New Theory on the Eight Methods

by Todd Elihu on 2010/08/04

I was recently looking through some old notes and came across Master Chen Zhonghua’s  “New Theory on the Eight Methods.” It is also known as the eight techniques. I thought this might be of interest due to the recent discussion of the Eight Methods mentioned in Rion’s notes from the Cannon Fist workshop.

The conventional interpretation of the Eight Methods is as follows:

Peng = to ward off

Lu = to divert, to pull

Ji = to press

An = to push down

Cai = to pluck

Lie = to split

Zhou = to strike with the elbow

Kao = to bump

Master Chen’s New Theory on the Eight Methods (circa March, 2003):

Peng = to enlarge, to expand

Lu = to lengthen towards self.

Ji = to lengthen towards opponent, to make heavy (sink) and squeeze out space

An = to push to cause separation and disengagement

Cai = to break in the opponent’s end. (three ends: opponent, middle, self);  to uproot through pulling with acceleration, creating a variation of speed in the opponent’s body (based on Lu)

Lie = to break in the middle (based on Lu)

Zhou = to twist so that two directions are simultaneously engaged

Kao = hitting with a large area of the body

*Peng is the basis for the other seven methods and is also the most difficult one to master. Taiji is the “Art of Peng.”

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Tim Duehring August 4, 2010 at 7:57 pm

Thanks for refreshing my memory on this. I think when Master Chen described it to me (us) he mentioned that there was a lot of problems translating from one dialect to another and that things got twisted around a bit.


Jay August 4, 2010 at 10:23 pm

Thanks for sharing Todd, I know I have it written down in one of my many pages of workshop notes somewhere.

Yes Tim that is how it was explained to me too, incorrect translation and misinterpretation.


kim allbritain October 16, 2010 at 8:55 am

nice, thanks for sharing Todd. I have not seen this particular explanation before. As the vocabulary gets more precise so does our understanding.


David Fadjar March 5, 2014 at 2:54 am

Probably worth a while bumping this post up since Michael Koh Mentioned it recently in his quiz…
Got to do with plenty of dialects used in China and the interpretation could be misunderstood (henan dialect different from Beijing dialect?)


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