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My first Taiji form: P3 Part the Wild Horses Mane 野馬分鬃 (Ye Ma Fen Zong) with the hands

Welcome back to our ongoing series "my first Taiji form". We will be covering the 24 posture Yang Taiji form, one posture at a time. This series is aimed at beginners and you don't need any previous experience to give these moves a go. We have one article already on this stepping for this posture here. Now lets add in the hand movements.


Part the Wild Horses Mane 野馬分鬃 (Ye Ma Fen Zong)


"One day Poh Loh appeared saying, “I understand the management of horses.”

So he branded them, and clipped them, and paired their hoofs, and put halters on them, tying up their heads and shackling their feet, and keeping them in stables, with the result that two or three in every ten died..." Chuang Tse


We have already had a look at the stepping in this posture, now time to bring the hands in. It is vital that the hands follow the body. Let the feeling of the turn in the waist cause the hands to move.

Here is a short video showing the movement:



Key points


The key points stay much the same as before for the lower body. But there are a few additional pointers for the hands.


  1. First let the hands separate before you catch the ball in front.

  2. Make sure your ball is ball shaped! Many people end up with a tai chi cube instead of a ball, drop and round the elbows.

  3. As you step the foot out let the ball collapse like the air is being let out of a beachball.

  4. As you turn the waist let that drive the movement of the hands.

  5. One hand rises as the other pulls apart, finishing with one hand up with the palm facing towards you and the other low and palm down.

This stepping and tai chi ball catching is then repeated on each side:



The key points are much the same as above:


  1. First let the hands separate before you catch the ball in front, do this in coordination with the foot turning out.

  2. Make sure your ball is ball shaped! Many people end up with a tai chi cube instead of a ball, drop and round the elbows.

  3. As you turn the waist let that drive the movement of the hands. The centre moves and the hands follow.

  4. One hand rises as the other pulls apart, finishing with one hand up with the palm facing towards you and the other low and palm down.

  5. Shift the weight, turn the waist, shift the weight, turn the waist...practice, practice!


Take your time working through the movement on the count. Learn the postures first and then try to do it smoothly and continuously. After that review the key points again and continue to work on the movement.


Best of luck with your practice!

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