Things I am trying to take into account while practicing.

by vincent den hengst on 2018/04/23

The richness of Chen Style Taijiquan Practical Method struck me in 2013 when I had my first encounter with Master Chen and his explanations. There is so much to learn for me. Master Chen told on several occasions, that if you think you know how to do practical method, you can stop to practice, cause you stop learning. There is always something that you don’t know, you can do better, you can improve, that takes time, that someone else knows or knows better … and so on.

At first, I was a bit disappointed. How can I ever learn this martial art? It was the martial art I was always looking for. In all other martial arts lot’s of things seemed to be missing. Only when I was 36 years of age,  I found the one martial art that contained it all in my opinion, that was my personal conclusion. Anyway, Chen Style  Taijiquan Practical Method, I found out, was the method itself, the solution to my disappointment: practice according to what you learned, it is a practical method. That cheered me up gradually. To be concrete, here is a list of things that I learned from master Chen, his videos and from other practical method practitioners, that I try to practice while I do my form and foundation training:

6-way stretch

elbow in, hand out

wrists straight

elbow down

don’t move the head

pull/push shoulders down

don’t look down

step in a one, two, three sequence

one joint turns out/opens, the next one turns in, closes

tuck the pelvis in; push it back, but let it not go back from the crutch

keep the spine straight; keep the second spine (underarms) also straight

there is always one foot pumping/pushing out

rotate the joints, do not move the bones

knees point upwards

keep the dang

shoulders and kuas can only compress towards each other

don’t flex your muscles (at my learning stage/beginner)

chest caves in; at two points the chest pushes down

the back is straight

shoulderblades cannot come out

grab the floor with you feet

rotate the torso according to vertical lines (shoulder-kua/spine, the principle of the doorhinge)

 

 

 

 

 

About vincent den hengst

My name is Vincent den Hengst. I am from the Netherlands, Utrecht, where I started practicing Hunyuan taiji under James Fletcher in 2007. From the beginning, I kept exercising daily. In 2013 I stepped over to Practical Method. In 2014 and 2015 I went to Daqinshan for two months in total and observed several workshops since 2013. I regard Practical Method taiji as taught by Grandmaster Chen as the highest possible region of martial art, so I feel lucky and happy I finalized my life's queeste to find the one martial art.

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