Tai Chi Chuan  Online Playshop  Lesson Page

Open a new browser window by clicking HERE
to take a look at great old photos of Li Li Da's 
Teacher, Master Wu Kung Yi,
performing the Wu style of T'ai Chi Ch'uan!


                   LIFTING HANDS

please read the following text information while the images load on the page

click>>>PREVIOUS LESSON - 1<<<here
click>>>NEXT LESSON - 3<<<here

Letters in (  )* stand for the eight directions=N, S, E, W, NW, NE, SW, SE.
Numbers in (  )* correlate to the frame number in main lesson image below,
as much as possible...(some frames are 'in between' described movements,
in which case either I will try to redo the image, or you will need to exercise
your imagination even more than is necessary to learn any movement art from
'text and images' alone in the first place.)
Formula in brackets [W= ] denote weightedness, which is the amount of body
weight shifted to either side (L=left, R=right, even=doubleweightedness);
example: [W=70R] means 'put 70% of your weight on your right side.' The range
here will be approximate, ideally based on an individuals personal needs, abilities and experience.   *You may choose to read through the text the first time disregarding these
parentheticals...it's easier!!
We OPENED the set (Lesson 1) facing North (N); as you view images on your monitor for the current postures (below), imagine that you are again facing North as you begin Lifting hands and also as you finish White crane preening wings.

                                      Lifting hands
                                      White crane preening wings

Lifting hands    (1 through 20)

     At the conclusion of Single whip (1), your feet and arms are pointed to the corners (right = NE; left = NW), with your left palm pointing away from you, fingertips up, and your face turned in the same direction (NW).  Your right fingers are still folded downward into a 'beak' shape; knees and arms are slightly bent [W= even].
     Lifting hands begins as you start to shift your weight over [W= 70L] to your left side (2-6), turning so that you now face North.  Next, raise your right heel [W= 90L], then toe (5) [W= 100L], and move your right foot in a slight arc back to the centerin front of you (North), and set your right heel down (8)[W= 90L]; simultaneous to centering your right leg/foot, bring your right arm up in an arc, in toward the center (9), until it is chest high and horizontal with the floor, with elbow slightly bent, relaxing the right hand as you do, slowly turning the right palm from facing West to facing you (South) (9-10), as your right arm is moving toward the center (North). 
     SIMULTANEOUS to all of this(!), bend your lower left arm at the elbow, rotating your left hand in toward your head (7-10), with your left palm still facing away, fingertips vertical, several inches before your nose.
     Next (11-14), as you begin to shift your weight forward (North) onto your right leg [W= 70L], directing the energy of your movement from your center (as always!), the toe of your right foot rests down [W= even], pointing forward in line with the heel (12,13).  Hold your right arm still allowing the bodies chi to move your vertical left palm (facing out) (North) to a near proximity (15) with the now stationary and horizontally held right palm (facing in) (South).[W= 70R]
     Continuing from here, further shift the weight forward on the right leg [W= 90R], unbending your knees some, and lift your right hand up (16), slowly rotating your right palm away from you (North) (17,18) as you rotate your right forearm away also (19). Your right hand rests near your forehead, palm facing away (North) (with pinky up).  While you lift the right hand, lower your left hand to your left side, with your left palm facing backward (South) (18-20).  At the same time that you do all of this (!), lift your left heel (13) [W= 90R], then toe [W= 100R], off of the floor (14) and shift your left leg forward (14-16), bringing it even with your right leg.  Rest your left foot down, landing on the ball of your foot, with both feet about shoulder distance apart, pointing forward (North). (17) [W= even]

White crane preening wings    (21 through 36)

     White crane preening wings begins at this point, as you bow the upper torso only, slightly forward (21) (keep that behind tucked in) while bending knees slightly more; then, in that position, rotate your upper torso at the waist to the left, holding your (lower) trunk still, and moving your entire upper torso (only) as one body, from facing North around to facing West (22-25).   As you do, slowly lower your right arm, and slowly raise your left arm, palms away from you, with elbows bent and arms moving in a slight curved shape. (23-27)  Your upper body then faces West while your lower body faces North still; your hands lower/rise respectively until they are both at eye level and shoulder width apart.  Your elbows are bent out at shoulder level. (28) [W= even] 
     Then draw the left and right hand toward each other until fingers nearly touch, palms away, forming a place between fingers and thumbs to hold a small imaginary ball or globe.(28)  Raise your entire self as one by unbending your knees (29-30) (but not completely, of course), then rotate your waist back forward again (31), facing your upper torso to the North once more. (31-36) [W= even]

         ~   ~   ~   ~   ~

(Remember to keep your knees and elbows at least slightly bent and your pelvis tucked in throughout the set.)

(If at all possible, it is suggested that someone read the text to you - or record it on a tape and play it back - while you slowly practice the form...and slowlyis the best way to practice.)


   Here you are completelyweighted on the left side; the only way to lift one legup off of the ground is to have all of your weight balanced on the other leg. _go back_

   Your upper left arm remains stationary as you rotate your lower left arm. _go back_

  Your pinky is your little finger. _go back_

                        The links back to the above footnote numbers will only return you to 
                                       the very first use of that number in the above text, 
                   not to the subsequent references on this page to the same footnote number.


do not over-do     do not under-do

click>>>PREVIOUS LESSON - 1<<<here
click>>>NEXT LESSON - 3<<<here

  List  of moves

moving as one
being grounded
tan tien (center of balance)
ding jin (common axis)
single weightedness
double weightedness
yin/yang duality
bent knees and elbows
fist space/separates
moving on a curve
moving slowly

as time permits i will explain these
concepts and expand the list of 

May I suggest the best way to see these images in the days after the lesson page has changed is to 'right click' on those images you want NOW and click
'save image as', then save it to some hard drive (the loads are BIG!)
You can also freely copy/paste/amend the text. (But do not sell, please)

~ ~ special thanks ~ ~
Michael W and Shar'n
for making free cyberspace available for MORE Playshop lessons at
NOW all of the Playshop lessons should ALWAYS be available online
~ ~ ~

If the pictures stop animating on your page, hit reload (refresh)
(I've even had to "clear memory cache" first if I interrupted initial page loading)

this is a mirror (reverse) image of the
Right Hand Set, which means that if you
follow my movement on your monitor
you will be performing a Right Hand Set...
(t'ai chi is practiced from both sides)
when YOU practice t'ai chi, move slowly
(and hopefully less jerkily than this animation)


Opposite side view of White crane preening wings
                      (11 through 36 above)

click>>>PREVIOUS LESSON - 1<<<here
 click>>>NEXT LESSON - 3<<<here

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I made the T'ai Chi graphic images using a reverse image option so that I could
video the Left Hand Set, then when it is viewed here on your monitor, it appears as a mirror image of a Right Hand Set, which you can emulate by following my movements.  Most T'ai Chi students only learn the Right Hand Set, and it is a good way to start.  One can practice the opposite side movements (Left Hand) by practicing the reverse of the image(s) above.  I am fortunate that the students who instructed me at my t'ai chi beginning practiced both sides of the set daily.  By learning the left and right versions (identical, just reversed) of t'ai chi, I believe one may gain even more.

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more notes:

Please let me know what you like here and what really bugs you here, too

Is there some aspect of the movement not made clear by the images (or the text, for that matter)??  Please tell me, and if I cannot clarify it with words I will try to make a new image to illustrate a way out of that confusion.

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still more notes:

It is better by far to experience learning Tai Chi of any kind in a group setting, primarily for two reasons.  First, it's more fun! and nothing is better for learning than sharing ideas and practice with individuals who share the same interests.  By having many artisans practice together, this allows for an excellent source of useful feedback.  More than critically watching the moves as others do them, this also affords an opportunity that is unparalleled: by standing in the center surrounded by more advanced students, with every movement in every direction, the novice has a rotating view of the form.  This allows the newer student to follow all the others, even as the plane of movement tangents onto a new direction.  Turn left, a senior student is in front to follow from; turn right, another teacher is in view;
spin around 180 and, yep, you guessed it.

Though learning Tai Chi from pictures, and (sometimes even worse) from text, is not the best method to use...it is what I can offer.  Some people have little or no access to teachers or classes in their area; some have little or no money for them even if they did exist; some folk are shy and some may be to dis-eased to go to a class; it is for all these people (the ones online, at least) and of course for the martial arts intellectuals (you know who you are) that I make this meager presentation.

For anyone in or near (or just visiting) the San Francisco Bay Area, please accept our invitation to join us in our VIRTUAL REALITY PLAYSHOP
(real people), any Saturday morning from 8:45 a.m. to 9:45 a.m.
at 1819 10th Street, in Berkeley.
(The set usually begins @ 9:10 a.m. Saturday
Just take the outside stairs on the south side of Finnish Hall to the top to get in--or take the disabled folks elevator inside--if you need it)

 ~   ~   ~   ~   ~

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~   ~   ~   ~   ~

Only you yourself will know if you have stretched
your chi 'enough', 'too much', or even 'not enough'.  what we desire to achieve with T'ai Chi is balance: to get there, moderation, not excess, is required.

~   ~   ~   ~   ~

Keep in mind while upon this new journey that we do it for our health, for our joy, for our spiritual reawakening...not to suffer more, but to complete ourselves
as beings, and rejoice of the universe.

~   ~   ~   ~   ~

With gratitude to Li Lida      (1922-1982) 

to Ruth, David, Lydia, Michael G, Shar'n, Harold, Eileen, Robert,
and all of the other people who have helped me learn T'ai Chi... 




this webpage was originally created at
9:33 A.M. P.S.T., on Thursday, July 16, 1998 

nothing new here in this part of the Universe since
November 27, 2006 at 4:55 P.M.

last updated on Monday, July 19, 2010 at 9:03 P.M. P.S.T.

  COPYWRONG 1997-2010  swrichie    ALL RIGHTS REVERSED

copywrong 1998-2010 by swrichie for hand use creations 


~   ~   ~   ~   ~
we share some common strand in this universe...we as one