The Essence of the Practical Method

by Carlos Hanson on 2018/03/29

I recently decided that it was time for me to start learning Cannon Fist. Although I learned it from my first Chen Taijiquan teacher, I have happily forgotten it since starting the Practical Method in 2011.

Today, I met a man who noticed me reviewing Cannon Fist in an empty hallway of a nearby mall.

He engaged me with a playful attempt to spar, and we talked for awhile. After sharing that I was practicing Chen Style Taijiquan Practical Method, he asked, “What is the essence?”

Since I haven’t been teaching for awhile, I found that I didn’t have a good, concise answer. I provided a lengthy, ineloquent answer. Because he genuinely sounded interested, and I am ready to teach again, I wanted to share the answer I came up with on the way home.

What is the Essence of the Practical Method?

I think the answer boils down to three things. Silly me for not starting my answer with the following:

  1. Don’t Move
  2. Open Kua
  3. Rotate

Every fellow student will probably say, “Duh!”, but I am clearly out of practice in sharing the Practical Method. I have watched from afar as Master Chen works on promoting the Practical Method. It’s time for me to do my part.

I will write more on my understanding of those three rules.

What is your answer to the question? Please comment.


About Carlos Hanson

I have studied Chen Style Taijiquan since 2006. I started learning the Practical Method in February of 2011. Before studying the Practical Method and attending a seminar with Master Chen Zhonghua, I maintained interest in Baguazhang and Xinyi. However, the Practical Method is now more than enough for me to learn.

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Kelvin Ho March 30, 2018 at 6:20 am
Carlos Hanson March 30, 2018 at 8:47 am

Thank you, Kelvin. That is a much better answer. My answer then becomes how to achieve yin-yang separation.

I definitely have some knowledge review to do.


Chen Zhonghua March 30, 2018 at 10:31 am

“Open the Kua, Rotate and Don’t Move” is the three stages of the Practical Method progression.


Carlos Hanson March 30, 2018 at 10:55 am

That makes sense, since I can’t Rotate until I Open the Kua, and I will move until I Rotate.

How do we move through those stages? I understood that if we start with Don’t Move, then that will help us Open the Kua which will allow us to Rotate.


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