Apparent Opening – Place Hands on Jade Table

This is the first Tai Chi form in the Big 8 Move Set. It is shown below the way a beginner should practice it. As you progress in our system the way you perform the set will change based on which internal skills your are practicing.

1. Start in Wu Chi.

2. Sink your weight into the left leg. Raise the right leg onto it’s toe.

3. Lift the right leg.

4. Swing the right leg out and around so that the knee points to your right. Opening the hip.

5. Place your heal lightly on the ground. There should be no weight on your right leg.

6. Turn your right foot forward. There is still no weight on the right leg.

7. Shift your weight to the center. You should now be in the exact same posture as Wu Chi except that your feet are slightly less than shoulder width apart.

8. The wrists begin to float upwards and out as if balloons were tied to each wrist.

9. As the arms float upwards the whole body rises. However, the elbows, shoulders and fingers stay down.

10. The arms continue to rise until the hands are at shoulder height.

11. The hands continue this motion turning over until the palms face outward.

12. The arms float downward as the whole body settles.

13. Your hands come to rest just below your waist. As if you are standing in thigh deep water and you placed your hands very lightly on the surface. All Wu Chi structural principles still apply.

Bonus points if you can actually feel the surface tension of the imaginary water on your hands.


  1. how long does it take to master this?

  2. I have always done the old American military style resistance exercises, the heavey wieght lifting is now beyond me as I have broken my back…and other issues. I have very little money now so I can not afford the full training in Tai Chi. I would very much like to learn how to get myself into shape and stay there….. THANK YOU for your help.

  3. When doing the opening posture, does it really matter if you start with the left leg or right one? In many tai chi forms that I saw the opening posture was beginning with the putting left leg apart. In the form recommended by Sifu Clear, it starts with rising right leg. Does this really matter from correct energy routing stand point?

    • Ideally you would do the set both ways. Learn it the way it’s shown here and then do the mirror image of what’s being shown.

      If you already have the move down and are just practice this move by itself then I would definitely recommend doing it on both sides.

  4. Can you please tell me how much square feet of space do I need to perform this entire set? In my small living room, it seems I would need to do wild horse tosses main, then I would have to back up to my original starting point to do brush knee. This would ruin the continuity of course. Thank you for answering my question.

    • Matt Holker says

      Hi Jay! It is best if you can do the form on a line as shown, but it can be modified to fit into whatever space you have. For instance, based on what you wrote here I might suggest that on the last Wild Horse you turn 180 degrees instead of stepping forward. You’ll have to bring your back foot in a bit, so that when it becomes your front foot you can stand correctly.

      Sometimes I do what we call a “phone booth” set. I pretend I am in a large phone booth or a small elevator, and I do my set turning 90 degrees with each step. Some of the steps are noticeably more twisty, but it can be done.

      Of course, whenever I am feeling cramped inside (and the weather is nice enough), my favorite thing to do is practice outside!

      • Matt, Thank you for those suggestions. Actually, once I learned that repulse monkey took me back to my starting point I was ok with the space requirements. Outside practice sounds even better. Amazing energy flow even at this beginning stage!

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