Mark Hanley


Basically, once again I will combine the 4-day seminar into a summary by grouping what I call related items. It was a great environment to get corrections from others or better understanding of push hand drills. Great bunch of people.
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  1. Gears on either side of spine move in opposite direction

The gears twist on either side of the spine and your intention along with where you are looking can send power in any direction you want. You can also add better control by also changing the percentage of each lever. with straight spine hold with front left kua use right hand across. them Opening kua to right

Power comes from restrictions, stretch to point of rotation, Movement is muscle., no movement is a lever
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The following are highlights of my workshop notes workshop March 2 to 5th. I have tried to organize them into categories so I could better relate them.  I did not capture everything

 Workshop notes:

All Questions Should be asked in order to bring clarity: Hear It , See it, Feel It – the 3 questions you want answered

Principle – Yin and Yang separation          life – I want to be good

Concept – all moves are indirect                               education

Action – convert into action                                      use
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In Kelvin Ho’s article “Opponents stop moving when I move” written Dec 24 2018; I was one of the opponent’s who was not moving when he came in. I agree with his statement ‘there was no feedback/trigger’. I felt like a deer in the headlights when he came in. The definition says:

“Someone caught in a state of paralyzing surprise, fear, or bewilderment. Likened to the tendency of deer to freeze in place in front of an oncoming vehicle”.
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I have fascia problems that limit and sometimes interfere with certain movements originating from a car accident and then being pushed on my tailbone 15 years ago. In October, my physio-therapist told me that my hips are opening and to continue with whatever exercises I was doing. I simply said that I am doing a Tai chi form that emphasizes stretching. She indicated that the stretching was breaking up the fascia. Read more

fetching water,
– you must be in front bow stance with weight on front
– back hand open on belly
– front arm down open hand to thigh
– move front KWA out as the only movement – when front arm moves bring elbow to body

Kelvin ho had us doing this foundation exercise today. Issues I had around the move that I experienced

1. Moving shoulders ( I needed to press down first, move the kwa and capture the internal movement to go across my belly rather than up to my back shoulder)

Kelvin indicated that once stretched I should hold it for a minute or two to help loosen the kwa.

2. Moving front hands and arms independently ( the kwa works like a lever attached to the rope and pail gathering well water; when the rope moves back and forth so does the pail) the hands and arm cannot move independently

3. stance too high , I needed to perform the above in a lower stance

Review of negative circle
– elbow in hand on outside
– drop hand strait down
– hand out once at elbow torqueing forearm keeping elbow down

starting in front bow stance after bringing in my elbow hand on outside, I found that bringing the hand down helped keep my elbow aligned when the hand went out kelvin Ho reminded me to keep my elbow down. We also performed cross hands draping over the body. Kelvin showed me how the end position had stability by aligning the elbow with the back foot with the fist out like a punch. Kelvin’s hand wrapped my punch and pushed.

Review of Positive circle
-elbow in do not move hand or wrist
– twist waist without moving hips
– hand out do not move elbow
– do not move off the finger line to the exact spot on the opponent

starting in front bow stance after bringing in my elbow, I found that when I twisted my waist my weight moved off the front foot. Kelvin Ho corrected this by calling out when my weight incorrectly changed from my front foot. The twisting of the waist helps bring the elbow to the centerline. It requires a lot of focus to keep the fingers leading when going out torqueing the arm while not letting the elbow get away and keeping it down.

Last week Kelvin Ho review turning flower out at bottom of sea. he posted a video and the following points
1) Maintain a non-moving vertical rod from head to left heel throughout the action.
2) Hold the right forearm in front of the chest with a fist, while the left fist is on the side of the body.
3) Throw the right fist down to the right side as hard as possible with a raising right knee to create a scissoring effect, while throwing the left fist up to the left ear.
4) There should be no tossing or turning of the body, but there is a spiral stretch along the vertical rod Read more

Hand starts and 45 degrees and ends at 45 degrees, s the elbow comes to centerline. The energy must come from the foot to the hand. This Is much more difficult then it seems. The tendency for me was to bend the wrist independent from the arm and to move the arm out with no regard for the line. I found it very helpful to stand on a tiled floor which allowed me to better concentrate on the line. By doing this I found that the line allowed me to better keep arm on the line and my wrist better alignment with the rest of the arm.

start in front bow stance , back arm bent palm up front arm bent also palm up, this creates a line, bring hip and shoulder to hand line, be sure hip is up and out, shoulder is down and out, front elbow twists in as action performed. Back also straitens and ass is not out. Do not move wrist independently. I found that I could better concentrate and get more consistent results by starting with the front elbow touching my side. Taking pictures of yourself is also good idea because you see what you do wrong I have started to practise in the mirror so I can see and correct things like raising my back shouldersix ceiling four closing

IN fetching water, you must be in front bow stance. back arm bent palm up front arm down front kwa hand open, First internally connect front hip to back shoulder around and down to back hip somewhat like suspenders. This little effort to start really helps. Then open front hip moving it to the line. As that happens notice front shoulder goes down twist in the front elbow.

Kelvin Ho gave us feedback on the first 7 moves of Yilu today. some examples to remember

Buddha’s warrior attendant pounds the mortar – in first move both arms move from the elbow. The right arm is a negative circle. Elbow is down and palm faces floor when you stretch out after grind out. To lift foot twist right elbow even more to connect and lift foot.

Block touching coat. – in step out adjust weight to front foot before arm moves and positive circle starts

Single whip – hands start at 45 degrees and end at 45 degrees as the elbow comes to centerline and fingers and forearm follow the same strait line rubbing against an imaginary vertical finger. The end of single whip the left hand out is a positive circle.  

Brush knee –    the left open hand drops down crossing knee. The end of brush knee when both arms are extended squeeze in on chest and down back as to not cause a rise in the chest. I found this very significant feedback because this is true in so many of the moves. It also seemed to have an impact on my next move to keep my back steady in initial closing.

 Today I realized how significant independent practice is in this practical method. Your body needs time to adjust to perform proper alignment and stretches. If your elbow has limited mobility or you cannot convert the squeeze in the chest to the back and downward, you need practise before you can move forward with more constructive feedback.

Instructor Kelvin Ho worked through a  number of items in today’s class today with me and Bruce Robinson.

All Movement – keep elbows pointed to the ground, open hand position and stretch through to fingers

Buddha’s warrior attendant pounds  the mortar –  start with right hand against chest as you turn hand releases from chest, front hand does not retreat. after ground out completes keep elbow pointing down as you stretch to fingers at end of stretch right elbow in.

Block touching coat – left hand is negative circle , right is positive circle. adjust lower body outward before starting positive circle.

White crane spread it’s wings – As part of stepping back adjust your back so that it is solid before moving the left leg back and raising and stretching the arms from the back outward to the finger tips. Easier said than done the idea of fixing the back against an imagery wall so that it does not move is very difficult. However by working with Kelvin  today I can see what I am working toward.

The instruction is very simple elbow in turn the waist out with hand


I found that I had bent my wrist in Block touching coat and that I repeated this wrist turn in the positive circle. Kelvin helped me understand what I had done, after correction suggested I use a mirror at home to reinforce the elbow rotation without moving my wrist independently. I took this advice and found that It really helped.

So now I bring my elbow in, it rotates more easily by turning the waist and then the straighter arm always the hand to extend better

The instruction is very simple sink kwa rotate elbow and open without using force. I found that I could sink the kwa easily but then turned to force to open the grip.

Kelvin helped me first by holding my arms but then changed the grip to using a single finger against my arm instead of holding the arm. He indicated that I should warp around the finger. This helped, I found that after I sank by stretching my fingers and wrist open it allowed me to get a better movement in my elbow which in turn allowed me to better wrap around the finger.