“Kua opening mechanics” Online Video Trailer

by Shopmaster on 2012/12/20

Just exactly how the kua works? In this mini lesson, master Chen Zhonghua gives details of the mechanics of the kua opening action. Presenter: Chen Zhonghua   Length: 17 min.   In: English   Year: 2012  Difficulty:2/5  At: Maple Ridge, B.C

Kua opening mechanics
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Kua is an important joint to get right. It is our biggest joint which connect torso to leg. It has lots of strength with right training. Master Chen go over in detail on the correct usage and training in this video.

{ 16 comments… read them below or add one }

ksloke December 21, 2012 at 8:12 pm

Once and for all this video nails it. It explains and demonstrates clearly the requirement to issue power in Taiji. The explanation using props (2 sticks) gives the rationale of the movement using simple physical ideas. Then the body movement is demonstrated with the requirements (i.e. which part should move and shouldn’t move) clearly stated. Any clearer you would have to dissect the body. However being able to perform the same move is not easier (through having this knowledge) because our bodies (i.e. motor neurons) are not accustomed to moving in that way, we have to train our neuromuscular system (using Yi?) to respond through repeated training.


Calvin Chow December 23, 2012 at 11:59 pm

I think this is an important video to explain how kua opening works to generate power in practical method. I tried to figure it out in circle practice. Kua opening will generate power from the triangle of shoulder, knee and kua as kua is forced towards the side between front knee and front shoulder. When rear kua is locked as a pivot joint in “turn with waist”, a twist start at the tail bone and create a torque at “mìng mén”(命门). This torque pushes another triangle(front shoulder, front elbow and “mìng mén” )to rotate. As shoulder is locked as pivot joint in position, the arm pit is forced to open and stretch out the elbow. Then there follows another triangle, fore hand, rear foot and “mìng mén” . While we sink our body the “mìng mén” press toward the side between the fore hand and the rear foot to open. It results a very strong compression in “Hand out”. “Mìng mén”is the center of power generation. The head suspension is to keep the “mìng mén” in position not getting up while the torque created there. As well the head stretched against the shoulders to keep them in position too.


Ernest December 25, 2012 at 2:03 am

The less you move, the more the opponent moves. Logical and simple. But to apply this means quite some practicing. Now life has a meaning:-)


Patrick Dickson August 8, 2013 at 10:22 am

This exercise and the “kua exercise” video are two of my favorite drills. This should be required for all students of practical method…absolutely invaluable information….Master chen presents the material in a way that is understandable….I try and start each morning with these exercises before I do the yilu…


judah lyons January 25, 2015 at 3:29 pm

wow a whole different depth of understanding!


Richard van Berkum March 4, 2017 at 5:01 am

Very nice explanation, thank you. I have a question when you combine sets.
I understand the idea when you lock two ends and push the middle in that the structure becomes very powerful. I would like some guidance on when you issue power by using the bifolding door example.

When you use the structure as a bifolding door one end is locked and one is sliding on the line. What happens when for example you start at the ankle (double lock) push the knee in so the hip is moved. BUT in the second set (knee hip shoulder) the knee should lock BUT it is moving from the first set. So I don’t quite understand how the second set works if the knee is moving while it should lock.

Greetings, Richard


Kelvin Ho March 6, 2017 at 2:48 pm


Please take a look at this article: http://practicalmethod.com/2014/07/triangle_double_lock_single_lock/.

Essentially, nothing moves except the real (single lock) end point. In your example, the hip is not the real end point.

At first, we don’t issue power because as soon as you do, your track is lost. Train until your track (new habit) is in place then you will know where you can issue power.



Richard van Berkum March 8, 2017 at 2:36 am

Hello Kevin,

Thanks, that makes it a lot clearer. Can you also say that power is transfered/issued by rotatating the joints while locking them in place? In that case they don’t move. Except for the last point as you mentioned.


Kelvin Ho June 23, 2019 at 2:31 am



Sven June 25, 2017 at 12:42 pm

What has to be done to open the Kua is properly shown and described in this video.
Very helpful to figure out what to attempt while doing e.g the circle. I watched it over and over again!


Paul Pryce June 19, 2019 at 4:25 am

This is an excellent video and a must see for all PM students. Master Chen clearly explains the importance of the kua and how power is created and issued from it. The video goes on to show applications of the issue of the power.


taibarb7 June 19, 2019 at 8:34 am

Hmmm – since Paul commented favorably on the vid. I wonder if anyone could elaborate on the translation of “kua”.

There are several people on the page who are happy and seem to understand – how about naming the thing with a concrete anatomical structure’s name?



Kelvin Ho June 23, 2019 at 2:24 am
taibarb7 June 24, 2019 at 9:01 am

Thanks a lot Kelvin! Somehow that never popped up when I searched for “kua” on the page.

What then is “front kua” and “rear kua”? I remember seeing you did a vid about that topic but it looks like I can’t find it again (and I had no time to watch back then). Front and rear as in relation to opponent? or in relation to your own anatomical structure?


Kelvin Ho October 12, 2020 at 5:58 pm

In a right half-horse stance, the right kua is the front kua.


Tinh Thai October 12, 2020 at 2:18 pm

There is a lot going on in this video. It’s a real gem. Thank you Master Chen for the explanations.
In this video you will get to see and hear about lines, triangles in the body, angles, not moving, compression, levers, and issuing power.


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