Dale Napier writer Tai Chi Chuan Tai Chi In Your Life Queen Joan politics martial arts cyberwar
Dale Napier writer Tai Chi Chuan Tai Chi In Your Life Queen Joan politics martial arts cyberwar
Dale Napier Writer Main Blog Dale Napier Writer Writings Readings Cyber Tai Chi
  
Tai Chi
Moving From the Waist

5 Sep 2011
Tai Chi beginners frequently express the desire to "look pretty" when they move in Tai Chi Chuan. Such a desire can create a large roadblock in your early progress: the more you try to look pretty, the less you will succeed. Instead, practice correct movement, expressing the external from within, and the beauty will emerge naturally. The key is to move from the waist.

Moving from the waist is not too difficult, but it is radically different from what most people are used to. In Japanese martial arts, movement is from the hip. You see it in karate all the time. Budo arts are derived from battlefield methods, where armor was worn. The armor moves at the hips, not the waist, hence, the requirement for hip movement.

In China, internal martial arts like Tai Chi Chuan (taijiquan) are personal fighting arts where neither a battlefield setting nor armor are assumed. The attacking techniques require moving through a line of attack based on the direction of the navel - cutting through the opponent's center. The movements are further refined by the idea of the lower dan tien (tantien), which sits just below the waist in the abdomen.

In the early months of Tai Chi Chuan practice, a student should set aside time to exercise the waist on a regular basis. Side-to-side arm swings are a start, but more is required. You must also pay special attention to separating the waist movement from the hips.

In other words, be careful to turn only the waist, and not the hips. In general, the hips, navel, and shoulders must point squarely to the front toe direction, which is the line of attack. The more closely your navel cuts through your opponent's center, the more powerful your discharge will be.

Such exercises are only a beginning. As you practice form, you must carefully delineate the order of your movements for maximum effect. The expression "move your body as one" is often misinterpreted to mean "do everything all at once". Nothing could be further from the truth. You must express your movement as a unified whole, but that whole consists of many different currents of movement that merge together in a harmonious flow.

In form practice, be sure to lead your movements from your waist. For instance, it is common to enter a movement by turning one foot out forty-five degrees, preparing for it to become the back leg in your next stance. Do not initiate the movement with the foot. Instead, turn the waist and let the foot movement follow it. There is no exception to this rule: lead all foot movements from the waist. For that matter, lead all hand/arm movements from the waist as well.

As you fully absorb this lesson, you will come to realize that sometimes your waist movement is not side-to-side. Moving your waist to the left or to the right is important, but it is only a single dimension. To go deeper, you must explore the other dimensions as well. This will be the subject of upcoming blogs.


You may also like this related article: Crashing the Wave (141)
All Blogs
More Tai Chi blogs:
7 Feb 2016 Tai Chi What is an Internal Art?
30 Nov 2015 Tai Chi Rebooting Tai Chi
13 May 2015 Tai Chi Tai Chi Essential #10: Stillness
13 Apr 2015 Tai Chi Tai Chi Essential #9: Continuity
25 Mar 2015 Tai Chi Tai Chi Essential #8: Unify Inner and Outer
13 Mar 2015 Tai Chi Tai Chi Essential #7: Unify Your Body
22 Feb 2015 Tai Chi Tai Chi Essential #6: Mind Over Matter
4 Feb 2015 Tai Chi Essential #5 - Drop the Shoulders
20 Jan 2015 Tai Chi Essential #4 - Full and Empty
13 Jan 2015 Tai Chi Feedback - Tai Chi Essentials 1-3
3 Jan 2015 Tai Chi Tai Chi Essential #3: Relax the Waist
26 Dec 2014 Tai Chi Tai Chi Essential #2: Sink Chest, Raise Back
18 Dec 2014 Tai Chi Tai Chi Essential #1: Crown Up
8 Dec 2014 Tai Chi The Essence of Tai Chi
22 Nov 2014 Tai Chi Do you Tinkle when you Tai Chi?
9 Nov 2014 Tai Chi Tai Chi and Music
28 May 2014 Tai Chi Tai Chi and Balance, Western Style
24 Dec 2013 Tai Chi Tai Chi Roots
11 Nov 2013 Tai Chi Why Do We Train?
20 May 2013 Tai Chi Two Faces of Tai Chi
8 May 2013 Tai Chi Tai Chi in the Workplace
27 Apr 2013 Tai Chi World Tai Chi Day
10 Oct 2012 Tai Chi Deep Relaxation
19 Sep 2011 Tai Chi Tai Chi Ball
12 Sep 2011 Tai Chi Crashing the Wave
28 Jul 2011 Tai Chi Tai Chi vs. Qigong (Chi Kung)
16 Jun 2011 Tai Chi Practicing Too Much
1 May 2011 Tai Chi Practicing While Not Practicing
9 Mar 2011 Tai Chi Hiding it
13 Feb 2011 Tai Chi Tai Chi Community
2 Nov 2010 Tai Chi Accepting in Everyday Life
27 Oct 2010 Tai Chi Accepting in Martial Arts
5 Oct 2010 Tai Chi Neural Plasticity
14 Sep 2010 Tai Chi Dental Song
12 Jul 2010 Tai Chi Habit Forming
11 Jun 2010 Tai Chi Best Practices
17 May 2010 Tai Chi Morning Ritual
12 Apr 2010 Tai Chi Intention - Fantasy versus Reality
7 Mar 2010 Tai Chi Tai Chi Your Life
22 Jan 2010 Tai Chi Invest in Silence
13 Dec 2009 Tai Chi Steel Mist
22 Nov 2009 Tai Chi Crutches
12 Nov 2009 Tai Chi Tai Chi Recovery
22 Oct 2009 Tai Chi Illness as an Investment
1 Sep 2009 Tai Chi Indulge Yourself
28 Jul 2009 Tai Chi Illness and Tai Chi Challenges
16 Jul 2009 Tai Chi All Tai Chi Chuan is Good
7 Jul 2009 Tai Chi Training with the Grandmasters
19 Jun 2009 Tai Chi Zoning Out
8 May 2009 Tai Chi Form and Practice
5 Apr 2009 Tai Chi Tai Chi Friends Around the World
30 Mar 2009 Tai Chi The Yin and Yang of Season Change
22 Feb 2009 Tai Chi No Strain, No Gain
4 Feb 2009 Tai Chi No Pain, No Gain?
11 Jan 2009 Tai Chi Cheer Up!
19 Dec 2008 Tai Chi Gong Qi and Qi Gong
8 Dec 2008 Tai Chi Winter Solstice Celebration
2 Dec 2008 Tai Chi Accepting
20 Oct 2008 Tai Chi Acquiring without Seeking
7 Oct 2008 Tai Chi How to Not Focus on Focusing
15 Sep 2008 Tai Chi Elements Trump Class
3 Sep 2008 Tai Chi Fall Forward: Celebrate the Change of Seasons
8 Jul 2008 Tai Chi July Full Moon Observation
19 Jun 2008 Tai Chi Summer Solstice Celebration Friday
12 Jun 2008 Tai Chi What is Tai Chi?
12 May 2008 Tai Chi Tai Chi: The Next Generation
30 Apr 2008 Tai Chi Accepting
20 Apr 2008 Tai Chi First Steps in Tai Chi
5 Dec 2007 Tai Chi Tai Chi and Yoga
16 Nov 2007 Tai Chi Avoiding Carpal Tunnel Problems
18 Sep 2007 Tai Chi More Power of Intention
22 Aug 2007 Tai Chi Are you Continuous?
30 Jul 2007 Tai Chi Tai Chi Tournaments
2 Jul 2007 Tai Chi Healthy Tai Chi
30 May 2007 Tai Chi Continuity and Perseverance
13 May 2007 Tai Chi New Classes Added
27 Apr 2007 Tai Chi Observe World Tai Chi Day at the Houston Taoism Meetup
17 Apr 2007 Tai Chi Falls and Tai Chi
12 Apr 2007 Tai Chi The Important of Intention: Separating Fantasy from Reality
2 Apr 2007 Tai Chi "New Session"
26 Mar 2007 Tai Chi Coping with Grief and Sadness
24 Mar 2007 Tai Chi Missing Classes
20 Mar 2007 Tai Chi Spring and the Five Elements
13 Mar 2007 Tai Chi Tai Chi: Easy or Tough?
6 Mar 2007 Tai Chi My First Blog: A Message to Students After Their First Class
More Blog Categories:
Books (21)
Boulder City (10)
Culture (24)
Culture/TV (3)
Cyber (1)
Cyber / Military (2)
Energy/Environment (3)
Health & Fitness (4)
Money (1)
Politics (10)
Science (3)
Writing (4)