"To tell the quality of a person’s tai chi forms, we need to examine the following: (1) The angles of the body when performing each posture and the transitions between each movement; (2) the pace of the movements; (3) the height of each posture.
A person is considered a good practitioner when he/she can carry out every movement gracefully, with coordination and precision. A good tai chi practitioner keeps the almost same height during the execution of the form. He/she does not bob up and down. The ending form finishes in the place the opening form began. The form is practiced in a constant and regular pace. The movements of the limbs should be coordinated with the waist.
All postures should be erect, coordinated, continuous, flowing, and balanced throughout the forms. The whole body should be relaxed. Each posture demostrated Eight Balances: 1. Top and Down balance; 2. Front and Back blance; (3) Left and Right balance; 4. Inside and Outside balance. These Eight Balances or Harmonies come from Taoism, the foundation of Tai Chi."
- Cheng Zhao, Ph.D, Terre Haute, Indiana, Tai Chi Sword