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On Sunday, February 10, I had the good fortune of attending the Taiji Tournament that is always held as part of the annual Phoenix Chinese Week. This festival celebrates many aspects of Chinese culture, including history, food, art, opera performances, and- of course- martial arts. I have attended the tournament several times in the past as a spectator. As a newer disciple, I decided that it would be good for both myself and the promotion of Practical Method to finally participate. Read more

To anyone who’s interested in participating in this year’s Berlin workshop with Master Chen, please click here for further information and sign up:

http://www.practicalmethod.de/angebote/anmeldung-czh-in-berlin/

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Looking forward to seeing you there :D
Best,

Sven



Details coming soon!

www.practicalmethod.pl/en

On Tuesday, 1/29/2019, I was invited to the radio talk show in Phoenix, Independent Talk 1100 KFNX. The show was live streamed on Facebook, Successful Aging.

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I just attended Chen Zhonghua’s Phoenix workshop last weekend.  As usual, I thought I was pretty good thanks to all the practicing I had done since last year in Iowa, and as usual, Zhonghua threw my confidence into the toilet.

It was a great workshop, although overwhelming.  At least I’m more comfortable with what I think is the most important thing that was taught, namely don’t think.  Just follow the directions and don’t question them.  This is a big thing for me, someone who is always up in his head comparing and questioning.  Turns out that thinking is just a distraction from practicing, which is the only way to learn what is being taught.  How to get out of my head?  I think the answer is to practice as intently as I can.  When I do that, I notice interesting things and have occasional exciting insights.  It’s that excitement that keeps me going and that keeps practicing tai chi from becoming like a diet, where it takes willpower to force me to do it.

The second biggie I came away with is the need to segregate all the parts within each movement.  I learned that when two parts within a movement go at the same time they are double heavy.  I had not been separating the parts, which made for a prettier form, but was not leading me in a good direction.  So far, I’m just working on the part up to the pound mortar of the first section of yilu.  It is so hard!  But it’s starting to feel right, especially if I practice it with stalking power.  With that power, each segment of each movement seems to slip into place.

These two things are enough for me to practice right now.  I’m already starting to feel  human again and it’s a given that my confidence will be back by this summer in Iowa, just in time to be destroyed by the master again!

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Over the past 12 years of training under Master Chen, I can safely say that his emphasis on how to train correctly to obtain true “ability” (ie. being able to demonstrate effective martial/physical  application of the movement(s) in question) through the Practical Method are a combination of Consistency, strict Adherence to the Rules of “Not Moving” (or Rotation) and, last but not least, getting used to “Eating Bitter” (or as Master Chen would say “You must become comfortable in your uncomfortableness!”) every day.
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