LFIAA Lishi Taijiquan’s “Single Whip Posture” ( Dan Bian Shi)

There are many ndividuals who practice the Li (Lee) Style Taijiquan and still perform what I call the single whip posture (Dan Bian Shi) still in a double weighted (Shuang Zhong) riding horse stance. This means that for the individual to move into the next movement they have to adjust they body weight which effects there smoothness of movement from one posture into the next. More importantly it also limits the individuals ability to perform a variety of the Taiji eight energies of Ward Off, Rollback, Press, Squeeze, Pluck, Split, Elbow and Bump  especially within the practice of the sticki/adhere hands exercise (Nian Zhan Shou Fa). If we assume to remain using the double weighted riding horse or bear stance in the practice of the Lishi Taiji single whip posture then we are limited to simply using the eight energies of Pluck, (Cai) and Press (An) because the individual as centred their  body weight between their two legs.  Another aspect that I’ve also noticed is once the individual as performed their single whip movements they then seem to look straight ahead and do not focus on the primary hand to place their intent (Yi) to guide their qi.

As you can see in the accompanying photo of Laoshi Keith Ewers performing the Lishi Taijiquan “Single Whip Posture” (Dan Bian Shi) he has his body weight located onto his left leg using a left leopard stance (Zuo Bao Shi) he is also looking at his left hand which is the primary hand , hence using his intent to guide and lead the qi into the primary or substantial (Shi) limb . By placing himself into a left leopard stance he is no longer in a double weighted stance, which means that he does not have to add any readjustment to smoothly continue moving into the next posture. Also he can apply more fighting applications for example, using his elbow (Zhou) to strike with or his shoulder (Jian) and hip (Kua) to bump (Kao) to knock his opponent off balance or with the is out stretched left arm apply a splitting technique (Lie Fa). While the right claw hand apples the plucking technique (Cai Fa) to carry the opponents seized arm.

The practice of the Lishi Taijiquan involves that each individual understands that they must combine the five major conponents  of their legs (Bu), torso (Yao), arms/hands (Shou) eyes (Yan) and breathing  (Xi) into every movement and action of their Lishi Taijiquan form practice. The whole body must be fully integrated and unified, its movements must be smooth and continuous without any pauses, hesitations due to lack of balance or concentration. Many individuals forget that their eyes must also be used within the practice of Taijiquan and that is why it bothers me when I see individuals looking straight ahead when they are practicing the single whip posture. To me it says that their mind (Yi) is not present and connected to their body and more importantly not connected to their qi as were the eyes (Yan) are is also the intention (Yi) and were the intent is the energy (Qi) will follow.

Sadly today to many individuals are practicing the Lishi Taijiquan and basically watering it down, making it to easy to learn with no  internal substance to it at all, to many simply concentrate on the physical and not connecting the internal and external together in the circulation, cultivation and nourishing of the qi to strengthen the body, mind and spirit through quality Lishi Taijiquan practice.

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