My Yilu has changed in the past one month.

by Wenming Ong on 2020/10/08

During this time of the pandemic, I had a very valuable opportunity to attend Shifu Chen Zhonghua’s online class. By listening, seeing and following the instructions given in the class I began to understand the principles of the Taiji practical method and apply them to yilu and push hands. All this time I thought that I understood and could do yilu well, but what I understood was wrong.
In 2013 I started practicing the practical method of taijiquan until now. The first 2 years were the most confusing period for me. I have previously practiced many other types of Chinese martial arts, including other types of taijiquan. I started practicing Chinese martial arts since I was a teenager (13 years old) and at the age of 25 I already had a kung fu school on the island of Bali, Indonesia. I started learning and practicing the practical method of taijiquan at the age of 42 under the guidance of Shifu Chen Zhonghua.

Due to the limited distance, time and opportunities, I could only practice directly with Shifu Chen during his workshop in Indonesia (2013 -2019) and Daqingshan (in 2019) and practice on my own with video guides, books and articles that I got from the practical website. The confidence from my background and experience in kung fu did not help me in learning the practical method of taijiquan.

What I already know and master must be discarded and returned to zero again. This is what made my first 2 years very confusing. In year 3 onwards I literally started from zero again. Trying to apply what I learned to yilu and push hands. Often I feel confident and understand the practical method , but when I met shifu chen it turned out that what I understood was wrong. Often this frustrated me and almost made me give up. It was only because of my curiosity and responsibility to teach the students in Bali that made me keep studying, practicing and re-examining what I had learned. Master Chen used to say, what you think you understand is not true. It turned out that my body still didn’t understand and follow my thoughts. I have to recalibrate my body.
During this pendemic period there was an online class by shifu Chen, at first I was pessimistic whether by joining this class I would get progress in my practice. Because of my love for the practical method taijiquan and the desire to advance in practice, I decided to always attend the class. I had to wake up at 3am to follow some of these class schedules as the time difference between Edmonton and Bali is 14 hours. While taking the online class I gained more detail and my understanding began to improve.

Only by seeing, listening and practicing what Master taught in the online class. But I don’t dare to say that my Yilu is right and for Yilu class I haven’t had the opportunity to be corrected by Shifu Chen. Then I made some videos of Yilu form and posted them on Facebook for documentation of the weekly training in Bali. Master Chen saw and gave comments and feedback that I had undergone a transformation in my yilu. With Shifu Chen’s words, I am convinced that what has been learned and practiced is in line with the practical method’s mood. Thank you Shifu Chen Zhonghua for teaching me all this time. I encourage other students to make yilu video and post it to at least once a month so Shifu can give feedback and correction.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

James Tam March 28, 2021 at 4:40 pm

Nice post! Good to know that the online classes are helping and that posting clips of your Yilu on and/or any one of the Facebook groups, such as “(a location) – Chen Style Taijiquan Practical Method,” can be helpful through feedback and correction by Shifu or others.


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