Jou Tsung Hwa’s “Dao of Taijiquan” Tai Chi Diagram Chansijing Exercise

For those of you who have the classic, “The Dao of Taijiquan” authored by Master Jou Tsung Hwa, you may have questions about how to properly do the tai chi (taiji) diagram exercise in Chapter 3.  Here’s everything you need to know in a little video clip (below).

This makes your shoulders and upper body very flexible.  When you perform it “whole body” in a bow-and-arrow stance (simple lunge), it works your entire body and balances the energy.  Makes you strong and flexible.  For tai chi martial arts, it develops your skills and abilities to spar or do push hands very cleverly.  Massage therapists and body workers also claim it helps their therapeutic techniques and intuitive sensitivity.

This is an optional “dao yin” (developmental qi and stretching exercise), so don’t feel pressured to master it.  Just play with it and enjoy what it can teach you about the changes from yin to yang.

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15 Responses to Jou Tsung Hwa’s “Dao of Taijiquan” Tai Chi Diagram Chansijing Exercise
  1. Julio
    April 23, 2013 | 12:59 am

    I am glad and feel fortunate to have received this incredible exercise. I have heard about it before but never seen it demonstrated. Thank you so much.

  2. Richard Pucci
    May 19, 2013 | 10:20 pm

    Thank you Shifu, I just read chapter 3 and was confused about the technique, you are a wonderful teacher, we are very grateful for your website and to have found you. Respectfully, Mary and Richard

  3. Dragon X
    January 11, 2014 | 3:52 pm

    Thanx You! Thanx You! Thanx You! Now i more fully understand and feel more comfortable doin this excercise . Happy New Year to YOU and ALL at Internal Gardens, it is good to know that Jou Tsung Hwa work is still being carried on.


  4. Boz
    February 16, 2015 | 10:53 pm

    I had Jou Tsung Hwa for a very long time, I had worked out the exercsie on my own, almost the same as yourself. It is great fantastic to see it properly, many thanks. Namaste

    • InternalGardens
      April 3, 2015 | 7:53 pm

      Namaste to you too, Boz!

  5. Jim Reilly
    June 11, 2016 | 5:58 pm

    Thank you, Shifu Loretta! I am reading Master Jou’s Dao of Taijiquan (finally), and could not get the mental image/physical flow of this exercise despite the very detailed instructions (words). I see (literally and figuratively) now that he DID mean turn your arm counterclockwise until the right palm faces up! Your demo and talk-through is very, very helpful. I will watch it often as I practice. Sheh-sheh!

    [WORDPRESS HASHCASH] The poster sent us ‘0 which is not a hashcash value.

    • InternalGardens
      May 15, 2018 | 10:49 pm


  6. toni guglielmino
    March 7, 2017 | 10:18 am

    Dear Shifu, I thank you for your explanation. Unfortunatelly I do not have the book you refer to. I would be so glad to see you doing the full exercise. I do not understand if I have to move the legs and walk around the diagram while making the exercise or just standing in the same point.

    • InternalGardens
      March 20, 2017 | 12:30 am

      You can do BOTH ways! First try with whole-body motion, in one place. Then you can coordinate with walking. It is OK to experiment and try to discover new ways to coordinate with the taiji shape and whole-body movement. It is good for the mind to try all different ways. Just make sure to stand with good posture (every part), and stretch the energy OUTWARD, so that you do not crumple up the shoulders, neck, or legs joints. Keep straight and gently stretched. Enjoy!

  7. toni guglielmino
    April 17, 2017 | 7:36 am

    Cloud hands

    I wish to thank you Shifu for your beautiful lesson. Now I really understand the position 10 of Yang 24.
    I appreciate so much the way you teach Tai Chi.
    Waiting for your next lesson.
    Your student from Italy,

  8. Salvatore Clemente
    September 11, 2018 | 3:35 pm

    Have you plans to publish as an ebook? I’m hopeful. Thank you!

    • InternalGardens
      January 6, 2019 | 10:44 pm

      Ha – that’s a great idea, thanks.

  9. marilyn stone
    October 8, 2018 | 3:27 am

    wish you would have done it from the front so I could actually see what you were doing 🙁

    • InternalGardens
      January 6, 2019 | 10:43 pm

      Thanks for letting us know – we will take that into consideration for future video clips!

  10. Jeannette Jennings
    October 10, 2018 | 7:28 pm

    Amazing energy flow with just my right arm, drawing out the chart for left!

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