Knowledge : Workshop Notes


The Taijiquan Practical Method instructor team in Berlin, Germany, organised an online workshop on 6 December 2020, marking their 10th anniversary. The workshop took place under the lead of the head instructor, Sven Gusowski, in cooperation with the instructors Carlotta Viviani, Kerstin Kummle and Lutz Liese. The workshop focused on basic Taiji Principles and their application in the foundational exercises and the Yilu Form. Read more

Dear All,

we’d like to announce the 2nd Online Workshop in German language, taking place on 28 Feb 2021, 2pm – 5pm GMT +1.
Please spread the word to everyone who might be interested. We will cover basics as well as some details, so it will suit beginners as well as advanced students.
The admission is free :) Thanks a lot, c u soon!

Please sign up here:


Sven & the Berlin Taiji PM Team

My impressions of the Chen Style Taijiquan Practical Method Online Workshop


Germany, 06.12.2020

The Taijiquan Practical Method Group in Berlin, Germany, organised an online workshop on 6 December 2020, marking their 10 years anniversary. The workshop took place under the lead of the head coach, Sven Carl Gusowski, in cooperation with the instructors Carlotta Viviani, Kerstin Kummle and Lutz Liese. The workshop focussed on basic Taiji Principles and their application in the foundational exercises and the Yilu Form. Read more

If you ever wonder how lessons are taught in Practical Method Online Classes, here is an opportunity to experience for free from Feb 22 to 25, 2021.  People at different levels are participating in these classes.


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Hong was used to say his Taiji is like a garden. Everybody is welcome to come, have a look and take what he or she wants to take. If you cut a flower, it might last a week. If you can take the seeds, maybe in some years you’ll have your own garden.

Always teach everything, always present things in the same way. If someone understands, it has nothing to do with you. If somebody does not understand, don’t feel guilty: there’s nothing wrong with you and nothing wrong with him/her.

We practiced an empty handed exercise, standing on one leg:

  1. one foot stretches backward
  2. arms from the armpit stretch forward
  3. body goes down (going down is regarded as not moving)
  • Train only arm-foot coordination first
  • Cave chest in
  • Hand and foot do not link to the torso
  • Make the moves small. The risk of linking the torso either to the foot or hand increases with large moves
  • Once the arm-foot coordination is trained and none of them are linking to the torso, we can add the drop of the body. Add it small
  • Torso has a free fall
  • Dropping of the body: to drop we have to create space. Holding a book between two hands, if you create space between the hands and the book, the book is going to fall
  •  Three independent actions: a three way split. Our problem is we always link into one move
  • Analogy: Master Chen can see John and Kelvin on his computer, but they are independent/unrelated to each other
  • The separation of the directions not linking, not merging into each other is what Master Chen describes as “Moves must be clear”
  • The middle (torso in this case) cannot take sides, it must be independent, like a judge. The judge only applies the principle of the law, he/she does not take sides for neither of the two parts
  • The power of hand and foot is totally dependent on how strong (not moving) the centre is
  • As a training method we can rock shoulders and legs. They must be independent from the body
  • If the middle is not involved, every move is correct
  • When the middle is not involved, the hand becomes very powerful. The problem is we always want to move the middle. You realize you need at least 4 people holding you for this move to be useable
  • There is always one move in the Form which clearly  demonstrates the concept we are talking about. In this case it is the first move of White Crane (right after Turn Left to BWAPM) in the 13s. But we must be able to find it in every move of the Form
  • The move we practiced is the “easy part” and it is already very difficult to apply. The reversed part: don’t move the hands, move the body. This is even more difficult because there is no way to fix the hands while doing Push Hands. The hands are interacting with the opponent. It’s a sensitivity issue: you have to create a split of a second when your hands are not moving and you can move the body
  • Taiji is about balance. Balance in the ancient word means scale. Hong uses the concept of Leaver to achieve balance. When you find the pivot, you’re balanced
  • 100% not possible does not means it does not happen. It is like you buying a lottery ticket. The probability of winning is so low, you cannot even calculate it. So it is impossible for you to win. But it does not mean it doesn’t happen. We must understand this!

Stretch i

by Kelvin Ho on 2021/01/06

To create a stick, we, we need to stretch.

  • Think of pushing down the middle point, B, of a triangle with the two other points, A and C. locked. The stretch is between A and C, and the stick is formed between A and C.

To rotate, we also need to stretch.

  • Think of a non-moving rod. A rubber band is tied to it, and stretched outward away from the rod. When it can’t stretch any further, a small force tangential to the stretch will cause the stretched rubber band to go around the rod.

In both cases, there are both restrictions and the attempts to break the restriction.

In the first case, A and C are restricted from moving, while B is forced to break the A and C apart along the A-C line.

In the second case, the rod is restricted from moving, while the rubber band is pulled and stretched away from the rod. If the rubber band is ever loose, the little nudge cannot cause the rotation.

In early Autumn 2019 I was training with Lutz and Fabian. I was doing a common drill for the Practical Method, Fabian as partner: He was pushing my arm repeatedly with same power, speed, distance and rhythm. On his move I was training the elbow-in/foot out (on the front side). Read more

- Movements need to be deep enough to make sure every body parts are stretched out. To feel the bottom. Fingers touching the wall and body sinks to find the solid. Read more

Yilu Daqingshan 2013 i

by admin2 on 2020/12/11


SmartSelect_20201211-044226_Video Player

• Whenever you do a move with the arm, it doesn’t effect the torso.
• Then enhance the size of the arm movement.
• Then when you do arm movements, the torso can move up and down. They are still functioning separately.
Movements are separated when:
• If then they’re considered touched.
• If body specifications match, it is called real.
• movements need to be totally independent.

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13 Moves Side View i

by admin2 on 2020/12/09

Cannon Fist Daqingshan i

by admin2 on 2020/12/07

Robot Taiji i

by admin2 on 2020/12/06

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

Head and kua are locked like a triangle.
Separate the top from the bottom.
Kua is the demarcation line. Read more

Prague Open House 17 i

by admin2 on 2020/12/02

Read more

Iowa Workshop 2017 i

by admin2 on 2020/12/02

The Berlin/German branch of Practical Method would like to announce a free online workshop via Zoom, in german language.

For sign up, please go here:

and see this clip to get an idea:

Thanks for sharing to anyone who might be interested, and thanks to Master Chen for inspiration!

Practice Yi Lu segmented for 10 years. If not, you are moving all over. That is wrong. Every move must show exactly what you are doing. If you don’t finish the moves, you will not synchronize and it is as if you are speaking a different language from Practical Method Chen Taiji. Read more

Day one group photo of the first Zhu Ma Dian Practical Method Seminar on Nov. 28, 2020.

Day one group photo of the first Zhu Ma Dian Practical Method Seminar on Nov. 28, 2020.

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I started learning Chen Style Taijiquan Practical Method in 2005. I learned a rough version of the yilu within nine months. I am a persistent person that continuously seeks progress. As the years have gone by I have missed essential details that are in the form, even though many people would not recognize those missing pieces. Let face it, a form with 81 postures in which each posture has several movements/stretches/rotations in it is a huge undertaking!

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Three examples of  Master Chen`s clarity of hands on explanation of certain types of dealing with energy taught me invaluable lessons. If the students follow instructions then all will be able to do things that will be amazing to themselves. By practice you build up not only martial skill but also health. From the beginning when we start to learn Practical Method we are trying to apply the most fundamental principle of taiji  in partner exercises and push hands: the separation of yin and yang. Taijiquan is in my words in this context an effect on the opponent or partner by using taiji principles that spring from our understanding of the exact teachings of Master Chen Zhonghua and is defined by the stage of our practice.

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What is the seam (缝 feng)?

  • The place between two actions where it needs to change direction (such as, go back).
  • Grandmaster Hong said that we needed to get to 天衣无缝 tian yi wu feng. Heavenly clothes have no seam.
  • However, we can’t pretend that there is no seam in the first place, and hide it.

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Positive circle – must stretch from rear side.  Must open the inside. Has to be from crotch and back leg.

Feet look like tip-toe, but actually power is going down.  This is the strongest.

3-part circle: 3 body parts: arm, torso (rotate from kua), foot (kua to rear foot)

The movement comes from 3 different sections – the opponent cannot catch or stop you. Read more

Through the years, in Practical Method I‘ve heard the word power associated, as different aspects of the same power, to words like: Structure, length, space, accuracy, rhythm.

The Lesson today was about Rhythm or Sequence of movements: there are very few people who cannot remember the choreography. But we all are at different levels of managing the rhythm. When your movement are totally disconnected, you will be very efficient in applications and push hands Read more


Shifu: You need to get the rhythm/counting of the form.

After you learn it, then it becomes music. But this cannot be thought. Everyone „hears“ his/her own music. And this is only after a long time of learning the correct rhythm. Read more

John Upshaw

  • Fist Protecting Heart to Tornado Kick. Too big. Before the turn, you have to come back into the core
  • Small Catching and Hitting. Rotating from the core (in and out)
  • Drop the Hands (before Embrace the Head to push the Mountain). This move is a cross between Six Sealing and Four Closing and Punch Covering Hand Read more

Flash the back- the left hand cannot move.
Once you know the choreography, you will be corrected in terms of applications. The applications will help you with the choreography.

Step forward to hand covering punch – imagine as if your hands while you are punching are tearing something. The left hand holds hard and the right hand tears it. It is not like what we normally understand as a punch.

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Being asked a question during this class, Master Chen pointed out that he seems to be giving contradictive information from time to time, e.g. to inviting us to ask questions and then saying: ‘You shouldn’t ask that kind of question’.

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  • Missing one step. Do not miss any step: 1) in with elbow, 2) turn with the waist. Do not combine. Follow the steps. Follow the procedure. Follow the instruction

Today several students received partial Yilu corrections. Form corrections are always foundational.

Jacek Wolochowski

Presenter: Chen Zhonghua   Length: 58 min.   In: English   Year: 2020  Difficulty:1/5  At:Edmonton Chen Zhonghua Taiji Academy

Chen Zhonghua's Online Lesson 2020-1117
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Elbow and hand relation must be there. Your elbow twists without moving your hand. You can exercise this by having one person hold your hand and you twist your elbow. Hand don’t move, shoulder don’t move and only rotate the elbow. Once you have a stretch in it, you have Taiji. You pull in with the elbow and your hand simultaneously pushes. To withdraw is to issue. When you are physically able to do this, you have Peng energy. Add this to the form. Once you understand this, you realize that there is a stretch. Read more

On line Yilu class November 12th 2020 by Johnny Upshaw

• When going down on the left side and brush the knee, the shape/ structure does not change.
• Going down while retaining our structure creates vertical Peng, which we try to train.
• Keep the structure is not to lose the Peng. Don’t retreat and don’t drop.

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Vertical Peng

  • Going down without doing down.
  • It’s like a telescoping stick becoming smaller.
  • There is no bending at the waist.
  • The peng must be maintained.

Hands always go out (Nothing is outside of being big).
Elbows always go in (Nothing is inside of being small).
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We continue on the exercise with one knee up and one knee down from last week.

The torso is like a cylinder that goes down in a free-fall fashion. We can hold up the cylinder, and yet we can’t push down the cylinder. The cylinder is pulled down by gravity, something is outside of our body.

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In brush the knee the right arm should never move the hand. In with elbow, turn waste without moving hand, then out with the hand.

At our level, the improvement only comes from being bigger.
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