Eight Pieces of Brocade

Ba Duan Jin is a Qigong routine that consists of eight exercises and takes about twelve minutes. The routine is “medical” rather than martial–practiced for its health benefits, and it is at least a thousand years old, mentioned and illustrated in Song Dynasty encyclopedias (the illustration below is not that old).


Sources of information:

Many videos are available on YouTube. I like the one by Master Faye Li Yip. The one by Peter Chen is good, too.


The names of the eight exercises vary, especially in English, but even in Chinese to some extent. Below, I am following Matoko Rashka:

  1. Shuāng shǒu qíng tiān lǐ sān jiāo – Support the Heavens to Condition San Jiao
  2. Zuǒ yòu kāi gōng sì shè diāo – Draw the Bow to Shoot the Eagle
  3. Tiáo lǐ pí wèi dān jǔ shǒu – Raise the Hand to Condition the Spleen and Stomach
  4. Wǔ láo qī shāng xiàng hòu qiáo – Look Backward to Elimnate Five Fatigues and Seven Illnesses
  5. Yáo tóu bǎi wěi qù xīn huǒ – Swing the Head and Tail to Eliminate Xin Huo
  6. Liǎng shǒu pān jiǎo gù shèn yāo – Hold the Feet to Strengthen the Kidney and Lower Back
  7. Wò quán nù mù zēng lì qi – Punch with Fierce Glower to Build Strength
  8. Bèi hòu qī diān bǎi bìng xiāo – Shake the Back Seven Times to Prevent Illness

Additional Ba Duan Jin pages: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4

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