“Shoulder Movements in Positive Circle” Online Video Trailer

by Shopmaster on 2011/07/08

In this mini lesson held at a Toronto workshop, Master Chen Zhonghua started by explaining the intricate 360 degree rotation of the shoulder in a positive circle and went on the explain many important taiji movement concepts including how two points link, how many points work together, etc.
Presenter: Chen Zhonghua   Length: 32 min.   In: English   Year: 2011  Difficulty:3/5  At:Toronto

Shoulder Movements in Positive Circle
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{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

Gary Readore July 8, 2011 at 9:31 pm

Wow, this is an incredible video. Lights started going off in my head. This clarified many things for me especially related to intent and separation of yin and yang. I always thought and was taught about “intent” and related it to something mental, which I never quite undestood and believed. This video clarified that.

This is an excellent explanation of what is going on in the positive circle, why things are done the way they are and how to go about doing it. The analogy of the scissor is great and also clarified the concept of the lever and what taichi is all about. Achieving separation at all the joints is enlightening.

These are true “secrets” that few know and teach. Master Chen, thank you for being so open in sharing this knowledge to the world. This is the “real” taichi that few seem to know and understand. I realize I had bits and pieces of the truth but was way off in most other areas which made it impossible to see what true taichi really is. Now I have something to “shoot for”.


mike July 9, 2011 at 5:24 am

A great video at explaining how and why the energy should be balanced in the body.


better.balance July 10, 2011 at 8:51 am

I am learning so many important things from your teachings I never knew in my world of physical therapy.
My boat is so small and the ocean is so large. Much to learn…..


James Tam July 11, 2011 at 6:22 am

It is a generous man who opens the door and leads the way–for all! This is an important key for me.
Thank you, Shifu!

Lazy tying coat!


mountainroad August 13, 2011 at 3:02 am

This is an excellent video. If you want to understand why and how to do the positive circle. 00-7.47 mins Three keys of the movement.


Carlos Hanson September 2, 2011 at 7:16 am

This video covers so much. It may be my new favorite. It is one that requires watching multiple times.


Carlos Hanson September 2, 2011 at 7:57 am

This video makes me feel like I did at the seminar in Edmonton this summer. There is so much information, but it is presented so clearly. It confirms for me that I am learning and gives me more to think about and work on.


Bruce Marshall November 25, 2011 at 9:10 am

Really nice teaching exploring fundamentals that have become obscure, not understanding the basic physics…where the scissors pivot explained in the beginning of the film answers so much.


Bruce Schaub February 1, 2012 at 1:23 pm

i recently watched master chen’s video on “shoulder movements in a positive circle” and found it to be incredibly informative in regard to this topic…. what i think i’m beginning to understand is that in the second third (of the three part sequence) we are supposed to expand the space between the back of the arm (tricep) and the center of the (lat muscle)…proportionally! this does two things… it gets the opponents power off of our center and aligns it (the forearm segment) with the rear calf segment (as is very clearly demonstrated in the germany private 3 video) if perfectly aligned it is as if there is no space between the two bone segments (or as if a stick magically appears between the knee and elbow….i think this is related to a physics concept called linear displacement)

now we dont have to think about the elbow anymore… on the way out we expand the space between the bicep and center of pectoral…proportionally… meaning the right chest has to cave in an equal amount to the forward movement of the bicep (as if they are expanding away from a point in space between them….this is critical) also the shoulder pushes down toward the kua as the arm extends…

it seems as if what is functionally happening on the way out is that the line that was established from the forearm though the calf to the ground must be maintained and we use rotation to squeeze more body parts towards that line proportionally (without breaking our rotational axis)which drives the hand out in a spiral….i have two new painful strips of muscle (in my shoulder)that my brain was previously unaware of trying two accomplish this…

i am new to practical method so my interpretation of what’s going on should be guarded against somewhat… i hope i am trying to accomplish the right things….


gigi May 3, 2012 at 12:24 pm

It is not easy to understand the theory behind Practical Method. In the book of Master Hong Junsheng it is written that theory is the first step to understanding. Looking at this video and to the concept of “scissors” I realized
something: the body must build those scissors like two cylinders which rotate in the proper axis, at the proper angle and distance between them.
When you are cought there like in a machine you are pulled or pushed depending on the application.
The body must be a machine and now ” don’ t move ” becomes very important , the milimeter is about construction and stability
of axis.
Imagine an arm which is cought by a machinery composed of two cylinders from any solid material and is twisted around.When I was kid I saw a miller with his right arm cought in the metalic cylinders from an electric mill, smashed
like a paper.
If you change the angles and the speed of rotation, there is a position where you are pulled or pushed withtout the smash of the arm or another part of the body.
The force applied by the opponent is not relevant.What is relevant is maintaining the structure of this machinery and the adecvate response .
Now you realize the complexity and the beauty af this art. It is pure engeneering applied on the human body.
For those who came in contact with Practical Method I wish them to have the patience to follow all the descriptions in the videos and to practice simoulltaneously to get the real image.


Alexandros April 1, 2014 at 6:19 am

Hi Master Chen
A quick question if I may?
As the bicep turns in the manner in which you described, is the hamstring of the opposite leg it’s equilavent and therefore turns and moves in the same manner? Cheers. PT


Albert Lam July 10, 2014 at 11:02 pm

Thanks Master Chen . Your lesson is not easy to understand but I think I can get 70 % of it. It really save me time, a lot of time to wonder why a master can push out his opponent very easily. Once again thanks and I will subscribe more video in future.


buddhafist January 3, 2015 at 8:46 am

…so many praises already, here is my one: extemly helpful, especially for the “out with hand” part of Positive circle. If I remember correctly, then all moves of Chen style Practical method are based on Positive and Negative circle, this video brought me a step nearer to understanding this. These videos can be watched again and again, until it can be felt in the body just by watching. then slowly the fog fades…


joshua landau June 27, 2019 at 3:47 am

I am very pleased to read all the comments about this video. I have heard Master Chen talk about triangles all over the body for over a decade and never understood what he meant until he posted this video. I think I’ll concentrate on the shoulder triangle and attempt to add other triangles throughout my body as I become more familiar with this motion. Like James Tam, I want to thank Master Chen for his generosity in sharing his technique with us. If you are ready to “hear” Master Chen, than this video is pure gold !!!


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