News and other exciting events happening in the Chen Style Taijiquan Practical Method system in the world.

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Activities Blog Trip

Toronto Two Person posture

Still looking for the line, working to enact the rules.

The form(s) we train, Yilu, Erlu, the Jian, and so on, are training tools. They teach us various physical technologies. For example, Yilu teaches us how to create a t-bar in our body and how to move it using the outer ends of the “T”. Yilu also teaches us how to fix non-moving points so that we can create the inch-worm movement. We use Yilu and the other forms to train our body, which is to effect a change in our body. The implication being that our shape or condition is not on the mark.
The forms are not for demonstration. Do not make your form look good. Make your form conform to the rules of Practical Method. Lock the front knee in space, elbows in, shoulders down, ming men full, kua open. The forms are not for demonstration. Do not make your form look good.
We cannot hit the ideal form. Remove that idea from your mind. Train to point yourself closer and closer to the ideal and work consistently, so that, millimetre by millimetre, you advance towards that ideal.
The form is intended for [private] training. The form was never intended for public performance. If you do public performance of the form, never forget that you are simply demonstrating a training method – not a finished product! The form is a training method like push ups, stretches, deadlifts, sprints. Perform it well – by following the rules of Practical Method – and have no concern for aesthetics, which will vary based on the observer, cannot be controlled, and are irrelevant to your training.
The form is not an opportunity to hide, it is precisely designed to unmask your flaws. Do not make your form look good.
The form precisely illuminates your requirements for training you up to the next level. If you are making your form look good you are doing something wrong.
Master Chen will let us know if we are on or off or near the mark for the standard at our level.
Keep training and keep working with this – as yet – unformed clay!


First European Practical Method meeting

The first European Practical Method meeting took place in Vienna in late winter 2017. On 17. – 19. February, people from Göttingen, Berlin and Vienna convened in this wonderful city to practice and exchange experiences.

On Saturday and Sunday, we dedicated a lot of time to practice the Yilu. Also, we worked on basic foundations and put special emphasis on progressions in partner work. Special thanks to Rick, who instructed us in these progressions in the most precise and knowledgeable way.

Altogether, it was a great meeting. I am sure that everyone had her or his very personal insights and “aha!”-moments. I myself, being relatively new to Taiji, surely learned a mountain of things. It has been really motivating to see other people with more experience practicing Taiji.

Many of us already knew each other, having met before on workshops or at Daqingshan, now having the chance to catch up on what happen since then. But many also could get to know each other for the first time. Being able to practice with many enthusiastic and committed people made the days in Vienna an invaluable experience.

Many thanks to Carlotta, Pawel, Fabian and Rick, who made the meeting possible. Thanks to your commitment, it has been a wonderful and enriching weekend. Hope to see all of you again and many more on the next meeting, which will probably be hosted in Berlin in 2018.

Best wishes, Jann

True Intention 1

by Hugo Ramiro on 2017/04/06


water has intention

The water has perfect intention.

“The real intention is without intention.”
- Chen Zhonghua

When you make a machine, the machine can only do what it was made for.
If there is a slope and a ball at the top, the ball will roll down. That is intention. There is no thinking, there is no imagination. There is no choice. The only thing that can happen, happens.

Humans are backwards. In other words, humans will do everything but what they were made for. We have a myriad of methods that we use to avoid doing the one thing we must do to develop and learn.

In taiji, we are training to make our body like a true machine again. It can only do what it can do. There is no choice, no alternative. You either do it or break doing it.

On Speed 4

by Brennan Toh on 2017/04/04

Speed is not a function of how fast you can move, but of how quickly you can close distance. As such, speed is not a matter of agility, but of directness.

For example, if I can close the distance between myself and the opponent directly in a linear fashion, I can technically reach the opponent before they reach me. This is because if you can close distance with your whole body, it works as a force multiplier. Not only are you closing distance with one body part (the way an arm would be in a punch), but with multiple body parts. Your lower half is closing distance, your waist is moving closer, AND your arm is reaching out. All these movements together allow for a speed that is quicker than any individual slow or fast twitch muscles on their own. Of course, having quick movements is also of benefit and can work well in conjunction with the rest of the body moving forward.

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Master Chen’s disciple Ping Wei will again teach Practical Method foundations, Yilu and Cannon Fist on June 4th (Sunday, 9:30am-1pm and 2-5pm) in Irvine, California. Registration for the workshop is required for all newcomers; the deadline is 5/26/2017. For location, details and all inquiries, please contact Al Yu at 949-331-2735, or via email:

Watching the teacher during practice sessions 

In the beginning I used to observer my teacher’s external form. Where is his hands, the right or left moves first, what’s the next move, how high is his hands. Then I learned to observe beyond the physical form. Where is the weight, his focus, which parts of his body he is locking and releasing, path of movement and connection, parts that are strong and relaxed. How the weight is counterbalanced with hands out stretched, or leaning forward/backward.

Then Self-reflection and assessment is key. Understanding how the body works and moves. Physical appearance: grounding, stretching out, grounding more while expending to maintain balance.

Why we shift weight and settle into posture by dropping weight. – My observation of my teacher- dropping weight grounds the body and creates effectiveness. I.e. stepping into opponent’s space- weight forward – settling into pose, structure and weight drop to create effectiveness.