Locations : Toronto

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In this video, Master Chen covered the 3 main axes in the body, and how we could switch among them without tossing in the positive circle, and the analogy of a lever with different pivots. We discussed about the shoulder last week at Shoulder Movements in Positive Circle, we will continue this week regarding switching with the lower half of the body.

See you at 10 am ET on Saturday, April 11, 2020 at http://practicalmethod.com/2014/06/switching-in-the-positive-circle-online-video-trailer/


Basically, once again I will combine the 4-day seminar into a summary by grouping what I call related items. It was a great environment to get corrections from others or better understanding of push hand drills. Great bunch of people.


We did foundation work every day along with the Yilu form lots of either 13 moves or 81.

Twisting towel – This is like two versions of you working toward a common goal. The first version Locks the physical body. The Second you push from back kua to                   move arm when it stops pushing you go back. Zero percent of move came from the first you.

             This concept is also in fetch water – first you stretch from floor up through opposite shoulder. The Second you push the kua to the line from the back. The above              examples were shown in order to show the exactness required. When there is movement elsewhere in the body the intent and power evaporate.

Terms understanding

Throughout the seminar Mater Chen would make the following statements and show examples.  He would have us do a few items to engrain it in us.

                            The lock is Yin The move is yang

                          Definition of not moving the pieces of the arm. Master Chen encouraged us to take this learning and put them in our form  

To move the hand, you must move the elbow

To move the elbow, you must move the shoulder

To move the shoulder, you must move the kua

To move the elbow, extend to armpit,

He also said that in order not to be trapped bypass a Joint. So my elbow is moved by my shoulder then use the kua or foot to move the elbow. This leaves                                       nothing for the opponent to catch, it also makes the line longer


Stretch into legs through hip – I realized I moved my knees or stretched from one foot to another. Now I am trying to stretch through the hip like turning over a an hour glass to stretch or fill to the knees and then feet

Getting rid of slack example Positive circle Practise first aligning elbow (a little) without moving hand.  This gets rid of the slack because when you only rotate elbow it removes slack


Finding the center of the line - Real or otherwise all things go through the middle / centre. So you should beat the opponent to the center. Let your opponent create the two ends and beat them by recognizing and beating them to the center and creating the line

Example of structure and not moving –   The chair does not move. Someone stands between legs of chair. Someone holds one leg and someone else holds the other. When they pull at the same time the person in the middle moves


Rules You can work toward understanding and accomplishing

To move the elbow, try Bypassing joints

-        Open shoulder to move elbow

-        Open kua to move elbow

-        Open heel to move elbow

You always break energy through joints When opponent pushes elbow move turn shoulder / bicep to bring around elbow then there is no fight

Understanding the energy of in and out -Elbow In energy is on the bottom of the arm, hand out the energy is on the top of arm

You can go back and forward but cannot go sideways this would be considered retreat

Power comes from locking first then moving Looseness is like a cotton ball, energy is absorbed by the cotton. A thrown rock you feel it goes through you

Stretch from the back to connect and go through the opponents back


Example of not moving Positive circle hand out without moving or shifting energy will find the back foot

You must have a bite in your grip, do not grab the muscle penetrate to the bone or ligaments. you can penetrate with two fingers or a forearm or a single finger

When you step in if your arm is in front you only have access to the arm if your arm is behind the person you have access to the whole body

You must develop a rod from your front shoulder to front hip first to help remove space. Then you learn to move hand and elbow to create a byte.

All drills

  1. Get to the other side
  2. Stretch in order to cause rotation and bypassing joints
  3. Cause separation by not allowing anything in your body to follow the stretch


How to

Mater Chen talked about Bidirectional elbow rotation where the energy from the elbow went forward to the hand and back toward shoulder.

Mater Chen showed how you can sense this initially. He had me take my arm and place my palm on his elbow joint and the other hand on his wrist. And then he opened his elbow sending first some energy to his hand and then back to his shoulder.

I found I could do the same thing by applying pressure on my elbow and then slowly opening the elbow I could feel the bidirectional stretch. I then took my palm away and tried to do the same

Master Chen said then try to take the backward energy all the way to the back shoulder



Exercise to live longer

Align yourself by Depressing chest and Ming man point (coccyx  ) in order to connect the points into one line in the body



Exchanging of energy Drills between you and your opponent

  1. The S curse in the arm to create a line (bent arm creates a line from shoulder to hand
  •   You have your hands on the biceps of the opponent. If your wrist turns out on the biceps then the shoulder turns inward. If your wrist turns in on the biceps then the shoulder turns outward

2. Bend arm release through hand

  • The opponent holds your wrist with both hands. You bent arm back toward yourself. When they have been up rooted split your energy by stretching your finger from left to right or right to left. You can feel the energy split if you did not unlock

3. Expansion and contraction

  • Master Chen had me push his chest with my two hands arms extended, his expanded his chest and arm. His chest then collapsed as he brought his elbow around and down through my two arms.

4. Changing the angle

  •  Match opponent then leaving your arms in place stretch sitting back stop do not move waist again just stretch with arms. You were able to move them because by moving back you changed the angle and force

5 . General Distance

distance is measured by eyes by shoulders. Boxers rely on elbow movement moving sideways hides elbows and shoulders


6 Ways to connect to your back Do not roll arms


  1. Depress chest and connect to lower back to put arms in front of body
  2. Now expand chest sideways and then Depress chest and connect to lower back to put arms in front of body

7. don’t see an arm see a line with your hands-on opposite side.


Pieces of the form


Fist protecting body

- Use the opposite chest stretch to first engage bent arm and get to fist without moving bent arm structure this arm is like a boomerang then use stretch in kua to move elbow while keeping same boomerang structure

Brush knee with opponent ( proper brush knee)  application

As you step out with heel push your arm down with a byte  in order to stretch opponents’ arm, Lock your forearm and elbow to your front kua. As you land your foot your arm moves down at the same rate as your kua

Tai chi expression for the above is called this is that = examples are your arm is tied to your kua your hand is tied to your foot before elbow in. If there is slack it does not allow this or that to happen


With the above information master Chen had us do drills or feel the experience by him performing the drills on us.

Exchanging of energy Drills between you and your opponent drills example 6

  1. This was a drill to show how to connect to both your back and your opponents back # 6 Ways to connect to your back = Do not roll arms Now expand chest sideways and then Depress chest and connect to lower back to put arms in front of body.

In this drill the opponent grabbed your arms above elbow. Now expand your chest as you raise your arms, your hand and forearm are attached below their arm, once out beyond their body Depress chest and connect to lower back to put arms in front of body. Now stretch from your back to fingers and beyond


  1. This was a drill to show how Expansion and contraction like #5

The opponent pushed my chest with two hands arms extended, I expanded his chest and arms. Depress chest and connect to lower back to put arms in front of body, then collapsed my chest as I brought my elbow around and down through the opponent’s two arms.


Alignment drills

Go backward have your chest become your feet

Someone pushes your chest and walks slow toward you with extended arm. Your chest leans back to where your chest becomes your feet walk back with each push

General Drills

  1. Opponent Steps in right leg you also have right leg forward they  are holding your elbows. They step in and stretch you out. To get rid of the feeling of locked upper body sink opening legs.


  1. Do the same step in as above three 3 times. On third time you do a front right elbow rotation. They have a feeling of hitting a wall


  1. Scissors – step with heel in back of opponent making sure your thigh touches theirs. Your arm stretched across them in front. As you land your foot the thigh effect’s them. At the same time, you stretch to your fingers stretching fingers behind them. You must open your shoulder to make energy goes to fingers.




  1. Your right foot steps in behind the opponent with your arm in front of them at level of elbow. Grab their elbow and squeeze it toward you to have them move energy from right to lower left side. Then rotate thigh and circle your right arm up and back, variation simply move thigh and elbow against one another


  1. Your right hand grabs theirs you step behind their left leg and rotate your left arm around their right bicep. Your left arm rotates up and around while your left leg sweeps them


  1. Opponent pushes on your elbow you wrap your hand and arm around their grab towards ground open or stretch from kua your kua


  1. Do not move – Hold opponent allow them to push you back now connect to floor stretching through to hands and stretch to  hands only back to move opponent



Stand in normal horse stance your right arm is bent in front of you with elbow out right side. Lock your front by pressing front right kua up and front shoulder down.                Now stretch down center of the body to lock the rest of the body. Connect/stretch back left ball of foot to left kua. Feel the connection between the ball of the foot and the elbow. twist back left heel forward and rotate around center. Your elbow moves out not back

Try other side

Now have someone stand between your elbow and front foot. Perform the exercise


At the end of day one we each perfumed the first 13 moves individually

On the last day there was 12 of us. Everyone took turns where we stood in the middle of the floor and each person rushed us one at a time tapping center, one side and the other we had to perform the drill up until the flip. We each performed 3 different drills. It gave us a sense of dynamic execution


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Instructor: Master Chen Zhonghua
Date: Sep 12-15, 2020

Energy Alignment 2

by Kelvin Ho on 2020/01/13

Energy path is the pathway that energy travels on. There are both a physical path and a virtual path for a given setup. For any three points in the body, they can form a triangle (unless they all fall into one straight line). For this discussion, let’s use right hand, left kua and left foot as the three points. As similarly discussed in this previous article, while the right hand and left kua form one physical (solid) line, and the left kua and left foot form another physical (solid) line, the right hand and left foot form a virtual (invisible) line. While the actual energy travels along the two physical lines, it can be viewed as if it travels on the virtual line.
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A number of Traditional Chinese Medicine practitioners and patients attended Practical Method experience class on Dec. 20, 2019, and some of them tried taiji for the very first time. Among the participants, there was Rachel Yi, who started studying Practical Method in 2016 in China. She is now attending university in Canada, and is continuing to study PM under my taiji brother Si Chan in Winnipeg. We covered some foundation exercises, the first 13 moves of yilu, and some demonstration of applications.

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Instructor: Kelvin Ho Length: 23 min Language: English Year: 2019 Difficulty: 1/5 At: Toronto

This video covers:
Twisting the Towel
Fetch Water
Positive Circle
Negative Circle

Angelo Gee's Foundation Correction
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Do you have a New Year resolution to become healthier in 2020? Taiji may be your answer. On Dec. 29, 2019 at 10 am, you will have a chance to experience what taiji is like and what health benefits it may bring you at the Chen Style Taiji Experience Class to be held at Channels of Wellness Centre. Come try it out for free!

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Push Hands Only Version

Full Version

On Dec. 8, 2019, a Practical Method Taiji Push Hands Workshop was held in Toronto. We had 10 participants, and 4 of them were new to Practical Method. Bert Desjardins drove 4.5 hours from Windsor to Toronto to attended this workshop. We also had the pleasure of having Master Liu Xuwei, who teaches Chen Style Taijiquan Small Frame, in attendance. We covered foundations:

  1. Twisting the TowelDon’t move the hand, and only use the foot the squeeze out the hand.
  2. Fetch Water – Don’t move anything, only focus on opening the kua
  3. Six Sealing Four Closing – Lock the front hand and rear shoulder, push the front shoulder into the line formed by the front hand and rear shoulder.
  4. Positive CircleIn with elbow, turn with waist, out with hand. No other body part should be moving except the specific leader.
  5. Negative CircleIn with elbow, drop the hand on the outside, out with hand.

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I was invited along with a number of taiji teachers in Toronto to perform at the 2019 Fountain of Youth Qi Event on Nov. 23, 2019. Each teacher first performed a routine of his choice on stage. In the 2nd part of the event, each teacher demonstrated Cloud Hands, Single Whip and White Crane (Goose) Spread Its Wings of his style. Over generations of transmission, there are many variants of these moves. Many thanks to Sharon Liu, Founder of Fountain of Youth Qi for the invitation and organization of such event.

Official Page: http://www.dyysg123.com/206593211320581365232424739178236373103426371.html
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Push hands is an exercise that examines your understanding of the Taiji principle: Separation of Yin and Yang. While form training transforms your body, push hands provides an opportunity for you to apply your Taiji knowledge and skill. It has also become a popular sporting event both in China and abroad. This workshop is suitable for beginners as well as people at different levels of their training. If you have never tried it before, this is a great opportunity for you to do it in a friendly and safe environment.

推手是一种让人检查对太极原理(分阴阳)理解的练习。 套路训练可以改变人的身体结构,而推手则提供了运用太极拳知识和技能的机会。 它已成为国内外流行的体育赛事。 这训练班适合推手初学者及不同程度培训的太极爱好者。 如果您以前从未尝试过推手,那么这是个让你在友好与安全的环境中初次尝试的绝佳机会。

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Intent i

by Kelvin Ho on 2019/11/20

Today, there was a discussion among some of the North American disciples on intent. What is it? What does it mean?

The discussion allowed me to solidfy a couple of things.
In 2019 Iowa Camp, shifu mentioned:

Spencer’s notes:
The camp’s lessons this time were pervaded by the idea of “intention”. Intention in PM is what we call “to lead”. For example, in the positive circle, the elbow in is the “lead” Intention has no meaning in itself, but it changes everything. I am starting to realize this is one of the reasons Master Chen’s form looks so much different than mine and I can never figure out why. Your eyes can only see movement. The act of leading translates to intention, and when intention is used, the action is different. In with elbow, turn at waist, out with hand… You have to be clear about those intentions. Say them aloud! When the intention is clear, you produce a very thin line. From one large thing, you pull out one dot. This is the concept of silk reeling. Read more

Guitar String i

by Rick Pietila on 2019/10/12

Master Chen showing Rick Pietila how to align the rear elbow with the front hand

Master Chen showing Rick Pietila how to align the rear elbow with the front hand

Recently at a 2019 Toronto CA workshop hosted by Kevin Ho, Master Chen Zhonghua demonstrated and taught the participants a training drill that requires the starting position to have the rear heel off the floor and both hands in a double push position, chest high. While going over this drill and teaching to the finer more precise details, he offered that we students feel his back leg starting positions with our hands. One hand was to be placed on the ankle while the other on the inside thigh to feel the active tendons and muscles. He suggested that students pull or rake across these two areas to gain a better understanding of the physical requirements for the drill.  When I took my turn, pulling across these areas, something registered with me to the feeling of the amount of tension in the leg as well as what precisely for this move was being used to generate such great power, and speed.
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  1. Gears on either side of spine move in opposite direction

The gears twist on either side of the spine and your intention along with where you are looking can send power in any direction you want. You can also add better control by also changing the percentage of each lever. with straight spine hold with front left kua use right hand across. them Opening kua to right

Power comes from restrictions, stretch to point of rotation, Movement is muscle., no movement is a lever
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When practicing yilu:

  1. Put myself inside a fixed sized box.
  2. Pull against the sides of the box coming into dantian.
  3. Push against the sides of the box going out of dantian.

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Instructor: Master Chen Zhonghua
Date: Mar 7-10, 2020

I was asked to write a post about my overall experience with Practical Method up to this point, so I’ll try my best to put those experiences into words. My first live experience with Practical Method was during the Toronto seminar with Master Chen Zhonghua in March of 2019. Since then I’ve had the opportunity to train on and off with both Kelvin Ho and Hugo Cascoduro (depending on my work schedule), with most of this post addressing the live push hands and applications portion of the training.

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Class Yilu Correction on July 14, 2019

July 21, 2019
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Push Hands Demo on June 8, 2019

June 22, 2019

Push Hands was demonstrated at 2019 Canadian Cultural and Martial Arts Festival

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Practical Method Yilu Performance on June 8, 2019

June 10, 2019

Yilu Performance at 2019 Canadian Cultural and Martial Arts Festival

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Kelvin Ho Taiji Sword on June 8, 2019

June 9, 2019

Kelvin Ho performed Taiji sword at 2019 Canadian Cultural and Martial Arts Festival on June 8, 2019.

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Practical Method Class at York University

June 5, 2019

I am teaching Chen Style Taijiquan Practical Method at Martial Arts Club @ York University. This is an introductory course, which will cover a taste of foundations, form, application drills and push hands. Class Info: Date: Wednesdays, June 5-26, 2019 Time: 6:30 pm to 7:30 pm Location: Room 202 of Vanier College (#56 on the [...]

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Toronto 10th Anniversary Workshop Sep 7-10, 2019

May 15, 2019
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Drilling Down

April 6, 2019

This week, I found myself able to drill the opponent down causing him to eventually fall vertically to the ground.

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“Federick Wong Yilu Correction (First 13 Moves)” Online Video Purchase

March 10, 2019

Presenter: Kelvin Ho   Length: 28 min.   In: English   Year: 2018  Difficulty:1/5  At:Toronto

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March 2 to 5th Workshop Notes

March 10, 2019

The following are highlights of my workshop notes workshop March 2 to 5th. I have tried to organize them into categories so I could better relate them.  I did not capture everything  Workshop notes: All Questions Should be asked in order to bring clarity: Hear It , See it, Feel It – the 3 questions [...]

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Toronto Workshop, Day 2, March 3, 2019 – Mike’s Notes

March 3, 2019

We are here because we’re humans, not animals. Everything is like loose sand. Among the sand, some things might have a spark. There’s nothing wrong with sand, and nothing wrong with other ways of moving, such as other forms of martial arts or football. It just depends on what you want. Master Chen is looking [...]

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Night of Push Hands: Match Schedule and Scores

March 2, 2019

Click to see match schedule and scores.

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Toronto Workshop 2nd March 2019 day 1 afternoon session notes

March 2, 2019

Drill #Yilu move 1 Jin Gang Dao Dui

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Open and close the kua

March 2, 2019

My attempt to recount what Master Chen said the morning of 3/2/2019 at the Toronto workshop

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Toronto workshop 2nd March 2019 Day 1 morning notes

March 2, 2019

#Foundation instructions 3 count positive circle -maintain equal size in all 3 counts -initially how you feel and shape doesn’t matter -count 1 & 3 is easy, 2nd is difficult

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

March 1, 2019

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 [...]

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Kelvin Ho Chinese New Year Taiji Performance 2019

February 12, 2019

Kelvin Ho was invited to perform at Yee Hong Chinese New Year Celebration on Feb. 12, 2019.

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Kelvin Ho Straight Sword on Feb 10, 2019

February 10, 2019
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Deer In The Headlights

January 14, 2019

In Kelvin Ho’s article “Opponents stop moving when I move” written Dec 24 2018; I was one of the opponent’s who was not moving when he came in. I agree with his statement ‘there was no feedback/trigger’. I felt like a deer in the headlights when he came in. The definition says: “Someone caught in a state of paralyzing surprise, fear, or bewilderment. Likened to the tendency of deer to freeze in [...]

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Learning – My taiji journey continues…

December 28, 2018

Back in 2011, I wrote about how my taiji journey got started: http://practicalmethod.com/2011/10/how-did-my-taiji-journey-get-started/. 7 more years passed by quickly on this journey, and it is now 2018. Much of the time was spent learning how to learn. In this article, rather than talking about taiji principles or concepts, let me share Master Chen Zhonghua’s teachings [...]

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