Posted by: Mike Ferruggia | October 26, 2009

Tai Chi Torque

Physics teachers would/should make excellent tai chi chuan fighters because if they understand the forces of physics they would understand what’s supposed to be happening in tai chi chuan. Torque plays a very important role in tai chi. I would suggest that the resultant energies or process of the physics involved could be called “chi.” Here’s an ok explanation of torque. Can you find it in tai chi? In push hands?



  1. Hi,
    there are quite good Tai Chi players, that are physics experts (like Robert Chuckrow), but to me there a some problems:

    1. Being good at tai chi means,(in this one sense) your body has to be able to feel where the forces are going. So understanding the physics doesn’t naturally save you training time.

    2. I think, there are different (but anatomically correct) ways to use the body for a certain action. You can see this when you compare different internal styles like Wu and Yang. I wouldn’t say that any of those two styles is superior over the other, but they have some different ideas corncering certain movements.

    3. I’m not sure whether the concept of chi can be thought of solely as feeling the various physical forces in your body. Because as a practioner you know that the chi sensation has different qualities apart from directions.

    Finally, in the later stages of practice, you have quite a few spirales and torques, etc going at the same time. I wouldn’t want to solve all those physical equations accounting for them…

    Happy practicing

    Oh yes, and in push hands one easy example of a torque is Lu / roll back …

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