Taiji’s 1 and 0

by Kelvin Ho on 2020/05/17

1and0

I have been a computer engineer for 24 years and work with 1 and 0s for a living. For a simple light switch, it typically has only two states, and is either on or off. By putting a lot of these switches together, a digital computer was born. Each pair of on and off, represented as 1 and 0 using high voltage and low voltage in a computer, forms a basic unit called a bit. Eight bits make one byte. For the english language, each alphabet or symbol can be represented by such a byte. It is unimaginable how the on and off states of many such switches can be turned into a device, such as a smartphone, tablet, or desktop/notebook computer, that does so many amazing things for us.

In Practical Method, in-with-elbow and out-with-hand are our 1 and 0. Just like the digital 1 and 0, each state must be very clear. Through continuous training we begin to realize what they can be used for, and why they are so important. They represent one of many ways to look at yin and yang. By understanding (= doing) in-with-elbow and out-with-hand, we will recognize other 1s and 0s in the body, such as filling-the-kua and pushing-back-the-knee. The full realization of taiji comes from having a lot of 1s and 0s working together. The more 1s and 0s we have in the body, the more combination and permutations there can be. It just like a 64-bit computer being more powerful than a 32-bit or 16-bit computer.

Master Chen Zhonghua always says that we must do one thing right to begin our real learning. There is a reason why Grandmaster Hong Junsheng passed down “In with elbow no hand, out with hand no elbow” to us. Let’s start by training taiji’s 1 and 0, and build our taiji super computer.

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.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

James Tam May 17, 2020 at 9:13 am

Well said! And, in Hunyuan it is Open and Close.

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