8-Step Tai Chi Form

8-Step Tai Chi Form

8-Step Tai Chi Form
The way to concentrate the qi is to develop suppleness Lao Tzu

The 8-Step Tai Chi form is a compact Yang-style form that uses key steps from the traditional, longer  Yang forms and the 24-Step Form. All the movements are repeated on both left and right sides of the body and the sequence requires only a small space in which to practice.

Start standing tall, feet together, hands relaxed at the sides.

Prepare

Inbreath

Shift weight right

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Outbreath

Step left foot to shoulder width stance

Opening Balance

Inbreath

With hands relaxed and fingers pointing downwards, wrists float up to chest height. Straighten the fingers and draw the elbows back

___

Outbreath

Palms float gently down to waist level

1Rolling Arms – Left

Inbreath

Extend the left hand forwards palm down,
Right hand palm up circles back and up to shoulder height
Both palms turn

___

Outbreath

Right hand pushes forwards as Left pulls back, holding a ball

Rolling Arms – Right

Inbreath

Extend the right hand forwards palm down,
Left hand palm up circles back and up to shoulder height
Both palms turn

___

Outbreath

Left hand pushes forwards as right pulls back, holding a ball

2Circle Arms – Left Brush Knee

Inbreath

Right arm circles, back and up as Left arm floats down
Shift weight to the right
Turning at the waist to the left

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Outbreath

Step wide with the left foot
Right palm pushes forward, left palm ‘brushes’ over left thigh

Circle Arms – Right Brush Knee

Inbreath

Shift weight Right, Pivot on left heel to Front,
Right palm stays high, left palm turns up
Left arm circles, back and up as right arm floats down
Shift weight to the Left
Turning at the waist to the Right

___

Outbreath

Step wide with the right foot
Left palm pushes while, right palm ‘brushes’ over right thigh

3Part the Horse’s Mane – Left

Inbreath

Shift weight Left, pivot right heel to Front,
Shift weight Right – right palm high, left low

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Outbreath

Step wide Left, left hand floats palm up to head height,
Right hand floats palm down to waist height

Part the Horse’s Mane – Right

Inbreath

Shift weight Right, Pivot on left heel to Front,
Shift weight Left – left palm high, right low, turn right palm up

___

Outbreath

Step wide right,
Right hand floats palm up to head height,
Left hand floats palm down to waist height

4Cloud Hands – 1

Inbreath

Right hand circles down to hip
Left arm floats to chest height,
Push weight left, change hands,
Step right foot to shoulder-width stance

___

Outbreath

Push weight right, change hands,
Step left foot wider to the Left

Cloud Hands – 2

Inbreath

Push weight left,
Change hands (Feet stay still)

___

Outbreath

Push weight right, change hands,
Step left foot to shoulder-width stance

Cloud Hands – 3

Inbreath

Push weight left, Change Hands,
Step right foot wider to the Right

___

Outbreath

Push weight right, change hands

5Golden Cockerel – Right

Inbreath

Push weight left

___

Outbreath

Float right knee and right arm,
Left palm pushes down

Golden Cockerel – Left

Inbreath

Lower right leg, palms push towards each other

___

Outbreath

Float left knee, left arm, right palm pushes down

6Cross Arms & Heel Kick – Right

Inbreath

Step forward with left foot, palms facing down, circling down

___

Outbreath

Float crossed arms, right knee, then extend arms, palms push outwards

Cross Arms & Heel Kick – Left

Inbreath

Bend right knee, lower right foot, then lower arms

___

Outbreath

Float crossed arms, left knee, then extend arms and left leg, palms push outwards

7Grasp the Bird’s Tail (Right)

Inbreath

Bend left knee, Lower left foot and lower arms,
Shift weight Left, left hand high, right hand low

Grasp the Bird’s Tail (i. Ward-Off – Right)

Outbreath

Step Right, right forearm floats up and round palm facing in, left palm floats down then rises, fingers towards right wrist

Grasp the Bird’s Tail (ii. Roll Back)

Inbreath

Shift weight back, arms float down towards left hip, then cross wrists in front of chest

Grasp the Bird’s Tail (iii. Press)

Outbreath

Weight forwards, wrists forwards, separate hands

Grasp the Sparrow’s Tail (iv. Roll Back)

Inbreath

Hips move backwards, elbows draw back

Grasp the Sparrow’s Tail (v. Push)

Outbreath

Hips move forwards, palms slightly forwards

Grasp the Bird’s Tail (ii. Roll Back)

Inbreath

Shift weight back, arms float down towards left hip, then cross wrists

Grasp the Bird’s Tail (iii. Press)

Outbreath

Weight forwards, push wrists forwards, left hand slides over the back of the right hand, separate hands

Grasp the Bird’s Tail (iv. Roll Back)

Inbreath

Shift weight back, lift right toes, soften knees, lower wrists

Grasp the Bird’s Tail (v. Push)

Outbreath

Weight forwards, push hands forwards and up

Grasp the Bird’s Tail (Left)

Inbreath

Roll back, pivot on right heel to Front, right hand high, left hand low
Shift weight right

Grasp the Bird’s Tail (i. Ward-Off – Right)

Outbreath

Step Left, left forearm floats up and round palm facing in, right palm floats down then rises, fingers towards left hand

Grasp the Bird’s Tail (ii. Roll Back)

Inbreath

Shift weight back, arms float down towards right hip, then cross wrists in front of chest

Grasp the Bird’s Tail (iii. Press)

Outbreath

Weight forwards, wrists forwards, separate hands

Grasp the Bird’s Tail (iv. Roll Back)

Inbreath

Shift weight back, lift left toes, soften knees, lower wrists

Grasp the Bird’s Tail (v. Push)

Outbreath

Weight forwards, push hands forwards and up

8Cross Arms and Close

Inbreath

Shift weight right, pivot on left heel to Front, Palms Facing Out
Pivot on Right Heel, Push weight Forwards to right, Pushing palms apart

___

Outbreath

Circle arms down
Shift weight back Left,
Step Right Foot to shoulder-width,
Cross arms, balance

Closing Form

Inbreath

Stand tall, lift and separate hands

___

Outbreath

Step left foot in beside right

Finish

Inbreath

Shift weight Right

___

Outbreath

Float arms down to the sides

Tai Chi 8-Step Form – Printable Version

Download and print these instructions to help you practice the form.

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