Posted by: Mike Ferruggia | May 29, 2009

Wu Style Tai Chi Snake Creeps Down

My teacher used to say, if you are going to do snake creeps down, make sure the snake can creep back up again. The reference is to the athletic challenge of the move. You are sitting into a very low posture and have to be able to get back up. If you are familiar with the move, here are a few important pointers. The front foot should be slightly toed in for better balance. This foot should also remain flat on the floor. When you bend the back leg to sit, the foot and knee should be pointed in the same direction, the front right corner. This back foot should also be flat on the floor; don’t let the heel rise up. There is a circular motion to the dan tien area, back doen, front and up, nice circle. The upper torso and spine should remain upright. In more external king fu sets, you’ll see the practitioner bend forward significantly. but in tai chi, it’s better to keep upright, a little bend is ok. Remember that martially, you are yielding, pulling an opponent off balance and to the floor, so pull him to the right side of you, not directly into you. Most important, when rising out of snake creeps down, or drop stance, unbend the knee completely first, then twist the foot front. Many people make the mistake of twisting the foot forward while rising which causes the knee to collapse inward and can put bad torsion on that knee. So come all the way up first, and then turn into your first golden rooster stance. Good luck, happy tai chi ing.

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