The nature of the Tai Bird is very straightforward, and not obtuse. Its nature has "raising its tail straight up". It has the posture of reaching past the edges of the clouds. As it falls down, both palms have the form of pounding things. It rises and falls like thunder strikes and lightning dodges. In using the tail it can change like a swift wind.
The Xingyi, there are four bird forms: hawk, swallow, eagle, and taibird (chicken, although it corresponds to the bird family, has lost its bird nature, and therefore it is not included). Hawk, swallow, and eagle are known to man. Only the tai bird is not understood.
One can study the actual animals to get an insight to the nature of Xingyi's animal forms, yet since there is no real Taibird there is no ability to say what a Taibird's form is like. The character for Taibird is not in the dictionaries. According to Master Chen Pan Ling: “It is a rough wild fierce bird”. Only one still cannot use this to understand the body method. How do we go about recognizing this bird?
Of all the Xingyi animal forms, Tai form is the one with the most confusion about its name. Various schools use Tai ( ): chub mackerel; Tai ( ): a bird not found in dictionaries; Tai ( ): an inferior Horse; Ge ( ): pigeon or dove; Luo ( ): Camel; or Tuo ( ): Ostrich. All of the above animals can be related by either the sound of the characters being similar, the way the character is written (which is difficult for the uneducated to discriminate), or a combination of the above two. The original Xinyi Liu He Quan of Ji Longfeng had only 10 animals. According to one account, Dai Longbang added Alligator and Mackerel after observing their movements in a local river. Another account claims that Dai Longbang's nephew, Guo Weihan, was secretly teaching Li Nengran and created both the Tai and Alligator forms to help distinguish what he taught from the Dai Family method. However, no matter what the form is called, or what version of its origins is accepted, the form and its function are essentially the same across all schools.
The Tai Form uses the movement of both hands. In Xingyi, the inward circle appears in both the tiger form and horse form: the tiger form uses both hands with a left or right inward circle. The Horse Form goes straight to the face then divides to the left and right with a winding circle. In the Tai Form, both hands wind hard like the Horse Form movements, but the directions are reversed. The Horse Form goes down, divides, and winds up. The Tai Form goes up, divides, and winds down. The Tai bird and hawk movements are the same kind, only the hawk form is a single hand sneak strike and the Tai bird is a double hand sneak strike. The stepping method is like Pao Quan, Tiger Form, and Horse Form.
In the body, it can pacify the liver and increase the lungs, and also unfolds the livers solid qi. In fighting it produces lively shoulders and feet. It empties the mind, solidifies the stomach and creates the daoxin. Qi also rises up from the sacrum. Outside is fierce and inside is soft. If the form doesn't flow then the liver's solid qi won't unfold, the shoulders' ability to issue and embrace won't be lively, the breast won't open, and the qi won't flow.