The weight distribution, what percent of your weight is on each foot, is important in all martial arts, but especially in taijiquan. We often talk about 70-30 (that is 70% of your weight on one foot and 30% of your weight in the other foot), 100-0, and very rarely 50-50 or close to it. These weight distributions need to be felt, but one can actually measure these. Simply do your taijiquan postures with each foot standing on a scale.
Consider the following table. I list all postures and "sub postures" I could think of as well as the percent of weight that is in the left and right foot. In every posture, the weight distribution obviously transitions through a range of %. However, I listed the weight distribution which I believe "defines" the posture. That is, the posture you'd make if someone asked you to hold the posture.
|3||ward off left||70||30|
|4||ward off right||30||70|
|11||white crane spreads wings||0||100|
|12||brush knee left||70||30|
|13||play the pipa||0||100|
|14||brush knee left||70||30|
|21||apparent closure, cross hands||51||49|
|22||embrace tiger, return to mountain||30||70|
|26||diagonal single whip||70||30|
|27||rely on fist, fist under elbow||0||100|
|28||retreating monkey, right||100||0|
|29||retreating monkey, left||0||100|
|30||retreating monkey, right||100||0|
|31||retreating monkey, left||0||100|
|32||retreating monkey, right||100||0|
|34||cloud hands, left||100||0|
|35||cloud hands, right||0||100|
|36||cloud hands, left||100||0|
|37||cloud hands, right||0||100|
|38||cloud hands, left||100||0|
|39||cloud hands, right||0||100|
|40||cloud hands, left||100||0|
|42||squatting single whip, snake creeps down||0||100|
|43||golden rooster stands on one leg, left||100||0|
|44||golden rooster stands on one leg, right||0||100|
|45||separate right foot||100||0|
|46||separate left foot||0||100|
|47||turn and strike with heel||0||100|
|48||brush knee left||70||30|
|49||brush knee right||30||70|
|51||ward off right||30||70|
|56||fair lady left||70||30|
|57||fair lady right||30||70|
|58||fair lady left||70||30|
|59||fair lady right||30||70|
|60||ward off left||70||30|
|61||ward off right||30||70|
|66||squatting single whip, snake creeps down||0||100|
|67||seven stars step forward||100||0|
|68||step back and ride tiger||0||100|
|69||turn body and sweep lotus with leg||100||0|
|70||bend bow, shoot tiger||30||70|
Here is a graph of the % weight in Left Foot vales.
Note the "up down" part in the middle, the many 0-100 changes. These correspond to the Rely on fist to Turn and strike with heel section.
It is interesting to look at some statistics of the % weight in left foot and the % weight in right foot numbers. The left foot has 0% weight in it about 27% of the time (this is 21 times out of 79 postures), and has 100% weight in it 16% of the time. The right foot, of course, has these same percentages but flipped. So we can say approximately 50% of the time (27% plus 20%), the left or right foot has either 0% or 100% weight in it. The average weight in the left foot is about 47% (and 53% for the right foot), and the median weight in the left foot is 30% (and 70% for the right foot).
Thanks for reading. Happy practice!
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