Master Chen says that we need to get in, get stuck, and then turn the waist. However, people do not like the feeling of being stuck. We think that we need to move around looking for any opportunity to do something. The reality is that every move is an opportunity.
We must train to use a lot of power.
If you want to learn how to move a big rock and you just go up to it and use your hands to tip it back and forth, you are wasting your life. You have to get a good grip on it and try to lift it. If you can’t move it then: Read more
Why does a robotic arm have so much power that it can kill you? Because it’s attached to something that doesn’t move.
After training in the sweltering Shandong heat, morning Yilu’s in Edmonton feel like a walk in the park. It’s not just the temperature though, after training on Daqingshan for three months I feel refreshed, relaxed, inspired and just generally ready to go! You should go too…seriously.
Power is always from the back but the difference is the direction. Read more
I believe that real progress in Taiji must be the product of many small achievements over many years. I am really pleased that the last three months has been marked by a number of small achievements. Read more
I was having a conversation over dinner with my Taiji brother Nicholas Fung about the frustrations of learning Taiji. He was wondering aloud about the method for learning. Read more
The relation between Taiji and the Taoist concept of time is a topic which Master Chen has emphasized as extremely important, Read more
The sequence of events for using power when confronting an opponent is:
1. Manipulate distance
2. Adjust Angle
3. Apply power Read more
The main goal of Taiji is the transmission of power. But what does this mean? In technical terms it refers to the conversion of power from one form to another. Read more
Every move in Taiji is a downward move. This begs the question how many moves can you make before you are sitting on the floor? Master Chen says if you can make every move a downward move without going down then you have got it. The key is that downward is a rotation. This rotation is called sinking.
At lunch Master Chen compared learning Taiji to boiling water: The requirement for boiling water is 100 degrees, even if the water is 99 degrees it is still not boiling. From one perspective the water might as well still be cold because it is still not boiling; 99 degrees might as well be 1 degree. In reality 99 degrees is only 1 degree away from boiling while 1 degree is still 99 degrees away from boiling. Read more
Master Chen said there are many things he can’t do which would give the impression that he is not very flexible. But, he insists, his joints are round and smooth which means he can maneuver them freely. Maneuverability is favored over looseness. If you are not stiff, you have no power. If your joints are not round you have no maneuverability.
I have started to be more conscious of remaining totally upright during Yilu. At the fulltime session we do far more Yilu per day than I would normally do at home and I get quite tired. I’ve noticed that as I become more tired I find my self looking at the ground as a result of slouching. When I am bent over like this my mass leans in the direction of movement and stepping begins to have a lunging quality to it. Read more
At another level, when the hand goes in and out on a line it is considered no movement. If the line does not go sideways the opponent cannot detect action.
When we learn the form we must copy what we see. This is not wrong. Form means to get from here to there. What’s wrong is how we get there, the way we do it. The form must look the same but the action must be exactly the opposite of what you would come up with on your own.
Neutralizing is taking up the space before your opponent can and adding slightly more. I’m not sure, but maybe is the same as when Master says that there is one line with two sides to it: you follow the opponents line back and then step in on the same line.
Movement cannot hold force. If there is force anywhere then you cannot open.
When you are being pushed don’t react to the push. Only go down and take a step forward. This seems very difficult to some people but Master Chen insists that it is mental: “if someone said they would give you ten dollars every time you went down you could go down.” We must train to always go down even if it means falling down. We must learn to not be afraid to go downward. If you are going to lose, lose downward. This way we become accustomed to the proper reaction.
The size of movement of each part of the body must match. For example the hand is capable of a much wider range of motion than the body, therefore the hand can only be allowed to move as much as the body does.
When somebody touches you, find the opposite point and rotate on it. When you can find it and know what the opposite point feels like then you can make that point anywhere. This spot acts like a pulley. It moves but doesn’t move, it doesn’t move but it encourages movement.
Here are some thoughts from an evening class with Master Chen and Allan in January.
-In the circles the first move is outside, the second move is inside. Read more
In the positive and negative circles, the thigh rotates outward in the opposite direction from the turning of the waist. This, along with tucking in the tailbone and pushing out the lower back, helps to keep the front flat so as to attain “no indentation and no protrusion”. So if the front is flat then the kua can’t fold (indentation) and the butt can’t stick out (protrusion) so the kua must only move downwards as the thigh rotates outwards for this move.