Taiji Day 174: Balance missed, then achieved

During the form, there are these two kicks that come after Snake Creeps Down and the Golden Pheasant maneuvers.  When the Snake Creeps Down in the form, I’m sinking down toward the floor, so that my back is straight but my knees are bent.  My left foot is slightly forward.  My left hand starts back by my right elbow, and then sweeps forward steadily and surely.

Then I rise from close to the floor, into the Golden Pheasants.  First I do the left side, then the right side: the leg on the relevant side rises until it’s parallel to the ground, and the calf and foot hang perpendicular to the floor.  The bicep and tricep of the upper arm parallel the thigh and the floor, and then the forearm and hand are perpendicular to the ceiling.  Phew.

And then come these two kicks. The foot on the left side balances on the big toe, and then the leg lifts off the ground from the thigh and buttock until the meat of the thigh is parallel to the floor.  And then you “kick out” the left foot so that the ball or sole of the foot will hit an imaginary opponent’s calf, somewhere off to the left there.  And then you hold it.  Then you “kick in” the left foot so that it’s hanging below the knee, perpendicular to the ground, and lower the foot back to earth.  You balance yourself, and then repeat that action but on the right side this time.

During the first of these kicks, I nearly fell over. I had to rebalance myself, and then do the kick again.  This time, I almost felt something going on in my right foot while I was kicking with the left foot, but then as I did the kick on the right side, I realized… I’m experiencing William C.C. Chen’s “three nails”!  My foot is balanced because I’m using my big toe, the ball of the foot, and the heel to achieve balance! How awesome!

I stayed in the right kick for several breath cycles before moving on.

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