Knowledge : Taiji FAQ

Question and Answer part two of the Chen Zhonghua Sept. 2019 Toronto Practical Method Workshop.
Presenter: Chen Zhonghua   Length: 10 min.   In: English   Year: 2019  Difficulty:1/5  At:Toronto

TO 1909-Q and A 2
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Question and Answer session at the Sept. 2019 Chen Zhonghua Toronto Practical Method Workshop.
Presenter: Chen Zhonghua   Length: 10 min.   In: English   Year: 2019  Difficulty:1/5  At:Toronto

TO 1909-Q and A 1
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We are collecting people’s impressions of Master Chen’s ability in the format of a short and concise description. Is there anything that shocks you when you met him for the first time? Please add your own impression as a comment below. The following are a few examples:

Wall – Kelvin Ho

Spear that pokes at you – Kelvin Ho

Body is different from a normal person – Kelvin Ho

Able to move individual body part – Kelvin Ho   Read more

True Disciple i

by Kelvin Ho on 2017/08/04

Who is a true disciple?

A true disciple is someone who follows the teacher based on the principles of the teachings. When the teacher evolves in his understanding, a true disciple will do the same. Even if the teacher and the true disciple don’t see each other for an extended period of time, their evolutions will still head in the same direction.

Taiji Trinity i

by Kelvin Ho on 2017/08/04

Principle: Separation of Yin and Yang
Concept: Indirect Power
Action: In with elbow no hand, out with hand no elbow.

These are three ways of describing taiji. They are one and the same.

Master Chen Zhonghua discussed the above during a Q&A session at the North American Practical Method Training Camp from Jul 29 to Aug 2, 2017.

Hello Master Chen

I have a question about kua, shoulder and shun/ni.

My question is when you are doing say, cloud hands. You show this on one of your videos here called How To Keep The Center from 3.25. You are on left leg and kua opens on left side and the left hand looks like Ni. Does this mean that the kua opening always coincides with Ni chan and closing of kua is shun chan.

Also in one of your videos I remember you say that when hip opens then same side shoulder kua closes and vice versa. What does this mean exactly with the shoulder kua closing or opening. Does opening of shouldre kua mean that shoulder is not sunk and closed shoulder kua means shoulder is not sunk?


Video in Chinese:


  1. Master Chen when answering the question focused on Practical Method itself, and left it to the audience to do the comparison, as he couldn’t represent the other art.
  2. Practical Method’s core is rotation. Spiral and silk reeling is rotation plus distance.
  3. We can never do true rotation. It’s impossible for us to do 360 degree rotation. We can perform a lever action. A lever action is a part of a rotation.
  4. Form training is to create levers in our bodies.
  5. Grandmaster Hong Junsheng has the 10-word saying “Out with hand no elbow, in with elbow no hand”. Lin Ketong calls it 10-word mantra.
  6. This mantra actually describes the lever action.

Questions students prepared for the June 2016 Chen Zhonghua Berlin Workshop.

Athanasios Alexatos

Master Chen can you show us and tell us a few things about the 8 energys in practical method ?

Read more

The answer is NO!

It looks like wrestling. It looks like wrestling. It looks like wrestling. Read more

In recent years, taiji has been (in China because of the demonstration at the 2008 Olympic Games Opening ceremony) described as moving clouds and running water. 行云流水。 Read more

Hi guys, after the workshop with Chen Zhonghua in Berlin – which was fantastic – I`m planning my training schedule. A minimum to do every – EVERY – day! Read more

Originally published in 2007

We are masters of tools and in return, tools also control us. Through years of teaching in North America, I came to the conclusion that weapons and device training must be started at the begining, not at the end. Read more

Xu (1)虚: Empty.
Shi (2) 实: Solid.

One is empty while the other one must be solid. Taijiquan is the art of Empty rooted in the Solid and vice versa.

Empty and Solid must be equal. Use the feet as an example. One cannot stand on one foot and then the other. One must be on both feet at all times. But one foot is used to work while the other is used to support.

This is the overall way of action in Taijiquan.

Taijiquan practice requires that the body must possess five bows in order to have power. There are different versions of what the five bows are. In the Chen Style Taijiquan Practical Method system the five bows are defined as:

  1. Hand to Hand.
  2. Foot to foot.
  3. Hand to foot (set one).
  4. Foot to hand (set two).
  5. Torso.

Dear master Chen,

If I listened correctly you don’t move but rotate to change angles. I have a question about the positive circle. In the first half if you lead with the elbow it seems the angle in the elbow gets sharper. Is that a move or does that happen through rotation? As far as  know a rotation isn’t considered a movement. Also what happens when you keep “pushing” the elbow in the line of the shoulder and hand to create power? It look likes the elbow is dropping away from the line which should make the structure weak. I can’t seem to unite these directions although I think I understand them separately.





How to train Yilu with power?

January 25, 2013

Hi there Master Chen, these past days i’ve had the same question everyday, been trying to find an answer, looked over the old videos, but didnt really help.

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Question on Rotation

January 8, 2013

Originally written by: Xavier E. Santiago-Albizu  Feb 1 2008 After reading Master Chen´s “Relaxation and Rotation” comment, I have the following question. When doing push hands would trying to apply concepts such as “neutralizing, listening, and adhering” still be getting into the opponents dimension?

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Manipulation of angles/shapes

December 22, 2012

Originally written by: Blake Caldwell Feb 2008 Squares Triangles Rectangles Cylinders Circles. All of these are used in Taiji? Squares, rectangles, and triangles are all used in foundation and strength, circles and cylinders in movement, redirection. By using mind intent we move the lengths of angles to make the angles center obscure and to increase [...]

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Will Taiji ability diminish with age?

December 21, 2012

A: No, we see GM Hong still have very high skill when he is old. Taiji skill is just riding a bike, learning to swim, you will never lose it once you master it. Internal strength is not based on muscle, but rotational joint dexterity for precise manipulation of power.

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Why is your form different than other Chen style?

December 19, 2012

A: Other Chen style is for form competition and has been modified so it is easier to learn. Martial art form is more precise and is harder to learn.

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How come the push hand is not the same as other taiji school using Peng Lu Ji An

December 18, 2012

A: We are doing push hand as a martial art and that requires special ways other than simple drills.

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Rear Foot – Question

December 15, 2012

Master Chen: I was reading the notes posted by one of the attendees at your Brazil workshop and he made the following notes:

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Stillness in Motion, Motion in Stillness

November 1, 2012

Master Chen and to those on this web site, I have a question I would like to get your input on.  In the taichi classics there is an expression, “Stillness in Motion, Motion in Stillness”.  I’ve always had this explained to me that it relates to the mind being still while the body is in [...]

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June 13, 2012

Shifu: I am checking in with another question.

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Peng: Is it written 掤 or 棚?

April 26, 2012

I hope someone who knows Chinese and/or TaiChiQuan literature help me on this one.

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Question on the elbow

April 19, 2012

Master Chen, I am starting to feel something new.  It’s related to the post on the “Sweet Spot”.  Is it possible to initiate movement or generate power from the elbows?  I cannot differentiate the difference yet. 

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How do you know whether you are learning?

March 25, 2012

In terms of learning of the Chen Style Taijiquan Practical Method system, the assumption is that unless you have a special method, you are not learning. You might disagree with this assumption and believe, instead and in the usually way like many others, that you are learning and making progress. You beliefs and conclusions are [...]

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The stomp

March 2, 2012

I have a question that I hope someone can answer. What is the correct way to stomp when training ? Are there any training exercises we can do to be able to stomp the right way when doing the form?  I know that there is a wrong and a right way to stomp. I know [...]

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How to Punch while rotating

February 15, 2012

Normally punching is something we all take for granted. We all think we know how to punch.

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How to rotate?

February 14, 2012

An example of one of the many methods to rotate. You will notice that this method does not “look” like you are rotating. That’s the whole idea: real rotations are not what you think it is. For detailed video, please purchase the original here:

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How to find the line?

February 7, 2012

A clip from the 2011 Germany workshop on Chen Style Taijiquan Practical Method. 2011。 Please register or log in to read the rest of this post

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Can people who had an organ transplant practice Hunyuan Qigong?

February 6, 2012

Can people who had an organ transplant practice Hunyuan Qigong? Is it safe for a person with a transplanted kidney or liver?

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Outside the Classroom: One Approach to Learning Taiji Online

February 3, 2012

Learning taiji online is impossible, but not impractical.  The key to getting the most benefit outside of the classroom involves understanding what can be achieved and what can not be achieved and through this understanding develop goals that are obtainable. 

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Old frame or new frame?

February 1, 2012

greetings from Australia…fantastic site!…just wondering if the routines you teach are old frame or Chen Fake’s new frame?…thanx…peace **************** A: I would like to avoid the confusion (becomes more and more confusing later on) by saying that what I teach is what Hong Junsheng learned from Chen Fake from 1930 to 1944. Whatever that means [...]

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