Edward Liaw

Day 1

  • The kua has to come out (draw a line forward with the kua).  Don’t move anything but the kua.
  • Partner exercise: partner sets a dot a few inches in front of the kua; you have to get your kua to touch it.
  • Add speed – do it 5 times fast.  Add power – have someone hold onto your kua from the rear.  Add stepping – connect it to your elbow and don’t let the elbow move.
  • Learning – have to make ideas based on physical reality, not on ideas.

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  • Reference points: counting is to establish a standard for us to be able to teach and communicate
  • Direction: must not lose the aim.  Don’t lose the 45 degree facing when practicing the foundational exercises
  • Positive circle 3 count:  1. in elbow; back shoulder to forward foot is the axis.  2. rotate waist don’t involve spine and don’t lose previous axis.  3. push foot, aim at hand. There is a split in the middle.  Again don’t lose previous two axes

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My name is Edward Liaw; I currently reside in San Diego, California.  I was accepted as Master Chen’s 283rd disciple during the 2018 North American Practical Method Training Camp in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, alongside Nathan Heintz and Spencer Jones.  Every day, I am grateful for being a part of a passionate and supportive community of practicioners, students, and teachers.

 

Taiji changed my life completely.  Up until the day I graduated from college, I was an awkward and introverted person.  I rarely exercised and spent most of my time in front of the computer.  When I was 22, I began to have migraines with aura.  As the migraines became more frequent and intense, I realized that this was not a wise lifestyle choice, so I sought to be more physically active.  I began with yoga, then light running, and then I joined a taiji class at the university I was working at.  While I enjoyed learning the form, I sought a little more.  I joined a local push hands meetup and quickly I realized that I lacked a good foundation and understanding of what taiji really was.  However, I could not understand the abstract terms that were often used to teach taiji.  I experimented with another local group that practiced Wing Chun, before I found the Practical Method Youtube videos.  What made this method unique was that the theory was logical and every exercise had meaning.  It gave me a process to understand my body.  I believed that to make real improvements requires a period of dedicated study and practice, so I arranged to leave my job and study full time at Daqingshan for 3 months.  It was an opportune time for me, as I had few responsibilities and enough savings for a year of practice.

 

Master Chen often remarks that when I came to the mountain, I was so loose and weak, like a bunch of noodles.  Looking back at some of the videos from DQS at the time, I can only agree.  I was incredibly uncoordinated.  My head was hunched forward from sitting in front of the computer all day.  In the push hands ring, I would spend more time on my back than on my feet!  Within the 3 months, I was able to gradually work up to doing 20 yilus a day, and listening to Master Chen and the other students helped to solidify the theories of Practical Method in my head.  3 years later, everyone that knows me from before can see that I’ve changed incredibly, and for the better.  I practice 5 yilus a day, 2 erlus, and about 100 repetitions of all the foundation exercises.  I attend many of Master Chen’s seminars in the US, as well as Ping Wei’s seminars in Irvine.  I hope to share Practical Method with the community in San Diego and anyone who is willing to learn.  I hope that it can benefit others as much as it has benefitted myself.

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The body must separate into two. For example in the opening move, part of the body faces forward and part of it rotates 45 degrees
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