Yet another of the Eight Energies (Ba Jing) that can be found in the practice and study of the Li/Lee Style Taijiquan is the use of the “Elbow Methods” (Zhou Fa) for which there are many of just within the short form alone. The use of the Elbow (Zhou) is not resigned to just being used in one direction alone, it can be used in a forwards, backwards, sideward, downward and upward direction which are all found within the postures of the Li/Lee Style Taijiquan form. You have to remember that there is no such posture within the Li/Lee Style Taijiquan that is called the “Elbowing Posture”, like the Bumping Methods (Kao Fa) the Elbowing Methods are hidden within the many postures and movements that make up the Li/Lee Style Taijiquan.
Just within the Li/Lee Style Taijiquan short form there are well over ten postures were the Elbow technique could be applied. An Example of one usage of the Elbowing Method can be found in the “Cobra Unwinds It’s Body Posture” if you take the first action of this particular posture were the both arms are drawn back towards the body, with the right arm on top of the left, as the waist turns to the left performing a Rollback Method (Lu Fa) as the bodyweight is placed onto the right leg. It is the turning of the waist from left to right that allows the individual to apply a sideward Elbowing Method with the left arms Elbow as seen in the accompanying photo of Laoshi Keith Ewers performing the “Cobra Unwinds its Body Posture” of the Li/Lee Style Taijiquan short form.
The Elbow Method cannot just be used on its own, it has to be paired with another of the Eight Energies (Ba Jing) like with the Bumping Method (Kao Fa) or the Splitting Method (Lie Fa) or with the Ward Off Method (Peng Fa) or as mentioned above with the Rollback Method (Lu Fa). There are loads of variations were each of the Eight Energies can accompany each other to create loads of techniques and these can only be found in the practice of taijiquan’s Pushing & Sticking Hands Practice. As each of the Eight Energies are placed into a rigid sequence when each individual begins to practice their Li/Lee Style Taijiquan form
As with all of the Eight Energies of taijiquan to actually bring them all alive into a practical application based practice, then everyone needs to practice the Taijiquan paired exercise of sticky/pushing hands (Zhan/Tui Shou) exercise. Which allows each individual to bring the Eight Energies of taijiquan into action in a multiple combination exercise that can be performed from either a fixed position or from a free moving step practice. It is only through the practice of the Pushing & Sticking Hands exercise that every individual can truly become skilled in the usage of the Eight Energies as a means of using their taijiquan as a form of Self Defence.
If you are not interested in learning the Self Defence aspect of Taijiquan. Then simply understanding were each of the Eight Energies are being used within the practice of your Li/Lee Style Taijiquan form work will help you to become more accurate and precise with your actions as you change from Yin to Yang and vice-versa. Learning the Eight Energies in the practice of yourTaijiquan form also gives the individual a much better understanding were to place their intention when performing a certain movement, rather than simply doing a empty movement with no understanding of what type of energy should be involved in the actions only leads to a low standard of taijiquan practice.