“Zhuan Guan” Online Video Trailer

by Shopmaster on 2010/12/27

Turning over the joint is a crucial concept in Chen Style Taijiquan Practical Method. 16th generation Grandmaster Chen Xin said in his book, “Illustrated Book of Chen Family Taijiquan”, “The occupation of strategic position is in the struggle for the meridian; the element of surprise is in the turning over of the joint.”
Contents in this video:
1. Beginning. 2. What? 3. How to. 4. Are you on the edge too? 5. Relation to other concepts. 6. Turning Over the Joint drills. 7. Turning Over the Joint practices.
Author: Chen ZhongHua   Length: 52 min.   In: English   Year: 2010  Difficulty:4/5  At:Edmonton

Zhuan Guan
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Zhuan Guan is one of the most central concepts of Chen Style Taijiquan:

Synonyms: Turning of the Joint; Go over; Go to the other side; yin and yang; Turning over.

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In the two pictures (of Grandmaster Hong Junsheng)above, A is the first move while B is the subsequent move. If you look at the alignment of the head to front foot position as the axis, A and B are essentially the same. A is slightly leaning backward on the top while B is more erect.

Right arm and right foot positions are a different story. In A, the right arm and right foot are directly behind the axis in relation to the opponent. This makes A posture very strong both on the front and at the back. In B, the right arm and the right foot are 45 degrees to the axis in relation to the opponent. This makes the B posture strong on the front but slippery on the back. If one pushes onto A posture, he will meet with a great wall-like resistance. If he pushes onto B posture, he will find B very strong but at the same time, he will fall down.

The switching from A posture to B posture, makes the body move like a revolving door. The revolving door action/effect is what is called Zhuan Guan in Chen Style Taijiquan. Part of it is stable: the axis of the door. Part of it is moving and elusive: the door. You push onto it, it does not move. Instead, you are moved to the other side. This type of special switching is called Zhuan Guan.

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The above two photos are provided to clearly show what happens physically. In Chen Style Taijiquan Practical Method, the switching is never visible. As Ronnie Yee commented after many visits to Jinan, “Grandmaster Hong Junsheng’s disciples all exhibit a peculiar type of energy. When you push with them, everything is fine until you suddenly find yourself on the ground. You cannot find power, you cannot find techniques, you cannot find manipulation!”

Originally posted in 2008

 

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Gary Readore December 27, 2010 at 10:17 pm

Interesting video. I was not totally clear at first as to the actual concepts and application but the last 5 – 10 minutes cleared things up quite a bit for me. Master Chen, in seeing you make corrections and coach Matt and Alex was very helpful. It seems that the key in a sense is separation, for if I create separation in my body I thus correspondingly create separation in my opponent (the two cannot really be separated and in essence are one and the same) which, if I am skilled, can place him in the position to be placed “on the edge” and eventually to go “over the edge”. As you alluded to, if my opponent is “on the edge” I myself am likewise, but is dependent on the skill level of my opponent to take advantage or not. The extension and turning of the joint is key to making this happen. The typical way to do push hands does not create separation and is a back and forth action corresponding to the “peng” quadrant of the circle. Is this a somewhat correct assessment? Also, you say that you can “give the opponent some fight”. Does this mean you offer “resistance” in a way to elicit a response from the opponent so that you can set him up and take advantage of his, let’s say, stiffness/resisting or pushing back or over extending? Is the “fight” using only rooted peng energy or can it be forceful/”li” (external strength) energy as well?

Thank you!

Gary Readore

Reply

Chen Zhonghua December 27, 2010 at 11:44 pm

Very good understanding and assessment. The following from you,
“you offer “resistance” in a way to elicit a response from the opponent so that you can set him up and take advantage of his, let’s say, stiffness/resisting or pushing back or over extending?”
is a normal understanding (not wrong) but in practical method, Hong taught that we do something so that “rules of play” is established. It is more than just so that you can take advantage of his actions. This can include things such as knowing where the edge is…

Reply

Chen Zhonghua December 28, 2010 at 3:34 am

Your last question about only using peng or also using external force was not dealt with in my last reply. In principle, we only train to use static energy, not dynamic energy. This simply means energy that does not make us become bouncy.

Reply

CantonCannon April 27, 2011 at 7:47 pm

I bought the Zhuan Guan video, and I benefit a lot from it. Like most videos, I watch them over and over again. I watch this one quite a bit because, on one hand, I am ready for it, on the other hand, it is a very good explanation of a very difficult concept. Watching it over and over again helps me get a clearer and clearer idea about it.

Reply

Kelvin Ho April 28, 2012 at 10:57 pm

The first half of this video ties together the different explanations of this concept I have previously received for me. It also gives us the thing we are looking for in applications as well as the purpose of our training. This is a great video!

Reply

Richard Johnson July 4, 2012 at 11:07 am

If you are the kind of student that is always wondering, “Why?” This is a good video to answer a lot of your questions. However, you need a significant physical and training foundation for the answers here to make sense. In that regard, this is a video that can be referred to over and over again as you advance in your training. The difficulty level is not 5/5 for nothing.

Taijiquan uses redundant but complementary systems for controlling and issuing force. Zhuan Guan, the turning of the joints, is one of central and essential ones, especially for issuing force. Understanding these principles and becoming proficient in these methods can take your Taijiquan to new levels.

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