Treasure Hunt

Posted by Stuart Herbert on May 28th, 2008 in Technique.

How well do you know your form? How well does your form, and indeed your practice, relate to the Tai Chi Classics? Can you find all of the Thirteen Postures in your form?

And, for my students, a treasure hunt … can you spot which of the Thirteen Postures appears where in Grasp Sparrows Tail? Especially the one I haven’t mentioned yet in my class? πŸ™‚


  1. Laura Miles says:
    June 12th, 2008 at 1:08 pm

    Hi Stuart,

    Great web site! I was moved in what you had written about Rill, she would be thrilled. I can imagine Rill looking down, smiling and keeping an eye on our progress. πŸ™‚

    I have been looking at the thirteen postures, interesting hey! It has blown me away, a lot to understand, but at the same time it makes sense in a kind of way to my understanding, I seem to answer one question and another question leads on from it… waffling now….

    Tonight I am going to go home and look at how I do ‘the grasp sparrows tail ‘I know that we start in Front Stance, but before that our stance is upright – balanced with hands to our sides – Weight in the left leg, ward off, roll back, press, push and pull down are the movements we use. Correct? So when we step it is like a foundation to go with the hand movements?

    I am trying not to look into it too hard; we are already doing the moves, but why?

    I am thinking on the lines of the shoulder and elbow stroke, but I will let you know my findingsΒ…..



  2. Stuart Herbert says:
    June 12th, 2008 at 4:05 pm

    Hi Laura,

    You’re on the right lines. Keep at it πŸ™‚

    Best regards,

    PS: Your email address only appears to you; no-one else can see it.

  3. Verity says:
    June 15th, 2008 at 8:51 pm

    Hello Stuart…….and anyone else who’s reading!
    Well done Stu! What an informative site – so much to read and so interesting! I shall look forward to browsing through it all and learning much more along the way.
    I’ve done a little research into the song of the 13 postures and there is also alot of information with regard to that! Will enjoy digesting it all and gaining a deeper understanding of the principles. I agree with Laura – it is ‘ming-blowing’!! But!…on to the ‘treasure hunt’! I’ve gone over Grass Sparrow’s tail many times and, at first, still failed to find the other movements?……, I may be completely on the wrong trail here, but, is it two head movements whilst doing the ward off left and right?…..In the song of the 13 postures, it states that when striking left you must pay attention to the right, and, I assume then, that when striking right, you must pay attention to the left. It also states in the ‘five elements’ (look left, look right, advance, withdraw, central equilibrium)………so! in short, is it the turning of the head to the opposite side of the ‘ward off’ movements?! Phew! Tried my best to explain that coherently……he he! Look forward to your response, corrections? or telling me to go to the back of the class and try again?!

  4. Laura Miles says:
    June 18th, 2008 at 8:47 am

    Hello All,

    Thank you for the help stuart with the Grasp Sparrows Tail… I did tell myself off mind, as I knew the moves but at the time I couldn’t explain them (Hey ho! Got there in the end) πŸ™‚

    A bit of fun
    Good Luck All! πŸ™‚