How to Wave Hands Like Clouds in Tai Chi?

Tai Chi is an ancient and classical Chinese technique. Primarily, this technique was organized for self-defense. However, it has now gained a shape of graceful exercise and stress reliever technique. Tai Chi is a supreme technique that expresses gentleness with cloud-like hand movements. So if you are curious regarding how to wave hands like clouds in Tai Chi, you’ve landed at the right place! In this article, we will discuss how you can wave hands like clouds in Tai Chi. 

Wave hands like clouds or commonly known as ”Cloud Hands”, is one of the classical practices in Tai Chi. It has been a major part of Tai Chi classics and has been a field of interest for any martial arts student. There are different ways to perform ”cloud hands” in Tai Chi. The following are some variants of Cloud Hands in Tai Chi.

  • Sun Style
  • Chen Style
  • Yang Style
  • GU Style.

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All these styles of ”cloud hands’ vary in style and hand movement. The Yang Style is a bit sturdy vertically (arm block). The Chen style goes horizontally (elbow strike), while the Sun Style is based on the direction of palms. In Sun Style, your palms are always faced outwards. All these kinds vary in hand movement, but they all are alike as they represent ”cloud hands”.

“Cloud Hands” has been a source of interest for all martial arts students. This technique was majorly designed to block all enemy attacks and grab your enemy’s wrists with your body movement. For example, you can lock your enemy’s arms with your swinging waist in Tai Chi. To your enemy, it would look like you’re chopping their hands, and they are blending in your attack. Once your enemy’s hands are trapped, it would be very difficult for them to free their hands. 

Despite all these styles, the technique and method to perform ‘Wave Hands’ is the same. All of these styles follow the same hand mechanism and elbow movement mechanism. However, we like Sun Style the most because it is the most accurate demonstration of waving hands like clouds. Furthermore, the physical representation of Sun Style is the parent demonstration of all other styles.

What’s Good For Beginners?

For beginners – it is advisable to start with the Sun Style. It’s pretty easy to learn. You can start doing it by making your palm ”flat” and waving them as they dance in the air. Make sure your hands’ movement represents the flow of clouds in the air.

It would be funny to know that there is no waist turning in cloud hands. Most beginners commit this mistake when learning Tai Chi. The cloud hands technique is all about the sweeping movement of your hands. In cloud hands, your hands’ movement is pivotal.

The basic Silk Reeling Exercise could also give an idea about what to do in Cloud hands. Make sure your one hand goes clockwise, and the other one goes anticlockwise. Both hands should move with the same speed and flow. Make sure that their movement is harmonic. 

In Tai Chi, the Waist movement is also very important – that is why it is said that your waist should direct your body in Tai Chi. As said earlier, turning your waist alone is not Tai Chi. The movement of your waist should be synchronized with the movement of your hands. For now, you should be worrying about the steps.

Stepping will help if you focus on the movement of your hands and waist. Turning your waist alone is not the deal in Tai Chi. Your body should look calm and at peace while performing cloud hands. For a sweeping movement of your hands, you should be working on controlling your anger and anxieties. Once you have removed all the negative thoughts from your mind, you can start practicing ”cloud hands” at peace. This way, you can learn this technique much quickly.

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How to Differentiate These Types?

As mentioned earlier, there are different types of ”cloud hands” in Tai Chi. All these kinds are majorly based on the movement of hands and your body’s movement altogether. For example, the Sun Style is all about the position and direction of your palms. In contrast, the other styles are based on the locking mechanism of your elbows. However, the following things are common in every style of cloud hands:

  1. First, the motion of both hands should be synchronized.
  2. One hand should move clockwise, and the other should move anticlockwise.
  3. Your waist should not turn all alone.
  4. The movement of your waist should occur under your hands.
  5. The stepping mechanism is the same in all types of Cloud Hands.

Besides their similarities, there are some differences in all types of cloud hands. All these types of cloud hands require a lot of hard work and practice. To learn them fully, you need to understand the basic movements of your body. Furthermore, it would help if you are also working on synchronizing your hands’ movement with other body parts. This way, you can master this technique in days, and you can also help your friends learn this technique. 

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