Q: What are the 13 movements exactly?
A: Simply put the 13 movements are a simpel overview of the most basic ways to move in Tai Chi – a templet to work from.
They consist of five directions (North, South, East, West, Centre) that correspond to the five phases, or five elements, which is a famous basic concept in ancint Chinese philosophy.
The eight movements correspond to the eight trigrams which is a concept from the famous I Ching or Book of Changes that is nearly 3000 years old.
The movements are basic attack and defense moves.
Peng – Ward off
Lü – Pull
Ji – Press
An – Push
Cai – Pull downwards ( like plucking a fruit from a tree)
Lie – Short and sharp move to break the opponent’s force
Zhou – Elbow
Kao – Shoulder
Pictures are from Tung Huling’s book.