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Taijitu Magazine

is published by

Phosphene Publishing Co.

All material © 2016

A magazine of martial and movement arts, with a focus on the internal style of Tai Chi Chuan

Tai Chi that Isn't Tai Chi but Is Tai Chi

Lessons in Tai Chi can come from many aspects of life. This series explores some of the ways that reality grants us insight into the art of Tai Chi.

1. Introduction

2. Oak Tree

3. The Twist

4. AirDancers

5. The Waist Is the Commander

6. Floating with the Waves

7. Tai Chi in the Driveway

8. Mutual Interaction

9Doppler Style Tai Chi

10. Tesla's Oscillator

11. Cycling

Article Archive

Not Lost in Translation

Translator Paul Brennan is quietly making a big splash.

Abdominal Breathing

Learning to breathe correctly is crucial to developing your chi.

Following Jin

Is Following Jin simply a learned skill, or is something else going on beneath the surface?

Longevity and Tai Chi

Among the many benefits ascribed to Tai Chi Chuan is that of longevity. What, exactly, does this mean?

Digging the Vibes

The body's biofield, being composed of energy, is affected by other energies that impinge upon it.

Tai Chi's Structural Bows

Tai Chi Chuan’s correct operations are dependent on the practitioner assuming a solid foundation.


Some people claim they can see auras of light surrounding other people. Can they, and if so, how?

Mass Marketing of the Martial Arts

Mass marketing has been an element of the martial arts for centuries, but in this century, it has reached new heights—or depths.

Early Yang Style Photos

Photos from a Tai Chi book in Chinese by Chen Wei-ming

Under the Tai Chi Lens

Let a lens magnify your Tai Chi.

The Speed You Need

There are a lot of reasons to practice Tai Chi slowly, not the least of which is to develop speed.

Invest in Loss

In the Tai Chi, the loser wins.

Infinity Twist

There are a lot important aspect to Tai Chi Chuan. The Infinity Twist is one of the foremost.

Toying with Tai Chi

Toys and play that exhibit Tai Chi behavior

Natural Patterns

Mathematical and mechanical systems that exhibit Tai Chi behavior

The Alchemy of Chi

Spiritual alchemy is perhaps Tai Chi's most important gift to the practitioner.

Beyond Boundaries

Most psychic phenomena are a complete mystery, but maybe it's as simple as one-two-chi.

Sit Down!

The next time you stand up to do Tai Chi, sit down!

Christianity vs Chi

Some Christians claim that chi is a demonic energy. They couldn't be more wrong.

Attention and Intention in Tai Chi Chuan

In Tai Chi, the mind is the most powerful weapon.

Chan-ssu Chin: An Introduction

One simple exercise can help empower your Tai Chi.

Symbolic Movement: The Taijitu and Tai Chi Chuan

The tai chi symbol holds many secrets.

Kung Fu's Number Two

David Carradine may just be the second most important actor in martial arts cinema.

Chang San-feng: His Life and Deeds

An apocryphal biograpy of the legendary founder of Tai Chi Chuan.

A Historical and Personal Perspective on Tai Chi Chuan

A look at the background and functioning of this timeless martial art.

The Paradox of Violence

Where does the truth of the martial arts lie? Is it in perseverence and dedication to form or in gut-level, spontaneous violence and backlash?

Jack McGann

My friend died too soon, but he did love Tai Chi.



Below are some links to other sites with good information, mostly on the taijitu. Not on the list are the many sites with material that is of lesser quality for one reason or another.


Definition, Background, and Manipulation



The Wikipedia article on the tai chi symbol.


Yin and Yang

An excellent and detailed article on the taijitu and many of its aspects on Revolvy.


Yin and Yang

An excellent and detailed article on the taijitu and many of its aspects in the Chinese Buddhism Encyclopedia.


Zhou Dunyi’s Diagram of the Supreme Ultimate Explained (Taijitu shuo): A Construction of the Confucian Metaphysics

by Robin R. Wang

This appears to be an in-depth academic work that originally appeared in the Journal of the History of Ideas (v.66,#3, July 2005), but only a brief summary is free here.


The Genesis of an Icon: The Taiji Diagram’s Early History

by François Louis

A 27-page book chapter on the taijitu.


About the Taijitu: Sacred Symbol of Taoism

A sort of New-Ageish view of the taijitu and Taoism, but not without merit.


Where Does the Yin Yang Symbol Come From?

An interesting mapping of the taijitu onto solar and seasonal cycles from Chinese Fortune Calendar.


Taoist Visual Symbols

by Elizabeth Reninger

An excellent slideshow with definitions of a number of important Taoist visual symbols, including the taijitu.


Drawing the Taijitu


Drawing the Taijitu

This page presents a simple yet mathematically precise way to draw the taijitu to exact specifications using only a ruler and compass.


Drawing the Taijitu

Jim Bumgardner presents a program that will instruct a computer to draw the taijitu, but it also is possible to use the techniques to draw one with a compass and straightedge.


Bisection of Yin and Yang

A visual catalog of different ways it is possible to equally divide the taijitu into to two parts, each with an equal amount of black and white areas, using only a compass and a straightedge.


General Reference


Chinese Internal Martial Arts Dictionary

A glossary of major terms and concepts used by the internal Chinese martial arts. Following the glossary is an extensive list of links to a great deal more information on the internal martial arts.

Northern Wu Style Videos

The following is a brief catalog of YouTube videos showing Northern Wu Style Tai Chi Chuan forms. Except for rare instances, I have not included any of the great number of videos that show a partial form or isolated movements. Please note that the symbols (–), (0), and (+) indicate how similar the form is to the one I practice, from less to more, and they are not any sort of qualitative rating.



Master Li Bing-ci

Classical form, medium frame (+)

Parts 1 & 2

Parts 3 & 4


Tina Zhang

Li Bing-ci form, medium frame (+)

Part 1


Master Yang Yu-ting

Classical form, archival footage (0)

Only a few movements

Only a few movements


Jie Liang

Classical form, medium frame (0)

Full form


Chu Minyi

Early Classical form with training apparatus (0)

Full form


Shao Lei

Modified Classical form, medium frame (–)

Full form


Jian Gao

Modified Classical form, medium-large frame, with many applications (–)

Full form


Zhu Xilin

Wang Pei-sheng form, large frame (–)

Full form

Northern Wu Style Books

Classical Northern Wu Style Tai Ji Quan: The Fighting Art of the Manchurian Palace Guard

by Tina Chunna Zhang & Frank Allen

Review HERE

Wu Style Taijiquan

by Wang Peisheng & Zeng Weiqi

Review HERE

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