Should the knees move forward in the full kwa squat?

Home Forums Archive The Five Keys to Taoist Energy Arts Week 6 Should the knees move forward in the full kwa squat?

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    Hi Paul,

    I am working my way back through all the videos and practice sessions, and I have a question about the kwa squat. In the first videos about the squat, you mention that the knees should not move forward. This was initially very hard for me to achieve until I started putting a chair in front of my knees so I would know when they moved forward. Getting that feedback was the key for me to be able to feel how to squat from the kwa, and not just bend the knees. I’ve had success keeping my knees relatively stationary for the initial version of the squat, and the modified version.

    However, the week 6 full kwa squat has been a different story. I’m having a lot of difficulty keeping my knees in position as I squat. My knees never go out over my toes, but they do tend to be even with them, and so far I can’t seem to use the “chair trick” without moving the chair forward from my starting position.

    Should the knees always remain relatively stationary, or is it OK for them to move forward some? I’ve been replaying the videos from this week, and I just don’t see much forward knee movement in any of the demonstrations. If they are supposed to stay in one place, do you have any additional pointers for doing this correctly?




    Hi Erik, I know working with knees can be tricky and I’m
    sure many others are struggling as well, so let me offer a few points for

    First of all, the ideal is for the knees not to move. The
    reason for this is that even small movements in the knees work to disconnect
    the internals of the kwa. When you do the full version with tucking tailbone,
    there is a tendency to push the knees forward due to the nature of the mechanic.
    So you must reduce the size of your kwa squat in a way that leaves the knees in
    place, hardly moving at all.

    In the full squat, a lot more internal space is required or
    the knees will move a lot too. To gain that space, you must revisit the second
    version of the kwa squat (dropping tailbone), and work more on the opening half
    of the squat. Rather than just close and return, you want to stretch up the
    front of the kwa by lifting and driving the tailbone forward and up during the
    opening phase. Once you’ve opened up the front of the kwa some, you will find
    extra internal space and you will be able to close more (squat lower to the
    ground) – as your internal space opens, your kwa squat increases in size.

    Make sure you do NOT pressurise the front or sides of the
    knees in trying to keep the knees still. Too much pressure or the knees pushing
    forward means the kwa squat you’re trying to practice is too big for your
    current state of being. Back off, follow the protocol above, take it easy, and generate
    more internal space!

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