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How does one uproot in Tai Chi?

How does one uproot in Tai Chi?

I am not a master, but I am a student of Taiji Quan (Tai Chi) and my abilities to uproot are still mediocre. In comparison to one with more refined skill. So, using me as an example. One of my issues, is my ability to song.

It is hampered by the weakness-lack of flexibility or suppleness of the hips. In combination with my knees and feet. The more supple these three joints, the easier it is to drop the excess tension from the upper body down into the ground.

This is the absorbing aspect as you deflect or neutralise incoming force from an opponent. And then using the letting go of tension to redirect the force, aided by the ground or the Earth.

Like a spring the more supple you become the more you can absorb.

I understand the concept, so now I focus more on step rooting as well as Zhan Zhuang. The standing like a tree practice-standing meditation. Or simply standing practice, where when tension builds up from standing from example in a horse stance, I apply the Tai Chi principles and allow the joints to slowly open.

In the beginning this is painful, but one must not give up, daily practice will make for tired legs, that will become stronger day in day out. Also, the tiredness from training allows one to sleep deeply.

So how do you uproot?

From a bow and arrow stance, the sinking transfers the power from the back foot to the front foot. The tiredness usually occurs in the thigh or hip of the back foot. However, this is how you would uproot you opponent. Using the principle of sinking and the required development of having a strong root. You would absorb the pressure in the back foot and release it back into your opponent by shifting it to the front foot.

It is simple but one needs to train. What is important is the mind, using the mind or your intent to sink and the more your intent develops the better your ability uproot. It is based on your level of emptiness or lack of excessive tension.

To conclude there is more to it and one can only really understand with practice. So, I need to practice more.

Written by Narcisse Sadi who is a Tudi (student) of Dr Jeff Lan.  He is a certified 1stDuan Health Qi Gong by the International Health Qigong Federation. And  a 1st Duan Yang Style (Cheng Man Ching lineage) Tai Chi Chuan Instructor, certified by Dr Jeff Lan. 

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