Tai Mountain Crushes the Top
Since ancient times Yan Luo
Wang, the king of hell has controlled the lifespan of
man and in their death meted out punishment. It is said
that he makes residence beneath the
famous holy peak of Tai Mountain.
shall I describe Tai Mountain?
one face sunlight and the other shadow.
my heart when the great clouds rise rolling,
strain my eyes I can see birds returning to roost.
have clambered to the very summit.
see all the other hills, so small, in one glance.
years after Du Fu's famous poem and far away from the
revered Tai Mountain the fortunes of the Chinese empire
stood in precarious balance. In the year 1004 a fierce tribe of
non-Chinese warriors called the Khitan were making
incursions into the Song empire's northern Chinese territory. The Khitan
battled their way to the capitol and the third Song
emperor Zhen Zong, in power for only
six years, was eventually forced to flee the city.
Zhen Zong had personally led the battle and lost to the
Khitan. It cost the Song empire not only valuable
northern territory, but further
humiliation to Zhen Zong by forcing him to give
the Khitan emperor the title of younger brother to the
Zhen Zong faced disenchantment at court and discontent
from the general population. He announced that heaven
had bestowed upon him holy tablets. The inner court
loudly proclaimed that these heaven sent tablets were
heaven's confirmation of the emperor's mandate to rule.
The Jade Maiden is Discovered
A large entourage accompanied the emperor to the summit
of Tai Mountain for performing the heavenly rites. As
the climax to a series of miracles there, he discovered
what he proclaimed to be a statue of the Jade Maiden
that had been worshiped at the
mountain top in antiquity. A new cult of worship quickly
began to grow around the Jade Maiden. These events
helped propel the mystique and fame of Tai Mountain to
the most exalted position within Chinese culture.
Tai Mountain and Spear
Tai mountain as a martial technique name became well
known with 'Tai Mountain crushes the egg maneuver' from
New Book on Effective Training Methods of 1562 By
General Qi Jiguang.
Mountain Crushes the Egg Maneuver
This is the method of the eagle capturing the
rabbit. Though this maneuver comes from up high, the
changes from the middle are a wonder. Let him rush
in with 'ambush from below' or 'snake on ground,' I
can follow with 'waving the banner' or 'sweeping the
earned fame recruiting and training farmers to defeat
the pirates that were pillaging the coastal towns and
cities. These pirates were feared for their fierce and
effective fighting and his newly trained recruits earned
praise from the emperor for several decisive victories.
Yet, in spite of General Qi's success the Ming army was in a
serious state of decline and disrepair.
Shaolin Monk Xuan Ji
Buddhist monks of Shaolin and other temples were also
among those recruited to help in stamping out piracy.
Their success in battle ultimately increased their fame
among the affected provinces. Unfortunately, their fame
in defeating pirates led to their enlistment in the
losing effort to defeat the Manchurian forces at the end
of the Ming dynasty. Many skilled martial monks whose methods
may have been lost forever perished at this time.
Commemorative stele erected at Shaolin temple in 1631
names monk Xuan Ji as a military appointee. For those
curious about Shaolin empty hand fighting methods at the
end of the Ming the book Quan Jing-Fist Classic,
the earliest verified book on Shaolin empty hand
fighting is the best resource. Monk Xuan Ji's method is
outlined in this book and it is the first
time that we come across the technique Tai Mountain
crushes the top.
of Crushing the Top
Desiring to understand Tai
alternate the cleaving of left
With whirlwind stepping cleave
repeatedly stepping to the
From Quan Jing Quan Fa Bei
Not only does this quote describe
cleaving, but also stepping to the side, which
is the way this technique is often used in
Tai Mountain Crushes the Top in Mantis Boxing
Most people know of this move
from 'eight hard', the list of 'eight hard' techniques.
But few people are familiar with the '9981' and 'Seven
Maneuvers.' These old forms are the basis of our modern
Seven Maneuvers: Mantis Boxing is
said to descend from 18 Families of Chinese
Boxing. This is recorded in the ancient
manuscript Surnames of the Founders of
Eighteen Styles. Seven Maneuvers is the
method for linking together these 18 styles.
Tai Mountain crushes the top
is like collapsing and smashing...
Seven Maneuvers manuscript.
9981: A form consisting of 9 keywords with 9 combinations for a
total of 81 transformations. Said to be the forerunner
of our Essentials (Zhai Yao) forms.
Mountain crushes the top is the attacking hand of
fanche. It interconnects and alternates three
falling mountains from the blue sky. From the
outside a single fist attacks and with one strike
defeats Chu Jiang Chio...
is the first strike and fanche uses that first strike to strike, grab and
control without end. Read on for an example of how this
idea can be applied.
Entering the Top and Attacking the Center
Originally, 'Tai Mountain crushes the top' was a short
form. Nowadays, we look at it as a single technique. The
manuscript of 'Tai Mountain crushes the top' in '9981'
ends with the underlying idea behind this method.
...This form is the hand method of entering the
top and attacking the center.
Jeff attacks me. I throw my hand out in surprise.
My left defending hand immediately plucks.
Jeff defends my
strike and counters with a punch to the solar
|My hand lands on
the side of Jeff's neck. From his attack to this
smash the movement is like the swinging of a
bat, both in speed and power.
My cleaving hand never stops, it flows down until it
contacts Jeff's arm. This type of pull is called lou,
the 'lou' of gou-lou-cai.
As I am pulling his tricep I can strike him in the head
...or in the ribs.
"Entering the top;' I enter the top and he must defend
'Attacking the center;' Once he has defended the top I
exploit the center.
Hard and Soft
Hard is an
unyielding force like 'Tai Mountain crushes the top.'
Soft is applied off of his defense with a method such as a pulling grab, 'lou,'
to make an open doorway for my hand to enter.
The list of 'twelve soft' techniques says, 'Seizing
is to take and pull.' Smashing and pulling,
like most of the traditional moves are simple in their
concept, unlike the fancy complicated moves we often see
in martial art demonstrations. The respect placed by old
masters for these types of simple attacks show not only
what methods they relied on, but something of their
attitude towards the state of mind in your initial
Throw a mountain at your
opponent, even if he can catch it, he will be crushed
Information on the Jade Maiden
comes from Culture and State in Chinese History
For more on the monks of Shaolin
Temple throughout history read The Shaolin Monastery
History, Religion and the Chinese Martial Arts by