## forwardleg- backleg

### forwardleg- backleg

Hello All!

While performing grasping bird's tail, do we keep forward leg heel and back leg toe in line or both leg heel in line by keeping the legs side long?

Thanks
jack

Posts: 18
Joined: Wed Dec 11, 2013 3:06 am

### Re: forwardleg- backleg

Hi Jack,

I am not sure I understand your question; however, if you are asking whether there is some simple alignment or angle between the heels or toes of the two feet, the answer is: "No, not really."

In our proper bow stance, the two heels can be thought of as both resting on parallel lines that are shoulder-width apart. I personally imagine the two rails of a railroad track, where the rails are shoulder-width apart. The two heels themselves are, however, not normally shoulder-width apart from each other. It is just the lines (or "rails") they rest on that are shoulder-width apart. The front foot can rest anywhere on its imaginary line that your stride can allow.

To make the bow stance, stand with the feet shoulder-width apart in a horse-riding stance, that is, with the feet parallel to each other. Then, shift your weight to one side as you bend the knee of that leg. Then step step forward with the other leg anywhere on the same imaginary line it was resting on. How far you can step depends on how much you have bent the leg you have shifted your weight to and is subject to your choice. That is why there is no simple alignment between the two feet. It depends on your "stride." The only constant relationship is the shoulder length distance between the two imaginary lines/rails, not the feet themselves.

I hope this helps.

Take care,
Audi
Audi

Posts: 1205
Joined: Sat Jan 27, 2001 7:01 am
Location: New Jersey, USA

### Re: forwardleg- backleg

Thanks Audi. You have explained it well. for more understanding, below i am trying to show what i wanted to say. Figure 1 shows that we are placing forward leg such a way that back leg toe and heel come in line. Figure 2 shows that heels of both legs come in line. Imagine that distance between are same in both the images.
Attachments
fig1.jpg (21.69 KiB) Viewed 1791 times
fig2.jpg (24.63 KiB) Viewed 1791 times
jack

Posts: 18
Joined: Wed Dec 11, 2013 3:06 am

### Re: forwardleg- backleg

Hi Jack,

Thanks for the pictures, but I still not sure why the lines are drawn at those particular angles. I mean, can't you always draw lines between the toes and heels, regardless of where the feet are placed? Were you proposing lines drawn at a specific angle, such as at a 90 degree angle with the back foot, starting either at the toes or the heel? In either case, as I described, there is no such relationship in our bow stance and either placement is possible, depending on the length of the stride you use.

One thing I forgot to describe in my previous post is that before shifting the weight, you should, of course, pivot the future weight-bearing leg so that the toes turn outward 45 degrees.

Take care,
Audi
Audi

Posts: 1205
Joined: Sat Jan 27, 2001 7:01 am
Location: New Jersey, USA

### Re: forwardleg- backleg

Audi,

I have drawn the lines just for ease of explanation. Here lines show how legs have been placed on the floor. Figure one shows before weight shift, forward leg is put in line with back leg toe(if we bring both the feet together, we will have forward leg heel touching backleg heel). Figure-2 shows both legs heels in line( if we bring both the legs together, we will have heels and toes of both the legs touching each other). So my question is how should we put our legs as per figure 1 or figure 2?

Thanks
Jack
jack

Posts: 18
Joined: Wed Dec 11, 2013 3:06 am

### Re: forwardleg- backleg

Hi Jack,
By looking at your pictures. I would do the figure 1. (if you only allow to chose 1 of the 2) because the toes on the back foot is going forward while the heels on the front foot helps stoping you being pull or push over by opponent. (I feel more comfortable with my center already.) figure 2 make me feel uneasy with weight lined up on both heels. I feel some what double weighted (all heels and no toes with weight?).

I myself and for myself only will keep my weight on the bubble spring (center of my feet/both foot). PAY ATTENTION to keep on YANGYINING with my CENTER always INTACT. You will have a harder time to pull or push me off my balance. But you don't have to try this. You stick with your figure 1 you might come out to be number one against you opponent. Good luck
lim
yslim

Posts: 168
Joined: Wed May 24, 2006 6:01 am
Location: Monterey,Ca. USA

### Re: forwardleg- backleg

Hi Jack,

When you talk about things being "in line" or "aligned," you need to reference two different lines, not just two points. If I am standing on my right foot, wherever I put my left foot down, whether to the right, left, front, back, near, or far, I will always be able to draw a line between the heel of the front foot and the back heel or toes of the other foot. There are an infinite number of such lines. From what you describe, one of these lines is somehow special to you, but I do not know which one and cannot tell from the picture since there is nothing particularly distinctive about the two lines you have drawn.

If you are standing on your right foot and then draw your line before placing your left foot down, it seems you are asking whether you should put the toes or the heel of your left foot on that line; however, you have not described how to draw the line and using the two feet as the only reference points is circular.

Imagine you are standing in a horse stance, that is, with the feet parallel to each other about a shoulder-width apart and with the line connecting the heels being at a 90 degree angle with the lines connecting the heel of each foot to the toes of that foot. Your feet should look like this. Imagine that in front of you is north, in back is south, to the left is west, and to the right is east. Now turn your right foot out, pivoting on the heel, until the foot is at a 45 degree angle and therefore pointing straight to the northeast. Now slide your left foot one inch forward (i.e., directly north). Your feet are now in position for an unlikely, but acceptable bow stance. (I am ignoring how to meet other requirements, such as the proper weight distribution between the feet and how much to bend the knees.)

Now lift your left foot and slide it further straight forward/northward, putting the heel down where the toes just were. Your left foot is in a new position, but this position is also an acceptable bow stance. Now repeat this last procedure one more time, moving the left heel forward to where the left toes just were. This is still appropriate positioning. In fact, you could slide the left foot forward indefinitely, except for the fact that if you go too far, you will be unable to keep your balance and move according to other Tai Chi principles.

Another way to look at this is that when you are in a proper bow stance. Your heels should be placed at the opposite corners of an imaginary rectangle. Let's call the bottom "east-west" line of the rectangle the width, since in most people this will be shorter than the "north-south lines." At the top is the other parallel line. The other two north-south sides of the rectangle at 90 degrees to the bottom side represent your optional stride length. To form a proper bow stance, the width of the rectangle must be shoulder width, but there is no requirement as to the length. This means there is no special line that can be drawn between the back heel (or toes) on one hand and any point on the front foot on the other to tell you your stance is correct. It depends solely on how long you have decided to make your rectangle.

Try looking at this diagram. It is correct for our bow stance except that we have no length requirement and so you should ignore the gray paw print and the text that says: "one of your own foot lengths goes here."

Even though I say there is no length requirement, there is a length that should generally result from how you step. Generally, it should be controlled by how much you bend the knee you are using to bear your weight during the step. If you then step out with the moving leg stretched out, there will generally be only one correct place for it to land. This relationship will vary tremendously, however, according to how much you straighten the knee of the leg that is stretching out. From the outside, looking at another person, I would easily accept as much as a variation of one foot. From the inside with respect to my own movement and feeling, I would vary the placement only by two or three inches at the most without feeling I was violating some other principle.

If all this still is not clear, try looking here for the real authority on our style (i.e., Master Yang Jun) at this time interval and this time interval.
Audi

Posts: 1205
Joined: Sat Jan 27, 2001 7:01 am
Location: New Jersey, USA