One of the most important taijiquan classics I believe is the quote ” That if one part moves, everything moves. If one part stops, everything stops”. The reason why I mention this, is that I have noticed that within the Li/Lee style taijiquan many individuals seem to only keep one arm moving, while the other seems to stop, and in the practice of taijiquan everything has to be constantly moving. Whereas in the Li/Lee style taijiquan first and second ” Brush the Knee & Side Step” Posture taken from the short form, many individuals seem to only move the front hand, while the rear hand remains static. If we return to the taiji classic that I mentioned above, then really if one part of the body become non-active then the whole body must stop its movement, as not all of the body is fully connected, which means the body has become isolated.
There are many individuals who are both teaching and practicing the Li/Lee style taijiquan form today and really do not follow any guiding principles to help them connect their whole body movements together in a smooth, accurate and unified order. For example as I have already mentioned above, they seem to do isolated movements were one part of the body is moving, while the rest of the body becomes static. There does not seem to be any understanding about maintaining movement throughout the whole body all of the time until they finish the form and return back to “Stillness”.
The movement of the hands and arms should be guided by the turning of the waist. Many individuals who perform the “Brush Knee & Side Step” Posture do not use their waist to guide their arms, but rather keep their waist rigid and move their arms in an isolated action separate from the rest of the whole body. Another Taiji classic says that the whole bodies joints should be smoothly linked together like a “String of Pearls” simply moving one arm separately from the rest of the body is not linking the joints of the whole body together like a sString of Pearls nor can you call it quality taijiquan.
The purpose for linking the whole body’s movements together while being guided by the waist allows for the blood and Qi to be smoothly circulated throughout the entire body. As all parts are linked and moving together. Whereas, if you have isolated movements while the rest of the body remains static, how does this allow for the blood and Qi to be circulated smoothly around the entire body when the greater part of the body has stopped moving. Sadly to many individuals perform the Li/Lee style taijiquan because they think it is easier to learn and so they can pick up the movements quickly, they seem not to follow any of the guiding principles laid down by the Taiji Classics like other taijiquan practitioners of other styles seem to do. Hence why there seems to be such problems like “Double Weighted ” stances, isolated arm movements not linked to the rest of the body, no emphasis of using the waist to lead the arms & legs etc. Over-al this just leads to a very low standard of the Li/Lee style taijiquan in general, as individuals just seem to follow each other like sheep and do not question their actions by following the principles of the Taiji Classics.