Taiji Waist

by webmaster2 on 2013/01/10

The fist of xingyi, feet of bagua and waist of taiji.

The punches of xingyi, the footwork of bagua and the yaodang (waist and crotch) of taiji.

Xingyi looks at the hands; bagua looks at the walk; and taiji is the gong of waist and crotch.

 

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

cshum00 January 10, 2013 at 2:12 pm

Or at least that is the popular view of things:
-XingYiQuan includes multiple hand-forms and movements that looks like hand-strikes. Because of that, the untrained eye will focus most on the hands.
-BaquaZhang includes a lots of stepping training. And because of the utmost stepping variations, the untrained eye will focus on the feet.
-TaiChiQuan masters emphasize a lot about the Dantiens. Some masters brag about it to the point where people think there is something mystical about the waist area.

These arts have been passed down through generations with diluted ideas. But fortunately, each of them have also preserved certain important aspects of their own arts:
-XingYiQuan has preserved foot work. Different XingYiQuan schools can disagree on the different hand-movements, angles or hand-strikes. But all of them agree that they need to push with their rear-foot. All their basic training teach how you should strike the floor with your rear-leg and have the force come out of the front-hand.
-BaquaZhang has preserved on how to sit your Kua. Anyone can watch a BaquaZhang video and imitate the stepping. What is critical is not the stepping itself, but what allows you to be able to step that way without getting “stuck”. On the normal upright-standing position, the head of the femur won’t allow the Kua move properly. One has to accommodate the coccyx and the hip-bone, so that your lower spine, or legs won’t get stuck when you try to turn your body around.
-TaiChiQuan has preserved the Taiji Principles and Classics. TaiChiQuan has branched to the point where some schools doesn’t have any ability. Some schools do have preserved some abilities that some other schools don’t; and vice-versa. But one thing they all can agree about are the Taiji Principles and Classics. But the principles and classics can’t be used for an open interpretation. And their misinterpretations is what caused the downfall to many.

NO-hands:
Some are able to mask it better than others. But it doesn’t matter what the internal art is, no-hands. The only time hands are allowed to move is when positioning and adapting. But never push with the hands.
-Here is a video of a Wu Style TaiChiQuan where you can clearly see no-hand movements:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sAtvVirt7pM
As you can see, the only time he moves his hands is when positioning. And the reason it is so plain visible, is because he has his hands positioned right in front of his face. Now, let’s look at another clip where there is no-hands movements but very well masked:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LF3wWhISttg
The reason it looks like his hands are moving is because his hand positions are farther away from his face or center-line. His arms are more extended to his sides like Single-Whip. But pay attention again watch that his hands doesn’t move themselves. His arms are being displaced due to his body turning sideways.
-Here is a BaquaZhang form where you can see the semi-masked no-hand movements. But if you pay attention, you see that every hand movement is actually due to a turning of his body:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uB9RiVLe4MQ
-And it gets even extremely difficult to see no-hand movements. That is if the person meditatively moves his body after positioning his arms like this XingYiQuan master. He is the first person of the following videos:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dkCwvFTa2HU
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2l3ZKrSlHi8
From the untrained eye perspective, it looks like he is shooting his hands out. But in reality, he is not shotting his hands out. The hands are being shot out by the body movements. Imagine that his upper-body is made of solid wood and focus on his legs. You will see the dispacement of his upper-body and arms are the after-effects of his leg movements.

Sitting the Kua:
The reason why when people go into low postures and they feel like they are squatting is because they are not sitting the Kua properly. In this case, people have positioned their Kua, hip-bone and coccyx the same as when they are standing straight up.
In order to sit the Kua properly, one must first bend the knees slightly at a minimum. This has to do with how the Kua is encasing the head of the femur. If the knees are not bent slightly, the head of the femur gets stuck in the Kua.
The next requirement is to let your upper-body stack onto itself. It is not about pulling your body-up as if you are trying to stand straight-up. It is not about dropping your body down like if you have to squat down the floor. It is about letting the upper-body stack onto it’s own bone structure just like how you stack books one on top another. The books above don’t pull the books bellow. And the books below don’t try to push the books above higher.
If done properly, you will find that you are extremely flexible in your legs and Kua. Your feet could point on opposite 180 degree directions, without feeling stuck on your Kua. You will be able to let your foot point one direction and your upper body pointing a different direction just like the guy in the BaquaZhang video above. And yet you won’t feel like your spine is getting stuck compared to standing up normally.
Sitting the Kua is mostly visible on BanquaZhang and XingYiQuan just like the videos above. When it is visible, it looks that the person are in a low posture but he is not squatting. It looks like the person is sitting on something but there is nothing to sit on. However, Yang and Wu TaichiQuan stylists bend their knees at a minimum. Therefore it masks the sitting of the Kua compared to most other styles.

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