Knowledge : Body & Posture

This category contains posts regarding body part requirements, postures and single posture movements in the form.

Taken in June 2019

Taken in June, 2019

Taken in June 2019

20181225_103048~2Today, I trained with John Dahms. We discussed about creating a shell around ourselves to prevent ourselves from moving. Creating such a shell is only half of the equation, the other half is that we must stretch/expand the inside as much as possible. This is like a fight between containment and breakout. It is a conflict that we must find a resolution. I think of it as building up a bomb, and then doing a controlled release of the energy through a narrow tube aimed at the target. For this to work, the person doing the containment should be different from the person trying to break out, so that each person is not affected by the other person when performing the desired function. The difficulty comes when in reality there are no two people, but just myself. Ideally, I would be required to split myself into two. In actual practice, we need to use different body parts to perform these separate functions, so they don’t interfere with each other. These actions must be clear. Read more

20181222_113920During practice on Dec. 23, 2018, we were practicing how to move in after making contact with the opponent. The particular exercise involved the two right forearms touching at one point. One person attempted his best to prevent the opponent from coming in, including moving his arm around. Everyone did this exercise against the others one by one. One student observed that when I showed how to move in, the opponent always appeared to have stopped his arm movement as soon as I started to move in. Others would struggle to fight at the upper body or the arm with the opponent. I found that being an interesting observation. Another student commented that he didn’t react or do any subsequent action when I moved in because there was no feedback/trigger to tell him to do anything, and he would just “watch” me coming in. I further demonstrated what they tended to do, which was to push his hand/arm forwarded as they moved the body forward, in which case, the opponent would respond immediately and stop me from coming in possibly using different methods. There should be no push at any time. Read more

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.

Master Chen and Josh Landau

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.

Master Chen’s comments:
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I have fascia problems that limit and sometimes interfere with certain movements originating from a car accident and then being pushed on my tailbone 15 years ago. In October, my physio-therapist told me that my hips are opening and to continue with whatever exercises I was doing. I simply said that I am doing a Tai chi form that emphasizes stretching. She indicated that the stretching was breaking up the fascia. Read more

Equal and Opposite 2

by Kelvin Ho on 2017/09/17

This video describes in taiji what we do is equal and opposite to the result we desire.
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We worked on a few different moves in the form today. The first 3 moves required standing on one leg.

  1. White Ape Presents Fruit (Drilled 50 times on each side)
  2. Kick with Right/Left Heel
  3. Turning Flower out of the Bottom of the Sea
  4. Punch to the Groin
  5. Punch to the Ground
  6. Turn Over Body and Double Kick

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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.

One of my corrections from Sifu during a private lesson in 2015 was on separation of hand from my head. For instance, when out with hand in Single Whip, as I placed emphasis on the stretches when my hand went out, my head would follow…this would occur at varying degrees, yet that isn’t relevant because any deviation of the head changes everything as I will get to soon.

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Short lesson by Master Chen Zhonghua:

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

January 22, 2017

Today, we focused on the details of 3 foundation exercises: Twisting the Towel Fetch Water Six Sealing Four Closing

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Initial Closing

December 26, 2016
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Applications, Toronto, March 2015

June 13, 2016

Instructor: Hugo Ramiro Instructor: Brennan Toh Top/Bottom Separation, Taking Up Slack, Creating a Catch, Rotating Without Moving the Hand.

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Switching and Stone Tablet

May 24, 2016
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Six Sealing Four Closing Mechanic Videos

March 18, 2016
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Move 23.5

February 14, 2016

23. Brush the Knee Obliquely  (Lou Xi Ao Bu) 24. Flash the Back (Shan Tong Bei ) Master Chen told me that I need to maintain axis in the arm hitting moves in the transition between 23 and 24. Observant viewer of this video might notice another detail in the transition

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Last Part of Walking Obliquely In Twist Steps

January 10, 2016
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Introduction to Practical Method Theory

October 31, 2015

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Hands Relationships

October 25, 2015

Please comment on what this video is showing.  

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Newport Workshop Sept 19, 2015

September 20, 2015

There must be three stick in the body.  Vertical stick is from the Baihui on the top of the head to Huiyin at the bottom of the torso. This stick is absolute. There are no “ranges” allowed. Horizontal stick is the arm. This stick has a range. it can move within the range of eyebrow [...]

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Keep the vertical line straight

July 20, 2015

Taught Allan Belsheim and Ricky Pietila in the Edmonton studio how to keep the body straight while making the rotation in these moves. These are moves 35 and 36, Punch to the ground and then turn right (to double kick).  

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“Jiaobiejin” Online Video Purchase

July 19, 2015

The original meaning of the word is awkward. It refers to the energy that causes the opponent to feel awkward. During the learning stage, it is the requirement of this energy that the routines of the Chen Style Taijiquan Practical Method make the learner feel awkward first. Through years of training in an awkward way, [...]

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Taiji Circles in falling flowers

June 23, 2015

You have heard about the positive and negative circles. You have gone through in-with-elbow and out-with-hand thousands of times. You have even advanced and co-ordinated your feet with your hands — hands-in with front foot and hands-out with back foot. Now are you ready for the next step? Co-ordinated rhythmic changes using the basic building [...]

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YaoDang Training Method

May 28, 2015

Training Method: 定住两膝盖,丹田下压。裆就会慢慢变圆。 Anchor both knees, Press down dantian, ‘Dang’ will slowly becomes round  

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“Hand Elbow Alignment (Penetrating Power)” Online Video Trailer

May 15, 2015

Hand-Elbow alignment on how to have penetrating power Presenter: Chen Zhonghua   Length: 9 min.   In: English   Year: 2014  Difficulty:1/5  At:Berlin

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“Circle Energy Alignment” Online Video Trailer

May 8, 2015

Detailed explanation and training method on alignment so energy flow in the three moves in circle. Presenter: Chen Zhonghua   Length: 26 min.   In: English   Year: 2014  Difficulty:2/5  At:Berlin

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“Points of Fullness” Online Video Trailer

May 2, 2015

Take space out to make yourself full, and aiming to opponent lack of fullness Presenter: Chen Zhonghua   Length: 4 min.   In: English   Year: 2015  Difficulty:2/5  At:Toronto

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“Yilu Detailed Instructions Section 1, 2015” Online Video Trailer

March 10, 2015

This is section one of 6 sections of the Yilu Detailed Instructions video by Master Chen Zhonghua. The instruction is set against a grid wall and grid floor so students can see precise positions of each move. This is a must-have for students of the Practical Method system.  This video cover: Move 1 – 13. [...]

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