Gilman Studio On-Line Lessons
Yang Style Long Form
Tai Chi Chuan
This Lesson Contains:
Notification and Movement # 76 – Snake Creeps Down
If you are following along with this course and printing them out, please note that I have revised Lesson #2 – the basic stances. I would advise going back and reprinting it for your notebook. I think it is clearer and easier to follow.
Snake Creeps Down is a famous Tai Chi posture. Most teachers use this posture in ads and book covers. It is repeated twice in the long form. This first application is rather non traditional. The one at the end of the form will be more typical. Here, the opponent strikes with his right fist to my center. I retreat and lead the strike downward, following with a finger poke to the opponent’s crotch or belly.
Yoshi approaches from the west.
The form picture is actually my starting to retreat from his strike, and turning out my right toe by pivoting on the heel. The body starts to open to the right to move with the incoming energy. The sequence is first to open out the back foot, then shift and turn to the right.
Focus on the center.
I join and lead Yoshi’s strike in and down. Notice that he is already out of his root.
Shift the weight back onto the right foot, turning the torso to face halfway between west and north. The body is starting to drop down on the right leg. The left leg straightens. Be careful to keep the right knee in line with the toe. It is easy to let the knee collapse inward which would weaken the entire structure.
The right hand remains in the hook hand. The left hand is pulled slightly inward and downward. At this point it is about in line with the belly button, with the palm facing north and the fingers pointing towards the opponent.
Focus on the left wrist for joining, sticking, and leading.
I continue leading Yoshi forward and down.
Sink the weight completely on the right leg, sitting, or squatting. Again, be careful not to let the right knee collapse inward. The left leg can bend a bit or remain straight.
The right hand remains in the hook hand. The left stays in the same relationship to the belly, and moves downward with the squatting.
Focus on the left wrist/hand.
Note: I could easily be pulling the opponent down with a jerking motion during this sequence. Instead, I am joining, sticking and leading him into over-extending.
I now counter-attack with a poke to his lower body.
Shift the weight onto the left leg, keeping the feet in the same position. The torso turns slightly to the left with the forward movement. Don’t let the right knee collapse inward. Keep a solid root with the left foot.
The right hand remains in the hook hand. The left fingers Peng outward and upward, as if poking.
Focus on the left fingers for poking.
Note: We will call this the end of Creeps Down. The end of this movement and the transition into the next movement are really one flowing movement, more so then many transitions. It is a bit difficult to tell where this movement ends and the next starts.