Parting the Wild Horse’s Mane

野馬分鬃  太極拳
Parting the wild horse’s mane

In Northern Chinese martial arts, “Parting the wild horse’s mane (野馬分鬃)” is taught as a side strike with the backhand fist from the cross hands.

However, Tai Chi does not use a backhand fist, it is a strike with the backhand open palm.


Let’s explain.


The usage of “Parting the wild horse’s Mane” is well known as a way to break the opponent’s posture with inserting the hand under the armpit.

This is because that this method was introduced in the book written by Yang Cheng Fu (楊澄甫), a famous master in Yang style Taijiquan.

It is a usage that you can defeat the opponent with the care without damaging him or she.


However, if you are a martial artist, you may not believe that this usage is an original method.

When showing your martial arts to other people, you should decide to select normal one (文打) or real original one (武打) for the demonstration case by case. Yang Cheng Fu just did show a normal one in his book.


Why Tai Chi or Baguazhang (八卦掌) master uses their open palms a lot instead of the fist during fighting?

That is because the open palm strike is more effective way to shock and damage the soft brain.

“Parting the wild horse’s mane” is an essential technique to attack the face with the backhand open palm.


In a real fighting, I use “Parting the wild horse’s mane” like a one-inch punch. Generally speaking, if you get used to it, you may feel it difficult to move slowly in the large movement form. But, the internal force (內勁)movement is exactly same.


“Parting the wild horse’s mane” is taught from the first year of school.

In the beginning, make a move in large, distort the spine and release its power. This release movement is called “Parting the wild horse’s mane”.

This movement shows the both hands are divided left and right.


Learn how to release, it means that pulling back the spine winding distortion power. If you don’t master the internal force movement completely, this movement is not so easy even if you are in the black belt grade.

In principle, the release begins by twisting the lower part of the spine (sacrum) one time.


Also, the power of hitting the face is related to the heel of the back leg motion using the silk reeling force (纏絲勁).

In this way, the basics of martial arts are condensed in “Parting the wild horse’s Mane”.

“Don’t want to receive your backhand open palm strike to my brain”

If someone says so, it is the martial arts.

Liàn hǎo (練好).  Best practice as you can.