Ottawa Workshop Notes Nov. 18-19, 2017

by Kelvin Ho on 2017/11/19

Thank you for Rachelle Bergeron and James Tam for organizing the Ottawa workshop and their hospitality. It was always great fun to attend the Ottawa workshop. A lot of important aspects of Practical Method was shown and covered by Master Chen Zhonghua.

What is Practical Method about?
Practical Method was based on a fight system from long time again. It is an exercise we do to pass along the tradition.

What is a Practical Method stretch?
It is something with a moving and non-moving part.

How do you evaluate if someone has learned the real taiji or not?
1. Time/Chronology (Does that person exist in the timeframe as the claimed teacher?)
2. Location (Is that person ever at the same place as the claimed teacher?)
3. Details (Does he talk about things that are unique (not common knowledge)? Does he talk about things that another person knows as well and can attest to it?)
4. If something makes sense, it is not real. (Is that person’s story too perfect? Is that person try to prove something? Someone authentic will not feel the need to prove anything.)

Certificate is needed only for a special event. If you are doing the same thing often, you do not feel like needing a certificate anymore.

When someone asks about how not to deviate, he has deviated already.
When someone has deviated, there is no way to return because in his mind, he has not deviated.

Learning is very difficult. You need blind faith.
Most of the time, you think that you are learning from someone only because you happen to match his thought on the topic. You are really just acting out in your own desired way. When the time that he tells you to do something that does not match your desire, you will refuse to do it, which means you are not really learning from this person.

If someone tries to bully you, deal with it in a way that he can’t continue.

Teacher is right.
If you can see it, you get it.
If you can hear it, you get it.
If you can understand it, you get it.
One thing right, all things right. Most people can’t get even one thing right.

3 bows/triangles in structural power:
1) Hand, elbow, shoulder
2) Shoulder, kua, knee
3), Kua, knee, foot

What’s the relationship between moving and non-moving? Stretch
What’s the demarkation between moving and non-moving? Stretch
What’s neither moving nor non-moving? Stretch

I need to make my actions very big.
Don’t power on the top, power from the bottom.
Throw the waist into the opponent.

Master Chen showed an exercise in which the opponent pushing him on the forearm and the forearm is placed on the Master Chen’s stomach. He stretched in a way as if a barrier was created between the opponent and him. The opponent’s force got merged into the 360 rotation of his barrier. He said anything less than 180 or more than 180 degrees for rotation towards the opponent, the opponent’ cannot feel. Only at 180 degrees, the opponent can feel.

360 degree rotation covers all places. It’s the perfection we strive for.
We train one technique so well, that he can deal with all problems/situations. We don’t train if-A-then-B kind of strategy.

Fix two ends, move the middle.

To pull your opponent into you, it is to push with the front foot.

Grandmaster Hong Junsheng summarized taiji into ten Chinese words:
In with elbow no hand. Out with hand no elbow.

What is real? It is not recorded, and it cannot be recorded. That’s the method to test if something is real.
e.g. If you wear makeup, the real you is when you don’t wear makeup.

Master Chen emphasized pulling the opponent in using initial closing.

Getting in deep.

My bottom is getting shorter. watch out to make it bigger again.
We need physical size at first, later you need the structure to stretch to make it long.

Play with a stick. get someone to hold the middle of the stick and you fight with it on the outside.
Getting stuck is the position we want to start. Pretend to get a stuck is a method decided by Master Chen 30 years ago.

Related articles:
2017 Ottawa Winter Seminar:

About Kelvin Ho

Kelvin Ho, Master Chen Zhonghua's 97th 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:

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

James Tam November 20, 2017 at 12:16 pm

Thanks Kelvin for driving all the way to Ottawa to help out at the workshop and for posting all the important points of the workshop. Being able to do drills and push-hands with you was a very good learning experience.


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