Toronto Workshop Feb 21-24, 2014

by Kelvin Ho on 2014/02/26

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Participants, please leave comments.

About Kelvin Ho

Kelvin Ho, Master Chen Zhonghua's disciple, is the instructor for Practical Method Toronto. He has been teaching and promoting the Practical Method system in Toronto, Markham, Richmond Hill, Canada since 2011. He has received numerous medals in various Taiji competitions. He is also a vice-president of MartialArts Association Canada. Like his teacher, he feels an obligation to pass this great art onto others. Contact: kelvin.ho@practicalmethod.ca.

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Dick Wood February 26, 2014 at 1:49 pm

Toronto Chen Seminar. It was a great weekend. I came away every day with a sore body and my head packed full of new ideas and concepts. This seminar was not about teaching a Taichi form, it was about understanding the internal aspects of your body and how it affects the external. The form is actually only to teach and develop these concepts. We could see how a simple movement using a different muscle group could radically change the outcome of a situation. Aspects of force, intent and movement were demonstrated and explained.

I entered with an empty cup. I walked into the seminar with the desire to learn. That means giving up on everything I thought I knew and accept what was being taught in the way it was being taught. After the seminar I can take what I want and integrate it into my other training but I will not put up a wall before I understand this way of looking at things. Sometimes it was difficult but for the most part I was able to keep quiet and learn. Too often people go to a different style with the attitude that their style is the best and no one knows more and will not listen to what is being said. They refuse to accept the new ideas and so are always stuck in time.

When I first got into the internal styles I had to learn to abandon my last 30 years of external practice to understand the depth of the internal arts. I could not have done both. The external side of me would always want to do a kick and would not allow the concept of a simple movement being more effective. Once I emptied my external cup I was able to fill it with the internal concepts. I met a few older Chinese gentlemen at the seminar and they each had practiced taichi for a “couple years”. I liked working with them as they would be happy to impart a bit of knowledge to an interested and receptive student.

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Hugo Ramiro February 26, 2014 at 2:17 pm

This 4-day seminar was an ongoing lesson on the essential trait of stability. With every passing lesson it became more and more obvious that no TaiJi principle can be expressed without stability – what Master Chen ZhongHua calls “the fixed point”, or “the dot”.

Commonly used terms like “yielding”, “turning”, and “softness” show their true colours when they are discerned using the metric of stability.

How can one yield from a position of instability? That would be a rout.
How can one turn while wobbling? That would be to veer and swerve.

How is softness useful when the base trembles with instability? That would be to deflate, crumble and collapse.
Stability, the fixed point, shows us that, whatever energy we express, we do not veer, collapse, or allow ourselves to be routed.

It is for these reasons that I no longer use words like “yield”, or “softness”, or even “turn”. My metric is stability, the fixed point. Whatever I do is irrelevant if I do not have the fixed point. If I have the fixed point, all becomes possible.

Over and over it was demonstrated that by developing the fixed point, even a powerful incoming force could be manipulated using structural precision – so very different from any idea of running from the fight. In fact, we saw that the only place the fixed point existed was on the edge of the cliff. And the only fight worth fighting was on the edge of the cliff. The true warrior finds him or herself on the razor’s edge, establishing the fixed point, adjusting only to maintain that position in time and space. Truly, there is not even an opponent.

The only thing that is left, then, is for the opponent to fall away.

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bruce.schaub February 26, 2014 at 5:12 pm

Great notes Hugo, sorry to have missed it, sounds excellent…. razor’s edge indeed….

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yonathan February 26, 2014 at 6:57 pm

This was yet another wonderful workshop. Still trying to figure out the “don’t move” part. Still can’t get my body to do what I want. But, I still am not so sure of what I want it to do exactly, so I really can’t blame it.
Anyway, it’s a pleasure to attempt to learn something so different from what I got used to. Looking forward to the next one.

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Matt Landau February 26, 2014 at 7:33 pm

Chen Style Taiji Practical Method as taught by Master Chen is a truly rich art taught by a devoted, humble, generous and most competent Master. While students’ skill levels vary, we are all explorers of a deep art that examines not just taiji fighting skills but, arguably, the physical nature of the universe itself. Even catching just glimpses of real taiji is breathtakingly rewarding. While impossible to know for certain, to say that there are less than a handful of people on this earth with Master Chen’s skill, perception and insight must be factual. My brother and I are honored, humbled and blessed to be able to study this art under so competent a teacher. Each seminar is immeasurably valuable for gaining a deeper understanding of ourselves, the nature of energy and this thing we call “life.” For this reason, attending seminars with Master Chen will always be a true highlight of our year; and therefore most highly recommended to all who are contemplating attending one in the future.

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Hugo Ramiro February 28, 2014 at 11:44 am

I can certainly agree that the methods presented are gateways into universal principles and therefore “life”. It’s good to hear this viewpoint.

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