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Yiheyuan Martial Arts

Real Tai Chi in Leeds, UK

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The Tai Chi Principles
Tai Chi movements follow clear rules (principles) which have been handed down for centuries in China, verbally and in written documents known as the Tai Chi Classics.
The earliest and most famous of these is the Treatise of Master Chang San-Feng which is thought to originate from the 12th century. The other major Tai Chi Classics are the Treatises by Master Wang Tsung-yueh and Master Wu Yu-Xiang. Translations of the classics can be found in many different books. 
The Basic Tai Chi Principles
The feet should be planted firmly on the ground (rooted).
The knees should be bent and the weight sunk low like a coiled spring (sinking).
The spine should be straight and upright.
The body should be relaxed, light and supple.
The shoulders and elbows should be relaxed and lowered.
The head should be held upright, as if suspended by an invisible piece of string.

Each part of the body should feel connected to every other part, “like a string of pearls”.
Movements should be balanced, smooth, co-ordinated, efficient and precise.
Movements should be continuous and flowing, like a river, without interruptions or hesitation.
Position the foot, transfer the weight.
Direct the flow of movement through the legs, waist, arms, hands and fingers, like a whip.
If the arm pushes forwards and upwards, the leg pushes backwards and down.
Martial Applications
Never meet force with force, always yield to an attack.
Stick to your opponent, use his incoming movement to your advantage to unbalance him.
Redirect his movement by deflecting him past you or off to the side, (turn your waist).
If he tries to get away, follow. Allow him no escape.
To knock your opponent over, direct your power upwards, to uproot him.
Never leave your centre line (face, heart, groin) unguarded.
Look for “doors and windows” (exposed areas of your opponent’s body where a strike would be effective).
Be aware of every direction, in front, behind, right, left, all four diagonals, above, below and your centre.
Practice ward-off, roll-back, press, push, split, pluck, elbow-strike, shoulder-strike.
For more information about the basic Tai Chi Principles, please download our free eBooks, Your Tai Chi Companion, Parts 1 and 2, available from our companion website:

The Tai Chi Principles relating to posture and movement are carefully explained and demonstrated in our DVD
 -  Tai Chi Chuan: The Cheng Man Ching Form -
which is available from
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