Notes for Practical Method Toronto Workshop Mar 2-5, 2019 – Kelvin Ho

by Kelvin Ho on 2019/03/01

KelvinHoVsMichaelLamberti

Day 0

Fetch Water

  • Put my front knee against the bench.
  • My front knee should be on top of my front heel.
  • Make my fetch water action much, much, much bigger. Only when there is size, it becomes useful. My action is way too small, Master Chen told me the same at the last workshop as well. I have not changed yet.
  • Once I am done with stretching the top, while not moving the front kua, knee, foot, move the rear foot to increase size.
  • Whatever I do, the front knee is not moving.
  • Train the whole yilu with one specific part not moving.


Six Sealing Four Closing

  • Grandmaster Hong used to teach it like stretching from the front heel all the way to the rear kua. However, too many people made the mistake of sticking the bum out. When your opponent touches you at that moment, you fall down on the bum. It is the big size created without movement that is significant.
  • Hold the opponent’s left arm at the wrist with my left hand. My elbow pressing into his elbow. Stretch and lock. My right leg in front of his left leg. Stretch my top locked structure again my non-moving front kua. I cannot create space during this process.
  • Don’t create space, but you need a little bit of space to separate.

Push Hands Drill 1

  • Stretch the opponent around to the right on the top, at max stretch, sit down.
  • Stretch the opponent around to the right on the top, if the opponent resists, stretch the opponent at the bottom to the left to fill any space created, at max stretch, sit down.

Push Hands Drill 2

  • Train to just hit the back of the opponent’s thigh with my thigh. Understand how the opponent reacts to it, use the elbow in to find that hit to make a pair. Always finish the move, that is the most important thing. Everything else can be comprised, but not this one in the instruction. We always think in the opposite way, that is why it is so hard to follow the instructions.
  • Alternately, if the elbow-in is resisted by the opponent, make the kua find the elbow (cannon fist move).
  • The above is one pair. Fingers finding the elbow is another pair. Kua stretching into the knee in the other leg is another pair. Eventually, everything goes towards the same non-moving dot. When all space is taken out, rotation happens.

Day 1

Master Chen emphasized on moving the waist for the 2nd count of the positive circle. I wasn’t moving/activating it at all.

Positive Circle
1st count: 1 section moves
2nd count: 2 sections move
3rd count: 3 sections move

Negative Circle
1st count: 3 sections move
2nd count: 2 sections move
3rd count: 1 section moves

Kua
Everyone wants to open the kua.
Master Chen asked me to lock his thigh by grabbing one hand near the buttock and the other hand just above the knee.
I have to line up my left hand thumb and my right index finger to prevent him from moving.
He locked thigh, and only move the part that was above the kua.
Now he locked the left shoulder and the right knee, he pushed his kua forward. That is considered open. This caused the two ends to open.
Now he locked the left shoulder and the right knee, he pulled his kua backward. This is considered close. This caused the two ends to go in opposite directions compared to the “open”.

Exercise 1
1st piece – right kua to right knee
2nd piece – right kua to left shoulder
Locked the 1st piece, move only the 2nd piece

Exercise 2
3 points – right knee, right kua, left shoulder
Lock the right knee and left shoulder, only push the right kua forward

Exercise 3
1st piece – right kua to right knee
2nd piece – right kua to left shoulder
Only push the right kua forward to cause the two pieces to move accordingly

Day 2

Develop a habit to keep records of everything.
We do things today. What remains 10 years from now?
Most people when they look back, there is nothing there.

I should have newspaper announcements and records of the events in Toronto every time.

See what is the same in the difference
See what is the difference in the same
That is dao.

Everything is loose sand. (I can’t remember what this is about)

We are like the animals, we are the same. We just think that we have free will.

When you are influenced by something, you have no free will. We only believe we do.

We don’t change. If we can truly make that change, we will be different. In daoism, we live in delusion. (Are we in the Matrix?)

We make one true decision, we become god.
We make an opposite decision, we become the devil.
We make no decision, we are human (animal).

We should only promote ourselves and not others.

We want to turn principles into an action.

We put things on the internet, but don’t watch others as we WILL be influenced by them.

What I am doing is:

illegal, unethical, totally opposite to what we should be doing (Master Chen’s words)

I should promote outward and not inward

Master Chen’s talked about turning a principle into a concept and then into an action. He asked us to give examples of each.

Principle -> concept -> action
I want to be a good person -> I must be educated ->I learn 1+1

I want to be a nice guy, but I do nothing for it.

Someone asked Master Chen about how to buy a red shirt. However, there was no reference to which red shirt in the message.
People assumes MC knows what the message refers to. Which specific shirt?

Learning has to be specific.

Change the habit of learning

One way is to inflict wounds to make the person remember

Don’t Move is all three: principle, concept and action, so it is confusing.

Find new people to join.

Master Chen emphasized that we should be clear. Ok to be wrong, but not ok to be vague

Proper questions to ask:

  1. Could you do it again?
  2. Could you say it again?
  3. Could I feel you?

Question such as “what about this” is a RUDE QUESTION because you are ignoring what the teacher is teaching.

As a teacher, he has to show something specific and useful, he has to do things to fill the space.

Promotion Policy on the internet

  1. Create a separate Facebook account
  2. Forward all master chen’s posting and videos

Exerise: Exaggerated twisting the towel

  1. The kua has to come out
  2. No movement on the shoulder or the hand
  3. It must be clear that the kua is the source of the action.
  4. The right kua is stretched against the left kua, and vice versa, during twisting the towel.

Concept: We must fit into the opponent.

Exercise: Punch to the chest

  1. No movement on the chest. We often just move the chest too much.
  2. Connect to the rear kua
  3. Open the kuas to create a stretch.
  4. Aim the energy back at the opponent centre.

Climbing:

We normally only go back and forth. We should only go forward with something fixed, and then switch.

We move the shoulder, you can keep going without knowing you are wrong.
To move the kua, we must move the foot (we want this) because the kua is not long enough.

If we don’t know how to cut, we pop.

Cutting exercise

Story 1: Horse vs Tractor
Long time ago in where Master Chen used to live and before any machine is used for farming. Horse is used to plow the field. The first tractor was brought to the town. The villagers only knew the horse could do that work before, they regarded the tractor as the horse that drank black liquid.

When we don’t understand Master Chen, we often ask “is this just like…”. We are just like the villagers.

Story 2: Someone on DQS trapped in a loop

There was a path in the form of a loop from DQS to the town.  There was a person who wanted to go to the town, but had not been there. Even when another person pointed him the way regarding a path somewhere down the road, by the time this person got there, he would miss it and come back. He was stuck in this loop for the entire night.

There is a block in the mind, and he just couldn’t see it.  We often have a similar block we create in our minds, and we couldn’t see the truth.

We want to see the shortest path to the ground.

Day 3

Article on Meridian line
I lost the conflict

Ground Dragon

  1. Right shoulder and left foot form a line
  2. I moved my right shoulders.
  3. Don’t move the shoulder and maintain that line throughout the move.

Cutting the corners eventually change the polygon into a circle.

True energy exists because we can observe the effects of it.

Everything and nothing are the same.

Taiji power is there all the time. We can only tab into it.

5 Element Theory
The existence and non-existence are based on certain conditions, e.g. wood needs water.

Soul is yang, and body is yin.
Soul is yin, and body is yang (common believe).

相生相克
The contradiction creates a dimension.

The body’s function is to trap the soul.
Without the body, the soul is everywhere and present at all time.

100 % vs 0 % friction
Head on hit vs sliding off
We need to adjust/change gears.
I need to maintain the head on hit and add a side way hit to make less than 100% friction at contact point.

We need to continue to adjust as the opponent leaves me. I must maintain the attachment until my action complete.

5 Levels of Taiji Ability

  1. Beginner
  2. Better
  3. Better than better
  4. I can see what you did, but I can’t do it
  5. What is this? No idea what you did.

Memorize
Keep seizing

There is only one truth.

Rotation means rotation.
Add another dimension to it is a spiral

We can’t add or subtract.

I have to redo the yilu.

No movement
There is only rotation.
If you rotate the kua, and the elbow is not adjusted accordingly, something will be off.

Story 3: Gondolier in Venice
The skill is passed from generation to generation, but only one person in the family will inherit it.
High level skill

We should train as if there is weight so you produce the same power even when there is no weight

Exercise: Elbow strike

  1. Align front and rear elbow, and create a gap between the hands
  2. Add rotation, and do elbow strike again
  3. Repeat and repeat
  4. Rapid Fire

Observation

If you can really see it, then you will try and until it matches the image in your head.

Story 4: Talking to the immortal on the way to school
Master Chen grew up in junior high and high school walking to school every day with an immortal.
He realizes now that his knowledge in daoism came from this time. He learned it without knowledge. He just talked to this person every day.
Everyone seems to know the existence of this person, but no one ever knew where he lived, and hadn’t seen him eating.

Punch to the ground
Kua to heel has a rod for the supporting leg.
Stretch the other leg without moving the rod.
After maximum stretch, lock the bottom, release the top. Top-bottom separation.

During push hand, I need to maintain the top, then steal a step.

1) --op--      --me--
         --me--

2) --op-- --me--
   --me--

We want the steal to be very far behind the opponent or very far behind myself.

Throwing away the rock

I slid off the opponent because I did not catch two points to form a line, which is the aim. The aim needs to be at the centre.

Exercise: Rotation

  1. One person grabbing you from behind. One arm over the shoulder, one arm under the armpit.
  2. Create a catch against those arms of the opponent, rotate from the bottom.
  3. Stretch the knee around the front kua-heel line.
  4. The other kua has to stretch against the front kua.

Rule: Sweep from the bottom
We always push from the top of the opponent, we need to pull from the bottom.
This is the same as every push needs to be a pull.

Eagle Claw
Left hand grabbing right wrist
Just stretch the fingers. You will feel expansion at the wrist.
Make a fist keeping the expansion.

Tian Bu (Filler Step)
Shovel out, and filler step rotation

Open the shoulder is to rotate the upper arm
Open the kua is to rotate the thigh

Upper arm, flank, thigh cannot move, only rotate

Rock, stick and rope
Upper body is a rope
Lower body is a stick
Dantian is a rock
Putting the rock under the stick makes a lever

Continuously taking up space is ji.
Water displays the quality of taking up space.

Life form creates dynamic power.
Machine creates static power.

Static power is power that is contained, like a chair.

Exercise: Stepping (Alone)

  1. Push from the rear foot, shovel out the front heel
  2. Shift horizontally without going up
  3. Vertical flank compression to pull the rear foot up without moving the front knee.

Exercise: Stepping (with resistance)

  1. Someone grabbing the rear ankle to provide the resistance.
  2. To drag the person, I must make a point under my rear thigh connect with a point in my front ankle.

There are four points that must eventually be linked up. Outside the wrist, under the armpit, under the thigh, and outside the ankle.

Tendons do not need oxygen.
Turning yourself to just bones and tendons creates longevity.
People who lived for a long time look very dry.

Tendons wrapped around bones.

Sign of an immortal
He is someone who you will discover new things about him. Does Master Chen fit the bill?

Currently, we learn by having direct feedback.
Therefore, we cannot learn when there is no real feedback.  We need to be able to learn without direct feedback.

Riding bicycle has direct feedback.
Looking at something and drawing without looking at what you draw will not provide feedback. This training is to recalibrate.

 

Day 4

3 Important Things for learning Practical Method

  1. Follow instructions without understanding
  2. Teach it to others immediately (if the others can pick it up quickly, I did not do it right)
  3. See the teacher often

Lock the outside, move the inside
It creates a long strength.

I need to create a lot of movements in my kua. Just focus on my kua.

I lost the Peng.
I must maintain that frame.

Exercise: Push wall 
3 points

  1. Side of hand not moving
  2. shoulder not moving
  3. Move the elbow to drive the hand into the wall

Exercise: Bend down and come up

  1. I bend down at the waist
  2. A partner pushes down on my back
  3. I need to come up without directly pushing the partner
  4. Make the contact point on my back a non-moving dot (a pivot)
  5. Push the kuas forward
  6. For any space created, fill it up with the knee expansion.

Don’t move the kua, stretch the shoulder forward. Lock the shoulder, stretch the kua down and forward.

We must move the opponent parallel to the floor.
It is the same as peeling.

 

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.

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