There are many styles of kicking in Tai Chi, for here and now I would like to concentrate on the Yang style of kicking and its principals. First of all you must understand that we use the whole of the foot depending on what kick you are applying, the kicks are, kick with Toe (big toe) kick with heel, kick with the out side of the foot, kick with the top of the foot and scraping with the inside of the foot and stamping with the whole of the foot. Each kick requires certain principals to be applied, so that the energy can be discharged from your body in the correct way. During the form, we practice slowly to help coordinate balance, root and especially understanding the waist movement.
Let me remind you that if the waist does not move, then the legs and arms do not move, the waist has to move first. This strengthens the root and solidarity between the limbs and the ground. The standing leg, should remain slightly bent when executing the kick, however when you step into the kick. you should sink down on the standing leg and then rise slightly up into the standing leg, releasing the energy from one leg to the another. This is the Yin and yang principal of empty and full. The hands are used for balance, so the rear hand stabilises the body while the front hand can be used for the same purpose or by pointing the fingers at the intended target, which focuses and directs the Qi when being transmitted through the foot.
Remember, all in Tai Chi is energy, therefore you should resist from becoming tense in areas such as the shoulders and hands. Make sure the head remains upright and your shoulders are down and slightly forward. Stand upright, be firm but not rigid. Make sure the whole of your foot is in contact with the ground, with the weight being evenly spread out across the entire foot. There are nine points on the sole of the foot, which connect us to the earths energy and correctly aligns the body. It is very hard to achieve but not impossible and when applying kick, one should pay attention to the standing foot weight distribution. Do not grip the ground, even though there are some arts that use the technique of gripping to generate more power, this is not applied in Tai Chi. The most important thing, is that the hips should open and close smoothly, opening to execute the kick and closing when withdrawing the leg. This is achieved by sinking and turning the waist and rising up at the correct time, which is when releasing the leg for the kick. Practice away and remember that you will have good and bad days of standing on one leg, especially when applying the sweep lotus, which is a form of a kick.
I would like to say a big thank you to Liz Kuntz, for the amazing drawing of kick with toe, you can order a copy of the drawing through Liz by clicking the this Link
Master Vasilios © 2018