Give up and Follow Copyright@2009 Master Xiaotong Huang 1

Give Up and Follow

- Combat Tai Chi (3) -

Xiaotong Huang, Unlimited Tai Chi Group


Ask yourself, if someone grabs your arms, how do you respond this? Most people may say they would pull the arms back quickly, with yelling and kicking randomly, as a common reaction.

However, in Combat Tai Chi, to handle this, the response is to give up the arms, follow his pulling and then strike him. It seems to be VERY dangerous as I am closing to the opponent instead of escaping from the opponent, but by the use of borrowed force from the opponent’s pulling, a Tai Chi fighter can easily approach him and attack him badly.

This principle applied is one of ultimate Combat Tai Chi principles especially for anti-catch and hold, which is called Giving up and Following. It requires a Tai Chi fighter with a great courage and “hearing” skills as he needs to give up part of his body controlled, follow the opponent’s movement and move as close the opponent as possible to strike him.

In order to be able to apply this principle in various fighting situations, first of all, we need to know two 3-sections (San Jie Jin) in our body, from where internal powers can be generated.

Wrist, Elbow and Shoulder

If my wrist is controlled by an opponent, I use my elbow and shoulder to against the control.

An example as below:

If wrist and elbow are controlled, I may use shoulder and hip to release myself:

If my left shoulder and left arm are both twisted behind, I will use trunk and right leg to handle this:

Upper limb, Waist and Lower limb

However, if my waist is bear-hugged, I use both upper limb and lower limb to release myself.

First example, anti-front bear-hugging:

Second example, anti-rear bear-hugging:

If one of my thighs is controlled, I utilise upper limb and waist to tackle it:

All in all, to give up myself and follow the opponent is an ultimate Tai Chi fighting principle, particularly in anti-catch and hold.

In the 18th Century, Wang Zongyue, one of great Tai Chi Masters, said it in his The Treatise on Tai Chi Quan: “fundamentally, it is giving up yourself to follow others” as “the opponent doesn’t know me, I alone know him”.

Remember, never struggling to get rid of your opponents, you should calm down, give up the part of your body controlled, follow him, and then borrow his force against him, this is She Ji Cong Ren.


Master Xiaotong Huang

Unlimited Tai Chi Group (UTCG), Sydney


Thanks Yuyuan Wang for Being my Demonstration Partner


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