Serious students of the Chen Style Taijiquan Practical Method are asked to do as many Yilus as possible for a single day. This practice started in 2001 by Master Chen Zhonghua and is known today as theChallenge. The tests the students courage, endurance and power level.
When Master Chen Zhonghua went back to China in 1991 to visit Grandmaster Hong Junsheng, one day, he and his senior taiji brother Yi Wei (以为) discussed with Grandmaster Hong Junsheng about how many times of yilus should be practiced. Grandmaster Hong Junsheng asked Master Chen Zhonghua how many he practiced, Master Chen Zhonghua replied with 7 yilus.
Grandmaster Hong Junsheng said 7 was too few. The senior taiji brother asked Grandmaster Hong Junsheng how many he was practicing before. Grandmaster Hong Junsheng said not fewer than 20 when he was still a student, and it was also the same with Grandmaster Chen Fake. When the senior taiji brother asked how many one should practice per day, Grandmaster Hong Junsheng didn’t answer directly, and but said the key was perseverance. He then said that he heard Grandmaster Chen Fake used to practice 100 yilus a day, and asked if that was real. Grandmaster Hong Junsheng again didn’t answer directly, but asked the senior taiji brother and Master Chen Zhonghua why they didn’t give it a try. Not sure if the senior taiji brother even tried it, Master Chen Zhonghua didn’t try it until 10 years later in 2001, which was the year when Master Chen Zhonghua resigned from his day job, and started teaching taiji professionally. Since then, he started asking his full time students in the last month of a 3-month training program to challenge themselves to do 100 yilus in a single day. From 2001 to 2005, he took the challenge with his students every time. Note that Practical Method did not require students to do a certain number of yilus per day. When the students passed the mark of 100 yilus in a day, there was a lot of negative comments about it. Others assumed it was about asking students to do 100 yilus every day, and would simply say that it would be bad for the students. The following are the people who have made it so far:
Carl Lindberg – 103 yilus
John Dahms – 103 yilus
Todd Elihu – 104 yilus
Dave Dahms – 114 yilus
Steve Chan – 124 yilus (and he has gone over 100 multiple times)
Brennan Toh – 150 yilus
Chen Xu – 170 yilus
Ling Zili – 170 yilus
Yaron Seidman – 101 yilus on Jan. 8, 2015
韩瑞 – 172 on Aug 31, 2017 from 3:50 am to 11:30 pm and actual effort of 18 hours
王凯 – 172 on Aug 31, 2017 from 3:50 am to 11:30 pm and actual effort of 18 hours.
来庆文 – 160 on Aug 31, 2017 from 3:50 am to 11:30 pm and actual effort of 18 hours
陈为珣 – 106 on Aug 31, 2017 from 3:50 am to 11:30 pm and actual effort of 18 hours
Kelvin Ho – 115 yilus on July 3, 2018 from 7 am to 11:30 pm and actual effort of 10 hours and 38 mins.
Zhan Yurong – 140 yilus on Oct 13, 2018 from 6:20 am to 9:50 pm with a total of 3 hours of break in between.
On June 29, 2014, Chen Xu and Ling Zili completed the
06:30 – 11:50 80 yilus (5 hours 20 mins) – 4 mins per yilu
12:30 – 18:30: 70 yilus (6 hours) – 5 mins 9 secs per yilu
19:50 – 21:30: 20 yilus (1 hours 40 mins) – 5 mins per yilu