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Philosophy Behind Learning Tai Chi with Sun Moon Foot

posted Dec 20, 2009, 12:52 PM by Site Mgr   [ updated Dec 20, 2009, 2:38 PM ]
How do you learn an interactive mental and physical discipline that has been taught for nearly 1,000 years? You need an instructor and fellow students. The good news is that you don't have to become a monk.
  • You need an instructor to provide hands-on corrections.
  • You need to "play" with fellow students.
  • You need to practice more than once a week.
Unfortunately, most of us struggle to accommodate the necessary solo practice, let alone, group play. Oh to be a monk! Too much to remember between classes? First, better to put in some floor time (even if it's "wrong" in your mind), than do nothing. Let go and feel the movement; this should be fun. Second, I created Sun Moon Foot to help solve this common student's conundrum, "How can I practice what I don't remember?"

Choreology is the notation of movement. Sun Moon Foot is your cheat sheet or ghost partner for Tai Chi. More important than replicating a pose, Sun Moon Foot shows you the techniques of movement. SMF Tai Chi HR covers 17 positions in 76 animations, coordinating 146 movements of the hips and feet. You can do one "round" in under five minutes or three peacefully repetitions in 20 minutes. Spend 20 minutes a day practicing and every class will be great.

In SMF Tai Chi, watch how the Body Oval initiates movement of the feet. Movement in Tai Chi (like most sports) flows from the core of the body. Your center should drive all movement of the limbs. You need to follow the principles of Tai Chi (like straightness, alignment and softness) while moving your center. The Dan-Tian is the primary concern for a beginner.

Your center holds the energy of a gentle ocean swell that's only recognized by the power of the crushing wave on the beach. 

Your goal is to control the powerful momentum from your core so it's agile, sensitive and discerning. Where do you get feedback when you are practicing alone? Go to the earth.

Watch the weight in the feet change as they react to the body's center and the floor in SMF Tai Chi. From a martial standpoint, you want to be on your feet! SMF Tai Chi focuses on the feet over the hands because you get continuous feedback about your center through your feet. Your first goal is to learn how to move.

Empty steps lead you down the path of awareness. 

Move your foot into position before committing any of the body's weight. Only then, smoothly shift weight from one foot, via your center, to another. These are the basic skills that are applicable to any posture.

SMF Tai Chi will step you through the fundamental movements of the art but, don't miss the enjoyment of playing with fellow students.