Taijiquan (AKA Tai Chi Chuan or Tai Chi) was developed as a martial art. A number of people practice for the many health benefits, but each posture does have a martial purpose.
The Taiji Fighting Set is in the 5th level in the YMAA curriculum. We’re not at that level and this was an end-of-semester evaluation.
Dr. Yang’s corrections:
During the check 5 days prior, we were slower and the root, timing, and angles were okay. He suggested working on the 2nd half more and adding more intent.
Better escapes/coiling from plucks
Better distance (sometimes too close / too far)
Better stepping (no small shuffles)
Beginning: left hand tense
Better hook kick
End: go in more to create space for punches
(There are too many other corrections at specific parts)
To improve intent, we have to go in more for the take downs, give more trouble (on the rollbacks, plucks, everything in general), and scariest of all - the strikes and kicks would be at full speed and power. We’re holding back because: 1) we’d be even more tense and 2) we’d get hit and kicked almost every time. More intent automatically adds speed and everything else gets sloppy.
You want to give your partner the right amount of trouble so they can improve while also maintaining your own root, structure, and softness. You also want to avoid being psychic - anticipating the technique and stop it too early or in a non-Taiji way. Our homework is to continue training the way we have been: practice the sequence in parts and gradually add more intent.