Tai Chi Y2D174: twice for errata

Performed the tai chi form twice today, after a reasonably successful pair of qi gong routines. Why twice? Well, as I said to myself this morning, “once for completion and twice for errata.”

I was aware that I’d made a number of mistakes in the first performance. I went too quickly is always the big one, the monster in the room. The reality is that the tai chi form sometimes takes me only five minutes to perform. I have to be really deliberate to go slower than that. And yet the recommended length of time is 24 minutes: nearly five times as long.

In the version of the form I do, there are twenty-four official postures. I’ve tried counting them, and there are considerably more than twenty-four, even when I eliminate repeated names performed twice or more….

  1. Opening
  2. Ward-off Left
  3. Ward-off Right
  4. Roll Back
  5. Press
  6. Push
  7. Single Whip
  8. Stand Like Tree
  9. White Crane Spreads Wings
  10. Playing Pipah
  11. Brush Knee with Twist Step
  12. Grab Needle at Sea Bottom
  13. Spread Hands Like Fan
  14. Throat Strike
  15. False Close
  16. Retreat to the Mountain Camp
  17. Roll Back
  18. Press
  19. Push
  20. Single Whip
  21. Snake Creeps Down
  22. Golden Pheasants – Left and Right
  23. Kicks – Left and Right
  24. Half Turn
  25. Bounce the Baby
  26. Box Ears With Fists
  27. Ear Strike
  28. Roll Back
  29. Press
  30. Push
  31. Single Whip
  32. Step Back to Drive the Monkey Away
  33. Cloud Hands
  34. Diagonal Single Whip
  35. Elbow Rolls
  36. Fair Lady Works Shuttles — 1, 2, 3 and 4
  37. Ward-off Left
  38. Ward-off Right
  39. Roll Back
  40. Press
  41. Push
  42. Single Whip
  43. Step to the Seven Stars
  44. Ride the Tiger
  45. Windmill Kick
  46. Full Close

So today I performed the tai chi form twice. The first time was for completion. The second time was for picking up errata, and deliberate slowness. I didn’t time myself either time, but I began the work at about 5:38, and I finished the qi gong and tai chi by 6:00 am, and then I finished the second run-through at 6:15 am.

So I speed-chi. And that’s no good. Must slow down, and go more deliberately. Which is why I performed it a second time. On the second run-through, I tried pausing and breathing in the given posture. My body wants to rush. I can feel the fascia want to spring back, and bull me into a ball. I have to be very deliberate about moving in this sequence, so at I stay stretched for a longer periodi, and increase my capacity to move.

So I count today as a partial success. I think that I can perform the tai chi form multiple times in a day, and practice moving more slowly. But really, I want to get to the point where I perform it once at the correct speed, and not worry about it any more.

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