Monday, December 21, 2015


Sometimes things are not so clear, sometimes they are and sometimes one can distinguish clearly between what is clear and not clear.  When one side moves the other side does not, can we ask for a better image of the delineation of Yin and Yang in Classical Tai Chi movement?

Which has a parallel with what Eva told me about why few people stick with this and most people don't.  The line of understanding as to the why and wherefore of this question became very clear yesterday as I talked to a student, let me explain:

"I have written this and other articles as well in my brainchild Classical Tai Chi facebook group  in the hope of engaging the curiousity of students and offering inspiration. Inspiration however, is a difficult thing to pin down and a teacher can inspire but it is  only the student who can do the work. I cannot offer curiosity  and can only offer inspiration to the point where a student has engaged their curiosity. The inspiration is never earth shaking and I have met many who came and went in relative silence. So it is incredibly rare when I meet a student as I did today who seemingly has the integrity and is forthcoming enough to not only say they are leaving but state a reason.
It is even more of a rarity as happened today,  when I hear a student say they liked me, liked the classes, but  were chagrined to admit they could not find the "inspiration" to go home and practice anything from the very first day for three months, not one bit of silk reeling, not one posture. As I said,  a teacher cannot go home with the student supplying inspiration. But in most of these cases whether gone silently, gone with bombast or gone while being forthcoming the student has not seen the forest for the trees.
What this takes is "gumption" or as one dictionary defines, it is the guts and subsequent determination to stick things out to the point where the tai chi begins to give genuine sustaining inspiration. This is also known as "Uncovering the Treasure" of which books have been written on how to not only uncover it but provided details on how to take it with you.  I've said this many times that initial enthusiasm is no substitute for persistence and dedication. It rewards you in proportion to commitment and devotion and that is not my job as a teacher, the onus is on the student.
There is no "secret" to sticking this out and doing the work. Tae Kwon Do is a sport which I did for several years at the same time I was doing Tai Chi,  but I once wanted to learn a back turning side kick that could stop an attacker dead in their tracks. I went home and kicked the bag an hour, sometimes two,  each day for a year. I kicked to the point where I could move the bag from vertical to horizontal...hitting the suspended ceiling above. One could say, what a specialized skill and of what value?  Someone tried to knife me on the street , while I was walking to work, munching on a sandwich and the kick worked, did not even drop the sandwich. I guess Eva is right, there are not many people willing to do that, to stick it out, but the "secret" never takes initial gumption followed by persistence and devotion.
It is a cliche to say this takes a long time or a lifetime, for "Time" is what we have in this moment and is therefore no guarantee that the lack of practice will yield anything but a fallow field."

Friday, November 6, 2015

Liked on YouTube: 陳永太極 ‒ 怎樣化掐頸之方法

陳永太極 ‒ 怎樣化掐頸之方法
Gripping Art demonstration on how to neutralise the force of an opponent grabbing your neck, slowed down for ease of comprehension. 來源Source: Facebook Page: Tai Chi 太極拳
via YouTube

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Square form also has continuity of movement (Not)

Happy birthday from all your students Master Stephen Hwa, July 2015

Note that you can get this link and more if it does not come through by searching James Roach Classical Tai Chi on Youtube. I worked very hard to learn square form correctly but I hope this does not come across as too strong in my analysis and commentary.  A criticism of Classical Tai Chi by some in the Tai Chi community is that there is no "continuity" in the Square Form. I received this comment on the Youtube video of Square Form at Master Hwa's workshop:  The comment simply said "Square form also have continuity".  This is relatively easy to address to others but I do not think they will understand because they do not do "square", contrary to what they think they do. Nor will even many students of Classical Tai Chi, even after many years understand the difference between round and square. 

"Continuity" of movement is important in Classical Tai Chi Round Form where there is a steady flow of internal energy. Continuity of movement in square form is not an important consideration since each of the moves should have a PAUSE between them. However, although the very nature of the square form with its PAUSES seems almost antithetical to Round it serves an indispensable purpose to learning and practicing the Round. The purpose of square form is NOT to learn to move continuously, the purpose is to learn to CLEARLY DELINEATE postures and to CLEARLY DELINEATE the separation of Yin and Yang. DELINEATE in Merriam Webster refers to "LINES" used to indicate something. In this case where the yin-yang pair, that delineation, those delineations  of yin-yang is/are located.

One cannot learn to do round correctly unless they have learned where the yin-yang pairs are to be located in each of the postures...those "pairs" do not imbed themselves in the correct locations simply because one does "continuous" movement. On the other hand through correct practice of square the yin-yang pairs will imbed at the correct locations. Once this is achieved we can talk about "continuous" movement. We then have the dynamics of Tai Chi in play as one yin-yang pair transforms to the other and so on, thus giving the effect of constant motion and CONTINUITY.
I even get comments from long time students who tell me they are doing square form.  What I see to some extent is how I learned the "old" way with "continuity" in mind.  I learned this "old" way but my student Tom and I found out the hard way that we did not have the "pairs" at the right spots. Like those videos I receive, we both have too much extraneous movement at the joints, no pauses between movements or compromised pausing if any, fluorishes of arms, fluorishes of the wrist (wrists flexing extraneously), head cocked to the side during postures, arms too far back or chicken wing out to the side. We had both been exposed to a square form that was too "round" and did not have said delineation and is not easy learning to be crisp and resolute, I really had to work hard. 

Becoming more "robotic" is better, the more the better as Master Hwa says.  There has been way too much laughing about this being "robotic" but this is simply because people do not understand.  Isn't that the convoluted way of things to laugh where we don't understand.  Master Hwa learned this way right from the start so I encouraged my student Jason to learn square form footwork first. He took it so much to heart that he learned just the foot movements of the entire square form for a year before adding in the hands and upper body. Now I feel gratified as a Sifu because Master Hwa said  when he certified him as a teacher, "Jason's square form is very good", very good indeed.

Jim R.

Monday, July 6, 2015

Classical Tai Chi for weak hips or hip replacement

Dear Master Hwa, colleagues and students:

As someone who was involved in a sport related injury and who has a titanium pin in the hip, I can really relate to this subject.  With the assistance of Sifu Jason Bulger and Sifu Anh Le, I present our contribution to the efforts.

Jim R.

Our 2 video contribution, Sifu's Jason Bulger, Anh Le and Jim Roach for those who " have had hip replacements or weak hips from lack of movement....a movement and variations of the movement  which "provides muscle support " for the pelvis.

Variations on "Lift Leg" a lower left or right quarter-body move 
Lift Leg pp. 5 and 6 of "Uncovering the Treasure" by Stephen C.P. Hwa, PhD.

"All lower body movements are from the core.
This is just one example of it. Practicing with an
imaginary mental picture that the legs do not
end at the hip joints, but rather, there is a leg
extension into the core of the body has helped
some students learn how to initiate lower body
movements from the core."

"Lift the left leg by using abdominal and back muscles
to lift the left side of the pelvis which in turn lifts the
leg. In this case, the left leg is completely relaxed
since the lifting is done by internal power not the
leg muscle. The moving part is the left leg and
its associated abdominal and back muscles while
the other parts of the body remain stationary
to provide support and grounding. The yin-yang
junction may be visualized in the left abdominal
and back region. One could classify this as a lower
left, quarter -body move."

From Linda Felicio, RN, MSW who teaches classes in the Florida School at Wynmoor, Coconut Creek, Fl. "

Hi Sifu Jim, I wanted to start a discussion regarding the this turning movement, "turning the leg while engaging the hip" as Master Hwa discusses that you should think "the leg extends higher into the hip"which appears to provides for a safer transition while moving the leg. At first it feels a bit awkward and one has to engage the glutes, back muscles and the core to accomplish this move. It feels less stressful for the joint if done probably. This could provide for a stronger hip as we age since the muscles are doing most of the work.

For my senior clients it's most important since some have had hip replacements or weak hips from lack of movement. It appears this movement "provides muscles support " for the pelvis."

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Prepare to learn "quarter body" movement

A "necessary" but not "sufficient" condition for learning quarter body movement is to be able to "fold" the body at the spine. Click the link for the video.

In the beginning try to move both halves of the body, then you can try form movements such as "single whip", "parting hands" etc. where only one half is moved. As you do these , do not tip your head but you can piecemeal look down at your shoulder joints to discern any extraneous external movement. You can watch the shoulder joints in a mirror, video, via a friend's critique, etc.
Make sure to relax the back both upper and lower to facilitate the practice. Relaxing includes "SONG KUA" OR AS IT IS CALLED "STRETCHING DOWN THE TAILBONE" and we have discussed this in earlier posts. THIS WAY THE FOLDING CAN EXTEND THE LENGTH OF THE SPINE. STRETCHING THE TAILBONE DOWN RELAXES THE ENTIRE BACK.
Teaching "not to move" is more difficult than teaching "how to move"..."How does one teach/learn upper body movements? MINIMIZE EXTRANEOUS EXTERNAL MOVEMENTS first, such as a lift of the shoulder, excess motion at the shoulder joint, stretching the arm out, pulling the elbow in, and swinging the arm without purpose or hand flourishes. Only when external movements are minimized can the internal movements be free to fluorish. That is one of the purposes of square form, freezing the arm from external movements during certain form movements"
These are examples of many "folding" movements of which its ability of doing is essential for any future quarter body movements. Don't fold at the shoulder but fold along the spine to the tailbone. One can develop a knack for moving from the core. Find a neural pathway in the body core abdomen/back which can make the internal move you intend. Get through this first "stage" then work toward a second "stage" where arms are integrated with those internal movements.

Friday, April 10, 2015

Ang Lee "Pushing Hands" contrast Tao of Martial Applications

In Classical Tai Chi we have both "cooperative" and "competitive" Pushing Hands. Use of different terminology same concepts is present in an Ang Lee film. "Pushing Hands" as the most important metaphorical concept is only explained at the end of the film. In short, the technique of "pushing hands" literally functions to allow cooperation or competition, discord or harmony Example: One can set out to unbalance, be antagonistic, competitive, actively try to push around one's partner/opponent "discord". Or one can set out to harmonize, cooperate when neither partner is actively trying to unbalance the other.Harmony is in short supply in the Chinese restaurant. It is even less harmony than exists in his son's home. Ang Lee makes expressive use of "hands" in many of the scenes but note there are no close-up shots of hands when Zhu is working in the Chinese Restaurant. Let's contrast this with the close-ups and copious use of explanation for "hands" present in Master Hwa's Tao of Martial Applications.
Tao of Martial Applications:
Actually "pushing hands" with someone feels like a 6th sense ("ting jin" or "sensing/listening") and a new found method of communication between humans. How can humans not use improved communications? This film by Ang Lee explores how xenophobic hostility is transformed into harmony because of open minded cultural communication...sounds like a metaphor for crowded/open spaces. NYC comes to mind which is where this was filmed by Ang Lee.
The wonders of what "space" or the lack of "space" can do...
One of the very few venues where you would get my vote on using Tai Chi as performance art.  If you can pay a reasonable price, try to get the video

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

I recall as if yesterday when reaching to grip Master Hwa's hand as he told me the news of his teacher's passing.  In his typical unselfish fashion he was visiting me as I invited him to teach one of my beginner classes.  He  traveled to Buffalo from Rochester to do this and in light of that I still feel there is no way I can relate how deeply he feels the need to pass on the art he learned from Master Young to future generations...except to continue to follow his example and do the same myself.
 Shortly after this, Master Hwa announced his decision to appoint the  first certified teacher of Classical Wu Style Tai Chi. It is near 10 years this year as a teacher that I announced to Master Hwa and asked his permission to appoint my longtime  student Sifu Tom Kostusiak as my own first certified teacher. 
April 18, 2015 is 10 years to the day and in memoriam of Grandmaster Young I hope you will understand as I give statements about what we do and will be doing. I recall statements from Eva Marie Koepsell and Master Hwa in memoriam of Grandmaster Young Wabu.
It will be exactly 10 years to the day...April 18, 2005 to April 18, 2015.
Read what was said in memoriam at Grandmaster Young's funeral in 2005.
On April 18, 2015 Master Stephen Hwa will be working with my own promising students once again in Buffalo.  This time he travels such a greater distance from Florida to do this. 
On April 18, 2005 Grand Master Young Wabu passed away at age of 101 in Rochester, NY.
Eva Marie Koepsell tells me that Master Stephen Hwa "says that it was the tai chi that influenced (his teacher Young Wabu) and Young Wabu's skill in healing...,,he was taught the healing skills after he learned tai it might have been a synergy of knowledge and practice."
I stated to Master Hwa that "Young Wabu and he alone, seems to have saved what he learned from  (Wu jian quan/Wu chien chuan) intact to pass on. Rather than watering it down to make it palatable to a mass audience, I think he not only kept it, but kept it like a "gold standard".  I then asked him his opinion and what he thought of my statement.

To which he responded: "Jim: Yes my teacher is the one who saves the Wu tai chi , and the Yang tai chi also. No one in the Yang family has this art left."
Thank you everyone and in this  year of the goat, beginning of the lunar year and the promise of spring...may you have sunshine all around you.

Jim R.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Tai Chi is hard but not as hard as you think

How is it that you stand like that, for that is “double weighted”? A student once made this accusation as I was teaching him the round form. I was standing with the feet looking parallel as you see Master Hwa doing here. I was in the throes of demonstrating the “cloud hands” sequence using the square form as an example.Video of cloud hands instruction and stepping . Actually, one of my feet was slightly back of the other via a step back, he thought it looked parallel and thus double weighted.  Unfortunately the student never completed his study, preferring to defer to what his former teacher taught which was a 24 Form, large frame Wu Style. He was enamored of that to the point of stating that I “...was not teaching Tai Chi...” and promptly left.
Well, it is next to impossible to be double weighted in Classical Tai Chi, unless one pushes with the back leg instead of pulling with the front. As we know,"... the pushing , which is synonymous both with everday walking and large frame Tai Chi, engages both feet stuck to the ground until the move is completed . In the case of pulling the back foot has no such responsibility, it is free to be lifted and moved…even in the case of parallel feet..."
I cite this example of what is or is not double weighted as an example of how difficult it is for many people to learn Classical Tai Chi, needless to say it helps if one wants to do the work. If one does not want to do the work, it is impossible. I shall attempt to explain why and you may be surprised.
On his web page, Master Hwa makes reference to his teacher Grandmaster Young Wabu “…he tested his martial art skills with Wu and found that he was completely dominated by Wu At that point, Young gave up all he had learned before and became Wu’s student. Young remembers the difficulty in trying to FORGET the deeply ingrained external martial arts he had learned and switch to the very different internal …” You see, this applies to those like that student I mention, that learn other Tai Chi, even large frame Wu Style for that is also “external”…they do not want to admit this.
Almost in keeping with “…it cannot be changed…” as quoted by Young Wabu as he attributed it to his teacher Wu Chien Chuan. There is also the concept that learning a style of Tai Chi , learning the postures of Tai Chi, learning another martial art, having learned to do everday walking, etc. is relatively EASY compared to the act of trying to change these things…changing these things is HARD. Unfortunately, my experience with MANY students bears this out for they personify what one might call “pigheaded resistance” in mind and body. Pigheaded in relying on prior notions of both thinking and tendencies.
Here is WHY: This is understandable, why shouldn’t it be , for it is natural for body and mind want to cling to information provided by the senses. eg. Once having learned to everyday walk, of course the body and mind resist change. I had an elderly man in my class who resisted learning the "basic walk" so much, he would slap his thighs say "this is stupid,I know how to walk" and continually resume everyday walking Another student would put both hands out to the sides like a tightrope walker, preferring to do everday walking instead of holding onto the wall, doing basic walking etc.
Therefore, It is absolutely necessary that a student’s beginning lessons of the principles be correct without compromise. A student asked once why it had to be “so difficult”. In light of what we know about our sensory “pigheaded” resistance to change, is it so much that the Tai Chi is difficult …or is it is more a case of your body and mind making things difficult ? If you can come to admit the latter, you have taken a good “pulling” step toward learning.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Raise angle of foot and raise the level of discussion

Foot angle

Notice anything about the angle of the foot as it is raised and the foot leaves the ground?

 In keeping with hopes for a "discussion" , I notice Master Hwa takes the time to do more than "poke" or "like" what is said on the Facebook page...he "comments". So, this is a test and a request with no end date to see who is actually reading what is written. Don't make this like the Yahoo group where there may be .01% reading and commenting. If you read this and ANY future posts, leave at least a small sentence about what you read. In turn, I will make every attempt to make my posts succinct. Thanks

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Unvarnished truth in Classical Wu Style Tai Chi

                                                Good example of incorrect body structure/alignment

I get emails from students which for the most part I also cc to Master Hwa. This "answer" was also cc'd to Master Hwa:

Of late there has been quite a few that tell me of "previous experience" in Yang, Wu, Chen,  or other Wu styles,  or what is "seen on Youtube". I  also heard concerns of this ilk from many students who come to my studio. 

The unvarnished truth of this is: For a beginning student in this (regardless of previous experience in Yang, Wu, Chen, etc.)  there has to be concern over body structure or alignment so there is no point talking of what someone in another style or teacher does. There is no point in talking of what the intent or application is as well. 

In a proverbial sense one does not put the cart before the horse nor turn their head as if to dance with another teacher while learning Classical Wu Style Tai Chi.

See pp. i in the Introduction to Uncovering the Treasure by Stephen Hwa, PhD available on Amazon,  Create Space  for further information on body structure and alignment.

My concern is: If one admits being a beginning student then by default how can you not at least acknowledge that part of your attention will have to go to your correct/incorrect body structure or alignment? 

Inevitably, there will be incorrect body structure or alignment in learning this...

In light of this how do you propose to correct these Tai Chi postures coupled with thoughts of whether Young Wabu deviated from Wu Chien Chuan's teachings, or what was or was not emphasized with something else, or what intent/application is, or what is on youtube?

Concerns and questions of this ilk:

 "I watched youtube, I did Yang, Wu, Chen, this Wu teacher, that 

teacher is double weighted on Youtube, Young Wabu deviated from Wu Chien Chuan, 

What is the application of this because Yang does that, etc., etc".

Answer: I was not aware that youtube was the repository of what is correct in Tai Chi.

Answer: I was not aware that  other Wu Styles, Chen and Yang styles, etc.,  were a gold standard for this.

Monday, February 9, 2015

A start and "first lesson"

Subject: Lesson one question

The workshop info on the sight is from 2011.  I thought I’d send these questions to you in case the parea email address isn’t checked frequently, out dated or is not used.

Thank you

I have purchased the set of DVDs.  I showed my friend (Yang practitioner) and he says it’s the most complete DVD course he’s seen.   He pointed out the internal movement is not something that’s normally taught on video. He suggested doing the round lesson and then put the square form dvd  to do the same section or vice versa.
I am at the cross hands in the lessons but I have a question about tai chi walk and Lesson on opening moves. 

1.)    When doing tai chi walk when put my foot down with my heel raised I’m pretty flexible and can almost get my foot to 90 degrees.  When I tilt my pelvis I can’t put my foot down cleanly the heel can’t drop cleanly because the heel sort of gets in the way.  I have to decrease my angle to easily push my pelvis down and pull forward.  Is this a common occurrence?  It feels odd controlling the angle putting my foot down.  Can I decrease the angle?  I don’t think I compromise the stretch when I plant my foot.  This problem is more intensified when I wear shoes.

2.)    When doing the opening form on the first turn from south to west you end up on the toe of your right foot.  Before performing grasp the birds tail do you reestablish the right foot by lifting the toe of the right foot so I can plant the heal on the ground, pull forward  and then turn to the left 45 degrees.  I cannot tell from the video because it looks like a subtle move.  I have the issue in question 1 when doing this move and I think tucking the tailbone makes it worse since in can point my toe at an even greater angle.

Sorry to ask such questions so early in the DVD.  An extra question on form history

I was told Yang Luchan does his Yang form upright.  Brush knee was the example I was shown.  Yang Chengfu does brush knee leaning forward more like Wu.   How does the second generation change the posture from upright to a straight lean?

I have included Master Stephen Hwa's address at and so a copy of this will go to him. This per his instructions on the web page.   I did the video editing and my own student did the videography, all of the teaching at the workshop is by Master Hwa.  I'm sure you understand as a student of his and out of respect,  I can only defer to him when it comes to questions about his DVD series.  I would rather that credit go to him for information and answers to questions.

That being said, it sounds like you are making good progress so I can certainly offer my encouragement, repeat what I have been told and not my opinion in light of what I have learned from Master Hwa:

I have reiterated your questions for convenience:

 1.) "How does the second generation change the posture from upright to a straight lean?"

2.) " Before performing grasp the birds tail do you reestablish the right foot by lifting the toe of the right foot so I can plant the heal on the ground, pull forward  and then turn to the left 45 degrees.?"

3.)  I have to decrease my angle to easily push my pelvis down and pull forward.  Is this a common occurrence?  It feels odd controlling the angle putting my foot down.  Can I decrease the angle? 

What I have learned myself: 

1.) Regarding any questions about why "second generation "changed" from upright to lean: I can only repeat what I am told to my limited understanding and ask you a question:   How could it be changed when it was already in a state where it was far ahead in its progress?  My teacher tells me Wu Chien Chuan told Young Wabu "it cannot be changed".  I see he  did not say it was changed or it was not changed... he said: "it cannot be changed". Over time,  I eventually began to undrstand this when I realized not only  the learning is multi generational but the eventual consequences...the "benefits" as well..."time" invested is the ultimate and deciding factor to all understanding. 

2.) When I had questions like this I would remember that my teacher would say "you perceive you are moving a certain way , but in fact you are not moving that way" and he would urge me to remember " sometimes the appearance of reality is actually an illusion" . For instance,  I would think he was moving  the quarter body movement a certain way and tried to do the same, later I found my observation was not correct, I was scrunching my chest.   I also find that I was advancing by learning all the form in a short period of time but from time to time I would take a turn for the worse.  He explained to me that was because I did not have a firm foundation under my form practice.  Once I "perceived" I was "familiar" with some movements, like quarter body I found I started getting careless.  This is another reason why I don't put much stock in answers to questions. I figure if I have questions and expect "answers" and not "experience" what good will it do? So, I find out things for myself and as Eddie Wu told me:  "the form is your treasure box, not mine"... Master Hwa says  the treasure is in a process of "Uncovering".

3.) I discovered through trial and error and as "plugging away"  that I continued to think I "got it" and yet  I did not.  I find the DVD series wonderful in that one can go to it hundreds of times with the same question, wherein there is no teacher that would listen to that same question hundreds of times in person.  He tells me this is why he incorporated several different views in his videos, so I could see his moves at different angles to decrease chances of a wrong impression.  I also find that viewing the "question" over several days with fresh eyes each day was of great help. 

I hope a reflection of my own experience  helps and I realize I do not supply you with answers. I  can only encourage you to continue with your study. I defer to my own teacher for his comments on your email and this is forwarded to him.

Jim R.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Classical Wu Style corrections

Classical Wu Style Tai Chi: corrections to "Fist under elbow, Repulse Monkey (19 and 20)..." and "Closing Tai Chi (108)"

Video link:  Classical Wu Style corrections...  (opens in a new window)

A 2011 Workshop by Stephen Hwa, student of Grandmaster Young Wabu, student of Great Grandmaster Wu Chien Chuan. The subject is on the Classical Wu Style Tai Chi  corrections to the forms of individual students.A good resource for this can be found in the DVD series available at: .

Student: (regarding postures 19 and 20)  "From there to the square form on that, how far does the hand go up?"
"Is that correct on the square form?"  "Yes"  "But on the round form?"  "I'm sensing that this I am coming back that my arms just follow this"   "Right"  "I don't how far to...(raise the right hand)   The hand has to be raised to face height "face position".

Master Hwa:  "I did not see you do the round form too many times because last few times you just started out"

Student:  (regarding posture 108) "On the last lesson I had trouble with turning around and this movement of the arms and hands"

Master Hwa:  "That part was correct, good" "The ending point, there is an extension here, then you go over and feet are parallel"

Student: "Is there a turn of the foot here where it goes straight?"  "Yes, you turn the foot parallel which is the starting position"

Master Hwa:  "So this move gives a you a practice of what THIS move is"  "I don't think there is any other place that one sees this move"  "You are doing it with feet parallel?"....  "This you do not really exert a lot of power because you are using the tip of the fingers, so any body position you can do this".  "This is not like push, where you better have the right structure, or the fist where you better have the right structure"  "Well the push would be of longer duration?"..."Yes, and you would need force, so I do this and his body is not going to move, you just do this"  "You are not going to need a lot of power, you just have to get the right direction and do it toward soft tissue.  If you do it with power you will break your fingers"  "So that is one place that you practice that"..."So that kind of move is coupled with a positional move of the foot and a stretch, it gives you more potential for any kind of angle?"..."Right".  "So the other hand and side  does not move very much". "So, you have to practice the other side and then in this case it would be the left hand and foot"

Posture 19 – Fist Under Elbow 
As the weight transfers to the left leg, the head turns to look at 
the right hand, the hooked hand opens, palm down and moves to 
Right side turns left 90 degree on right heel, aligning both 
thumbs on the center-line of the body, one at face-position and 
the other at low-position 
Left side turns left 90 degrees on left heel 
Right side turns left 90 degrees, right foot moves to the right 
and behind the left foot (Bow Stance), while right hand rises to 
become parallel with the left hand 
Palms rotate to face each other as hands form hollow fists. Left 
fist sits above the right fist 
Weight transfers to right leg as right fist moves under left 
elbow (Left empty step) 
Left fist opens with palm facing up 
Left toes push to the ground 
Weight transfers to left leg causing the upper body to turn 
naturally right. 
Upper body rotates left to face forward 

Posture 20 - Repulse Monkey Left and Right  
Left palm rotates clockwise to face right 
Weight transfers to right leg as right fist opens and moves 
parallel to the left palm, palm facing left 
Right elbow lowers bringing right palm to mid-position 
Right palm rotates to face down as right forearm brings right 
palm to lower left hip 
Left hip lifts left foot 
Left foot moves backward, left palm rotates to the front and 
body movement moves right palm over right knee 

Posture 108 – Closing T’ai Chi 
Both palms rotate to face down, as the arms extend to the sides 
at shoulder level, the right foot turns counterclockwise 45 
degrees on the ball 
The weight is transferred to the right leg 
Arms close to shoulder width as the left foot is drawn right and 
parallel to the left foot at shoulder width 
The body straightens as both arms pull back to a 90 degree bend, 
palms facing front 
The palms & forearms are drawn forward & down to the mid-
position, as if pulled by the wrists 
Pause slightly 
The arms are lowered to the sides with the palms facing down, 
fingers pointing front 
Wrists relax and fingers point down