“Elbow Shoulder Kua Application” Online Video Trailer

by Shopmaster on 2013/05/28

Lesson and demonstration on how to use elbow, shoulder and kua: how they work together in application.

Presenter: Chen Zhonghua   Length: 10 min.   In: English   Year: 2013  Difficulty:3/5  At:Greater Vancouver

Elbow Shoulder Kua Application
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{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

bruce.schaub May 28, 2013 at 8:37 am

For some reason this particular video helped me to “see” the Hinge. Having been a carpenter for many years, I have installed hundreds, if not thousands, of hinges on doors, but never really thought too much about it until I started studying Master Chen’s taiji. Looking more closely now I can see what a perfect example of the dynamic of taiji, the “door hinge” really is.
A door hinge consists of three distinctive components, with three drastically different jobs, but when put together functions as one seemless unit. One flange of a door hinge is screwed rigidly too the door frame. The frame is connected to the structure of the house, the house is connected to a foundation, and the foundation is buried in the ground. You could say “one part of the hinge is in the ground” or “has the power of the ground” or “is rooted in the ground”…. The other half of the hinge moves totally freely and is not connected to the other piece. They are totally separate pieces. What makes them work together in a connected way is the hinge pin. When you slide the pin in between these two halves you have a Taiji state. A Yin (passive non moving) component, a Yang (active , moving) component, and a neutral axial component.

If we analyse our desired foundational taiji structure simply, we can say, the rear 2/3 of our structure is the peice of the hinge that is connected to the house (ground). The front 1/3 is the swinging moving part of the hinge and the axis, is the pin in the shoulder and kua. The rear 2/3 mainly all serves to stabilize the front kua, but if we sink our shoulder down and position it over the front kua, it is like having a hinge pin running through them creating an axis. Then the front 1/3 can move in an isolated mechanical way due to the other two components. The rigidity and tight connectedness, makes for a smooth working hinge, if a hinge is loose (like some in my old house built in 1920) the door binds up and flops around gradually stressing everything and wearing out.

Master Chen told us once he has the habit of taking time to look at a door hinge every night before he goes to sleep. Now I understand why.

Many of you are probably already aware of these things , but it helps me to learn and not forget if I write it on the site, so thank you for letting me do that Master Chen….. and for making me see the true taiji in everyday things!!! Every video I see and learn a little more….


Wilkin Ng May 28, 2013 at 2:54 pm

Thanks for the hinge writeup. I find it hard to create a hinge during yilu, let alone during push hand, as there is no direct anatomy support for it. But for those who touched Master Chen during workshop, he can easily produce a stable hinge, because that is how he produce the taiji power.

Here are more lessons related to hinge


bruce.schaub May 29, 2013 at 6:55 am

It is definitely difficult in both cases for me too. It feels like the most important key is the vertical rotation of the pelvis, which opens lower back (mingmen) stretching the spine longer, and opens kua helping to expose that central dot as pivot. It helps me to practice just this action alot, try to create a stretch all the way from head top to front foot, and feel spine as one continuous bow connected to front leg as one continuous bow (without protrusions or indentations). Then try to feel that long S line as one peice, with front kua directly supported by rear leg (like a stick) supporting that dot as fulcrum, then squeeze the shoulder down integrating on top of front kua, to create an axis. It helps me to think of that line going all the way from ceiling to ground like a rod that kua and shoulder are pinned through. Then practice very small movement like the first half of six sealing four closing, or fetch water, keeping front kua, knee, and shoulder from moving. I think gradually once that feeling is very well established (like to where I no longer have to think about it) it will start to manifest itself in Yilu and push hands more consistently. It was funny hanging around Master Chen, I noticed he works at it all the time. Standing in line to get coffee….or wherever we were not doing anything, he would assume half horse stance and start grinding away. Maybe he was just reminding us we need to work at that basic structure constantly. He never wasted any time.


Matt Landau June 6, 2013 at 6:42 pm

Chen Laoshi:
Thank you for posting this video. Students around the world can spend 50 years and countless sums of money and never learn the fundamentals you teach here. There is also so much more information contained within this 10 minute video than the title suggests! Your detailed discussion of locking down, stretching against a fixed point, never using local power or movement are gems in and of themselves. When coupled with your specific elbow, shoulder and kua applications, I am basically speechless. If anyone can perform yilu following all of the (basic) rules you review, they will certainly score the most points at next year’s Daqingshan 2nd Annual Competition. I highly recommend this video to every student. If diligently practiced, it will improve each and every move we make. Respectfully,
Matt Landau


KT September 6, 2013 at 5:12 am

Worth repeated viewing to grab the true meaning of NO MOVE.


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