Before is the Problem

I have said this many times and this is God knows how many times I have written about it. The thing is if you have a problem doing a movement the root cause more often than not lies in the movement before it.

That’s it. As simple as that. The root cause of many problems faced in the course of learning how to do a form properly lies in what is before, not after.

When we do a form, say the Yang style 108 form, we are precise in how we move. The precision is called for because this is how we learn how to use the movements to define the principles.

We should take note – doing a movement does not mean that you are doing the principles especially if you are moving imprecisely. There are different ways of doing the same movement but beginners should go with the way of moving that clearly outlines how the principles are being actualized.

For example, how do we know where to position the left palm strike at the end of the Single Whip movement?

The answer is the hook hand will inform you.

But where should we place our hook hand?

The nature of the neutralizing action, the path to divert the imaginary opponent’s power, the alignment of the body and so on will tell you.

So really, no guess work. Just listen, and try to follow as best as you can. Do it as many times as possible to understand what is going on. Many times the trainer has to physically illustrate what doing the right way looks like, what it should feel like, what are the ways that the movement can also be performed, when it has veered off course and violate principles or even good commonsense.

The movement you do before determines if the movement you do after is correct. So carefully, study each movement and you will have an easier time to Master Tai Chi Today.

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