Chen Style Tajiquan Practical Method
Grandmaster Hong Junsheng

General Principles
o Peng
Peng has been one of the most talked about topics in Taijiquan. Hong defined Peng as having two meanings: one is the upward expanding action of ward-off and the other the overall combined expanding energy that permeates all moves of Taiji. It is the latter meaning of Peng that is most important to him. “Without Peng, there is no Taiji.” Read more

To Follow i

by webmaster2 on 2013/02/21

One part of the body always likes to follow the direction of movements of other parts of the body. This will cause tossing and collapsing. If you observe people practice Taijiquan, you will notice that this is a very prevalent problem.

When one’s own body parts follow each other, there will be no possibility for rotation in the body.

The cloud-like moves usually are the result of the mistake. It is something to be circumvented, not something to be desired.

Originally published Nov 2007

Habit 1

by webmaster2 on 2013/02/20

Paramount in human behavior is habit. Habit is the hidden addiction that controls every human. The human learning curve is a downward line as we age.

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One of the most important tasks of Hunyuan Qigong practice is to “calm down the mind of the monkey and the intent of the horse.”
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Taiji Sword is one of the most important weapons of the Chen Style Taijiquan system. The use of the sword is the same as the way energy is manipulated in the barehand form. We talk about two aspects in this lesson.

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The outsider see the fanfare. The insider see the secrets.

The fist of xingyi, feet of bagua and waist of taiji.

The punches of xingyi, the footwork of bagua and the yaodang (waist and crotch) of taiji.

Xingyi looks at the hands; bagua looks at the walk; and taiji is the gong of waist and crotch.

5 Levels of comprehension:
Personal experience

This is a saying from GM Hong Junsheng

Many people regard Taijiquan as a slow, gentle and soft art. The original principle, however, points to a different and more reasonable direction.

Guidance of a teacher is meaningless without a common experience between the teacher and the students

Any time you have a large surface of contact you are double heavy – no surface – only use a dot. The exception is when you intentionally create a large surface to counter your opponent’s particular action.

Rationalization 6

by webmaster2 on 2012/12/10

The most pervasive human behavior is rationalization. Rationalization happens after people make a mistake.

Here is an example. On our 2004 trip to China, a Chinese master was explaining a technique to Yaron Seidman. He said that his arm was so rubber-like that it was not possible for Yaron to catch it (usually catch means to render it straight thus losing ability to neutralize). Read more

Inside and Outside i

by webmaster2 on 2012/12/08

Originally written by: Allan Belsheim published Nov 2007

During one of our full time Taijiquan course sessions with Master Chen Zhonghua, we were talking about secrets. As we were all of the opinion that there are no secrets, he went along with us. However, he pointed out, “There is a difference between inside and outside.”

I had always believed that the Hong Junsheng school of Chen Style Taijiquan Practical Method was not for curiosity seekers. All who gravitated to Hong were serious students or masters of Taijiquan.

So much so that a certain master named Zhao was not ready to join Hong’s classes, even after observing training at Daming Lake for three days. Zhao had come to Jinan from the eastern part of the province in search of Hong Junsheng. When he saw the dedication of the students and the level of difficulty of their practice, he decided to look elsewhere. (When I spoke with him, years later, he recalled that even the old people were doing Hong’s taiji in very low stances). Read more

The Dao 9

by webmaster2 on 2012/12/06

It’s easier to know the Dao than to believe in the Dao;
It’s easier to believe in the Dao than to act on the Dao.
It’s easier to act on the Dao than to gain the Dao.
It’s easier to gain the Dao than to keep the Dao. Read more

The Rock 2

by webmaster2 on 2012/12/04

The rock in the north western corner of the Black Tiger Springs Park weighs about 30 pounds. It has special significance to me. It was the special object that told me just how strong Hong Junsheng was. Read more

“You can never do physical activity without physical activity. Taiji skill cannot be attained by reading books or talking about it. Thinking about it is only 5% of the practice.”

Collapse 3

by webmaster2 on 2012/11/30

”Collapse” is when a movement causes the loss of the original structure.

This is a common mistake in the learning of Taijiquan. Read more

Elbow Strike 1 1

by webmaster2 on 2012/11/10

This is a simple application of elbow strike called “Shun Lan zhou” in Yilu Number 62.

Demonstrated by Chen Zhonghua and Daniel Mroz on Feb. 21, 2008 in Edmonton, Alberta. Photos were taken by Allan Belsheim.

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Kua too short 1

by webmaster2 on 2012/11/09

In many cases, when people move, they always render their kua too short in consideration of the opponent’s position. In the following photos, one shows that the kua is too short (the one that has an overall bent body) and one shows the correct kua.





originally published 02/22/2008 Read more

We distinguish between movement, which is used for positioning, and action which facilitates rotation. Movement is horizontal in space, forward or backward, left or right. Rotation involves internal vertical adjustments and repositioning of inner space, actions required for directing power outwards, from a stable structure.

originally published on 2008/03/03

Learning Taiji is to solve a set of contradictions.
Neither over-extended, nor deficient.

Anything that exists is the resolution of a contradiction. Therefore, when you see a contradiction in a matter, you have not resolved the issue. When you have, you will not see the contradiction any more.

In taiji, you must reach a stage when you create movements without moving; you don’t push but your opponent is pushed out; etc. When you still cannot do this, you are still not at the level yet.

originally published on 2008/03/03

A spiral in the taiji sense is not a physical spiral object, or a shape you draw with your body when doing taiji. A spiral requires two actions simultaneously. A rotation on the body while another part of the body stretches it.

“Forget your perfect offering/There are cracks in everything/That’s how the light gets in” -Leonard Cohen

Bounce! i

by webmaster2 on 2008/08/30

One of the characteristics of the Chen Style Taijiquan Practical Method System is the technique to bounce the opponent out. In this short video clip, Master Chen Zhonghua taught Nicholas Fung and Alex Nay to follow a simple procedure to start the bouncing sequence:

  1. Make sure that you make contact with your opponent.
  2. Always back off a bit so that you can feel you have absorbed your opponent’s power.
  3. Anchor you rear foot, or whichever foot is the farthest from your opponent. This is a two way lock. It cannot move sideways, or backwards.
  4. Lock your hand/hands onto your target. It is the same lock as your foot except the foot is locked onto the floor while the hand is locked onto your opponent.
  5. Make sure that you wiggle your hands a little bit so that they aim at your opponent’s center.
  6. Now move your waist. This move will create a tension that bounces your opponent out. This move is very much like the pull on the string of the bow as in using a bow and arrow.

Originally written by: John Brown

… I have been working with the bands, focusing on the instructions you have given me. Read more

What is an Effective Teacher?
by Jan Fisher

You hear a lot these days about the effective teacher. It is the subject of many books and countless journal articles. Television documentaries and radio talk shows bounce the topic around with great frequency.

The Washington Post has headlines on a regular basis proclaiming they have the secret to what makes an effective teacher. So does the Los Angeles Times. And, ASCD sells a set of video tapes entitled, “The Effective Teacher.” With the exception of the latter, none of these who write or talk about effective teachers are teachers. They had teachers, of course, in their own lives and, sometimes, they have children who have teachers. Some even have children who are teachers, but these are few and far between. Most do not have a relationship that close. But, hey, whoever said you had to know anything about a topic to talk about it? And, I had to admit it was a subject of some interest. I wanted to find out the answer—just what is an effective teacher anyway?

I carefully read and listened to all the above sources but an answer to the question was not forthcoming. Everyone had a different idea. Lots of attributes of effective teachers were discussed, but I never heard the same attribute mentioned more than once. There certainly was no agreement on this issue—at least 500 different qualities of effective teachers have been mentioned just in this last year! No one seems to actually know. I decided to approach teachers—real teachers—with the question. Guess what? They don’t know, either. They’d never thought about it, so they said. Well, neither had I, but I decided that maybe it was time. Seems to me, this topic needs to be nailed down. Just what is an effective teacher? What are their characteristics? I started a list. I have 14, so far. See what you think.


  1. The effective teacher is efficacious. She believes she has a direct impact on the students. What she does in terms of teaching has an effect in terms of student learning. The effective teacher definitely makes a difference—and she knows it!


  2. The effective teacher assumes responsibility for the learning and behavior of her students. She does not blame the school, the parents, the principal, or last year’s teacher. The effective teacher knows she has the power to effect change—now!


  3. The effective teacher believes that all students can learn. She teaches, always, with that in mind.


  4. The effective teacher makes decisions based on a sound knowledge/research base. Interventions and initiatives are always selected from research on best practices and they are applied with appropriate modifications based on knowledge of the students she teaches. The effective teacher is the decision-maker, but those decisions are informed by the professional knowledge base.


  5. The effective teacher demonstrates a deep understanding of both content and pedagogy.


  6. The effective teacher designs and implements coherent instruction that meets the needs of all students.


  7. The effective teacher assesses continually and uses the results of that assessment to inform instruction. The effective teacher knows, without a doubt, that data matters.


  8. The effective teacher is committed to the development of self-control and autonomy in her students. Her goal is to become obsolete in the lives of the kids she teaches!


  9. The effective teacher engages all students in learning. She makes learning relevant and meaningful.


  10. The effective teacher is reflective about her teaching and designs a systematic professional growth plan that is implemented on a continuous and ongoing basis.


  11. The effective teacher fulfills all professional responsibilities to students, to parents, to colleagues, to her administrators, to her school, and to her community. She makes significant and regular contributions to her district and to her profession.


  12. The effective teacher realizes she is not an independent contractor, but rather is a member of a learning organization and works always to move that organization ahead. The effective teacher assumes responsibility for the learning of all the students in her school, not just those in her classroom.


  13. The effective teacher is collaborative with all staff members and assumes the responsibility for the learning of every other teacher. An effective teacher knows she cannot be successful unless every teacher is successful.


  14. The effective teacher maintains balance between her professional and personal lives.

My list is not intended to be either exhaustive or conclusive. But, it is a beginning. Will it change? Absolutely. As I learn more about teaching, the list will need to be updated. I see it as a perpetual first draft. But, if I ever expect to be effective at this thing called teaching, I’d better start figuring out what the heck I am supposed to do!

The story of the eagle

Story Recommended by Brad Hindle

The eagle has the longest life-span of its’ species. Read more

Here is a clip that shows how to use the energy on the outside of your body to counter.

How to Arch the Lower Body Video


You should always use what is outside of contacting point, not inside of it.

Slack i

by webmaster2 on 2008/04/16

A common mistake is that after you have taken up the slack and are in and have an action on O, you then let go to attack somewhere else. Once you are on, and your attack is there, don’t retreat or change anything, just continue to apply that action, and then ad another element (most commonly a rotational action) – don’t push him here, and then let go to jerk him there. If your energy is going into O at point A, don’t stop and start putting energy in at point B, instead keep point A going and ad energy at point B. This avoids telegraphing your intention to O. When the first action remains smooth and you ad, your intention is hard to discern and he will be surprised by the addition of the new energy. Once you have two going, ad a third and so on.

Originally written by: Zhang Zhaoping
On the chapter on Taijiquan being agile and connected, Zhang Zhaoping quoted Zheng Manqing as saying that it is like “Swimming on land.” -Zhang Zhaoping. On Taijiquan. p. 25. Grandmaster Feng Zhiqiang said taijiquan is like “Swimming in the air.” -Chen Zhonghua

Originally written by: Zhang Zhaoping “Internal skill” is achieved within slow actions. “Effective result” must be enhanced in slow training. -Zhang Zhaoping. On Taijiquan. p. 23.

“Why do we require that the eyes follow the index finger? I.E. wherever the index finger goes, the eyes go. Simply put, this is the nurturing of the heart. -Zhang Zhaoping, On Taijiquan. p. 20.

“Zhogn Ding, to put it simply, is the placement of the center of gravity. It is also the kungfu of Sinking the Qi to the Dantian. This placement of the center of gravity of the Dantian, is eternally not easy. It is not gain or lost at an instant.”

-Liu Xiheng. On Taijiquan. p. 17.

“Center of gravity is the Zhong Ding of Taijiquan” -Zheng Manqing, On Taijiquan. p. 17.

Yang Chengpu said, “When dealing with an opponent, there are only two possible outcomes: win or lose”. -On Taijiquan p. 15.

“One mother gives birth to nine children. The nine children have nine different hearts”

p. 187, On Taijiquan; Lun Taijiquan, by Zhang Zhaoping and Du Feihu


This quote was used in this book to reinforce the commonly held idea that “the outer appearances or forms can change but not the principles behind them”.

In my opinion based on learning and teaching experience, this is neither right nor wrong. This is irrelevant! This is irrelevant because it is not the job of persons living to talk about the separation of physical appearance and principles behind them. That job is better left to the “immortals” who can live long enough to reach that level. Normal humans (like us) have no part of that idealistic degree of competence.

As to the meaning of the direct quote above, if the nine children do not resemble in appearance neither their father nor their mother, a DNA test is required to find out the REAL reason behind that!