Knowledge : Articles

This section contains serious articles on all aspects of taijiquan.

Suspended Head

May 17, 2013

In 2009 on Daqingshan, Master Chen Zhonghua instructed me to keep one point on my body stable and fixed during push hands practice. The location of the point was up to me; I could make it be the lower back, rear foot, etc. However, the most important thing was to maintain the integrity and stability [...]

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Chen Style Tajiquan Practical Method of Grandmaster Hong Junsheng

March 10, 2013

Chen Style Tajiquan Practical Method of Grandmaster Hong Junsheng General Principles o Peng Peng has been one of the most talked about topics in Taijiquan. Hong defined Peng as having two meanings: one is the upward expanding action of ward-off and the other the overall combined expanding energy that permeates all moves of Taiji. It [...]

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Yilu & Erlu

February 15, 2013

Yi Lu is one of two forms in the Chen style Taijiquan lineage of Chen Chanxin who condensed the postures of the 7 barehand forms of Chen Wanting into 2 forms; Yi Lu and Er Lu. Yi Lu is the training form of Chen style Taijiquan.

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Mind of Monkey and Intent of Horse

February 13, 2013

One of the most important tasks of Hunyuan Qigong practice is to “calm down the mind of the monkey and the intent of the horse.”

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Mr. Hong Junsheng’s Taijiquan Science and Philosophy (a translation)

January 8, 2013

Hong Junsheng Taijiquan Philosophy – As I See it By Zhang Yanhai 张延海 (Translated from Mr. Hong Junsheng (1907-1996) of Yu County, Henan Province was an indoor Taijiquan disciple of Mr. Chen Fake for 15 years and as the result has received true transmission of the art. After many years of inheriting the tradition [...]

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Experiencing “Not-On Not-Off”

December 17, 2012

When I first heard Master Chen said “not-on not-off” in push hand a few years ago, I thought it was impossible. We either push (on), or not push (off). Through years of training, I slowly come to understand that “not-on not-off” is the result of “peng”, or Yin Yang separation. A few days ago, after [...]

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Why Practical Method and First Impressions

November 10, 2012

For those of you that come from other taichi backgrounds and now do the Practical Method, I’m curious as to what led you along this path.  Also, what was your first impression of the Practical Method style?  I’ll tell you a little about my story.

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The Taiji Marksman

November 1, 2012

During the recent Chen Taiji Seminar in early Mar 2012 conducted by Master Chen Zhong Hua, he used an analogy of how striking in Taiji is like being “struck by a bullet.”

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GongFu(skill) vs Technique

July 31, 2012

At DaQingShan, Master Chen was discussing push hand with someone, I was observing at the side, I could not resist and said “I have a method”. Master Chen, upon hearing, stood aside, the other person kept the same posture, I used his original posture, applied a effective technique. I held on to that person, as [...]

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Double Heavy and the Bagua

July 2, 2012


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Discussion on taiji postures

May 13, 2012

架子 “架子”是“拳架”一词的更口语,更随意的说法。练太极的都把“架子”挂在嘴边上。练套路叫“走架”,叫“盘架子”。师傅对生徒练的套路里的错误加以纠正,以及为提高生的套路水平而加以指点,都叫“拨架子”,因为“拨”字,含有“拨正”和“点拨”的意思。

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Structural power

April 6, 2012

I often heard a Taiji teacher saying to a physically strong student, “You are using force, you will need to first get rid of it, then what comes out afterwards will be Taiji energy.” What is Taiji energy? How is it used? Many people have their own opinions. However, most of them are very abstract, [...]

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The Role of the Mind in Practical Method Training

March 31, 2012

It was a beautiful morning in Phoenix, Arizona. Went to my Tai Chi class at 7:30am. Adam,

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Stances and the Feet

March 26, 2012

Eventually, the positioning of the feet and stances must also be taken into consideration and perfected. When the body is properly connected, the legs are naturally brought in and the knees pushed out as far as possible without compromising the structure of the rest of body.

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March 6, 2012

When Master asked me to write about Taiji from the point of view of a dancer, I thought it was a rather insurmountable task.  I feel that I know so little about both. Yes, I have danced what is collectively known as Salsa for 18 years, but the old adage is that the more you [...]

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Motion capture at the Singapore Polytech on Practical Method

February 29, 2012

In a few days we will have some videos to post on our work today. Thanks to K. S. Loke of Malaysia and Michael Koh of Singapore for arranging this. I hope we will have some good teaching/learning videos of the foundations of the Practical Method out of this.

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The Circle

February 23, 2012

The circle, simply put, is the basis of every move in the Taijiquan Practical Method system. Every action or movement in the form is actually a part or variation of either the negative or positive circle. Therefore, common sense would suggest that one must gain a deep understanding of the circle and its mechanics in [...]

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The process of learning Tai Chi Quan is like learning how to write.

February 13, 2012

I remember that when I was a young, I hated doing calligraphy. All my arm muscles including those of my shoulder and back would tense-up and hurt. I hated even more those lectures where teachers would spend the entire class making me take notes non-stop. But with time, my hand learned when not to involve [...]

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Small top with big bottom; small front with big rear

February 9, 2012


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Tai Chi May Help Parkinson’s Patients Regain Balance : Shots – Health Blog : NPR

February 9, 2012

Tai chi, the Chinese martial art involving slow and rhythmic movement, has been shown to benefit older people by maintaining balance and strength. Now, researchers have found that tai chi also helps patients who suffer from Parkinson’s disease.

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Quality versus Quantity

February 9, 2012

Quality and quantity are two issues that come up a lot during training and seem to be the cause of some debate amongst practitioners. Generally most people have strong opinions about these two ideals and normally have specific training habits which clearly show which catergory they fall into.

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Introduction to Practical Method in Toronto on Jan. 29, 2012

February 3, 2012

Thanks to 鸣谢: Kelvin Ho 何家伟 Frank Ding 丁建平 All who attended the open house in Toronto.

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What is a Martial Art?

February 1, 2012

**This is a short piece I wrote in the mid-90s about a way to define martial arts ** The martial arts are systems of combat developed for the purpose of either offense, defense or mass combat. However, these arts also have many goals beyond combative ones. There are countless reasons to decide to study the [...]

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Five points stretching out

January 24, 2012


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The Gearbox

January 18, 2012

When the body becomes accustomed to moving through the forms in a connected way, the structure of the body will naturally begin to tighten up. As a result, the over exaggerated stretching movements previously used to open up and recondition the body should be adjusted and made smaller and tighter.

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Chi At The Top

January 16, 2012

Standing atop a mountain in China’s Shandong province, Tai Chi master SENSEI SANDEEP DESAI finds himself. When my trip to Daqingshan, a mountain in the Shandong province of China came through, I was delirious with joy. It not only gave me an opportunity to further my development in the art but also fulfilled my ultimate [...]

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Reconditioning the Body

January 6, 2012

It is a fact that most modern people, especially westerners living in urbanized areas, are not as physically active as they once were. As society becomes more dependent on machines and electric tools to do the physical labour once done manually, the bodies of modern men seem to be changing accordingly.

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December 30, 2011

Eventually, higher level students of Taijiquan come realize that the power produced in practice should never be produced by the muscles. But if it isn’t produced in the muscles, where does the incredible strength, flexibility and speed of the great masters come from? I believe this question can be answered by understanding the amazing system [...]

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Contained Spiral Force

December 26, 2011

The Master once said, “Everybody in the world uses momentum-based movement, therefore we do not. Taiji involves ‘contained spiral force’ that generates momentum on something external to oneself.”

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Study in Handan Allegory

December 23, 2011

Driving through the immense rural landscape of China by car during a recent research trip my teacher, Chen Zhonghua, and I sought diversion from the lengthy journey by entertaining each other with stories. As we were traveling from the city of Jinan to Chen village (Chenjiagou) we happened to pass Handan, a little hamlet tucked [...]

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December 17, 2011

It seems to me that most people are not aware of the spiraling that should occur throughout the body while doing Taijiquan. Even though most people must have seen the ancient diagrams of a body coiled in lines representing the spiraling paths of the silk reeling energy (chansijin) characteristic of Chen style Taijiquan, very few [...]

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Rotation: Approaching the impossible with the Practical Method

December 7, 2011

John Brown’s article Rotation: Approaching the impossible with the Practical Method was published by Kung Fu and Tai Chi Magazine in the Feb. 2012 issue. Here is a preview in jpg form. To read the entire article please purchase the magazine directly at 

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Chen Xin on Taijiquan Silk Reeling Enlightenment

October 15, 2011


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On “Xu Ling Ding Jin“--truth and its disguise

October 11, 2011

“虛領頂勁“ is one of many Tai Chi principles. 虛 means void, which really has misled many people.

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The Balance of Taiji

October 7, 2011

Interview with Chen Stylist Chen Zhonghua

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Daqingshan Stories (2)

October 5, 2011

One Before talking about Master Chen Zhonghua’s Daqingshan Chen Style Taijiquan Practical Method Seminars, it is necessary to discuss the historical significance of Practical Method of Grandmaster Hong Junsheng.

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The Magical Line

September 27, 2011

Chen Style Taijiquan Practical Method pays a great deal of attention to the lines on the human body. No matter in the performance of the routines, or in push hands, the body will naturally form energy lines. Some lines are formed quite naturally while others are formed gradually only after specialized training.

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My Views on “Practical Method”

August 26, 2011

“实用”拳法之我见 李信明 陈中华老师在2011年7月 首期大青山国内实用拳法培训班上,幽默地讲了一个小故事,大意是有个老猎人用了一辈子猎棒,技艺精熟,每次上山打猎都收获不少。有一天有人向他推荐新式的 火枪,并演示了用法和效果;

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Chen Zhonghua on Peng Energy on Chen Style Taijiquan

August 15, 2011

Hunyuan World 2004 gave participants access to an enormous wealth of essential knowledge on taijiquan. One of these gems of information relates to peng, a topic of great interest to camp participants.  As an example of the teaching available at Hunyuan World events, I share Master Chen Zhonghua’s response to students’ questions on peng, which [...]

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