42-Step Taiji Quan

I’ve just been through Li De Yin’s instructional video on the 42-step combined form for competition. I have the DVD and have not found that material on YouTube; it might not be available on the Web.


I did stumble upon a short video in which Professor Li explains (in Chinese, alas and of course) and demonstrates one of the moves I have found most baffling: the sequence of Yan Shou Gong Chui and Ye Ma Fen Zong. The Hidden Hand Punch I get, and although it’s different from the Chen I know, Part the Wild Horse’s Mane is clear, too. What I have been puzzled about is the little fajin in between. This is the clearest exposition I’ve seen. Helpful!


For sheer beauty of form, Amin Wu’s version is the performance I am trying to keep in my mind’s eye. I’m a big fan of this many-time Chinese champion. You can read about her accomplishments here: wuamintaichi.com/master_wu.

I’ve been learning the Chinese characters for numbers and a few of the words that occur most commonly in tai chi. The red letters in the image above say 42 form taiji quan:  = 4,  = 10, = 2 (combine four, ten and two for 42), 式 = shì = form, 太极拳 = taiji quan. Learn Chinese numbers here: learnchineseez.com/characters/learn-to-write-chinese.

For names of movements, other videos, etc., see the main 42-form page.

Wudang Tai Chi Videos

Here’s an additional (and excellent!) resource for the combined Wudang (49-step)Tai Chi Sword form: an instructional video in two parts on YouTube, with Li De Yin teaching and his daughter Faye Li Yip demonstrating.

Master Faye Yip demonstrating

Master Faye Yip demonstrating Pu Bu Chuan Jian

The videos are 45-50 minutes long, each covering about half of the form. The second video includes the optional flourishes that can follow #36, gong bu gua pi.

Snake Section

The Snake Section is the fourth part of the Hung Gar Tiger Crane set. Videos:


And the names are:

  • Wipe the Sleeve
  • Snake Spits Poison
  • Rising Falling Block
  • Lift and Press
  • Snake Points to Heaven
  • Double Falling Back Fist
  • Fist Going Through the Sky
  • Continually Piercing the Sky
  • Staggered Horse Stance, Fist Like an Arrow

Repeat other side. Then:

  • Snake Pierces the Eye
  • Cat Stance Chopping Down
  • Turn Around and Slice bamboo
  • Snake Strikes from the earth

We are going to stop here for a while and return to Laojia Yilu, but there are two more sections remaining to this form. We’ll learn them before the end of the year.

Leopard Section

Continuing with the Hung Gar Tiger Crane Set. After Poison Hands and Iron Body is the Leopard Section. I have three videos to work with:

Leopard section: Suppress the Tiger

Leopard section: Suppress the Tiger

The names of the movements are as follows:

  • White Horse Offers Front Leg
  • Suppress the Tiger
  • Pearl Bridge
  • Press Ten Thousand Pounds
  • Dragon Leaps from Sea
  • Leopard Palms a Tree Trunk
  • Leopard Breaks its Prey
  • Leopard Breaks its Prey
  • Leopard Smothers its Prey
  • Arhat Exits the Cave
  • Crosscutting Bamboo
  • Divide the Grass in Search of Snakes
  • Throw a Ball Through a Wave

REPEAT ALL on the other side. Then:

  • Kicking Star Method
  • Double Bow Hugging the Moon
  • Children Bow to Buddha
  • Leopard Pulls Back
  • Cornered Leopard Fights Back

Finally, for review, here is a demonstration by Head Instructor Hunter of the first three sections, at a walk-through pace. We haven’t yet learned the Five Animal Salute that you see at the beginning and end.