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Tuesday Foundations lesson included corrections on Twisting towel, Fetching water, and Six sealing four closing.  Shifu emphasized the shoulder going down and also taught a chest opening exercise.

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Today, Master covered Foundations and provided corrections on Twisting the Towel.


- Positive Circle is the last Foundation. It consist of 360 degrees. It is very difficult to navigate. The other foundations (Twisting the Towel, Fetch Water, Six Sealing Four Closing) consist of a single cutout section.

- Twisting the Towel

  • (1) Elbow in
  • (2) Shoulder pushes straight down
  • (3) Kua pushes straight out
  • These 3 actions must happen at the same time. The result is that it causes the middle finger to shoot forwards. The forearm must be remain horizontal. It cannot go up, down, left or right.

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Today Master provided Yilu corrections.

Edward Liaw
Bruce Van Slyke
Carlotta Viviani
Raymond Dickey
Steve Doob
Winston Wang
(I missed noting some others)

The centre must always be in the centre. It must remain totally independent. It cannot lean. To lean is to side with the front or the rear.

Initial closing. Step back with your feet. Do not bend your body. Eventually the pulling power comes from the feet.

When Master gives an instruction, simply follow it. The problem we have is we continue to perform our own move.

Question regarding punching. In Yilu, it is a negative circle. In Erlu, it is a positive circle. All punches, the last part is Ni chan.

To Open. Master showed what it is to Open the shoulder in White Crane. John Dahms was holding onto his shoulder from behind.

The problem is a learning method. There is no rhythm. The beat is when to stop. We must make the same stop as Master. The rhythm is about consistency.

Rhythm itself is power. Rhythm itself is Taiji.

In White Crane, Master showed the arms do not extend behind the side of the body. It is the back that causes it to turn.

Master Chen demonstrated the Positive Circle today.

My correction: Master said I am rear loading. The proper ratio of the front to rear should be 49/51.

Our stick is too long. We all have a problem with the front knee being pushed out when attempting to adjust into the correct position.

Direction. The front kua turns backwards towards the rear kua without the knee moving.

Chest in, do not move the kua.

Do not move the front hand.

Master showed a method to lock the front hand, and move the front elbow, front shoulder, front kua. Then eventually the body does not move.

There cannot be a sideways move. There is a line on the front finger. This line is always pointing forwards. It cannot go sideways.

When the front shoulder goes down, the front kua cannot go down.

49/51 Position. You cannot shift your body forward without moving the front knee unless your kua is open.

Size. Master showed the 3 sizes in a 3 count positive circle.

We need to do the things Master teaches. The rest is simply information that will be helpful after many years of strictly following instructions.

In this lesson the following students recieved Yilu corrections:

  • John Upshaw
  • Brennan Toh
  • Dina Kerr Read more

Zoom lecture with Master Chen and Kelvin Ho covering six sealing four closing.

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Master and Kelvin Ho provided instructions and corrections on Six Sealing Four Closing today.

Six Sealing Four Closing – Kelvin Ho

- Hand does not move. Dantian initiates the action. Kua lines up with elbow. Rotate the dantian to push the kua out.

- To connect the rear leg through the kua to the front arm. We don’t want the upper body there.

- Create a line from the front arm to the rear foot.

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Notes from the Zoom class on the concept of dao shou.
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倒手 Dao Shou

Master and Kelvin Ho explained, demonstrated and gave examples of Dao Shou.
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Notes from the Zoom class on the double negative circle.
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Master and Kelvin Ho provided instructions and corrections on the double negative circle. (1) Fist draping over body (2) Double push down.

Master gave a physical example: hold a stick to cross a door that is 3 feet wide and 6 feet tall.
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Master Chen Zhonghua’s Toronto Workshop March 2020-3
Presenter: Chen Zhonghua Length: 9 min. In: English Year: 2020 Difficulty:2/5 At: Toronto, Canada

Movement is yin, and structure is yang. Master Chen demonstrated what that meant in this video. There were also other discussions on yin-yang theory, which requires constant practice and understanding.

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My notes from the Negative Circle procedure lecture.
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These are my notes from the 2 hour lesson Master Chen did on twist towel.  I missed the beginning of the lesson, so if anyone could fill in the gaps I would appreciate it.

  • Redirect lightning through you to the ground

  • When doing twist towel, lock the 2 ends, move the middle.

  • We can’t actually not move the head, we are not open enough, but we try to move the head only 1 unit; the kua moves 3 units. (Something moves 2 units. I missed this.)

  • the kua moves the hands. Like moving a book on the table. The book doesn’t move by itself.

  • Our body has a tendency that every body part likes to follow the other body parts, but it’s just tossing

  • You need to have independent moves

  • When you hammer a nail, the swing is a swing, the straight line is a straight line. The hammer swings, the nail goes in straight.

  • E.g. a kid jumping to reach a basketball net. They run fast, then stop under the net and jump up to reach it. They don’t use the run and convert it into a vertical jump

  • Thrust is still there. Convert your run to the movement forward

  • The vertical move is designed to power your arm

  • First we try with bending at the waist forward and backward, but actually, it’s a vertical move

  • The shoulder goes down, the heel pumps to move the kua up towards the shoulder

  • We all need to re-calibrate. We think we are doing everything with the kua. Actually we are doing very little.

  • Your hand is tied to your opponent

  • Your kua needs to go to your elbow, not your shoulder

  • This is a characteristic of our system. There are 3 parts to each move so it can apply to any body part

  • Power comes from the kua, there are no individual moves

  • Zhuo. Connect between kua and elbow. It means clutch.  Or to adhere.

  • First we train to isolate body parts so that they don’t affect each other. Then they must be able to engage and disengage

  • it is exactly gears

  • The centre cannot move, you can’t reach out, you only extend

  • This is the connection we want: the opponent is on your foot

  • Kua very big, shoulder is zero

  • During training; foot to kua to elbow to hand, this is the alignment

  • During Push hands, when you touch your opponent; hand to elbow to kua to floor. Your opponent feels it on their foot.

  • This was a characteristic when you touch grandmaster Hong. You touch him and you immediately feel like you’re floating, or something is wrong with your shoes

  • Energy alignment (? I missed this)

  • Application is 用法

  • 打法 is free fighting

  • The kua is the semi opposite of the hand. The foot is the complete opposite of the hand

  • At first, when you begin learning, you use your kua to mirror the opponent’s hand.

  • Then as you get better, use your foot to mirror your opponent’s hand. You mirror from below, so your movement is much bigger than your opponent’s move

Master and Kelvin Ho provided instructions and corrections on the following Negative Circle procedure.

Negative Circle Procedure

(1) Grab your front kua with the opposite hand. Pull it to lead with the kua. Leave the front hand behind, no move.

(2) Hook your hand on your elbow. Lock front elbow, rear elbow, and rear shoulder into a triangle, no move. Only rotate your kua.

(3) Grab your bicep, no move. Drop your hand. Ensure the wrist is straight. Grab the top and bottom of your front shoulder. Rotate the arm as one piece initiating from the shoulder.

- The movements of taiji are an illusion. They are made up in your mind. The real movements are three independent moves that are unrelrated. When they are unrelated this is separation of yin and yang. Example – Listeners synthesis of music.

- Exercise – elbow on the books (to not move the upper arm).

- When you move from the inside, it is everything stretching out. this is called tong 通 (to go through). This is most important in energy aligment and energy flow. Tong has been mistranslated into flow. The movement is called tong. It is not called to flow. Tong is a technical description. Tong is to to enter one side of the tube and to exit out the other side.

- Master showed an exercise to lock the top and move the feet in relation to procedure step 2.




My notes from the “Use the Kua to Find the Solid” Zoom lecture.
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Edmonton Practical Method Taiji Academy Customized Sword Sales


Our Edmonton Studio has another function other than teaching Taiji and Qigong – we do sword sales, but more importantly we do customizations so the sword you buy from us is unique. The sword shown here is the latest completed Damascus Jian. Because of having to limit the number of students during Covid-19, we now need to boost our sword sales in order to ensure our Studio stays open.

All our swords are made in Longquan, China Read more

Notes from August 11, 2020 Zoom class with Master Chen.  Topic was

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European Practical Method Meet-Up 2020 in Żywiec, Poland

July 27, 2020

It’s the fourth year since we started the European Chen Style Taijiquan Practical Method Meet-Up Series. It continues this year close to Żywiec, Poland on September 12/13th. This years host is Damian Jagosz, who is a very dedicated student of our style.

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Review October 26, 2019 Day 1 Training Chen Style Taijiquan Seminar Practical Method Basics & Sabre

July 23, 2020

Learning from Master Chen is a unique experience. One of the most striking things he said during our first day was I give you instructions and you don’t follow it. I didn’t take notes. I made no recording. I took no photos. I cannot describe the form or the details of the foundation drills that [...]

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Shen Guanglong Sword Maker

July 23, 2020

Hi Master  Chen Zhonghua, Is it possible to contact Shen Xinpei: Shen Guanglong Sword Maker directly? I would be honored to order a sword with specifications. Moreover, if you are in contact with him I would appreciate your help.

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” 别问练内该怎么练 ” “Don’t ponder how to train internally” by Low Giap Thong

July 23, 2020

老师曾经说过 ” 别问练内该怎么练 ”

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Breaking news: Cormorant Can’t Swallow Eel

July 22, 2020

(Click here to see video) Student: Why can’t the cormorant swallow the eel? Master: A) Don’t play with your food! The cormorant should stop tickling the eel and just swallow it. B) The cormorant is eel. C) The cormorant can’t get behind the eel. D) A, B, and C. The master continued: The truth is, [...]

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Liu Yaokun Yilu (First 15 Moves) in Toronto on July 5, 2020

July 5, 2020

Liu Yaokun started on Feb 2, 2020, and learned move 5 to 15 and most of the foundations over weekly video-conferencing sessions.

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The 2019 First Annual Practical Method Toronto Youth Tournament

June 19, 2020

Hi everyone! I’m Susanna Chwang, a Toronto disciple of Master Chen. I have been training Practical Method Taiji for 8 years.  The first annual Toronto Practical Method Tournament (affiliated with the Toronto District School Board Intramural Sports Program) was held on December 19, 2019. Children of all ages and every grade participated, some as young as [...]

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2020-06-15 Brennan Yilu

June 18, 2020

Yilu completed since last video: 200 Areas of focus in the last month: Keeping the front kua up Straightening the hips to pull the shoulder over the kua Opening the kua by connecting directly to the foot and bypassing the knee Areas to work on next: Sinking shoulder into kua Keeping hands on the line [...]

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John Dahms Yilu (Month 2)

June 16, 2020

Training Log for Prior Month

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Taiji Appliations 2011 Online Video Class: Part 3 The 4 Essential Taijiquan Techniques

June 14, 2020

In the previous section I covered The  4 Essential Taijiquan Techniques, which included Peng, Lu, Ji & An.  I left that lesson on here for review and quick reference.  In this finial section, part 3, I will cover The 4 Corner/Auxiliary Techniques, which include Cai, Lie, Zhou & Kao.  It is located after section 2.   Subsequent information from Master Chen’s [...]

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Those before us

June 11, 2020

I have recently started re-reading Chen Style Taijiquan Practical method Vol. One: Theory by Hong Junsheng Shi Gong as translated by Chen Zhonghua Shifu. Not cover to cover…just browsing/scannng through while locking on to some points. As I was doing this I noticed that I was enjoying the book more than in the past.I think [...]

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Notes from Students in Phoenix, May

June 11, 2020
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Notes from Students in Phoenix, April

June 11, 2020
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My Tai Chi Classes in Phoenix and Notes from Students

June 11, 2020

Since January 2017, I have been teaching Chen Style Taijiquan Practical Method at Paradise Valley Community College (Phoenix, Arizona) every Monday and Wednesday as a one credit class. I started just one class per semester (Spring and Fall) plus summer session. From January 2019 on, my Tai Chi class was split into two classes. One [...]

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Taiji Applications 2011 Online Video Class: Part 1 Basic Energies In Taiji Applications

June 7, 2020

  For this Online Video Class, I will be examining the contents in a segmented manner.  In this classic video, Master Chen descriptively teaches the 8 Techniques in Taijiquan.  In this 1st segment of the online video class, I will cover the Basic Energies in Taiji Applications.  In the 2nd segment I will cover The 4 [...]

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Form names for the yilu, erlu, and sword

May 28, 2020

I have put together some spreadsheets with the form names listed in English and Chinese, with pinyin annotations for those interested in learning Mandarin. Yilu Erlu Sword Broadsword

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Ji Power (Perth) Online Video Class

May 20, 2020

In this short online instructional video, Master Chen teaches many essential elements that are necessary when applying Ji to an opponent and several principles inherit to Practical Method.  Ji, squeezing, is a passive action that has “water like qualities”.  Ji, like water “takes up all the space in all directions”.

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Making the knee disappear

May 20, 2020

Over the past year, I’ve worked on a number of exercises with a focus on the knees and kua. Here are a few examples and results I’ve noticed: Ensure the bottom is represented during the movement Step 2 here: How to engage the waist What it looks like: When your upper body moves, there is [...]

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“Adjust the Middle” Online Video Class

May 17, 2020

In Adjust the Middle Online video, Master Zhonghua Chen teaches how to strengthen one’s own structure and how to break your opponent’s structure and take their power away. Early on in the video Master Chen utilizes a rubber cord to demonstrate how the 2 ends are connected by pulling in the middle.  He emphasizes that the [...]

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