Tai Chi Trapping

Tai Chi Trapping is most often performed with the entire body and usually comes as a surprise to the opponent because they generally do not realize that they have been trapped until the trap is sprung and then it is to late to do anything about it.

The Tai Chi Trapping technique is most often performed by the hands and forearms on the opponents arm or punch and by the foot and leg to the opponents foot and leg.

One of the more common Tai Chi Trapping techniques is to parry an incoming punch from the outside to the inside and step across the front of the body of the person throwing the punch while trapping their punching arm and turning them by pushing against them with your own body. At that point the puncher normally tries to step in the direction they are being pushed. If the step has been correctly performed across the punchers body when the puncher tries to step they cannot and then they immediately lose balance and begin to invert towards the floor. As the punch is continually pushed across the front of the puncher and across their body the puncher then gets thrown quite forcefully with very little force from the Tai Chi practitioner.

Another good Tai Chi Trapping technique is for the Tai Chi practitioner to slip a puncher and then step into the body of the attacker with the shoulder while stepping across to the outside of the farthest foot. The attacker tries to step for balance and once again finds that they cannot step because the Tai Chi practitioners foot and or leg are barring the way. As the Tai Chi practitioner continues to step in the attacker once again finds themselves air born.

If you study the forward stepping moves in most Tai Chi you will find that they tend to step at angles that put you into the kinds of Tai Chi Trapping positions that I have described above.

I welcome your feedback on your discoveries. Happy hunting.


  1. I’m always curious about different Chin Na techniques in the Tai Chi forms. Do you have any videos of the trapping?

    • We will also be putting together a video on Tai Chi entries and trapping. It will be filmed during our next Combat Tai Chi workshop on June 18, 19 & 20. The DVD will come out a month our so after the workshop.

  2. Sifu Clear says

    Hi Russell,
    There are some examples of Trapping taught in our 2 Tai Chi Basic Skills Self Defense Applications Videos A & B.
    Best Regards.
    Sifu Clear

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