# Knowledge : Learning Method

## Reference Implementation i

by on 2021/01/20

Master Chen Zhonghua only teaches a reference implementation, which represents an example of how the principle is applied.  There are many parts that need to be examined, explored and learned.  We must focus our effort on learning all the parts of the reference implementation, how they form part of a system, how each part functions, and the role each part plays, what the effect when all the parts work together, etc. We have to go over this reference implementation over and over again, because there is always something we miss previously.

## Sinking to the floor, sequential moves and stretching 3

by on 2020/12/04

We hear those things often. In this article I‘ll give an overview of what that means and also write a little bit of how to implement it into your body.

The concepts are very easy to explain. So here we go: Read more

## PM Friday Night Practice on Nov. 27, 2020 1

by on 2020/11/27

Fetch Water

• Lock the front knee
• Lock the rear shoulder
• Push the front kua into the line between the front knee and rear shoulder
• Make sure that train the full range of motion
• At the tail end, nudge a little attempting to go beyond the current maximum Read more

## PM Friday Night Practice on Nov. 20, 2020 2

by on 2020/11/20

We covered the following tonight:

Negative circle

1. Do it in a way that the arm triangle does not change shape externally.
2. Focus on the opening of the shoulder and the elbow
3. Think of the forearm and the upperarm rotating longitudinally and independently.
4. When doing elbow in, make sure that the shoulder is down. This is like instead of getting the elbow to go over on its own, make the shoulder contribute half the effort by going down, so that the elbow can go over by completing the other half. Read more

## How to post your yilu video on practicalmethod.com? i

by on 2020/10/26

1. Create an account on YouTube if you don’t have one yet.
2. Shoot your yilu video in landscape mode like the above picture.
2. Location: Where was the yilu was recorded at?
3. Date: Which date the yilu was recorded on?
4. Yilu Count: Approx. # of yilus you have practiced so far, please see http://practicalmethod.com/pm_practice_record_main/pm_practice_personal_totals/.
6. Create a new post at this website:  http://practicalmethod.com/wp-admin/post-new.php
7. Paste the link in the body of the new post.
8. Edit the title of the post in the following format:
• John Doe Yilu on Oct. 26, 2020

by on 2020/10/08

## Three prerequisites of online classes i

by on 2020/10/08

1. Smart phone
2. Tripod
3. Notebook

The first two items allow your camera to be set at the appropriate height, distance and angle for the teacher/instructor to have an optimal view to provide feedback to the student. These items can be replaced with other equipment that can provide equivalent adjustment of the camera.  The 3rd item facilitates note taking (don’t forget to post your notes too at the website).

by on 2020/10/06

## GM Private Lesson Review, Roy Croucher, Sept.29/20 i

by on 2020/10/02

…GM gives Roy opportunities to try to use PM to move him in push hands…very focused session…

## GM is asking for an attitude change… 1

by on 2020/10/02

…one of the messages I hear, daily, from GM Zhonghua Chen is that he wants us to use our head as much as we use our body…

## Zoom class review, Sept. 24/20 i

by on 2020/09/28

…focused on Yilu corrections and body mechanics…make sure you view the video of this class…

## What is the essential nature of Peng? 3

by on 2020/09/27

…what is the essential nature of Peng?  …is there room for creativity in training processes as a PM beginner?  …could be that how we answer these questions will affect the speed of our learning and our ability in PM over time, maybe…this is a speculative piece…

## Zoom class review, Sept.22/20, Edmonton i

by on 2020/09/25

…class was a part of the online Zoom ‘Make it Real’ series of lessons, focusing on the double-positive circle…be sure to check out the posted video this review relates to…

## Robotic Movements of Practical Method (Facebook discussion) 12

by on 2020/09/20

My Yilu video started a discussion on Facebook that Taiji doesn’t look like robotic movements.
Several people tried to explain why we practice this way until we came to the term of paper tigers.
I decided to describe in a longer post why I practice this way and for me this method works. Read more

## “Chen Zhonghua Practical Method Online Lesson, Morning of August 18, 2020” Online Video Purchase i

by on 2020/08/18

Chen Zhonghua’s Practical Method Online Lesson Morning Session on August 18, 2020.
Negative Circle procedure.
Many explanations and individual corrections.
Presenter: Chen Zhonghua   Length: 54 min.   In: English   Year: 2020  Difficulty:2/5  At:Edmonton Chen Zhonghua Taiji Academy

Chen Zhonghua Practical Method Online Lesson, Morning of August 18, 2020
Access is keyed to your user account. You need to be logged in to buy access.

by on 2020/05/11

## “Step Up To Ji” 9

by on 2020/03/31

We will have an online class based on this video using the comment section of this video at 10:30 am Central Time, 11:30 pm Eastern Time on Saturday, April 4, 2020. On the days that I am teaching, I have selected a series of videos that will be taught in a sequential manner. The primary emphasis will be improving your understanding of how to take an opponent’s space that utilizes the principles that are inherit to Chen Style Practical Method Taijiquan. The video’s include:

## Conducting an online Practical Method Foundations practice group (Process) 11

by on 2020/03/15

Online practice groups are a way to support and motivate each other along our Practical Method journey.
Anyone learning Practical Method can conduct an online foundations practice group regardless of where you are in the world.

## Yilu Record Tab i

by on 2019/07/15

During a workshop earlier this year, Master Chen recommended that we utilize the “Yilu Record” tab to track our practice. As a result of starting this, I have found that it motivates me to basically do more, and to practice more consistently. Recording progress provides definitive feedback on effort and accomplishment. I have found it to be a very positive tool and extremely easy to use.

## 600 Yoga Block Fetch Waters A Day 1

by on 2019/04/11

While I was still living in Hong Kong, I have started with 300 a day.  John Upshaw and I have been exchanging and we decided 3 months ago to increase it to 600 a day – 3oo per leg, and log our sets on Facebook.  We promised to do this until July 24.  This is when Master Chen will visit Iowa for their workshop.  Since then, the likes of Kelvin Ho, Tinh Thai, and Winston Wang have joined.  Even my student Simon Yau has jumped in on the action!  Every day, I look forward to my brothers giving me the thumbs up next to my “done”.

## The use of rubber cords for Practical Method training i

by on 2019/04/03

The use of rubber cords for Practical Method training at the 2019 Italian Practical Method Seminar on March 31, 2019. Read more

## Precision and Purpose i

by on 2018/08/19

Precision is a word consistently used in Practical Method Taijiquan. But what does that mean in terms of practice? One aspect during Yilu is to not only complete the movement, but to know exactly where that move is aiming towards (which is why knowledge of applications is important). It is not enough to repeat the move, but to understand the energy alignment and aim. As our training continues to develop, and we become more aware of additional body parts (ie: to become aware of the elbow, become aware of the hip, etc.), we are able to aim more pieces towards the same objective – making the move more effective as each body part compounds power on the next.

That same exactness and consciousness of movement is required during push hands. When the foot is being moved, it’s not being moved forward or backwards, but to a very specific spot. The practitioner needs to be aware of exactly where that foot needs to be for that situation, and move it there with purpose.

Every interaction needs to move towards a goal. Too often we push to get a feeling of the other person, to practice getting in a favourable position, waiting for the opponent to make a mistake to capitalize on, etc. This is following our own familiar pattern. Within taijiquan we must be able to change the energy of the interaction without changing the shape.

Efficiency of movement is not changing the position/contact points in order to get into a place that is familiar to us. Rather, it is often to be able to capitalize on the position you are already in. Become comfortable despite being in an awkward position. You have to be able to let go of your ideas on what is a bad position in order to achieve a certain objective. It is often when we feel our body is uncomfortable that our body fights back, getting in our own way of being able to do what we need to do. The mind needs to let go first, train, and the body will follow.

http://practicalmethod.com/2010/05/yilu-detailed-applications-1-online-video-trailer/

## Your Next Step After A Workshop 2

by on 2017/12/06

Your Next Step After A Workshop
HONG KONG CHEN STYLE TAIJI PRACTICAL METHOD 香港陳式太極實用拳法·WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 6, 2017
I watched master’s videos; it was the one where he demonstrated with Master Michael Calandra to be exact that got me curious. I thought, gosh, there is something very different here. He bounced and dropped people with what seemed to be minimal effort. I sent Master Chen an email asking if I could have a look at his next workshop and he gladly invited me. After driving about forty-five minutes to Langley, I sat and watched, and sure enough, it was the same as what I saw in the videos. The only remaining thing to do is to have a try. I walked up and asked Master Chen if I could push him (in hindsight, that was pretty stupid – the right kind of stupid for learning Practical Method). Read more

by on 2017/10/29

by on 2017/10/28

## Basic Foundations 6

by on 2017/03/27

1. Twisting the towel
2. Fetch Water
3. Six Sealing Four Closing
4. Positive Circle
5. Negative Circle
6. Double Positive Circle
7. Double Negative Circle (together)
8. Double Negative Circle (alternate)
9. Positive-Negative Circle (Pole shaking)
10. Positive Circle – Moving Step
11. Negative Circle – Moving Step
12. Six Sealing Four Closing – Moving Step
13. Double Positive Circle – Moving Step
14. Double Negative Circle (alternate) – Moving Step
15. Positive-Negative Circle – Moving Step

## Embarassed in Iowa 4

by on 2017/03/14

From far left: Ed Alvarez, Hugo Ramiro, Jeff Clevenger, John Upshaw, Bruce Schaub, John Dahms, Todd Elihu, Spencer Jones, Brennan Toh

At some point one evening during the 2016 Iowa seminar, in Levi’s basement, a discussion occurred regarding the front kua and a particular orientation of it during a particular move. A statement was made about this requirement, followed by crickets chirping. Sensing that the moment was dying, I decided to wade in and stake my claim; to place myself at risk and bleed, hopefully. “I can do that! I can totally do that!” I crowed. It had been John Dahms, one of Master Chen’s senior disciples, who had stated the requirement. He said, “ok show me”. I sprang up and did something, as best I could, and his response was quick and direct – “You’re not doing it”. As deflated as possible I said “ok” and sat back down (I will come back to this). The discussion continued with some new indications and some new material, revitalised (with the help of my blood, I imagined). That moment still resonates with me many months later as I continue to work on the requirements laid out by John for that move on that evening.

The truth is I lied. I knew I couldn’t do it when I offered myself up, but I also knew something else: if I felt psychologically prepared during the teachable moment I would not really be listening. Somehow I had to create a situation inside of myself where I would be truly receptive, and I knew from Master Chen that two useful qualities in this respect were a. obvious failure (“Invest in Loss”) and b. confusion (“I don’t know”). Even if I simulated these by artificially elevating myself and then coming crashing down in front of everyone it would be better than being ‘very competent’ during the learning process or even not offering myself up at all. The emotional risk is necessary – in other words, I must be ready to put myself aside, no matter how bad it feels so that I can have a chance at real learning, which is always in an unknown and uncomfortable place.

I invested in loss, and in doing so, with John’s careful and attentive instruction, I invested in myself.

by on 2017/03/04

## Turning Flower Out of the Bottom of the Sea i

by on 2017/02/25

1) Maintain a non-moving vertical rod from head to left heel throughout the action.
2) Hold the right forearm in front of the chest with a fist, while the left fist is on the side of the body.
3) Throw the right fist down to the right side as hard as possible with a raising right knee to create a scissoring effect, while throwing the left fist up to the left ear.
4) There should be no tossing or turning of the body, but there is a spiral stretch along the vertical rod.

## Twisting the Towel, Fetch Water and Six Sealing Four Closing on Jan. 21, 2017 i

by on 2017/01/22

Today, we focused on the details of 3 foundation exercises:

1. Twisting the Towel
2. Fetch Water
3. Six Sealing Four Closing

by on 2016/12/04

## Stay on the line i

by on 2016/11/19

At the Ottawa Nov. 12-13, 2016 workshop, Master Chen Zhonghua talked about when doing twisting the towel or six sealing four closing, our hands and elbows must stay on the same line. Where was that line exactly? We often just imagined where that line was. He told us to use a physical object to guide us, and he used a stick to show us. In today’s class in Toronto, we started with twisting the towel and covered what I learned at the Ottawa workshop. We went on to use the railing at the community centre to do the six sealing four closing exercise.

## Practical Method Toronto Class on June 11, 2016 i

by on 2016/06/11

Instructor: Kelvin Ho

Topics:

1. Footwork
- Shoveling out with Front Heel, Land the Front Foot, Pull up the Rear Foot
- Jumping across to cover distance
2. Aiming
- Aligning Front Hand with the Rear Foot

## Practical Method Negative Circle 101 i

by on 2015/12/12

Negative circle is likely the second thing one learns in Practical Method.  The following are some starter instructions for a right-side negative circle:

1. The right side is considered the front side, and the left side is consider the rear side.
2. Find a line that is parallel to your chest on the ground.
3. Put your right foot at 45 degrees to the line with the heel touch the line.
4. Put your left foot at 90 degrees to the line with the toes touch the line.

## Practical Method Positive Circle 101 i

by on 2015/12/06

Positive circle is likely the first thing one learns in Practical Method.  The following are some starter instructions for a right-side positive circle:

1. The right side is considered the front side, and the left side is consider the rear side.
2. Find a line that is parallel to your chest on the ground.
3. Put your right foot at 45 degrees to the line with the heel touch the line.
4. Put your left foot at 90 degrees to the line with the toes touch the line.

by on 2015/11/15

## How to train Yilu 11

by on 2015/11/13

I have a question regarding the training speed of Yilu. I remember Chen Laoshi saying, that doing two slow and one fast Yilu (and then again two slow, one fast) would be good. But I am not sure about the context anymore. Here on Daqinshan the „group“ prefer to do fast Yilus (like 4:30 minutes), instead of slow ones (like 8 minutes).

What I would like to know is, if there is a certain method to train Yilu (like two slow – one fast) or if the speed is just depending on the circumstances (learning level, day`s form and so on).

Thank you!

## Learning Yilu…15,000 times and counting 7

by on 2015/10/17

When I first studied practical method in Nov. 2009, there were a few things that made a long lasting impression. They were:

1. In with elbow no hand, out with hand no elbow.
2. Don’t move
3. Yilu, which is made up of only positive and negative circles.

Many beginners including myself usually ask the following questions:

1. How did you (Master Chen) know to do that?
2. How can I not move?
3. What can I do that myself?
4. How do I train that?

## Using mirror neurons to learn Taijiquan 6

by on 2015/07/21

Shifu Chen Zhonghua often emphasizes how to learn Taijiquan. This web site has a great article called 6 Methods of Learning Tai Chi. (Read this if you hav not already.) It expands and elaborates on Grandmaster Hong’s Look, Listen, Ask, practice method.

I am working on a PhD in Exercise Science – Sports Biomechanics at Auburn University. A related field that I have also studied is motor control.  In motor control research, I found the neurological basis for this method of learning.

There are neurological mechanisms called mirror neurons. The basic premise is when we see a person do something, mirror neurons fire off in our brain duplicating the pattern in the nervous system required to copy the movement. It is not a perfect copy at first, but with repeated viewing of the action, our brains and nervous system do a really good job of copying the movement. Read more