WUDANG TAI CHI CHUAN DRILLS
Below is a list of the basic types of Tai Chi Chuan drills we practised during class. These are the foundational drills used to develop students to a standard we’re they are able to listen and feel there opponent movement and energy and become a Tai Chi Chuan Marital Artists.
Four winds (Four directions)
The Four Winds or Direction drill trains the student in the use of the basic Tai Chi Chuan stance and its application. The other benefits range from developing coordination between the lower and upper body, thus affecting the left and right hemispheres of the brain. This drill also develops clarity in defining hand position when defence or redirecting an attack from an opponent.
The five Elements is divided into attacking and defending exercise, during the attacking phase your aiming for the vital points which is temple, top of head and kidneys. This allows students to practice and develop a natural ability to redirect attacks towards these areas of the body and the body in general during the defending routine.
Seven stars is an Tai Chi drill which aids in the development of rhythm, coordination and balance. The 45 degree angles used during each step whether advancing or retreating teaches the student the art of evidation, therefore it develops the ability to side step or slip a punch. Slipping which is similar to bobbing is considered one of the four basic defensive strategies along with blocking, holding (seizing) and the clinch. The Seven Stars drill develops in a student the muscle memory of preforming this action whether moving forward or backwards.
Eight Gates (Da Lu)
Eight Gates teaches a student on a fundamental level how to move in and out of a straight arm lock, the situation is akin to someone placing their hand on your shoulder and you turning your body and placing them into a straight arm lock. This moving is completed eight time in the eight angles you step in and out of, as an attack could come from any of those position or directions.
Nine Palaces (Mirengai)
Mirengai is a similar drill as the four winds which is the first Tai Chi drill you learn, however the legs are moving within a square shape as you step forward and move back. This teaches attacking and defending while moving which is similar to bobbing and weaving but using the whole body. In addition to stepping backward and forwards you also complete a circle within 9 movements.