Search: Master Chen Zhonghua Online Lesson Kelvin Ho

Level 3 Chinese Instructor Class

  1. Exercise for conversion from rotation to linear movement (based on Six Sealing Four Closing movement)
  2. Think of 2 balls enclosed tightly within a container. When we rotate, rotate only one of the 2 balls, and not both. If we only have one ball, the rotation we attempt tends to toss the ball.
  3. When doing the exercise, the front kua needs to rotate, but the typical mistake is that both kuas are tied together, when the front kua moves, the rear kua is moved as well.
  4. When doing the exercise, the waist turns to the left carrying the elbow but the forearm and hand stay on the curve track going forward while the front kua will stretch and rotate on the opposite curve at the bottom.

Chinese Class

In Six Sealing Four Closing, there must be a stick that does not change direction between the two hands. In Practical Method, there are rotation and resolution. Rotation is not considered a move. Resolution is considered a move as it causes something to change position with respective to the ground. The result is 螺旋缠丝 luo xuan chan si.

This is moving a rotating saw to cut a piece of board. As the saw makes contact of the board, the rotation does not slow down, the saw blade does not change shape as someone pushes the saw through the board (or the board through the blade). The common problem is that we change shape or direction as we move.

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  1. Heavy head tied to the ground
  2. Push the kua out to extend to the line between the head and the ground
Six Sealing Four Closing
  1. Need to make sure the kua shoot towards the hand while the torso rotates, otherwise the hand is too light.
  2. Need to do 40% of movement with the front kua, and 60% of movement with the rear kua.
  3. We need to produce a stop (which is the switch between 40% and 60%).

Kick with heel

  • 10 times on each side
  • toes up
  • body needs to go down to make the kick straight
All punches and kicks are just stretches in PM.
We consider other people’s punch a tap.
Cloud Hands
  • 1-2-3
  • 1: Elbow in
  • 2: Lock the front hand and front foot, use elbow, shoulder, and kua to dig
  • 3: Follow step and hand out

Similar to 2021, Kelvin Ho’s online classes will begin with the focus on yilu in 2022. This series of classes will be based on the Master Chen Zhonghua’s Chinese Yilu Detailed Instructions videos. He will also share some of the things he learned in 2021 and integrated into his own yilu practice. This series of classes will be suitable for students who are just starting out in Practical Method, as well as seasoned practitioners who are looking for more detailed instructions for yilu.

In the following video, Jack Scott, who started learning Practical Method in 2021 completely through zoom lessons, shares his thoughts on learning taijiquan in this format.

To purchase the zoom online class package, please see

Increase speed in the same direction.

Six Sealing Four Closing – First break the elbow, if that fails, yank the whole arm off the shoulder.

Machine gun exercise – Twisting the towel

Do first 13 with speed, one move at a time.

When you practice intensively, don’t go overboard. Take a break before continuing.

Breathing in Practical Method is actually no active breathing.
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水功 (慢) vs 火功 (快)

20 趟拳是水功 。慢慢改变身体,不用用力太猛。



Water vs Fire
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Fajin with Six Sealing Four Closing

  • Don’t move the hand
  • The movements are indirect.
  • Move front kua, lock rear kua
  • Front kua splits the two hands. Only allow the front hand to move forward.
  • Inside must move more than outside.
  • Use bie to create the power
3 Gears – System of Levers – Minimum requirement to be useful
Grandmaster Hong said ji is the most important.
Following the opponent means to do so without allowing the opponent to go back.
Stand on one foot for make that side not moving.
Bo 拨 – To prevent something from reaching its destination There is a different name for a specific action

Exercise 1:

Rubber between the hand and the foot. Bend down first. Lock the upper body. Push the kua forward towards the rubber.  The focus of this exercise is to train the kua, the use of power in the kua to extend the rubber. This is converting a horizontal movement to a vertical one. We want to train a great range of kua movement. Gradually, increase the tension of the rubber.

The above exercise trains a vertical movement. This is a precursor to the movement needed to do Six Sealing Four Closing. Read more

Today’s exercise is to practice 别开. Get stuck with the opponent at the top, use the kua to rotate the waist. The energy through the middle of the chest must get to the hand.

Set up my hands on something that is totally locked.

标准 is 认可。

Yilu is the first standard when we first learn taiji.

He talked about the story of the storyteller from the native people.

The story words went with the rhythm of music.  If they are wrong, they can’t continue.

Form and Applications were separate before.

2nd Cloud Hand – 衬 – To bring out/support the main thing

3rd Cloud Hand – 盖 – To cover

Bie 别

Lock one side and move the other

Exercise: Put my forearm on the opponent’s chest. Lock the hand, move the elbow. The elbow needs to move along the line of the upper arm.  This is the tangent to the circle. The forearm has a stretch.

Trained power moves using Yilu from first move.

Block Touch Coat: Right hand block

When the person appears to be big and strong, do a bigger circle.

When the person appears to be small and weak, do a smaller circle, more like a direct hit.

We have to train enough to put ourselves in the position of power.





功夫 – 指哪打哪。要一个部位动,就只有这一个部位动。

功夫 – 对方预测不到的。超出了自然。



  1. 吃苦(累) – 难
  2. 挑战(不容易) – 难


We need to pass it on. We can’t worry about who can really do it or not.

Passing it on means the receiver remembers what you said, and can repeat the saying.

Story Telling

We use stories to pass on information.

Plains of Abraham: This battle was won by British army. From here, Britian eventually gain control of North America when French Revolution took place, and France gave up North America.

Wuji is there is nothing within an area. You draw a circle to mark an area. Wuji is having a restriction.

1+4 = 2+3 = 5 + 0 = 1.1 + 3.9  Wuji is saything that the sum needs to be 5.

Taiji is to say from 0 to 5.

To say 10, it’s because there are 5 on each side.

Yi (intent) is based on a real experience. Yi is not plain imagination without real experience.

We want the core to control the movements, so we can see the limbs but not the dantian itself. Training: Kick with heel as an exercise.

Lever: one side goes down, but it actually needs to move, so the pivot keeps moving backward within the rod.

Book exercise: Not allowing the book to fall down with your hand and opponent’s hand on it. One person pushs and pulls, the opponent matches the action with the elbow, shoulder, kua, feet.

Leader in 3-count circle

Six Sealing Four Closing: While the two knees are going up and down, they are restricted within a cylinder.

First step in the first move:
After the right turn, my left hand is on the opponent’s elbow not moving, while my right hand holds the opponent’s wrist. Lock my outside, shrink the distance between my right elbow and right kua. This is to fali 发力.

3-count positive circle:

  1. Imagine a fixed point beyond the right hand on the straight line between the right hand and right elbow. Pull in the elbow along this line.
  2. Imagine a fixed point behind the right kua on the straight line between the right kua and right elbow. Open the kua to stretch and extend the distance along this line.
  3. Imagine a fixed point behind the right elbow on the straight line between the right elbow and the right hand. Stretch the right hand out along this line.

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Fixed two dots are static power. Add one more dot between the two is dynamic power.  As long as you can stretch this third dot against the fixed two dots, you have power, e.g.

  1. Lock the head and knee, push the kua out.
  2. Lock the back of the head and the front shoulder, push the bottom of the neck close to the front shoulder out.
The wrist should be stretch on the same line. The ankle should be stretched at the right angle.

Master Chen explained the difference in the following: 开步、合步、跟步、开脚。

Size of the two gears determines the direction of the resulting power.

Dao – Everything exists as it is.  There is no right or wrong.  The sequence matters. An individual piece is fine as it is.  If you disrupt the flow (the sequence), it becomes problematic.

Elbow (in), Kua (rotate), Hand,(out).  It is wrong when the sequence is messed up.

3 hats:

  1. Head to shoulder
  2. Chest to kua
  3. Kua to foot

松沉 – Vertical plum line, the line has no power itself. The line is a relationship. Taiji needs the relationship to be virtual.

Between the sun and earth, there is gravity, which is the relationship. It is real, but you can’t touch it.

You have learning something once you can paraphrase it.

If you can see it, you have learned it.

If you can really see it, what you see does not change.

To be a student, always collect data/information. Over time, patterns will be formed from such information.

Figure 8 positive circle – A big positive circle in the front, and a small negative circle at the back

Figure 8 negative circle – A small positive circle in the front, and a big negative circle at the back

Use the kua to draw the circle.

All joints between the two ends must be open.  Only the hand against the opponent, and the foot against the floor compress.

At the beginning, when opening one joint, it forces a compression to the next joint. We must continue to open each of them until it reaches the end.

When doing fajin, only go to 80% extension.

The kua goes up to the inside towards the elbow.

Elbow, shoulder, kua are 1/3, 1/3, 1/3.

First half of the circle, push into the front foot, but the foot does not move.

Compass: one needle does not move at all, the 2nd needle is pinned to the paper but to the table. When moving the compass, the 2nd needle will move around the first needle dragging the paper.  The 2nd needle moves on a track (specifically around the first needle).

Those are the 3 kinds of not moving:

  1. 1st needle – absolutely not moving
  2. 2nd needle – restrictively not moving (moving on a track)
  3. 2nd needle and the paper – structurely not moving (between them they didn’t move)

First move of yilu: Vertical rotation inside a cylinder

Three ways of talking about our actions:

  1. Separation of Yin and Yang
  2. In and Out
  3. Lead

Other analogies:

  1. Thread, fabric, needle
    1. Needle is outside leading.
    2. Fabric is the barrier.
    3. Thread is inside being pulled.
  2. Leading thing must be hard, what is being led is soft.
  3. Head must be hard, arm must be soft.
  4. Bone is hard, skin/muscle is soft.
  5. Top of the head must be hard, whatever below must be soft.
  6. This is the training for reversal of yin and yang.
  7. Soft means always going around.
  8. Stiff is strong.
3 focuses on training yilu:
  1. Heavy cloak on the shoulder to focus on stretching the head up.
  2. Tie rubber band at the elbow to keep them from going out.
  3. Put a spring-loaded rod between the two knees to keep from collapsing.
Any thing free is a catalyst.
Your existing things are 2-dimensional.  Our taiji trains us to be 3-dimensional.
Hand is 3-dimensional while the torso is 2-dimensional.

Going down – It needs to be led by the bottom.

Going left – It needs to be led by the left side

Going right – It needs to be led by the right side.

Going up – It needs to be led by the top.
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Human is the relationship.

Chinese emphasizes on relationship.

Taiji is being the catalyst, and create a relationship between two things.
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Turning Flower from the Bottom of the Sea

  • Start by standing on one foot, and practice rotation.
  • The right elbow goes sideways while the left arm comes up.
  • The right fist continues to go horizontal, the left fist goes up vertically.
  • One side horizontal, one size vertical. The middle is in the middle of the chest.
  • The fists don’t move, they are stretched from the middle of the chest.

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Kua physically can only go up and down.

Knee physically can only go sideways.

We need to produce the splitting energys all the time.

Turning Flower From the Sea Bottom

  • We need to di a sudden stop in the middle to produce penetrating energy, and then let the motion continue on the same trajectory, as in 心口碎大石。

Six Sealing Four Closing

  • Lock the middle of the chest, elbow-in with power, and let the shoulder stretch and rotate a lot to go to the other side to throw it back out.
  • The same needs to be maintained during moving-step.

Do yilu with fajin for a month, so I am ready to do really do cannon fist.

0 – Wuji 无极

1 – Something comes out of Wuji

2 – Taiji 太极
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Two scales (levers) in the body

Master Chen indicated if we truly understand how to make a lever in the body, then having two of them simply means creating two levers using two different set of body parts.

The 2nd levers must be created separately from the first one. However, they must be related somehow or can be said to share a common point.

Each lever is a gear. Engaging two gears together creates a common point at their teeth, and that is how they relate to each other.
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“Three” represents a loop, means to repeat things endlessly.

There is really only two main things in Chinese martical arts: horizontal and vertical.

We need to determine horizontal and vertical, one of them is more dominant.

However, you need both of them to be present to say that there is either horizontal or vertical. We need to both to make the distinction.
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Back to the Mar 30, 2021 exercise, there is one part that goes out, and one part that goes up. Eventually, there is a force that goes out and around.

3 types of moves in Taiji: horizontal (rope), vertical (stick), rotational (rock).

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We use the kua to initate and drive our moves. When that is done, we will see other body parts move, and not the driver itself. Read more

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别 Twist

  • 杠杆的动作。
  • 扭。
  • 搓。
  • 外头两点动作相对,中间一点不动。

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Levels of the Form

Level 1

  1. Rigid
  2. A bunch of sticks
  3. Machine-like movement
  4. With structure

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Ground Dragon

How to pull up the right leg?

  • Lock the left kua, and rotate the right kua around and underneath the left kua.


Need to break a seal, e.g. how to open a stuck jar lid.

  1. Lock the two hands, use the front elbow to break the line between the two hands.
  2. Lock the two hands, use the front kua to break the line between the two hands.
  3. Break using an action on the outside going in.
  4. Break using an action on the inside going out.

We need to twist ourselves in the setup, we unwind ourselves in the action.

Imagine that you separate our body into top half and bottom half. At the beginning, they are not twisted such that the front of the top lines up with the front of the bottom. You use your top to match the opponent. You change the bottom to face the other way (180 degrees opposite) while the top continues the same. Now that the top half and bottom half are twisted. There is potential energy built up, as you unwind, power is released, and there will be rotational power.

Lean with Back (背折靠)

Right fist and rear kua line up.
Elbow as a handle goes around that line.
Shoulder goes down to the kua.
Kua comes up to the shoulder.

The two lines must be maintained, and they must interact with each other.

The freer the rest of the body with those two lines maintained, the more power there is.

Pattern of practice

We focus on training one part (X). When we get that X right, Y may become wrong. We fix Y, X may become wrong again. We go and back forth until both X and Y are correct. Then we add Z on top of them.

3 parts: Fix two parts, move one part.

In the exercise of rotating horizontal, we must fix the middle (dantian). How to fix the dantian?

Use two parts (head and rear foot) to fix the dantian, move the front foot which is free to a new position.
Use head and front foot to fix the dantian, move the rear foot to a new position.
Switch between the two feet repeatedly.
The rotation is made of a series of little increments.

If we make the two side of a chest like two touching gears, we are using the central axis as the gap/space between them. it is the one of the 3 major choices for the gap. The other 2 choices will be the two shoulder-kua axes. The chest/torso can be one piece or two pieces.

This should be of value to new people, I know it was for me!

The Art of Asking a Question

by Kelvin Ho on 2020/11/16

How Question Mark Shows Not Sure And Asking

Master Chen Zhonghua always talks about the method of learning.  The interaction of us asking and him answering is part of it. You have probably heard him say before, “Don’t ask that question”, but yet at a different time, he would ask students to ask questions. What kind of questions are indeed proper to ask?  The questions that are on topic, something that does not interrupt or distract the learning of the very subject at the time.  The format of an appropriate question itself should be about HOW, e.g. Could you please show me that move again?

This type of questions allows Master Chen to provide the correct information.
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Lock the right elbow-shoulder-kua triangle, but place it horizontally.

Rotate to the right horizontally using the kuas.

First make the line between the right elbow and left foot. The left foot is supported by the floor.

Later make the line between the right elbow and left knee, but we need to keep the knee up (i.e. the left knee cannot point to the floor).

As we rotate to the right, the right elbow and left knee must continue to expan


  • Line up the dot underneath the front buttock and front heel, and pull them together.
    The dantian needs to adjust to allow the rear foot to be pulled up.
    Lock the head.

New Exercise

  • This is an exercise that Master Chen Zhonghua learned from Grandmaster Hong. They did it at the park on the gravel. After this, they would do foundations every morning.
  • Lie on the stomach, use the hands to pull up.
  • Lie on the stomach, use the elbows to pull up.
  • Lie on the stomach, use the shoulders to pull up.
  • Only use one part to pull up, the rest of the body is just like sandbag being dragged.
  • Need 3 ways to do the same looking move to be versatile, so the opponent can’t figure it out.
Fist Drape Over Body
  • Kua needs to turn over (tippie toe if needed to get maximum range of the kua turning over)
  • Right hand-elbow-shoulder triangle must remain unchanged. This triangle plane must catch the opponent, like how an oar catches water one way but not the other.
  • The right elbow going up is not just lifting the elbow. It is stretching the torso so much that it flips up the elbow. Shoulder must stay downwards.
  • The right kua turns over as the right hand-elbow-shoulder triangle changes position.
  • Left kua must open, and don’t let the left knee point to the ground. This is very difficult to do, so the instructor is likely not able to show this one.
  • Central axis does not move.
  • At the very last part of the movement, there is a stretch between the right elbow and the left elbow to catch the opponent, and then we rotate on the central axis, and this rotation being inside must be bigger than the outside movement to have power.  This is an example of fajin when done quickly.

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