“Don’t move the back” Online Video Trailer

by John Upshaw on 2014/04/22

Mini lesson on the importance of not moving the back, training for isolation of the arm by doing spiral movement.

Presenter: Chen Zhonghua   Length: 15 min.   In: English   Year: 2013  Difficulty:3/5  At:Oakland

Don't move the back
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The Drill

In the beginning of the video Master Chen demonstrates a drill that emphasizes separation.  This is the primary theme throughout this instructional video.  He stands with his back against the wall and has a student push against his torso.  Without moving his back, he easily brushes the student’s hand off.  He demonstrates this again, the wrong way, moving his back and shoulders, which then is unsuccessful at removing the student’s hands.  Master Chen then explains with out separation,   there is no yin and yang.  “The separation of yin and yang is very important!”

The Lessons to Remember

“Once there is yin and yang, the recombination of what yin and yang can do becomes unlimited!”

“The separation gives you yin and yang.  Once it is is separate, the recombined effort  is what we call in taiji whole body movement.  The body has to work as one unit, not one piece.”


GIF showing no seperation

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GIF showing yin and yang seperation

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GIF showing differences between no separation and seperation


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GIF Master Chen demonstrating the same principle of separation or isolated movements without the wall behind him


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GIF showing the difference between the shoulder tossing and the shoulder rotating in it’s socket (open hand represents the socket and fist represents the shoulder joint


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GIF demonstrating the drill once more

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At the end of the video as Master Chen was doing the drill, he said you must experience this Chuck (Charles Paoletti disciple #19)!  I met Chuck in 2013 and I can say with 100% accuracy, he is the biggest person I have met practicing Practical Method Taiji!  Master Chen’s point was that if you train this with a more powerful person, and you are able to move their hands off of you while doing the drill, you did it right, achieving yin and yang separation!

Please ask questions or make statements about what you learned from this video.













{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Matt Landau April 27, 2014 at 6:36 pm

The entire video is full of important, practical information. “No movement” is further explained. I’d write more but have to go figure out how to make all my yilu movements conform to these principals. This video is priceless.


Patrick Dickson April 28, 2014 at 11:37 am

An excellent video……and it gives proof that if you take a seminar, make sure to get the videos of the seminar as you probably recall very little of what happened that day. LOL….as I started watching this video, I am in the first five minutes or so as Master Chen demonstrates various techniques with me. I couldn’t believe how much I had forgotten. Some of the video I don’t even remember seeing the events occur. So it was a real treat when this video was released. I picked up some fine tuning points on this concept while watching.


James Tam December 15, 2015 at 12:13 pm

This video shows, exactly as one workshop participant exclaimed, how “Amazing!” it can be. The key is to trust the system. Don’t move the back and the power will, after much practice, develop and emerge using proper linkages. This is also referred to as separation of yin and yang, which provides unlimited possibilities. Working together, alive with different combinations and linkages of yin-yang pairs, the body work in unison to produce “magical” powers.


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