Grandmaster Zhu Tiancai provides detailed explanations of the fundamental aspects of the Chen-style Tai Chi Chuan Laojia First Routine, with a focus on the key points at the end of each posture.


  1. Preparatory Posture Discard any personal biases or distractions, achieving a state of tranquility and composure. Relax the entire body, internally and externally, while maintaining an upright and centered stance. Breathe naturally, directing your focus to the dantian, and maintain a forward gaze.
  2. Commencement When stepping forward with the left foot, adopt a sense of attentiveness and sensitivity. Land on the toes first, gradually allowing the entire foot to make contact with the ground. Inhale as you raise your hands, and exhale as you lower them, symbolizing the transition from the state of Wuji (ultimate emptiness) to Taiji (supreme polarity).
  3. Buddha’s Warrior Pounds Mortar Emphasize a stable and rooted stance, with the majority of your weight on the left leg and the right leg relatively empty. It should feel as if you are stepping on thin ice. Maintain an upright posture, lead with the crown of your head, and ensure your gaze is level. Maintain awareness of the surroundings, including both the sides and the back.
  4. Leisurely Tying the Robe Cross your hands, sink your shoulders, and relax your elbows. Keep your gaze level, with a slight inclination towards the right side. Your left arm should be rounded and substantial, while your right arm remains empty and flexible. Grip the ground with your left foot, maintain a rounded crotch, and stand with an upright and relaxed posture. Remain open and expansive throughout your entire body, while preserving the ward-off energy.
  5. Six Sealing and Four Closing Push your hands forward while relaxing your waist and sinking your hips. Coordinate the sinking of your elbows to consolidate your internal strength. Ensure that your left hand does not extend beyond the centerline, and keep your hands below shoulder height. Maintain level eye contact with your hands without lowering your head.
  6. Single Whip This posture represents a centered and balanced state. Harmonize your internal and external energies by coordinating your hands with your feet, your elbows with your knees, and your shoulders with your hips. Unify your heart and intention, your Qi and power, and your tendons and bones. Guide the energy from your dantian to your extremities, sinking your elbows and relaxing your shoulders. Maintain a tucked-in chest and level gaze. Allow your eyes to partially focus on your left hand. Emphasize the interplay between opening and closing, and cultivate a sense of roundedness in your crotch. Establish a sense of support in all directions.

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