The Two Positions
There are 2 basic positions in tai chi, the 100%
position and the so-called 70/30 position. Although the form is made up
of continuous movements, it is the continuous flowing together of only the
2 basic postures. The comments below are overly simplistic, but a good starting
The 100% Position
All of the weight is in one leg. This may be practiced by sitting down into one leg, remembering ALL of the principles, and allowing the other leg to be so empty (but heavy) that it can float up off the ground without ANY movement in the rest of the body. Be sure that you are careful NOT to twist or torque the knee in any direction. It must only hinge.(see taiji and knees)
The 70/30 Position
Conceptually this stance is far more difficult to understand, since the weight is distributed 70% in the front leg and 30% in the back leg, BUT the function is 100% differentiated.
Now, check the principles: are you relaxed...sit down into the front foot. Is the body up-right...check the sacrum, should be relaxed and sinking, due to that 10,000 pound weight. Are you differentiated? This is the complicated part if this position. Because the physical body is arranged so that the knee is over the toe, the weight distribution is 70% in the front and 30% in the rear. But, the function is fully differentiated. The rear leg is to be empty and the front is to be full, and the front leg, although it may have only 70% of the weight, is never-the-less fully responsible for supporting the body!
Practice of tai chi helps cultivate qi.
mind to keep company with your qi in dan tian."(your
center just below the navel, about 3/7 from front to back.)
And...........an absolutely essential aspect of tai chi practice must always be:
USE MIND NOT STRENGTH.
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