March 2 to 5th Workshop Notes

by Mark Hanley on 2019/03/10

The following are highlights of my workshop notes workshop March 2 to 5th. I have tried to organize them into categories so I could better relate them.  I did not capture everything

 Workshop notes:

All Questions Should be asked in order to bring clarity: Hear It , See it, Feel It – the 3 questions you want answered

Principle – Yin and Yang separation          life – I want to be good

Concept – all moves are indirect                               education

Action – convert into action                                      use


if moving from the shoulder you have lots of range foot does not move

if moving from the kua as a stretch, it is a smaller move – you must move leg


Arm rotation is not a rotation by itself, part of it is in space

Adding distance to a rotation is a spiral, movement waists time spin has an instant response

Rotations are small the feet add to the movement

A Rotation or push never changes direction, you should have strait lines during a rotation



  • Tai chi is a natural (close to nature) progression so a person with long term practise will always beat a shorter-term practitioner
  • Everything is an isolated stretch from one point to another
  • Structure generates all the power you do not
  • Movement wastes time spin is immediate
  • transform opponents’ power by ignoring it use structure to aim then use indirect power like kwa to ground


The structure creates concrete power

  • The body can be considered sticks , rock and rope

i.     Legs are considered sticks

ii.     tan tein is the rock

iii.     upper arm (where bicep is )the rope

iv.     pivot stick on tan tein

v.     rope must be tied to travel take slack out


Body restrictions             – Ji is to take out space Tai chi is static power not momentum

  • Don’t move – Everything that does not move only rotates
    • Never move thigh
    • Never move the side
    • All impact is only on your body
    • Every horizontal stretch / move is setup by a vertical stretch
    • Every vertical stretch/ move is setup by a horizontal stretch
    • When you lock a joint it becomes a rock

The following foundations were covered in detail  

Twist the towel – Exaggerate movements in order to move kua , really rock kua

–        The center is the kua, open it to move to foot and finger without obstruction

–        Lower shoulder and move backward and lock arm against the body  ( no holes)

–        Fingers Only move length of kua

–        The energy must go freely to the finger

–        To move someone do not move shoulder or push move from the hip

Positive circle  1,2 3/  move 1,2, or 3 things with the count

1 In with elbow move one thing elbow

2 twist waist – moves the waist and front kua causes elbow to move

3 out with hand – alignment to back heel , stretch from heel to hand , lower shoulder


Negative circle reverse number of things involved

1 (3 moves things) – elbow , front kwa waist

2 (move 2 thing1) down with hand   hand move back kwa

3 (move 1 thing) out with hand – hand moves not elbow


Some techniques and drills covered


Cloud hands 1

Drill opponent stood in front of us and we bumped them out with the move. The drill wanted us to not rise or lean or move just follow these instructions.

  • Use back foot to stretch front foot (all weight on back foot go down to stretch)
  • Land front Heel
  • Tension on the front heel activates top of leg ( tension stretches to back of leg)
  • Stretch waist to centre is tail bone ( be sure to only stretch along tan Tien)
  • Create a horizontal line on front kua
  • Add tension to back heel from kua
  • Bring in back leg without moving  ( use either heel  as power)


 Pulling arm

  • When pulling arm kwa and shoulder lock
  • Power front heel
  • Bring power to ham string
  • Bring power up back to shoulder chest area
  • Pull in with lattes

Elbow in

rotate upper arm

Pull neck –  neck bends stretch to front heel adds resistance

Opening Kwa – Open kwa from the anus up center back and around shoulders and down

To push – Frozen body – loose arm push through with elbow grabbing the center

Opponent pushes chest – limit your movement on one of the pushes lock chest with back foot


Someone holds you from behind – one arm under armpit one over shoulder locked with hands in front

  • You
    • Put one leg to the side
    • Stay focused on the wall in front of you during move
    • Sink into hips
    • Freeze both sides of you
    • Stretch across waistline at belly button turn botto


Punch down then turn

  • Stretch right leg behind you to say 45 degrees
  • Turn left kua to align
    • Lock lower part of body and your sides
    • Turn center from mid section of the body while rest is frozen
    • This causes a spiral in the center which moves arms and leg


The Dragon Through the Ground (Chuan Di Long)

  • Stretch from front foot through hip to shoulder don’t move only stretch

Shoot out fingers

  • Hold elbow against wall stretch to fingers without moving elbow and
  • Having a strait line (helps is you open wrist first)

About Mark Hanley

I have done Aikido, Karate and Wig Chun. I have practised tai chi for 7 years and have now started the practical method with Kelvin Ho as my instructor

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