From Play the Fiddle – Turn the Tan Tien to the right. Let the right hand be pulled back by this motion, swinging down past the hip. The gaze will follow the rear hand. The movement of your arm continues as you finish turning to the right. The right hand is palm up at shoulder height with the arm open just past ninety degrees to the side. The left hand has been moving this whole time slowly extending and rotating. At this point in this tai chi movement both hands are at shoulder height with the palms lifting lightly.Sam-Tam3

Turn back to the left (like a pendulum, let there be no break in the movement). Following the waist the left hand begins to pull in along the center line. The left foot slowly takes a small step back and the weight gradually shifts into it. The right hand circles over the top and passes, palm facing palm, the left hand. As the weight finishing shifting the front heel comes off the ground into a cat stance. The rear hand swings down past the hip and you continue into another Step Back… Repeat six times, finishing with the palms pressing up at shoulder height with the right hand back.


Previous Yang Style tai chi movement: Play the Fiddle

Next Yang Style tai chi movement:  Ward Off, Roll Back, Press and Push


Martial Application:

From a collar grab: Step back and turn the shoulders to destabilize the opponent. The lead drives forward under the opponent’s arm and into the throat and pops their arm loose with the bicep.

The rear hand withdraws on the high line, clearing off the opponent’s over extended grip of their other hand at the same time.

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:
  • Step Back and Ward Off Monkey (Dao Nian Hou)
  • Reverse Reeling Forearm (Daojuan Gong) [Liang & Wu]
  • Step Back to Drive the Monkey Away [Zhang Fuxing; Chong]
  • Step Back and Swirl Your Arms (Zuio You Dao Jun Hong) [Foen Tjoeng Lie]
  • Fending Off the Monkey [Metzger & Zhou]
  • Back-rolling the Forearms [Chong]
  • Repulse the Monkey [Zhao]


This information is meant for reference and to give an idea of the details involved in all Yang Style tai chi movements. In order to receive the benefits of an internal arts practice it is vital that you seek qualified instruction.

If you are in the Portland, OR area and would like to know more about learning Yang Style tai chi. Contact us here.

If you are outside of Portland and would like information about our seminars or becoming an instructor please visit this page: Martial Arts Seminars & Instructorships.