5 Ways to Throw Someone With Tai Chi

Throwing in Tai Chi can be accomplished a number of different ways.

As an exercise one of my teachers had us stand in the strongest position we could and he walked through the room effortlessly touching each of us one at a time. He touched everyone in a different spot and had absolutely no trouble tossing each of us.

He was making a number of points and one of them is that the basic human condition of standing is unstable and easily moved or thrown.

5 different Ways of Tai Chi Throwing

1) Feel the source and direction of power from your opponent and use it to add a bit of your own power in the direction they are already going. The Tai Chi throw is accomplished when the opponent thought they had you and so does not counter the force you are adding to them because they do not realize you have them until it is to late.

2) Trap the opponents limb(s) as you step across them sinking down as you progress forward thus causing the throw.

3) Move and lead the opponent into an over-extended position so that they are easy to toss by using the leverage of the over-extension and /or tension.

5) Find a point of imbalance inside the opponent and causing the opponent to fall over / past this point so that they cannot stop themselves from being thrown.

6) Find a point of tension inside the opponent and using it as a pivot point. When properly applied this method will quite commonly cause the opponent to go air-born.

I have listed 5 common ways of Tai Chi Throwing. There are other ways as well.

if you have a particular favorite please add a post about it. Also, please post any other Tai Chi Throws that you think are worth mentioning because they are used a lot by most Tai Chi Chuan styles.


  1. This is a remarkably good list…I would also add the proverbial “empty force” throw, which is to me the classic example of a Tai Chi principle. And no, I don’t mean to “project your chi” causing someone to fall down. I’ve noticed that the most useful throw I have is to first give my opponent pressure from a point of stability, then wait for the reaction, which is almost always to resist, then simply “disappear,” causing your opponent to stumble and fall. One of the simplest ones i know is to grab someone’s jacket, pull, then simply let go when they pull back. Essentially tricking your opponent into throwing themselves.

    • This type of skill is one of my favorites as well. I just got to work on it a lot during our combat tai chi workshop and I found that the more I focused on dissolving the center and being able to “disappear” the better everything else worked.

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