Seven Stars

Here’s my ‘two bobs worth’ (opinion) of the Tai Chi seven stars posture from a self defense viewpoint.

  • seven stars refers to seven points of the body – head, shoulder, elbow, hand, hip, knee, foot – each can be used to deflect or strike
  • the seven stars posture in the form is also used as an on guard position

For this post I’ll talk about the on guard position.

The seven stars on guard position is a good way of keeping an unarmed opponent, at arms length. This was one of the techniques I taught in my women’s self defence short courses. I modified the technique to be less aggressive looking.

I wouldn’t recommend the seven stars posture against an armed opponent, especially one with a knife.

In my earlier years of training in Tai Chi we experimented with defending against a knife attack. Obviously we didn’t use real knives for safety reasons but we did use rubber knives.

We had fun with it and ‘died a thousand deaths in the training hall’ but then we decided to try something different. We had the attacker use a black texta. The defender used the seven star position. The result? A lot of texta marks on our arms.

This had a strong impact and we quickly learned that sticking your arms out in front of you against an armed attacker was not the best option.

Personally I think the best self defense against a knife is to run. Run fast and long. In the opposite direction, preferably.

Anyway, for a more detailed explanation of seven stars check out Wang Peisheng’s talk below.


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  1. Pete says

    Took a little time out to enjoy the post, was worth it.
    Liked the vid. and the humour (Run fast and long), good advice actually.
    Thought ‘two bobs worth’ was an expression from my neck of the woods?

  2. Felipe Rosa says

    Hi Chris

    Just wondering if u know of anybody that is teaching Cheng Tin Hung’s system in Australia. I am based in Perth but am willing to travel around the country in order to learn.



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