Sunday, October 18, 2020

Power Conversion


The main principle of Practical Method is:

  • Separation of yin and yang
on which all cencepts and actions are based.

The major concept of Practical Method is:
  • Indirect power
There are two categories of actions:
  1. Lock the two ends, move the middle.
  2. Lock the middle, move the two ends.
In order to have indirect power, actions go through two classes of power conversions:
  1. T class
  2. Y class
These classes can be further broken down into four types:
  1. TR2L - When an action is rotational, the result is linear.
    • In Fig. 1, when rotating on the AC line, energy goes out from A to B and D. The result is tangential to the AC rotation at B (going into the page).
    • The direction of the rotation on the AC line can be reversed, causing the tangential move at B to be reversed (coming out of the page).
    • Category: Lock the two ends, move the middle.
    • Example: Spinning a rattle drum.

  2. TL2R- When an action is linear, the result is rotational.
    • In Fig. 2, when moving B around A while A is not moving, the energy goes from B to A. The result is rotation on the AC line.
    • The direction of how B moves around A can be reversed, causing the direction of the rotation on the AC line to be reversed.
    • Category: Lock the middle, move the two ends..
    • Example: Turning an auger

  3. YH2V - When an action is horizontal, the result is vertical.
    • In Fig. 3, when B and D move towards each other, the energy will go torwards A. The result is the AC line moving downwards.
    • B and D can move away from each other instead, causing the the AC line to move upwards.
    • Category: Lock the middle, move the two ends.
    • Example: Squeezing a tooth paste

  4. YV2H - When an action is vertical, the result is horizontal.
    • In Fig. 4, when AC line moves upwards, the energy will go from A to B and D. The result is B and D will move away from each other.
    • The AC line can move downwards instead, causing B and D to come together from each other.
    • Category: Lock the two ends, move the middle.
    • Example: Open and closing an umbrella
Actions as described in T and Y classes of power conversions can be combined.
  1. Rotating one gear that is attached to another is TR2L + TL2R.
  2. Opening an umbrella while turning it is TR2L + YV2R.
  3. Unscrewing a cork from a wine bottle is TL2R + YV2R.
Looking the T bar from the top is a simple lever between B and D with A being the pivot.

DAB in the Y bar form a triangle as described in:

Friday, October 16, 2020

Requirements for Rotation

Humans are not built to rotate. The following conditions must be fulfilled to allow rotation to happen:
  1. There is a rod to act as an axis.
  2. There is no obstruction that prevents rotation.
  3. There is an external trigger to initiate the rotation.

Thursday, October 15, 2020

Inflection Point

Inflection points in differential geometry are the points of the curve where the curvature changes its sign. In the illustration below, it is when the tangent turns red or when the curve intersects with the X axis in this case.

The 2nd illustration shows how a rotation of circle can be represented as a sine curve. In this case, the tracing of a dot on the circle starts at 3 o'clock and goes counterclockwise. The inflection point is at 9 o'clock, at which the dot starts the 2nd half of the circle, and is on its way back to the starting point.

Simply put, it is the midpoint of an S-curve, which actually represents a taiji circle as described in

Master Chen Zhonghua always emphasizes the need to go over or to the other side. What are we going over? It is the inflection point that we need to go over. The other side lies beyond the inflection point.

Rotation - Changing direction without changing direction

"Rotation is changing direction without changing direction"

What kind of confusing statement is that?

Learning taijiquan is a feat in resolving conflicts.

Let's take at a look at how we can understand the above statement. Figure 1 shows a circle with four tangents (A,B,C and D) at those specific points. A tangent is a straight line that touches the curve at a single point. For any circle, there are an infiinte number of tangents, and each will be perpendicular to the radius (R) of the circle.

Consider that the circle rotates counterclockwise 90 degrees with A moved to A1 position, B to B1 position, and so forth. as depicted in Figure 2. Figure 1 and Figure 2 are actually exactly the same picture. For each of the depicted tangents, there is a 90 degree change in direction. However, overall with the circle itself, there is no change as every tangent still exists in the same way. In other words, every tangent is replaced by another tangent that is exactly the same after any degree of rotation.

Another way of looking at this is that, as rotation happens, if you are sitting on the circumference of the circle, the direction you will be looking at changes all the time, but yet the rotation is continuous in the counterclockwise direction without any interruption nor retreat.


As we extend this concept, we can see other examples in science. For example, there is convervation of energy. Hydroelectricity is setup based on this principle. Water runs down a waterfall. Potential energy is converted to kinetic energy, which drives the turbines with huge magnets wrapped with wires to generate electricity. Through this setup, there is a conversion in energy types, but the total amount of energy remains the same.

Replacing parts in repairs following the same principle. The parts though may be made by different manufacturers must comply with the specification, so that it can be used to produce the same function. So when a new part is put in, the overall function remains the same.

In software development, interfaces are defined so that different implementations can be made in dividual components. These components can be swapped in and out without the callers of the interface noticing any functional change.

In taiji, we are taught to keep contact point(s) fixed. That's the interface that must remain constant, while we move other body parts not involved in the interface to avoid detection by the opponent. This is the concept of "steal 偷“,e.g. as in stealing a step.

If the opponent is touching the 12 o'clock position of the circle, a counterclockwise rotation will bring him/her to the 10 o'clock position. At this time, he/she will be at the edge of a cliff, and gravity can take over to pull him/her down. The rotation allows no sense of change in him/her, but the relative position is now changed.

Master Chen Zhonghua's Online Lesson on Oct. 15, 2020

Chinese Class

Our movements must have a horizontal one and a vertical one intersecting/interacting at the same time.

Three parallel planes

  1. Top plane at the shoulder (including extending the arms)
  2. Middle plane at the waist
  3. Bottom plane at the knees
The integrity of each plane must be maintained. There is a vertical rod that goes through the middle to connect all three planes to fix them in a particular way, but yet they are free to move any other way. Each plane is like a trampoline. This is how we convert opponent's incoming kinetic energy into potential energy stored in the trampoline, and eventually back to kinetic energy aimed at the opponent. You can also lock any of the planes, and move a different one to create a vertical stretch.  With these 3 planes, you can create a lot of variations and configurations.

For the top plane, it can expand by the hand going out, and can contract by the elbow coming in. The top plane can become tilted indirectly because the middle and bottom planes actively change their orientation, and the top plane is tied to them, e.g. your arms are tied to the kuas, it's the kua that goes down, and not the arm directly.

Note that out-with-hand is not about moving the hand, it is using rear-end power to drive the hand out on a line (or in other words, inside a tube).

Rhythm is clear in the yilu when you can do movements one by one.

The movements are clear when you can separate yin and yang, e.g. elbow-in vs hand-out.

Red Fist 红拳 vs Forearm Fist 肱拳 as in Punch covering hand 掩手肱拳: Red fist is called as such because your punch should cause blood to be spilled.

The most important secret is something that even the teacher is unable to do.

Traditionally, a teacher does not tell you the requirements, but only shows you the move. If he tells you the requirement, you can then tell that he can't do them either.

The real gongfu is never wrong in the most basic things.

Cross Hands

  • Lock the hands, push the shoulders and kuas down to bring the elbows to the cross hands position.

English Class

Rub Right Foot

  • Don't move the elbow or hand, just rotate the kua.
  • Forearm only rotates longitudinally
  • Waist turns to the right
  • Knees go down to cause the arm to go down (Think of the 3 planes above).

Kick with left foot

  • Maintain the central vertical rod
  • Both fists need to open from inside to outside.
Fist Protecting Heart

  • Don't involve the central vertical axis
  • Use the lower body up and down and horizontal turn to drive the fist down

When we try to change one particular body part, all other parts must be adjusted/changed to allow that initial change to happen.

Every move must be indirect. (Symtom: No, I didn't do it, it's something else that does it. "Always in denial")

No one remembers the strikes in the form, people only care about the dance now.

Being smooth is a symtom of having no separation of yin and yang.

Think about how to put an Ikea table together:

  1. Open the box
  2. Sort out the pieces
  3. Follow the instructions to put the table together
This is a procedure that we must follow, but others just open the box, throws the pieces out all over the place, and try to put the table together in however they see fit.

There is no table unless we follow the procedure.

When you can switch dimensions, the opponent will think that you are not here.

Master Chen Zhonghua mentioned the following squaring effect for every split:
No Split: 1
Split in 1 dimension: (1)^2 = 2
Split in 2 dimensions: (2)^2 = 4
Split in 3 dimensions: (4)^2 = 16
Split in 4 dimensions: (16)^2 = 256

When Master Chen wanted to add one row of tiles to each side of the taiji square at Daqingshan, the following illustrates the number of additional tiles needed.

Size (Addtitional Tiles)
1x1 = 1^2 = 1    (1)
2x2 = 2^2 = 4    (3)
3x3 = 3^2 = 9    (5)
4x4 = 4^2 = 16  (7)
5x5 = 5^2 = 25  (9)

The following illustrate how the volume changes by adding one unit in each of the three dimensions:
1^3 = 1
2^3 = 8
3^3 = 27
4^3 = 64
5^3 = 125

Wednesday, October 14, 2020

Notes for 拦擦衣的收肘 video 

2020年10月17日星期六上午8:00 (中国时间),何家伟教练带领我们来学习《拦擦衣的收肘》这个视频。





Master Chen Zhonghua's Online Lesson on Oct 14, 2020

Whatever it is that you know, the truth is not like that. Whatever you don't realize, accidentally it is the correct thing.

Step back with whirling arms

Accentuate the stretch to squeeze the front hand out

物极必反 - When something goes to the extreme, it reverses itself.  When yin gets to the extreme, it becomes yang, or vice versa.

Buddha's Warrior Attendant Pounds Mortar

The 3 solids

  1. Move the right hand out and lock it.
  2. Move the left shoulder back and lock it
  3. Move the right elbow down and lock it

Last count:

  1. Turn the waist to the left to cause the right hand to go out.
  2. The inflection point is at the right shoulder.

Single Whip

  1. Use the shoulder to open the elbow in small change palms three times.
  2. After the left heel shovels out, the two kuas need to move in a way that they are opposites to each other, and there is an inflection point between them. If we touch the two hands at the middle fingers, and the two palms face different directions, we need to make them each of them change to face the opposite direction, so at the end they are still opposite to each other.

White Crane

Left elbow needs to go over the shoulder vertically between two walls.

Inflection Point

This is what we need to go over in a 3D manner.

Old Train - Crank Shaft, getting stuck and unstuck. This is what out real moves need to be like.

Dantian Neizhuan 丹田内转  is what allows it to go to the other side.

Getting stuck and just need to add a little bit to go over.

Brian Chung has precise movements and is missing just a little bit (catalyst) to give it life.

To go from 50% on the one side to 50% on the other side, there is less than one to make it go over.