“Switching in the Positive Circle” Online Video Trailer

by Kelvin Ho on 2014/06/30

Mini lesson on switching the power leg in circle
Presenter: Chen Zhonghua   Length: 10 min.   In: English   Year: 2014  Difficulty:3/5

Switching in the Positive Circle
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About Kelvin Ho

Kelvin Ho, Master Chen Zhonghua's disciple, is the instructor for Practical Method Toronto. He has been teaching and promoting the Practical Method system in Toronto, Markham, Richmond Hill, Canada since 2011. He has received numerous medals in various Taiji competitions in Greater Toronto Area. He is also a vice-president of MartialArts Association Canada. Like his teacher, he feels an obligation to pass this great art onto others. Contact: kelvin.ho@practicalmethod.ca.

{ 23 comments… read them below or add one }

Andre July 1, 2014 at 8:19 pm

Great video, has everything all the other videos do on the subject of switching and more, its quite comprehensive and has complementary exercises to help develop the body. Specially if you are just starting, get this one.

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Richard Johnson July 8, 2014 at 5:06 am

This video is rated 3/5, and it is probably that difficult to do correctly. However, interns of priority in learning, these principles and practices are some of the most basic and essential. You cannot really move forward until you have mastered the principles taught in this video. If you haven’t figured out how to pivot the pelvis without moving the pivot point, or if you haven’t learned how to changes pivot points, this is a great video of you.

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Richard Johnson September 25, 2014 at 9:08 am

I call these the revolving door (center) and left and right swinging doors. There is a lot more to it, and Shifu Chen goes into a lot of detail.

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Kelvin Ho April 10, 2020 at 2:55 pm

Welcome everyone to this video! I have provided the following guided reference. Please feel free to ask any questions related to the video.

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Kelvin Ho April 10, 2020 at 2:55 pm

1:00 We have 3 vertical lines in our body. The one in the middle from top of head down is called central equilibrium, but that is not functional. The other two functional lines are from each of the shoulders down.

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Kelvin Ho April 10, 2020 at 2:56 pm

2:00 We need to learn to switch between the two functional axes by moving the pivot to those axes. When the power arm of a lever is short, it has a long reach and the action is fast, but you need more strength to move the lever. When the power arm is long, it has a short reach and the action is slow, but it takes less effort to move the lever. By learning the three major positions of the pivot on a lever, we can eventually put the pivot anywhere on the lever. Not moving means establishing the pivot on a lever. The vertical axis allows a horizontal rotation.

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Kelvin Ho April 10, 2020 at 2:56 pm

3:15 Master Chen demonstrated how to apply this concept into the positive circle. In the first half of the positive circle, we use the front shoulder-to-kua line as the axis. The longer lever arm is from the shoulder-to-kua line to the rear foot. in the 2nd half of the positive circle, we switch to use the back should-to-kua line as the axis. This switching is done without any body movement or tossing. Do not learn to fight too early, as it takes a long time to get the taiji actions in us.

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Kelvin Ho April 10, 2020 at 2:57 pm

4:16 If we can’t reach the opponent, we must use our feet to move ourselves closer to the opponent. Note how Master Chen moved himself forward. The dang and two knees must form a triangle like a coat hanger that is solid in its shape. All movements must come from the feet (from knee down). The top must not move, like the chassis of a car, and only the wheels spin to carry the chassis around. Therefore, no leaning, no reach, no identation at the kua or waist.

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Kelvin Ho April 10, 2020 at 2:57 pm

5:00 Here is another demonstration of the switching of the axes in positive circle.

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Kelvin Ho April 10, 2020 at 2:58 pm

5:45 Here is another demonstration of movement the entire structure forward. Note the separation between the bottom and top. When the feet move, the top stays erect and not moving. The top does not follow the movement of the bottom.

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Kelvin Ho April 10, 2020 at 2:58 pm

6:20 The theory of 1/3: When measured against the floor, front kua to middle of front foot is 1/3, front kua to rear kua is the second 1/3, and rear kua to the middle of rear foot is the last 1/3.

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Travis Knaub April 11, 2020 at 8:13 am

Can you talk more about this concept?

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Travis Knaub April 11, 2020 at 8:14 am

I watched it several times and this part still confuses me.

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Kelvin Ho April 11, 2020 at 9:13 am

In general, we have three sections in the body. The middle section is the torso. We need to be able to change the torso’s direction without tossing it, so the two outer 1/3s are still the same except you may consider either side as the front. Without two open kuas, this is not possible, we will always toss. The torso is sitting on top of the two kuas, we must use the kuas to turn the torso.

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Travis Knaub April 11, 2020 at 10:46 am

Thank you! This helped me better understand. I was thinking about last weeks lesson when I should be focusing on what exactly is being taught now.

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Kelvin Ho April 10, 2020 at 3:01 pm

6:40 When Master Chen demonstrated pulling the opponent, he switched from his right shoulder-to-kua axis to his left shoulder-to-kua axis. Note that his torso stayed inside a cylindrical enclosure with no tossing.

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Kelvin Ho April 10, 2020 at 3:11 pm

7:05 One of the things Master Chen has repeatedly said in many occasions that we needed to change our habits.

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Kelvin Ho April 10, 2020 at 3:15 pm

7:40 Master Chen used the analogy of typing a keyboard to show the concept of separation (he used to call it division of labour too). Each finger is designated to type only certain keys on a keyword, there is no crossing or jumping around. The same key is always pressed by the same finger. The phrase 各家自扫门前雪 just came to my mind. Every finger contributes to typing certain letters, a word, a sentence and then a paragraph will come along. The typing will then be efficient. In our body, if we want to increase the distance between the front hand and the rear foot, each body part in between will have its own function to contribute to that end goal.

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Kelvin Ho April 10, 2020 at 3:16 pm

8:23 Lastly, Master Chen demonstrated a switching exercise. Pressing down one heel caused the other heel to go up, and at all times, the dantian does not move at all. This resembled a light switch or a tidder-todder (seesaw).

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZGA0AwhQ2j4

Please post a video of this exercise of your own practice.

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Gerry Gebhart April 11, 2020 at 10:34 am

Here is a link to my video. https://youtu.be/LLpq4W–GqY
I am a bit late.

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Kelvin Ho April 11, 2020 at 11:51 am

Thanks for posting. I watched it several times and compared it with Master Chen’s. Here is my observation:
1) The dantian area did not seem to move much, but it is not totally locked to the same spot yet.
2) Your two legs and kuas were not locked into one structure. As one heel touched the floor, in some cases, the other heel had not yet gone up proportionally. The analogy would be that the lever is somewhat broken at the middle (pivot). The foot actions were at this time coordinated as supposed to one heel going down pushing the other heal up. In terms of separation of yin and yang, maintaining the integrity of the lever and the non-moving pivot would be yin, and the action of the heels going up and down would be yang.

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Gerry Gebhart April 11, 2020 at 2:09 pm

Great feedback, thank you! I agree with what you said. I would say that is a problem through my whole form. Not quite there.

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Kelvin Ho April 11, 2020 at 8:18 am

After viewing the video, you should be able to answer the following questions:
1) What is switching?
2) What is being switched?
3) How can switching be achieved?

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