When you watch beginners practicing their Taijiquan form movements, many will move their hands and arms ahead of the body and legs. Some will only move the hands/arms and legs and forget to involve the torso. The ultimate aim for every practitioner of Taijiquan is to fully intergrate the whole body into a smooth, precise flowing sequence of movements.
The aim is to allow the legs and waist to move first and allow the arms/hands to follow and be moved lastl guided by the waist and legs. This will help the practitioner to keep their arms and hands as soft and relaxed as possible without using any unnessary strength or tension in their Taijiquan movements. By letting the body move first ahead of the arms and hands will energetically encourage the internal energy to flow smoothly and greatly through the nine major joints of the body. Especially when the whole body raises and sinks, simply moving the hands or arms ahead of the body will not fully activate the energy (qi) to flow. When raising , the legs must push the body upwards, this in turn will allow the waist to raise the hands upwards which will then in-turn allow more energy to raise upwards from the ground up through the legs and waist into the hands. Like-wise when sinking downwards simply just dropping the arms and hands will not fully lower the energy back down into the ground. When sinking , the legs will sink firstly, followed by the torso and lastly by the arms and hands. This technique of sinking downwards using the legs and body to move ahead of the arms allows for a greater feeling of energy to sink and connect downwards into the. earth.
The secret of improving your skill in Taijiquan to fully intergrate the whole body to move as one complete unit is through constant practice and more practice. Just turning up to a class once a week will not greatly improve your Taijiquan skill, the hard work must come from yourself in giving up more of your spare time to practice as much as you can on a regular basis. Today, one of the most important aspects for everyone training in Taijiquan is the ability to discipline ones self to practice in their spare time. This will not just greatly improve their over-Al Taijiquan skill and ability,i it will also greatly strengthen and improve their health and well-being.