Tai Chi is a superior kind of Chinese Kung Fu due to its complete and sophisticated system and principle. The most important characteristics of Tai Chi is relax and circle. During practice, stiff forces are not used. It feels like the natural movements in daily life. When a move is made, the whole body coordinates and moves responsively and continuously. This is called 'relax'. Almost all the moves in this style are made in circles and curves. This two attributes becomes the unique "twisting method" applying power.
It is known that Tai Chi's principle of action is largely related to Yin and Yang theory. The symbol that represents the Kung Fu style is the same as Yin Yang philosophy, with one black fish and one white fish. This is the central thinking behind the movements. Some mistakenly suggest that the standing position should be made with 70% of body weight on one leg and 30% on the other because of the Yin Yang principle. However, this is not correct as it violates the requirement to be upright and balanced.
The Yin Yang does not represent a simple quantitative distribution but an expression of real and fake, positive and negative. Like the form of a human hand. The back and the palm of the hand are the same in quantity, but they are relative and opposite to each other. When the palm faces downward, it is Yin and the back is Yang. When the palm faces upward, back becomes Yin and palm becomes Yang. Therefore, any way to distribute weight unevenly is not a true usage of the Yin Yang principle.
We recommend an upright and balance standing form for Tai Chi training. That is 50% weight on the positive leg and 50% weight on the negative leg. We express the difference of Yin Yang through form. The Yang leg stands with whole foot, while the Yin leg stands with the fore foot (lifting heel). The form of the legs and feet expressed the Yin and Yang, while the weight is evenly separated on the two. The function of the two legs works like bicycle riding, one left and one right; one forth and one back; one up and one down. And the positive and negative parts switch by rotating around the center line.
Tai Chi is a particularly difficult Kung Fu due to its sophisticated principles and content. There are many different levels of mastery and only until a mature stage could the skills be applied to practical combat. Beginners should aim to fully grasp the form and rhythm of every move through repetition. The quality of the katas is the foundation to the real power of Tai Chi.
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