Cloud Hands

T'ai Chi Ch'uan and Qigong

 

Directional Instructions
Nomenclature for Describing Body Positions
For Taijiquan and Qigong Forms


By
Michael P. Garofalo

May 19, 2005

 

 

Cloud Hands - Yun Shou

Cloud Hands Homepage

 

 

 

In what direction do you face to begin a particular Taijiquan or Qigong form?  
In what direction to you point and aim the arrow in the Eight Section Brocade Qigong form?
In what direction do you step when moving into a particular posture?
In what direction does your right arm or left arm move in a particular posture?
When doing the Yang 108 Long Form, in what direction do you face in Single Whip?
When you end the Wild Goose Qigong form, in what direction are you facing?

These, and other directional questions, are an essential part of learning all Taijiquan and
Qigong forms.  

In the early morning, I now begin facing west so the sun is at my back.  When I practiced the 
Yang long 108/88 form at a local gym with others in 2000, we faced east to take advantage of the 
longer side of the basketball court.  When we practiced Li Ho Ba Fa Taijiquan in 1988, we began 
the form facing north.  In the hot summer afternoon, I now begin facing east when doing Yang forms,
so that the hot sun is at my back or my left side.  At night, in my backyard, I now usually face south 
at the start of the form.  On my back porch, on rainy days and nights, I begin facing west when
doing Taijiquan and Qigong forms.  Some masters  recommend that you always try to begin the 
form facing north.  In my opinion, the direction in which you begin facing at the start of a form is 
rather arbitrary, and based on convenience and circumstance.  Nevertheless, after choosing 
the direction in which to begin facing, all other directions you face in each form sequence 
are usually programmed in a established directional sequence.  In addition, some
adjustments in the directions for facing and moving must, of course, be modified
depending upon the space available in your practice area and/or the positions of 
nearby students in a large class.  


It is always difficult to come up with understandable written descriptions for how to position
the parts of the body when developing written instructions for doing a qigong or taijiquan 
form.  To solve this problem, I have adopted a directional nomenclature relative to a 
12 hour clock.  


When the center of your chest and navel face the 12 o'clock position, your right side faces 
3 o'clock, your back side faces 6 o'clock, and your left side faces 9 o'clock.  .   


Whatever position you take at the start of the form, whatever direction the center of your chest
and navel face, consider that starting position to be facing the 12 o'clock position.  


Key Clock Hour
Direction
Compass
Direction A
Compass
Direction B
Compass
Direction C
Compass
Direction D
           
12 12:00 o'clock North - Front  East - Front South - Front West - Front
1 1:30 o'clock Northeast Southeast Southwest Northwest
3 3:00 o'clock East - Right South - Right West - Right North - Right
4 4:30 o'clock Southeast Southwest Northwest Northeast
6 6:00 o'clock South - Back West - Back North - Back East - Back
7 7:30 o'clock Southwest Northwest Northeast Southeast
9 9:00 o'clock West - Left North - Left East - Left South - Left
10 10:30 o'clock Northwest Northeast Southeast Southwest

 

Some might find the following diagrams useful:  

Direction A
Face North
Direction B
Face East
Direction C
Face South
Direction D
Face West
 

 

East Facing - Clock Model South Facing - Clock Model

    

 

 

When I first watch and study a Taijiquan or Qigong form, I adopt Direction A, Facing North, 
as my standard of interpretation.  I take the center of my chest and navel pointing due north 
as the 12:00 o'clock position.  My right side faces due east towards the 3:00 o'clock position.  
My backside faces due south towards the 6:00 o'clock position.  Finally, my left side faces 
due west towards the 9:00 o'clock position.  One can easily convert the my starting interpretation 
and description into any other cardinal direction using the above charts and diagrams.   

 

Here is a chart for Direction A:

 

Directional Instructions

 

Key Clock Hour
Direction
Compass
Direction A

     
N 12 12:00 o'clock North - Front Side of Body
NE 1 1:30 o'clock Northeast
E 3 3:00 o'clock East - Right Side of Body
SE 4 4:30 o'clock Southeast
S 6 6:00 o'clock South - Back Side of Body
SW 7 7:30 o'clock Southwest
W 9 9:00 o'clock West - Left Side of Body
NW 10 10:30 o'clock Northwest

 

This method can be used to describe a posture like Single Whip (Chest W 9, R Arm N 12, 
L Arm and Palm W 9, Face and Eyes W 9).  Or, Diagonal Slant Flying (Chest NW 10, 
Right  Arm NE 1, Left Arm SW 7, Face and Eyes NE 1).  

Remember that "NE 1" is a key, or abbreviation for facing true NE to the 1:30 position; 
or "SW 7" is the abbreviation or key for facing true SW to the 7:30 position.  

Another way to consider this issue of providing directions is to indicate the direction of the 
opponent you are striking.  For example, Diagonal Slat Flying is attacking a opponent
who is in the NE 1 position.  I will consider adopting this approach in my work on Sun style
internal martial arts forms.  When I described the Yang Style long and short hand forms,
I gave the direction the chest faces at the end of a movment.   I welcome your comments 
and suggestions.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

Cloud Hands - Yun Shou

Waving Hands Like Clouds Homepage

 

 

 

Michael P. Garofalo's E-Mail

 

Valley Spirit Tai Chi Chuan Club

 


Red Bluff, Tehama County, North Sacramento Valley, Northern California, U.S.A.
Cities in the area: Oroville, Paradise, Durham, Chico, Hamilton City, Orland, Corning,
Rancho Tehama, Los Molinos, Tehama, Gerber, Manton, Cottonwood, 
Anderson, Shasta Lake, Palo Cedro, and Redding, CA

 

 

Disclaimer

 

 

Michael P. Garofalo, 2005, All Rights Reserved

 

 

Zen Poetry

Cuttings: Haiku and Short Poems

Fitness and Well Being

Index

Sun Family T'ai Chi Ch'uan

Cold Mountain Sages

The Spirit of Gardening

Yoga

Yang Family Tai Chi Chuan

 

Cloud Hands: T'ai Chi Ch'uan and Chi Kung Website

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Alphabetical Subject Index

 

Cloud Hands Website
   
Taijiquan, Qigong, Taoism, Classics, Weapons: Sword and Staff


Fitness and Well Being Website

      Gardening, Meditation, Walking, Yoga, Strength Training,
      Fitness for Older Persons, Aerobics, Relaxation  


The Spirit of Gardening

   
2,700 Quotes Arranged by 130 Topics, History, Guides,
     Psycho-Spiritual Aspects of Gardening 

 

Green Way Research
   
Online Publishing, Research, Indexing, and Services
     By Michael P. Garofalo
     Red Bluff, California 

 



Web Guides, Bibliographies, Links, Directories, Quotes, Notes

 


Alphabetical Subject Index

 

Above the Fog  -  Zen Poems   

Aging Well   

Alphabetical Subject Index to the Cloud Hands Website   

Ancient Goddesses - Quotations, Poems, Sayings, Prayers, Songs

Animal Frolics (Wu Qin Xi): Tiger, Bear, Crane, Deer, and Monkey

Arthritis Therapy - Exercise: T'ai Chi Ch'uan and Chi Kung      

Bear, Standing Bear, Level 1 Ranking, Valley Spirit Taijiquan

The Bear: The Five Animal Frolics (Wu Qin Xi)    

Bibliography - Ch'i Kung

Bibliography - Taijiquan     

Bird - Five Animal Frolics (Wu Qin Xi)

Blog - Valley Spirit Journal by Michael P. Garofalo     

Book of Changes (I Ching) and Qigong (Dao-yin)

Breathing and Taijiquan     

Breathing and Yoga    

Breathing Practices: Bibliography, Links, Resources, Quotes    

Breathwork

Buddhism and Martial Arts    

Buddhist Ethics

California (Northern) T'ai Chi Ch'uan and Qigong Directory: Instructors, Schools, Information

Charkas (Energy Centers of the Subtle Body)

Chan Ssu Chin - Silk Reeling    

Cheng Man-Ch'ing  (1901-1975)    

Chen Style T'ai Chi Ch'uan     

Ch'i - Breathwork  

Chih - Taiji Ruler

Ch'i or Qi

Ch'i Kung: Bibliography and Links    

Chi Kung for Seniors

Ch'i Kung Instructor: Michael P. Garofalo in Red Bluff, California   

Chinese Massage

Ch'i or Qi and Taijiquan     

Classes, Valley Spirit Taijiquan, Instructional Program

Classics of T'ai Chi Ch'uan     

Cloud Hands: T'ai Chi Ch'uan and Ch'i Kung     

Cloud Hands T'ai Chi Ch'uan Journal     

Concrete and Visual Poetry     

Confucius (K'ung Fu-tzu)  (551 - 479 BCE)    

Contemplation

Crane - Bird - Five Animal Frolics (Wu Qin Xi)

Crane, Soaring Crane, Intermediate Program, Level 3, Valley Spirit T'ai Chi Ch'uan   

Cuttings: Short Poems by Michael P. Garofalo  

Cuttings: Above the Fog  

Dance and Taijiquan       

Dao-yin (Qigong, Chi Kung)

Dayan - Wild Goose Qigong

The Deer: The Five Animal Frolics (Wu Qin Xi)    

Diabetes Therapy - Exercise: Taijiquan and Qigong   

Direction of Movements in Taijiquan and Qigong

Disclaimer of the Cloud Hands Website  

Eight Animals Qigong

Eight Ox Herding Songs -  A Ch'an/Zen Parable

Eight Rivers Qigong

Eight Section Brocade Ch'i Kung       

Eight Silken Treasures Qigong    

Eight Trigrams of the I Ching

Eight Trigrams and Taijiquan          

Eight Ways of Walking Qigong       

Embrace the One - Zhan Zhuang - Standing Like A Tree

Emptiness in Full Bloom    

Entering Tranquility (Ru Jing) Meditation      

Exercise - Diabetes Therapy - Taijiquan and Qigong   

Feedback, Kudos and Reviews for the Cloud Hand's Website     

Fitness and Well Being    

Fitness for Older Persons     

Five Animal Frolics (Wu Qin Xi): Tiger, Bear, Crane, Deer, and Monkey

Five Precepts of Buddhism     

Five Elements (Wu-Xing) and Taijiquan   

Five Stepping Movements of Taijiquan    

Flexibility and Stretching     

Five Elements (Air, Earth, Fire, Water, Metal)

Flowers

Flowers in the Sky     

Gardening: Quotes, Poems, History, Sayings

Gardening: Quips and Maxims by Michael P. Garofalo

The Four Gates: Grasping the Sparrow's Tail    

Michael P. Garofalo's Biography

Michael P. Garofalo's T'ai Chi Ch'uan and Qigong Practice    

The Goddess - Quotations, Poems, Sayings, Prayers, Songs    

Goose - Bird - Five Animal Frolics (Wu Qin Xi)  

Goose - Wild Goose Qigong             

Grasping the Sparrow's Tail          

Green Way Research        

Green Way Research - Taijiquan and Qigong       

Green Wizard 

Gu Shen Taijiquan Journal     

Gu Shen (Valley Spirit) Taijiquan Instructional Program

Haiku and Short Poems     

Hatha Yoga

Health and Fitness - T'ai Chi Ch'uan    

Hexagrams and Trigrams of the I Ching (Book of Changes)

Hidden Tiger, Beginning Program, Level 2, Valley Spirit T'ai Chi Ch'uan   

Hsing Yi Chuan   

I Ching (Book of Changes) and Taijiquan and Qigong

Index to the Cloud Hands Website

Instructional Program, Valley Spirit T'ai Chi Ch'uan    

Journal - Valley Spirit Journal by Michael P. Garofalo

Kriya Yoga    

Kudos for the Cloud Hands Website

Kundalini (Coiled Serpent) Energy

Kwang Ping Taijiquan of Kuo Lien Ying     

Labyrinths and Mazes   

Learning and Teaching Taijiquan, Qigong and Yoga

Links and Bibliography: Qigong    

Links and Bibliography: Taijiquan       

Long Form 108 Yang Style Taijiquan     

Massage

Master Chang San-Feng  (circa 1350)       

Master Cheng Man-Ch'ing  (1901 - 1975)    

Master Han Shan  (circa 750)    

Master Kuo Lien Ying   (1895-1984)     

Master Sun Lu-Tang  (1861-1932)   

Master Yang Cheng-Fu  (1883-1936)   

Mastery, Self Control, Self Mastery, Choices, Will Power, Strength of Character

Meditation - General

Meditation and Breathing

Meditation and Walking    

Meditation Instructor: Michael P. Garofalo in Red Bluff, California        

Meditation Methods and Techniques  

Meditation Quotations    

Meditation - Standing Like A Tree  

Meditation - Wu Ji - The Edge of Emptiness     

Michael P. Garofalo - Brief Biography        

Michael P. Garofalo - Internal Martial Arts Practice History      

Michael P. Garofalo - Resume     

Michael P. Garofalo -  T'ai Chi Ch'uan and Qigong Practice    

Minding the Breath

Months of the Year: Quotes, Poems, Links     

Movement Direction Instructions for Taijiquan and Qigong Forms

Moving Hands Like Clouds:  T'ai Chi Ch'uan and Qigong    

Northern California T'ai Chi Ch'uan and Qigong Directory: Instructors, Schools, Information

Nature Mysticism   

Nine Movement Temple Ch'i Kung Exercise Set

Oak Tree in the Courtyard    

Old Cloud Hands Website

Older Persons Exercise and Wellness Programs   

Oregon T'ai Chi Ch'uan and Qigong Directory: Instructors, Schools, Information   

Original Cloud Hands URL    

Original Waving Hands Like Clouds URL    

Photography - Valley Spirit Photography Gallery    

Pilates: Links, Bibliography, Resources, Quotes, Notes

Pranayama: Breathing Techniques from Yoga     

Private Instruction by Michael P. Garofalo, Instructional Programs

Pulling Onions: The Quips and Maxims of a Gardener

Push Hands - T'ui Shou   

Qigong: Bibliography and Links    

Qigong - Breathwork

Qigong, Ch'i Kung - Chinese Mind-Body Exercises    

Qigong for Seniors

Qigong Instructor: Michael P. Garofalo in Red Bluff, California        

Qigong-Yoga Exercise Cycle

Qigong Ruler - Taiji Chih

Qigong Walking      

Qi or Ch'i and Taijiquan     

Raja Yoga

Red Bluff, Valley Spirit Taijiquan Instructional Program    

Red Bluff, California, Qigong Classes

Red Bluff, California, Yoga Classes     

Relaxation and Taijiquan     

Resolve, Will. Willpower, Self Control, Self Discipline   

Resume of Michael P. Garofalo

Reviews of the Cloud Hand's Website     

Riding the Ox - A Zen Parable

Ruler - T'ai Chi

Self Control, Self Mastery, Choices, Will Power    

Self-Massage

Senior Citizens Fitness Programs  

Senior Fitness - Red Bluff, CA

Sensing Hands: Push Hands - T'ui Shou   

Shoong, Sung, Song  - Loose, Relaxed, Open, Yielding, Responsive     

Short Form, Yang Style, Beijing Simplified 24

Silk Reeling    

Simplified 24 From, Yang Style       

Soaring Crane, Intermediate Program, Level 3, Valley Spirit T'ai Chi Ch'uan

Soulful Gardening

Speaking to the Spirit Meditation

The Spirit of Gardening    

Staff Weapons: Jo, Bo, Can, Staff, Spear    

Standing Bear, Level 1 Ranking, Valley Spirit Taijiquan

Standing Like A Tree - Zhan Zhuang

Standing Meditation (Wu Ji)

Sticking Hands - T'ui Shou   

Stork - Bird - Five Animal Frolics

Strength Training    

Stretching and Flexibility

Subject Index to the Cloud Hands Website

Sun Lu-Tang's (1861-1933) Biography   

Sun Lu-Tang (1861-1933): Baguaquan, Hsingyiquan, and Taijiquan Grandmaster

Sun Style Baguaquan     

Sun Style Hsingyiquan   

Sun Style Qigong   

Sun Style Sword

Sun Style Taijiquan     

Swordsmanship and T'ai Chi Ch'uan     

T'ai Ch'i Classics      

Tai Chi for Arthritis

Tai Chi for Diabetes   

Tai Chi for Seniors

T'ai Chi Ch'uan: Bibliography and Links     

T'ai Chi Ch'uan and Qigong Directory: Instructors, Schools, Information, Workshops      
Northern California, Oregon, Washington, and British Columbia

T'ai Chi Ch'uan Instructor: Michael P. Garofalo in Red Bluff, California      

T'ai Chi Ch'uan, Red Bluff, CA  

T'ai Chi Ch'uan Short Form, Beijing Simplified 24, Yang Style     

T'ai Chi Ch'uan: Links and Bibliography      

T'ai Chi Ch'uan Staff     

T'ai Chi Ch'uan Sword (Jian)     

T'ai Chi Ruler - Chih

Taijiquan: Bibliography and Links      

Taijiquan - Breathwork

Taijiquan Classics      

Taijiquan For Good Health, Fitness and Vitality         

Taijiquan Instructor: Michael P. Garofalo in Red Bluff, California        

Taijiquan Jian (Sword)     

Tantric Yoga

Taoism, Nature Mysticism, Alchemy      

Teaching and Learning Taijiquan, Qigong and Yoga

Temple Qigong - A Nine Movement Exercise Set     

Thirteen Postures: 8 Gates and 5 Steps                  

The 300 Missing Poems of Han Shan      

The Tiger: The Five Animal Frolics (Wu Qin Xi)    

Tiger, Hidden Tiger, Beginning Program, Level 2, Valley Spirit T'ai Chi Ch'uan

Tree Qigong - Zhan Zhuang - Standing Like A Tree   

Trees - Quotations, Poems, Lore, Wisdom  

Trees - Lore, Magick, Myths, Magick    

Trigrams and Hexagrams of the I Ching (Book of Changes)

24 From, Yang Style, Standard       

Valley Spirit Fitness and Well Being Website   

Valley Spirit Idea

Valley Spirit Journal by Michael P. Garofalo     

Valley Spirit Labyrinths  

Valley Spirit Photography Gallery    

Valley Spirit T'ai Chi Ch'uan Club        

Valley Spirit Taijiquan Instructional Program

Valley Spirit Taijiquan and Qigong Journal by Michael P. Garofalo       

Valley Spirit T'ai Chi Ch'uan, Qigong, and Yoga    

Valley Spirit - Tao Te Ching

Vancouver, B.C., T'ai Chi Ch'uan and Qigong Directory: Instructors, Schools     

Virtues in the Martial Arts

Vitality, Health and Qigong   

Walking and Labyrinths

Walking and Taijiquan     

Walking - Eight Ways of Walking Qigong       

Walking - General Fitness Exercise

Walking - Quotations     

Washington T'ai Chi Ch'uan and Qigong Directory: Instructors, Schools, Information 

Waving Hands Like Clouds:  T'ai Chi Ch'uan and Qigong    

Wild Goose Qigong

Will Power, Self Control, Self Mastery, Choices, Strength of Character   

Wizards

Wu Ji - Standing Meditation   

Xing Yi Quan   

Yoga Class, TFFC, Red Bluff, CA   

Yang Family Taijiquan Genealogy     

Yand Style Push Hands and Da Lu   

Yang Style Staff

Yang Style Sword    

Yang Style Traditional Taijiquan Long Form 108 Movements     

Yang Style Taijiquan Short Form 24 Movements       

Yin-Yang Sensitivity Training: Sticking Hands - T'ui Shou   

Yoga   

Yoga Class, Red Bluff, CA - Instructor: Michael P. Garofalo

Yoga - Breathwork   

Yoga - Hatha   

Yoga - Kriya     

Yogalates: Links, Bibliography, Resources, Quotes, Notes    

Yoga - Red Bluff, CA

Yoga -Tantric

Yoga-Taiji Index

Zhan Zhuang - Standing Like A Tree

Zen/Chan Buddhist  Poetry       

Zen Buddhist Quotations   

 

 

Valley Spirit T'ai Chi Ch'uan Club


Red Bluff, Tehama County, North Sacramento Valley, Northern California, U.S.A.
Cities and small towns in the area: Oroville, Paradise, Durham, Chico, Hamilton City,
Corning, Rancho Tehama, Los Molinos, Vina, Tehama, Proberta, Gerber, 
Manton, Cottonwood, Olinda, Cloverdale, Dairyville, Bend, Centerville, Summit City
Anderson, Shasta Lake, Palo Cedro, Igo, Ono, Redding, Shasta, Colusa, Willows,
Richfield, Fall River, Montgomery Creek, Alturas, McCloud, Dunsmuir, Yreka, Happy Camp,
Shingletown, Burney, Mt. Shasta City, Weaverville, Williams, Chester, Orland,
Susanville, Weed, Gridley, Marysville, Yuba City, NorCalifia, CA, California.

 

 

May 3, 2005

 

Green Way Research   

Valley Spirit T'ai Chi Ch'uan

Cloud Hands: T'ai Chi Ch'uan and Ch'i Kung