White Crane Spreads Its Wings

太極拳 白鶴亮翅 太极拳 白鹤亮翅
Taijiquan, White crane spreads its wings

“White crane spreads its wings (白鶴亮翅)” is a technique to open the opponent’s body and enter into an attackable position.

The posture succeeded in entering the attackable position (see photo) may be resembled to the gesture that the white crane spreads its wings.  The name comes from this.  What an elegant naming for a martial art.


This technique is performed with the left hand rotating anti-clockwise and the right hand rotating clockwise as same as the technique of “Cloud hands (雲手)”.

It is basically based on a dealing technique with the hands to jump into the enemy ‘s pocket while moving forward, but in some cases, it is used for retreating while dodging the enemy ‘s attack and secures a position to attack.


“White crane spreads its wings (白鶴亮翅)” is an action before striking. In the form exercise (型or 套路) this attack behavior is not shown, and it appears with substitution by pulling the right hand up.

If I were asked a possible combination attack following to “White crane spreads its wings (白鶴亮翅)”, I would say kicking with the left foot of insubstantial stance (虚步), or palm striking out from the right hand.  Both are natural.


I should say repeatedly that it is an unfinished posture to attack.

Please do not misunderstand this.