The testing of individual postures within our Tai Chi Chuan forms should always form an integral and regular part of Tai Chi practice. A posture that is correct (or more properly correctly positioned) will always have natural, intrinsic strength and stability. Conversely, a posture that is incorrect will be weak and unstable. This is a fundamental Tai Chi concept. It is said that correct postures allow energy channels to be unblocked, resulting in natural Chi flow. It is this that gives our postures stability and innate strength. With the aid of partner who can ‘test’ for stability and strength in your postures will mean that you have a direct measure of the correctness of the posture. Postures which are strong and stable to testing should reassure you that the posture is correct. However if after testing, a posture weak and unstable, this should alert you that your posture may be incorrect, and may need attention either by yourself, peers or instructors. By excising postures from the Tai Chi form, and presenting them in this continuing series, it is our hope that they will guide you in being able to use ‘Testing’ as a tool for correct form practice.
Testing takes time, and demands attention to detail. It may only take minor positional errors to