Pao Chui – Cloud Hands

The Chicago school (Chenjigou Taijiquan, USA Chicago, which appears to be pretty closely tied to the major proponents of the Chen style in Chen village) divides the form into four sections, with the first section ending in Yan Shou Gong Quan. This is just before where I left off.


The second section begins with the 180-degree turn and the elbow strike (hit the left palm with the elbow, by the way). What follows is a turning version of Cloud Hands. The footwork:

  • Step around with the right to face front.
  • Cross step behind with the left.
  • Step out to the right and pivot on the right heel to face away.
  • Step out with the left.
  • Cross step behind with the right.

In this frame (below), Master Bing is about to face away. The left foot was planted across and behind the right; he is stepping out and pivoting on the right heel.

Pivoting on the right heel to face away

Pivoting on the right heel to face away

At the end, step out to the left and prepare to take four bamboo steps back in the opposite direction (see below).


I call this Cloud Hands, but it’s not Yun Shou. It’s Da Gong Quan Xiao Gong Quan. The translation offered is simply waving hands. To me, it looks like “big fist work, little fist work”–never mind! I am mystified about quite a few names, at this point. I see chopping hands, overturning flowers and waving sleeves in between Zhi Dang and Yan Shou Gong Quan. Hmmm!!!!

Anyway, the waving hands pretty much follow the left foot when he’s facing forward and the right foot when he’s facing back. That is, when he steps out to the right, his hands are to the left of his body; when he cross-steps behind with the left, the hands are waving to the right of the body. When he swings 180, he’s pivoting on the right heel and his hands swing to the right of his body as he step left. When he cross-steps behind with the right foot, his hands are waving to the left.

Advance with bamboo step right

Advance with bamboo step right.

Step back onto the left foot, touch-step with the right, hands crossed at the chest, right hand in front. Advance four quick bamboo steps, leading with the right (above). We have barely begun the second section, and we are at the two-minute mark, so apparently, we are going to cram the rest of the form into one minute twenty seconds!

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