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Directions in the Zheng Manqing Taijiquan 37 Posture Form


In taijiquan we often start our form facing North. That got me thinking what directions do we visit in the form, and how frequently.

Consider the following table. I list all postures and "sub postures" I could think of as well as the direction one is facing doing the posture.

Posture Number
Posture Name
1 preparation N
2 beginning N
3 ward off left N
4 ward off right E
5 rollback E
6 press E
7 push E
8 single whip W
9 lift hands N
10 shoulder strike N
11 white crane spreads wings W
12 brush knee left W
13 play the pipa W
14 brush knee left W
15 step forward W
16 deflect W
17 parry W
18 punch W
19 withdraw W
20 push W
21 apparent closure, cross hands N
22 embrace tiger, return to mountain SE
23 rollback SE
24 press SE
25 push SE
26 diagonal single whip NW
27 rely on fist, fist under elbow W
28 retreating monkey, right W
29 retreating monkey, left W
30 retreating monkey, right W
31 retreating monkey, left W
32 retreating monkey, right W
33 diagonal flying NE
34 cloud hands, left N
35 cloud hands, right N
36 cloud hands, left N
37 cloud hands, right N
38 cloud hands, left N
39 cloud hands, right N
40 cloud hands, left N
41 single whip W
42 squatting single whip, snake creeps down W
43 golden rooster stands on one leg, left W
44 golden rooster stands on one leg, right W
45 separate right foot NW
46 separate left foot SW
47 turn and strike with heel E
48 brush knee left E
49 brush knee right E
50 low punch E
51 ward off right E
52 rollback E
53 press E
54 push E
55 single whip W
56 fair lady left NE
57 fair lady right NW
58 fair lady left SW
59 fair lady right SE
60 ward off left N
61 ward off right E
62 rollback E
63 press E
64 push E
65 single whip W
66 squatting single whip, snake creeps down W
67 seven stars step forward W
68 step back and ride tiger W
69 turn body and sweep lotus with leg W
70 bend bow, shoot tiger NW
71 step forward W
72 deflect W
73 parry W
74 punch W
75 withdraw W
76 push W
77 cross hands N
78 conclusion N
79 bow/saying thanks N

Here is a graph of the % of directions.

Here is a summary of the statistics for each direction:

It is interesting that we talk about the importance of facing North so much, and "doing the form to the right". Most of the time we are facing West. Also, it is clear the South direction is highly neglected.

Thanks for reading. Happy practice!

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