Presenter: Chen Zhonghua Length: 8 min. In: English Year: 2014 Difficulty:2/5 At:Perth
In this short online instructional video, Master Chen teaches many essential elements that are necessary when applying Ji to an opponent and several principles inherit to Practical Method. Ji, squeezing, is a passive action that has “water like qualities”. Ji, like water “takes up all the space in all directions”.
In the beginning of the video, Master Chen has his foot on the bottom of a door with a student on the other side. There was a little space the door could open. Once he occupied that space with his foot, it became a “lock”, which is a passive action. It “jammed”, the door preventing the person on the other side from having that space again.
In the GIF below, Master Chen demonstrates the “water like quality” with the participant, Gawain Siu. He rotates and stretches his shoulder around to fill the space between Gawain’s left elbow and left side. Notice the stretch that is occurring while not moving the contact point.
In the GIF below, Master Chen points out Gawain’s Elbow took the middle, which is the Central Equilibrium. He then rotates his shoulder, taking up space and changing the central equilibrium. Master Chen then adds one, shifting the scale of balance. Master Chen says, “The middle is not a physical middle. When you are stronger, I have to be longer than you. When you are weaker, I have to be shorter than you”. Shortly after, he states, “when you change angles, I have to immediately mirror it.” This is significant as it speaks to the 3 ways of matching; length, weight and angle/direction. The 3 ways of matching was taken from my notes during a private lesson I had with Master Chen in Iowa, my note is included
In the first GIF below, Master Chen points out Jhung Siu has the space on top, then points out there is a little space on the ground between them. By taking that little amount of space between them, it is enough to “tip the scale”. Then throughout the rest of the video Master Chen demonstrates locking the top and moving the bottom, utilizing the stepping method that is instilled in all of our forms and movements in Practical Method Taijiquan. Please see the additional GIFS.
Master Chen Demonstrating Stepping
Master Chen Instructing Gawain to take space by stepping