Posture Testing
 

the posture. Testing is simple, and literally relies on a partner to push on your posture, so that you can assess your own stability, and structural strength.

 
Remember that it is important at all costs that you avoid using muscular strength as your partner pushes your structure. Tai Chi Chuan is an internal martial art that is based upon the flow of Chi energy, and the strength of your posture should be derived from this energy, and not tensile muscle strength. As you partner ‘tests’ you, stay calm, and more importantly maintain muscle relaxation, focusing your mind beyond the point of push. Only by doing this will you be able to harvest the posture’s innate hidden strength. Reverting to physical force will mean that you lose this intrinsic strength, and instead will be fighting force with force.

 
If your posture is correct and you stay relaxed, Chi energy will flow and you will find your posture’s stabile and solid to testing. It is beyond the scope of these articles to cover all Tai Chi variations of postures, and whilst all Tai Chi forms are not the same, all good Tai Chi postures should be strong to testing. No matter what form of Tai Chi you do, adhering

to the Tai Chi principles will ensure that postures are strong and solid, and hence correct! Whilst we only describe one of the diversity of Tai Chi forms, much of what is written will reflect upon many of the Tai Chi principles. Either by following the posture section or by checking the posture section for underlying Tai Chi principles and incorporating them into your own form will help the flow of Chi energy, making your postures strong to testing.

 

Remember these articles are not a substitute for a good instructor who can refine your movements further, as well as add to other aspects of your Tai Chi practice. These articles are meant as a learning aid as well as a point of discussion for all Tai Chi practitioners. It should also highlight the importance of testing within Tai Chi practice, and enable you to independently (with the aid of a partner) assess the ‘correctness’ of a posture. Lastly it is just as important to enjoy testing. Knowing for sure that a posture is correct through testing first hand, (and not just through your teacher’s instruction) will give you confidence and reassurance to move forward and carry on with your learning.

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