Valley Spirit Taijiquan, Michael P. Garofalo, Red Bluff, California


Chen Style Qigong Ruler
Ruler, Stick, Bang, Chich

Research by
Michael P. Garofalo

March 20, 2009

Chen Style Taijiquan and Qigong: Bibliography and Links

Chen Weapons:  Pole     Saber     Spear     Staff     Sword 

Chen Internal Energy Training:  Silk Reeling    Standing    Ball    Ruler



Cloud Hands - Yun Shou

Cloud Hands Website



(Note: This webpage will be completed by March 2011.)





Bibliography, Links, Resources
Chen Style Taijiquan
Ruler, Stick, Bang


Bang:  A simple carved and sanded stick used like a Tai Chi Ruler.  Another Chinese name
for the Tai Chi Ruler. 

Cane or Walking Stick Exercises

Chen Family Taiji Training Tools: Taiji Ruler and Taiji Ball    

Chen Po, Chen Tuan, Chen Hsi (871-989)  An originator of Tai Chi Ruler. 

Google Searches:  Tai Chi Ruler,

Hun Yuan Tai Chi Ruler

Hun Yuan Tai Chi Bang 

Internal Power Training with Bare-Hand, Staff and Equipment.  Performance and instruction by Shifu Jiang Jian-ye.  Instructional videotape, 90 minutes, color.  Traditional Chen Village.  Capital District Tai Chi and Kung Fu Association of New York.  Albany, New York, CDTKA, 2002.  MGC. 

Jo Do, Way of the Jo, Tai Chi Short Staff, Gun Quan, 50" Staff Practices

Purchasing a Tai Chi Ruler - Vendors, Manufacturers

   Ruler Ash Wood 11" from WLE Enterprises $14.95
   eBay Tai Chi Ruler Search

Return to the Main Index 

Secrets to Living Younger Longer: The Self-Healing Path of Qigong, Standing Meditation and Tai Chi.
By Michael Mayer.  Bodymind Healing Publications, 2004.  314 pages.  ISBN: 0970431066.

Special Taoist Taji Stick and Ruler Qigong.   Imparted by
Feng Zhiqiang.  Complied
by Wang Fengming.  205 pages in English and 127 pages in Chinese.  "This the first 
book available from China that describes a system for Taiji Stick and Ruler practice to
improve health, self-defense and well-being. It describes the history, theory, and training 
methods in 14 sections. There is a short question and answer section."  This book
has no publication information or ISBN.  Available from the Wayfarer catalog.  

Staff Weapons in Taijiquan
  Bibliography, links, resources, quotes, notes.  

Sword Weapons in Taijiquan  Bibliography, links, resources, quotes, notes.   

T'ai Chi Classics.  By Waysun Liao.  New translations of three essential texts of T'ai Chi 
Ch'uan with commentary and practical instruction by Waysun Liao.  Illustrated by the author.  
Boston, Shambhala, 1990. 210 pages.  ISBN: 087773531X.  

Tai Chi for Mind and Body.    By David Carradine.  Instructional videotapes, 2 volumes.

Tai Chi Golden Ruler
   "It is a system of Taoist Yoga, or energy exercises, which employ a 
special tool - the "chih", or ruler.  The T'ai Chi Golden Ruler has seven "internal" basic exercises
and eight advanced exercises.  The exercises are performed in repetition with the ruler held
between the palms on a meridian point called the "pericardium point."  Each exercise coordinates
movement, breath, mental and visual focus along the energy meridians of the body.

There are good, brief descriptions of each of the 15 exercises in the Tai Chi Golden Ruler. 
Published by the Dragonfly Tai Chi Club.

Tai Chi Ruler
   22Kb, diagram of movement.   

Tai Chi Ruler and Instructions   Order a foot long ruler made of soft maple or cherry wood.
"The Taiji Ruler is a famous healing exercise developed by Taoist Master Chen Xiyi more
than 1,000 years ago.  The hands make slow circles while holding a beautifully carved 
foot-long wooden stick ("the Ruler.).  The specific shape and structure of the Rule transmits
and amplifies qi forlow between the palms."

T'ai Chi Ruler: Chinese Yoga for Health and Longevity.  By Terry Dunn.
Berkeley, California, North Atlantic Books, 1990.  Appendices,
bibliography, 119 pages.  ISBN: 1556430671.  

Tai Chi Ruler Gong Seminar.   By Yaron Seidman.  Instructional DVD,
60 minutes, 2003.  Hunyuan Taiji Academy Videos.  

Tai Chi Ruler Instructions  From Tai Chi Do. 

Tai Chi Ruler Qigong: Calm the Mind and Develop Internal Energy.  Instructional DVD. 
Presenter: Fontane Ip.  Instruction in English.  Narrators: Brett Wagland and Fontane Ip.
Includes interactive menus to select warm up, individual instructional movements and practice
movements.  DVD, 65 minutes.  "The Hun Yuan method is a rich system of training the mind and
body.  The founder of the system, Grandmaster Feng Zhi Qiang (1928- ), had the unique opportunity to learn
from two well known and respected teachers of their time.  One was Chen Fa Ke (1887-1957), 17th generation
of Chen Style, who excelled in silk reeling chan si gong power.  Chen passed on to Grandmaster Feng his
vast knowledge of the Chen Style Tai Chi, Push Hands, weapons and the Tai Chi Bang (Stick).  The other
teacher was Hu Yao Zhen (1879-1973) who mastered the three unique Taoist skills: martial arts, medicine and
qigong (energy cultivation).  Hu, a famous Chinese medical practitioner, became known as the father of modern
qigong in China.  From Hu, Grandmaster Feng learnt Xin Yi Quan (Heart Mind Boxing), qigong and the
Tai Chi Ruler skills.  Grandmaster Feng is a world famous Tai Chi master.  His martial skills have been tested
many times.  The practice of his art has not only given him good health and great power, it has also moulded
his character and enabled him to follow the Tao or the Natural Way."

Tai Chi Ruler Qigong Workshop with Ken Cohen.  4/20-22/97.  Kirpalu Center, Massachusetts.  "For all levels, including
beginners.  Learn Taiji Ruler, a series of gentle qigong exercises that create a wonderful sense of health, vitality, and well-being.
The Ruler routine increases the body’s supply of qi (vital energy), improves posture, deepens the breath, and cultivates
inner peace. With regular practice, you feel merged with the Tao, the spirit of nature.  Join Ken Cohen, one of the country’s
most accomplished teachers of qigong, and practice the rare techniques of Hu Yaozhen, the Taoist priest who sparked interest
in qigong in China. In addition, you will practice relaxation and meditation and learn about the Taoist philosophy of life. You
will return home with a complete morning routine."


Tai Chi Ruler Teachers: 

Cohen, Kenneth S.  
Fong Ha  
Ip, Fontaine   
Jahnke, Roger 
Johnson, Jerry Alan Johnson
Lew, Share K.  
Seidman, Yaron  
Sutherland, Alistair      
Woo Kwong Fat
Wong Wai Yi
Yang Jwing Ming  


Tai Chi Ruler Qigong Seminar.  Instructional DVD or VHS, 1 hours.  Transmitted down by the Imperial family and
Daoist advocates over the centuries from teacher to student.  This traditional 13 movements set is revealed here
by Yaron Seidman to the world.  This is a Taiji Ruler Gong seminar format, video/DVD in English. Running time
is 1 hour. Filmed in Millbury, MA in 2003."  USA Hunyuan Taiji Academy Videos

Tai Chi Ruler Video.  By Terry Dunn.  VHS Videocassette, 60 minutes.  "The T'ai Chi Ruler is a very
rare system of Taoist Yoga, or Chi Kung utilizing a specially designed wooden dowel or "ruler" that is
derived from the shape of the ancient Chinese sword handle. The T'ai Chi Ruler art consists of eight
sets of exercises done in repetition with deep, slow breathing and the ruler held between the palms.
Each exercise coordinates breath, mental and visual concentration with a basic t'ai chi physical pattern.
Created in 100 A.D., and based entirely on natural principles, Tai Chi Ruler imparts holistic fitness and
integral strength.  Tai Chi Ruler is a complete system of Yoga -- just as Hatha, Kundalini and Shakti are
complete systems -- that integrates mind and body to purify the human spirit. Tai Chi ruler imparts
wholistic fitness and integral strength, and an excellent foundation for t'ai chi ch'uan or any martial arts
practice. " Available from Plum Publications.    

Tai Chi Short Staff, Jo Do, 50" Staff Practices

"Tai Chi Stick and Qigong Ruler: Featuring Master Wang Feng Ming."  By Justin Meehan.
Inside Kung Fu Magazine, May 2001.  

Tai Ji Chih: Chao Family System of Qigong.  "This rarely taught system of qigong uses
a carved wooden ruler (Chih), cupped between the hands to practice the Tai Ji -
The Great Pivot.  The Chih is moved slowly through the aura to strengthen the life force
by promoting spinal flexibility, body symmetry and relaxed movement, while maintaining
the present moment.  A unigue Tai Ji Gong form.  The complete form consists of a set
of eight exercises including standing, seated and reclined practices.  The entire set,
once learned, takes 25-30 minutes to complete."  

Taiji Ruler.  By Kenneth Cohen.  "The first and only comprehensive scholarly article on this ancient
Taoist qigong.  Includes history, anecdotes, methods, benefits, and how to practice the basics."
Available from Qigong: Books and Tapes by Kenneth Cohen

Taoism   Bibliography, Links, Quotes, Resources, Notes.

Taoist Meditation: Methods for Cultivating a Healthy Mind and Body.  Translated by Thomas Cleary.  
Boston, Shambhala Publications, 2000.  130 pages.  ISBN: 1570625670.   

The Tao of Meditation: Way to Enlightenment.   By Jou, Tsung Hwa.  Scottsdale, Arizona,
Tai Chi Foundation, 1983, 2000.  176 pages.  MGC.  ISBN: 0804814651. 

Walking Stick Exercises

The Way of Qigong: The Art and Science of Chinese Energy Healing.  By Kenneth S. Cohen.
Foreword by Larry Dossey.  New York Ballantine Books, 1997.  Index, notes, appendices, 
427 pages.  ISBN: 0345421094.  MGC.  One of my favorite books: comprehensive,
informative, practical, and scientific.  Sifu Cohen's comments on the Taiji Ruler are found
on pages 209-214.  

Way of the Short Staff   Exercises with a cane or walking stick. 

WuDang Taoist Qigong and Mind/Body Arts:  Bilbliography, Links, Quotes and Notes.
By Mike Garofalo.

Return to Main Index





Tai Chi and Qigong Ruler
Quotations, Sayings, Poems, Facts, Advice

"Tai Chi Ruler (Chih) is an ancient form of Taoist gigong using 
a special curved wooden ruler held between the palms."
Qigong Dictionary



"The first person to teach this technique publicly, Zhao Zhongdao lived to age 118. 
Taiji Ruler is attributed to Taoist recluse Chen Xiyi and was until the 1950s a secret 
of the Chinese imperial family. It consists of easy-to-learn rocking movements that 
build qi in the feet, lower back, abdomen, and hands. It may be practiced for self-healing 
or to increase the power of healing touch. The
QRPC is one of the few schools in the 
world that teaches the complete system of Taiji Ruler, including the solo exercises, 
two person exercises, strength training techniques, and meditative Ruler."
Qigong Research and Practice Center (Kenneth S. Cohen)



"The Taiji ruler is one of several forms of qigong attributed to the tenth-century Daoist
recluse Chen Xi-yi.  Chen lived on Mount Hua, the Daoist sacred mountain in Shenxi
Province.  The Jade Spring Temple at the foot of the mountain designed by Chen and
contains a statue of him." Chen Xi-yi taught the form to Zhao Kuang-yin who later 
became the first emperor of the Song Dynasty and encouraged the practice of the 
Taiji Ruler among members of the imperial family.  Zhao Zhong-dao (1844-1962) 
was a master of the Taiji Ruler, and "in 1954, founded in Beijing "The Gentle Art
of the Taiji Ruler Health Society," the first school to publicly teach the Taiji Ruler.  The
Society was like a university teaching hospital."  Notes by Kenneth S. Cohen,
The Way of Qigong, p. 210.  


"Grandmaster Feng Zhi Qiang (1928- ), founder of the Hun Yuan system, is one of China’s 
foremost martial arts masters.  He is able to demonstrate the internal power of Tai Chi to 
a high level, both in self defence and in healing.  Grandmaster Feng had the unique 
opportunity to learn from two of the most well known and respected teachers of their 
time, Hu Yao Zhen (1879-1973) and Chen Fa Ke (1887-1957).  Hu Yao Zhen was a 
famous traditional Chinese medical practitioner and an expert in Xin Yi Chuan (Heart 
Mind Boxing).  Chen Fa Ke, 17th generation of Chen Style, was well known for his 
martial arts prowess.  Due to the knowledge and insight that Grandmaster Feng has 
gained from his two teachers, he has been able to develop the Hun Yuan Tai Chi 
system which enables practitioners to achieve noticeable results quickly. 
Hun” means mixed and “Yuan” means circle."
What is Hun Yuan Qigong



"I know a little about the Taiji ruler (chih). It is not the same as the Taiji stick (bang). The ruler 
and bang train different things. The ruler is essentially a neigong (qigong) exercise while the 
bang, in a nut shell, trains the hands and wrists for seizing and controlling (qin na, aka 
"joint locking") and "applied silk reeling". There is more to each than that, but it gives 
you the general idea.  The Taiji ruler is an ancient Daoist exercise, an adjunct to traditional 
Taijiquan. The bang exercises are believed to have been created by Chen Fake in the 
early 1900's.  The ruler is typically about 12" long and of contoured diameter, largest at its 
ends. The bang comes in two flavors.  One is typically a straight cylinder, about 16" long and 
about 1 3/4" in diameter. The other about the same dimensions, but bent in the middle. 
Typically rulers and bangs are made of a hard wood.  Sizes and wood species aren't 
critical and vary to suit what is being trained.  For example, larger diameter bangs allow 
one to focus more on developing finger strength.  Heavier woods increase the weight.
Both fallen branches and your local hardware store are good sources of materials for 
sticks and rulers. In addition,
I commercially make (turned on a lathe) simple and fancy 
ones of varying sizes and shapes from both domestic and exotic woods."
Charles from Chinese Martial Arts Message Board, 31 October 2004



"This unique and powerful Qi Gong system is called the “ruler” system because, during the basic exercise,
the palms hold a 10.5-inch wooden object.The system effectively stimulates the important lao gong acupuncture
points in the palms of your hands.The Taiji ruler form consists of gentle rocking movements, which build Qi in the
three dantian (lower abdominal, heart, and third-eye energy centers). It can be used for self-healing or as a
preparation for any form of bodywork. This form will enhance any Qi Gong form you are currently practicing,
and is a great introduction to the power of Qi Gong for those with no previous experience."
Karl Ardo



Tai Chi Ruler enables students to feel the sensation of qi quickly.  Students who find it difficult to quiet their minds find
this practice especially effective.  Holding the ruler with both palms help them to focus and be in the moment.  The
movements of the Ruler imitate the movement of the qi inside the body.  It furthers the development of qi circulation.

han Si Gong loosens the body and develops silk reeling power.  When first learning the Chan Si Gong, students may
easily mistake them as simply great movements for opening up the joints – for freedom of movement.  Some students
commented that they have never felt so loosened in their upper bodies.  As one practises more, one will also feel how
these silk reeling exercises develop one’s internal energy.  One will sense qi enveloping the body. 

Tai Chi Bang or Stick
is a special Tai Chi method for training hand, wrist and arm strength.  The flexibility of the joints in
the arms is further improved by manoeuvring the Tai Chi Bang.  It helps students to feel and integrate the back with arm
movements.  It develops eagle claw power and chin na which are joint locking skills.  It also helps to further develop
one’s internal energy.  The Tai Chi Bang develops all these skills without the practitioner even being aware of it.  It just
comes about through diligent practice."
-  Brett Wagland, Hun Yuan Qigong System




Chen Tuan, Chen Po, Chen Hsi I (871-989) was a native of Po-chou in Anhui, is a famous Taoist who lived on Mount Hua,
one of the five sacred mountains of China in Shensi, during the Later Choi and Sung Dynasty (960-1280) A.D. He is credited
with the creation of the kung fu system - Liu Ho Pa Fa - six harmonies and eight methods. Along with this internal art, is a
method of chi (energy) cultivation known today as Tai Chi ruler, a 24 section method (erh shigh ssu shih tao yin fa) seated
and standing exercises designed to prevent diseases that occur during seasonal change.
Chen Tuan at a very early age demonstrated a great ability at mathematics and interpretation of the Book of Changes
and poetry, so much that at age of 15 years, scholars would pay their respect to this young prodigy. His destiny as a
high official of the Imperial court however, was cut short upon his failure at the state examination. This event turned
the young scholar to forsake the lofty ambition of mankind and decided to retire his life as a hermit upon the
scenic mountains of China.
After several years, he was advised by another Taoist master to go to the Rock of Nine rooms on Wu Tang mountain,
to cultivate his skills. There he perfected his skills in Chi Kung and the art of hibernation. Although Chen remained a hermit,
his reputation as an able scholar made him sought after by the royal court. Because of this reputation, the emperor
Shh Tsung of the Chou Dynasty suspected that Chen had his eyes on the kingdom and had him incarcerated for
one hundred days. After several months the emperor inquired on the condition of the Taoist master, only to have
the guard report that he was fast asleep. Only then did the king realize that Chen had no desire for power
or fame and released the sage.
It was during one of his visits with the second emperor of the Sung Dynasty, Sung Tai Tzuu (960-975), that
Chen Tuan was given the title (Chen Hsi I), meaning "rare among men" also seasoned boxer, stating his skill in
kung fu. Although the Taoist master was concerned with the welfare of the people, his desire was to live peacefully
at his mountain retreat. Oddly enough, it was a a game of chess (wei chi) with the emperor that would decide if he
would stay to advise him or return to being a recluse on Mount Hua. After winning the game, he returned to
the mount where he taught Taoist yoga and exercises."
-   Chen Po








Cloud Hands - Yun Shou

Cloud Hands Website


Michael P. Garofalo's E-mail


Valley Spirit T'ai Chi Ch'uan Club

Red Bluff, Tehama County, North Sacramento Valley, Northern Central California, U.S.A.
Cities in the area: Oroville, Paradise, Durham, Chico, Hamilton City, Orland, Willows, Corning,
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Valley Spirit T'ai Chi Ch'uan Journal


© Michael P. Garofalo, 2007, All Rights Reserved


Qigong: Links and Bibliography

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

Chen Style Taijiquan and Qigong  

Biography of Michael P. Garofalo

Green Way Research


Fitness and Well Being

Detailed Index to the Cloud Hands Website


First published on the Internet on April 1, 2007.

Chen Style Taijiquan, Valley Spirit Center, Red Bluff, California