Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Taijiquan Cane or Staff


Taiji cane forms are typically performed slowly and deliberately.  Hard and powerful strikes are seldom used in T'ai Chi Ch'uan walking stick forms.  The pace of the Taijiquan cane forms are seldom fast and vigorous.  There are few if any vigorous leaps and jumps.  Taiji forms seldom use very low stances.  Taiji cane forms are particularly suitable for fit persons over 50 years of age.  Good examples of a Taiji Cane Form are: the Standard Beijing 24 Form with Cane created by Master Wen-Ching Wu; the Eight Immortals Cane Form, Part I, created by Master Jesse Tsao;  the Plum Blossom Taiji Cane Form; the Tai Chi Stick 18 Form;  the Bodhi Dharma Walking Stick Form; Master Michael Gilman's Three Powers Cane Form; the Wu Tang Cane Form of Master T.T. Liang; the Standard 32 Sword Form; etc.  

There are also many examples of more vigorous "Taiji" cane forms, with hard strikes, leaps, fast moves, spins, and low moves.  Taijiquan saber or broadsword forms are readily adapted for use with a cane, and some are fast and vigorous.  Normally, Taijiquan sword forms are not very well adapted as cane forms, but I practice the Standard 32 Sword Form with my cane as do many others.  Karate, kung fu, Shaolin, Bagua and HsingI cane or stick forms are often fast, vigorous, powerful, twisting, agile, and with some very low stances.  Of course, when first learning any new cane form, begin with a slower, more deliberate, less vigorous practice to help the body adapt to the moves of the new form.  Thus, even a fast and vigorous cane form from any style can be done more in the "Taiji" fashion outlined and shown above.  

Many Qigong (Chi Kung) forms can also we done while holding a cane.  Adaptations are quite easily arranged.  Most often, however, Qigong forms are adapted or created for use with a short 6"-12" wooden stick called a Tai Chi Ruler or Bang.  

I consider a cane or walking stick to be, normally, a straight strong wooden stick with a curved (hook) handle that is from 30" (76 cm) to 42" (107 cm) long.  The cane will typically extend from the floor to the height of your hip socket and maybe up to your belly button.  The cane might also be made out of plastic, aluminum, steel, or rattan.  The cane might have a straight rather than curved or hooked end with a round ball shaped (pommel) end or some sort of straight or carved handle at the end.  The cane might be very simple, natural and plain; or be carved, painted or decorated.  



Each day I use an Instructor's Walking Cane, 40" (103 cm) long and 1" (2.54 cm) in diameter, purchased from Cane Masters.  This cane weights 1lb, 2 oz (510 gm).  This beautiful martial arts combat cane is made of pure hickory heartwood, has multiple notches at three key gripping points, has a ample rounded hooked horn, and has a rubber covered tip inserted over the tip end.  I also own the same Instructor's Walking Cane made of oak - a gift from my children.  I am 6'6" (198 cm) tall, and a 40" cane (103 cm) is perfect for using on my long walks and for my Taiji cane practices.  The only weapon I practice with on a daily basis is a wooden cane; and the only weapon I teach now in my Taijiquan classes is the cane.  Also, whenever I take a walk, anywhere, I bring my cane along for support, exercising the arms, and for self-defense.     


Taijiquan Cane Weapon Research, Bibliography, and Practices

Way of the Short Staff

Long Staff Weapons Practices 



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