Kelvin Ho

Push hands is an exercise that examines your understanding of the Taiji principle: Separation of Yin and Yang. While form training transforms your body, push hands provides an opportunity for you to apply your Taiji knowledge and skill. It has also become a popular sporting event both in China and abroad. This workshop is suitable for beginners as well as people at different levels of their training. If you have never tried it before, this is a great opportunity for you to do it in a friendly and safe environment.

推手是一种让人检查对太极原理(分阴阳)理解的练习。 套路训练可以改变人的身体结构,而推手则提供了运用太极拳知识和技能的机会。 它已成为国内外流行的体育赛事。 这训练班适合推手初学者及不同程度培训的太极爱好者。 如果您以前从未尝试过推手,那么这是个让你在友好与安全的环境中初次尝试的绝佳机会。

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For more information about this class, please see:

Ben Phillips of Toronto became Chen Zhonghua’s 379th disciple in a brief ceremony at the Annual Toronto Practical Method Seminar

This is the first Toronto Practical Method workshop by Master Chen Zhonghua since covid-19 started.  We had a very good turnout, 25 people attended over the 4 days of the workshop.  Participants came from Toronto, Markham, Aurora, Newmarket, Oakville, Georgetown, Ottawa, Michigan, Iowa, Arizona, California.  One of the participants commented:

“Everyone here expressed and interacted freely and deeply, just like a big family.”

In this workshop, we focussed on training with drills, solo and partnered. The drills allowed us to develop gong, and techniques that would be useful in push hands. Many of the drills were video-recorded and will be available for purchase.  We also included one lesson of Hunyuan Qi Gong, and Master Chen said he would begin to integrate more energy work into Practical Method through some Hunyuan Qi Gong training.

The following were intended to remind myself of what happened at the workshop, and they were not to be instructional. However, if you have any questions and need clarification for any part, please feel free to make a comment below.

Day 0
Power or No power? Read more

What does it mean by lining up the forearm and rear calf? There are 2 ways:
  1. The forearm and rear calf can on the same line, but separate into two sections.
  2. The forearm and rear calf can also be on two parallel tracks.


The Toronto Practical Method workshop will be back on Oct 8 to 11, 2022. If you have not yet attended one, you will be amazed by the magical taiji skills of Master Chen Zhonghua, and his insightful guidance in your taiji journey. He has the missing piece that many people are looking for. If you have been here before, we are looking forward to training with you again.
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Day 3

Lock the opponent at the top, break the opponent middle using my kua. The opponent collapses down like a building demolition.

Face the opponent (chest to chest), my front kua touches his front kua, make my front kua go to the other side.
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This class will be another live stream class from North American Practical Method Training Camp.

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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Kelvin Ho is organizing a free Chen Style Taijiquan Practical Method online (zoom) introductory class (1 session/week for 4 weeks) in July 2022. If you are interested in finding out what Practical Method is about and would like to give this a try. To register, please send an email to or wechat to kelvinkwho with your account.


  1. Saturday, July 2, 2022 Toronto Time 9 am – 10 am Done
  2. Saturday, July 9, 2022 Toronto Time 9 am – 10 am Done
  3. Saturday, July 23, 2022 Toronto Time 9 am – 10 am Done
  4. Saturday, July 30, 2022 Toronto Time 9 am – 10 am Done

To join the zoom class, click the following link:

The following video is a sample of how a Practical Method online class is like.

Bevel Gear 2

by Kelvin Ho on 2022/06/04

Today we did an exercise to rotate the torso horizontally from left to right (first gear), while the arm with the elbow straight as a stick rotated in Ni Chan (second gear).  The second gear’s rotation was driven by the first gear. The result was like how the train wheel turned, and the rod attached to the wheels moved along the rotation without changing direction.
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If you are interested in joining this class, please purchase the June package at:

Push hands is an exercise that examines your understanding of the Taiji principle: Separation of Yin and Yang. While form training transforms your body, push hands provides an opportunity for you to apply your Taiji knowledge and skill. It has also become a popular sporting event both in China and abroad. This workshop is suitable for beginners as well as people at different levels of their training. If you have never tried it before, this is a great opportunity for you to do it in a friendly and safe environment.

推手是一种让人检查对太极原理(分阴阳)理解的练习。 套路训练可以改变人的身体结构,而推手则提供了运用太极拳知识和技能的机会。 它已成为国内外流行的体育赛事。 这训练班适合推手初学者及不同程度培训的太极爱好者。 如果您以前从未尝试过推手,那么这是个让你在友好与安全的环境中初次尝试的绝佳机会。

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The one-way rocking motion of the ink blotter is exactly the way how our front foot grabs the floor after shovelling out, in order to pull the rest of the body forward. Read more

  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%).

Figure 1
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Note: Homework submission is best done through the mobile interface as most people will record a video through a smartphone. Each video can be no larger than 7MB, which should allow a video shot at 720P with 30 frames per seconds for about 15 seconds.

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Master Chen Zhonghua’s choice of language is straight forward and literal.  However, I find myself like many others having a difficult time understanding his instructions at the beginning of the Practical Method journey. It’s not that I didn’t want to follow the instructions. Whatever I did just seemed not matching what he meant. Instructions such as putting the left hand in front of the right hand gave me a hard time. The reason was that what I thought was front was not the same as what Master Chen intended front to be.  Let’s say setting up the hand positions is the first step, and other things are built on top of it. If this step was not done correctly, everything else would also be wrong. Therefore, it was utmost important to get the first step correctly.

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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.


Event Photos

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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This was recorded at around 36,000 yilus.

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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

Master Chen Zhonghua always says that we need to do 20 yilus a day. If you haven’t done it before, consider to give this a try. For this challenge, you will need about 2 hours a day, which can be divided into multiple sessions to fit into your busy schedule to practice 20 yilus. By the end, you will complete about 1200 yilus. Read more

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.