Quotes from Master Chen’s Phoenix Workshops (Oct 15-17, 2013)

by Ping Wei on 2013/11/03

On Yin Yang Separation:
Whenever you can separate Yin and Yang, one part doesn’t move, the other part moves, there has to be a relationship between them.
The relationship (between Yin and Yang) is the number one factor of Taiji. As the matter of fact, it (the relationship) is the core of Taiji.

On Push/Baby Syndrome in Taiji:
(This is the first time I heard about Master Chen using “baby syndrome.” This is his humor, but very appropriate. When he was correcting a student in a push hand situation, He was joking about him. “Even though you are retired, you are still like a baby.”)

Everybody (in our Taiji) is like a baby. You always want your fingers in a candy jar. Can not resist. “Push” is the candy. Everybody wants to (push). When you are not getting it, you still want it.

When you are frustrated, you want to push; when you are winning, you want to push.

For us, when you are frustrated, no push; when you are losing, no push; when you are winning, no push. Only using body mechanics. You make adjustment until your opponent doesn’t feel good, and he moves out. If you are using force to push, you lose.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

mralyu October 6, 2016 at 5:35 pm

“…you are pushing, don’t push…,you are still pushing…” we all experience this, how many times we thought we kept our torso like a WALL, and our shoulders down, and didn’t really push when in fact we did. Until Chen laoshi pointed out that you didn’t isolate this/that body part, your other actions dragged the rest of the body (such as torso, popping shoulder) into action, hence, no separation. Maintaining Move/Not-move is not easy, it requires a lot of practice and it also needs ti be load-tested repeatedly with partners. The feedback will have to come from your partner and/or from video.

As Ping pointed out with the candy jar, in my case, I know that I am not supposed to move my hand. Hand movement should be indirect (from rotating elbow, from opening shoulder, from kua…etc.) via body mechanics; and yet, not having total separation, I created extra action.
“…you created a move, did you see that you have an extra move…” That extra action can be detected.

The workshop let us interact with Chen laoshi physically, and he gives us feedback immediately about our mistakes. This a valuable experience that I look forward to every year. Thank you.


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