Richard Johnson is now teaching in the Decatur-Huntsville area in Alabama. For more information, you may reach him at
Decatur-Huntsville, AL – Chen Taijiquan Academy – Classes and private instruction by appointment only
Chen Taiji Practical Method and Hunyuan Taiji firstname.lastname@example.org
Shifu Chen Zhonghua often emphasizes how to learn Taijiquan. This web site has a great article called 6 Methods of Learning Tai Chi. (Read this if you have not already.) It expands and elaborates on Grandmaster Hong’s “Look, Listen, and Ask” practice method.
In motor control research, I found the neurological basis for this method of learning. There are neurological mechanisms called mirror neurons. The basic premise is when we see a person do something, mirror neurons fire off in our brain attempting to duplicate the pattern in our nervous system required to copy the movement. At first, it is an imperfect copy because it follows old neurological pathways. With repeated viewing of the action, our brains and nervous system do a really good job of creating new neurological pathways to accurately copy the movement. Read more
Fill it in, then add one.
Old analogies – Taiji is like a rolling log (in water).
Back silk knot Silk reeling Read more
by Richard Johnson on 2011/02/06
by Richard Johnson on 2011/02/06
Sunday PM Session
Zhuo – adherence
Never on, never off Read more
Saturday PM session
Practiced first 13 movements of the Yilu
Use pole to practice getting on the line. Practice with pole against arch of far (rear) foot slanted diagonally and against wall horizontally.
(Most of this session was spent in hands-on practice, so not many notes.)
by Richard Johnson on 2011/02/05
Start with 3 or more contact points and add points. Drop strainght down. (Brush Knee)
Contact points, Far points. Read more
by Richard Johnson on 2011/02/04
Friday PM session – Form instruction
Repetitions must be done to make the form go into the body. This can be done with 10 yilus/day for 3+ years, 25/day for 1 year or 60/day in 3 months. Read more
by Richard Johnson on 2011/02/03
Shifu Chen asked me to post my notes, unedited, to our web site. This is not because I am such a great note taker, but it is part of transmitting the knowledge of Taijiquan. Read more
Chen Style Taijiquan Practical Method is now taught in Northwest Arkansas by Aaron Bartholomew. If you are in the area and would like to study Chen Style Taijiquan Practical Method, please contact him to set up times and locations.
Contact: Aaron Bartholomew
Richard Johnson is now teaching in the Decatur-Huntsville area in Alabama. See the Alabama Chen Taijiquan Academy on this web site. For more information, you may reach him at
This is a review of the 2008 Workshop with Chen Zhonghua from the viewpoint of the host. Read more
Taijiquan as self defense can be ruthless and lethal. The fighting method of Taijiquan is called Zhan Shou (Cut Hand). Read more
“Don’t Move Your Hands!”
Contrary to what most believe, the hand in most cases move too much. Everybody wants to learn how to move the hand. In fact, they should learn how NOT to move it! Read more
Chen (2) Jian (1) Zhui (4) Zhou (2) 沉肩坠肘
Sink the shoulder and pull down the elbow.
The shoulder can only sink downwards towards the direction of the kua. It cannot move sideways. It cannot move upwards either.
The elbow must point downwards towards the direction of the Dantian. It cannot raise upwards.
The eight techniques of Taiji:, lu, ji, an, cai, lie, zhou and kao.
1. Peng: overall expanding energy.
2. Lu: energy that catches the opponent and make it come towards you.
3. Ji: energy that gets in close to the opponent but will not act on him.
4. An: energy that pushes but mainly separates from opponent.
5. Cai: energy that severs opponent by a pull or a jerk.
6. Lie (Lieh): energy that severs opponent by a even break (power on both ends or hands).
7. Zhou: energy that twists the opponent.
8. Kao: energy that is whole body action.
“Taijiquan is the method of Chanfa…”
If this is not understood, there will be no undersanding of Taijiquan.”
—Chen Xin, 16 generation Chen Taiji Grandmaster
Chanfa literally means twining method.
The five positions of Taijiquan are: Advance, Retreat, Look, Gaze and Central Equilibrium.
Advance: move forward.
Retreat: step backwards.
Look: size up the opponent.
Gaze: examine the oppnent.
Central Equilibrium: keep the balance and not fall down.