Taiji 24 Form - Part 3 of 8
By Kelly Maclean
Before continuing into section 3, you must be sure to have learned and practiced sections 1 and 2 correctly. As we continue the form, we are building a foundation with which many other forms and styles can be learned.
24 Form Simplified Taiji - Section 3
Grasp the Sparrow's Tail to the Left
This movement has four parts: Ward off, roll back (or pull back), press (or squeeze), and push (or press).
WARD OFF: From "holding a ball" on the right side, step out to the west, heel first. While shifting to a bow stance, raise the left arm to in front of the chest, palm facing inward, fingers pointing right, arm rounded, and elbow slightly lower than the wrist. At the same time, lower the right hand to a sitting wrist position. Make sure your bow stance is on a railroad track, as opposed to a tight rope.
ROLL BACK: Swing the right hand up and forward, twisting the palm up and keeping the arm rounded, and turn the left hand palm down, elbow sinking. The right hand is near the left elbow, and the left hand fingers are pointing slightly south of west. Keeping the feet flat on the floor, shift the weight back, bending the rear leg, but do not straighten the front leg completely. At the same time, swing the arms down and back toward the north east, allowing the waist to turn. Be sure to keep the spine upright.
PRESS: Bend right elbow, and press right hand against the left wrist, at chest level. Shift back to bow stance. Left hand is on the outside, palm facing inward; right hand is on the inside, palm facing outward. Elbows are slightly lower than the wrists.
PUSH: Separate hands, palms down, to shoulder width, shoulder height. Sit back, and press hands down to about waist level. Keep spine upright. Shift back to bow stance and push palms forward to shoulder level, keeping spine upright, shoulders down, and elbows sightly bent. This completes Grasp the Sparrow's Tail to the left.
Grasp the Sparrow's Tail to the Right
First, there is a transition in which we turn to the east: Shifting the weight to the right leg, right hand makes an arc over to the right side, while the left leg is turning inward. Next, shifting the weight back to the left leg, right hand continues downward, while the left hand moves in toward the left shoulder . Stepping in with the right foot to form a T-stance, "hold the ball" on the left side.
Now repeat the steps for Grasp the Sparrow's Tail to the Left, reversing left and right. This ends section three.