One of the Best Reasons to Study Martial Arts - the Friends You Make
Taoism and the Martial Arts -- Why Taoism is Not Passive

Alignment of the Hip in Tai Chi, Hsing-I and Bagua

One of the mistakes I see beginners constantly make is putting themselves off-balance by either leaning backward when the stand or sticking the hip out of alignment when they pull or push.

Tai-Chi-Hip-1 It takes a lot of leg strength and proper use of the kua (the crease at the groin, or the top of the leg) to keep the hip properly aligned. I took two photos to illustrate the concept.

In the first photo, you see the white line showing how the line of the hip extends out much farther than the edge of the foot. When we aren't paying attention, we have a tendency to let this happen.

If you sink more into the kua and bring the hip into alignment, the edge of the hip is more in line with the edge of the foot (photo 2). In a posture such as the two-hand push, where you are on the toe of the Tai-Chi-Hip-2 left foot, it takes a lot more leg strength to pull off this proper alignment. If you hold this stance for any length of time, and your hip is aligned, you're leg will become quickly fatigued.

When you attend a workshop or a private lesson from someone like Grandmaster Chen Xiaowang, he'll ask if you want soup or pizza. If you say soup, he'll put you in an easier stance that your muscles can tolerate a little better. If you say pizza, he'll put you in a proper stance, and your muscles will quiver and burn and let you know very quickly that they're feeling it.

Good Tai Chi is painful. It takes tremendous leg strength to do it right. No pain, no gain.


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been saved. Comments are moderated and will not appear until approved by the author. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.


Post a comment

Comments are moderated, and will not appear until the author has approved them.

Your Information

(Name and email address are required. Email address will not be displayed with the comment.)