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

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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: mralyu@yahoo.com.

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.

Toronto North York Taiji Class on March 30, 2017

3 steps

Half horse stance posture

Bring right hand 45 degree palm up – Just above the left thigh

Bring left hand near right hand 45 degree palm up, elbows touching in a straight line Pull elbows to dantian at the same time bringing left foot (with toes) in beside the right foot. Rest the heel of the foot. All should be one action, like a bullet.

Things to check.

  • Keep hands straight and locked at all times
  • Keep back straight and lock the right side. Imagine there is a bar from back of right shoulder to right heel.

Review of negative circle
– elbow in hand on outside
– drop hand strait down
– hand out once at elbow torqueing forearm keeping elbow down

starting in front bow stance after bringing in my elbow hand on outside, I found that bringing the hand down helped keep my elbow aligned when the hand went out kelvin Ho reminded me to keep my elbow down. We also performed cross hands draping over the body. Kelvin showed me how the end position had stability by aligning the elbow with the back foot with the fist out like a punch. Kelvin’s hand wrapped my punch and pushed.

Kelvin Ho was invited to perform taijiquan during multi-cultural week at Sir Wilfrid Laurier Public School on Mar. 23, 2017.

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