Ice Step

Once you have learned the Zhan Zhuang standing positions in Parts One and Two of this book, you can begin to practice the specialized steps used in Da Cheng Chuan. The first movement is called the Ice Step because it evokes the feeling of someone slowly and carefully making their way across the surface of a frozen pond. It improves your kinesthetic control and develops your balance.

Stand with your feet together, your knees slightly bent. Shift all your weight onto one foot. Imagine the floor is made of ice. Keeping your weight entirely on one side, move your other foot forwards in an arc over the surface of the ice. The sole of your foot is about a centimeter (half an inch) above the ice.

Then lower the extended foot on to the ice and slowly shift all your weight forwards on to that foot. Breathe out as your weight moves forwards.

You can hold your arms in each of the Zhan Zhuang positions while practicing the Ice Step. To begin, your balance will be best if you hold your arms in the posture, Extending to the Sides (page 14). Your arms are calmly extended to either side. Your hands are relaxed and open. Your upper body is upright without tension.

Pranic Body Positions

Slowly bring your rear foot up into position beside your front foot. As you move your foot, the sole stays parallel to the ice, a centimeter (half an inch) above the surface. Breathe in as you bring your foot into position beside the stationary one. You are now ready to move it forwards in an arc over the ^

ice. Continue alternating your feet in the Ice Step as you move across the ice.

CIRCLE OF

HARMONY

XingYi

This step comes from the martial art Xing Yi, which Grand Master Wang Xiang Zhai learned from his first teacher, Master Guo Yun Sin. To begin, stand in the Zhan Zhuang position, Holding the Ball (page 13). Shift all your weight on to one foot. Swivel your other foot on the heel 90 degrees to point sideways. It is now pointing in the forward direction in which you will move.

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Your feet are at right angles to each other. All your weight is on your rear foot. Keeping your rear foot firmly in position, step slightly forwards with your front foot, without shifting any weight on to it. Then bring the rear foot slightly towards the front foot and plant it firmly on the ground, still bearing all your weight. The distance between your two feet is now the same as when you began.

Breathe in as you place your front foot forwards. Breathe out as you move your rear foot forwards.

When you practice this step, you can hold your arms in any of the Zhan Zhuang positions you have learned. To begin, the most common arm position with this step is the On Guard position ( pages 36-37). When your right foot is moving forwards, your right hand points in the same direction. Likewise. when your left foot moves forwards, your left hand points in the same direction

Apart from the tiny forward movements of the front foot. all the work is done by the muscles of the rear leg. As you practice, try not to hop up and down too much on your rear leg. The movement should be silent. Stay low and level, slowly inching forwards using the power of your rear leg.

THE CIRCLE OF

HARMONY

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Healing Properties Of Tai Chi

Healing Properties Of Tai Chi

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