Four Fundamental Qualities of Tai Chi Movement

by Sifu David Goldstein

Part 4

The Quality of Huo


Huo means “agility”. You have been concentrating on your stances being stable, strong, and rooted, sinking your Chi with Chen while remaining loose and open with Song. Now is the time to think about Huo.

Before moving from once stance to another, take a moment to feel that your stance is light and energized. Feel like your entire body can move easily at any moment in any direction. Feel that in an instance you can lift off to another stance effortlessly. Then, begin the movement as if you were a cat.

It is essential to mentally focus on your body posture, and to control your weight shifting in all your movements. At first, cat-like agility and lightness will conflict with the seeming heaviness of Chen. So forget about sinking for awhile and work on the Huo readiness and ability to effortlessly move in any direction. Pay attention on how Huo can increase the flow of Chi.

After you are comfortable with Huo, check that you are still strong with your Jing and Song. Finally, bring back your focus to Chen without sacrificing the Huo you have gained.

You will find that you can actually simultaneously be in the states of Jing, Song, Chen and Huo with each one complimenting and strengthening the next. Once you can do that, you will have a completely different level of performance in your Tai Chi.


​© 2018 by Sifu David Goldstein