Monday Morning Tai Chi Training Tip # 389

Focus on Legs

This week in the park, we have been taking a deep look into the rotators of the hips. This is one of, if not the most, important areas of the body for Tai Chi practice – for smooth, even, balanced, effective movements.

In many of the previous Tips, I have focused on the importance of correct structure. As a long term instructor of Tai Chi, I see so many students doing physical actions that are not only not optimal, but are downright harmful.

When I first started studying Tai Chi with Master Choy, he didn’t spend a lot of time on the details of how and why to move in certain ways. We mostly just followed along until we could go off and practice on our own. As it turned out, I had a weakness in my knees which allowed some collapse of the knees inward, and after several months of practice, I started to get pains in the knee area. Luckily I figured out what the problem was and made the corrections.

It is not easy to put into words physical movements, especially the subtle moves of Tai Chi. Hopefully I can stimulate you to look at ways to move that might be more healthful and effective. Internal arts are special in that the movements are martially directed. We must stay rooted and at the same time able to move quickly and smoothly. I have spent quite a lot of time thinking, writing, and making videos of this import topic. The articles and videos are in the public domain for free. I believe you will find many rewards if you put some time into reading, watching, and practicing.

Here are a few of mine that include footwork basics. I recommend:

On YouTube: Under Michael Gilman:

Yang Style Tai Chi Complete Leg Techniques

(8 short videos – one hour total)

Yang Style Tai Chi Long Form Master Course

(35 hour long videos – especially the first couple of lessons for basics)

Yang Tai Chi Chuan – Short Form Master Course

(Eight hours of video)

At my website –

Click on “Online Courses”, then:

“Yang Style Long Form Tai Chi Chuan”

“Long Form Manual”

Click on “Articles”:

“Comprehensive Guide to Yang Style Footwork’

There is plenty more information. Just look around at both of these places. Enjoy.