Creating a shell around myself

by Kelvin Ho on 2018/12/25

20181225_103048~2Today, I trained with John Dahms. We discussed about creating a shell around ourselves to prevent ourselves from moving. Creating such a shell is only half of the equation, the other half is that we must stretch/expand the inside as much as possible. This is like a fight between containment and breakout. It is a conflict that we must find a resolution. I think of it as building up a bomb, and then doing a controlled release of the energy through a narrow tube aimed at the target. For this to work, the person doing the containment should be different from the person trying to break out, so that each person is not affected by the other person when performing the desired function. The difficulty comes when in reality there are no two people, but just myself. Ideally, I would be required to split myself into two. In actual practice, we need to use different body parts to perform these separate functions, so they don’t interfere with each other. These actions must be clear.
Let’s get to a more concrete example:

  1. Engage the opponent. Let’s use the position where the opponent pushes into my elbow.
  2. Start with nothing moving (lock everything) with a right foot forward stance.
  3. Push the heel of the front foot against the ground and open the front kua. This allows the energy to come up the front leg and go across the front side of the waist.
  4. Push the ball of the rear foot against the ground and open the rear kua. This allows the energy to come up the rear leg and go across the back side of the waist.
  5. Stretch the central vertical rod, and make sure that it does not move.
  6. Step 2 and 3 will gradually cause the flesh around the vertical rod to move around the rod. This is like how to spin a rattle drum with two hands. This is the breakout part.
  7. Keep both shoulders down, and tie them to the kuas. This is part of creating the shell.
  8. Don’t move the hands or arms. There is often a strong desire to move them, we need to resist the urge. This is also part of creating the shell.
  9. Point the middle finger of the front hand towards the opponent’s centre. This is the aiming part for the controlled release.
  10. At the end, nothing really moves. Only the energy is projected to the opponent.

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:

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

John Upshaw December 25, 2018 at 1:27 pm

Hmmm…..Inside/outside separation….you become 2 people….


John Upshaw December 25, 2018 at 1:50 pm

I think the same concept is applied as lock the inside and move the outside….in terms of Erlu???


Leave a Comment
Leave a comment on the content only. For admin issues, please click the "contact" button on the top left.

Previous post:

Next post: