When practising Taji Quan we are often told to straighten the posture by lifting the head or move slowly as if moving underwater etc., but I do not hear a great deal of information on the fundamental principle of ‘spheres’. Discovering the spheres of Taiji Quan is both enjoyable and enlightening, they are categorised as internal and external, however for this article we will only examine the external.
But first, let’s spice up the topic with a great classic Taiji clip.
Now back towhat we started off with.
Bagua Zhang on the other hand is more widely recognised for its spheres as they are blatantly obvious when you see it performed, but compared to Bagua Zhang, Taiji spheres are not so obvious although they are there.
When asked what makes Taiji Quan unique amongst other health/martial arts I always reply “It trains you to become round like a ball”, therefore let us examine some characteristics of an inflated ball:
1. Pressure inside is greater than that on the outside:
This is what gives a ball its shape, the outward expansion of air pressure pushing on the inside skin of the ball forms its spherical shape. (more…)
Taiji martial art skills have a significant foundation and it is called “Pushing Hands”.
There still appears to be some confusion about Pushing Hand, as a practioner we should often come across at least one of these questions about such technique :
So let’s examine the first question:
1. What Is It Used For?
The first thing to establish is that it is not a complete system that operates separately from Taiji form and sparring but is an integral training link between the two.
There are numerous competitions/festivals held throughout the world that include Pushing Hands as a separate stand alone event which leads the viewing public to believe that this is how Taiji practitioners defend themselves. (more…)
In old China, the different schools of martial arts were passed down from generation to generation within the family. So was Taiji Quan within Chenjiagou, or Chen Village, Henan Province, until Chen Changxing of the 14 generation broke this tradition in the 20-30′s of the 19th century by teaching the skills to Yang Luchan, who later created the most popular Yang-Style.
Yang Luchan was born into a poor family in 1799 in Guangping (present-day Yongnian) County, Hebei Province. He made a living by selling fine-grained yellowish soil used for making briquettes.
A man of sturdy build, with broad shoulders and powerful arms, he was known far and wide for his great strength. His wheelbarrow was always loaded with no less than 800 catties (400 kg) of soil, which was quite enough to meet the needs of half a street in the county seat.
Hence his nicknames of “800 Catties” and “Half the Seat.” Toiling and moiling in this way, he could earn just enough to support his family.