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Bu Fa

Bu Fa means Footwork. At this stage of learning the student is introduced to the “5 Steps” (Jin, Tui, Ku, Pan, and Zhong Ding) of tai chi and to tai chi walking. This aspect of tai chi practice is often overlooked due to the slow performance of the tai chi form. However, as a martial art, tai chi is not employed in a slow fashion. The practitioner needs to be able to make quick footwork changes in accordance to an opponent’s movement. Furthermore, later, when the student is introduced to push-hands (Tui Shou), footwork will facilitate tai chi principles such as following, sticking, adhering, and neutralizing.

Bu Fa is essential training and should be given considerable attention. By learning footwork prior to form study, the student is able to concentrate on root, balance and centering without being distracted by form mechanics such as positioning of the hands, tucking of the pelvis, and other tai chi body alignments.