Richard Johnson

Richard JohnsonShifu Chen Zhonghua often emphasizes how to learn Taijiquan. This web site has a great article called 6 Methods of Learning Tai Chi. It expands and elaborates on Grandmaster Hong’s Look, Listen, Ask, Practice Method.

I am finishing a PhD in Exercise Science – Biomechanics at Auburn University. A related interest has been motor control, so I took as many of these courses as I could. From these courses, I learned there is a neurological basis for this method of learning.

In neurology there is a mechanism called a mirror neuron. When we see a person do something, mirror neuron fire off in our brain duplicating the pattern in the brain required to copy the movement. It is not a perfect copy at first, but with repeated viewing of the action, our brains do a really good job of copying the movement. Read more

Fill it in, then add one.

  • Get in -  Loose -  get into position, set it up, dissipate the opponent’s force. Two ways: Receive (a push from) the opponent. OR, Move into the opponent without pushing. (large circle) Read more

Old analogies – Taiji is like a rolling log (in water).

Theory                      Method

Back silk knot         Silk reeling Read more


I. Stationary

  1. Twisting towel
  2. Six sealing four closing Read more
  • Hinge
    Chest must move like a hinge in order to link.  (Shifu Chen puts the ends of two bottle together and shows them bending and sliding off each other in various ways.)
  • Split
    Do the form with a center split. Then learn to split at any point in the body. This is the same as the demarcation line discussed earlier.

Sunday PM Session

Zhuo – adherence

Never on, never off Read more