Hand Form: 103 Movements

The traditional Yang Style Hand Form, also known as 103 movement form, is practiced without a partner, though it is often taught in groups. No matter the age of the student, learning the Hand Form improves strength, coordination, posture, concentration, and general level of energy. This form provides the basics necessary to practice Push Hands and Weapons.

Instructors, Dr. James Fox, PhD and Andrew Holmes-Swanson practice Push Hands. Dr. James Fox, PhD leads a class in Weapons: Sword Form.

Within traditional Yang Family Tai Chi Chuan the Hand Form is standard and functions as the beginner class at the Eugene Yang Chengfu Tai Chi Chuan Center. Names for the movements include Perry, Block, Punch, Brush Knee, Strike, Tiger, Return to Mountain, White Crane Spreads its Wings, Hand Strums the Lute, Snake Creeps Down, and more. The first Tai Chi masters based each movement on what they saw in nature, thus inspiring their descriptive names. Rearranging or combining the movements organizes the different hand forms. For example, “Grasping the Bird’s Tail” is a form made up of four different movements, or energies: ward off, roll back, press (translated as squeeze) and push.

The complete 103-movement Hand Form takes about a year to learn and a lifetime to perfect. For teaching purposes, the Hand Form is divided into three sections. After completing all three sections, students continue learning in the Hand Form Refinement Class.

The 103 Movements:

1. Preparation Form
2. Beginning
3. Grasp the Bird’s tail
4. Single whip
5. Raise Hands and Step Forward
6. White Crane Spreads its Wings
7. Left Brush Knee and Push
8. Hand Strums the Lute
9. Left Brush Knee and Push
10. Right Brush Knee and Push
11. Left Brush Knee and Push
12. Hand Strums the Lute
13. Left Brush Knee and Push
14. Step forward, Parry Block and Punch
15. Apparent Close Up
16. Cross Hands
17. Embrace the Tiger and Return to Mountain
18. Fist Under Elbow
19. Step Back and Repulse the Monkey, Left
20. Step Back and Repulse the Monkey, Right
21. Step Back and Repulse the Monkey, Left
22.  Diagonal Flying
23. Raise Hands and Step Forward
24. White Crane Spreads its Wings
25. Left Brush Knee and Push
26. Needle at Sea Bottom
27. Fan Through the Back
28. Turn Body and Chop with Fist
29. Step Forward, Parry Block and Punch
30. Step Forward and Grasp the Bird’s Tail
31. Single whip 32. Cloud Hands (1)
33. Cloud Hands (2)
34. Cloud Hands (3)
35. Single whip
36. High Pat on Horse
37. Right Separation Kick
38. Left Separation Kick
39. Turn Body and Left Heel Kick
40. Left Brush Knee and Push
41. Right Brush Knee and Push
42. Step Forward and Punch Down
43. Turn Body and Chop with Fist
44. Step Forward, Parry Block and Punch
45. Right Heel Kick
46. Left Strike Tiger
47. Right Strike Tiger
48. Turn Body and Right Heel Kick
49. Twin Fists Strike Opponents Ears
50. Left Heel Kick
51. Turn Body and Right Heel Kick
52. Step Forward, Parry Block and Punch

53. Apparent Close Up
54. Cross Hands
55. Embrace the Tiger and Return to Mountain
56. Diagonal Single Whip
57. Parting Wild Horse’s Mane, Right
58. Parting Wild Horse’s Mane, Left
59. Parting Wild Horse’s Mane, Right
60. Grasp the Bird’s tail
61. Single Whip
62. Fair Lady Works at Shuttles
63. Grasp the Bird’s tail
64. Single Whip
65. Cloud Hands (1)
66. Cloud Hands (2)
67. Cloud Hands (3)
68. Single Whip
69. Snake Creeps Down
70. Golden Rooster Stands on One Leg, Left
71. Golden Rooster Stands on One Leg, Right
72. Step Back and Repulse the Monkey, Left
73. Step Back and Repulse the Monkey, Right
74. Step Back and Repulse the Monkey, Left
75. Diagonal Flying
76. Raise Hands and Step Forward
77. White Crane Spreads its Wings
78. Left Brush Knee and Push
79. Needle at Sea Bottom
80. Fan Through the Back
81. Turn Body and White Snake Spits out Tongue
82. Step Forward, Parry Block and Punch
83. Step Forward and Grasp the Bird’s tail
84. Single Whip
85. Cloud Hands (1)
86. Cloud Hands (2)
87. Cloud Hands (3)
88. Single Whip
89. High Paton On Horse with Palm Thrust
90. Cross Kick
91. Step Forward and Punch Groin
92. Step Forward and Grasp the Bird’s tail
93. Single Whip
94. Snake Creeps Down
95. Step Forward Seven Stars
96. Step back and Ride the Tiger
97. Turn Body and Swing Over Lotus
98. Bend the Bow and Shoot the Tiger
99. Step Forward, Parry Block and Punch
100. Apparent Close Up
101. Cross Hands
102. Closing
103. Return to Normal

The above list of 103 hand movements comes from the International Yang Family Tai Chi Chuan Association website, a wealth of in-depth information about traditional Yang Family Tai Chi Chuan.

Refining the Hand Form

The Eugene Yang Chengfu Tai Chi Chuan Center offers a Hand Form Refinement Class, as well as periodic competition form classes, including the 49-movement and 16-movement forms. Hand forms are ever evolving, as evidenced by the introduction of the 10-movement form by the International Yang Family Tai Chi Chuan Association in 2017. Master Yang creates different moving sets to teach students who have progressed beyond the existing hand forms, so there is always more to learn.

49-movement Form:

Classes

Find current Hand Form classes on the Eugene Yang Chengfu Tai Chi Chuan Center class schedule.

Learn more about the Yang family style of Tai Chi at http://www.yangfamilytaichi.com/about/study/.