Posted by: Mike Ferruggia | May 12, 2009

Bend the Bow, Shoot the Arrow in Tai Chi

In Tai chi, we strive to be very rounded in our postures, which creates a pulling of the bows, like a bow and arrow, so that we can then release the arrow. The inner legs create one bow as we stand in horse stance. Empty stance is another excellent bow; the front leg is slightly lifted at the heel, imperceptibly as we sit in our back stance, and the front leg is stretched and taut, ready to launch into a kick or kick block. The spine creates another bow, vertically as we pull down the lower spine and raise the back of the neck by lowering the chin and feeling the imaginary string lifting us at the crown point of the skull. Horizontally, we stretch the back at the shoulder blades, and round out the arms, creating the two divots under the collarbone known as the crows nest. This pulling of the bow is the subtly stretching of the tendons, ligaments, and muscles, which is not only good for us physically, opens up the joints for free chi flow, but sets us up martially for both listening to our opponent and issuing energy. So, nice and round and bend those bows. We’ll talk about buttons at another time!

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