Foundation Notes – Master Chen Zhonghua Online Zoom Lesson Mon 14 Sep 2020 – Brian Chung

by Brian Chung on 2020/09/14

Today, Master Chen covered Foundations and provided corrections on Twisting the Towel.

Positive Circle is the last Foundation. It consist of 360 degrees. It is very difficult to navigate. The other foundations (Twisting the Towel, Fetch Water, Six Sealing Four Closing) consist of a single cutout section.

– Twisting the Towel

  • (1) Elbow in
  • (2) Shoulder pushes straight down
  • (3) Kua pushes straight out
  • These 3 actions must happen at the same time. The result is that it causes the middle finger to shoot forwards. The forearm must be remain horizontal. It cannot go up, down, left or right.

– When your size is small, you can avoid overreaching.

– Master showed how this also applies to Fetch Water and Six Sealing Four Closing.

– You regulate everything with your head. It must be independent.

– The floor has a quality that it does not move. When the knee does not move, it is the floor.

– The foot is used like a blotter. This is the mechanics.

– Two connections. (1) Right hand / right foot. (2) Right hand / left foot. The second has two dimensions (front/rear and top/bottom).

– Taiji is Yin and Yang the the demarcation in between them.

– All moves are either Shun or Ni.

– The circle is made up of two parts. One is Shun, one is Ni.

– When you talk about the circle you are not talking about the two halves. You are talking about how the two are connected.


  • Master showed a method to lock the neck to the top of the head. (Tomek)
  • When the hand does not move it forces the elbow to train.
  • Learning method – do not start with the finished move. Do not start from a wrong position. Leave a little room to be there.
  • Add some resistance. The resistance is front. Add with your elbow, not the front hand.
  • It’s not finished until it’s finished. No body part can finished ahead of any other body part. E.g. Screwdriver. The screw tip finishes at the same time as the handle.

– 3 levels. Elbow. Shoulder. Waist.


Partner Exercise: Testing of Twisting the Towel. Usually when there is a little resistance, we collapse and cannot follow the rules.

  • (1) Start with the Twisting the Towel position. Your partner is holding your wrist with both hands providing appropriate resistance.
  • (2) Extend hand forwards to engage your partner. Hand is engagement (Zhuo). In this case, Zhuo = engagement. In other cases, Zhuo = catch. Zhuo = attach.
  • (3) Lock hand.
  • (4) Lock shoulder.
  • (5) As a result, power goes to the heel.
  • (6) Activate your elbow. In with elbow is to screw. Power has to come from your elbow into your hand.

– Master showed an example of this exercise with rubber cord.

– Whenever one leg is performing the action, the other is support.


– Q: Position of the Knee and ankle

– Whether the anke is strong is relative to your ability to grip onto the floor. It can never bend. It is locked. The power is on your toes.
– This comes from the position of the knee.
– The knee totally fixes the lower part of your body. It provides total stability and firmness of your lower support.
– It is called one dot in space. If it is a little bit off, your body has no bearing.

– This is the secret of Taiji.

– Your fist becomes very strong. Your grip is very strong. (Missed something here.)

– (A) Normal
– (B) Positioning makes you more than normal.
– (C) Rhythm makes you super, abnormally strong.

– Xuan Guan She Qiao (玄关设窍) E.g. artist drawing a line on a piece of paper in just the right position. Link to related term

– When observing Master, nothing will make sense until you can isolate one spot, and look at everything in relation to that one spot.




{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Yuxin Liu September 15, 2020 at 9:02 pm

Twisting the towel
Elbow rotates in toward the dantian, hand pushed forward by stretching the armpit.

Xuan Guan She Qiao 玄关设窍


Brian Chung September 15, 2020 at 9:48 pm

Updated. Thank you Yuxin!


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