Notes for Toronto Workshop Sep 7-10, 2019 – Kelvin Ho

by Kelvin Ho on 2019/09/20


When practicing yilu:

  1. Put myself inside a fixed sized box.
  2. Pull against the sides of the box coming into dantian.
  3. Push against the sides of the box going out of dantian.

Two gears create one direction of power.
By changing the intention, the direction of power changes.

Six Sealing Four Closing:
All the actions are on the same plane.
Hand, elbow, shoulder on the same plane.
Stretch the power arm of the lever to make it longer.
Each of the many fibres stretches by a little bit. The sum of them make a great stretch and produces a lot of power.

Lean against the wall exercise
Every body part is lined up and attached to the wall.
Push the elbow up towards the line between shoulder and hand causing the hand to go out.

Stretch is the action that is needed to allow your body to be pliable.
Being able to stretch is a gift.

Stretching Backwards exercise

Curving is the stretching of a line.
Warping is the stretching of a surface.

Flash the back:
Don’t move the left hip when putting the right foot behind.
Use the left hip as pivot, and not the middle of the chest.

For push hands, hip should go perpendicular into the opponent through the line between the opponent’s feet.

Happy Death: The opponent and I do not know, the opponent falls down. We both like it.

Circular Saw Explanation
Push the wood gradually into the saw.
Fire Schedule 火候
Pushing the wood too roughly into the saw is just a confrontation and the wood may get stuck/jammed.
The power of movement is strongest at the core of the circular saw,
The force is strongest at the edge of the circular saw.
Blade is yin, the energy produced is yang in the circular saw.
That is the yin and yang.

Property of 100 vs 1 in the same dimension. 100 will always win.
We need to match that 100 with another 100 somewhere else.

There is only conversion of movement.

The procedure is the same for every person.
The result is felt differently by each person.

Two methods of presentation of information.
Top down – high level to lower level (i.e. concluding first)
Talk in a way without conclusion until the very end. (Shifu uses this method often)

Civilization is training to become human.
We are born with animalistic properties.

不出格 – bu chu ge – highest level
You are strictly restricted in all movements, and the restrictions are not violated.

Through restriction, movements are converted, horizontal to vertical.

Size of all the surfaces of the joints must equal to the size of all the surface of the body.
When those two things are equal, it is an infant baby.

Exercise 1:

  1. Two hands touching something not moving. Stretch the rest of the body in whatever way.
  2. Resolve the incoming force without moving the contact points, but rather by the rest of the body, e.g. stepping the rear foot backwards.

Exercise 2:
Hold the opponent tightly at the top, stick one kua into the opponent, drop the other kua down without moving the top, open the dropped kua.

Excercise 3:
Lock the left side (left hand hooked on the shoulder, left elbow in and tied to the left kua), right leg stretched around the left fixed side. Once the opponent is compromised/crushed, he will easily fall to the ground.
Note that power has to remain outside through all the entire action.

In order to train the fighting ability during push hands, just do the move without worrying about if it will work or not. Don’t wait for it, don’t look for it, just do it.

Exercise 4:

  1. Align the middle of my chest, the hands (contact point), the middle of opponent’s chest, so they are all on the same line.
  2. Move the hand towards the middle of opponent’s chest along that line. It is like hand breaking an egg shell without getting the hand dirty.

Exercise 5:

  1. Same line as in exercise 4.
  2. Move my back backwards along that line
  1. There is not closing, only opening.
  2. Closing and opening are just perspectives.
  3. They are functions of the same action.
  4. Point C is the gate of heaven. Until you get to the other side, things are the same, you can only wonder what’s on the other side.

There is only wuji. It starts with wuji, it ends with wuji. In between, there is only function.

Master Chen demonstrated:
Two dots going away from each other. (Emptyiness is what in between, power goes to the two ends, nothing in the middle)
Two dots going into each other.

Only when there is emptiness, there is taiji power.
Breath controls how to toggle between solid and empty.

Three iron hats:

  1. At the top of the head
  2. At the shoulder
  3. At the waist

45 degree is the strategic spot.

Exercise 6:

  1. Don’t move dantian, stretch fingers against the rear heel.
  2. Stretch the line between a dot in the inner thigh and the tendon at the back of the heel by push the knee backwards (concept of the triangle)

Everything has to go from wide to narrow to create power.

Power has to go to the outside (hand) and not get caught on the inside (shoulder).

The power has to go through the tube (vertical).

Between the kua and hand, there is nothing (no blockage).

Exercise 7 (Waist Knife):

  1. Put my right thigh behind opponent’s left thigh
  2. Lock the opponent (e.g. hold the opponent’s wrists with my hands)
  3. Move only my right kua into the opponent

100-0 lever
This is a difficult concept to describe. This discussion is about looking at every action as a lever even when it does not look like a typical lever that we know today. This is like our taiji rotation does not look like a typical rotation.

Master Chen described how certain professionals looked at him and described his actions using terms from their fields of expertise.

  1. Rick Pietila would see the action in terms of frequency due to his knowledge in string instruments.
  2. Master Sun Zhonghua would see the action in terms of colour.
  3. Heng Sun would see the action in terms of number as he has PhD in mathematics.

Detailed fetch water

  1. Kua pushes forward, while knee goes backward, the power is on the heel (archilles), squeezing the hand out through a tube. No shoulder pop, no protrusion on the butt.
  2. The distance traveled by the hand must be proportional to the distance traveled forward by the kua and the distance traveled backward by the knee. So everything is balanced, and there is no tossing.
  3. The power created on that stretch must reach the front fingers. You can then issue it out.

My torso is currently crooked in fetch water.
My knee is currently turning outward instead of going backwards.

Write about the following stories:

  1. Six sealing four closing story
    1. About resetting
    2. People changed the exercise.
    3. Wrong thing is remembered
    4. He got mad
  2. Edmonton story
    1. Sit down and push knee down
chinese_weighing_scale 立如平准 – Stand like a Chinese weighing scale
活如车轮 – Act like a wheelChen Xin’s Book
权 can mean authority, but it can also mean counter weight.
Taijiquan is the art of counter weight, not taijiquan being an authority.Holding properly the load is peng
Move the counter weight to balance the loadThere are two scales: one at the top, one at the bottom.
The top one is used to meaesure the opponent.
The bottom one is used to cause the imbalance.

Six Sealing Four Closing (or any move):
Line up (find the line) – adjust with no power/tension

Watcher Exercise

  1. The group performed twisting the towel, fetch water, and six sealing four closing with one person at a time being the watcher.
  2. The watcher will comment on the mistakes exhibited by each individual in the group.

Belt and shoes can reveal secrets based on the wear and tear.

Exercise 7 (Backward stretch):

  1. Move the kua backwards in a way that front dot and middle non-moving dot remain line up.
  2. The stepping down of the heel must create a stretch. (I was stepping down with no tension.)

Exercise 8:

  1. Right thigh behind opponent’s left thigh.
  2. Lock, fold left shoulder onto opponent, rotate using the spine as the axis (this requires opening the rear kua, and the rear knee goes backward to create a long line).

Exercise 9:

  1. Right thigh behind opponent’s left thigh.
  2. Lock, fold left shoulder onto opponent, right thigh up to cut.

Exercise 10:

  1. Right thigh behind opponent’s left thigh.
  2. Lock, fold left shoulder onto opponent, open right kua to create a hole for the opponent to fall into.

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 }

Rick Pietila September 20, 2019 at 12:45 pm

Wow Kelvin, once again, great notes!


James Tam September 20, 2019 at 2:58 pm

Thanks Kelvin! Good job!


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