Yang’s Ten Points

A question came up in class today about these guidelines for Tai Chi practice.   Here are  Yang Chen-fu’s Ten Points.

This came up because I often tell my students to not push away from the ground with their legs and out of their root.  One student asked which of the principles this applied to, and I was unable to name it off hand.  Upon reviewing these points, however,  point # 3 Relax (Sung) the waist (yao), is the most related to my correction.   What we translate as the waist (yao) in Chinese actually encompasses the lower back, lower abdomen, and the hip flexors at the hip joint.  When your legs push away from the ground the hip joint becomes tense and thus the waist cannot be relaxed and loosely mobile.  

Remember that these Ten Points are only guidelines and not necessarily fixed rules.     As noted before the sine qua non of taijiquan are the 13 postures;  all taiji forms and writings are attempts at realizing their original meaning.

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