I watched this student, J, played his form. I can tell that he has put in effort because his movements have changed a lot since he started over the past months.
However, now J seemed to have hit a roadblock. He is not able to use the 5-Count to properly make his hand lead his leg. The result is that the principle of stopping the entire body at the same time at the end of a movement cannot be fulfilled.
For example, when we perform Play Pipa the sequence calls for us to use our front foot to step down with the heel while keeping the toes off the ground as soon as the elbow lock is applied. Refer to the photo below from Page 336, TaijiKinesis Vol 2 – Learning the Taijiquan Form :-
In order to do this we must keep our balance entirely on the right leg so that we can easily move the left foot. However, we also need to apply power and doing so while keeping the balance on one leg is not easy. To do these few things easily we use the 5-Count to keep time and coordination, like a conductor leading an orchestra.
When we move into Play Pipa the reverse Count-5 is to allow us to root down in a stable and firm manner. Then when we move the right hand back we can access a unified body to uproot and reel the opponent in.
Once our balance is firmly on the right leg our hands will go through the sequence of entwining, wrapping and getting into position to lock the opponent’s arm. When the positions are set then we quickly apply leverage and power to step on the opponent’s leading foot whilst putting the pressure on his elbow and shoulder. When applying this technique be careful not to step too hard on your training partner’s foot to avoid injury.
J works hard to Master Tai Chi Today which is good. He will need to push harder to make a breakthrough in his ability to control his own movements.
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