Three-Way Split, Separation of Yin and Yang

Below is a post from Master Chen Zhonghua after a recent workshop:

The main technical point we worked on this weekend in Maple Ridge was the three-way split.

  • The hand can only reach out horizontally.
  • The shoulder can only sink down vertically and
  • The waist can only turn sideways.

Each of the above must move in a way that it does a stretch. No part can move out of place. It is difficult to move the shoulder downwards when the hand is going out. The hand usually makes the shoulder go with it. The shoulder therefore likes to go forward towards your opponent.

Source: Three-Way Split | Chen Zhonghua’s Blog – Chen Style Taijiquan Practical Method

If the shoulder follows the hand, there is no separation of yin and yang.  By creating a stretch between the hand and the shoulder, the principle of yin and yang separation is satisfied.

For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction [Newton’s Third Law: Law of Reciprocal Actions].  Furthermore, note the “opposing energies” within the body when the right hand is forward:

  1. Hand Reaches Right (forward)
  2. Shoulder sinks down (downward)
  3. Waist turns left (backward)

The forward energy of the right hand is balanced with the backward turn of the waist.  The downward sink of the shoulder can counteract any forward lifting energy from our opponent. Can you see how the above could create a “corkscrew” sinking INTO the ground?  Have you tried to wiggle, push or pull a corkscrew that’s already in the ground? It’s very difficult …


About wujimon

taiji, meditation and health
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