Gilman Studio On-Line Lessons
Yang Style Long Form
Tai Chi Chuan
This Lesson Contains:
Movement # 23 – Step Back and Repulse Monkey – Right; Movement # 24 – Step Back and Repulse Monkey -Left; Movement # 25 – Step Back and Repulse Monkey – Right.
These next three movements are sometimes grouped together into one movement. I count them as three movements. The application is essentially the same for each; that of neutralizing backward and then following with a palm strike. Notice that in each movement I close my opponent up by attaching with the same side hand as she is using. If I used the opposite hand, I would just draw her into me without closing her up. Whenever possible I like to keep the opponent closed while I remain open. This is a very balanced movement as one arm moves back with the same intensity as the other arm moves forward.
There are several problems people experience with this movement. The first and most important is not maintaining the front root when stepping back. Most people more or less fall back onto the rear foot. When this happens, there is a loss of ability to move forward quickly, a loss of rooting ability, susceptibility to being off balanced during the step, and a loss of Peng energy from the front foot.
Most people also lean forward when they step back to balance the step. This makes them very vulnerable to being pulled forward. Keep the spine straight when stepping back. Do not lean forward or back.
Another major problem people have with this movement is letting the arms get behind the body when bringing the hand up by the shoulder. When the arms get behind the body there is a great loss of strength, ability to move, relaxation, and response time.
Following Fist Under Elbow, partner grabs the left hand from above with her left hand. Maintaining contact, relax the left arm, bring up the right arm to end up in front of the right shoulder, and step back with the left foot. All this happens at the same time.
When stepping back, be sure to sink the weight into the right leg/kua so if partner pulls at this point, you will be able to root the energy. Step back the left foot and touch the toe down first and make sure to end up with the foot at a 45-degree angle to the forward foot. Be careful not to narrow the stance by placing the left foot directly behind the right foot. Don’t put weight on the rear foot yet.
Bring the right arm up by opening the fist and letting the elbow open a bit to the side. Rotate the wrist so the palm ends up facing down and is relaxed. The torso makes this happen by turning to the right.
The completion of #23- Repulse Monkey Right. Most people will continue holding on once they have grabbed. I take advantage of this by rotating my left arm as I withdraw, which twists my opponent’s arm and closes her up for counterattack. At the same time I am free to attack her with my right palm.
Shift the weight onto the left foot, and at the end, turn in the right toe to face straight ahead. This is now left foot sit stance.
As you shift back, the left arm moves down to the waist and turns palm up. Do not let the elbow get behind the body. As this happens, the right arm extends forward to end up on the right side of the center of the chest. Keep the elbows drooped. Use the torso to make the pull and push happen together.
Focus on the left wrist and the right palm.
#24 – Repulse Monkey Left. Opponent strikes with her right arm. I attach, neutralize to the right to close her up, and attack back with my left hand.
This is the opposite of the previous movement. Sink into the left foot and step back the right foot at a 45-degree angle. Don’t put weight on the foot yet. Don’t lean forward.
Relax the right arm. Bring up the left arm to end up at the left shoulder level. All this happens by turning the torso slightly to the left.
Focus on the right wrist for joining.
Completion of #24. This time I have grabbed Anna’s wrist and twisted it. I have the option to attack her elbow or face with my left palm.
Shift the weight onto the right foot and turn in the left toe to face forward. It is now right foot sit stance.
The right arm moves down to the waist level with palm facing up. Don’t let the elbow get behind the body. The left palm has extended out. Keep the elbow drooped. Let the torso do all the work.
Focus on the right palm and the left palm.
#25 – Repulse Monkey Right. The opposite of the previous movement. Partner attacks with her left. I attach with my left and lead her in, and follow with an attack back.
Step back with the left foot, placing it at a 45-degree angle to the ending direction. Don’t shift the weight yet.
The left arm relaxes and the right hand is brought up to the right side of the shoulder. Keep the elbows drooped.
Focus on the left wrist for attaching.
Completion of # 25. Opponent is closed up and I strike with palm.
Shift the weight onto the left foot and turn in the right toe to face straight ahead (west).
The left palm is rotated upward as the arm is pulled back and down. Don’t let the elbow get behind the body. The right palm strikes forward, ending on the right side of the center of the chest. Keep the elbow drooped.
Focus on the left palm for pulling and the right palm for striking.
Note: The pulling and pushing of the two arms together is like drying your back with a towel. Holding each end of the towel, the two hands move in a coordinated fashion, back and forth. This hand movement is much like that.