View Full Version : Single-whip application?

03-04-2001, 11:11 PM
I have a question about an application I have been taught for single whip. First off, I am a beginner in Wu style taiji, and the applications we are shown are in no way meant to be applicable to real life self-defense situations at our level. The application we are shown (we don't practise it, for reasons that will become clear) for single whip is that the index finger and thumb of the "crane's beak" (is that what it is called?) are used to strike the eye of your opponent. Now, is it me, or is this a really dumb application for single whip? It doesn't seem like it would work in real life, even with heavy modification. Also, it doesn't seem to chime with the way single whip is done in the form. Could someone please help me out here? :)

03-04-2001, 11:42 PM
Of the dozens of applications of single whip in tai chi chuan that would be on the bottom of the list. One application might be hook block the punch using the crane hand to control, and throw with the front hand while stepping behind. But applications of tai chi chuan are never one thing. They always depend on the situation. My best advise to you is to keep practicing and when you are given an application try it out against an opponent and see if it works. If the applications aren't meant to be useful in real situations, what is the point? Crane style does use the beak under the eyes, to the temples etc. etc. but that is another kind of kung fu.O

Water Dragon
03-05-2001, 12:20 AM
See the thread on the difference between press and push. I pushed it to the top for you.

Although there are many styles, they all depend on the strong beating the weak and the slow falling to the quick. These are not related to the power that must be learned -- Taiji Classics

03-05-2001, 12:25 AM
that's a very weird application, and i have no idea how someone could turn it into that.

the best application, in my opinion, to help you understand the movement, is this-- you grab the opponent's arm (or leg) with one arm, pull it back to pull your opponent off balance, and then follow up with a strike to the chest.

as count said, there can be many applications for movements, but to that one is the most commonly-used one.

when i first started looking at taiji, i saw a weird application that used the crane beak to strike the side of the head. in my opinion, even though there can be many applications, some are more correct than others. they are built around one main application, but can be used for many.

03-05-2001, 12:26 AM
My favorite application for the single whip is to hook the opponent's attacking arm with the Crane's beak while snaking the open palm under his/her arm to strike the sternocliedomastoid muscle. This position will place the attacker's elbow across your chest giving you a Chin-Na leverage for an elbow break. Be sure to step behind your enemy's leg with your leading foot and seperate your arms quickly and smoothly at the apex of the movement. It's a wicked move since you are essentially accomplishing three things with one technique, i.e. breaking his root for a throw, breaking his arm, and striking an extremly vital target. Try it out! :eek:

"The essence of life is struggle and it's goal is domination. There are higher goals and deeper meanings, but they exist only within the minds of men. The reality of life is war."

03-05-2001, 12:34 AM
While I cannot say I often use the movements fro TaiChi as they are in the form... In terms of using the "beak" hand defensively and then coming in for a strike, I would think a shallow "snake creeps under" would be more applicable. The "single whip" with circling I see as more of a break for a wrist grab ad then a push/strike from the palm. I can also see a good argument for using the palm hand both defensively (ala Hsing-I or Tjimande) and offensicely by clashing and striking through.

If you were to use the beak as an attak, the posture changes, but it doesn't sound that awful. Strike with the beak and then striek the same spot with the forarm while starting a grapple. Of course, once I contacted with the other arm, the movement would start to look more like "monkey retreats" or "brush knee" than single whip as I want to continue inflicting damage.

Sam Wiley
03-05-2001, 01:17 AM
While you can theoretically use the tips of the hooked hand to strike there are better places to strike than the eye. The temple, mentioned above, is one of them.

However, I would advise using that hand as a punch. I don't remember how Wu style Taiji does it, but in Yang style, the hand circles into the hook (indicative of the hook "block" uses above) and then thrusts outward. The thrust is indicative of a punch. The mechanics demand that the punch go downward instead of straight forward, though. If you are using the eye as a target, I suggest punching downward with the middle knuckle into the top edge of the bottom of the eye socket.

I learned to do the hook with the tips of the fingers together instead of the pads, and that makes me lean more toward the punch than a pecking movement.

Generally, though, the basic application for the posture as a whole is a "shaving" block to a right punch, step behind with the left foot, and bring the left arm across the chest for a throw over your thigh.

"I put forth my power and he was broken.
I withdrew my power and he was ground into fine dust."
-Aleister Crowley, The Vision and the Voice

03-05-2001, 11:18 PM


peace outside!

03-05-2001, 11:22 PM
* for those who lack the sense of humor gene; that was a joke.

03-06-2001, 02:48 PM
In my combat usage, the "beak" of the single whip CAN be used as an eye jab.

What I'll do is extend one finger into a mantis hook and use the technique as a two hit combo by striking at the eye with one arm and then fingerjabbing with the other.

My main goal is not to hit with the "beak", but mainly to force the opponent to parry or confuse him before he breathes through my fingerjab.

This move I often use in close quarters (grappling range) when I have my arms pinned to my chest by a bigger opponent and can't extend them very far.

03-06-2001, 03:36 PM
Thanks everybody that replied, especially Water Dragon for pushing that old thread to the top and Ma Fu Yee - LMAO! I did actually think of saying that to the guy the first time I saw it (slightly more politely, though :))! So I guess, to sum up, it's not (that) crazy, but it's not the most common application for single whip. i guess I can live with that. I hope as I progress they don't keep saying that that is the main app for single whip - then i think i would start to get worried. Anyway, thanks once again.