Kelvin Ho

“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).
动静、上下、左右、内外、伸缩、推拉

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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

If you would like to signup, please contact Kelvin Ho at kelvin.ho@practicalmethod.ca.


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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.

Twist

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.


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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

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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Back to the kua-to-hand exercise.

  1. Lock the hand, shoulder and kua as a triangle, which is a fixed plane.
  2. We fixed a dot on the plane, and we rotate on the dot without changing the plane itself.
  3. We put this dot just under the elbow.
  4. Kua becomes (就是) the hand. When the opponent touches our hand, it is the same as touching our kua. Ultimately, the opponent is touching the floor.
This plane is something that we maintain during push hands. When we have it, we can move this plane however we want.  The plane itself is double heavy, but if we can make it a revolving door, it is not double heavy anymore. The axis can be put anywhere on the plane or through the plane (a dot on the plane).
Fist of Lifting and Blocking
  1. Elbow does not move.
  2. Rotate the shoulder to cause the fist to change the direction.

Turning Flower over from the Sea Bottom

Today, there is a big breakthrough.
The shoulders finally find the kuas in this movement. It was very possibly due to the exercise taught on Mar 30, 2021:

  • Use the kua to push the hand out. Shoulder, kua and elbow are one piece. The hand stretches against the shoulder. This is a very practical push hand move.

REMEMBER THE PROCEDURE that gets me here, but DON’T FOLLOW THE FEELING.

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Fist of Hitting and Lifting

The flip from one side to another needs to happen because of torso going down. More precisely, the two shoulder-to-kua axes go up and down against the central non-moving axis. Read more

Fist of Lifting and Blocking 搬拦肘

  1. Lock the two elbows as if they are on a table
  2. The two fists only go up to go around. They also have to stretch against the two elbows. Imagine that you have a wall parallel to the chest right in front.
Generally,
  1. The kuas control the rotation on the central vertical axis.
  2. The knees control the height of the body/torso.
  3. The elbow control the horizontal movement.
得意忘形
为什么分门派?
过来多年为什么会变?
因为没有真正明白。

Common mistake in push hands:

  1. Shoulder tends to come up and have power (wrong).
  2. Kua tends to go down and not have power (wrong). Read more

Lock the arms, torso goes down. Lock the torso, pull down the arms. Now there is power.

This is increasing distance. This is switching. This is rotation.

GoDownToIncreaseDistance
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What does it mean to be not in the same dimension?
Open zipper, untie shoe lace

Taiji is to find the holes. We must fix the lattice to find the holes. Fixing the lattice is peng.
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开胯:功能 vs 功夫

功能:用方法达到开胯的目的。

内家拳:外边不变,内边变化。

外家拳:内边不变,外边变化。
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Go over the threshold 过关: hand and shoulder

Get to the special spot 窍: tip of the elbow, inner spot of kua to come out, back of the knee to find alignment, spot at the bottom of the neck

Master Chen explained the switching of the kuas again, how they are like two credit cards touching each other in a T configuration. We need to create a gap and then do the switch.
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Exercise 1: Use the kua to push the hand out. Shoulder, kua and elbow are one piece. The hand stretches against the shoulder. This is a very practical push hand move.

Exercise 2: Elbow Strike (the elbow has to come out)

Exercise 3: Double Push Hands: Pull the opponent in, Front foot goes forward, rear foot follows. Two hands go out from the dantian with a trajectory. We use the back foot to push.

We started with forearm lever exercise. Aim at a dot to create a pivot. The distance the elbows goes down is the same as the distance the finger tip goes up (assuming the pivot is right in the middle).

Ratio 1:1

The meaning is that nothing is left in the middle. Every in-coming thing must go out. This is also called neutralization.

When we eat rice, ideally, we just want the energy, and other physical things should come out of the body. However, there is always some small amount of material, e.g. mineral that remains in the body. This is what causes us to be sick and become old.

Resolving door: One side comes in, the other side goes out. The key is that the door is very solid.

In our movement, redirect the incoming force to the rear foot without moving.

To be soft, it must be solid plus rotation.

Train with the rear foot at the corner, and a big enough stance to lock the body (especially upper body).

Taiji is only realized with speed.
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Exercise 1: Use the left hand to grab the right wrist, stretch the right fingers. This is not just a demonstration, it is the method to train. People often ask Master Chen how to train, in fact, he just showed us. We only need to do it 60 times in each session. Doing it 60 times means to not use too much power, or using the right amount such that you can do it 60 times. When you use the left hand to grab the right, squeeze the armpit to lock the left hand, so that the left hand itself does not move. In order to stretch, we must lock something.
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When the body action is correct, the energy is wrong.

When the energy is correct, the body action is wrong.
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Fetch Water
Application: Shoulder strike (kao), power comes from dantian
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On Mar 12, 2021, Master Chen was instructing on an exercise, in which, I put up my left forearm in front of and parallel to my chest. I need to push the elbow downwards with a pivot in the middle of my forearm, with the load on the hand. The desired outcome requires me to create an independent setup of a lever, and then press down on one side of the lever (elbow). This is separation of yin and yang because the downward force is independent of the lever setup. The lever setup cannot break or change its integrity when the downward force is applied. The outcome of the lever action is predetermined by the setup. The downward force when applied in a specific way simply makes it happen. If the downward force is not applied correctly or the lever setup breaks down, the desired outcome will not happen.
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What is success? It’s to never give up.

Why would one give up? He had a change of heart.

中文两字词语是阴阳的。信念 – 信往外,念往内。
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Think about the rods/bars that link the old kind of train’s wheels together. Those rods only ever go forward even those each wheel only rotates. This is yin-yang reversal. There is a joint in the middle of the wheel, there is another joint at the place where the rod is attached to the wheel. If there is no such joint and the rod is totally glued to the wheel, as the wheel rotates, the rod will also turn around with the wheel.
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Put the elbow on the table.

Shoulders goes down to the elbow.
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Hold a rod not by grabing it with the whole palm, but split the span into two dots. One dot on the index finger underneath the rod acts as the pivot, and another one at the root of the palm placed above the rod acts as the balancing arm. We can tilt the rod the other end of the rod this way without lifting the rod itself.

This is what allows the power to go along the rod to the other end, and it is said to go over.
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During training (when we are not yet successful), we use extra effort and focus to get it. It is tiring.

Once you are successful, the body gets used to it and will not be tiring anymore. The hair has been combed. The effort has gone through a filter. Read more

This lesson is about staying on topic, and then categorization within a topic.

There are only 3 types of movements in Practical Method:

  1. Elbow-in (Pull)
  2. Hand-out (Push)
  3. Rotate Read more

The axis in real usage exists only functionally. 滚珠轴承 Ball Bearing.

We create a shell (restriction) on the outside, then the axis inside must exist, but you can’t touch it unlike a real rod in a globe.
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Key things, e.g.

  1. Forward is to push.
  2. Backward is to pull.
  3. Middle is to rotate.
  4. Separation of yin and yang

We must remember the key things even if we don’t understand it. Read more

Chinese Class

Shoulder and kua must be open to be able to find a relationship.

Yin-yang is a relationship. We train to seek such relationship in different body parts.

Going straight is to hit (打).
Rotation is to avoid/neutralize (化).
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Chinese Class

When we rotate, if the rotation goes forward, the entire object must move back to balance it.

Rear kua rotates forward, the kua itself must go backwards.
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Chinese Class

45 degrees vs 90 degrees

90 degrees are theoretical.

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