by: Al Duncan
Make a Taiji Ruler from 1-1/4 or 1-3/8 inch diameter hardwood dowel. The ends are rounded to fit comfortably in the palm of the hand. I use two sizes, the standard length is 14 inches long and a shorter version to practice "small circle" techniques is 8 inches long.
A Taiji Ruler is a good way for beginning students to learn to move from the waist and not to move the arms independently. If the student tries to perform movements similar to the "Grasp Birds Tail" sequence while holding the 14" Ruler between his palms (ends of the stick on the Lao Gong points, fingers kept gently straightened), he will tend to keep dropping it on the floor if he is not using proper body movement.
The Taiji Ruler is also a good way to train proper body movement for Joint Hands (Push Hands) training. In this case both students would be holding a ruler while attempting to follow each others movements.