Recalibration Online Lecture Notes August 11, 2020

by Edward Liaw on 2020/08/11

Notes from August 11, 2020 Zoom class with Master Chen.  Topic was

Three things but they are not a sequence, they are all interdependent on each other.

  • Know the principle
  • Act on it
  • missed this one 🙁


  • The standard for doing taiji is outside of your body. Must get to this standard to begin taiji.
  • Scientific (real) / non-scientific (what you think and believe, emotions).
  • Science vs social issue (cannot have a standard, outside of reason).
  • In PM, we believe there must be a standard that must be agreed upon.
  • Recalibrate the body to this common standard. Difficult because we have habits: we believe what we used to believe.

In with elbow, out with hand

  • That standard is in with elbow, out with hand.
  • The stick from your finger to your elbow (forearm) cannot move on its own (inanimate). It’s a yardstick.
  • As though there is something else pulling your hand out.
  • Leading part that’s active. Following part that’s passive / inactive.


  • Animals only think as how they were made, they move naturally. Unlike humans who think but need to be recalibrated.
  • Body and mind.
  • Purely physically: Elbow to hand; connect the body parts to each other. This also applies to the elbow to shoulder relationship. As with all body parts.
  • Mind to body: When you think, your hand must be there. As soon as you think, it’s done.
  • Your belief systems: For example, to not be loose vs popular belief to be more loose.
  • Stability is to control 51%, if you grab 49% no one can tell the difference until it slips. Calibrating is to always control that 51%.


  • Relaxing is to be able to rotate while maintaining Peng. Tight, not loose.


  • Teacher shows all the strict rules and teaches you how to follow them. Learning how to fight; for example, you can learn on your own.

Part of the whole

  • This rule is part of it, but also all of it because everything is built on these components.


  • When you’re outside of the door, you’re mesmerized by the possibility of things inside the door. But it has no meaning to you. Haven’t felt anything. Find the connection. Once you find the connection, you are totally focused on it.

Thought and action

  • Example: speaking out the action as you work the choreography; saying “in with elbow, turn with waist, out with hand” with the positive circle steps.
  • When you say it, you calibrate the thought to the action.


  • If you cannot do it, you do not understand it. The two are the same. If you cannot do, don’t say that you understand.
  • How do you know when you’re wrong or right? Use a mirror to compare yourself to the principle.
  • Will eventually deteriote into “what I’m doing is correct.” Must be careful of this, otherwise there is no learning.
  • If the teacher is 100% and you are 30%, the teacher might only see your mistakes. But that 30% is still powerful enough to do something.
  • Everything is physical. Your mind is a reflection of physical reality. It’s an illusion that it’s separate. Follow and copy, the mind process will also end up copying him. Mind and body are not separate.
  • All human things require recalibration.

About Edward Liaw

I have been a disciple of Master Chen since August 2018. I began practicing Practical Method in March 2015, when I spent 3 months full time on Daqingshan.

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

John Upshaw August 11, 2020 at 6:36 pm

Thanks for the notes Edward! Very concise! Many things stood out. Follow Shifu’s instructions…he will take me to the door, teach/show me what I need to do, it is on me to do it. This is necessary if I, we, are to recalibrate our bodies and minds to really do Taiji.
When we recalibrate the mind and body, and it becomes one, this is referred to as harmonizing.

They are problems to overcome in order to recalibrate our bodies and minds. For me and many of us, we may think that we are following his instructions or the principles, and that may be totally in our heads. Not real. Another barrier is we are told of an issue or something that needs to be recalibrated, and we do nothing about it…we let it slide.

Personally, when Shifu gives me a correction, I write It down. It becomes a Taiji practice goal. I have a small list of goals, which I train one at a time. I record videos to see visible progress or share with others. Some of these goals have taken years to improve. Shifu will tell me…he remembers year to year. My Taiji brothers will notice progress or a lack of progress asbwell. It’s not easy to recalibrate our minds and bodies…if it was, I would find it dull and boring!


Adarsh Khalsa August 12, 2020 at 6:29 am

Thank you Edward


Tinh Thai August 12, 2020 at 3:30 pm

Thank you very much for your concise notes, Edward. It was great to read.
Thank you very much Master Chen Zhonghua for the class and all the wisdom contained in your teaching.

I believe recalibration requires humility, no matter how long one has been learning or training. At class and private training I may look like I’m struggling while shaking my head at my inability to perform what is being taught or practiced. This is required for me and is part of the challenge that I love about learning. I know that I am learning something new and will, with practice, make progress. The open encouragement of Practical Method disciples and students is also a great motivation. Thank you for this platform.


Chen Zhonghua August 12, 2020 at 5:52 pm
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