Saturday, October 30, 2010

Lightness, Slowness, Roundness, Smoothness
In traditional taiji there are no grades. Progress is measured by the development of qi—energy. But, how do you measure qi? According to Jou Tsung Hwa, Cheng Man-Ching defines skill in taiji according to three categories: humanity, earth, and sky. He further divided these into three levels each (nine in all). Jou, following Cheng's lead used the same three categories but further divided them into four sub-categories (twelve in all). The first level, humanity, would take a student three to five years to become proficient. Here are the first four levels a student needs to concentrate on

  • Ching (lightness)
  • Man (slowness)
  • Yuan (roundness)
  • Yun (smoothness)

In all the forms and postures students need an awareness of these four principles as qi develops.Watching a skilled taiji player you will notice the lightness, slowness, roundness and smoothness of her form. This takes great skill, but is a measure how progress in the art.

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