jerky movement in smooth form seems out of place

jerky movement in smooth form seems out of place

Postby machanrahan » Sat Jun 29, 2013 1:53 pm


I'm new here. I've been practising for about 6 months now. And I'm loving it.

I would like to know if anyone can explain the (small) jump to change direction after "turn body and right heel kick", just before "twin fists strike opponents ears" (2nd section of the long form)?

In such an elegant, controlled form it seems wrong since there's appears no way to "jump" slowly and in a controlled manner.

And what about the breathing at that point?
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Re: jerky movement in smooth form seems out of place

Postby Audi » Tue Jul 02, 2013 2:58 am

Greetings machanrahan,

Welcome to the board! It's great you are enjoying your practice.

I am pretty sure which move you are talking about; however, we perform it as a one-legged pivot, rather than as a jump. As for why it is in the form, I do not recall what explanations I have heard, but I view it as adding spice, challenge, and variety. I also find that the form shows a different face depending on your level of practice, understanding, and orientation.

When I do this move, I am working first on training my balance, which I have never been able to master to my satisfaction. If I can master my balance, I work on sinking my Qi. If I can sink my Qi, I work on my control and body method, I.e., using the waist and coordinating upper and lower. If I can do this, then I work on showing strong and calm spirit and focused gaze. If I can do this, which is not as often as it should be, I think of how smooth and continuous the overall motion is. But this is just me.

Consider also that skill in such a pivot and such control gives additional options from a martial viewpoint, when stepping is free.

As for the breathing, we do not advocate trying to force or fit any particular breathing pattern to the movements because this is very difficult and will tend to raise your Qi and decrease the naturalness of the form. We would say that your own body and level of training will tell you how to breathe at any given moment. We do have very general breathing guidelines for the form, but they are secondary to your feeling. The breathing rules for Fajin practice are more specific, since the object of the training is different.

I hope this helps.

Take care,
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Re: jerky movement in smooth form seems out of place

Postby Bob Ashmore » Fri Jul 05, 2013 6:41 pm

Not a "jump", not even a small one, not in Traditional Yang Family T'ai Chi Ch'uan.
Your form practice may be different if you are practicing a "Yang style" outside of the Association, so be sure to ask your teacher for clarification.
In Traditional Yang Family T'ai Chi Ch'uan this is a pivot to readjust your position relative to your opponent or opponents, done while standing on only one leg.
The movement should not be "jerky" or done out of synch with the rest of your body.
As with all other movements it should be smooth and coordinated.
This will take time to learn however, so you may feel a bit "jerky" while you learn the correct method.
Sometimes the only thing you can do is "fake it 'til you make it". Which means; do it the best you can right now and with a lot of trial and error you will eventually smooth it out.
It took me about five or six years to learn to do these kinds of pivots even half correctly, so don't get discouraged.

As for breathing during this transition; I highly recommend it. :wink:
It sure beats the alternative!
All jesting aside; just breath naturally. Don't force it or try to make your breath coordinate to your movement in any special way.

Bob Ashmore
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