Menu
CTNAcademy Logo
Chen Zhaokui Chen Fake Chen Yu Nabil and Konstantin Chen Taiji Network Nabil Ranné Dao Kungfu Chenshi Tuishou Chen Yu Taijiquan Burg Taiji

Where does the Taijiquan cannon fist (paochui) come from?

The second form of Chen-style Taijiquan is called "cannon fist". It is a form which was recorded in the early records of the Chen Family which were recovered by the researchers Tang Hao and and Xu Zhen. It has traditionally been part of the curriculum of this style. In the old manuscripts there is a note: "Fifteen fists [and] fifteen cannons, use the heart [xin / centre] in boxing practice."

Nowadays the road has 72 movements, some of which were supplemented by Chen Fake in order to name the postures more clearly. The form is said to have been compiled by Chen Changxing, my teacher's great-great-great-grandfather (I hope I counted correctly :) The counting, some moves and the ingrained methods will like always differ to larger or smaller degrees from lineage to lineage, family to family or frame to frame. 

Why do we train this Chen Taijiquan road?

In contrast to the first form of the Chen-style Taijiquan, the second form is less aimed at the structural development of the body and building up expansive force by adhering to the three external connections (外 三合 wai san he) and so on, but it rather focuses on the expression of explosive power (爆发力 baofali) and the development of looseness, liveliness, elasticity and vibration (松 活 弹 抖 song huo tan dou). Central points such as the folding of the chest and waist (胸腰 折叠 xiongyao zhedie) are required to be known to a certain level when we endeavor to learn the second road.

Of course, I don't mean this in an absolute way. Since the second form basically has all the characteristics and principles of the first (and vice versa), the cannon fist could of course be used like the first form to optimise the body structure and to further basic training. It definitely makes sense to practise the second form slowly at times in order to train these characteristics, too. But the main focus of the second form is to train the requirements in a dynamic way, under difficult conditions we could say. It's more about testing the embodiment of those requirements than learning them in the first place.

Chen Taijiquan Cannon Fist Second Road

Because of the general dynamics of the form and the jumps, explosive movements and stomping contained it develops its potential especially with appropriate practice, however, it should never seem rushed and hurried, but should always have a pleasant rhythm.

Excerpt from a taijiquan cannon fist online class:

A short video from about 2014 showing the specific body method inside the form:

This is an excerpt from the Chen Taijiquan cannon fist (paochui) form:

Form names of then Chen Taijiquan second road (paochui cannon fist): 

1. 预备式 Yu bei shi

    Preparation

2. 金刚捣碓 Jingang dao dui 

    Buddha’s warrior pounds mortar

3. 懒扎衣 Lan zha yi

    Lazily tying coat

4. 六封四闭 Liu feng si bi

    Six times sealed, four times closed

5. 单鞭 Dan bian

    Single whip

6. 搬拦肘 Ban lan zhou

    Elbow block

7. 护心捶 Hu xin chui

    Protecting heart punch

8. 拗步斜行 Ao bu xie xing  

    Oblique walking with opposite step

9. 煞腰压肘拳 Sha yao ya zhou quan  

    Stopping with the waist and pressing down with elbow and fist 

10. 井揽直入 Jing lan zhi ru  

     Seizing the well and entering directly 

11. 风扫梅花 Feng sao meihua

     The wind sweeps through the plum blossom 

12. 金刚捣碓 Jingang dao dui

     Buddha’s warrior pounds mortar

13. 庇身捶 (背折靠)Bi shen chui (Bei zhe kao)

     Cover the body and strike (the back folds and strikes)

14. 撇身捶 Pie shen chui

     Brush off and hit

15. 斩手 Zhan shou

     Hitting hand

16. 翻花舞袖 Fan hua wu xiu

     Turning the flower around and dancing with sleeves

17. 掩手肱拳 Yan shou gong quan

     Cover with your hand and strike with your upper arm (hidden punch)

18. 飞步拗鸾肘 Fei bu ao luan zhou  

     Flying step and contrary phoenix elbow

19. 运手(前三) Yun shou

     Circling hands (front three)

20. 高探马 Gao tanma

     Mounted scout 

21. 运手(后三) Yun shou

     Circling hands (back three)

22. 高探马 Gao tanma

     Mounted scout

23. 连珠炮(一) Lian zhu pao

     Rapid fire (1)

24. 连珠炮(二) Lian zhu pao

     Rapid fire (2)

25. 连珠炮(三) Lian zhu pao

     Rapid fire (3)

26. 倒骑麟 Dao qi lin

     Turning around and riding the unicorn (qilin)

27. 白蛇吐信(一) Bai she tu xin

     The white snake spits out its tongue (1)

28. 白蛇吐信(二) Bai she tu xin

     The white snake spits out its tongue (2)

29. 白蛇吐信(三) Bai she tu xin

    The white snake spits out its tongue (3)

30. 海底翻花 Hai di fan hua

    Turning the flower on the bottom of the sea

31. 掩手肱捶 Yan shou gong chui

    Cover with your hand and strike with your upper arm (hidden punch)

32. 转身六合 Zhuan shen liu he

     Turning into all six directions 

33. 左裹鞭炮(一) Zuo guo bianpao

     Wrapping the firecracker left (1)

34. 左裹鞭炮(二) Zuo guo bianpao

     Wrapping the firecracker left (2)

35. 右裹鞭炮(一) You guo bianpao

    Wrapping the firecracker right (1)

36. 右裹鞭炮(二) You guo bianpao

    Wrapping the firecracker right (2)

37. 兽头势 Shou tou shi

     Animal head posture

38. 劈架子 Pi jiazi

     Splitting the frame

39. 翻花舞袖 Fan hua wu xiu

    Turning the flower around and dancing with sleeves

40. 掩手肱捶 Yan shou gong chui

    Cover with your hand and strike with your upper arm (hidden punch)

41. 伏虎 Fuhu

     Taming the tiger

42. 抹眉红 Mo mei hong

     Painting the eyebrows red

43. 右黄龙三搅水 You huang long san jiao shui

     The yellow dragon stirs the water three times - right 

44. 左黄龙三搅水 Zuo huang long san jiao shui

     The yellow dragon stirs the water three times - left 

45. 左蹬一根 Zuo deng yi gen

     Left heel kick 

46. 右蹬一根 You deng yi gen

     Right heel kick

47. 海底翻花 Hai di fan hua

    Turning the flower on the bottom of the sea

48. 掩手肱捶 Yan shou gong chui

    Cover with your hand and strike with your upper arm (hidden punch)

49. 扫堂腿(转胫炮) Sao tang tui (zhuan jing pao)

     Sweeping the floor with the leg

50. 掩手肱捶 Yan shou gong chui

     Cover with your hand and strike with your upper arm (hidden punch)

51. 左冲 Zuo chong

     Advance left (charge)

52. 右冲 You chong

     Advance right (charge)

53. 倒插 Dao cha

     Turning around and drilling downwards 

54. 海底翻花 Haidi fan hua

     Turning the flower on the bottom of the sea

55. 掩手肱捶 Yan shou gong chui

    Cover with your hand and strike with your upper arm (hidden punch)

56. 夺二肱(一) Duo er gong

     Seizing with both arms (1)

57. 夺二肱(二) Duo er gong

     Seizing with both arms (2)

58. 连环炮 Lian huan pao

     Continuous firing (linking cannons)

59. 玉女穿梭 Yu nü chuan suo

     The jade women shuttles back and forth

60. 回头当门炮 Hui tou dang men pao

     Turning around and firing at the gate

61. 玉女穿梭 Yu nü chuan suo

      The jade women shuttles back and forth

62. 回头当门炮 Hui tou dang pao

      Turning around and firing at the gate

63. 撇身捶 Pie shen chui

      Brush off and hit

64. 腰鸾肘 Yao luan zhou

     Phoenix elbow hitting the waist 

65. 拗鸾肘 Ao luan zhou

     Contrary phoenix elbow  

66. 顺鸾肘 Shun luan zhou

     Following phoenix elbow  

67. 穿心肘 Chuan xin zhou

     Drilling through heart elbow 

68. 窝里炮 Wo li pao

     Exploding nest

69. 井揽直入 Jing lan zhi ru

      Seizing the well and entering directly

70. 风扫梅花 Feng sao meihua

    The wind sweeps through the plum blossom

71. 金刚捣碓 Jing gang dao dui

      Buddha’s warrior pounds mortar

72. 收势 Shou shi

      Finish form