Yang Style Long Form
Tai Chi Chuan
This Lesson Contains:
Movement # 73 – Single Whip
Here is our old friend Single Whip again. In this application, I am dealing with two punches from the same person. The opponent first strikes with his left fist. I neutralize this to my right using my right hook hand. He follows with a right fist strike. I neutralize this to my left and follow with a strike to his face with my right hook hand. I hope the change in perspective between the form and application pictures doesn’t confuse you. I had to do this to show the application clearly.
Following Push, shift the weight straight back onto the left foot. The hands relax and arms straighten as I move backward. Keep the elbows and shoulders relaxed. Don’t lean back.
Focus on the energy returning to the lower belly.
Turn the torso to the left and allow the right hip to pivot in the right toe until it faces north.
The two arms move with the body to the left. When the arms get near to facing north, the right palm rotates to face to the left. This is the moment of contact with the opponent’s wrist. As soon as contact is made, the right hand forms a hook, which wraps around the opponent’s wrist.
Focus on the right wrist and hand for joining and wrapping.
Shift the weight onto the right foot and release the left heel root so the foot is free to move. The toe is touching lightly. The torso turns slightly to the right.
The right hook hand is pulled in toward the right armpit. The shifting and turning of the torso accomplish this. The left hand drops down to end in front of the crotch to guard.
Focus on the right hook hand.
Note: The joining, sticking, and leading all happen as Yoshi’s strike is coming in. I am following his energy. I do not join and then pull him if he doesn’t want to go. This is called “leading into emptiness”.
Turning the torso to the left, step out the left foot to face west. Touch down the heel and do not put any weight on the foot yet. Be sure to step wide enough to the left to provide a solid brake for the energy as it moves to the left.
As the torso turns, the left hand circles up on the left side of the body, palm inward, and ends at upper chest level. Keep the elbow relaxed. The right hand remains in the same basic position.
Focus on the joining with the left wrist, and sticking with the right hook.
Note: My torso is turning left to move with the direction of Yoshi’s second strike. I am joining and following this strike while maintaining contact with my right hook. He is way out of his root.
Shift the weight onto the left foot and as you do, turn the torso until the nose points to the left knee. The knee just covers the toe. Don’t lean forward. At the end of the movement, let the torso turning pivot in the right toe to end facing halfway between north and west.
As you turn and shift, the right arm extends, thrusting out the wrist. The arm straightens. Keep the elbow slightly flexed. The wrist faces just slightly to the right of north. The left hand moved with the body to the left and ends in line with the left knee. The palm has rotated to end facing north. Keep the elbow drooped.
Focus on the right wrist to strike and the left hand to pull.