Todd Elihu

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Master Chen Zhonghua accepted Charlie Wishon as a disciple on July 17, 2016.

Master Chen Zhonghua accepted Charlie Wishon as a disciple on July 17, 2016.

On July 17, 2016, Master Chen Zhonghua accepted Charlie Wishon as his 201st disciple at the workshop held in Iowa City. Todd Elihu emceed the ceremony and many other disciples were present including Levi Sowers, John Upshaw, John Dahms, Brennan Toh, Kelvin Ho, Hugo Ramiro, Xavier Santiago, Jeff Clevenger, Bruce Schaub, Erwin Ramthun, and Chris Dusek. At the conclusion of the ceremony, Master Chen briefly spoke about the privileges, responsibilities, and ethics of being one of his disciples.

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  • Chen Zhonghua correcting Todd Elihu at the 2016 Iowa Workshop.

    Chen Zhonghua correcting Todd Elihu at the 2016 Iowa Workshop.

    When the elbow comes in, the finger must aim onto person. Actually, every move must aim onto person.

  • When locked at one or two points, utilize another set of points beyond the initial set of points to go over/break out.
  • Isolation exercise #1: partner holds your arm at the wrist and shoulder. You squeeze the muscles on the body-side of the where he has his hand on your shoulder, then extend the fingers. Each move must be independent from one another. Switch back and forth. Read more
  • Iowa16 - 32Six sealing four closing: Must be like inside a round cylinder. Muscle must rotate around bone. Don’t move. Hand must be like inside tube and body must adjust to be aimed correctly. Hand out, elbow in can only be done if front lat goes down to the rear arch and front kua rotates to curve up to connect to the rear shoulder. Pull elbow back to be in alignment. Step in a little bit with just the lower body to fill space. Don’t push. If one part is off it throws the entire body out of alignment.
  • 18 posts in the body… they cannot collapse into each other. Read more

Suspended Head 6

by Todd Elihu on 2013/05/17

In 2009 on Daqingshan, Master Chen Zhonghua instructed me to keep one point on my body stable and fixed during push hands practice. The location of the point was up to me; I could make it be the lower back, rear foot, etc. However, the most important thing was to maintain the integrity and stability of the chosen point. Read more

I just started training foundations with an interval training timer app on my Android device. It is a great way to allot a fixed amount of time per exercise and allow one to focus entirely on certain aspects of the body method, energy alignment, etc. Read more

A Can of Pepsi 24

by Todd Elihu on 2012/12/02

One afternoon during our full time Taijiquan studies, in the Hunyuantaiji Academy studio in Edmonton, Master Chen Zhonghua spoke of the mysterious, spiritual borderlands between yin and yang called ling.  Read more

Taiji Shoulders 1

by Todd Elihu on 2011/12/31

Anyone who has done some form of Taiji for a while has invariably come to know the importance of sinking the shoulders.  Master Chen Zhonghua takes it a step further, however, by instructing students to “feed the shoulder to the dog!”

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Elbows and hands i

by Todd Elihu on 2011/12/29

The elbow leads back to the body, the hand leads away from the body

“People work very hard for a long time to acheive the wrong things.” -Chen Zhonghua

The Master once said, “Everybody in the world uses momentum-based movement, therefore we do not. Taiji involves ‘contained spiral force’ that generates momentum on something external to oneself.”

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When you fix your eyes on the target, you can truly rotate your body. Otherwise, you are just tossing!

There must be a proportional dispensation of movement, or in other words, one body part should not be outdoing the others.

Driving through the immense rural landscape of China by car during a recent research trip my teacher, Chen Zhonghua, and I sought diversion from the lengthy journey by entertaining each other with stories. As we were traveling from the city of Jinan to Chen village (Chenjiagou) we happened to pass Handan, a little hamlet tucked in amidst the fertile fields of central Shandong province. Read more

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The long transpacific journey over, my wife, Baraka, and I stepped onto Chinese soil, thrilled by the permutations of consciousness that this ancient, yet forward-looking land was already beginning to effect upon us. Our toddling daughter, Akasha, for whom any experience was a delightful curiosity no matter how mundane or extraordinary her parents deemed it, took in her new surroundings with an uncomplicated wonder which we, too, hoped to embrace despite the grown-up demands of intercontinental travel. Read more

I was recently looking through some old notes and came across Master Chen Zhonghua’s  “New Theory on the Eight Methods.” It is also known as the eight techniques. I thought this might be of interest due to the recent discussion of the Eight Methods mentioned in Rion’s notes from the Cannon Fist workshop. Read more

Hunyuantaiji Academy of Athens instructors Todd Elihu and Carl Lindberg have been offering classes in Northeast Georgia since 2003.

Todd Elihu offers private lessons on Chen Style Taijiquan Practical Method fundamentals, forms, push hands and applications. For more information contact him at Read more

China Trip 2008 i

by Todd Elihu on 2008/08/18

This past summer Gord Muir and Master Chen Zhonghua together led an exceptional tour of China. Aside from the rejuvenating and inspirational training at the mountain resort known as Daqingshan, participants toured Beijing, Shanghai, Jinan, Weifang, Qufu, and Suzhou. Read more