As we arrived in the new year (2018), I thought here are the eight important aspects for Tai Chi beginners to pay attention to in their early stage of training. Getting those right will set a strong foundation for their future progress:
- Head must be upright but without using strength.
- Chin slightly tuck in to support head being upright.
- Keep your back and tailbone straight.
- Don’t lift shoulder, point the tip of elbow downwards.
Circular Stance (浑圆桩) is a good way to train correct posture.
- Nature breathing from abdominal not chest.
3. Body leads hand:
- Body moves first then hand follows, not the other way around.
4. Knee and foot
- Keep knee and toe in same direction.
- Avoiding knee moving over the toes.
- Slightly pushing both knees outwards.
5. Control your step
Once started in Tai Chi movement, weight should be located either at one foot or the other, not evenly shared between both feet. You control your steps not gravity.
6. Quality over quantity
It’s important to practice over and over on one movement to archive decent standard before learning new ones. There is no point knowing the whole form but with low quality on each movement. Real benefit (Health or Martial) comes from high quality practice of each movement.
7. Practice, practice and practice
Practice consistently and regularly. Manage your time, be disciplined so you can train regularly. Your progress is depending on your effort.
Communicate with your instructor and peers about your thoughts, asking questions, asking for feedback. Do some readings of Tai Chi books. Stay informed and motivated.
Enjoy your Tai Chi training. I hope 2018 can be a fruitful and memorable year in your Tai Chi journey.