Kelvin Ho

2020 was a very different year. The world suffered from covid-19, everyone had to experience a lot of changes. Master Chen Zhonghua used to hold workshops all over the world non-stop throughout the year, which was inevitably halted, but Practical Method seeked to adapt and developed an online teaching platform with the latest technology. From a set of random classes to regularly scheduled classes by the beginning of 2021, the participating students made rapid progress and benefited a lot from them. This was largely due to being able to have more timely access to Master Chen Zhonghua and his instructors for guidance. The pandemic created an opportunity to allow a new level of Practical Method to soar to a higher level in the new year. Read more

A practice from the east to the west and the north to the south across the globe.
Read more

Stretch i

by Kelvin Ho on 2021/01/06

To create a stick, we, we need to stretch.

  • Think of pushing down the middle point, B, of a triangle with the two other points, A and C. locked. The stretch is between A and C, and the stick is formed between A and C.

To rotate, we also need to stretch.

  • Think of a non-moving rod. A rubber band is tied to it, and stretched outward away from the rod. When it can’t stretch any further, a small force tangential to the stretch will cause the stretched rubber band to go around the rod.

In both cases, there are both restrictions and the attempts to break the restriction.

In the first case, A and C are restricted from moving, while B is forced to break the A and C apart along the A-C line.

In the second case, the rod is restricted from moving, while the rubber band is pulled and stretched away from the rod. If the rubber band is ever loose, the little nudge cannot cause the rotation.

Once you are logged in, click the link below:

Fetch water with the rubber cord

  • Step on one end of the cord to lock it on the ground, pull it with the rear hand.
  • Train opening of the front kua.
  • Find the appropriate strength in the rubber cord to be strong enough that we cannot use the hands/arms to stretch it, but weak enough that we can use the kua to stretch it. Read more

 Fetch Water

  • Lock the front knee
  • Lock the rear shoulder
  • Push the front kua into the line between the front knee and rear shoulder
  • Make sure that train the full range of motion
  • At the tail end, nudge a little attempting to go beyond the current maximum Read more

What is the seam (缝 feng)?

  • The place between two actions where it needs to change direction (such as, go back).
  • Grandmaster Hong said that we needed to get to 天衣无缝 tian yi wu feng. Heavenly clothes have no seam.
  • However, we can’t pretend that there is no seam in the first place, and hide it.

Read more

No lifting – Don’t carry weight in your hand when moving.

When the hand is moving, it is inefficient.

Turn every push into a pull

  • If we push with the hand, that is a push.
  • If we use the elbow to pull the hand, that is a pull.
  • The demarcation is how we consider if the elbow is behind the hand (push) or in front of the hand (pull). Read more

Taiji is 3 i

by Kelvin Ho on 2020/11/24


Suppose you have only a 4 liter container and a 9 liter container. The containers have no measurement lines on either of them. How could you measure exactly 6 liters of water using only those containers assuming you can have as much extra water as you need?

After I solved the above puzzle, I had a realization on the statement “taiji is 3”.
Read more

Rhythm/Sequence of movements

We need modify our bahaviour to cause a real change.
In-with-elbow must cause out-with-hand.  Withdraw is to issue.
Read more

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. Read more

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. Read more

Vertical Peng

  • Going down without doing down.
  • It’s like a telescoping stick becoming smaller.
  • There is no bending at the waist.
  • The peng must be maintained.

Hands always go out (Nothing is outside of being big).
Elbows always go in (Nothing is inside of being small).
Read more

We continue on the exercise with one knee up and one knee down from last week.

The torso is like a cylinder that goes down in a free-fall fashion. We can hold up the cylinder, and yet we can’t push down the cylinder. The cylinder is pulled down by gravity, something is outside of our body.

Read more

The video showed 3 moves of the Practical Method Straight Sword form, namely, Left cut wrist, Right cut wrist and Sweep down one thousand soldiers. Read more

Six Sealing Four Closing

  • The stretch of the elbow against the locked hand comes to a stop.
  • Switch to use the central vertical axis to rotate. When it is done, switch to the rear shoulder-kua axis to continue the rotation in the same direcction.
  • Switch to the front shoulder-kua axis, power with the rear kua to cause the hand to go out. Read more

Turning around without turning around.  This is referring to moving the elbow, while the hand and shoulder are not moving.

Moving the hand will tie a knot in the body.  Thinking of how to reel in with the spool to bring in the hose, and how to get the hose out by holding the end and pulling it out.

All important moves are difficult. Read more

Chinese Class

Buddha’s Warriot Attendant Pound Mortar

  • How to lift the right leg? It has to stretch out and then come back.
  • Many people would make the buttock protrude when lifting the leg.

Block Touching Coat

  • The horizontal move (5th count) in Block Touching Coat is not actually a horizontal move.
  • Lock right kua, move left kua, and then lock left kua, move right kua

Read more

We are focusing on a simple movement from Six Sealing Four Closing.

Selina Huang started studying Practical Method on July 5, 2020.

Zhuang Ying started studying Practical Method on Feb. 2, 2020.

Peng Li started studying Practical Method on Feb. 2, 2020.

Liu Yaokun started studying Practical Method on Feb. 2, 2020.

Bernard Lesawich started studying Practical Method on July 5, 2020.

John Upshaw and I met because of Practical Method. He lives in Iowa, USA, and I live in Toronto, Canada. We started to get to know each other through Facebook posts and chats. We first met in person in New Jersey Camp in June 2012. Despite living far apart, we started to train together in early morning on weekends using video conferencing, such as Google Hangout and Skype.  We learned straight sword, erlu, and recently broadsword together. Last night, I stumbled some upon notes I made back in 2013/2014 for the online practice sessions.  Upon reviewing the notes, what we have been practicing remains the same over the years. To name a few, the instructions include:

  1. Out with hand
  2. In with elbow
  3. Don’t move, lock, fix something, such as the hand, the knee.
  4. Stretch
  5. Go over
  6. Open the kua

We improve over time in terms of detail and quality of the movements, but we will never be perfect. and the training just keeps going. Such notes allowed me to re-live some of the wonderful memories, and thanks to shifu to keep reminding us to make notes.

Chinese Class

Separation of Yin and Yang

  • 先合后开 xian he hou kai – Together at first, separate later.
  • How it separates, the rate it separates can be regulated later.
  • e.g. Six Sealing Four Closing, Punch covering hand Read more

Going Over – We focus on this concept in several moves today.

Flash the back

  • After elbow-in, we use the kua to cause the elbow to go over, so that we can grab the opponent’s wrist on the other side.
  • The other elbow moves in this move also requires going over to break the opponent’s arm at the elbow.
  • Before turning backwards, we just lock the left hand, and bring the right foot over to the other side. Read more

Correction on my form

  • Need to have 3 solids
    • There is a line at the shoulder level between the front hand and rear shoulder (first 2 solids)
    • I need to stretch the kua down to create the 3rd solid.
    • The first 2 solids form the horizontal bar of a T-bar, while the kua stretching down creates the rod of the T-bar.
    • Master Chen Zhonghua demonstrated six sealing four closing with that rod not moving. Without this part, I will not be able to rotate. With it, things start to become 3-dimensional. It was really like that there was an auger in him.
    • This may seem like a contradiction while we need to push the front kua up, we also need to stretch it down to create a solid. Read more

  1. Create an account on YouTube if you don’t have one yet.
  2. Shoot your yilu video in landscape mode like the above picture.
  3. Upload your yilu video to YouTube.
  4. In the description of your YouTube video, add the following:
    1. Name: Your name
    2. Location: Where was the yilu was recorded at?
    3. Date: Which date the yilu was recorded on?
    4. Yilu Count: Approx. # of yilus you have practiced so far, please see
  5. Copy the link to your YouTube video.
  6. Create a new post at this website:
    • If you have access problem with this link, please contact Kelvin Ho at, as you will need author access to this website.
  7. Paste the link in the body of the new post.
  8. Edit the title of the post in the following format:
    • John Doe Yilu on Oct. 26, 2020

Not Moving is one of the most important concepts in Practical Method. There are 3 types of Not Moving.

Absolutely Not Moving

  • Also known as: Truely Not Moving
  • This point is simply not allowed to move in any way.
  • Example: A nail on the wall. The nail is not moving in any direction.

Relatively Not Moving

  • Also known as: Structurally Not Moving
  • Between two points, a constant relationshiop is maintained.
  • Example: A passenger seating in the car going from place to place. The passenger is not moving relative to the car.

Restrictively Not Moving

  • Also known as: Staying on the track
  • This point is only allowed to move in a very specific way.
  • Example: A train can only move along the track.  It works properly only when it does not derail.

Read more

Chinese Class

We do our form in a low stance to train gong. When we use it, we don’t go so low, because it is not agile enough.

Movements need to be big and long.

The kuas need to be just a bit higher than the knees. Read more

High Pad on Horse

  • Rub the torso
  • Only rotate the two shoulders and two kuas

Read more

Chinese Class

Negative Circle

  • In-with-elbow, Zhuan Guan, Out-with-hand
  • We have get the proper ideal image in our mind, even though we can’t do it properly at this point.
  • We must be expressive in our movement during training, so the teacher/instructor can see your intent.

Rotation is when there is movement without displacement.
Read more

Power Conversion 7

by Kelvin Ho on 2020/10/18

TAndYClassesOfPowerConversion Read more

Chinese Class

Our movements must have a horizontal one and a vertical one intersecting/interacting at the same time.

Three parallel planes

  1. Top plane at the shoulder (including extending the arms)
  2. Middle plane at the waist
  3. Bottom plane at the knees

The integrity of each plane must be maintained. There is a vertical rod that goes through the middle to connect all three planes to fix them in a particular way, but yet they are free to move any other way. Each plane is like a trampoline. This is how we convert opponent’s incoming kinetic energy into potential energy stored in the trampoline, and eventually back to kinetic energy aimed at the opponent. You can also lock any of the planes, and move a different one to create a vertical stretch. With these 3 planes, you can create a lot of variations and configurations.
Read more

Inflection Point 2

by Kelvin Ho on 2020/10/14

Inflection points in differential geometry are the points of the curve where the curvature changes its sign. In the illustration below, it is when the tangent turns red or when the curve intersects with the X axis in this case.

Read more

Whatever it is that you know, the truth is not like that. Whatever you don’t realize, accidentally it is the correct thing.
Read more

Positive Circle

  • Focus on the use of front kua in Positive Circle to increase the size of the circle.
  • When going down, step the rear foot backward.
  • When coming up, step the rear foot forward.
  • Do the same on both sides.

Read more