Tai Chi Y3D180: Seven Stars of the Dipper

Today’s movement, which was supposed to be yesterday’s, is called Step to the Seven Stars of the Dipper. It’s an odd motion.  One pops up out of Snake Creeps Down, crosses one’s wrists in front, and steps with the right foot forward, and then balance weight left and right. I’ve never had it explained to me what it was for in combat, and I’ve never found one accidentally.  I read a quotation from, I think, the founder of Aikido or Jiujitusu a few days ago, which said, ” “Every block, every punch, every throw, was there at the beginning; they have only to be discovered, not invented” “.  I’m putting it in double-double quotation marks to show that I have the sense of it, rather than the actual quotation, since I know neither the source nor the exact wording. But I think that’s right: someone found a use for this movement, and included it in the form.  I may not know what it is, but someone does; and someday I may discover it.

When snake ceases creeping, and climbs to sky
strongly criss-cross the wrists before the face.
You may not know at all the reason why
you do this movement; its peculiar grace
is not yet unveiled. Step forward with right,
and plant that foot firm. Balance mass across
both feet as your foundation, and in might
join heaven and earth in you. For no loss
accrues to one so rooted, when you pull
your hands downward to the right, and shift back.
Find the dancing between empty and full—
deflect the hard strikes while you take in slack.
Gravity commands both you and your foe;
when he’s unsure, help him go with the flow.

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  1. […] This is part of an ongoing book review series that publishes on Mondays: earlier book reviews are here and here.  My goal with this series is to provide access to a range of resources that I either found useful in MakerSpace teaching or that I think include philosophies and ideals that teachers should be aware of and can draw upon from time to time; or even fiction that I enjoyed.  You are welcome to recommend books to me in the comments; there’s no guarantee I’ll read any of it.  Reviews are starred on a scale of 1-7 stars, with no half-stars given (because I can’t draw in half-filled stars here).  In generally, everything I review here will be 5, 6, or 7 stars, because reasons. […]

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