T'ai Chi Ruler
Taiji Chih, Qigong Ruler, T'ai Chi Ruler, Chi Kung Stick, Bang
Exercises with a 7"-17" Stick

Research by Michael P. Garofalo

Bibliography     Links    Quotations     Notes     Instructions - Practices 

Stick       Cane      Short Staff      Staff       Staff Lore

Cloud Hands Blog

Cloud Hands Blog posts about the T'ai Chi Ruler


This webpage was first published online in December of 2005.
This webpage was last modified or updated on December 29, 2014.




Cloud Hands - Yun Shou

Cloud Hands Homepage






Tai Chi and Qigong Ruler
Bibliography, Links, Resources



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


A T'ai Chi Ruler is often a light stick, with rounded ends, from 6" to 18" long. The T'ai Chi Ruler is held lightly with the fingers - do not clench the fingers around the stick in normal T'ai Chi Ruler play, Gently hold the T'ai Chi Ruler with two hands or with one hand. Holding the sick with one hand enables a person to do more strength training exercises for both wrists. The wrist and forearm movements are mostly practiced slowly, gently, at an unhurried pace, with a calm mind. You may choose to just sit and do the easy arm and hand movements with the T'ai Chi Ruler.


Chen Family Taiji Training Tools: Taiji Ruler and Taiji Ball    

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

Cloud Hands Blog

Cloud Hands Blog posts about the T'ai Chi Ruler

Google Searches:  Tai Chi Ruler,

Hun Yuan Tai Chi Ruler

Hun Yuan Tai Chi Bang 

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      
Weaver, Kevin  Red Bluff, California
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. 

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.  

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

Yunmen's Stick.   Yunmen's Stick Transformed into a Dragon and Swallowed the Universe.  Case 60, The Blue Cliff Record

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)





"Dear Michael,
  I have liked your website for sometime, and have referred to it. 
  The subject of tai chi chih-ruler is easy to misled with.  I may be old, but there is no manuscript for this; the practice is obviously basic, basic in
principle to many other systems, thus it would be correct to call it universal; the exercise has been associated with HuaYoShan and with 'taoist'
physionomist Chen Po, but this is unproven [the ruler system has been associated with the LiuHe BaFa teachings, but it seems that this may have been done
30 years ago due to my first publication].
  I will say that the first 'western' publication on this came from YihMei Books of HongKong from a studio claiming lineage via family ....to first emperor of
Sung dynasty...likely..quite unlikely.  The book was heavily illustrated and an easy guide to learn from. 
I learned it via John Chung Li in Boston and has one of the publications.  [there are newer PRC pubs on this but they tend to be more generic or more all
  As for other teachers: there are two branches, 1. Justin Stone, who apparently learned it from the YihMei book, but altered it.
2. All other teachers you mention, either again from the YihMei book, or from my book on the Six Combinations and Eight Methods. This does not imply
I am a great teacher, only that many teachers like my publication.

Tai Chi Ruler Teachers:  Cohen, Kenneth S.  friends and have exchanged; Fong Ha:  friends and have exchanged; Johnson, Jerry Alan  friends and have exchanged.  Other teachers include:  Lew, Share K., Seidman, Yaron; Sutherland, Alistair; Woo Kwong Fat; Wong Wai Yi; Yang Jwing Ming; Ip, Fontaine; Jahnke, Roger.
-  K. Connor Foxx, email on 10/28/07.   

"I first learned the Tai Chi Ruler from Dr. Robert Moore in Whittier, California, in 1987.  Dr. Moore learned the Tai Chi Ruler from Kenneth Cohen.  Dr. Moore also taught us a long and beautiful LueHe BaFa Taijiquan form in 1987-1988, which he learned from a Dr. York Why Loo.    Another Tai Chi teacher, Kevin Weaver, in Manton, California, taught the Tai Chi Ruler again to me, and he learned it from Shere K. Lew.  However, I no longer practice the Tai Chi Ruler or LueHe BaFa." -  Mike Garofalo, 10/29/2007    



"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 defense 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 mountain where he taught Taoist yoga and exercises."
-   Chen Po




Return to Main Index








Tai Chi and Qigong Ruler
Instructions for Practice


Instructions for the Tai Chi Golden Ruler   Brief descriptions of how to do each of the 15 exercises of the Golden Ruler. 




Tai Chi and Qigong Ruler
Questions and Answers


A Cloud Hands Blog Reader asked me on December 26, 2014,  "Is it good for carpel tunnel?"  To which I responded. 

"A T'ai Chi Ruler is often a light stick, with rounded ends, from 6" to 18" long. The T'ai Chi Ruler is held lightly with the fingers - do not clench the fingers around the stick in normal T'ai Chi Ruler play, Gently hold the T'ai Chi Ruler with two hands or with one hand. Holding the sick with one hand enables a person to do more strength training exercises for both wrists. The wrist and forearm movements are mostly practiced slowly, gently, at an unhurried pace, with a calm mind. You may choose to just sit and do the easy arm and hand movements with the T'ai Chi Ruler.

Any chronic pain with the wrists should be diagnosed by and discussed with a qualified physician and/or physical therapist. A good masseuse might help you. If you have chronic pain in one or both wrists then avoid exercises that place undue stress on the ligaments, tendons, fascia, and muscles of the wrists, forearms, arms or shoulders.

Ask your orthopedic physician, who knows your specific case history, whether or not practicing gentle movements while holing a stick in your hands would be good or bad for a disability or painful condition diagnosed as "carpal tunnel" syndrome."




Return to Main Index











Cloud Hands - Yun Shou

Waving Hands Like Clouds Homepage




Michael P. Garofalo's E-Mail


Valley Spirit Center


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






© Michael P. Garofalo, 2005-2015,  All Rights Reserved


T'ai Chi Ruler, Qigong Ruler, Taiji Ruler, Chi Kung Ruler
Tai Chi Stick, Qigong Stick, Tai Chi Rule



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

Cloud Hands: Mind/Body Arts Blog

Index to Cloud Hands Webpages

The Spirit of Gardening



Yang Family T'ai Chi Ch'uan

Sun Family T'ai Chi Ch'uan

Cuttings: Short Poems