One of the core practices I focus on for Tai Chi is the Tai Chi Walk. This version of The Walk (which is really more of a glide with wide, short stepping rather than walking forward) is a continuous repetition of the movement Brush Knee and Press. We use this exercise as a way to strengthen the legs, deepen the stance, increase flexibility in the hips and kua. It is a walking meditation and great practice for all of the principals of Tai Chi.

To learn the Brush Knee and Press Tai Chi Walk will aid you in learning the form more easily and better ingrain the principals. The following break down is not intended to teach, but rather support what you have learned in class.

Tai Chi Walk break-down:

Preparation (or 5 – Bow stance):
Get into a forward bow stance (let’s use left foot forward for this example). Left foot is facing straight forward to front wall, right foot is pointing to the right diagonal, feet are shoulder width apart, weight is shifted more forward than back – 70/30, knees are relaxed into a bend, right hand is pressed forward with palm facing front wall in front of shoulder center, left hand is next to the left thigh. Relax!

1 – Sit back
Pour the weight back into the rear (right) leg and sit with all weight on that leg. Hands remain in position, but expand. No waist turn.

2 – Turn waist, turns out the toe
Turn the waist to the (left) diagonal, relax the forward (left) leg and allow the toe to turn out to the (left) diagonal with the waist turn. Palms of both hands turn to face inward. No weight shift.



3 – Pour weight and hips forward to diagonal and bring in knee
Pushing with rear (right) foot, push hips to diagonal and pour weight into front (left) foot to the diagonal until rear foot peels off the floor, then bring in the (right) knee to meet the other (left) knee. Upper (right) hand turns to face center of chest, arm becomes rounded as though holding a beach ball against your chest. Lower (left) arm floats upward in line with body, palm down, just below height of shoulder. No waist turn, weight shifts body to the diagonal.



4 – Step with heel and pierce ear
Step with unweighted (right) heel shoulder width to the right – do not shift weight here! Curved (right) arm descends slightly downward. Straight (left) arm first flips palm to face upward then bend elbow to point finger tips to ear. Very slight waist turn toward front wall and no weight shift.



5 – Return to bow stance
Turn waist to face forward, pour weight into front (right) leg to 70/30. Lower (right) hand continues to descend until hand brushes the leg and comes to rest by the thigh. Upper (left) hand is sent straight toward front wall by the waist turn and is now the upper hand pressed forward with palm facing forward in front of shoulder.

Now same movements, but alternate sides to continue.









At first, just practice the foot movements. To assist memory, you can try printing very large the following and hold at eye level to keep your head from looking at your feet (trust me they are still down there!)

…can you hear my voice? 🙂

5 – Start in bow stance

1 – Sit back

2 – Turn waist, turns out the toe

3 – Pour weight and hips forward to diagonal and bring in knee

4 – Step with heel

5 – Return to bow stance

Relax and again!

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