Richard van Berkum

Hello everybody,

I have a question about the shoulders or more specific the shoulder blades in these exercises.

Fetch water:

When you practice fetch water, does the (front) shoulder blade rotate/move up or down (the back)? As for the other shoulder, does it Always do the reverse?

My experience is that it rotates up and “over the shoulder”

Positive  circle:

In the first part, rotates the (front) blade up or down and what about the second part?

My experience is that the blade in the first part rotates up “and over” the shoulder and in de second part it drops/rotates down the back.

Negetive circle:

idem, I can imagine it is the same as the positive circle.

Futher I feel a very distinctive flip when you transfer from the first part of the circle to the second part of the circle. I can remember master Chen talking about it in some videos.




Hello everybody,

I am thinking about starting a class in my town. The main reason is that there is no practical method close by and to get my own regular training. I don’t know the whole Yilu form. My experience with practical method is mostly from the video’s of master Chen and of the workshops he taught in the Netherlands. Futher I am an experienced Aikido teacher and P.E. teacher. So I do have a background.

I have a few questions:

Is it acceptable to start a class and teach as I don’t know the whole form?

How do you guys structure class?

What are good (extra) exercises besides the foundations? Are there good partner exercises?

Are the first 13 moves enough to start a class?

Thanks in advance,





Dear master Chen,

If I listened correctly you don’t move but rotate to change angles. I have a question about the positive circle. In the first half if you lead with the elbow it seems the angle in the elbow gets sharper. Is that a move or does that happen through rotation? As far as  know a rotation isn’t considered a movement. Also what happens when you keep “pushing” the elbow in the line of the shoulder and hand to create power? It look likes the elbow is dropping away from the line which should make the structure weak. I can’t seem to unite these directions although I think I understand them separately.





After some time of training and looking at master chen’s videos I feel confident enough to post a video. Any feedback is welcome. I’m planning to post some more on the other basic exercises.

Youtube video below

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Leverage 9

by Richard van Berkum on 2011/10/17

In a video I’ve seen Master Chen says “Lever has to come out.” I have a few questions about that:

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Hello everybody,

Let me introduce my self. I’m Richard and I’m from Holland. I came across videos of master chen on the internet because I was looking for some taiji terms and explanations. I’m practicing aikido at the moment and I was looking for some information which could help me futher in my practice regarding center and grounding. Read more