The School of T’ai Chi Chuan Amsterdam

What is Tai Chi?

Tai Chi in its most pure form is nothing less than the manifestation of a human being in complete harmony with its environment, be it with nature or with the culture in which its lives. Tai Chi is actually an internal martial art. The so called ‘form’ consists of a series of accurately performed movements, that are being done with concentration and awareness. They help you to relax and improve your health and vitality. As such they constitute a moving meditation that produce at the same time an improvement of vital energy throuhgout the body. The Chinese call this energy ‘chi’, the Japanese call it ‘ki’. Tai Chi is being practiced in the entire world as a way to relieve stress, attain relaxation and become and stay healthy.

Learn Tai Chi?

What are the benefits of practicing Tai Chi?


Tai Chi has many proven health benefits, practicing it:


  • Improves balance and stability
  • Reduces stress
  • Calms the emotions and stills the mind
  • Improves concentration
  • Improves body posture
  • Normalises blood pressure
  • Relaxes the body
  • Strengthens the bones
  • Improves joint flexibility

A serious student of Tai Chi not only practices its moves and positions daily but also studies and contemplates what Tai Chi masters have written about it. Following is a list of books to get you going:

* Master Cheng’s Thirteen Chapters On T ‘ai Chi Ch’uan, by Cheng Man-ch’ing
* Yang Family Secret Transmissions, by Douglas Wile
* Cheng Man-Ch’ing’s Advanced Form Instructions, by Douglas Wile
* There Are No Secrets, by Wolfe Lowenthal
* Gateway to the Miraculous, by Wolfe Lowenthal
* Like a Long River, by Wolfe Lowenthal
* Lao-Tzu: “My words are very easy to understand.”, by Man-jan Cheng
* Cheng Man-ch’ing: Master of Five Excellences, by Mark Hennessy
* T’ai Chi Ch’uan for Health and Self-Defence, by T.T.Liang
* T’ai Chi Classics, by Waysun Liao
* Drawing Silk: A Training Manual for T’ai Chi, by P.B. Gallagher
* Taoist Health Exercise Book, by Da Liu
* T’ai Chi Chuan and I Ching, by Da Liu
* Chen Kung series, “From the Private Family Records of Master Yang Lu Chan”, volumes 1 t/m 6, by Stuart Alve Olson

In the Tai Chi form we move from position to position in a fluent way. The positions all have their own name and meaning. Below are the names of the 37 positions of the Yang Style short form as taught by Cheng Man-Ch’ing.


1. Preparation
2. Beginning
3. Grasp Sparrow’s Tail, Ward-off Left
4. Grasp Sparrow’s Tail, Ward-off Right
5. Grasp Sparrow’s Tail, Roll Back
6. Grasp Sparrow’s Tail, Press
7. Grasp Sparrow’s Tail, Push
8. Single Whip
9. Lifting Hands (Raise Hands)
10. Presenting the Right Shoulder (Shoulder-Stroke)
11. White Stork Spreads Its Wings (White Crane Cools Its Wings)
12. Brush Knee Twist Step, Left
13. Playing Guitar(Strumming the Lute)
Brush Knee Twist Step, Left
14. Step Up, Block, Parry (Chop) and
15. Punch
16. Apparent Close-Up
17. Cross Hands
18. Embrace Tiger, Return to Mountain
Grasp Sparrow’s Tail, Roll Back
Grasp Sparrow’s Tail, Press
Grasp Sparrow’s Tail, Push
Single Whip
19. Fist Under Elbow
20. Repulse Monkey, Right
21. Repulse Monkey, Left
Repetition of Repulse Monkeys, Ending on Left
22. Slantingly (Diagonal) Flying
23. Cloud Hands, Left
24. Cloud Hands, Right
Repetition of Cloud Hands, Ending on Left
Single Whip
25. Single Whip Sinks Down
26. Golden Rooster (Cock) Stands on One Leg, Left
27. Golden Rooster (Cock) Stands on One Leg, RIght
28. Lift Kick, Left (Right Separation of the Foot)
29. Lift Kick, Right (Left Separation of the Foot)
30. Push Kick (Turn Body, Kick with Heel)
Brush Knee, Left and Right
31. Punch Down (Step Forward and Punch)
Step Up To Grasp Sparrow’s Tail, Ward-off Right
Grasp Sparrow’s Tail, Roll Back
Grasp Sparrow’s Tail, Press
Grasp Sparrow’s Tail, Push
Single Whip
32. Fair Lady Works Shuttles (First Corner)
33. Fair Lady Works Shuttles (Second Corner)
Fair Lady Works Shuttles (Third Corner)
Fair Lady Works Shuttles (Fourth Corner)
Grasp Sparrow’s Tail, Ward-off Left
Grasp Sparrow’s Tail, Ward-off Right
Grasp Sparrow’s Tail, Roll Back
Grasp Sparrow’s Tail, Press
Grasp Sparrow’s Tail, Push
Single Whip
Single Whip Sinks Down
34. Step Up To Seven Stars Of The Big Dipper
35. Astride Tiger (Retreat to Ride Tiger)
36. Lotus Spin and Kick (Turn Body Sweep Lotus Leg)
37. Bend Bow Shoot Tiger
Step Forward, Block, Parry (Chop) and Punch
Apparent Close-Up
Cross Hands
Closing T’ai-Chi Form

Below are the names of the 52 sword positions of the sword form as taught by Cheng Man-Ch’ing. As in the empty hand form we move in a fluent way through the positions.


1. Starting Position.
2. Step Forward Moving Sword and Hand Together.
3. The Divinity Points the Way.
4. Three Rings Around the Moon.
5. The Major “Literary Star.”
6. The Swallow Beats the Water [with its wings]
7. Block and Sweep (Right and Left).
8. The Minor “Literary Star.”
9. The Wasp Enters the Cave.
10. The Alert Cat Catches the Mouse.
11. The Dragonfly Strikes the Water
12. The Swallow Returns to the Nest.
13. The Phoenix Spreads its Wings.
14. Minor Literary Star (Clockwise-Whirling Wind).
15. Attitude of Awaiting the Fish (Counter-Clockwise Whirling Wind).
16. Dividing The Grass in Search of the Snake.
17. Embracing the Moon.
18. The Birds Return to the Forest.
19. The Black Dragon Wags its Tail.
20. The Wind Rolls the Lotus Leaf.
21. The Lion Shakes his Head.
22. The Tiger Holds his Head.
23. The Wild Horse Leaps Over the Stream.
24. Turn Your Body to Stop the Horse (Turn and Rein in).
25. (Needle of) The Compass.
26. Wave the Whisk Broom Against the Wind.
27. Pushing the Boat with the Current.
28. The Shooting Star Chases the Moon.
29. Pegasus (Flying Heavenly Horse); the Spraying Waterfall.
30. Roll up the Screen.
31. Wheels (Left and Right Form).
32. The Swallow Holds Mud in its Beak.
33. The Roc Spreads its Wings.
34. Pick up the Moon from the Bottom of the Sea.
35. Embracing the Moon.
36. The Dragon Spirit (Sea Monster) Searches the Sea.
37. The Rhinoceros Gazing at the Moon.
38. Shoot the Flying Goose.
39. The Green Dragon Stretches its Claws.
40. The Phoenix Spreads Both Wings.
41. Step Forward Right and Left and Block.
42. Shoot the Flying Goose.
43. The White Ape Offers Fruit.
44. The Falling Flowers, Left and Right.
45. The Fair Lady (Goddess) Weaves at the Shuttles.
46. The White Tiger Wags its Tail.
47. The Fish Leaps Over the Gate of the Dragon.
48. The Black Dragon Coils Around the Pillar.
49. The Divinity Points the Way.
50. The Wind Sweeps the Fallen Flower.
51. Holding the Tablet Before Your Bosom.
52. Embracing the Sword and Returning to the Starting Position.

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