Internal Throwing with Cao

A synopsis by Glenn Harrison

On April 29th & 30th, Mr. Yan taught a workshop on Internal Throwing as it relates to our “return to Wuji System” in Dania Beach, FL. The first day was on how to use various internal throws using Chin Na. On the second day, Mr. Yan introduced internal throwing using leg sweeps and traps. In addition to the leg sweeps and traps, Mr. Yan showed how to add the concept of “Cao”.

Mr. Yan explained that Cao is not just limited to a shoulder strike, but can incorporate many parts of the trunk as a striking area. The addition of the Cao strike after the opponent is falling from the sweep or trap vastly compounds the severity of the technique. This is where Mr. Yan demonstrated how the Chen Tai Chi form is filled with stepping to create the Cao strike on the opponent. This kind of stepping to produce the Cao strike is rare and only attributed to the Chen Tai Chi system. He showed how some Chen Tai Chi masters like Chen Zheng Lei prefer to accentuate the Cao while practicing their form.

As part of the internal throwing technique, the Cao strike starts with stepping through the opponent’s center and is directed at a 90% angle to the direction in which they are falling. Mr. Yan said, “that this strike was like getting T-Boned in a car accident and that the force is compounded”. It only takes one time to feel the devastating consequences of this application even at slow speeds.

Having been a student of Mr. Yan’s for several years now, I have come to grow fond of the Chen Tai Chi system and the Cao striking.

Glenn Harrison is a doctor of oriental medicine, Chen Tai Chi & Qigong instructor living in Nokomis, FL.