A Shared Secret of an Important Action of the Knee

by John Upshaw on 2020/10/22


On October 20th, 2020, during an online class Master Chen Zhonghua shared and demonstrated an important action of the knee that has not been disclosed before. Prior to discussing the important action, I shall discuss some important functional and structural aspects of the knee as a means of providing a context to help the reader conceptualize how this recently disclosed information is applied in practice and applications.

Functionality of The Knee

One of the important aspects of the knee is it advances into enemy territory. Additionally, it may act as a wedge taking the space underneath the opponent. If the knee moves when you are in the opponent’s space, it tosses. If you move your knee slightly, as soon as you touch your opponent, you bounce back. A stable or non moving knee doesn’t allow tossing to occur. When the knee doesn’t move you become very strong, especially when you are taking space from the opponent. This adheres to the principle “The energy must be released but the structure remains intact”.

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In the above GIF, Master Chen Zhonghua demonstrates his front knee being fixed.

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In the above GIF, Master Chen Zhonghua demonstrates the power in an application by taking space and not moving the knee.

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In the above GIF, Master Chen Zhonghua demonstrates the stability of the knee while performing Cloud Hands.

Structural and Energy Alignment Aspects of The Knee




Power from the body is aimed at the front kua.  The energy front the front kua travels in a straight line down the leg to the knee.  In the picture above, the white line pushes down to the knee represented by a yellow dot.  Power then is directed from the knee to the foot.  Any side to side movements of the knee will disrupt the energy moving to the foot.


The Shared Secret

On 10/20/2020, during the online foundations Zoom class, Master Chen added it is important that the ankle is locked. We lock the ankle by not allow the ankle to bend forward, thus creating a restriction.. This is known as erecting the ankle 竖踝.  When you push your knee to the ground, as illustrated by the red arrow in the picture below, the calf muscle will go up as illustrated by the green arrow.  This is a vertical expansion.  Therefore, pushing the knee down make the knee move up….again moving without moving.  This provides a significant amount of increased structural integrity and power that I look forward to training, practicing and applying.  It has been my experience, this type of training takes a considerable amount of  time and requires consistency with a singular focus.







{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Adarsh October 22, 2020 at 10:16 am

Excellent discussion. Thanks!


Edward Liaw October 22, 2020 at 11:45 am

Thanks for the article! I found it useful to review http://practicalmethod.com/2014/06/how-to-avoid-knee-problems-online-video/ that shows how the ankle being locked prevents the knee from moving. Winston also posted an article with an image that shows what the erected ankle looks like https://www.shiyongquanfa.cn/archives/115567.


John Upshaw October 22, 2020 at 6:18 pm

Winston’s article is a nice addition to this knowledge.


Rick Pietila October 23, 2020 at 12:21 pm

Nice write up John, thanks!


James Tam November 11, 2021 at 10:45 pm

Good contents and presentation. The GIFs helped significantly. Thank you, John Upshaw!


Paddy Hanratty November 12, 2021 at 4:04 am

Thanks for sharing this John.


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