“Indirect Power” Mini Lesson

by Shopmaster on 2012/07/30

In Taijiquan power must be generated from a point removed from the point of action. This clip show the difference of local power vs indirect power and a method to train indirect power with partner
Presenter: Chen Zhonghua   Length: 7 min.   In: English   Year: 2012  Difficulty:3/5  At:Daqingshan Mountain Resort

Indirect Power
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{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

Gary Readore August 1, 2012 at 12:18 pm

Wow, this is a great video and discourse on indirect power. Trying to overcome the use of direct, localized power is difficult to say the least, as Master Chen says, since it is something we can feel, especially us guys who take pride in being “strong” (or thinking we are anyway). Using indirect power goes against everything we hold/think as normal. Obviously there is something “to it” as Master Chen exemplifies it clearly and consistently.

I do have a question or comment. I have been doing the circles and Yilu for 1- 1/2 years now and feel the kuas loosening up. It appears that this training creates a new “usage” or transformation of the body that manifests “separation” of yin and yang. If I were to describe it, it is like there is a compression of the core of the body derived from the pushing of the feet and manipulation of the kua w/ head suspended that pushes/squeezes the hand/arm out or pulls the hand/arm in w/o use of direct strength or power. Creating the line connects everything so there are no “gaps” so power transfer is full and immediate. The push is not a push at all, like Master Chen says. I guess I can somewhat see now that the push is a “pull” as Master Chen also says, which results from the separation and pulling into the core.

Master Chen, does this sound right?


Gary Readore


Chen Zhonghua August 1, 2012 at 4:58 pm

Yes. Your understanding is correct. As to whether you can do it, we need to test it in person.


bruce.schaub August 3, 2012 at 7:16 pm

One of the reasons I appreciate what Master Chen is doing so much, is that he gives us an unprecedented level of access to real taiji. I wonder if people realize, surely some, if not many, do, but this has never happened before…..ever. The combination of ardent generosity, high level ability, deep understanding, and use of technology has made the reality of Taiji that much more accessible to all of us lovers of taiji, tao, and traditional chinese culture, and I imagine, changed the way many of us perceive Taiji in particular…but I can only speak for myself. He has certainly opened my eyes and changed my view. One of the other reasons I am continually enticed by Practical Method is the scientific approach. I have long thought of Taoist philosophy as a very scientific way of looking at the world, very common senseical and through long observation testing and retesting, principles were arrived at, much the same way a scientist would set up “controls” for and experiment and if he could continually arrive at the same result, he would know he had something and pursue it further. It follows suit that a Taoist art should follow the same procedure, particularly a physical science such as taiji that is designed ultimately for “quan”. Anyone who has ever been in a real fight knows there is no time to “think”. But taiji skills deal with levels of subtlety that live on such fine lines that it is not easy to set up such “experiments”……ultimately this can only mean we must rely on direct physical transmission from someone who has developed abilities to make us “feel” and to be able to “feel” from us, when we are doing it correctly. Try as we might, certainly I’m including myself in this irresistable endeavor, to figure it out, mostly I’m just looking forward to meeting Master Chen.


bruce.schaub August 21, 2012 at 9:52 am

In experimenting with the methods taught in this video, I’m beginning to realize why it is so important we understand “Indirect Power”. If you fight with someone powering the point of contact, all the energy and effort you put into it gets clogged up and locked AT THE POINT OF CONTACT. It spreads and diffuses horizontally, and is very obvious and easy to fight against, which is the opposite of what we want. All we need is a small amount of energy to PENETRATE THROUGH. Indirect power allows for this to happen. It stays in a line, and the skill is really to see how many individual body parts you can contribute to the line, without breaking your vertical stabilizing axis or having ANY power DIRECTLY on the point of contact ( Which is of course extremely difficult to actually do). In the “New York 2011 Workshop”, Master Chen further explains this ability and how being able to penetrate is the real “silk reeling energy” of Taiji. To say that its important that we understand this concept, would be an understatement, but more importantly we need to train against our natural tendency to always power the contacting point. Thank you for these very clear and enlightening lessons!


spiraldotmaster August 23, 2012 at 11:35 am

I believe you hit the nail on the head!


bruce.schaub August 23, 2012 at 1:31 pm

I finally realized I had to stop moving the nail around in order to hit it.


studentofmethod August 23, 2012 at 4:22 pm

hahaha good one


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