Thursday, November 12, 2009

Should we have circles in Tai Chi?

A student asked about whether he should do big circles or small circles during Tai Chi.

For beginners, they should start the circle big, after years of practice, they can then reduce the circle to medium, and then small.

When you try to start the circle as a beginner, you often don’t have a nice round circle. Some people also only did half of the circle which means they didn’t complete the movement and hurried to the next movement. Tai Chi can be used as martial arts. For example: During fighting: if you don’t transfer your opponent’s attack completely with a circle, you might get a hit on the face. For health purposes, you didn’t transfer your energy entirely if you didn’t complete the circle.

The benefit of the big circle is to help you relax more. It will also cover more areas for protection during push hands or for you to concentrate on more areas since the circle is big. The advantage of the medium and small circle will help you with speed during push hands. It will help you with following and adhering better on pushing hands. It will also move your energy faster. The advantage of mixed small and big circle will help you confuse opponent in push hands.

For master level Tai Chi practitioners, only a few of them can do Tai Chi without circles. They can bounce people out with just a simple Dan Tian ( Red Field acupuncture point) movement. It doesn’t mean they have never done Tai Chi without circles. They started to have Tai Chi with the big circle just like you and I did. Later, they reduced the size until they can do the circle from their Dan Tian ( Red Field). If you want do your Tai Chi well, concentrate on circles.

Copyright Huan's Tai Chi 2009

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