Knowledge : Theory must hold water but more importantly it must be useful!

A list of blog entries that contain techniques and actions that relate to theories and principles.

The three basic vertical stretches: Read more

Pre Foundations 5

by Wilkin Ng on 2018/06/18

Something to keep in mind when practicing Yilu, if there is a principle to follow then that principle has to be applied in all moves.

Please comment on what principle you are currently focusing in Yilu practice

Someone asked a question in the Youtube comment of Master Chen video.

This is what I wrote back:

A: Taijiquan is structural power, from long time practice, you can find out the most efficient way to generate this power from joints relationship

Q: But how did the first founder of Taichi knew in the first place that if he started an unconventional ways with long practices he would achieved something?

how would you answer this question?

 

Pawel's Notes at 30,000 feetI’m writing this at about 30,000 feet on the plane from Munich, Germany to Toulouse, France. Master Chen Zhonghua is sitting next to me, it’s late evening and we are both tired from traveling shortly after noon.

On the last flight, from Danzig, Poland to Munich Master Chen gave me another lesson about rotation.

Some of those ideas I had already heard on a flight almost two years ago, but what Master Chen taught me a few hours ago goes much, much further, of course. Some questions were answered, especially regarding applying the theory on the body.

The application cannot be written down, really. It must be demonstrated and felt. Trying do write it down will never do justice to the physical experience felt in person. Read more

Brennan Toh at the Vienna Workshop 2017

Brennan Toh at the Vienna Workshop 2017

Within Chen Style Taijiquan, an important aspect is that all our movements must be our own movements.  We never move as a result of an external stimuli.  This requires we bring extreme awareness to every body part – those which are moving and especially those which are non-moving.  When we go out with the hand, we must not forget about the elbow; as the torso closes the distance, the hands can’t also be moving forward, etc.  As soon as we engage with our opponent, we naturally want to fight power with power.  This immediate response is something we must eliminate through our training.  Learning to create a stretch within our body in the form and foundations, is to learn how to move past the point of contact.

To never lose control of our body, even when engaging with an opponent, is to change our responses from a reactionary response to an active response.

A reactionary response is to retreat back, and then move in; or to match their push directly with your own push.  A push from the opponent does not result in a fight, or a retreat backwards.  An active response it to decide where to move, and to go their of your own choice – not from the initiation of the opponent.  If we are pushed and the shoulder moves back, we move not because we are pushed, but because we decide to move there.

IMG_5327

Brennan Toh with Shawn Lee

We must change from following the pace of the opponent, to leading our own movements.  Within the rhythm of a fight, when you are able to dictate  your own moves, the opponent will then follow (fall into rhythm).  Movement is not a non-pressured release, but a pressured release like a hydraulic press where it must be evenly matched and paced (led).  The intent of the movement is therefore only indirectly related to the opponent, and the decided movement is not at all resultant from what the opponent chooses to do – they are only an obstacle in place to overcome.  This is a change from passive control over our body to active movement.

To train this, we must train to never close, and to continue to stretch and expand in every movement of the form.  As our understanding of Yilu deepens, body mechanics and details that we were previously unaware of become more and more important.  But before we can focus on the small details, our understanding of positioning of the ‘big pieces’ must be precise – which is why consistent training of the full form is required.  As we continue to train to open our joints, positions and movements that we were previously incapable of will allow us to improve our structure and power.

Video references:

http://practicalmethod.com/2011/07/shoulder-movements-in-positive-circle-online-video-trailer/

http://practicalmethod.com/2014/11/pressure-and-release-indirect-power-online-video-trailer/

There must be three stick in the body.

  1.  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.
  2. Horizontal stick is the arm.
    This stick has a range. it can move within the range of eyebrow and the kua.
  3. 45 degree stick is from rear foot to the front hand.
    This stick has a range from front hand to the floor.

 

TShapedYinYang-trailer-fullAlthough there are not really ‘ secrets ‘ in Taiji anymore, there are things that are extremely important, that are not well known or properly emphasized. Generally speaking, students are not shown ‘ leg methods ‘ until they are higher level, if ever. The correct ( and stealth like ) use of the leg is Read more

In today’s Practical Method practice in Toronto, we covered the triangle, double lock and single lock. Ketong Lin wrote an excellent article on this topic: http://dqstaiji.cn/archives/11907Read more

Read more

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

Don’t Move! i

by Chen Zhonghua on 2014/01/15

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! Read more

1. The human body and machine. 2. Shoulder-torso separation. 3. Upper and lower body separation. 4. Open the power to the outside. 5. How to go down. 6. Stretch out. Read more

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

1. In with elbow, out with hand. 2. Details of the Positive Circle. 3. Ji: engagement. 4. Loose and Tight. 5. Inside and Outside. 6. Rotations. 7. Move or no move. 8. Sinking: Stable Switching. Read more

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.

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.

Different energies in one move

December 22, 2013

This video describes the different energies that are applied in one move and how they work together to attack an opponent’s structure. If done properly, no muscle power or energy is used or wasted. This can only happen if the body is connected through correct stretching and rotations.  

Read the full article →

Avoid Pitfall in “Don’t Move”

November 1, 2013

We all understand the importance of “don’t move” in Practical Method. To achieve “don’t move”, there’s a pitfall need to be aware.

Read the full article →

There are no movements, only rotations!

June 30, 2013

Used “Wild Horse Parts Its Mane” drill to illustrate and train the principle of “No movements, only rotation” at the full week workshop today.

Read the full article →

“Primary Taiji Move” Online Video Purchase

June 5, 2013

Clip from Daqingshan lesson on primary taiji move which comes from forming a line that has constant tension. Taiji movements are divided into primary movements and secondary movements. Primary movements are actions and secondary moves are the transitional moves that connect one action to another.  Presenter: Chen Zhonghua   Length: 4 min.   In: English [...]

Read the full article →

“Singapore workshop October 2012 Volume 1” Online Video Trailer

May 26, 2013

 1. Beginning. 2. Two points stretching out. 3. How to go down. 4. How to shift center. 5. Don’t move the fulcrum. 6. Don’t move and yin yang separation. 7. Door hinge. 8. Internal movements. 9. Adherence. 10. Sinking.  Presenter: Chen Zhonghua   Length: 60 min.   In: mostly Chinese with a bit of English [...]

Read the full article →

Two Ceilings

February 17, 2013

To experience “two ceilings”, wedge your thigh under a picnic table, push upward against the table, then, you have the “waist ceiling.” If you don’t have the “waist ceiling,” you don’t have the “crown ceiling” either. (In the photo: Marvin Glotfelty)

Read the full article →

“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.

Read the full article →

Greater Vancouver Workshop January 2013

January 13, 2013

Master Chen went over in detail exercises for establishing an axis in push hand and in Yilu. The second requirement is to keep the axis not moving, only then rotation can happen. The arm moves because of axis rotation, opponent will feel power but there is no power on the arm. Photos by Jay Smith. We are happy [...]

Read the full article →

Stepping Training in Practical Method

December 11, 2012

In Practical Method, when we want to move foot forward, back, or side, we need to have the weight shift to the supporting leg and “pump” the other leg out. In other words, the leg which is moving out will not interfere the whole body balance. It’s independent from the rest of the body. It [...]

Read the full article →

The Hand does not move, it is moved!

November 23, 2012

No problem, I really appreciate the opportunity to participate in these discussions. It helps to solidify my understanding of things as I study videos and practice. One of the videos that helped clarify one of the main contradictions/sources of confusion is the mini lesson “Hands on Positive Circle Sequence” where Master Chen is detailing the [...]

Read the full article →

Some photos of the Daqingshan morning training on Oct. 3, 2012

October 2, 2012

Master Chen taught the two main taiji energies: push and pull. Every push must be a pull. Showed and did an exercise on how to turn the body into a rotation spool to create power.

Read the full article →

Discussion on taiji postures

May 13, 2012

架子 “架子”是“拳架”一词的更口语,更随意的说法。练太极的都把“架子”挂在嘴边上。练套路叫“走架”,叫“盘架子”。师傅对生徒练的套路里的错误加以纠正,以及为提高生的套路水平而加以指点,都叫“拨架子”,因为“拨”字,含有“拨正”和“点拨”的意思。

Read the full article →

Structural power

April 6, 2012

I often heard a Taiji teacher saying to a physically strong student, “You are using force, you will need to first get rid of it, then what comes out afterwards will be Taiji energy.” What is Taiji energy? How is it used? Many people have their own opinions. However, most of them are very abstract, [...]

Read the full article →

“Pulling Energy (roll back)” Online Video Trailer

March 18, 2012

Demonstration, instruction and drills about the pulling energy of taijiquan. This is part of the Jan. 2012 Toronto workshop on Chen Style Taijiquan Practical Method. Related explanations about shoulder, elbow, kua, alignment, vertical axis are given in light of the pulling energy. Presenter: Chen Zhonghua   Length: 39 min.   In: English   Year: 2011 [...]

Read the full article →

Small top with big bottom; small front with big rear

February 9, 2012

在国内,打太极拳的随处可见;在国外也不罕见。如果您稍微留点儿心,就会发现,绝大多数人走架的时候,手的动作多、动作大而且繁复。推手时也如是,净看见两个人用手互相推拉撕扯了。

Read the full article →

In with elbow, Out with hand: a Working Hypothesis

January 31, 2012

In the last few months, I have been trying to follow the rule of “elbow in, hand out”. In my practice and teaching I have observed something that needs further verification, but that seems correct. “Elbow in” means: initiate the arm rotation from the upper arm. Conversely, “hand out” means: initiate the arm rotation from [...]

Read the full article →

The Gearbox

January 18, 2012

When the body becomes accustomed to moving through the forms in a connected way, the structure of the body will naturally begin to tighten up. As a result, the over exaggerated stretching movements previously used to open up and recondition the body should be adjusted and made smaller and tighter.

Read the full article →

Movement and tranquility relationships

January 18, 2012

Sometimes you move, sometimes you don’t. Some parts of the body should move while other parts must be tranquil. The correct application of these is taiji.

Read the full article →