Learning to Use Your Kwa in Tai Chi

In this “office hours” post, Nate asked me about kwa work in Tai Chi. Specifically, we were looking at movements where you squat in a front stance. The question is figuring out how low to go and why.

In Tai Chi, you use your kwa to control your movements. At first, think of your kwa as simply the fold in your hip joint. In the following video, though, I explain how your understanding, and use, of the kwa changes as you learn to work deeper into the body.

In your practice, you should be clear about which skill you are practicing. Learn how to do each of these three:

  1. Fold the kwa
  2. Bend and Stretch from the kwa
  3. Pump the kwa

As you progress through these different skills, your sense of how to articulate the kwa changes. In the next two videos, I go on to show Nate how to hollow his kwa, which allows him to squat lower and govern how low he goes while staying aligned and connected.

Then, we look at how the hollowing action allows you to release excess tension and holding in the lower spine.

Read the full Inner Form Tutorial on hollowing the kwa here.



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