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Exploration of Yang Moves
discussion, analysis and exploration of moves in the Yang Form

Fair Lady Works at Shuttles

Part Three of the Yang Long form is perhaps the easiest of the three sections to learn. That is to say, if you have already learnt part one and two there is really not that much more to 'take on board' to enable this 'completion', yet the hardest thing about Part Three is the necessity to first learn, and then in way, forget parts One and Two!

This all really ought not be news to experienced martial artists, because the serious, determined and correctly focused Budoka would know that the accolade of a first black belt indicates only that this Budoka is at that point and in fact only just ready to begin! This applies as much, if not more in Tai Chi where an irrefutable adage is, that it is "like an ocean" and "the further you go ... the deeper it gets".

My insistence on the "remembering and then forgetting" parts one and two of the form prior to learning any of the previously unencountered postures in part three is so because these do require a certain trained to instinctual level of flexibility, balance, orientation, spatial awareness, knowledge of martial application, well practiced and efficient footwork to accomplish correctly.

"Building" upon the framework of Tai Chi Form is like a the constructing of skyscraper; sufficient foundations must be laid before anything at all is erected on the site ... and the larger the building planned, the more foundation (which cannot be added to later) required!

You should at first be encouraged to note that the sequence is not at all complicated and follows a very logical order:

1) North East. 2) N. West. 3) South West. 4) S. East.
In each of these direction one performs what is best described as a 'double push'. In #1) the left hand is high (face) and the right directly (simply for 'neatness in form') underneath, fingers of each pointed upwards. The arms achieve this position with what is best described as 'whirling arms'. The feet past through 'cat stance' (left empty) on the way to left full and forward (dialog. Northeast).

You are now reminded that the sequence of directions is not complicated! In the part of the sequence the 'gets' one to face the next direction (#2) is complicated and the route is long (270°), and to get there does involve a lot of whirling arms and cat stance and pivot left and right - but the sequence of directions simply occour one after the other into the diagonals anti-clockwise and at the conclusion of each of the four 'double pusshes' the high hand and foward foot is alternated.


Fair Lady Works at Shuttles
  To the left is the video animation's of 'Fair Lady' sequence taken from the Taichido Net Guide.
Please take careful note that your view is, metaphorically, FACING ME.


fair lady 1

fair lady 2

fair lady 3

fair lady 4

 

Because of the asymmetric nature of the form, a students view of an instructor is normally that of his back. It must be done this way so that the viewer may duplicate rather than mirror the view. Later, the instructor may themselves move now and again to himself get a better view of the students and often urge them to do the same. This all depends upon the stage or level of study.

In the beginning, a Tai Chi Instructor should always stand in the same place - in front and facing in the same direction as the students. Students at these early stages are allowed also if they wish to 'bag their favorite spot'. As study and practice deepens, this changes.

For instance those 'advanced' in Tai Chi should be 'ready for anything'; relaxed but on their toes, and I I see it as my personal duty to 'agitate' or disorientate students from time to time! This is what those 'advanced' in Tai Chi should expect.

Those less advanced should at least allow the instructor to go on walkabout, inspect and scrutinise. Remember, he/she only wants to help!

Beginners should not be confused by the instructor. He/she should be easy to see and easy to understand

Due to the 'from front' view of the video animation's to the left, I doubt that a beginner would be capable of learning the sequence of 'Fair Lady' from it. The natural reaction in mimicking what is seen would incline a novice to adopt Single Whip (pic 1) with right arm extended and left closer to the chest in a beak. This is the opposite of what is required! As the posture continues (still pic 1) you see me push into the left diagonal corner. When viewed from behind again the opposite manifests ... and all the time high and low are also changing place.. The next double push into a corner is only 90° from the last, but the route taken involves a turn/rotation of the body of 270° . The next turn is only 90° to achieve a 90°, and the last in the sequence is again 270° to achieve 90°.


The 'in motion' through 360° ( passing through 720 to achieve that) of 'Fair Lady' does I suppose expose a weakness in our video animation's, however, as a guide it is perfectly useful for the other singular or connected moves (which most of them are) in the Yang Long Form, and relatively easy to 'turn around'.

So the complexity of 'Fair Lady' (and where it is within the form) does endorse the adage that, it is "like an ocean" ... the deeper it gets". It is almost as if at this point on the voyage meridian's intersect like the weft and warp in the weave of a carpet, and there is a route from here to anywhere!

As a further tip for the 'advanced' I would like to pass on that my suggestion for ongoing study in connection with 'Fair Lady' for the advanced is:

1
 
Basic Footwork Patterns - particularly 'stepping back' with the ultimate objective of (pivot left/right - different amounts) facing in the direction indicated by where the heel first pointed. (Refer to Net Guide)
2
 
Whirling Arms. Stand firm a rotate arms in opposite directions i.e. left counter clockwise, right clockwise.
N.B. It is this way round that most people are comfortable with. If there is a 'natural' way, it is that (left/counter right/clock). Therefor, the advanced should try to do it the other way round.
3
 
Practice the above with a partner, one facing the other with wrists touching.
An energetic and 'crude' practice that will aid the sensation of 'Sticking Hands' practice. Have fun and whirl!
Add walking forward and back

As a concluding curve ball for further contemplation may I urge you investigate 'Fair Lady' as an upending trip. The foot, leading with the heel in the case of an opponent at locations other than the front, is placed behind those of the opponent and the forearm (this arm and 'leading' leg is always the same i.e. right arm/leg left arm/leg) applies 'extended (yang) ward off that becomes the push that applies the trip.

 

 
So the complexity of 'Fair Lady' (and where it is within the form) does endorse the adage that, it is "like an ocean" ... the deeper it gets". It is almost as if at this point on the voyage meridian's intersect like the weft and warp in the weave of a carpet, and there is a route from here to anywhere!
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