Everett Chiropractic Center Blog

May 18, 2013

The Harvard Medical School Guide To Tai Chi – A Book Review7

Form of the Seven Stars

Form of the Seven Stars

Healing Arts Influence

“Tai Chi shares a common historical pathway with the development of traditional Chinese medicine, which includes prescriptions of exercise and lifestyle, along with herbs, diet, acupuncture, massage, and other modalities for maintaining health and longevity.”

“Movements in the contemporary Tai Chi forms, such as ‘Snake Creeps Down,’ ‘Crane Cools Its Wings,’ and ‘Step Back to Repulse Monkey,’ reflect and extend this tradition of observing nature, mimicking elements of naturalistic, animal-like movements, and applying them to health and self-defense.”

“To be a successful, enduring, high-level marital artist, practitioners needed to be healthy in body and mind.”

“A line in the a Tai chi classic poem entitled, ‘Thirteen Posture Song’ reads, ‘What is the purpose of this discipline? To lengthen one’s life, extend one’s years, and to give one an ageless springtime.”

“A noteworthy development in Tai Chi’s widespread promotion for health was the development of a 24-posture simplified form, or the Beijing Form. This form was developed in 1956 by the National Physical Culture and Sports Commission of the People’s Republic of China as part of the drive to standardize Tai Chi training for social reform and sport. This form was part of a national fitness program. Today you can go to parks across China and see millions practicing Tai Chi. This practice is clearly part of the country’s health maintenance system, and many Chinese hospitals integrate Tai Chi into rehabilitation.”

About the Photo

Here we transition from Beginning Tai Chi Style into Form of the Seven Stars. This photo isn’t a perfect illustration of the Form of the Seven Stars Style, but it is very close and will work for our purposes.

Here we are introduced to the “Cat Stance” with the weight on one foot which is at a 45° angle, and the other foot angled 45° in the other direction (so that that feet form a 90° angle) with the toe touching the ground but without any weight on that foot. Now you have a “full” (Yin) leg – the one you are standing on, and an “empty” (Yang-because it has the potential for movement) leg. The heels are closer together than is shown here.

Form of the Seven Stars is a famous for static training. It is also the starting point for a Moving Push Hands Drill by the same name. This two-person drill trains a way of stepping (Seven Star Step), deflecting and pushing/striking. The Seven Star Step forward is done by stepping forward 45° (e.g., to the left) onto one foot, then forward 45° to the right onto the other foot, always keeping the knees bent, and the neutral spine. Backward is a reverse movement, pushing off of the front foot backward turning to the 45°, then off of the other foot back 45° in the other directions so the you zig-zag back and forth while moving either forward or backward; pushing as you step forward, deflecting as you step backward. It also teaches timing and distance as well as cardiovascular fitness.

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