Tai Chi Ready to fight Position

I recently stumbled across this post that asks the question: What Is The “On Guard” Position In Tai Chi Chuan?
Here’s my 2 cents:

Tai Chi trains to fight against surprise attacks starting with the hands down at your side and then raising into a defensive position. The primary defensive position being Play Guitar, Strum the Lute, Play the Pipa, Patting Horse, Three-Point Concentration, Seven Stars, and Big Dipper as named by other instructors. This is not so much a start as it is a position that is designed to deflect an incoming attack.


Arms start at your sides and then are raised to ward off an incoming attack.

tai-chi-fighting-position-sideFor known attackers the primary fighting position in Tai Chi is the top of the first movement in the forms. It is known as Opening the Form, Rise and Fall and Place hands on Jade Table as well as by other names.

The point of the position is that the attacker has to come into the range and within reach of the Tai Chi player and all the Tai Chi player has to do is use gravity to defend themselves. It may be the same position as the one Andrew Dale referred to being used by TT Tchoung and it does usually look like the practitioner is saying “come try me” although it can be used to say “Stop”, “Get Back”, “Stay Away from me” or “I am Ready’ with equal effectiveness.

How to use and fight from this position is taught on “Combat Tai Chi Vol 2.


  1. Hi,
    Thanks for writing in on this subject, I like your suggestion about “talking with your hands”, I’ve practiced similar concepts.
    I look foward to reading your website further,
    John @ Dojo Rat

    • Sigung Clear says

      You are most welcome. I am happy to be of assistance and look forward to further interaction with you.
      Best Regards.

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