Shŏu è bāguà, jiăo tà wǔxíng. (手 扼 八卦， 腳 踏 五行)
The hands move through the eight trigrams, the feet walk the five elements.
We say this so much, we can practically say it in our sleep! But how well do you know the eight gates? Can you think of examples from your forms?
As we've said before, definitions of the eight gates and their execution is something that is commented on over and over. Sometimes people agree, other times they argue over who is right!
Regardless of where you stand in this particular fight, you can always learn something by watching others. Here's a brief video demonstrating the eight gates. While it's not in English, it is in a language we should be able to understand - taijiquan!! So, take a moment and look at the examples given here. What do you see? Do you see taiji principles? Are there any reflections of these in your form? How can you see these gates done differently?
The 13 postures are the foundation of Taijiquan.
These 13 postures were derived from the Eight Trigrams (the first 8 postures - energies) commonly known as "bamen wubu" (八门五步) plus the Five Elements (the last 5 postures - steps). The 13 postures are:
1. Peng (ward-off)
2. Lu (roll-back)
3. Chi (press)
4. An (push)
5. Tsai (pull-down)
6. Lieh (split)
7. Chou (elbow strike)
8. Kao (shoulder strike)
9. Chin (advance)
10. Tui (retreat)
11. Ku (look left)
12. Pan (look right)
13. Ting (center)