June 14 2008


As we are now entering our study of the long Yang form, I will use these pages to remind you of key points to keep in mind as you practice at home. Today’s tips are for the class held on June 14th, ‘08.

Remember that during private practice, it is important to maintain the WuJi position for a longer amount of time than what we do in class. WuJi is a time of contemplation and self-examination of our body alignments. Do not rush into form practice. Take time to experience stillness. Examine body posture; keep the Ten essentials of Taiji in mind. Only after several minutes of WuJi should the first posture be performed. Do not forget the Dang! Round the crotch!! Add to your taiji vocabulary the term KUA!

1. Commencing Form.

Remember to not raise the arms higher than the neck, face area. Do not raise the shoulders and keep elbows in. Inhale as the arms elevate. Fill the belly. The feet shoulder-width apart with the knees slightly bent. Tongue to the roof of the mouth.. Also keep in mind the sequence of the shoulders lead the elbows, the elbows lead the wrist, and the wrist leads the fingers.

Remember to shift the weight totally to the left leg in preparation for transition to Ward-Off Left.  Do not move the right foot by itself. Instead, as the waist rotates on the axis of the left leg, let the right foot rotate out to the right. Remember the body is like a wheel and the waist is like the hub. When shifting to the right leg, remember to bring the toes of the left foot in with the waist rotation and pivot on the heel. The Taiji ball should be big with the left hand around the hip bone and the right hand around the breast bone. In the beginning the postures are big. Only with time should the postures become smaller and more condensed.

Ward-Off Left

Be sure to have the weight totally on the right leg prior to stepping out with the left leg. When stepping out, be sure to land on the heel and do not commit the weight to the left leg. Instead, sink on the right leg and while sinking, step out to the front. Remember to step out as if standing on rail road tracks or shoulder-width apart.  If you step out to far to the right, you become unstable. If stepping out directly in front of the right leg you become unstable laterally.

Keep in mind the yin/yang relationship of the legs on this and all transitions. As the body shift to the left remember to press down with the right leg while pushing up with the left leg into ward-off left. Do not rush it. Do not worry about the breathing or Chi flow. Get the mechanical aspect of the form correct first. The rest will come with practice.  When finishing Ward-Off left, remember to keep the elbow down, the hand around neck height or thereabouts.  Keep the back open and the chest concaved creating the two pigeon’s nests on the clavicles.


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