Chen Style Tai Chi Centre.

 

Tai Chi Tutorial for Chen Style 11 Form

by Master Liming Yue and Nick Taylor

Master Liming Yue

Form 1 – The Bhuddha’s Warrior Attendant Pounds The Mortar

Stand with your feet together, the arms relaxed by your sides, the palms facing in towards the thighs. Make sure that the knees are slightly relaxed, so that the legs are not locked out and straight. Hold the head erect and natural, the eyes looking directly ahead. The shoulders are relaxed. The tip of the tongue is raised to the roof of the mouth, gently touching the upper palate, just behind the gums of the front teeth.

Relax the knees, sink down and raise the left heel, transferring your weight into the right foot. Now raise the left leg and step out to the left. The foot lands lightly on the toes, and then sinks down gently until fully in contact with the ground. The feet are shoulder width apart and very slightly turned out.

Move your weight further to the left until your weight is centred equally between each foot. Looking from the side, the centreline of your balance passes down through the centreline of the foot, in a mid-sole position. The feet should finish parallel to the shoulders, so avoid stepping slightly forwards or backwards. Relax the whole body, whilst keeping naturally alert and the mind calm.

Together, both hands move forward and rise up until they reach the level of your shoulders, the palms facing down, and the elbows relaxed. As the hands gently rise up, the hips sink down slightly, preventing the whole body from rising up.

Lower the body further by sinking down and relaxing the knees. Moving slightly in towards the body, both hands descend, pressing down lightly, until they finish level with the abdomen. The upper body should remain upright throughout this movement, with the hips relaxed and open. There should be a gentle curve to the arms, the elbows not too close to the body.

The level at which the hips finish, with the hands in front of the abdomen, determines the overall height at which the form should be performed. For differing levels of fitness you can then choose to practice the form using a high, medium or low posture.

Move your weight slightly to the right and at the same time turn the hips and upper body slightly to the left. Moving in a circular manner, both hands move to the left and rise up. The left hand finishes palm facing forwards, level with the chin, the right hand turns naturally clockwise to finish palm facing up, in front of the chest.

Shift your weight into the left leg and turn the hips and upper body to the right. At the same time, moving together, both hands rotate to the left, finishing parallel to the ground, 25 – 30cm apart, a typical wrist to elbow distance.

The right palm faces outwards, the left palm faces out and diagonally upwards.

Raising the right toes, turn the upper body to the right through 90 degrees. Your left leg is the main root, the crutch stays open and rounded, and the right leg turns on its heel. The whole body moves as a single unit, the hands following naturally and lightly. Sink down, shift weight forwards into the right leg. When the weight is rooted fully in the right foot, bring the left leg forwards initially and then step out diagonally backwards. The left leg lands on the inside heel, toes raised up and pointing diagonally forwards. The intention in bringing the left leg forwards before stepping out is to close and protect the crotch.

The hips turn slightly to the right, the upper body follows, leading the hands. Both hands now sink down, moving in a circular manner. On reaching the level of the abdomen, the left palm should be facing down and the right palm up. As the hands descend, turn the hips and upper body to the left to face the original direction, the left foot also turning to the left

Shift weight forward into the left foot, and separate both the hands, opening them fully. The right hand moves to the rear, the left hand forwards. Once the weight is fully rooted in the left foot, step forward with the right foot, the right hand swings through to the front at the same time. The right foot finishes just in front of the left, resting lightly on the toes, weight rooted 90% in the left foot. The left hand moves closer towards the body and rests lightly, palm down, on the inside of the right forearm, just below the wrist. The right palm is facing up.

The right palm changes to a fist and the left hand turns over to face palm up. Sinking down from the hips, the left hands sinks down, followed by the fist. Both palm and fist finish level with the crotch, body upright.

Bring the right knee and fist up simultaneously, the fist finishing roughly level with your (or opponents) chin. Stamp down with the right foot, the sole of the foot level when it makes contact with the ground. The right fist sinks down into the palm of the left hand, making contact with the back of the fist. The back of the fist lands in the palm of the left hand as the sole of the right foot makes contact with the floor.

Master Liming Yue

Form 2 – Lazy About Tying Coat

Change the right fist into an open palm and then turn both palms over to face the ground, the right palm remaining above the left. Shift weight slightly to the right and turn the hips and upper body to the left. At the same time the right hand rises up, moving in a circle, and passes in front of the face finishing to the right side of the head, slightly in front, with the palm facing forwards. The left palm presses down, to the side of the left hip.

Now shift weight to the left, and turn the hips and upper body to the right. At the same time the right hand sinks down to the side of the right hip, palm facing forward, and the left hand rises up to the left side of the head, slightly in front, palm facing out.

The weight is now fully rooted down through the left foot. Withdraw the right leg in towards the left initially before stepping out to the right, landing the foot on the inside right heel with the toes raised. Simultaneously, both hands move together in a scissors like action, the left palm faces away to the right, resting lightly on the inside of the right forearm, the right palm faces up. The hands are level with the chest.

In stepping out to the right, the right foot should land parallel to your own body, finishing approximately one and one half times shoulder width apart. Depending on individual levels of fitness, the posture can be wide and deep or narrow and high.

Slightly shift weight to the right, allowing the right foot to sink down and make full contact with the ground. At the same time turn the hips and upper body to the left and rotate both palms so that the left palm faces your chest and the right palm faces out. The arms should hold a circular, ward off energy.

Shifting weight fully across to the right, the left hand sinks down to the front, left side of the hips, palm up. Simultaneously turn the hips and upper body to the right causing the right hand to push over to the right. The eyes and head follow the leading movement of the right hand.

When the right hand has come to a rest, sink down slightly and relax, turn the head to the left, to face the original direction. The left palm turns over to face down and the hand grasps the waist, four fingers to the front, thumb to the rear.

Master Liming Yue

Form 3 – Six Sealing and Four Closing

Turn the upper body slightly to the right and sink down from the hips. At the same time move the left hand across the body to the right, finishing just below the middle of the right forearm, the palm facing away to the right. The eyes look at the middle finger of the right hand.

Turn the hips and upper body to the left and shift weight to the left pulling both hands down together until level with the waist. The palms rotate clockwise at the same time. Turn the hips and upper body to the left, drawing the hands further across to the left side of the waist.

Moving in an arc, both hands now rise up the left side of the body, at the same time as your weight starts to transfer into the right leg. In a continuous movement, turn the upper body to the right, fully shift weight into the right leg and bring both palms up to the front of the left shoulder.

Sink down slightly and turn further to the right. Press both palms down and forwards, to finish in front of the right side of the hips. The elbows should be slightly bent, with the palms holding a rounded shape, as if following the curve of a large ball. The palms are 5 – 7cm apart. Step in with the left leg, landing on the toes, the feet approximately 20cm apart. The head is facing right, in the direction of the hands, the eyes looking slightly down.

Master Liming Yue

Form 4 – Single Whip

Turn both palms over until they face up. Turn the hips and upper body to the right slightly and withdraw the right hand closer towards the body, so that the finger tips finish level with the left wrist crease. The left knee turns in slightly, pivoting on the toes.

Change the right hand to a hook shape. The hook is formed when the thumb and middle fingertip touch lightly together, the other fingertips then close in at the same time, bringing all fingertips in contact with the thumb tip. The right wrist rotates clockwise so that the fingertips are pointing down.

Move the hips and upper body to the left, your weight still rooted in the right leg, the left knee opening out slightly, pivoting on the toes. Push the right hook forward, passing over the centre of the right palm and up, until the hook is level with the right shoulder, the arm slightly bent at the elbow. Keep the right shoulder down and relaxed. At the same time the left hand sinks down in front of the abdomen, the palm still facing up.

Relax and sink down, turning the hips and upper body slightly to the right. Raise the left foot by bending the knee, turning it inward to protect the crotch. The eyes look forward and to the left. Step out to the left, the foot moving parallel to the body, descending onto the inside left heel, the left toes raised.

Shift weight to the left, turning the hips and upper body to the left slightly. Now shift weight to the right, thrusting the left palm up towards the right hook and turning the upper body slightly to the right.

Rotate the left palm anti-clockwise to face away from the body. Relax both hips, sink down slightly and shift weight to the left separating the hand and hook. Turning the upper body to the left at the same time, the left palm pushes slightly away from the chest and across to the left. The head and eyes follow the left hand. The left elbow finishes above the knee, at shoulder height, the right also above the right knee, at shoulder height.

On reaching the fully open position, sink down slightly and relax, turning the head to the right, to face the original direction.

To be continued.


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