Wu Dang Tai Chi Chuan is amongst the few traditional systems with a formalised teaching form. In the Wu tradition, the square forms are taught first, and then the round form is developed from there. The square forms are far more than just a teaching aide or methodology, consistent practice will bring to light the beauty of the form and in particular its effectiveness as a form of Qigong. In this practice we have the opportunity to slow down our movements whilst still driving from the waist, there is time to observe the way that weight is transferred, the angle and changes of feet, hips hands and shoulders, their coordination and more. Of course all of this is possible simply by slowing down your performance of round form, however it is in the square forms that we can best practice Ding Shi.
Ding Shi allows us to develop in particular our ability to hold a posture whilst learning to relax, to achieve the state of Song (Sung) wherein we exhibit no excessive tension, and no deficiency of tone.
In the next post I will talk about achieving the state of ‘sung’ in Ding Shi and general form practice.
Until next time, may your thoughts be happy
Keith has studied the Chinese Internal arts for over 40 years. He lives in England and Portugal with artist, designer and writer Gloria Dean and teaches in Portugal and the UK.