PM Friday Night Practice on Nov. 20, 2020

by Kelvin Ho on 2020/11/20

We covered the following tonight:

Negative circle

  1. Do it in a way that the arm triangle does not change shape externally.
  2. Focus on the opening of the shoulder and the elbow
  3. Think of the forearm and the upperarm rotating longitudinally and independently.
  4. When doing elbow in, make sure that the shoulder is down. This is like instead of getting the elbow to go over on its own, make the shoulder contribute half the effort by going down, so that the elbow can go over by completing the other half.

One knee up and one knee down

  1. It is like opening a trap door and letting for torso fall through vertically.
  2. The action is at the knees. They go away from each other, and one goes up and one goes down. However, the knee that goes down does not really go down. That intent causes the kuas to adjust in a certain way that opens up the bottom and lets the torso fall through, at the same time, it causes the torso to rotate.
  3. When we actually do it, don’t try to rotate. Rotation is just the result. Because we know that it should rotate, we try to rotate it. We can’t force the rotation, it just happens when we do something else correctly.
  4. The ratio of the movement: 5 at kua, 3 at shoulder, 2 at elbow, 1 at hand, 0 at the middle finger tip. The numbers are just for illustration purpose to show the inside needs to be bigger while the outside needs be none, and not for the exact ratio.

Not-moving knee squat

  1. We did a test to squat down without letting the knee to go forward. We must keep the ankle erect at 90 degrees. This forces the kua to move a lot more to compensate for the weight shift. This is the same idea as to why we don’t move the hand. We want to increase the range of motion for elbow, shoulder, and kua.

About Kelvin Ho

Kelvin Ho, Master Chen Zhonghua's 97th disciple, is the instructor for Practical Method Toronto. He has been teaching and promoting the Practical Method system in Toronto, Markham, Richmond Hill, Canada since 2011. He has received numerous medals in various Taiji competitions. He is also a vice-president of MartialArts Association Canada. Like his teacher, he feels an obligation to pass this great art onto others. Contact:

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

James Tam November 21, 2020 at 8:54 am

You are not just paying attention of what Master Chen is teaching but also practising it. Excellent details! Thank you for sharing.


Edward Liaw November 21, 2020 at 12:11 pm

Negative circle
– Coming in, chest needs to cave in so that shoulder can turn over.
– Going out, arm needs to stay in front quadrant; shoulder needs to be capped; the angle stays the same by the rotation of the elbow, shoulder, kua.
– Partner exercise to try for in with elbow: partner holds forearm and bicep with resistance, so I need elbow and shoulder to open.
– Two perpendicular rotations at the same time can have a sudden flipping effect. E.g. holding a gyro on a turntable, intermediate axis rotation.

Knee down exercise
– Knee can only go down, but don’t collapse it. It gets out of the way so the torso drops into the space opened up under the kua.
– Don’t twist my waist. To me, it seemed when I was twisting my waist, the size was only as big as my waist. It needed to be as large as my knees.
– Sit into it (like how the standing leg is in golden rooster). Needs to be seated to have the separation so I can move without my center tossing. To have the vertical alignment.

Fixed knee squat
– I used a coffee table to fix the knee.
– The center has to go straight down to keep balance. If it goes back, I fall backwards.
– Fixing the knee locks the ankle, forces the kua to compensate.


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