Cook Ding's Kitchen (4)

Cook Ding’s Kitchen

Learning Taijiquan Through the Process of Body Mechanics

Posted: 09 Sep 2019 05:00 AM PDT

Below is an excerpt from a post that appeared at Thoughts on Tai Chi. The
full post may be read here.

When you start learning Tai Chi, you start learning as a person who is
used to mostly be aware about your head and hands. For some people, the
process of starting to learn Tai Chi can be painful. You will become
painfully aware about all of your mistakes and flaws, how bad your balance
is, how bad your coordination is and how hard it is to coordinate the body
with awareness in the most simple ways. Now you will start to use your
nervous system in another way than you are used to in daily life’s
movements. Through the time, you will deepen your knowledge about yourself.
It will be a long journey with plenty of rewards ahead.

  1. Balance and the central axis.
  2. Understanding feet and legs
  3. Use of the kua
  4. Understanding the lower Dantian
  5. Coordinating of kua, dantian and waist
  6. Opening and closing the lower ribs
  7. Opening and closing scapula
  8. Coordinating lower ribs, spine and Coordinating lower and upper body and all of it together
  9. Everything moves together spontaneously without focus on any part starting/initiating movement.
    So, let’s explain these steps further:

Stages 1 & 2 – Balance and centerlineBalance and the central
axis.Understanding feet and legsFirst, you will need to learn how to
separate full and empty by weight shifting and moving from posture to
posture. You do this while keeping your body straight while getting
acquainted to the use of turning around the central axis. You will learn
how to use your center and balance.

Now, after learning the basics, you’ll need to learn to become more aware
about your feet and legs, not only how to shift weight but to move your
body with the feet and legs. You need to try to be as passive as possible
with your arms, letting the body push the arms and pull them in.

These first two steps, the very beginning of learning Tai Chi properly,
occur mostly while learning a form. The process of learning a long form
might take one or two years of study. If you study a long traditional
form, you will probably need to learn it first before being able to
deepening your body method further.

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