Notes from Master Chen’s Foundations Class, 20 October 2020 — Raymond Dickey

by Raymond Dickey on 2020/10/20

Master Chen Foundations Lesson Notes, 20 Oct 2020

Squeezing with the elbows

搓 (cuō) rub

The action is caused by the stretch of the two elbows rubbing in.

Like a spinning tire handing on a rope

6 sealing/4 closing: make larger –this increasing the stretch.  ‘Add 1’ – this ‘does something’.

Opening – like opening wrinkled cloth.  Open from inside – ‘relax’ is not the right word.  Even it out.

In PM, everything opens like a fan, spreads out, radiates.

When rear elbow hits resistance, chest and shoulder must open so elbow can stay on the same line, but longer.

Every position has a place on the clock – and its opposite across the diameter.

When you are on both ends, you don’t move.  There is only rotation.

Lock at 9 and 3 o’clock – and don’t move.  Only stretch the chest (inside)

This is a universal PM concept.

Positive circle: ‘going over’ on 3rd count

Going over what?  The dot at the base of the shoulder.

Put your hand at the hollow at the base of the shoulder.  This dot cannot move (except maybe down).  (It’s very simple – just remember what the teacher shows you.)

Just remember what the teacher says.

Try the 13 with a cup on top of your head.

Everything is training while following instructions.

Method is ‘together – then not together’, going over, switching gears

Together (harmony), then not together

Hong’s teaching sequence: positive circle, negative circle, then 6 sealing/4 closing

Master Chen changed the order – the circles are the end result of the Foundations training.  We start from the smaller parts.

We start with Twist the towel – very simple, one move only

Negative circle:

  1. Waist turns – it tries to pull the hand. (later you realise that the rotation of the shoulder moves the elbow, and the elbow moves the hand

In with dan tien, then the shoulder, then the elbow, then the hand.

In positive circle, it’s just the opposite – hand is pulled out first, which pulls the elbow, which pulls on the shoulder, which pulls on the dan tien.

Take time and experience one move at a time.

Double positive circles: needs lots of practice until they look smooth.

Not enough elbow action: the action in general pulls you into the vertical direction. The arms take care of the horizontal direction.

Elbow must feel like a plumb line, dropping to something solid.

The opposite of the elbow is the knee:  both ‘go downward’ in a stretch without moving the body downwards.  Even 1/10 inch is already a stretch.

When the knees go down: the ankle cannot move or bend, and it actually moves the knee up.


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