Wednesday, 10 February 2010

Punch and Withdraw and Push

Remember when withdrawing before push, it is the body that turns which moves the arm. Our habit is so strong to move the arm first. Use the feet to transmit the movement to the torso. The front foot pushes the left hip back and the back foot pushes the right hip forward. In this way the t'ai chi force is not blocked.

video

Thursday, 4 February 2010

The Fist

The punch in t'ai chi is performed with a soft fist. It is worth spending time to understand the correct way to form the fist.

When the hand is open and stretched out the ch'i is able to extend out beyond the finger tips. When the hand is curled this flow is then fed back into the arm. The arm itself then forms a block of chi. In this way heat is also prevented from leaving the body on a cold day. From a tai chi point of view the arm is sealed and the fist itself is able to function as an abrupt ending to the arm. The hand is soft and the accumulation of substantial force makes the hand similar to a peice of clay.

It is important that the thumb is not inside the fingers against the palm. The thumb is on the outside of the fingers. The softest method is with the thumb on top of the hand, resting on the index finger. There is more tension in the hand when the thumb bends accross the first and second fingers.

When the thumb is touching the base of the ring finger and the fingers closed over, it prevents loss of ch'i but it is never used in the martial context. You will see a very young child naturally use this fist when they defecate. It is advised by some chi kung masters to avoid loss of ch'i even as an adult!

Finally remember that the t'ai chi force must leave the fist and therefore when using the mind intent it is not directed into the fist but beyond it.

News

There has been a problem with the videos recently, however I have managed to restore them back onto the blog.

The wednesday beginners course can now look at the postures up to Step forward, deflect downward, intercept and punch.

The beginners class due to start on Wednesday 10th. February is now full. The next class will start after the Easter break.