The Mistake of Tai Chi “Starting”

The “starting position” of Taijiquan is also called “preparatory position”, which is the initial state of boxing practice.

I don’t know since when, the “starting trend” of Tai Chi has changed.

Looking at today’s Taijiquan practitioners, when they enter the field to punch, they first put their feet together and stand at attention, then spread their left foot to the left to be shoulder-width apart, and then raise both hands to start the first stance.

In my opinion, this is obviously wrong because it goes against the principles of Tai Chi.

The correct way to practice should be: go on the court to punch, stand up naturally, keep your legs apart and shoulder-width apart, concentrate on breathing, wash your mind and calm your mind, then move your hands to start the first posture.

Some would say, isn’t it the same. The author wants to say, not the same, the two are far from each other!

The crux of the problem or the difference lies in whether the legs are standing upright or shoulder-width apart. The author strongly advocates the latter.

First, since the author began to learn boxing decades ago, the starting position was the latter’s legs are separated.

For the two, the author consults any Taijiquan books published from the Republic of China to 1965, and the “rising momentum” is without exception the legs are separated.

for example:

In Xu Yusheng’s “Illustration of Taijiquan Poses” published in 1921, the “illustration” of the preparatory posture diagram said: “The body is upright, the hands are hanging down, the wrists are aligned with the hips, the palms are pressed down, and the distance between the feet is equal to the width of the shoulders.” (figure 1)

Illustration 1 of Chen Weiming’s “Taijiquan” published in 1925 said: “The feet are parallel to the shoulders, and the eyes are looking forward.” (Figure 2)

In Jiang Rongqiao’s “Taijiquan Lecture Notes” published in 1929, there is a picture of the Wuji potential, which is explained in the “Function”: “This is a preparatory posture. It is used to inject the whole body and perform the following postures. There is also a door-to-door entrance ceremony, which is similar to Shaolin’s Stepping on the middle palace is the same, but it is completely different from practicing the method of standing upright.” (Picture 3)

In Yang Chengfu’s “Using Method of Taijiquan” published in 1931, the illustrations are all photos of Yang Chengfu’s own boxing. Loose, feet shoulder-to-shoulder…” (Figure 4)

Chen Xin’s “Illustration of Chen Style Taijiquan”, published in 1933, is broken down by one fist. There are two images on the first page—the image of Wuji and the image of Taiji. Both legs are separated. display is clear (Figure 5).

The text description of the first preparatory posture diagram in the “Chen Style Taijiquan” published by Gu Liuxin and Shen Jiazhen in 1963: “Stand upright with your body in the middle, with your feet slightly wider than your shoulders…” (Figure 6)

In 1987, Chen Xiaowang’s “The Legend of Chen Style Taijiquan”, “Explanation of Actions”, also said the first preparatory position: “The body is naturally upright, and the distance between the feet is slightly wider than the shoulders…” (Figure 7)

From the above, it can be seen that since ancient times, Taijiquan’s starting position or preparatory position has always been in the form of two legs separated “the distance between the two feet is equal to the width of the shoulders”.

The third, the standing action of the two legs is not in line with the principles of Taijiquan. This is the crux of the matter.

We know that Taiji comes from Wuji, “The Wuji, there is no one thing”, Mumu Huanghuang, Mumu, is like a big chaotic Wuji, hence the name Wuji. Therefore, when you go out for boxing, stand upright, with your feet apart and shoulder-width apart, you will be naturally comfortable, and your mind will be adjusted to your breath. Then, when both hands move, yin and yang arise, and Tai Chi arises. This is the principle that one movement is Tai Chi and one movement is Yin and Yang. After Yin and Yang rise, it follows the emptiness and reality, opening and closing, rigidity and softness, the four signs, the gossip and the fortune. This is the correct trajectory of Wuji – Taiji (two instruments) – four images – gossip – Wuji.

According to the former, if the legs are standing upright and the feet are close together, this is not only extremely unnatural, but also the boxer cannot enter the world of infinite purity with peace of mind and peace of mind. Traditional Chinese Confucianism, Buddhism and Taoism martial arts and qigong cannot adopt the state of standing upright and enter tranquility (you can try it if you don’t believe in it). When the left foot moves to the left, the yin and yang suddenly rise, and then the two hands are raised, and the yin and yang are activated again. .

Fourth, the posture of the two legs standing side by side is not in line with the posture of the enemy.

When playing against people, no matter what the shape of the body and hands, the feet must stand apart. This is common sense. It is impossible to stand upright with both feet together when playing against someone, otherwise it would be laughable and generous.

Taijiquan’s tactical moves are all designed to respond to the enemy. As soon as one moves, there is a parry. This can be seen from the frontal and changing moves of Taijiquan, where both hands are raised horizontally. When responding to the enemy, the left foot should be moved first and then moved. The reason for the enemy?

Today, the Taijiquan movement is in full swing, and the posture of Taijiquan is colorful, but don’t forget “reasonable and consistent”, any changes can not violate or deviate from the consistent principle of Taijiquan.