My first big memory palace - memorizing Yang Taiji 103 Form

The Yang Taiji 103 form is martial arts form that has 103 numbered “moves.” Many are repeated so the number of unique moves is less than 103.

My goal is to memorize each move’s number in order and also be able to recite backwards.

I’ve constructed a virtual palace for this. The scene is a Chinese temple. I can start at a serene garden with a pond, waterfall, and benches. Just past the pond is a bridge with 5 posts on each side which will serve as loci for the 10 principles of Yang Taiji. At the end of the bridge is the temple with 3 doors which represent the 3 sections of the form. The left door leads to a training area with numbers 1-16. The middle doors have stairs which lead up to a three more rooms and common area with tables and couches. The upstairs area holds numbers 17-54. The left door has yet to be constructed. It will hold numbers 55-103. I think it will lead to a bathing area. It might have to have a back door where I put more loci behind the temple if I can’t fit them all in the 3rd room.

I’m using my PAO people to represent the numbers and have them do things that represent the move. I already know the names of the moves so I don’t need to do much in terms of visuals to break the names down. I only need triggers. For example, 30 is Batman holding on to a birds tail, and the bird is vigorously trying to fly away. So, I know that 30 is “Grasp the Sparrows Tail.”

Any advice?


It sounds like you’ve got it all right.
You are using a memory palace, and each spot represent a move in the right order. So Once you place all the animations in the correct spots/locus, the scene would just appear when you mentally walk through the palace.

I think if you had a Spreadsheet and write the locations and the animations on it, and then practice it mentally, it won’t be long to memorise the whole thing for long terms. You’ll even be able to jump to a location mentally where you’ll remember a specific move.

If you want to number the order of the moves, then what I would suggest is to add a Number-Shape to each locus. So you’d place a Magic-Wand (1) on the first locus, place a Dinosaur (2) on the second locus, third one a Fork (3) and so on for as many as needed to mark up the order of the locations.

The above example images are what I use in my system, so any image that represent the digits in the right order would be good even if it’s major images.

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Thank, Erol! Yeah, I’m using my PAO people to number the moves. This will also be an exercise in helping me memorizing the order of my people because my list is newly finished and I don’t have them solidly in my long term memory yet.


It is interesting that tai chi practitioners seem to have worked out a mnemonic system for teaching forms a long time ago.

As I had mentioned in a previous post (link below), the names of the moves seem to have been carefully chosen for their mnemonic value.

I think tai chi might be fun to learn just for this reason alone.


I’d love to learn and practice Tai Chi. I actually do have a video course on it in my library, but never got round to learning it. I think once I can, I’ll probably practice on a daily basis which something I’d love to do. I’ll have to set that as a goal, and it would push me harder to achieve it.


The names definitely help with remembering how to do the moves. I’m not sure I would say it helps with sequencing though, as there a different forms that have the same moves in different sequences. My instructor, I assume, wouldn’t be able to tell you all the moves numbers and certainly not recite the whole thing backwards even after training for 20 years.


If you want to number the order of the moves, then what I would suggest is to add a Number-Shape to each locus

Do you find it difficult at all to memorize both Number-Shapes and PAOs for the same pathway? Would that be something we would need to practice to get good at?

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Not really. I know each image by heart. I also practice image strengthening methods so it’s very clear and vivid. This is the easy part. The challenge is to link one image to the other by way of applying certain actions to get the end result. If you had all the time in the world then you could do this by using a little imagination. What I do is to apply specific pair linking methods to each image which could be one or more of the 10 methods I identified.

Knowing the linking methods gives the available actions to make the link with 2 or more images. This will take some time to practice. With the way I have categorized the links I can see what action are available to apply to the next image and so on which cuts away most of the thinking time. In fact, using this method I have identified each action for each image already. So with 2 images it’s very quick to see the link action and the end result image. This is Object Action Object with no persons involved. I also add sounds where I can which helps to strengthen the link. Sound is not anyways necessary when competing as you d memorise at a high speed. But if you had a lot of time in your hand then making the connections with 2 or more images with the sounds does make the end result almost not forgettable.

As for PAO, the same system is used and it will not be confusing.
If anything it would be even more memorable to add a person to the same method I explained above. Instead of the image linking to the other, it would be the person making the link with the image to the other. This of course will take a lot of time to practice because the recognition of the persons and doing the actions with the persons do take longer than just linking 2 objects , because you have to keep the the person involved during the linking process. And I found it slower if used to compete. This doesn’t mean it wouldn’t work for competing, it would mean it would take a lot of time to practice , perhaps months or years to perfect it. However I found that once you can master a 2 image link to perfection, then it’s just a matter of adding a person to it which will make the links much more memorable if used as pao.

Adding number shapes to mark up the journey is not confusing. If anything I found it easy to remember the journey much easier. And using pao or oa while the other object is there made no difference but made more memorable. If adding the same image you use when linking may confuse you , perhaps you can try adding it to every 5th location to leave a clue on the pathway. That also I found it works well too when I memorized 200 digits of pie I’ve added a number shape to every 5th location one after the other to remember the positions of the digits. My next goal is to memorise 500 digits for demo I’m preparing to do,and I’ll be adding a number shape to each h of the 5th location, so it would be like 5th 10th 15th and so on I’ll have an image to represent 1 2 3 and so on. With doing this I was able to name a digit on any position by simply thinking of the number shape in the background and I could then see the five links around it, it was just a matter of counting with simple math.