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Articles by Sam

Sam's writings on taijiquan and the internal arts have been published in various journals and on the web. Below are a few selected articles. Click the link to download a PDF file to your desktop. Check back to this page for updates and newly added articles.

The Four-squares and the Four-corners

No topic is more fundamental to an understanding of taijiquan than the theory of the four
squares and the four corners. The artʼs essence, even itʼs raison dʼêtre, is entirely
bound up in the theory, function and philosophy of what in Chinese language are called
the si zheng and the si yu.

Tai Chi Language Article

An article about taijiquan terms as well as a brief synopsis of the Wade-Giles and pinyin translation history relating to taiji.

Shortcuts for Pinyin

This article deals primarily with pinyin notations and pronunciations for the Chinese language.

Neijia Terms with Chinese Character Notations

This article is a basic glossary of Neijia terms given with the Wade-Giles and Pinyin English equivalents along with Chinese notations.

Yang Family, Yang Style

An article written by Sam about the difference between Yang Family and Yang Style taiji.

Tai Chi Skill Evaluation (pt.1)
Often the subject of grading in Taijiquan study comes up as students are interested in knowing where they stand in terms of their development. This article presents both a short critique of standard martial arts grading methods and a means for establishing an accurate perspective on general skill level.

Distinguishing the Hip and Waist (pt.1)

There is perhaps, no greater stumbling block to the mastery of taijiquan, than the murky confusion we are greeted with when we first begin a conscious study of the hips and waist. Virtually nothing in our western physical education prepares us for the study of this region.



The Shi San Shi or ‘Thirteen Powers’ are universally regarded as the energetic and conceptual core of Taijiquan training. They are considered to be the source of all stylistic variations of Tai Chi and the universal key which unlocks the secret of all Taijiquan. It is said that without Shi San Shi at the root, one’s art cannot be called Taijiquan.

Way of the Tai Chi Sword

In martial lore the straight-sword is commonly respected as the King of Short Weapons. Known also as the narrow blade, or double-edged sword, the Straightsword was often seen in traditional Chinese culture as a way to cut through veils of illusion, ego and attachment and is associated with spiritual refinement as much as with martial efficacy.


The Road

Sam's depiction of life on the road as a touring Tai Chi teacher. Contains interesting tidbits for everyone.