Gilman Studio On-Line Lessons
Yang Style Tai Chi Special 34 Movement Short Form
This Lesson Contains:
Movement #5 – Press Forward
The third of the eight essential energies is Ghee or Press. Ghee is similar to Peng in that it is expanding energy, but different
in that the two arms send energy in the same direction and focus it to a small point. It is the most yang of the essential energies. This energy comes from the front foot and is generally delivered with a pulsing, quick release (Fa Jin). In this application, my partner attempts to retreat following Roll Back, I join, follow, and finally add Press to send her flying or inflict internal damage.
I am starting my return from left foot sit stance to right foot bow stance. The waist will turn as I move forward and end up facing the final direction at the same time my knee ends up just covering the toe. Don’t move forward and then turn the waist. It is a coordinated movement. As I shift forward, the right forearm drops until it is parallel to the ground. At the same time, the left palm circles upward and ends up on the left side of the chest, fairly relaxed, like it is in center position.
Following Roll Back, Stephanie attempts to regain her balance. I stick to her left arm with my right arm and bring up my left hand in order to be ready to block to assist the right. I am using the right forearm to listen to and react to her intention.
I have completed my movement forward and the waist has turned until it faces the same direction my toe is headed. The back leg is straight without being locked. Do not lean forward; keep the back straight without being stiff. As the body turns, the right arm stays basically in the same position at the center of the chest level. The left palm moves toward the right wrist and ends up very close but not touching. Do not let the arms move too far away from the chest or you will lose the round connection of the arms and spine. In this application, I am sending energy down into Stephanie’s body. Focus your energy into the left palm and back of right wrist. Also, notice how easily I could disrupt her balance by pressing my right knee into her left knee.
Notice how all the elements line up facing in the same direction. This is one of the reasons this is such a strong movement. Be sure to keep the shoulders and elbows drooping or you will lose the ability to ground the energy. It will get stuck in the elbow or shoulder. Test this for yourself by taking this position and raising your elbows and/or shoulders. Hold this posture for a minute or so. I’m sure you will start to feel tension in one or both of these areas. Let your elbows and shoulders droop and hold the position for the same amount of time. Hopefully you will feel much less tension. Be sure to have the knees line up with the toes. It is quite common in the beginning to let the right knee collapse inward. This will cause you to lose the ability to ground the energy and to bring up energy for the release of Ghee Jin. It is also common for the left knee to collapse inward. In order to keep it lined up with the toe, you must keep the outward rotation of the hip joint. Imagine taking energy and screwing it counterclockwise outward through the left leg. The right leg is screwing energy clockwise. This screwing out of energy will balance and strengthen the structure. Focus your intention about one foot in front of your arms. Do not look directly at your hands. This would cause too much tension in your eyes. You are gazing at your opponent and she is beyond your arm.