How to Go Over the Edge by Stretching: April 17, 2008 Class

by Chen Zhonghua Taiji Academy on 2008/04/18

Present at the class: Clinton Jurke, Allan Belsheim, Trevor Juuti, Alex Nay, Scott Hess, Camille Lipford and Blake Norman.

  1. When you make contacts with your opponent, you must assume that this occurs at the 9 o’clock position. Your opponent is climbing when pushing on you.
  2. You must also climb up his hill till you reach the top. In this case the top is 12 o’clock and it is the point.
  3. You must find a way to move beyond this point, causing a fall down from 12 o’clock to 3 and then to 6 o’clock.
  4. This must be done by holding the front contacting point in position and then stretch what is behind it. Usually this means the spine and the back.
  5. So when you are pushed, you make sure that your spine is locked and only move the front part of your body.
  6. When you push back, you lock the front part of your body and only push/extend the back/spine.

About Chen Zhonghua Taiji Academy

Chen Style Taijiquan 19th generation disciple. International Standard Bearer of the Practical Method system of Hong Junsheng. Second generation master of Hunyuan Taiji. Been teaching internationally since 1985. Educated in the West with a Master's Degree in Education. Highly accomplished through the lineage of two great masters. Disciplined, precise and powerful. He teaches a complete system of taiji based on the principle of yin yang separation; indirect power as a core concept; movement and tranquility as the source of action. In both theory and practice, his taijiquan deals with the problems of double-heavy. He is a real treasure of the heritage of taijiquan.

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

allanbelsheim April 24, 2008 at 8:09 am

This was as usual an amazing class that helped to further define and refine movement to allow each body part to function correctly. The expansion must happen at the same time as a rotation (but not a push) at the contact area: rotate and expand proportionally and simultaneously.


TheGreenKnight April 26, 2008 at 11:28 am

This class was particularly helpful for me in pinpointing how expansion should be used. Lately, I had been focusing on making a line in the body, and to be honest, expansion had fallen by the wayside because I really didn’t understand it very well. I always knew that expansion was an element of taiji, but didn’t know how it exactly fit it systematically, nor when exactly to use it. Points 5 and 6 were quite eye-opening, especially *when* to use front expansion and expansion of the spine, and the detail of keeping the non-expanding side locked (easier said than done though). Also, this explanation provided further insight into qua mechanics. The back expansion helped to explain the ‘lowering’ of the 2 qua. I had mistakenly thought the 2 qua lowered directly, but really, any lowering of the qua seems to be a byproduct of qua rotation and simultaneous expansion of one of the sides of the body.


TheGreenKnight April 26, 2008 at 11:31 am

Question regarding this –

Master Chen, I am assuming that points 5 and 6 mentioned above also means that front side of the body expands during the first half of the circle, and the expansion of the spine (back side) is done during the second half of the circle. Is this correct?


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