What-Basics Again?

What-Basics Again?

“Groan, not a class on basics again? I want to work on forms!” thought the brown sash student.

This may be a familiar thought to some students in any martial arts class. I am guilty myself – as I went up in rank all I thought  was important was to do our lovely open hand and weapons forms. That is only part of the picture. Working on basics is just as important as working on forms along with two person training like push hands and applications.

Little did I realize at the time that basic postures are the foundation of all Tai Chi forms and they need to be reviewed constantly by an instructor. Basic postures, basic stances, basic movements are like second nature to the advanced student but for a beginner and intermediate student they are still learning. And guess who they watch when they can’t see the teacher? You, the advanced student! That’s why your basics have to be impeccably executed!

In your private practice take inventory of each posture, keeping the Ten Essential Points of Tai Chi in mind:

  • Where are my feet? Is my back heel pushed out in a forward stance?
  • Is my weight distributed correctly?
  • Am I rooted to the ground? Am I “light on top and heavy on the bottom?”
  • Is my head held up high?
  • Are my shoulders relaxed and tailbone tucked in?

These questions and more should be going through your mind as you do Part the Wild Horses Mane, White Crane Spreads Its Wings, Brush Knee and Push, and the list goes on.

So the next time your Sifu starts running through basic postures and forms, embrace the opportunity to not only help yourself but also your classmates improve their forms.

 

Forward Stance

  • Head and torso held high
  • 60/40% distribution with most weight on the front leg
  • Your front knee is bent; you should be able to see your toes
  • Hips are squared forward
  • Shoulders are relaxed, chest is slightly concaved (hollowed)

Tai Chi forward stance

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Back Stance

  • Head and torso held high
  • 60/40% distribution with most on the back leg
  • Hips are squared forward
  • Shoulders are relaxed, chest is slightly concaved (hollowed)

Tai Chi back stance

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