Q:

What are good Tai Chi movements for beginners?

A:

Quick Answer

Beginners are best off learning shorter forms of Tai Chi with lots of short, unarmed forms, such as the Single Whip and White Crane Spreads its Wings movements. The Yang short form and its many variations, such as the Beijing short form, are meant for beginners.

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Full Answer

The Beijing short form was created by the Chinese government in 1957 in an attempt to standardize Tai Chi. The form is composed of 24 short movements that all hail from the Yang style. The form relies heavily on both the White Crane Spreads its Wings and Single Whip movements.

To complete the Single Whip, place one hand in a beak hand position with the palm facing downward and four fingers curled to lightly touch the thumb. The other hand is left wide open with the palm facing outwards and the fingers pointing upwards. Depending on style, the legs are placed in either an open lunge or a quarter-squat with the knees pointing outwards.

The White Crane Spreads its Wings movement requires that the person face forward with one leg in front of the other, as if the person was taking a step. Place one arm at the side of the body, but not touching. Hold the other arm in the air with the hand held open and palm facing outward.

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