Phoenix 2013 Workshop Group Photo

by Ping Wei on 2013/10/18


It’s a honor to have you in Phoenix, and thank you for teaching us. Everybody learned a lot. Come back soon.

Ping Wei






Workshop photos
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Great dinner put on by Ross.
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{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Albert October 19, 2013 at 1:17 pm

Just finished attending 2013 Phoenix Workshop with Master Chen. The workshop was expertly organized by Ping and the Chamber of Commerce weather (60’s to 80’s degF and sunny) helped as well. The private lesson format was, by far, the best for my learning. With customized instructions and corrections taped I now have a clear and correct path to advance. The downtime interaction and conversation with Master Chen and other attendees was delightful and educational. I feel I am a step (tiny) closer to true art of Tai Chi! Thank you Master Chen and Ping!


pingwei October 24, 2013 at 6:48 pm

“The workshop with Master Chen was a real eye-opener in regards to push-hand practice.” –Sylvane Eidson


pingwei October 24, 2013 at 6:50 pm

The following is written by David Putney (sent to me by email):

I attended a three-day training with Master Chen last week. While I’ve done a bit of Tai Chi off and on over the years, it’s never been my main focus so I remain a beginner.

One of the things he said on the first day is that, while one should strive to do things correctly, even if you’re a bit off, it’s still helpful and that the most important thing was to remember the principles and follow the principles.

So I tried to listen for the principles. At the end of the last day I asked him if I’d gotten the principles that he was trying to convey.

What I had picked up was:

1 – When training, isolate and move one body part at a time and get that motion correct.

2 – Don’t try to move your opponent, rather change your own shape and in so doing, move yourself.

He agreed that those were good principles and pointed out one more that I should remember: “Don’t move the center”, he said.

Don’t move the center.

When he said that, “Don’t move the center”, it seemed pretty straight forward. The center is where you balance is. The center is where you expand and contract from.

But over the next few days I got to thinking in a wider sense, “don’t move the center” applies in a lot of ways beyond physical.

Imagine if you’re in junior high school and you’re being verbally or socially bullied. Why does that hurt so much? Why does it cause so much angst? Because you moved your center. Your center was not where it should be. If your center is on what is really important, namely your own sense of worth and the fellowship of your family and friends, then other people saying rude and foolish things to or about you has little effect. It’s only if your center moves…if you forget what’s important, that this kind of social conflict becomes a problem.

Or imagine a situation (at any age) where someone wants to pick a fight with you and is being rude and insulting. What is your center? Your center is your goal, your values, what is most important to you. Is kicking some rude guy’s butt really important to you? Or is defending yourself from harm what’s important. If your center is defense, and if you don’t move that center, than verbal provocation won’t effect you. But if you move your center and let anger or distraction move your “center” from defense to acting out on your anger, then you will lose.

So “Don’t move your center” has a much wider application than just physical. You have to maintain your center physically, but also emotionally, socially, intellectually and spiritually.

And to maintain your center you must understand your center, know where it is and know what kind of challenges it might face.

“Don’t move the center.” That’s a big concept for only four words.


Gerry Gebhart October 28, 2013 at 10:06 pm

It is now 2 weeks since the start of our workshop in Phoenix. My head is still spinning!
I really like the format of a group lesson in the morning and private lessons that we all watch through the rest of the day. Having video of my own private lessons at the end of the workshop is invaluable. I am not capable of remembering all the corrections and information. The camera remembers the precise instructions so that I can’t unconsciously change them.
Master Chen’s instruction is so interesting. In this workshop we had a couple people brand new to practical method. In his instructions, he seemed to be talking to the rest of us who have been following him for a few years as much as to the brand new students. I learned so much from everyone else’s lessons.
He is also so patient. I keep getting the same instructions, but I seem to get another level of understanding each time. This time around, I am more aware of the importance of precision and the high level of precision required. I keep thinking I am following instructions, but I see how sloppy my movements are.
I have a lot of work to do, but it does seem at least possible to achieve.
I looked forward to more lessons and sharing with my growing circle of Practical Method brothers and sisters.


mralyu November 17, 2013 at 6:51 pm

I second Albert’s comment on praising the private lesson format at the Phoenix workshop. Ping also accommodated this session with a 3-day daily 2 hours group workshop for everyone, so we got the best of both approaches. The morning group workshop let me in some of the foundations and morning exercises while the private lessons go deeper into form correction and a lot of the Taiji principles. Better yet, since we were allowed to observe all the private lessons, we witnessed (from different angles) Master Chen re-applied various different fundamental principles on students (of different level) throughout these lessons. Often, principles mentioned in a different class were illustrated again and again with different objects.

Lastly, Master Chen gave us the raw video so that we didn’t have to wait for the edited version online. This immediately reinforces what has just been taught. In my case, what surprises me was that Master Chen kept repeating the same instructions, and somehow I just didn’t hear and repeated the mistakes while I was in the lesson until later when I replayed my video then I realized that my mind must have be overwhelmed by other senses…that I failed to adhere to the most fundamental – to follow the instruction and not to think/feel too much.
More work is needed, more foundation, more Yilu … until next time.


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