Horse Patrol Stands High

太極拳 高探馬 太极拳 高探马
Taijiquan Horse Patrol Stands High 1

“Horse patrol stands high (高探馬)” is a technique to hit down with your right hand, with controlling the opponent with your left hand.

This technique itself is not special, very simple as many martial arts have this technique. But, it might be different in the point of view how to use the power of the backbone.

Let me explain.


“Horse patrol stands high” of Taijiquan uses the reservoir power of responsive movement while limiting the opponent move with the left hand.


While advancing the step, you will raise your right hand with spiral force (纏絲勁).

With this action, the spine accumulates strain energy.

(See photo)

太極拳 高探馬 太极拳 高探马
Taijiquan Horse Patrol Stands High 2

When the middle finger of the right hand reaches the apex, turn the hand and twist the spine another one round.

The middle finger lead switches to the little star (pisiform bone) lead.

With this movement of the little star, the spine distortion peaks.


This attitude resembles that a scouting soldier straddling horse blocks the sunlight by hand to search enemies.

Horse patrol is a reconnaissance soldier, “Horse patrol stands high (高探馬)” is named from this movement.

(See photo)

太極拳 高探馬 太极拳 高探马
Taijiquan Horse Patrol Stands High 3

There is a time lag in the release of the power of the spine. This is called a reservoir.

The flared palm flies like a whip to the opponent’s face.

(See photo)

太極拳 高探馬 太极拳 高探马
Taijiquan Horse Patrol Stands High 4

If the opponent moves backwards, follow as you step forward and hit.

While practicing forms (套路), take a cat stance (虚步)in Yang-style (楊式)and a bow stance (弓歩) in Chen-style (陳式).

The step method is free to change in battlefields.


Even in an attack with a vertical palm hand, the power is different between a single whip (単鞭) and a “Horse patrol stands high (高探馬)”.

“Horse patrol stands high (高探馬)” has a long reservoir time so that the power is bigger. I do not want to receive it.


It is also interesting that a single whip (単鞭) strike uses the left palm, and “Horse patrol stands high (高探馬)” strike uses the right palm.

Taijiquan fighting is not symmetry.


If there is a wall behind the opponent, you can use the wall to hit the opponent head to the wall. Even you can use the ground.

As a change technique, you can hang your leg out and hit the opponent head to the ground.