LFIAA Li Style Taijiquan “White Crane Exercises its Wings Posture” (Bai He Lian Chi Shi)

Practicing the Li (Lee) Style Taijiquan posture of “White Crane Exercises its Wings” Question, should there be any double weighted stances (Shuang Zhong Shi) as I have noticed that still today there are students of various associations and organisation who teach the Li Style Taijiquan and advocate that their students hold a series of double weighted stances while performing the White Crane Exercises its Wings Posture.. rather than teaching them to gently shift their body weight from one leg to another which will greatly strengthen their legs, helping the student to maintain their balance, plus it will stimulate their cardiovascular system as they are working the bigger muscles of the legs which in-turn raises the heart rate to develop fitness and stamina.

Simply moving into a series of double weighted stances while performing the White Crane Exercises its Wings Posture is a very lazy way of practicing the Li Style Taijiquan. As it does not work the legs enough to strengthen them and improve the students ability to balance on one leg, nor does it as I have already mentioned above stimulate the cardio system to invigorate the heart and lungs. Another important principle to the practice of any Style of Taijiquan be it the Chen, Yang, Wu, Sun and even the Li Style they all must clearly demonstrate the harmonious inter-changing of Yin to Yang and vice-versa. There should be Yin & Yang within the movements of the legs, arms, torso, breathing and the student must be able to distinguish them and clearly perform them in their practice of whatever style of taijiquan they chose to study and practice. 

So in the case of the Li Style Taijiquan White Crane Exercises its Wings surely there should be no double weighted stances as these clearly do not demonstrate the principle of Yin & Yang in action. But there are still teachers of the Li Style Taijiquan that still demonstrate and teach their students to perform double weighted stances obviously this is wrong. Holding double weighted stances in the practice of Taijiquan in general limits the student as:

  • It does not develop fit and strong legs.
  • It does not stimulate the heart and lungs to circulate the blood and Qi.
  • It causes the student to keep readjusting their body weight.
  • It stops the student from maintaining a continuous, smooth flow of movement from one to another.
  • It does not improve the students ability to strengthen their balance

The practice of Taijiquan as an exercise towatds developing each individuals health and wellbeing must be an exercise that the individual feels has worked their muscularskeletal system, stimulated their cardiovascular system, soothed their nervous system, calmed and concentrated their cognitive qualities, worked. their respiratory and digestive systems. After their practice the individual should feel that they have exercised and worked themselves, taijiquan practice is about strengthening, nourishing, replenishing, repairing ourselves and not simply about learning to just relax.

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