Knowledge : Workshop and Class Notes

First step in the first move:
After the right turn, my left hand is on the opponent’s elbow not moving, while my right hand holds the opponent’s wrist. Lock my outside, shrink the distance between my right elbow and right kua. This is to fali 发力.

3-count positive circle:

  1. Imagine a fixed point beyond the right hand on the straight line between the right hand and right elbow. Pull in the elbow along this line.
  2. Imagine a fixed point behind the right kua on the straight line between the right kua and right elbow. Open the kua to stretch and extend the distance along this line.
  3. Imagine a fixed point behind the right elbow on the straight line between the right elbow and the right hand. Stretch the right hand out along this line.

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One of the actions of taiji is to scoop/carve. It is like when you use a spoon to pick up soft/jello-like yogurt. You can put the spoon on the surface and rotate under it to pick up what the spoon can hold. By tossing it in the yogurt will on disturb and destroy the yogurt.

A static version of this is a half-pipe/concave circle. When an object hits it, the object will travel on it and return.

In this video clip, Master Chen Zhonghua shows how to lock the rear kua as the stable support while moving the front kua. This will create a trajectory that will return the opponent’s oncoming force.

Chinese version/中文版:


Elbow In-Chen Zhonghua Online 20210915. This is a clip from Chen Zhonghua’s Sept. 15, 2021 online lesson. Read more


GM Hong Junsheng clearly stated that the body height is adjusted by the knee moving up and down. However, this has been very difficult to understand, to do and to use in applications.

In this short video clip, Master Chen Zhonghua shows how it is achieved.

Chinese version/中文版:

To purchase the full video:

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Fixed two dots are static power. Add one more dot between the two is dynamic power.  As long as you can stretch this third dot against the fixed two dots, you have power, e.g.

  1. Lock the head and knee, push the kua out.
  2. Lock the back of the head and the front shoulder, push the bottom of the neck close to the front shoulder out.
The wrist should be stretch on the same line. The ankle should be stretched at the right angle.

Master Chen explained the difference in the following: 开步、合步、跟步、开脚。

Size of the two gears determines the direction of the resulting power.

Dao – Everything exists as it is.  There is no right or wrong.  The sequence matters. An individual piece is fine as it is.  If you disrupt the flow (the sequence), it becomes problematic.

Elbow (in), Kua (rotate), Hand,(out).  It is wrong when the sequence is messed up.

3 hats:

  1. Head to shoulder
  2. Chest to kua
  3. Kua to foot

松沉 – Vertical plum line, the line has no power itself. The line is a relationship. Taiji needs the relationship to be virtual.

Between the sun and earth, there is gravity, which is the relationship. It is real, but you can’t touch it.

You have learning something once you can paraphrase it.

If you can see it, you have learned it.

If you can really see it, what you see does not change.

To be a student, always collect data/information. Over time, patterns will be formed from such information.

Figure 8 positive circle – A big positive circle in the front, and a small negative circle at the back

Figure 8 negative circle – A small positive circle in the front, and a big negative circle at the back

Use the kua to draw the circle.

Just back from the 5th Chen Taiji Practical Method Meetup, Poland 2021, tired but happy.
As usual a great weekend in a great friendly atmosphere.This year we had the pleasure of having a collective zoom course with sifu, it was very great .

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Teaching Scene 7-Front and Back Separation-16th DQS Practical Method Seminar Trailer.

What this video clip and discuss what you see in terms of Practical Method techniques, movements and principles.

Today I heard one person repeating for three times: “When we focus on something, that something keeps expanding”.

I smiled remembering the exercise we were practising on Thursday: Make the front shoulder disappear. How do we do that? By focusing our intention on something else, exaggerating the motion of the rear shoulder (it should touch the ear).
Taking for example fetch water, by stretching the two ends – rear shoulder and front hand – , the middle – front shoulder- disappears.
When the intention is on something else, the front shoulder is relaxed.

The very same person suggested an exercise for the evening, that we thank for everything. Also for the difficulties because they let us improve. I remember what Master Chen said a couple of months ago: “Things we cannot do are the things that let us improve.” What a gift that there are so many things in Practical Method we cannot do!

Since I was not able to do the exercise on Thursday and be corrected, I put myself in front of the mirror and did the exercise trying to copy what I observed from Master Chen and some of you. If the only instructions we should follow are them that don’t make any sense to us, this is definitely the case. I’ve come to enjoy a lot the happiness of ‘being stupid’. I hope I learn to trust it more and judge myself less.

Thanks for the exercise! Buon lavoro to everybody:)

All joints between the two ends must be open.  Only the hand against the opponent, and the foot against the floor compress.

At the beginning, when opening one joint, it forces a compression to the next joint. We must continue to open each of them until it reaches the end.

When doing fajin, only go to 80% extension.

The kua goes up to the inside towards the elbow.

Elbow, shoulder, kua are 1/3, 1/3, 1/3.

First half of the circle, push into the front foot, but the foot does not move.

Compass: one needle does not move at all, the 2nd needle is pinned to the paper but to the table. When moving the compass, the 2nd needle will move around the first needle dragging the paper.  The 2nd needle moves on a track (specifically around the first needle).

Those are the 3 kinds of not moving:

  1. 1st needle – absolutely not moving
  2. 2nd needle – restrictively not moving (moving on a track)
  3. 2nd needle and the paper – structurely not moving (between them they didn’t move)

First move of yilu: Vertical rotation inside a cylinder

This Thursday in the Zoom class, Master Chen talked about two Taoist ideas 玄关 xuan guan and 设窍 she qiao.  We translated xuan guan as mysterious location, where 关 historically meant a fortress, like a strategic control point; and she qiao as an empty spot/hole/orifice.

These seem like pretty abstract ideas, so I wanted to relate these two ideas to a physical example: a torus.  The hole in the middle of the torus is the she qiao.  The axis of revolution (i.e. the center of the ring) is the xuan guan.


If you cut a cross section of it down the middle, in 2D it is indistinguishable from the cross section of two cylinders (or two of any complementary, intermeshed rotations).  This might call to mind some other examples that Master Chen often uses, such as two water bottles or two meshed gears.

You might also notice this phenomenon in other places, such as in magnetic fields, turbulent water, hurricanes, and more!

The North American Practical Method Training Camp was back on!  Most people had limitedly physical contact practicing Taiji with another person for over a year due to the pandemic.  In organizing this we made some adaptations and innovations as a means of overcoming the current challenges that were presented to us by the global crisis.  It was phenomenal learning experience! Read more

Observation notes from part of the Iowa camp.

Theory and forms. 1.Yin yang sepatation; 2.The in and out. In with elbow(dantian), out with hand. To come in, has to be led by the inside; to go out, has to be led by the outside. Five points and dantian. 3.The middle (dantian/central axis) rotates.
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Three ways of talking about our actions:

  1. Separation of Yin and Yang
  2. In and Out
  3. Lead

Other analogies:

  1. Thread, fabric, needle
    1. Needle is outside leading.
    2. Fabric is the barrier.
    3. Thread is inside being pulled.
  2. Leading thing must be hard, what is being led is soft.
  3. Head must be hard, arm must be soft.
  4. Bone is hard, skin/muscle is soft.
  5. Top of the head must be hard, whatever below must be soft.
  6. This is the training for reversal of yin and yang.
  7. Soft means always going around.
  8. Stiff is strong.
3 focuses on training yilu:
  1. Heavy cloak on the shoulder to focus on stretching the head up.
  2. Tie rubber band at the elbow to keep them from going out.
  3. Put a spring-loaded rod between the two knees to keep from collapsing.
Any thing free is a catalyst.
Your existing things are 2-dimensional.  Our taiji trains us to be 3-dimensional.
Hand is 3-dimensional while the torso is 2-dimensional.

Going down – It needs to be led by the bottom.

Going left – It needs to be led by the left side

Going right – It needs to be led by the right side.

Going up – It needs to be led by the top.
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Human is the relationship.

Chinese emphasizes on relationship.

Taiji is being the catalyst, and create a relationship between two things.
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Turning Flower from the Bottom of the Sea

  • Start by standing on one foot, and practice rotation.
  • The right elbow goes sideways while the left arm comes up.
  • The right fist continues to go horizontal, the left fist goes up vertically.
  • One side horizontal, one size vertical. The middle is in the middle of the chest.
  • The fists don’t move, they are stretched from the middle of the chest.

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Impressions of Grandmaster Hong Junsheng
by Soga Tadahiro 曾我忠弘     Translated by Yasuko Inoue  

The first time I met Master Hong was in the summer of 1983 in the courtyard of a mansion (Jinan Hotel) in Jinan.  He was 75 or 76 years old at that time.  (**Notes in brackets are by Chen Zhonghua.)

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Studying Chen Style Taijquan Practical Method as an anthropologist

As a trained and graduated anthropologist I am looking at the world through a different lens. Not a big deal, I do not overrate my academic knowledge to be of any benefit in general to the world. Though drawing upon my education many credits should go out to the Practical Method and not the least to its cultural Gatekeeper Master Chen Zhonghua (19th Generation International Standard Bearer), as a immensely sophisticated system of knowledge.  My academic bachelor education prepared me for a learning research project to build my Masters` thesis upon. I would gather information methodologically, learn apply analytical tools, master theoretical reasoning based on facts in logical terms, excluding speculation and organising arguments thereof in historical and contemporary anthropological debates relevant to specific, relevant subjects. Read more

This is a new free community event to be hosted on the three selected Saturdays of July, August and September in 2021. It introduces tai chi as a morning exercise to start the day off. It also celebrates the re-opening of our cities in Ontario.
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Kua physically can only go up and down.

Knee physically can only go sideways.

We need to produce the splitting energys all the time.

Turning Flower From the Sea Bottom

  • We need to di a sudden stop in the middle to produce penetrating energy, and then let the motion continue on the same trajectory, as in 心口碎大石。

Six Sealing Four Closing

  • Lock the middle of the chest, elbow-in with power, and let the shoulder stretch and rotate a lot to go to the other side to throw it back out.
  • The same needs to be maintained during moving-step.

Do yilu with fajin for a month, so I am ready to do really do cannon fist.

0 – Wuji 无极

1 – Something comes out of Wuji

2 – Taiji 太极
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Two scales (levers) in the body

Master Chen indicated if we truly understand how to make a lever in the body, then having two of them simply means creating two levers using two different set of body parts.

The 2nd levers must be created separately from the first one. However, they must be related somehow or can be said to share a common point.

Each lever is a gear. Engaging two gears together creates a common point at their teeth, and that is how they relate to each other.
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Presenter: Kelvin Ho  Length: 73 mins  Difficulty: 3/5  Language: English  
Year: 2021  Location: Toronto, Canada  

"Kelvin Ho Yilu Correction Class 20210623" Online Video Purchase
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Ball Joint as Gear i

by Kelvin Ho on 2021/06/24

This demonstration uses two other parts to drive one part, and these parts are interacting gear-like. This is how we are learning to move our body in Practical Method.

Presenter: Kelvin Ho  Length: 67 mins  Difficulty: 3/5  Language: English  
Year: 2021  Location: Toronto, Canada  

5. The hammer of lifting and blocking
6. White ape presents fruit

"Kelvin Ho Cannon Fist Class 20210621" Online Video Purchase
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Regardless of the current difficulties this year, we will be organizing the 5th European Chen Style Taijiquan Practical Method Meet-Up. It continues this year close to Żywiec, Poland on August 28th through 29th. This years host is Damian Jagosz, who is a very dedicated student of our style Read more

“Three” represents a loop, means to repeat things endlessly.

There is really only two main things in Chinese martical arts: horizontal and vertical.

We need to determine horizontal and vertical, one of them is more dominant.

However, you need both of them to be present to say that there is either horizontal or vertical. We need to both to make the distinction.
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A hex key, also known as an Allen key or Allen wrench, has many qualities of Tai Ji.
1. Rigid microstructure
2. Rigid macrostructure
3. Multiple contact points of engagement

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Back to the Mar 30, 2021 exercise, there is one part that goes out, and one part that goes up. Eventually, there is a force that goes out and around.

3 types of moves in Taiji: horizontal (rope), vertical (stick), rotational (rock).

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We use the kua to initate and drive our moves. When that is done, we will see other body parts move, and not the driver itself. Read more

Thursday 8:00 pm to 9:pm ET
Fee: $20 USD/class (pay by month) through PayPal (

If you would like to signup, please contact Kelvin Ho at

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I went to the park to train. It’s the end of the school year so schools have picnics. 5 girls approached me and wanted to learn…so I taught them the first posture. Two school officials approached me and inquired…I gave them my background. It’s a private school and the asked me to teach Taiji next school year. I continued to practice…between yilus a group of 15 kids approached me and wanted to learn….public training is good recruitment of students…

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The purpose of having a training is to make practice intentional.  It is important to note that I train one thing at a time.  These goals are not exclusive; however, it is my main focus. Read more


Yesterday I was pushing hands with a student of mine, Randi.  I was focused on maintaining my core and having everything rotate around that.  I am training a recent breakthrough.  Read more

别 Twist

  • 杠杆的动作。
  • 扭。
  • 搓。
  • 外头两点动作相对,中间一点不动。

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Levels of the Form

Level 1

  1. Rigid
  2. A bunch of sticks
  3. Machine-like movement
  4. With structure

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Ground Dragon

How to pull up the right leg?

  • Lock the left kua, and rotate the right kua around and underneath the left kua.


Need to break a seal, e.g. how to open a stuck jar lid.

  1. Lock the two hands, use the front elbow to break the line between the two hands.
  2. Lock the two hands, use the front kua to break the line between the two hands.
  3. Break using an action on the outside going in.
  4. Break using an action on the inside going out.

We need to twist ourselves in the setup, we unwind ourselves in the action.

Imagine that you separate our body into top half and bottom half. At the beginning, they are not twisted such that the front of the top lines up with the front of the bottom. You use your top to match the opponent. You change the bottom to face the other way (180 degrees opposite) while the top continues the same. Now that the top half and bottom half are twisted. There is potential energy built up, as you unwind, power is released, and there will be rotational power.