A New Year’s Taiji Update

To get the the Year of the Dog going here are some recent – and vintage – photographs…

From top left, in clockwise order: 1)  The last NYC YMT class of 2017,  2) A classic art movement man,  3) A Saturday class from late in 2017,  4) Robert Politzer and Master Wang practicing tuishou in 2001 (It was a spontaneous moment sometime towards the end of a workshop that a number of us attended. I believe the photograph is courtesy of Ilana Schienman), 5) Frolicking of the House Cats, and 6) The shirt I almost bought my Mom for Christmas.


Below is an excerpt from the Thirteen Postures document that can be found here.

The Thirteen Postures – Yang Family Hidden Tradition

The Eight Upper Body Movements:
1. Ward Off – Peng
2. Roll Back – Lu
3. Press – Ji
4. Push – An
5. Pull Down / Drag Down – Tsai
6. Split / Twist the Joint – Lieh
7. Elbow – Chou
8. Shoulder – Kao

The Five Lower Body Directions:
Advancing Steps – Jin
Retreating Steps – Tui
Glance to the Left Side – Ku
Glance to the Right Side – Pan
Central Equilibrium – Ding

Here is a classic text, translated in the book “The Essence of T’ai Chi Chuan”, by Ben Lo and others.

Song Of The Thirteen Postures
Author Unknown

The thirteen postures should not be taken lightly;
The source of the postures lies in the waist.

Be mindful of the insubstantial and substantial changes;
The qi (breath) spreads throughout without hinderance.

Being still, when attacked by the opponent, be tranquil and move in stillness;
(My) changes caused by the opponent fill him with wonder.

Study the function of each posture carefully and with deliberation;
To achieve the goal is very easy.

Pay attention to the waist at all times;
Completely relax the abdomen and the qi (breath) will raise up.

When the coccyx is straight,
The shen (spirit) goes through the headtop.

To make the whole body light and agile suspend the headtop.
Carefully study.

Extension and contraction, opening and closing, should be natural.
To enter the door and be shown the way, you must be orally taught.

The practice is uninterrupted, and the technique (achieved) by self study.
Speaking of the body and its function, what is the standard?

The i (mind/intent) and qi (breath) are king, and the bones and muscles are the court.
Think over carefully what the final purpose is: to lengthen life and maintain youth.

The Song consists of 140 characters; each character is true and the meaning is complete.
If you do not study in this manner, then you will waste your time and sigh.


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