Body Movements – Part 3

The fifth and sixth Tàijíquán 太极拳 body movements are Jìn 進and Tuì 退. Jìn means forwards and Tuì means backwards. In all Tàijíquán forms, whether it is Lǎojià 老架 – Old Frame or Xīnjià 新架 – New Frame, they all have Jìn and Tuì. Every martial art must have backwards and forwards movements, as well as stationary, left and right. This is basic footwork. In Tàijíquán we have back and forth, left and right, but we say, back and forth, but it still includes left and right.

Forwards movements are usually for attacking and backwards are more for defending. Left and right can be either, attack or defence. However, if our Gōng Lì 功力 – Internal Strength is powerful, we can use forwards movements for defence as well. For example, if the opponent punches and before they have finished their punch, we block it with Circle Hands and the power of our Gōng Lì will make them lose their balance. Backwards movements can also be used to attack. Let’s say the opponent punches at us and we grab hold of their hand, step back and pull them, again making them lose their balance. With left and right, we can attack the opponent from an angle or use the angle to avoid their attack. So, we can see which footwork we use will all depend on the circumstance.

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