Tai Chi Punches

Various Tai Chi punches can commonly be found in Chen style forms and there are more than a few different kinds of Tai Chi punches in Tai Chi. Even Yang style Tai Chi has punches in it. Most notable are the Tai Chi Parry and Punch and the Double Ram’s Fists moves. There is also the Tai Chi Fist under Elbow move that can be found in most Yang style long sets.

I will write a bit here on the application of Tai Chi Punches. The Parry and Punch move is, just as the name implies, a parry of an incoming punch followed by your own punch. The move works well in large frame mode to sweep an incoming frontal punch by circling it out of the center area and then counter punching to the most likely source of tension in the attackers diaphragm usually in the center or near the ribs. In small frame mode the attackers incoming punch is parried with a bit more of a wedging action even though the circular parry still occurs and then the follow up punch occurs much faster due to the minimal / economical movement on the part of the Tai Chi practitioner. Normally, the smaller frame movement can only be performed by a much more skilled practitioner.

Double Ram’s Fists has some other neat applications than just punching. Most beginners see the Double Ram’s Fists move as a double punch to the opponents temples and it certainly can be that. However, what is lesser known is the reason for drawing the fists behind your back before striking out and around with them. The beginning of the move is an excellent response to a lower body midsection strike such as an upper cut. Use the back of your forearms to strike and deflect the incoming hit and continue your motion so that your hands brush past your own ribs and then circle back up to the attacker striking them in the jaw ridge on both sides to turn their head (and their body follows suit) while delivering a double strike to the indentions on the jaw thus causing an instant knockout by the contact on these pressure points in this direction and angle. The attacker supplies the force by their body lurching forward response to the arm strike and parry that they received while trying to strike. The Ram’s Fists punches could be to the neck or temples just as easily depending on the attackers height and amount of body lurch after the initial contact. The Tai Chi punches in Double Ram’s Fists are hidden and due to the angle of the strikes returning they will probably not be seen by the attacker.

Hopefully by this point you are seeing that there is a bit more to Tai Chi Punches than most folks initially realize.

Please ask me any questions to help elaborate on these specific applications.

Best Regards
Until next Time.

Click here to read part 3: No Distance Tai Chi Punching


  1. Laoshi Moses says

    Very good observation Sigung Clear..Most don’t know these things,because of YangchengFu only sharing the health benefit side of his art,Actually.Chen system is designed to totally free you up like VingTsun,to flow like water unpredictably like baqua.Chen covers Sriking,kicking,wrestling,and Chin-na(which covers seizing the joints,tendons muscles,and dimmak(cavity,and nerve,and meridian atacking),even basic principles like peng,lu,ji and an have countless applications,at the most basic level there is no defense,only attacking ,counterattacking.Some call it Jeet,which is a VingStun timimg tactic.some call it stop-hitting..This is why Tai-chi is an advanced art,because of first it’s rebuilding the infa-structure,then advancing to high level amadextrious coordination,the combining of the movemnt freedom of the snake and crane,with the mobility,and ferociousness of a cat(Tiger,not pussy cat),and the keeness and swiftness of a hawk.This is the Tai-Chi Spirit which should be remembered and stressed for combat.The Chi built up through Chi-Gung,and Meditation will be magnified by this spirit.Which is not seen due to it being governed internally..like wave that turns into a typhoon..Question being: How can the learning process be sped up and still remain suble,song,and peaceable.I gather this is why chi-gung,and the meridian principles are so vital.to untrain the static condition of the nervous,and bio-electrical systems..to regulate the adrenaline Glands(The Kidney),the seat of internal power..???? Your thoughts Please..

    • Sigung Clear says

      Hi Laoshi Moses,
      Yang Chen Fu did teach the Tai Chi fighting method as well. He simply taught it only to the closed door students which is a fairly common practice in China even today.

      Yes, the self defense learning process can be greatly sped up and in today’s world I see no reason to keep these methods secret any longer. This is the reason that we have put out our workshops and video series on Combat Tai Chi. For gaining an in depth understanding of the internal principles that are needed for Tai Chi fighting I highly recommend our Internal Power through Push Hands DVD as an excellent place to start.

      Best Regards,
      Sigung Clear

  2. Dave Scinto says

    What is better for combat,chen or yang style.I want to know if
    42 years old is too late to start tai chi fist and how long does it take to learn self defense and master.Do you know aiping in orange connecticut.

    • Hi Dave,
      Any Tai Chi master can fight with Tai Chi regardless of the style they do. The important thing to look for is not what style someone does but how skilled they are and how much are they willing to really teach.

      42 is not to late.

      To master Tai Chi will take many years. However learning to defend yourself effectively with Tai Chi can be done much faster.

      If you are primarily interested in learning to fight with Tai Chi then I recommend starting with our 1 touch knockouts program.

  3. can you please explain the application of “punch under elbow”? I am learning Sun Style and Yang Style but teacher does not explain the applications

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