Foundations Class Notes October 20, 2020 – Edward Liaw

by Edward Liaw on 2020/10/20

Twisting towel

  • Must be clear with “in with elbow”. Appear to be going back and forth with the squeezing of the elbow.

Fetch water

  • Same thing, two squeezes on both elbows.

To grind

  • 搓 cuō, to grind. Pole, rubbing on both sides like starting a fire.
  • Other way, stretching. You force the two elbows in to prevent the stretch from forcing them out. Can also say the rubbing of the elbows creates the rotation.
  • And the rotation of the rod separates the two hands.
  • For this practice, minimize the size of the stretch to emphasize the rubbing.

Six sealing four closing

  • Two elbows on a cylinder, in front of you.


  • Go larger to see if you are still doing it correctly.
  • When you are in the perfect ready position, adding one is very difficult.

Stretch out

  • The line is 180. The stretch open is like unwrinkling a cloth. Like pulling the outside taut. Some people call it relaxing but it isn’t like relaxing.
  • Fingers fan out / radiate / spread out. To spin, centrifugal force opens outward. Reach the point and the chest must open. To stretch means to reach the two extremes.
  • Stretch is to become long. Error: when you turn, you become shorter. Has to be totally on the line to turn over (like on a clock 9 to 3). At the longest, you never moved.

Positive circle

  • 3rd count, need to go over.

Where to go over

  • Going over point: muscle next to armpit (side of pectoral where it connects to armpit).

Don’t know you got it

  • After 30 years of teaching you get it but don’t know what you got.
  • When did you get it? When he met Master Hong. Since then he reiterated his words.
  • Not trying to shame us, whatever he tells us he’s not lying.

Really do it

  • Following instructions – really go and do it.

Cycle of unity and separation

  • Together, then not together. That is going over, that is stretching. If you’re always together, there is no stretch. Separate, then back together, then separate, etc.
  • Book of 3 kingdoms. Neverending cycle of uniting and separating.

Negative circle

Sequence of teaching

  • When Hong taught, the foundational exercises started with positive circle, then negative circle, then six sealing four closing. Master Chen resequenced it.
  • Traditional way is to do the yilu. Students followed along. Until they can do it themselves.
  • Positive circle is the end result. Circle requires multiple moves, it’s complicated.

Synthesized vs separate

  • Waist turns, unconnected to arm. Connected, pulls the shoulder. Then, rotation of the waist is pulling the arm back. 3 stages of this move. Positive circle is the opposite: the finger pulls, then to elbow, then to shoulder, then to kua. Two cycles. Synthesized, but try to take them out and do them one at a time.

Double positive circle

  • Rough actions are there but more difficult to coordinate them. Until they are so coordinated they appear to be smooth.

Elbow/hand and vertical/horizontal

  • Not enough elbow action. Elbow pulls you into vertical dimension. Arms will always pull you into horizontal dimension. Elbow must feel like a plumb line that drops into something solid. In the lower body, opposite of elbow is the knees. Both elbow and knees must go downward without going down.
  • Cannot cause upper body to go down (so that there is a stretch). True stretch doesn’t have any distance unless you are rubber (because you are solid).

Knees go down without dropping

  • When the knees go down, cannot drop your knees. Look at knee and foot. If knee does not go down, no action. Has to go down in the sense that the knee actually pops up. Bending the knee is collapsing.

No bending

  • If the ankle is totally locked, when he pushes the knee down, it actually goes up. It causes the calf to separate up and down. Will cause the body to straighten up. When you do it right, it doesn’t cause the body to bend. Causes the body to expand vertically.
  • Pedaling action does not create an up and down move.



  • Instructions are: elbow in, elbow down. Is there a point where the knee goes down in the circle?
  • The shape of the elbow is an inverted triangle. The kua is horizontal triangle. What is up and down? Directions. Can never change direction. But we can create restriction. Create a wall in front of the knee. Too complex.

3D and 2D

  • Lock the two ends, stretch elbow in direction of elbow. Two solids, elbow needs to go down to reach something solid. Maintain 3 solids (3 dimensional). Otherwise you are 2 dimensional. As soon as you move you become 2 dimensional. From 3D becoming 2D is double heavy. If your waist is rotating, the hand cannot follow the waist – 3D. When you start to synchronize you become 2D.
  • Use 4 ounces to activate the opponent, when he starts moving, he becomes 2D.
  • A good lawyer gets the person to talk. Then he falls into your trap (in their dimension). Ask a yes/no question when unrelated to yes or no. Miranda clause, right to remain silent. There is a possibility you are not wrong.
  • When you start to move, your body wants to move with it. When you start to turn, your arm wants to move with it.

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.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

James Tam December 7, 2020 at 3:16 pm

Thank you again Edward! Love your notes.


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