Knowledge : Workshop and Class Notes

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.



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This should be of value to new people, I know it was for me!

The Art of Asking a Question

by Kelvin Ho on 2020/11/16

How Question Mark Shows Not Sure And Asking

Master Chen Zhonghua always talks about the method of learning.  The interaction of us asking and him answering is part of it. You have probably heard him say before, “Don’t ask that question”, but yet at a different time, he would ask students to ask questions. What kind of questions are indeed proper to ask?  The questions that are on topic, something that does not interrupt or distract the learning of the very subject at the time.  The format of an appropriate question itself should be about HOW, e.g. Could you please show me that move again?

This type of questions allows Master Chen to provide the correct information.
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Grandmaster Feng Zhiqiang

Remembering my Shifu Feng Zhiqiang on the 9th anniversary of his passing. Read more

Lock the right elbow-shoulder-kua triangle, but place it horizontally.

Rotate to the right horizontally using the kuas.

First make the line between the right elbow and left foot. The left foot is supported by the floor.

Later make the line between the right elbow and left knee, but we need to keep the knee up (i.e. the left knee cannot point to the floor).

As we rotate to the right, the right elbow and left knee must continue to expan

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Chen Ronghua is a disciple of Chen Zhonghua. He owns a Practical Metthod school in Yangshuo, Guangxi Province.

企业家陈荣华用智慧打造格格树民宿品牌被誉为阳朔最美风景 Gegeshu B&B brand created by Entrepreneur Chen Ronghua is known as the most beautiful scenery in Yangshuo

2021-04-26 10:11

桂林阳朔格格树饭店有限公司董事长陈荣华 Chen Ronghua, Chairman of Guilin Yangshuo Gegeshu Hotel Co., Ltd.

While touring in Yangshuo and enjoying the unparalleled landscape of Guilin, dining and staying in Gegeshu B&B is a must. There is a unique feature in Gegeshu B&B and Guilin landscape, that is the combination of Chinese and Western tourism, with which Mr. Chen Ronghua, the operator and well-known entrepreneur of Gegeshu B&B, has too many stories to tell.

格格树民宿如诗如画夜景 Picturesque night view of Gegeshu B&B

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Kelvin corrected me on #42 to #44

#42 Embrace Head to Push Mountain

Starting position: chest facing N; hand facing W; half-horse stance R foot rear, L foot front.

  1. L hand elbow in, palm up, come around to R side, past R shoulder.
  2. R hand, palm down, at L armpit.
  3. Hinging on R elbow, swing R hand palm down diagonally towards NE.
  4. Adjust stance slightly, by moving heels, so that L foot becomes rear and R foot front.
  5. Foot in Hand out – bring R foot in and push R hand further out by straightening elbow, in scissors-like action.
  6. Negative Circle both hands.
  7. Hands “holding up” head, above shoulders, on either side of the head.
  8. Push both hands down on R side, similar to Six Sealing Four Closing; at the same time take a big step to the R, but unlike Six Sealing Four Closing, L foot stays put.

#43 Change Palm Three Times

  1. Imagine a long narrow tube slanting down between your 2 hands. Stretch out L hand, palm inside tube, palm facing left.
  2. Stretch out R hand inside tube, palm down, while at the same time withdraw L elbow having L hand palm up.
  3. Arms wrap around in straight line front of abdomen, R arm inside, L arm outside.

#44 Oblique Single Whip

  1. R hand comes out from under L elbow, forming bird beak, going all the way to the right, shoulder level, similar to Single Whip.
  2. Shift weight to R foot. Take a small step to bring L foot closer to R foot, then take a big diagonal step to land L foot so that chest faces NE.
  3. Extend L hand all the way to the left, shoulder level, similar to Single Whip.

Position check: chest faces NE; 2 feet on NW line; half-horse stance.

Kelvin corrected me on #37 to #41:

#37 Fist Protecting the Heart

1)Chest facing NW; in with R elbow, out with L hand.

2)Shift weight to R foot and step back L foot diagonally, R and L hands circling back then to R side, palms down; L foot facing NW.

3)Pull R foot closer to L foot.

4)Step up with R foot (big step) to land foot facing SW; adjust L foot so that you are in half horse stance (R foot as front & L foot rear); chest faces SW.

5)Double negative circle. R palm passes ear level to front of forehead, changing to a fist facing out. L hand goes out, palm up.

6)R fist is pulled downward to chest level, fist rotating inward, while L hand forms a fist, pulling towards the body.

Position check at the end of the move: facing SW; R fist in front of chest.

#38 Tornado Kick

1)Pull R foot in; shift weight to R foot and rotate on heel so R foot faces N; R elbow in, palm up, hand pointing towards NE.

2)Stretch R hand towards NE, palm down; after making sure your weight is entirely on your R foot, kick L foot towards R hand.

3)Momentum of kick will land L foot to face S. Swivel R foot on toes to also face S. Both hands down in front.

#39 Turn Right & Kick with Right Heel

1)Chest facing S, both hands down, fist facing body, shift weight to L foot.

2)Lift R foot lightly, R toes touching floor.

3)Holding elbows in, cross arms at chest level, fist facing down, L arm outside.

4)Lift R foot and kick with heel while at same time extend both arms, L arm diagonally upwards and R arm diagonally downwards; fists facing outwards; head and torso upright. Position check: L arm and R foot form a straight diagonal line.

5)Do not land R foot immediately after kicking. Make sure you are stable on L foot before landing R foot.

Position check: standing on two feet, chest facing S, both hands down.

Turning Flowers at the Bottom of the Sea (this move, preceding Fist Covering Hand, is not in the numbered sequence of yilu)

1)Shift weight to L foot; R fist in front of L side of chest; L fist on L side of body.

2)Lift R foot.

3)Swing R fist over head clockwise, and landing next to right thigh, fist facing outward while at the same time turn body clockwise by pivoting L foot on toes; at the same time swing L fist to near L temple.

4)Land R foot to face NW;  adjust L foot so that you are in half horse stance (R foot front, L foot rear); chest facing NW.

5)Drop both hands and come up in double negative circle.

#40 Fist Covering Hand

1)L hand out palm up.

2)R hand forming fist facing up, passing R ear going out in a line extended from the mouth.

3)After passing L palm, R fist turns face down and continues to punch out; L palm becomes a fist after R fist passes it.

4)Withdraw L fist; at the same time finish the R punch with force.

#41 Small Catching & Seizing

Position check: chest facing NW; L foot facing W & R foot facing N

1)Take a big step with R foot so that it is directly in front of L foot (both feet are now on the same line facing W).

2)Step forward with L foot on the same line; hands doing positive negative circle; chest facing N.

Position check: Hands and feet on a line facing W; chest faces N

Kelvin corrected me on #33 to #36 as follow:

#33 Turn Left & Kick with Left Heel

1)Chest facing S, both hands down, fist facing body, shift weight to R foot.

2)Lift L foot lightly, L toes touching floor.

3)Holding elbows in, cross arms at chest level, fist facing down, R arm outside.

4)Lift L foot and kick with heel while at same time extend both arms, R arm diagonally upwards and L arm diagonally downwards; fists facing outwards; head and torso upright. (Position check: R arm and L foot form a straight line.)

5)Do not land L foot immediately after kicking. Make sure you are stable on R foot before landing L foot.

6)Weight still on R foot, both hands chest level, L elbow close to body, L hand palm up facing E (remember to sit the wrist). R hand higher than L hand, R hand palm down also facing E.

#34 Wade Forward & Twist Step on Both Sides

1)Lower L foot, shift weight to L foot and step R foot diagonally towards SE, R hand out.

2)R elbow in; rotate R foot outward on heel and shift weight to R foot.

3)Step L foot diagonally forward so that you are in half horse stance facing SE, R foot is front foot and L foot rear foot.

4)Without moving your lower body, rotate your head and chest to face S; double negative circle, lift both hands up as if holding up a flower.

#35 Punch to the Ground

1)R hand becomes a fist pointing down; L hand stretched, elbow bent 90 degrees at ear level, palm out.

2)Without bending, punch to the ground using power of your kua (I can only make do by opening R knee to the extent of my ability.)

3)Stretch L arm/hand still bent at elbow, stretching against the punch to the ground.

(Position check: facing SE when you are done with this move.)

#36 Turn Around and Double Kick

1)Without lowering L hand, turn L palm to face inward and place R hand in front of abdomen.

2)Shift weight to L foot and rotate on L heel; at the same time, sweep R foot on toes clockwise so that you end up facing NW, your R hand swinging down and pivoting L foot on toes to complete the 180 degrees rotation. (Beginners may find it hard to complete the rotation in one move; practice doing it in segments. Position check before double kick: Facing NW, L arm and hand outstretched and R arm down. L foot is slightly behind R foot.)

3)Shift weight to R foot; kick with L foot.

4)During kick, L arm comes down, and R arm circles backwards and comes back up to the front.

5)Land L foot and kick R foot.

6)Land R foot; R arm stretched out and L hand at the side.


Seven Counts of Beginning Movements

Ready- Left Palm horizontal

  1. Turn to right
  2. Pull left toe in
  3. Shovel out left heel
  4. Shift weight
  5. Right hand out
  6. Pull up right elbow/knee
  7. Put foot and fist down

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What does it mean to be not in the same dimension?
Open zipper, untie shoe lace

Taiji is to find the holes. We must fix the lattice to find the holes. Fixing the lattice is peng.
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We always try different things in the same position. We need to change the position.

Sth has to come out-kua, sth has to disappear-shoulder. It is a pair. When we do moves, kua is always left behind.

Shoulder and hand need to be fixed, to move the elbow. We have too much shoulder and hand movements and the elbow is never engaged. When the elbow cannot come out, the hand and shoulder are squeezing the elbow into a dead corner. The elbow has to push the hand and shoulder apart. We need to realign things. Practical Method way of being smooth is proportional.
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Corrections of Negative Circle: 1st count: Elbow in, must come in over the shoulder, hand pointed outward (throughout entire Negative Circle, hand is always pointed outward.)
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For my yilu correction, after my front foot goes out during Lan Zha Yi (Block Touching Coat), as my foot settles on the ground, my front foot and knee needs to significantly close more.  After this, or during later on in my training, the knees and below doesn’t move and my waist moves forward into position through the action of the kuas making an adjustment, which moves the waist forward without disturbing what is underneath.  This then becomes a scale, lower body as the rod and elbow as the counterbalance.

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Today in class, Master Chen commented that there was new flow, clarity, and sharpness in my form. He said this day was a small milestone for me, and he wanted me to document it. He asked: Did I feel something different? Read more

Kelvin corrected my Upper Cloudy Hands starting from previous pose, Single Whip.

Corrections of my Single Whip pose: arms must extend further on either side, and hands are about shoulder height; elbows facing down; left palm facing down; sit the wrist; tips of thumb and middle finger of right hand touching, so right hand resembles the beak of a bird; sit the wrist. Hands must be tile hands (curved roof tiles on traditional Chinese building), fingers stretched tight outwards. Read more


The Taijiquan Practical Method instructor team in Berlin, Germany, organised an online workshop on 6 December 2020, marking their 10th anniversary. The workshop took place under the lead of the head instructor, Sven Gusowski, in cooperation with the instructors Carlotta Viviani, Kerstin Kummle and Lutz Liese. The workshop focused on basic Taiji Principles and their application in the foundational exercises and the Yilu Form. Read more

Dear All,

we’d like to announce the 2nd Online Workshop in German language, taking place on 28 Feb 2021, 2pm – 5pm GMT +1.
Please spread the word to everyone who might be interested. We will cover basics as well as some details, so it will suit beginners as well as advanced students.
The admission is free 🙂 Thanks a lot, c u soon!

Please sign up here:


Sven & the Berlin Taiji PM Team

My impressions of the Chen Style Taijiquan Practical Method Online Workshop


Germany, 06.12.2020

The Taijiquan Practical Method Group in Berlin, Germany, organised an online workshop on 6 December 2020, marking their 10 years anniversary. The workshop took place under the lead of the head coach, Sven Carl Gusowski, in cooperation with the instructors Carlotta Viviani, Kerstin Kummle and Lutz Liese. The workshop focussed on basic Taiji Principles and their application in the foundational exercises and the Yilu Form. Read more

If you ever wonder how lessons are taught in Practical Method Online Classes, here is an opportunity to experience for free from Feb 22 to 25, 2021.  People at different levels are participating in these classes.


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Hong was used to say his Taiji is like a garden. Everybody is welcome to come, have a look and take what he or she wants to take. If you cut a flower, it might last a week. If you can take the seeds, maybe in some years you’ll have your own garden.

Always teach everything, always present things in the same way. If someone understands, it has nothing to do with you. If somebody does not understand, don’t feel guilty: there’s nothing wrong with you and nothing wrong with him/her.

We practiced an empty handed exercise, standing on one leg:

  1. one foot stretches backward
  2. arms from the armpit stretch forward
  3. body goes down (going down is regarded as not moving)
  • Train only arm-foot coordination first
  • Cave chest in
  • Hand and foot do not link to the torso
  • Make the moves small. The risk of linking the torso either to the foot or hand increases with large moves
  • Once the arm-foot coordination is trained and none of them are linking to the torso, we can add the drop of the body. Add it small
  • Torso has a free fall
  • Dropping of the body: to drop we have to create space. Holding a book between two hands, if you create space between the hands and the book, the book is going to fall
  •  Three independent actions: a three way split. Our problem is we always link into one move
  • Analogy: Master Chen can see John and Kelvin on his computer, but they are independent/unrelated to each other
  • The separation of the directions not linking, not merging into each other is what Master Chen describes as “Moves must be clear”
  • The middle (torso in this case) cannot take sides, it must be independent, like a judge. The judge only applies the principle of the law, he/she does not take sides for neither of the two parts
  • The power of hand and foot is totally dependent on how strong (not moving) the centre is
  • As a training method we can rock shoulders and legs. They must be independent from the body
  • If the middle is not involved, every move is correct
  • When the middle is not involved, the hand becomes very powerful. The problem is we always want to move the middle. You realize you need at least 4 people holding you for this move to be useable
  • There is always one move in the Form which clearly  demonstrates the concept we are talking about. In this case it is the first move of White Crane (right after Turn Left to BWAPM) in the 13s. But we must be able to find it in every move of the Form
  • The move we practiced is the “easy part” and it is already very difficult to apply. The reversed part: don’t move the hands, move the body. This is even more difficult because there is no way to fix the hands while doing Push Hands. The hands are interacting with the opponent. It’s a sensitivity issue: you have to create a split of a second when your hands are not moving and you can move the body
  • Taiji is about balance. Balance in the ancient word means scale. Hong uses the concept of Leaver to achieve balance. When you find the pivot, you’re balanced
  • 100% not possible does not means it does not happen. It is like you buying a lottery ticket. The probability of winning is so low, you cannot even calculate it. So it is impossible for you to win. But it does not mean it doesn’t happen. We must understand this!

Lever 4

by Kelvin Ho on 2021/01/15

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Stretch i

by Kelvin Ho on 2021/01/06

To create a stick, we, we need to stretch.

  • Think of pushing down the middle point, B, of a triangle with the two other points, A and C. locked. The stretch is between A and C, and the stick is formed between A and C.

To rotate, we also need to stretch.

  • Think of a non-moving rod. A rubber band is tied to it, and stretched outward away from the rod. When it can’t stretch any further, a small force tangential to the stretch will cause the stretched rubber band to go around the rod.

In both cases, there are both restrictions and the attempts to break the restriction.

In the first case, A and C are restricted from moving, while B is forced to break the A and C apart along the A-C line.

In the second case, the rod is restricted from moving, while the rubber band is pulled and stretched away from the rod. If the rubber band is ever loose, the little nudge cannot cause the rotation.

In early Autumn 2019 I was training with Lutz and Fabian. I was doing a common drill for the Practical Method, Fabian as partner: He was pushing my arm repeatedly with same power, speed, distance and rhythm. On his move I was training the elbow-in/foot out (on the front side). Read more

– Movements need to be deep enough to make sure every body parts are stretched out. To feel the bottom. Fingers touching the wall and body sinks to find the solid. Read more

Yilu Daqingshan 2013 i

by admin2 on 2020/12/11


SmartSelect_20201211-044226_Video Player

• Whenever you do a move with the arm, it doesn’t effect the torso.
• Then enhance the size of the arm movement.
• Then when you do arm movements, the torso can move up and down. They are still functioning separately.
Movements are separated when:
• If then they’re considered touched.
• If body specifications match, it is called real.
• movements need to be totally independent.

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13 Moves Side View i

by admin2 on 2020/12/09

Cannon Fist Daqingshan i

by admin2 on 2020/12/07

Robot Taiji i

by admin2 on 2020/12/06

We hear those things often. In this article I‘ll give an overview of what that means and also write a little bit of how to implement it into your body.

The concepts are very easy to explain. So here we go: Read more

Head and kua are locked like a triangle.
Separate the top from the bottom.
Kua is the demarcation line. Read more

Prague Open House 17 i

by admin2 on 2020/12/02

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Iowa Workshop 2017 i

by admin2 on 2020/12/02

The Berlin/German branch of Practical Method would like to announce a free online workshop via Zoom, in german language.

For sign up, please go here:

and see this clip to get an idea:

Thanks for sharing to anyone who might be interested, and thanks to Master Chen for inspiration!