Wednesday, October 8, 2008

How to Do The Liu Technique In Tai Chi

Step 1: Begin in the final Pon block position. You should be leaning forward with your off foot forward in a standard fighter’ pose. Your right hand and arm should form a horizontal bar forward of and crossing your upper chest. Your left hand should be back, about four inches lower and slightly to your left so your elbow is cocked and ready to deliver a strike. In this stance you would’ve just completed deflecting your opponent’s punch upward with your right forearm.

Step 2: Rock backward as your opponent begins to throw a follow up punch to your midsection as your upper chest and face are guarded.

Step 3: Bring your right arm down so that the flat palm of your right palm impacts with the incoming punch along the opponent’s forearm. Push the punch down and to the side so your opponent’s arm is crossing his body, this will make a follow up strike with his other arm difficult. You also have the option of blocking with a clenching hand to hold or immobilize your opponent’s arm instead of deflecting it. It’s your choice. Your left hand should not have moved up until this point.

Step 4: Make your left hand into a knife, palm down to the ground. Drive your left hand forward into your opponent’s eyes as he continues by the deflection of his punch. Stop short of your opponent’s face if this is a competition or sparring match. This counter strike could permanently blind a real opponent, so it should only be used in life or death situations.

Tips & Warnings
To make sure you have the movements correct, perform these techniques slowly and increase their pace when you're comfortable with them. Practicing in front of a mirror can help you perfect your form. All the instructions are for a right hand dominant individual, for a left hand dominant individual simply reverse the placement of the hands and feet. The literal translation of Liu is carry. This works in concert with the Pon technique. While the Pon technique is a block in which the user drives forward, the Liu technique pulls back and carries and opponent’s strike inward to slow and stop it. Because of this the Liu technique block and counter strike is used as a follow up to a Pon block.

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