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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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Activities Blog Trip

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!

BLOG BANNER 2019

 

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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  • Reference points: counting is to establish a standard for us to be able to teach and communicate
  • Direction: must not lose the aim.  Don’t lose the 45 degree facing when practicing the foundational exercises
  • Positive circle 3 count:  1. in elbow; back shoulder to forward foot is the axis.  2. rotate waist don’t involve spine and don’t lose previous axis.  3. push foot, aim at hand. There is a split in the middle.  Again don’t lose previous two axes

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It was not until I tried to follow the first of the essential videos of Master Chen when I saw the difference, and practically feel the changes in the body.

Precise instructions, every time!
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In 2015 I stayed one month at the Daqinshan Practical Method training centre of Master Chen’s.  One evening training session Master Chen was explaining one of the facets of the importance of the Chen Style Tall Hand Posture during all your exercises (yilu, push hands and foundations unless stated otherwise).  This account is my subjective view on what he explained and invite everyone to add their thoughts or to correct me, please.
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James Strider – Fulltime Training Blog Wk1 2019

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Having been living in Rizhao for the past 7 of the 9 months since leaving Perth, it’s high time I started my blog again!
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