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Why You Need the "Rooster Stance" Before and After Kicks in Tai Chi Chuan

February 29, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 148

Tai chi chuan (taijiquan) is comprised of basic footwork with a myriad of possible hand and arm positions. The rooster stance of taiji is underutilized and it's oft misunderstood. While it is prominent in the posture "Golden Pheasant Stands on One Leg," it should also be used before and after every kick. Let's take a look at why this is so.

A rooster stance involves picking up your knee so that your thigh is parallel with the floor. It you are relaxed, you'll note that the toes of your lifted leg will naturally point downward. Though most tai chi teachers and students leave their understanding at this point, there is so much more. You must also understand that as you increasingly lift your leg, the more you must "sit" in your stance on the rooted leg in order to keep balance and stability. You also must ensure that you don't crumple up or hunch over. But, there is another critical issue with this stance. It involves the angle of the lifted knee.

Your rooster stance is actually a "shield." It can deflect a nasty kick to your groin, abdomen or leg. So if you don't understand its shielding application, you'll wind up in a rooster stance that can actually welcome in your opponent's harmful energy instead of deflecting it off! From the anterior vertical centerline of your body, the inside (medial) edge of your knee should be pulled in to align with your centerline. It is also important that you don't cross the knee across your centerline. If you hold the knee too widely open, an opponent's kick can enter and not only knock you off your feet, but cause internal damage as well. If you cross the centerline, you weaken your balance and uproot yourself. Then an opponent could collapse you with very little effort.

Anytime you kick, the payoff is that you open the door to vulnerability. Your groin and abdomen become prime targets. And leaving a leg out and just "plunking it down" after a kick puts your leg in a position to be attacked. Work on being able to swiftly retract the leg into a rooster stance without losing balance. For health alone, using the rooster stance will build incredible balance and control into your neuromuscular functions.

Before a kick, rooster up and let it continue to unfold into a whole-body offensive strike. Once you've kicked, immediately pull it back into a defensive rooster stance by using the proper alignment. Then you can easily kick again or reposition yourself into a more advantageous stance.

Practice this for all the basic kicks in your form and your martial skills will increase. But perhaps most importantly, for your health and personal development, you will build a highly refined ability of balance, control and grace into your muscles and nervous system.

Loretta Wollering, MS is a recognized expert and master-level instructor in the field of tai chi chuan (taijiquan). She specializes in teaching from its ancient principles and from the traditional lineage of Master Jou Tsung Hwa. She has pioneered a tai chi DVD with online support so you are not alone in your self-learning anymore. She enjoys giving workshops and presentations and welcomes your inquiries. She is open-minded and accepting of all people interested in the art, no matter what their beliefs and level of physical ability. Feel free to enjoy more information at: You can also join beginners as well as advanced enthusiasts at America's biggest and friendliest tai chi gathering - Tai Chi Gala - headed by Ms. Wollering: YES - All are welcome here.

Source: EzineArticles
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