How do some people get their foot up to head height while practicing Tai Chi?

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I’ve seen a lot of professionals get their foot that high very slowly, but how do they train to do that? I’m under 20, fit, and enthusiastic about Tai Chi… so not being able to do this is very frustrating. Very frustrating even if the height of the kick doesn’t really matter. ><;

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katt

because they are flexible..

Aaron R

well stretching practicing and certain leg stretching devices do well for that

Shaman

What kind of Tai Chi are you trying to practice?
I’m not aware of a kick that gets that high at a slow pace. There are some forms that the kicks get high, but are usually done so with a fajing movement (explosive energy) to it. But I will admit, my own practice of Tai Chi is limited. What you’re talking about sounds more like a ballet kind of movement.
Be well.

LIONDANCER

Most that actually can do that are also Chinese or trained in China. The Chinese train Tai Chi very differently. It is trained as a martial art. With other words they do strength, flexibility and endurance training just like you would in an external martial art. Add to that the relaxation of your leg muscles when executing the kick.
I train Tai Chi in China as well as in the US and it is a world of difference. Tai Chi training in China is hard and nothing like the slow, feel good exercise it is made out to be in the US.
If you want to get your kicks up start working on the split. Also stand close to a wall (about 3 – 4 feet away depending on how long your legs are) prop up your leg high and then push your hips in towards the wall. Work on inside and outside crescent kicks fast. Make the circles high and wide with your leg to open up the hips. When you can do that you do one outside crescent kick and then one inside crescent kick (in that sequence is important) in fast sequence. This will work the muscles on your inner thighs. Also sticking out the leg like a kick and holding it there as long as you can without tightening up will build those muscles.
As you can see this is a skill that has to be earned. Whoever thought that Tai Chi is an exercise for old people is dead wrong. It can be, but it also can be as physically challenging as any other martial art.

CTC

It takes time to develop the skill and flexibility needed to do that. Just keep stretching and practicing.
Good luck

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