Ten criteria which are judged in Tai Chi Form Competitions

Adoption of these will improve your form - Click on headings to expand out explainations -

Correct Posture
  • The back needs to be straight
  • There needs to be a straight line through the head, the neck, down the spine and into the coccyx
  • The coccyx is in a state of “Zhong Zheng”
  • This allows for the lungs to expand in comfort
Correctness of Stance
  • good alignment of the knee and foot
  • making sure each stance is properly executed
    • front stance
    • back stance
    • horse-riding stance
    • cat stance
  • Length of stance needs to be correct for the different techniques
Distinguishing Yin and Yang
  • distinguishing
    • Yin and Yang
    • substantial and void
    • full and empty
    • all meaning the same thing
  • The weighted limb is considered Yin
  • The empty is limb is considered Yang
  • Doesn’t only apply to stances. Can also be done in opening, contracting, closing, expanding
  • There is always an element of Yin in the Yang and Yang in the Yin. It is never 100% one or the other. Just like the Yin Yang symbol
Intent & Focus
  • Correct use of the eyes
  • focusing in accordance with the technique
Co-Ordinated Movement
  • a much more difficult goal for beginners
  • every part of the body must start and end together
  • total body movement in unison
Smoothness
  • practising your forms in a smooth manner
  • the form is performed at different speeds throughout, but smoothness must still be maintained
  • smooth transitions between techniques
Balanced Turning and Stepping
  • You need to sink
  • distinguish Yin and Yang
  • good posture
  • correct foot placement before and after kicks, turns and steps
Softness and Relaxation of the body
  • no tension
  • in Chinese the term used for relaxed = “Song”
  • loose and lax
  • not as simple as it sounds
  • obviously there is muscular strength
  • the strength is trained and relaxed
  • various Tai Chi exercises can help a student achieve softness
  • If the techniques are done softly and slowly,  the body becomes more relaxed
  • if we are more relaxed we can move faster and more efficiently
Aesthetic Appearance
  • Overall, how does the form look?
  • Fast and then slow
  • High and then low
  • combining the other categories to produce a good looking form, from start to finish
Martial Spirit
  • making sure the martial aspect of the hand form technique can be seen
  • again, in accordance with intent and spirit
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