"Cloud Hands" Tai Chi, Walk Shoulder-width Rails - 06/20/07 (Spring)
"Step Back and Repulse Monkey" is one of the movements from the 37 Posture Tai Chi form taught by Prof. Cheng Manching
Repulse Monkey is practiced as if walking backwards on a parallel set of railroad tracks that are running 1 shoulder width apart. The feet remain parallel while stepping backwards on these "invisible" shoulder-width rails.
"Cloud Hands" or "Wave Hands In Clouds" is another one of the 37 Tai Chi Postures that is practiced with feet parallel. Sometimes, the feet can be 1 ½ shoulder-widths apart, sometimes only ½ a shoulder-width apart, sometimes 1 shoulder-width apart.
The "Cloud Hands Swing" (D1 of my Complete Morning Sequence)
is another very basic Tai Chi movement that is practiced feet parallel, shoulder-width apart.
Sometimes I like to practice the entire Shoulder-width "Cloud Hands" version of the 37 Posture Tai Chi form as if walking backwards and forwards on a parallel set of invisible rails, which are 1 shoulder-width apart.
Like the V-feet form, this method of practice reminds me to constantly differentiate between the "substantial (weighted) leg and "insubstantial" (empty) leg at any given moment; it makes me empty the weightless leg completely, so that the leg can in fact be picked up enough to take a small step, backwards or forwards.
When 100% of my body weight passes through one leg, the other (empty) leg is free to take a step; it is also free to kick, raise the knee, sweep, hook, trip, stamp down, etc.
In an indoor environment, on a wooden floor, I choose a set of wooden planks that run approximately shoulder-width apart, and I make sure that my feet step backwards and forwards only on those parallel wooden planks. I do the whole Shoulder-width "Cloud Hands" Tai Chi form walking backwards and forwards on those parallel shoulder-width planks. In short, I practice all the other postures of the Tai Chi form as if they are just variations of Cloud Hands, and Repulse Monkey, feet kept parallel, shoulder-width apart, stepping backwards and forwards on imaginary parallel tracks.
Outdoors, where there are no wooden planks to guide my steps, I imagine a set of tracks spaced 1 shoulder-width apart, running straight ahead of me, and I step backwards and forwards on these invisible imaginary parallel tracks.
"Cloud Hands" Tai Chi can also be called "Constant Bear" Tai Chi
Many of the compact Tai Chi forms I do regularly conform to the basic principles of Cheng Manching's "Constant Bear" exercise.
To see more videos and articles about the "Constant Bear" please look through the playlist "Constant Bear" under ChiGuy396 Playlists.