Many don't realize that the beautiful slow-moving and stress-relieving Taiji traces its origin from the martial arts! There are Thirteen (13) Postures considered as the foundation for the self-defense applications found in all of the Tai Chi styles. These postures & their derivatives are:

13 postures
Eight (8) Trigrams
(the first 8 postures = Energies)
all commonly known as "bamen wubu."
(The first four [4] of these are referred to as the Cardinal Directions)
= ch’ien
(Cardinal Direction)
= k’un
(Cardinal Direction)
= K’an (Cardinal Direction)
= li
(Cardinal Direction)

Chou (elbow strike)
K’ao (
shoulder strike)

Five (5) Elements
(the last 5 postures = Steps):
(advance) (step forward) (Metal)
(retreat) (step backward) (Wood)
(look left) (Water)
(look right) (Fire)
(center)(central equilibrium)(Earth)

Originally Written By Lao Shi Yungeberg
(Edited to suit Taiji & Qigong Effect®)
Wu De (pronounced "Woo Day") is the Chinese martial arts code of appropriate social interaction. Ethics and etiquette are ingrained not only in the culture of China, but also pervades throughout the philosophy that holds the society together. There are five (5) points in Wu De: Respect, Humility, Trust, Virtue, and Honor.

Respect (Zun Jing, 尊敬)
The word “respect” means to acknowledge the feelings and interests of another in a relationship, and treating the other at a standard that rules out selfish behavior. Respect is derived, not by behavior, but by one's attitude. Respect is appreciated as demonstrating a sense of worth or value of a person, a personal quality, or an ability. In martial arts, respect is the cornerstone of all the teachings of martial arts. In regard to Wu De, respect begins with the individual and manifests outward, meaning that those who respect themselves as well as others, will, in turn, be respected. Respect must be earned as well as displayed. This is why those who attend classes, practice, and teach, must bow and use titles.

Humility (Qian Xu, 谦逊)
The word “humility” is the quality or characteristic of a person that is unpretentious and modest. Humility comes with controlling one’s pride and ego. Pride & ego are the killers of good martial arts and damages good character. When we allow our own pride and ego to infiltrate our rational judgment, we start to make decisions based on self-pride and not solid facts. When your ego and pride take over, you will become satisfied with only yourself and stop thinking deeply. One must always try to display humility in everything they do. Train for yourself and not the certification, title or color around your waist. Keep your cup of tea empty allowing yourself to always learn. An old Chinese Proverb says: "The taller the bamboo grows, the lower it bows."

Trust (Xin Yong, 信用)
The word “trust” represents the belief that a person is of good character and will seek to fulfill promises, policies, ethical codes, and the law. In martial arts, we make a promise to ourselves, the class, and the teacher. When starting a class or job, there are underlying trusts that both parties expect to have in place, such as a set program of instruction, safety, compensation, and knowing what is in each other’s best interest. Who do you trust? Do people trust you?

It must be understood that even the most routine instruction is for a student’s own benefit as it allows them to become more proficient in the art. Trust the path you take is the right one. At times instruction may seem to contradict itself. Know that perceived contradiction is one-dimensional, and that the instruction received is designed to help navigate the correct concepts of the martial art.

Honor (Rong Yu, 榮譽)
The martial arts have many strong connections to honor. We honor our ancestors, our art, and ourselves by showing loyalty and having the will to train while simultaneously maintaining the wisdom about our training. To give loyalty is to honor the art through belief in the practices and wisdom of the people that have lived and died in perfecting the art so that it could be passed on to future generations. We should honor the people who came before us, not because they were all superior, but rather, as Sir Isaac Newton said: "If I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of giants."

Virtue (Dao De, 道德)
The idea of virtue in Chinese thought pertains to the notion of character. Framework for this concept is given through the Four (4) Classical Virtues of Temperance, Prudence, Courage, and Justice.
  • Temperance is moderation. When we engage in any activity, we should approach it with moderation, in order to maintain rationality and balance in every facet of our world. Martial arts will enrich our life, not necessarily consume it. One of the goals in martial arts is to take the knowledge and self-discovery from the training hall and apply its principles to daily life.
  • Prudence is the act of having sound judgment over all of one's affairs in life. In life, it is prudent to look at situations that manifest and show wisdom and insight by drawing on facts, knowledge, and experience. It is ideal to be mindful and weigh the outcome of any action.
  • Courage is the ability to act when confronted by fear. Fear can be physical and/or mental. The former entails being frightened by the environment, a person, or a thing. The latter concerns mainly a fear of failure. With martial arts one can move through life with courage by accepting its challenges and not being tied down by fear.
  • Justice combines all virtues and components of Wu De into one application. For thousands of years, its many components have been debated. It appears that the best way for an individual to apply justice is through research, reviewing the facts, and then, taking the course of action that he/she feels within their heart as correct. To apply Wu De in our everyday life is being just. As martial artists we should hold ourselves to a very high standard of character.