Knowledge : With a receipe you can cook a good meal; with this list of principles, you can guide yourself in learning taiji!|有了菜谱可做饭;有了原理谱能学拳!

We provide a list of taiji principles that are relevant to our learning.

Mise en place (French pronunciation: ​[mi zɑ̃ ˈplas]) is a French culinary phrase that means “putting in place” or “everything in its place”. It refers to the setup required before cooking, and is often used in professional kitchens to refer to organizing and arranging the ingredients, the components that a cook will require for the menu items that are expected to be prepared during a shift.

Master Chen often has referred to “the set up” before applying power…before doing “your move”.  What are the ingredients (components) of your set up?  What needs to be in place before you do your move/apply power?  Please add ingredients!!!


I am 64 years old and have been on long-term disability for over 10 years due to a form of arthritis called Ankylosing Spondylitis (AS). I previously studied and practiced several external martial arts and they all eventually made my AS symptoms worse. I have had the disease my whole life but only diagnosed in the ’80′s. It became so bad at one point I was bed ridden for almost 2 years. It causes difficult symptoms in multiple body systems. I have had to get steroids injected into my eyes a few times to bring down inflammation. The disease primarily fuses the spinal vertebrae together, which of course reduces, restricts and eventually collapses the vertebral separations so they cannot move normally, or at all. I have tried physio, multiple drug therapies, meditation and exercise all with no or next to no improvement in my symptoms.
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It is not opening/closing but rather coiling/uncoiling and compressing/releasing.

It is not about using no force but using enormous amount of forces to maintain the rigidity of the structure, the integrity of the core and the efficiency of the move.

It is not about balance but balanced forces.

It is not about flexibility but the ability to stretch to produce a split or separation

Cultural and language barriers are just one of the many obstacles in the quest to understand the meaning of Tàijíquán. Students of the Practical Method is fortunate to have Master Chen to guide us in navigating the nuances and mysteries of this art. In 2010, he wrote a Chinese summary of twenty-four important rules in the Practical Method. This summary was subsequently updated in 2012. We have translated this set of rules into English.

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All taiji techniques must be from the 13 postures. All 13 postures must be from the separation of yin and yang. Read more

The purpose of training is to enhance the hardness of the body in every aspect. This is a quality issue.  Read more

Movements are in the bones; rotations are in the joints. All Practical Method movements are straight movements. The system requires rotations. Rotations are achieved in two ways: Read more

The understanding of vertical movements (line) and horizontal movements (line) is vital. Chen Style Taijiquan Practical Method system requires that all movements must be along the vertical line, not the horizontal line.  Read more

Suspended head is an important principle of the Chen Style Taijiquan Practical Method. The suspended head allows the vertical stretch of the body to take place. This creates two lines in the body: 1) head left foot vertical line. 2) head right foot vertical line.  Read more

The contacting point must stay in contact with the opponent. Don’t add anything or take away anything. By following this technical principle, one is also complying with the principle of indirect power.  Read more

Every push in the Chen Style Taijiquan Practical Method system must be converted into a pull. This is a major concept.  Read more

Power on the opponent must be indirect. Any local power must be used only for adherence (zhuo, 着法). Indirect power is a key concept in the Chen Style Taijiquan Practical Method system.

This is the requirement of the erected calf. In many styles of martial art, this concept is referred to as zhuang, pile, stake or zhan zhuang.

No tossing. i

by Chen Zhonghua on 2014/02/02

Tossing is action without rotation or without an axis.

Rotation is the key characteristic of Chen Style Taijiquan Practical Method. It sets this art apart from other arts. There are no natural rotations in human movements. They are made up as a result of specialized training in the Chen Style Taijiquan Practical Method system.

This is the hand-elbow relationship. This method ensures that the hand and elbow are connected on a line so as to be useful in conducting energy.

This is the “ten character dictum” by Grandmaster Hong Junsheng. Read more

This is the vertical alignment for the third vertical line. The kua acts as a socket for the shoulder. The shoulder does not physically sit inside the kua but must always be sitting in the kua remotely in terms of position and direction.

Keep a lid on power

January 25, 2014

Power always goes upwards. Wherever the power is, there must be a lid on top of it to keep it down and keep it from leaking out.

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Movements must carry power; there is no slack

January 24, 2014

This concept is similar to the idea that what driving downhill, don’t put your car into neutral. Power must be constant and consistent in all taiji movements.

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Every move must be part of a positive or negative circle.

January 23, 2014

By following this principle of Chen Style Taijiquan Practical Method, our taiji actions will be different from normal human movements. We therefore, no longer “move” (Don’t move!). We become the other “Kind”.

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The inside must move more than the outside.

January 22, 2014

Inside and outside is a set of yin and yang. This principle refers to the movements in this set of yin yang separation.

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The outside must be stronger than the inside.

January 21, 2014

The outside must always be stronger than the inside like a bomb and an egg. The shells are considered outside. The reference to stronger or not of the outside and inside refers only to the physical property.

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Don’t Move!

January 15, 2014

Don’t move! Don’t move your hands! Don’t move your torso! Don’t move your body! Don’t move your center! Don’t move your knee! Don’t move your feet!

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Eyes fixed on target

January 11, 2014

This is another special characteristic and principle of the Chen Style Taijiquan Practical Method. First raised by GM Hong Junsheng.

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Sit the wrist

January 11, 2014

Sit the wrist is a special term used in Chen Style Taijiquan Practical Method. It means that the wrist must be stretched open into a curved position and then locked into place. This is also part of the Tile Hand requirement.

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The three-joint theory

January 11, 2014

The classic mention of this term is “understanding the three joints” (明三节).

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“the inside stays inside and the outside stays outside”

January 10, 2014

“the inside stays on the inside and the outside stays on the outside” is a major taiji principle. The five heads are considered outside; everything else is considered inside.

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The kua must be higher than the knee

January 5, 2014

The kua must be higher than the knee. This ensures that the lower body stance remains an bridge arch. If the kua is lower than the knee, then this arch is reversed. In transitional and extreme cases, this principle is temporarily violated.

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Elbow does not leave the ribs

January 4, 2014

Zhou Bu Li Lei. 肘不离肋。 The elbow can move past the centerline of the body. It can also go down and go inwards. It cannot move upwards or outwards.

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Hands never pass the center line

January 2, 2014

This means that the left hand must only be allowed to move in the left side of the torso. The right hand is only allowed to move in the right side of the torso. The demarcation line is the centerline of the chest.

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“Power in the body must be constant ” Online Video Purchase

February 4, 2013

When doing the bare-hand form and pushing hands with an opponent, one must keep the power constant. This is one of the characteristics of Chen Style Taijiquan Practical Method. By keeping to this principle, one will gradually gain more internal abilities.

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One part of the body can only perform one function

November 2, 2011

One part of the body can only perform one function. This is an important rule in taijiquan. If followed, the separation of yin and yang will be made possible. Otherwise, all movements are actually one or the same regardless what the practitioner feels, thinks or believes.

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Heel out; toes back

September 9, 2011
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Elbow and Waist can only close, cannot open

September 8, 2011

The elbow and waist (from one side of the waist to the other side) must have a

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Hand-Foot opens but does not close

September 7, 2011

The hand and foot must have a connection through the waist, or dantiian area. In this case the waist becomes the modifier.

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Withdraw is to issue

February 11, 2010

“Withdraw is to issue” is an important concept in Chen Style Taijiquan Practical Method. It is also a measurement of level of skill in this style. Here Master Chen explains a technical aspect of this skill.

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Knees can not move horizontally

August 21, 2008

The knees are hinge joints, unlike ball joints. They only allow the thigh to move up and down. They cannot move horizontally.

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