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tai chi instruction: turning directions in tai chi


graphic of compass Tai chi instruction on turning directions can be very confusing. Some books and sites use a compass with the starting position facing South and take all directions from there.

Personally we never got the hang of turning SSW...

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There is no fun ending up facing the wall when you should be facing the window! Or worse you can find yourself walking towards someone.

To prevent this dreadful, and potentially embarrassing scene ( we felt like idiots the first time it happend to us) we are using a traditional clock face for directions.

graphic clock dial Imagine you are standing in the middle of a big clock. In front of you is 12:00 and 6:00 is straight behind you. 9:00 is to your left and 3:00 is to your right.

This is your starting position from now on all directions e.g. turn to 10:30 is relative to the starting position and not wherever you happen to be now ...