Tai Chi Chuan is a martial art that combines internal strength and energy cultivation on a profound level. Today we can enjoy the health benefits of Tai Chi Chuan practice without subjecting ourselves to the bitterness of the martial arts training aspect. Still, it is important to know that Tai Chi Chuan is not a performance and should have power if needed. The concepts below are the basis of Tai Chi practice and are called the Thirteen postures or techniques. The translations of the original terms are from my teachers or my own understanding and are subjective and may not match up with some books.
Tai Chi Chuan has four fundamental energies.
Tai Chi Chuan has 4 energies that all the postures stem from:
Peng: Ward Off – long range force – Peng Jin: Epanding force in general
Lu: Rolling back
Gi: Short-range force
An: Pushing with dropping force
Tai Chi Chuan has four secondary techniques:
Zhou: Elbow strike
Kou: Shoulder strike
Cai: Pluck or yank
Leih: Split or rend.
The five directions in Tai Chi:
The five directions are – forward, back, right, left and centered. This is obvious and the potential to move in any direction is found in every Tai Chi posture. Less obvious is that every posture is stable from incoming force from any direction. The directions, primary and secondary techniques together create the 13 postures of Tai Chi Chuan.
Some important Accupoints for Tai Chi practice are:
Yong Quan – The bubble point – The weight can land here
Dan Tien – Energy Field – Can generate and control force through the waist
Ming Men – top of the sacrum – needs to be unlocked to control whole-body movement