Gilman Studio On-Line Lessons
Yang Style Long Form
Tai Chi Chuan
This Lesson Contains:
Movement # 21: Grasp The Bird’s Tail (Roll Back, Press, Push)
Grasp the Bird’s Tail is the name given the collection of basic movements: Ward Off, Roll Back, Press, and Push. Sometimes, although not often, Ward Off is left out of this group. That is the case here. I personally do not know the origin of the name to explain the collection of these movements together. Some things I just accept as mysteries.
Grasp The Bird’s Tail has not been modified in my form. These basic movements are repeated often and contain so many possibilities that I have decided to leave them be. In my classes, we work on different applications for these movements and I encourage students to put into the form whichever application they feel like at the moment. Many students do not like so much freedom, especially at the beginning, so I tend not to show very many applications for these movements until later in the form. For the online course, we will use the same applications for most of the Grasp Bird’s Tail sequence. The transitions into GBT come from different places so this requires some explanation.
After the transition into Roll Back illustrated below, repeat Movements 5 (Press) and 6 (Push). I suggest making a copy of those movements from the beginning of the course and placing them in your notebook so you don’t have to go back each time you practice or seek reference.
Anna grabs my hand from the top. I Roll Back and apply a joint locking technique.
In the form, the left hand starts to turn palm up as the body starts to retreat and turn to the left. As this happens, the right arm comes up to the right side of the chest in the roll back position. The movement is complete when the right leg is straight and the nose has turned to face the left knee.
Bring the left arm down to the waist level, but do not let the elbow get behind the body. Keep the right arm on the right side of the body.
Focus on the right forearm and left wrist/hand.