Gilman Studio On-Line Lessons
Yang Style Long Form
Tai Chi Chuan
This Lesson Contains:
Movement # 40 – Separation Of The Right Foot Kick
There are several ways to kick in Tai Chi. This and the following movement use what is known as kick upward, toe kick, or snap kick. Lifting the knee until it is parallel to the ground, and then the lower leg is straightened or snapped upward makes this kick fairly fast and effective. Snap kicks are not as powerful as thrust kicks you will learn later, but they are quicker and easier to perform All the kicks of Tai Chi are directed toward the lower body of the opponent, because they are difficult to block. The fancy foot kicks to the head, spinning kicks, and other fancy kicks don’t work well on someone who knows what they are doing. They almost always result in the leg being caught and the kicker being thrown off balance. Higher kicks are good for practice, especially for younger people. If your goal is relaxation, just kick as high as you are comfortable.
Following High Pat, the opponent’s right arm is circled around and a kick is delivered to his mid section.
There are different ways to look at this movement. One would be that I am in center position and my opponent throws a strike to my upper body and I block it with my right hand and kick him at the same time.
The way it is performed here, I stick to John’s right wrist, following High Pat, circle it around, and kick his center.
The weight stays on the left foot. The torso turns slightly to the left and that brings the right arm down and to the center. The arm will be making a large clockwise circle in front of the body. The left hand moves closer to the left side of the chest.
The left foot faces west, as does the torso.
Focus on the right wrist for leading the opponent’s arm down.
This is a transition along the way. The right arm continues its circle, while the left hand remains in the same place. The right foot rolls up onto the toe in preparation for the kick. The torso is turning to the right. Keep the weight well rooted on the left leg and Kua area.
Continue to focus on the right arm, as it will still be in contact with opponent’s arm.
The kick is delivered.
The right knee was lifted until the thigh was parallel to the ground, then the lower leg was extended. I keep a bit of flex in the left leg. The power for the kick comes from stored energy in the left Kua, and also from the energy generated by pressing the left leg into the earth.
The body faces half way between west and north, with the arms held out to the sides of the body, about head level. Keep the elbows drooped. Be careful not to lean the body backward during the kick. You want the energy to be going into the right toe, not into sending your body backward.
Look at the previous picture where my arms are crossed in front of the body. There is a snapping or pulling apart feeling as the arms open into the final posture. This is for balance. Focus on the right toe and right hand.