This Lessons Contains:
Movement # 3 – Right Push Upward
Right Push Upward (Ward Off Right) expresses Peng Jin to the right side. It is difficult to show in pictures the sense of motion that is so important in Tai Chi Chuan. Please keep in mind that the form is like a flowing river, never stopping. There is a transition from Ward Off Left to Right Push Upward that really needs to be seen to be understood. For now, following the end of Ward Off Left, pull your right toe in slightly, and open the body to the right. As you can see in the first picture, my left foot hasn’t changed. My pelvis has opened half way from the starting direction (north) and my new direction, east.
Note: Tai Chi Chuan is a flowing, circular movement form. I feel is it not important to be overly concerned about the exact direction the body will end up in at the conclusion of each movement. In my classes, I lead students into specific directions just because that was the way I was taught. Because this is a web course, we will be more liberal with details. In any case, the direction you start your form will be called north and all other directions will relate to this starting direction.
Opponent appears on the right (east). I come into left center position (ready position). This is a strong position with weight on the rear foot, front foot toe just touching down. I am ready to kick or block with my right foot. The left hand is held high to block any attacks to my upper body and also ready to deliver power that is generated from the loaded rear (left foot). The right hand is held low to protect the lower body and to deliver jabs and quick motions to keep the opponent off guard. This center position is used throughout the form, mostly in transitions from one movement to the next, as in this case.
Notice that the head has turned to gaze at my opponent. The head always leads the movement because you need to turn and see what is happening first. The torso turns with the head. This is just natural. Test for yourself. Stand in Ward Off Left final position and imagine that you hear something approaching on the ground to your right. Move quickly as it might be a poisonous snake!
The major self-defense for a round kick is to step in and catch the leg. The opponent will be in big trouble. The natural reaction is to tighten up and take the kick or to try and get out of the way. Stepping in has many advantages; the most important is that you can take control of the situation.
From the center position, step down the right heel, but do not put any weight on it. The right arm starts to rise. The left hand remains in the front of the left side of the chest.
I am now shifting the weight to the right foot and, at the same time, turning my waist to the right. The shifting and turning happen at the same time, like a nice, smooth curve or arc. The right arm is rising upward. The left hand is starting to fill a bit and stays on the left side of the upper chest. The left foot still hasn’t changed position.
The energy for this movement is coming from the rear leg, especially the left heel. As you press down the left foot to push your body forward, be sure to also push down the right foot to act as a brake so you do not lose your balance when moving forward.
This is the end position for this movement. The right arm faces inward at about shoulder level. Be sure to keep elbows drooped (facing downward). Notice the round quality to the right arm. It is like a ball in that any energy that it comes in contact with can be easily repelled by a turn of the waist. The left hand has filled up to be of assistance to the right arm energy. It also guards the center. The right knee moves ahead to just cover the toe. The left toe has pivoted inward to end up at about a 45* angle in relation to the forward foot. The left leg is straight without being locked. Do not lean forward. The focus is on the back of the right arm. There is a counter balance for this forward and upward energy of the right side by pressing downward into the left foot, and internally pressing into the low back. You are now facing slightly to the right of east.