over a planchette filled with sand and then invokes a spirit who communicates by tracing characters on the san.
Heng - To sweep across
e.g. Used with sword as a horizontal diversion or attack, often followed by a thrust.
Hsing I/Xing Yi Chuan - Form and Intent Boxing
One of the three major internal styles.
Hua Chuan - Transforming boxing
Hua Jin - Using Jin to transform the Jin of the opponent
Hui Xuan Shou - Gyrating Arms
Advanced Tai Chi self defence concept connected with reeling silk.
Hun Tun - Chaos
I Ching/Yi Jing - Book/Classic of Change
A book of divination dating from before 1000 BC in one form or another.
Jeet Kune Do - Cantonese term meaning 'Direct Fist Way'
The concept of the late Bruce Lee to absorb only what was of direct use from the traditional styles.
Ji - A straight push
Jia - Literally family or school
Jian - Sword
Jiao Di - A term used to refer to wrestling
Dating from the Warring States period. The character Jiao means ``Horns'' while Di means ``to resist'' It is believed that contestants originally put on horned headgear and tried to butt and gore one another.
Jiao Li - A term used to refer to wrestling
Jiao Lian
- Trainer or coach
Jin/Jing - Force
We listen for our opponent's Jin and redirect it with our own before discharging Jin at our opponent.
Jing - Vital (often seminal) essence
N.B. not the same Jing as means force.
Jing/Chi(Qi)/Shen - Three Treasures
Associated with the Chinese metaphysical concept of internal alchemy. (See separate references to Jing, Chi and Shen).
Kan - To chop or slice
e.g. A downward cut with a sword, usually applied diagonally.
- To lean
Applying force using the shoulder or back.
Kua - Area where the thigh meets the pelvis
Kung Fu/Gong Fu - Skill/effort/workmanship
Often used by Cantonese speakers and Westerners to refer to Chinese boxing.
Kung/Gong - Work/effort involving a degree of skill
In Chinese martial arts this usually refers to various types of conditioning training.
Lao Shi - Old (i.e. venerable) teacher
Term of respect for teacher or master.
Li - Strength
Lian - Continuous or connected
One of the five close quarter strategies, the character for Lian represents chariots moving in line. Thus whether defending or countering, our movements should be continuous and connected.
Liang Yi - The two symbols known as Yin and Yang
Liao - To stir
e.g. Diverting and slashing with a sabre/sword in one continuous movement.
- Using spiralling force
Lu - Diverting an oncoming force to the side and into emptiness
Lun - Theory/analect/discourse
Men Ren - Door Person
One who has become a disciple of a master.
Mian - Means `cotton' and incorporates the idea of softness
One of the five close quarter strategies.
Mian Chuan
- Cotton Boxing
Early name for Tai Chi Chuan.
Mo - To stroke or rub
e.g. As in a subtle, circular diversion or a delicate slice with a sword.
Nei Dan
- Internal alchemy
Nei Jia Chuan - Internal Family Boxing
Including such arts as Tai Chi Chuan, Ba Gua Zhang and Xing Yi Chuan.
Nei Kung/Gung - A method of training originally developed by Taoists in their quest to become at one with the Tao
Training can consist of various static postures and/or callisthenics, which can be hard or soft in nature. Although often associated with Internal Martial Art training, they can also have therapeutic or meditative qualities.
From a Tai Chi Chuan perspective, these exercises relate more specifically to the 24 Yin and Yang Internal Strength exercises practiced within Wu family.
Nian - Sticking or adherence
One of the five close quarter strategies training the concept of maintaining contact with opponent in order to control/apply technique. This also prevents the opponent from applying techniques to us.
Pai - School of thought/boxing
Pao Chui - Cannon punch
Name given to Chen Family boxing and to their second form.
Peng - Upwardly directed force
e.g. To divert a push upwards.
Pi - To chop/split
e.g. A cut with a sabre, can be applied from various angles.
Qi - See Chi
Qian - Means dragging or pulling
e.g. Using a spear with an element of stirring to spiral or entwine the opponent's weapon, causing the opponent to lose control of the weapon, usually applied when advancing.
Qiang - Spear
Qin Na - Seizing and holding
Ren - Confucian concept of benevolence
Rou - Soft
San Jian Zhao - Triple Tip Alignment
e.g. Nose, finger/ spear tip& knee/toe as referred to in Qi Jiguang's Spear Manual (c1562).
San Shou - Fighting techniques
Can also refer to choreographed two person forms or to Chinese full contact fighting.
Shaolin - Referring to the Buddhist temples of that name
Particularly those found in Henan and Fujian provinces and by extension to external martial arts identified with these temples.
Shen - Spiritual energy
Shi - Style
e.g. Hao Shi - (Tai Chi Chuan) in the style of Hao.
Shi San Shi - Thirteen Postures/Tactics
An old name for Tai Chi Chuan.
Shuai Jiao - Wrestling
The radical for the character Shuai is ``hand'' while the phonetic represents a net with a frame used to snare birds and a rope which is used to make the trap fall.
The character shuai by extension means to throw to the ground or to shake. Jiao is usually given the character meaning ``mutually''.
Hence mutually throwing to the ground is wrestling. Jiao can also have the meaning ``bones of the leg'' suggesting the use of tripping and sweeping in wrestling. Another variation is the Jiao character meaning horns.
Shuang Zhong - Double weightedness
Sifu/Shifu - Teaching father
By extension any teacher or highly skilled person.
Song - Relaxed
Sui - To follow or allow
One of the five close quarter strategies training the idea of responding to the opponent's actions as opposed to yielding.
Tael - Chinese unit of weight
Slightly more than an ounce.
Tai Chi Chuan/Taijiquan - A system of martial arts and exercise based on Yin and Yang
Tai Chi Tai ji - The Supreme Pole/Ultimate composed of Yin and Yang
Tai Chu - Supreme Starting
Tai Shi - Supreme Beginning
Tai Su - Supreme emptiness
Tai Yi - Supreme Change
Tan - To search out
e.g. Slashing upwards with a sabre to the groin.
Tan Tien - See Dan Tien
Tao - The Way or Ways to enlightenment or self development followed by the Taoists
Tao Te Ching - Way and Virtue/Power Classic
Prime Taoist text credited to Lao Tzu (the Old Boy).
Ti - To raise/lift
e.g. Using the sabre/sword as in a defensive or counter defensive way, normally with the sharp edge of the weapon facing up.
Tiao - Deflect and immediate thrust
e.g. Using a spear to lift or stir the opponent's weapon and then thrusting, without sidestepping.
Ting Jin - Listening for Jin
The components of the character Ting are disciple, ears, eyes, heart (mind) and the character for 10, symbolising a disciple 10 times using his ears, eyes and mind.
Tu Di - Student or apprentice
Tui Shou - Pushing hands
Various partnered drills and exercises designed to improve skills such as close quarter control of an opponent, evasion coordination etc. Can also refer to free or competition pushing hands, where the object is to unbalance the opponent.
Tuo - To push up
e.g. Using the free hand to support the back of a sabre blade in a defensive or counter defensive way.
Wai Dan
- External alchemy
The use of medicines and by extension a reference to internal martial arts.
Wai Jia - External family referring to hard style martial arts
Wen Wu - Civil/Cultural and Military/Martial arts
Wu Bu - Five Steps relating to the five elements
(Metal - step forward or North; Wood - step back or South, Water - step to the left or West; Fire - step to the right or East, Earth - zhong ding)
Wu Chi/Ji - No Ultimate
State before Tai Chi.
Wu De - Martial Virtue or ethics
Wu Shu - Martial arts
Nowadays this Mandarin term has come to be used mainly in reference to the highly acrobatic and artistic modern martial arts routines.
Wu Wei - Literally without acting
Taoist concept of going with the flow, not to act against nature.
Wu Xing - Five Elements
Metal, Wood, Fire, Water, Earth Cross reference to five steps.
Xiang Pu - Xiang means ``mutually'' and Pu is striking/leaning against/falling
Term used during Tang dynasty to refer to wrestling contests.
- Positive principle
Representing active, male, strong, hard, external, bright, day, Heaven etc.
- Sacrificing yourself
Yi - The intent
Yin - Negative principle
Representing passive, female, gentle, soft, internal, dark, night, Earth etc.
Zhen Chuan - True Transmission from a master to a disciple
Zhen Ren - True Person
Someone who by Taoistic methods has become a sage.
Zhong Ding - Centrally fixed
Corresponding to the element Earth
Zhong Yong - Doctrine of the Mean, text of the Confucians
Philosophical concept of acting only to the degree necessary, neither more nor less
Zhong Zheng - Centred and straight (though not necessarily upright)
Zhou - The use of the forearm or elbow in defence or offence
Zhou Lu - Forearm diversion
Also name of a pushing hands technique/concept.
Zu Shi - Founding teacher
e.g. Chang San-feng.