48 Form Tai Chi Chuan Teaching
III. Basic Technical Essentials
(VII) Essential Points for the Execution of Movements
l. Relax the body, keep calm, and breathe naturally. All parts of the body should be natural and relaxed, and no clumsy force should be used. Concentrate the mind and remain quiet to guide the movements. Breathe naturally, smoothly, deeply and evenly, in coordination with the movements and the application of force. The general rule is: inhale lightly and exhale solidly, inhale when the mouth opens, and exhale when the mouth closes. Do not hold the breath in a forced manner.
2. The movements should be curved with a clear distinction between emptiness and solidness. The change from movement to movement should be circular, not straight, and should not be stiff or rigid. The body weight should be shifted firmly and stably, with a clear difference between emptiness and solidness. The shift of weight should be smooth and decisive.
3. The upper and lower limbs should move in unison, circularly and fully. The movements must be executed with the waist as the pivot to move the limbs in unison. Avoid disharmony between the hands and feet and between the waist and the rest of the body. The movement of force should be uninterrupted.
4. Execute the movements evenly, continuously, smoothly and calmly. The movements should be closely connected, soft, continuous and flowing. The speed should be even. Be sure to avoid uneven movements of the several parts of the body. When the movements release force or involve the patting of the feet, the speed can be changed, but the connections should be natural, and the manner should be integral.
5. Keep the movement light and steady, and combine hardness with softness. The application of force should be light, flexible, firm and steady. It should be externally soft and internally solid. Hardness and softness should be combined. The release of power should originate from the waist and legs, and should be focused on the hands. The movements are elastic and flexible, with softness dwelling in hardness.
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