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