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Preparatory Exercises

Tai Ji Quan Yi Symbol

So many schools and gymnasiums call their preliminary exercises warm ups.

I prefer the words Preparatory Exercises for a reason.  The whole aspect of Martial Arts is to be in a state of readiness at all times, you cannot be an unfit Martial Artist, there is no such thing.  However, not everyone wishes to aspire to that level of fitness or may not be able too. But, with the correct mind set (here we go again, mindfulness it’s so in your face with Tai Ji) we can influence change in ourselves beyond our wildest expectations.  This can be achieved by practising our preps using our body and mind in unison and relax while exercising.  With endeavour and fortitude look for changes within and detail  without, embrace the will for change.  With this practise propelled into the forms change will occur.


Tai Ji Quan Yi – Preparatory Exercises

  • 1. Finger flicks to activate the hand (upper Jing Luo) channels
  • 2. Foot and ankle rotation to activate the foot (lower Jing Luo) channels
  • 3. Knee rotation to loosen back and nourish knees
  • 4. Waist rotation with arm swing to loosen arms, shoulders and waist
    Keep head still and hips and legs motionless
  • 4 (b). Advanced: curl hands in to loose fist and tap Dan Tian and Ming Men lightly with each rotation
  • 5. Holding the moon or golden plate to calm the mind and activate belt channels
  • 6. Pushing Qi into ground and turn the waist
  • 7. Pelvic rotation to activate the Dan Tian (feet together; small smooth circles)
  • 7 (b). Advanced: Lotus Flower in the Stream – stand in Horse Stance and rotate pelvis
  • 8. The golden rooster pecking at food to nourish knees and to activate kidneys, bladder and loosen back.
    Do not exaggerate sideways movement; keep to principle of knee and toes
  • 8 (b). Advanced Pecking Rooster: rotatewaiat in an arc inwardly both left and right
  • 9. Snake creeps down
  • 10. Kick and reach forward
  • 11. Picking up sticks to activate twelve channels and two vessels
  • 12. Touching the earth and reaching the sky to activate the Jing Luo (energy channels) or Joining Heaven and Earth
  • 13. Pickup and reach forward to enliven lungs, spleen, heart, kidneys, gall bladder, triple warmer and stomach channels (straight knees on standing leg, no dipping; loosen joints on kicking leg; flick up)
  • 14. Kick out to the side; toes point upwards
  • 15. Elbow to Opposite Knee Kick (do not clench fists; use waist; try to touch elbow to knee)
  • 16. Lotus kick (see film below)
  • 17. Lotus kick in reverse
  • 18. Enlightened One Evades the Tiger*
  • 19. Friar Squats*
  • 20. Spiral the arms, while turning the waist
  • 21. Swimming in the air
  • 22. Head rotation; turning the jade pillar to free the energy

* Not done in class (video to follow)