Firstly the “Rollback Method” (Lu Fa) is one of taijiquan’s eight energies and all the many different styles of taijiquan express these eight energies through their particular forms and through the two-person paired exercise known as “Sticky or Push Hands” (Nian/Tui Shou). Rollback mainly means to yield and give way to any in-coming strength and then neutralise it and re-direct this in-coming strength and force away from your body. There are two particular types of the “Rollback Method” one is called the “Small Rollback Method” (Xiao Lu Fa) and the other is obviously called the “Large Rollback Method” (Da Lu Fa).
Within the Li Style (Lishi) taijiquan Square Yard Form the “Small Rollback Method” is the most particular method that is practiced and most evident within the whole forty-two posture form. The “Large Rollback Method” can only be seen a few times within the Li Style taijiquan form. A Small Rollback Method is performed by simply shifting the bodyweight from the front leg to the rear, or the rear leg can take a small step backwards as the bodyweight shifts on to it. Usually the individual will turn their waist and torso to one side to re-direct the in-coming force away. Again the type of “Small Rollback Method” employed within the Li Style (Lishi) taijiquan is usually and mostly performed with the bodyweight shifting onto the back leg, while the torso remains square on to the front leg, there is hardly any turning of the waist to re-direct the in-coming force or strength.
Whereas, the “Large Rollback Method” (Da Lu Fa) is performed by stepping backwards with the front leg and immediately the bodyweight is shifted onto it, again the waist and torso turns to one side so as to re-direct any incoming force away. This particular method of the Rollback is only performed a few times in the long form section of the Li Style taijiquan, but it is used extensively in the practice of the “Taiji Pushing Hands Exercise” (Taiji Tuishou) as it the Small Rollback Method.
For many individuals who study and practice the Li Style (Lishi) taijiquan square yard form the ability and understanding on how to express the eight energies of taijiquan allows them to have a much deeper energetic connection to their movements, as each of the taiji eight energies will naturally transform one into the other or as Laozi once mentioned that “Everything must shrink before it can expand”, and applying the eight energies into your Li Style taijiquan form is just another way to express the principle of Yin & Yang and bring it alive in a practical method. To those who also practice the Li Style taijiquan and do not know about the eight energies of taijiquan, then I encourage you to find out about them, as through the learning of them and applying them into your practice of the Li Style taijiquan form will greatly give you more depth and enhance your over-al experience of the practice of taijiquan.