Zhan Zhuang Questions

by JVanko on 2008/09/01

Master Chen,

Greetings. I’m not sure if you’re interested in these things, but just in case, here are my experiences with Qigong since March 2008. Zhan Zhuang Experiences (wuji posture only)

  1. Gas nearly all day! Heavy buildup in dantian area. (both disappeared after 2 weeks)
    Zhanzhuang does cause the stomach to work overtime. This is normal. If this persists and you feel bloated, you need to seek more advice.
  2. Heat in dantian, which then spread to general abdomen area. This is also normal.
  3. “Cool Liquid” feeling inside the body in various areas. Normal.
  4. Pulsing just above dantian area (like “heartbeat”). Normal.
  5. Yongquan in front sole of foot pulling down hard and making the body lean forward on and off. Normal.
  6. Whole foot is now being pulled down, with occasional pull forward. Normal.
  7. Whole abdomen getting very warm. Normal.
  8. Subtle movement occasionally in dantian. Normal.
  9. Can now stand for 50 minutes with minimal loss of circulation in feet and legs. Your job is to ignore these things. They will keep coming back. Continue to ignore them.

About JVanko

Hunyuan Taiji Academy do Brasil. http://br.chenzhonghua.org

{ 18 comments… read them below or add one }

charlie wishon December 16, 2014 at 9:07 pm

I was taught to imagine soft feathers falling to ignore the pain. And to try to do it up to 4 hrs


Niko March 15, 2016 at 1:11 am

Try to practice until the whole body starts feeling pumped up. It is like tremendous pressure is generated within you. Like a balloon full of air. Once you have it, imagine the spinal cord in front of your inner eye. You can use an anatomical book beforehand to memorize how it looks like. This can maybe lead to further insights.


charlie wishon March 15, 2016 at 9:28 am

zhan zhuang is not a part of the practical method training


Kundalini April 27, 2016 at 11:31 am

Charlie, what is Zhan Zhuang for, then ?


Kundalini April 27, 2016 at 11:37 am

Would be nice if some senior students like Todd Elihu of Ronnie Yee would join the discussion.
I wonder if Hong practiced Zhan zhuang, too.


Kelvin Ho April 27, 2016 at 1:38 pm

Grandmaster Hong didn’t practice zhan zhuang.


studentofmethod April 30, 2016 at 11:00 am

it seems what zhan Zhuang tries to develop (basic correct alignment/structure) is inherently contained within practical method training throughout foundations and form.


Kundalini April 30, 2016 at 3:50 pm

Alignment and structure is of course contained in foundations, as well as flow and energy and so on. What is not incorporated in foundations is focussed movement of energy in stillness …
I believe, someone who made real progress in foundations, will automatically enjoy the benefits of Zhan Zhuang. And i also believe, one should not start with Zhan Zhuang first, foundations are priority.


pingwei April 30, 2016 at 11:06 pm

In Master Chen’s new book, “规矩“ (2015),there’s one quote I’d like to share here. It’s my rough translation:
If you like Qigong, then go study Qigong; If you like Buddhism or Taoism, why not go study Buddhism or Taoism; Every discipline has its own theory and philosophical guidelines, following them you might reach a high level of enlightenment, but just don’t mix with Tai Chi and train the Tai Chi in that way.


Can you feel it ? May 1, 2016 at 3:53 am

Isn´t Taiji practical Taoism, Ping ?


Kelvin Ho May 3, 2016 at 9:28 pm

What is practical Taoism?


pingwei May 1, 2016 at 8:32 am

Taiji is a martial art.


Michael Winkler May 2, 2016 at 1:54 am

I think, there is always a lot of confusion when comparing different things.
Here it might be that this what we call “Qigong” since about the 1970ies and Taijiquan both in theory have some roots in Daoist philosophy.
But this is an abstact theoretical thing, for instance the theory of Yin and Yang.
When it comes to a practical application, the methods might be totally different.

Here I think the difference is even more, because the subject of “Qigong” is a totally different one as the subject of “Taijiquan”.
Taiji, and especially our style, is very technical and physical. It’s nothing else than a marial art, and we don’t use all this methods “to move the qi internally”, as many other schools do.
That does not meant that eventually our training might support Qigong, and vice versa.

But they are totally different things.

I personally thing that the two got mixed up because in Taijiquan mostly there was a hughe lack in method of training. And then there appeard Yiquan, which uses a lot Zhan Zhuang. I have the impression that just after that ZZ was incorporated into Chen Taijiquan by a famous master …

Chen Fake, as I know, also did not practice ZZ, right?
But they did practice standing postures out of Yilu, as I heard.

In my opinion we should keep all this esoteric stuff far away from the Practical Method, when we really want to follow our lineage.

Finally I like to remind us one thing Master Chen told us, and I think this is one of the most marginalized ones:

“Don’t rely on what you feel, and don’t rely on what you think.”


Michael Winkler May 2, 2016 at 5:58 am

Before answering this: the following words, for me, are not directly related to our training of “Chen Taijiquan Practical Method”.

Well, to be more precise or to point out a more original meaning of these words:
esoteric is the counterpart to exoteric. The second one is even not recognized by my spell checker. But http://dict.leo.org does no it. Exoteric means to look or to orient yourself outwards, and esoteric inwards. So “exoteric science” want to watch the world “objectively” and tries to diminish subjective influence, what in the end is quite impossible. All the old traditional schools of wisdom, to me does not matter weather Christian, Buddhist, Daoist, Muslim or who else, can be named “Esoteric science” when they keep the content of reversing the point of view and work inwards.

But here I was talking about spiritual schools and methods in a very general sense, and our training is Chinese martial arts, therefore something completely different.

I used the word “esoteric” before, but in the “common sense”.
What I wanted to point out is, that in our school of Taijiquan we don’t talk about things like opening the third eye, gathering qi in the dantian, make qi move smoothly through the body and so on.
This stuff may make sense for what today we call “Qigong”, but should not be mixed up or confused with (our) Taijiquan.


taibarb7 December 4, 2018 at 6:58 am

Hi there,

I might be trying to ride a dead horse, since this thread is quite old but fwiw.

In my view, the famous Chen master who included ZZ in his training schedule uses it as jiben gong (sp?) and the way he teaches it is slightly and significantly different to what, say, Lam Kam Chuen and his teacher, master yu, teach. I only use this as there is a vid up on youtube, so you can go and see for youself.

It is stance training and it allows to train particular aspects while shutting out other aspects deliberately. It is not the end-all and be-all and in my view it has never been intended to be that, there’s a lot of cultural misunderstandings around (and I might have just fallen prey to this just now, who knows)

I merely offer this as a matter of observation, I’m not out to “convert” anyone. I find it interesting to compare different systems and before coming about this thread I wasn’t aware that Grandmaster Hong never did ZZ.


Karen Adam May 4, 2016 at 2:33 pm

I used to train the Practical Method. Very much fun and works well. A student should train and concentrate on what the teacher’s method, knowledge and process dictates. Do it and have fun with it. I no longer train tai chi. I look to Bikram yoga and Kundalini yoga and exercise. They all help in grounding. Whatever you do, do it with people and an art or process that brings you happiness, otherwise it isn’t worth it. My mom lived to 85 years and she didn’t even walk outside to get the mail. But she could still take care of herself and was happy. What quality of life do you want and find something that helps you get that, maintain that and gives you happiness as well. We are all different.
Have fun with your Practical Method. I figure yoga has been around for over 4,000 years, is spiritual, greatly energetic and peaceful. And it melds with me. There is an acceptance there. Nice. But the yoga is not regular, took me awhile to find it. It is Bikram – more yang. Practical Method was not in the cards for me but it sure looks like it is in the cards for a lot of others. Be open but concentrate on the Practical Method if that interests you. Half immersion will bring you half results. You can’t play with all the toys in the playground at the same time. Remember the choices you make and is that where you want to go, to end up. I never had any guidance. Had to find my own way. There is no other way but my own way and after all this time I am okay with that. It just is. And none of it matters. Embrace your learning. Is one of the happiest times. 🙂 And standing post is standing post. gives you more energy. Kung fu artists do it. qigong practitioners do it, and I do it waiting in line for a movie ticket…..don’t we all? Hug a tree. Feels good? Good energy. Is okay to be different. Thank god that we all are. Misuse of energy to manipulate others is not so good. Awareness is always good.
The old saying of when we are ready the teacher comes. That teacher, surprise! Is you!


charlie wishon May 12, 2016 at 3:53 pm

Anyone of a very high level does not
move chi. That would be akin to moving the blood as if we know better than our body as to where the blood needs to go.


taibarb7 December 4, 2018 at 7:00 am

Hi Charlie,

UHM. Okay, I respect your opinion.

One question: If you move your arm, can you do that WITHOUT moving BLOOD?

If you have to move blood to move that arm – how then can you avoid NOT moving qi at the very same time?????


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