Knowledge : Sometimes one word can enlighten you!

Quotations from masters. Short lessons with a lot of real power.

Taiji is a “scientific” way of moving your body that the ancient Chinese believed was good for the body and good for fighting. Taiji is the art of yin and yang. Chinese culture was founded on this fundamental understanding of opposites. It’s not about right and wrong. It is about adapting to nature. Taiji is an exercise designed to make the body last longer. Read more

Power comes from restriction.
—Chen Zhonghua at the Sept. 2019 Toronto Workshop. Read more

Master Chen Zhonghua said, “Don’t power up the top, attack from the bottom.”

11334152_10204293465207270_6980898690182303046_oMany fake things originated as high level mastery. It is the people who don’t have the skill but want to present themselves as highly skilled masters that make people think that the original act was also fake.

Very often, when this happens, the average person tend to believe the fake act and refuse to believe the original real act.

All form of life on earth came about in a process that is from simple to complex, with human beings the most complex of all creatures. Learning of taiji, and learning in general is a process that goes from complex to simple. When complex systems/issues are understood in simple terms, it is called “enlightenment”.

To truly learn, we have to force ourselves to practice according to the principles; especially when we cannot comprehend, verify or believe.
Most people practice according to what and how they like to practice. That’s not learning.
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“Principles are the overall guidelines” “whenever I ran into difficulties I must rely on the principles” Read more

Rotation is the result of linear movements. There are no rotational moves in taijiquan. Read more

It is considered a good thing to hurt the muscles. Muscles are not afraid of pain. In the Practical Method system, we do not train the muscles. Train muscles means to bulk up the muscles to make them strong. We elongate muscles. This requires a different method of training.

It is a bad thing to hurt ligaments and bones. Ligaments and bones are afraid of being shortened, not elongated. Postures should be large and low so as to allow the elongation of ligaments and the skeletal structure.

In order to reach the level of taiji practice that integrates body and mind connection, you need to declare war against your own body. A dialogue between the mind and your own body must be initiated. After that, most of the work must be done by the body, not the mind.

—Master Chen Zhonghua at the New Hampshire workshop in Sept. 2013.

Do not believe your body does what you think it is doing! Your body has a mind of its own and is quite independent of you. It does what it wants and what it is used to.

Real Learning 9

by 胡歌 on 2013/09/24

Master Chen Zhonghua—”The most important learning that will occur in all your taiji learning is the move that you believe cannot be done and the move you believe does not make sense”

CZH in 美国西东那

“Don’t Move Your Hands” and “Your Hands are not Moving” are not related concepts.

“ … the problem is not speed, but timing. Rather than moving too slowly, most students of taijiquan will in fact move too soon. This point stresses the importance of push-hands training which develops the kind movement and timing necessary to be able to receive the energy of your opponent and then to send it back out like a spinning tire.”   A quote from Master Chen 

The outsider see the fanfare. The insider see the secrets.

The fist of xingyi, feet of bagua and waist of taiji.

The punches of xingyi, the footwork of bagua and the yaodang (waist and crotch) of taiji.

Xingyi looks at the hands; bagua looks at the walk; and taiji is the gong of waist and crotch.

5 Levels of comprehension:
Personal experience

This is a saying from GM Hong Junsheng

Many people regard Taijiquan as a slow, gentle and soft art. The original principle, however, points to a different and more reasonable direction.

Guidance of a teacher is meaningless without a common experience between the teacher and the students

Double Heavy

December 14, 2012

Any time you have a large surface of contact you are double heavy – no surface – only use a dot. The exception is when you intentionally create a large surface to counter your opponent’s particular action.

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The Dao

December 6, 2012

It’s easier to know the Dao than to believe in the Dao; It’s easier to believe in the Dao than to act on the Dao. It’s easier to act on the Dao than to gain the Dao. It’s easier to gain the Dao than to keep the Dao.

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Taiji is physical

December 1, 2012

“You can never do physical activity without physical activity. Taiji skill cannot be attained by reading books or talking about it. Thinking about it is only 5% of the practice.”

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From complexity to simplicity

November 22, 2012

From complexity to simplicity Practicing taiji is to train to make all the complex moves and routines simple for execution. In order to do so one must be able to “See” the simplicity in the complexity.  

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November 7, 2012

Learning Taiji is to solve a set of contradictions. Neither over-extended, nor deficient. Anything that exists is the resolution of a contradiction. Therefore, when you see a contradiction in a matter, you have not resolved the issue. When you have, you will not see the contradiction any more. In taiji, you must reach a stage [...]

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Chen Zhonghua on “turning of the joint”

August 13, 2012

”if the move up and down are equal, the center becomes truly empty”—— “In ancient times the master would never let you feel it…..if you don’t feel it, you will never get it….once you feel it, it’s only a matter of time….”——–”they MUST equalize….” Thanks to Bruce Schaub who typed in the quote from Ireland [...]

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No feedback

August 12, 2012

“So when you feel you are doing it right, you are absolutely wrong; when you do it right, you don’t know it. There is 0 biofeedback, so the only thing left is to watch your own video and listen to the teacher’s instructions.” Master Zhonghua Chen

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Do the Right Thing

December 28, 2011

“People work very hard for a long time to acheive the wrong things.” -Chen Zhonghua

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Master and Student

December 17, 2011

The only difference between the master and student is that the student learns publicly and the master learns privately.

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That with shape and odor is an illusion; that without could be real

November 29, 2011

The original verse is “That with shape and odor is an illusion; that without is the real thing.” I intentionally changed it to: “That with shape and odor is an illusion; that without could be real.” to: To see if people notice the change. To see if people notice the difference between the logic of [...]

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Out with hand no elbow; in with elbow no hand

November 28, 2011

This is one of Grandmaster Hong Junsheng’s favorite sayings. It is a technical principle of his Chen Style Taijiquan Practical Method system. By following this principle, many other important theoretical principles will start to manifest themselves eventually. This is the foundation of foundations in this system.

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A spiral is a stretched rotation

October 7, 2011

A spiral in the taiji sense is not a physical spiral object, or a shape you draw with your body when doing taiji. A spiral requires two actions simultaneously. A rotation on the body while another part of the body stretches it.

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Having Gongfu is like swimming

October 6, 2011

There are two activities that are identical to the gaining of gongfu in Taiji. One is swimming and the other riding a bicycle. These features about them are relevant to Taiji learning and gaining of real gongfu or skill. You follow the instructions but they might not necessarily help you. Once you know how, you [...]

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One correct way; millions of incorrect ways

September 18, 2011

In taijiquan movements, there is one correct way of doing a move but endless incorrect ways of trying to do the same move.

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Taiji is the method of Chan

September 10, 2011
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Martial Art has no styles; method has

March 27, 2011

Most people talk about the difference between internal and external and in recent years, people have been proud to call their style “internal”. In reality, there is no such a thing as internal martial art or external martial art.

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The real taiji is invisible to the naked eye; wrong things are the easiest to learn

March 20, 2011

The real taiji is invisible to the naked eye; wrong things are the easiest to learn. From a traditional point of view, taijiquan is not about comfort, flow and natural. It is an art that requires the student to practice according to certain rules. In doing so, the student will not be used to the [...]

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Every push must be a pull

March 20, 2011
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“Nobody has the patience to wait and spin…

March 19, 2011

“Nobody has the patience to wait and spin. If I am reacting and someone is pushing, and I wait until he has enough friction, I spin and it works. But if I’m too impatient, he pushes and I move forward or backward instead of spin; it becomes a toss, because I go too early. That’s [...]

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Pull with a rope and push with a stick

March 8, 2011

In taijiquan, there are only two basic movements: pull and push. When pushing, one needs to make the body behave like a stick so that the energy transmits through. When pulling, one needs to make the body act like a rope in order to transmit power. Different actions require different body shape and movements.

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One needs not do anything other than Taijiquan

December 25, 2010
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On Knowing

December 7, 2010

The grandmonk Yunxing said: During your teen aged years, you should repair yourself; in youth, you should face yourself; in adulthood, you should expand yourself; and in old age, you should complete yourself. In spring, you should be upbeat; in summer, you should raise yourself; in the fall, you should be diligent; and in winter, [...]

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