Not many individuals who practice taijiquan realise that all the various taijiquan styles also incorporates the learning of the taiji staff ( taiji gun) . In the Li style taijiquan system as taught by Laoshi Keith Ewers of the LFIAA we cover both a traditional taiji staff form, plus we also cover a taiji staff two-person matching form which teaches the student of the Li style taijiquan to bring the movements and applications of the taiji staff form alive.
In the Li style taijiquan system individuals must be fully acquired with the taiji solo form for at least two years before they are introduced to the practice of the taiji staff form. The learning of the taiji solo form teaches the same mechanics that each individual would use in the practice of the taiji staff, any weapon that is used within the practice of taijiquan is just considered to be an extension of the hands and like-wise it is the same with the practice of the taiji staff.
It is mentioned in the practice of the various taiji weapons that the taiji straight sword develops the shoulders, arms and wrist, the taiji sabre develops the back, the taiji fan develops the wrist and fingers, while the practice of the taiji staff develops the waist. The benefits of practicing the taiji staff form greatly develops each individual’s ability to extend their energy beyond their normal reach of their hands, plus it improves their awareness of co-ordination and balance.
The Li style taiji staff two-person matching form develops each individual’s reactions, timing and concentration. It incorporates various taiji footwork and stances, while skilfully weilding the taiji staff from various angles using both defensive and offensive techniques, but all the time maintaining a relaxed body, correct body alignment and the skilfull use of the waist.