Portland Tai Chi Class

Portland Tai Chi Class

From Single Whip – Sink the rest of the weight into the left foot and let that shift pull the right foot up, stepping the feet lightly together with both toes pointed forward. As we step both hands extend lightly, forearms rotating until both palms are pressing up lightly at shoulder height.

Sink the weight into the right foot. The waist turns to the right corner pushing the left toe out into a cat stance. Let this movement connect to the hands. The right hand comes over the and past the ear starts to push forward, leading with the fingertips. The left starts to pull in toward the centerline.

Both hands continue their movements, passing palm-over-palm in front of the centerline. The right hand finishes pushing up and out, fingertips at throat height in sync with the turning of the waist. Simultaneously the left hand finishes pulling in and down to the left hip, palm up, fingers pointing forward.

Find the connections between the step and the expansion of the arms. Also connect the sinking of the weight and turning of the center to the movements of the hands; everything starting and completing at the same moments.

Cross Hands (transitional movement)

Using a slight movement in the hips draw the right hand out and back, circling down to the right hip. Pick up the left foot and step into a bow stance facing the left corner. As the weight shifts forward into that stance both hands cross to the wrist at waist level. Push forward and up to throat height from the crossed wrists.



Previous Yang Style tai chi movement: Wave Hands Like Clouds

Next Yang Style tai chi movement: Kick With Right Heel



Yang Style Tai Chi Philosophy:

High Pat the Horse – Meditate on the qualities of heart, charm, honor and integrity.


Martial Application:

Step up and shoot the lead hand forward to occupy the line on an opponent’s attack while bringing their attention up. Sink and turn while grabbing the opponent’s attacking limb and pulling it down to your hip. The right hand comes over the top to counterstrike the eyes or throat.


Cross Hands – Split a collar grab from underneath and circle the opponent’s hand in, pinning them to the body. Use the weight shift to push and launch the opponent.


Every Tai Chi movement is said to have between three and thirty applications. The application listed is one example of how to effectively apply the movement.



Alternate Translations:

High Pat the Horse (Gao Tan Ma)
High Pat on Horse (Gaotan Ma) [Liang & Wu]
Stroke the Horse From Above [Zhang Fuxing]
Asking for Directions While Riding a Horse (Gao Tan Ma) [Foen Tjoeng Lie]
Patting the Horse’s Neck While Riding [Metzger & Zhou]
Patting the Horse on the Back [Chong]