Introduction to Practical Method in Toronto on Jan. 29, 2012

by Chen Zhonghua on 2012/02/03

Thanks to 鸣谢:

  1. Kelvin Ho 何家伟 http://ktaiji.blogspot.com/
  2. Frank Ding 丁建平 http://www.dynamictaichi.blogspot.com/
  3. All who attended the open house in Toronto.
 

About Chen Zhonghua

Chen Style Taijiquan 19th generation disciple. International Standard Bearer of the Practical Method system of Hong Junsheng. Second generation master of Hunyuan Taiji. Been teaching internationally since 1985. Educated in the West with a Master's Degree in Education. Highly accomplished through the lineage of two great masters. Disciplined, precise and powerful. He teaches a complete system of taiji based on the principle of yin yang separation; indirect power as a core concept; movement and tranquility as the source of action. In both theory and practice, his taijiquan deals with the problems of double-heavy. He is a real treasure of the heritage of taijiquan.

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Jay February 3, 2012 at 4:08 pm

Thank you for the video; it was very insightful and I appreciate the historical information. I appreciated the overview of the system because I do not know too much of the history of some of the forms, who primarily studied yilu, cannon fist, who taught sword, etc so it was very interesting to hear Master Chen speak about the system.

As usual there were many points in Master Chen’s discussion concerning positive circles and stance to remember and take into consideration as one practices.

Thanks again.

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Alex February 3, 2012 at 8:55 pm

Great to review the history again – i had forgotten that’s how Master Chen learned.
I definitely appreciate Master Chen’s dedication to preserving the art as taught to him, we are all benefactors for this.

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Xavier Santiago February 8, 2012 at 9:30 am

I posted this video on the Facebook group called “Tai Chi Secret Movements” and I got an interesting reply from one of the members. I will include our conversation here as related to this video for everyone’s benefit. I wish to thank Shifu for helping me to make sure that my interpretations of what he said in this video were correct:

Patrick Reece: I really enjoyed the video. It did raise some questions though that pertain to our discussion in the other thread. When we discuss demos it seemed to be quite pertinent that the real-time combative or martial practicality was there, otherwise it would seem not so authentic. However, Master Chen in the video talks of not having such a martial approach and referred all martial topics to another teacher present.
Also, he mentioned that his interest and goals lie in alignment and the energy flow through the body, theory, etc. which was suprising as I had been under the impression that practical method was not a proponent of the energetic model.
I enjoyed his description of the method as an ‘upside down pyramid’ and his explanation of movement going from many to ‘one movement’ at the higher reaches of the system. In my training and system we use the same model. Instead of a ‘building up’ of things, we are stripping away habits and accumulations to reach ‘suchness feel’ or the one complete internal movement.
11 hours ago · Like

Xavier Santiago: Hi Patrick Reece,

Thank you for enjoying the video :)

Your questions are great and it would be my pleasure to clear up for you some of the things Shifu said in the video for you:

1) Shifu’s position as the international standard bearer of the Chen style Taijiquan Practical Method is to transmit the entire system as was passed on to him by Shigong Hong Junsheng. When he mentioned the martial part of the art, he did not mean that he does not teach it as we can clearly see in all his videos that there is a martial example to everything he explains. What he meant is that his main objective is the preservation of the art as a whole. This includes the martial aspect. However, the core training is in rules of movement and energy alignments. This will produce the physical requirements for the martial applications of the forms, for push hands, and san shou (free fighting). Also, one of the things you will never see Shifu Chen Zhonghua do is claim martial ability. That is something people can see and experience with him, but not what he will talk about.

2) Master Ding, the other taiji master present at the open house in Toronto, is a martial grand nephew of Shifu. He is a disciple of a disciple of Master Li Enjiu; who is the Hong Practical Method Standard bearer, Shifu’s senior Taiji brother, and my Taiji uncle. He referred the push hands and fighting aspect to Master Ding in order to help promote his grand nephew to those present. Master Ding is number one push hands teacher in Toronto, and Shifu was rightly promoting his grand nephew to all present in the open house. In the Practical Method lineage we take the traditional Chinese martial arts way of seeing those accepted into the lineage as family very seriously :)

3) When Shifu talks about energetics, he is talking about the physical alignment of the postures. It is not qi gong. Our Taiji style is just separation of Yin and Yang. Hong chose a method of teaching and practicing without qi and did not wish to associate with anybody who is into qi. Hong did not deny qi, but chose a method where only what can be tested martially in class is what he taught. Hong was also quick to mention that GM Chen Fake never practiced any qi gong nor taught it. When Shifu was first starting to learn from Hong he asked Hong about Qi gong. Hong laughed and answered, “Do you see me teaching Qi gong?” The next time Shifu asked him again Hong replied, “maybe you did not get it the first time, if you need to talk about Qi gong to me again then don’t bother to come back.” Hong would not allow such talk to go on in his class, however he was still very high level even in the eyes of many “qi masters”. Qi gong is a historically separate discipline from Taijiquan. The term is thought to have come from Hu Yaozhen, a Liu He Xin Yi master and practitioner of traditional dao yin exercises. He was also GM Feng Zhiqiang’s Xin Yin master and our Shi Tai Gong. The qi gong done in GM Feng’s Hunyuan system comes from Hu Yaozhen. Here is an article where our position on qi gong and Taiji being separate disciplines is explained by Shifu himself: http://practicalmethod.com/lang/en/2010/10/taiji-and-qi-gong/

Patrick, at this point I would like to ask you if I can copy your comments in this thread and post them in our website where this video is at. Just to help stimulate conversation about it over at the site. In terms of our conversation in the other thread, I will be replying soon at that thread :) Thanks for your comments on this video. Any further questions or thoughts about it, please feel free to write them. If you want Shifu to answer your questions, please post them in our page.

Xavier Santiago: Here is an article about our perspective on energy alignment:

http://wujimon.com/2009/08/30/chen-zhonghua-energy-alignment-dvd/

2 hours ago · Like ·

Patrick Reece: Thankyou very much Xavier Santiago for taking the time to explain. I do understand now. We also look at qigong as a seperate entity. I have no problem with you reposting my comments somewhere else, if you think they will help you with something please feel free.
23 minutes ago · Unlike · 1

Xavier Santiago: You are very welcome, Patrick Reece. I also thank you for allowing me to post this particular thread in our website.
3 minutes ago · Like

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