Saturday, November 20, 2010

Friday, November 12, 2010

Taiji Chan Gun

I made my taiji chan gun tonight.

For more information on how to use this device, see:
http://practicalmethod.com/lang/en/2010/11/taiji-chan-gun-online-video-trailer/

Friday, October 8, 2010

The 21st Canadian Kung Fu Championship 2010



Date: October 16, 2010
Time: 9:00am - 5:00pm
Location: Markville Secondary School
1000 Carlton Road, Markham

Please download the full competition package.
Good news to Wing Chun practitioners Wing Chun Sticky Hand is added this year!
Check out the Chi Shou Rules and Chi Shou Gloves: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6
This year there is also JiaoLi (Push Hand). Here're the rules in English and Chinese.
Registration forms:


Thursday, September 30, 2010

Taiji and Basketball

I have been playing basketball once a week for about 3 years. Recently, I notice that my basketball skills have improved. I shoot the ball more accurately, I can play defense more efficiently, and at the end of the game, I am not as exhausted as before. When I bump into people, I simply feel myself less fragile.

During the game, I will have thoughts like this: If someone runs right into me while I am standing still, that person will fall down without me moving my legs, and that person won't know what happen. Have I pushed him or has he just fallen? I know it's a bit of a dream.

For defense, the opponent will go around the key along the path of an arc to look for an opportunity to go to the hoop or pass the ball to someone closer to the hoop. Since I am on the inside, my arc is actually a lot smaller to block the opponent's line of sight to the hoop, and I need to move a lot less than the opponent. I used to just chase the opponent around like a monkey, and it wasn't very efficient, and wouldn't have these thoughts related to circles.

I attribute this to practicing taiji regularly. I am physically stronger, I am calmer and have a clearer mind in general.

Toronto Practice Schedule (Oct 2010 - Jun 2011)

The Chen Style Taijiquan Practical Method - Toronto practice group meets once a week. The fall/winter schedule is as follows:

Location:
Rough Woods Community Centre - Room Aspen A
110 Shirley Drive
Richmond Hill, ON L4S 1Y9

Date: Every Wednesday from Oct 6, 2010 to Jun 30, 2011
except the following
Dec 1, 2010 (No class)
Dec 22, 2010 (No class)
Dec 29, 2010 (No class)
Mar 16, 2011 (No class)
Jun 22, 2011 (moved to Thursday, Jun 23, 2011)
Jun 29, 2011 (moved to Thursday, Jun 30, 2011)

Time: 8:00 pm - 10:00 pm

For more information, please contact:
Kelvin Ho
kelvin.ho@kawai.ca
416-903-3751

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Kelvin's Yilu on September 26, 2010

Toronto Taiji Workshop Sep 2010 (Day 4)

  • Find fullness after contact, and then a slight intent can cause the other person to move. 
  • Stop the flow of energy, and then the energy is gone. 
  • If you are full, there is nowhere the opponent can stop the energy. 
  • A ball is full. 
  • Exercise: Elbow in, bring dantian to the rear foot or rear foot to dantian.
  • Stretch, don't move.
  • Exercise: 3 rubber cord exercises
  • Concept: Adhere, stick, link, follow
  • 3 halves of the circles
Our Italian friends

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Toronto Taiji Workshop Sep 2010 (Day 3)


  • Exercise: Touch. Don't let component detect any change, move in without pushing.
  • Exercise: Same move several time, the last time more rotation.
  • Process of learning taiji: Physical Stage - Strong (low grade), stiff, stiff but no muscle, solid, smooth, full, effortless (high grade)
  • Before you reach the real taiji state, there is always a technique to defeat each state in the physical stage.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Toronto Taiji Workshop Sep 2010 (Day 2)

  • Start the action with a split: push foot horizontally and hand goes diagonally, so we have 2 vectors.
  • Force always goes straight. Body action can turn. Our job is to separate body and force. 
  • Hollow the side, while maintaining the outside (structure).
  • Exercise: touch blocking coat - elbow goes back, knee goes forward; hand continues to point forward, the waist turns backward, at the very end, hammer it. Knees need to be complete straight, so that if someone kicks on your knee, your kua turns, and you fall to the floor, but nothing breaks.
    1. Extend the leg
    2. The energy goes to the heel of the extended leg, so you are already there.
    3. Land your toe without your entire body come up.
  • Taoist theory: It's not the same, but it's not different. Experiment done at time A is not the same as the same experiment done at point B. Unfortunately, I already forget how this theory is relevant to Taiji.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Toronto Taiji Workshop Sep 2010 (Day 1)



  • Anchor the hands, pull from the front foot, mid section, shoulder, and elbow. On the way out, hand leads the elbow, shoulder, front kua, rear kua, rear knee, and rear foot. Extend the hand fully to the maximum, and then somehow the energy will reverse itself.
  • Everything comes from the foot.
  • Find the fixed spot on the opponent or point in space, then rotate around it.
  • Peg the rope 9 times, each section needs to be tight (with tension).
  • 2 S makes a figure 8, we perform 1 S, the other S is just the energy.
  • Cross hands: hands out and hit the limits (like walls), bring the shoulder to the kua by sinking the shoulders, the kua rotates down (another side of the kua actually rotates up at the same time).
  • Concept - Steal the beam, change the pillar: If you have 8 legs under a table top, you can remove two legs from one side, plant them at a different location, move the table top over to go on top of the two legs at the new location. When we move the table top, we are again pegging. Note that there is no concept of shifting in Practical Method.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Practice with Jay Smith

I got a chance to practice with Jay Smith, Master Chen's disciple at Maple Ridge. He came to Toronto for a conference at the Hilton Toronto Airport Hotel. We did a few Yilus, and we pushed hands. He gave me some good pointers on various Yilu moves. It was fun pushing hands with him.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Master Chen's Yilu in 2004



I have seen a number of Master Chen's Yilu performances. I like this one the best. It seemed to me that he gave this one 110%. This is the legendary performance on the slippery carpet.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Getting someone to fall with the Positive Circle

Last Saturday during practice, I tried one of the first drills I learned from Master Chen with an opponent. Every now and then, we would go back to these drills. This was the first time I was able to perform the drill with relative ease and no force to get the opponent to fall. The drill was like this: I had my right arm across the opponent's chest, with my right thigh behind the opponent's left thigh, while my right shoulder was touching his body slightly below his left shoulder. When I performed the top half of the positive circle, the opponent would seem like he was squeezed out or scissored between the upper and lower bodies, and hence, fell.

A few points I noticed:
- I was standing really close to the opponent, with the sides of our trunks touching.
- I was just performing the positive circle, and not really trying to push the opponent.
- I dropped the shoulder while performing the circle.
- A stationary axis seemed to be formed between the right shoulder and the right hip.

On the Wednesday practice, I tried it with another friend, who was taller and bigger than me, and I was able to do the same thing on him.

When it worked, it would seem to be really easy. These drills were really good tests for checking if one was able to perform the particular technique properly. I wouldn't be 100% sure that I did it yet until Master Chen would confirm it in September.

So far, I was only able to do it with my right hand. I couldn't do it with the same ease on the left side. I had to admit I did many more circles with the right hand till this time. It would be time to train my left hand more.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Finished the entire Yilu for the first time

Today during the Wednesday practice, I performed the entire Yilu for the first time. Although the last ten moves were a bit choppy at this point, it felt good to reach the goal of knowing the basic choreography of Yilu by September 2010. I would shoot a video of it later after I remembered the moves better. This was exciting.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Toronto Practice Schedule

The Chen Style Taijiquan Practical Method Toronto practice group meets once a week. The summer schedule is as follows:

Location:
Rough Wood Community Centre
110 Shirley Drive
Richmond Hill, ON L4S 1Y9
http://www.town.richmond-hill.on.ca/subpage.asp?pageid=parks_rouge_woods_community_centre

Date:
Wednesday, July 7, 2010
Wednesday, July 14, 2010
Wednesday, July 21, 2010
Wednesday, July 28, 2010
Wednesday, Aug 4, 2010
Wednesday, Aug 11, 2010
Wednesday, Aug 18, 2010
Wednesday, Aug 25, 2010
Wednesday, Sept 1, 2010
Wednesday, Sept 8, 2010
Wednesday, Sept 15, 2010

Time:
8:30 pm - 10:30 pm

The current focus is on practicing Yilu as many times as it will fit in 2 hours. We encourage each other to do more. Anyone interested in joining us is welcome.

For more information, please contact:
Ki Nam Choi
kinam.of.kchoi@gmail.com
416-860-1431

Cora Li
cora.li.cora@gmail.com
416-687-4237

Thursday, July 29, 2010

No push, only stretch

http://practicalmethod.com/lang/en/2010/07/cannon-fist-workshop-day-3-notes/#more-5260

This is a very good set of notes on Practical Method. One thing that sticks out for me from it is:
No push, only stretch.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Master Chen's Disciples/Students' Yilu

Master Chen


Todd Elihu


Pavel Codl


Nicholas Fung


Nick Mann


Charlie Gordon, Steve Chan and others:
http://practicalmethod.com/lang/en/2010/07/students-starting-yilu-form/#more-4781

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Toronto Chen Style Taijiquan Practical Method Workshop in September 2010

The next Chen Style Taijiquan Practical Method Workshop will start soon.

Instructor: Master Chen Zhonghua - http://www.practicalmethod.com
Date: September 23-26, 2010
Time: 9 am - 5 pm
Location:
Bayview Hill Community Centre (Sep 23-24)
114 Spadina Road, Richmond Hill, ON L4B 2Y9
(Bayview/16th Avenue)

Langstaff Community Centre (Sep 25-26)
155 Red Maple Road, Richmond Hill, ON L4B 4P9
(Yonge/Highway 7)

Fee:
$320 for the whole Sept workshop, $160 for weekend 2 days
Discounted price of $300 for prepaying the whole Sept 4 days workshop on/before Aug 22, 2010.
Private class with Master Chen is available for $100/hr.

Taiji theory, foundations, and continuation of Yilu (First Routine) will be covered.
In this workshop, we will have some Italian participants flying all the way from Italy, and we are looking for participants who can interpret Italian and English. If you can help as an interpreter, please let Ki Nam or Cora know as well.

If you are interested, please contact:
Ki Nam Choi
kinam.of.kchoi@gmail.com
416-860-1431

Cora Li
cora.li.cora@gmail.com
416-687-4237

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Points to remember in practice

A few points I always try to keep in mind:
- Hand out, elbow in.
- Don’t move the hand.
- Don’t displace/bend/extend the knee, but the energy rotates around the knee.
- The spine is like an axis, which can’t move/toss. The trunk rotates on it. It should be (always?) perpendicular to the floor.
- Head hung from a string.
- All movements start from the foot.
- Body joints are like gears linked together – if your hand seems to move from one location to another, it is pushed or pulled by another part of the body, I think it’s the foot.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Yilu Corrections

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EdRb8y3t2PA

A good video on Master Chen correcting other students' Yilu early moves.

6 Sealings and 4 Closings

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OjntdRJSHdM&NR=1

What is Taiji?

Taiji is a form of Chinese martial art, and is not just a form of exercise like aerobics. It is, however, very different from many other types of martial arts, such as Karate, Taikwando, Judo, Shaolin Kung-fu, Boxing. It's power is not generated from muscle strength, but rather it's based on internal joint alignment, rotation to create various speed, length, width, angle, leverage against the opponent. It is generally perceived to be slow, but in reality, that is just one way that it is practiced, so that one can focus on training the precise body alignment. In application, it is most definitely fast.
The widely known health benefits of Taiji are really just by-products, while the main purpose of Taiji is for combat. Any exercise that one performs every day will bring health benefits like better blood circulation and faster metabolism.
Taiji training is not about breaking wood boards or bricks, it is about efficiently beating the opponent, and defending oneself.
If you are interested in finding out more about Taiji, go to http://practicalmethod.com.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Taijiquan and Bajiquan

When I practice Yilu at the office gym studio, every now and then, I will run into another colleague practicing bajiquan at the same time. I didn't know what bajiquan was, and coincidentally Master Chen posted a video from a bajiquan master not so long ago. It has always been interesting to me having two guys practicing different martial arts in the same room side by side. Today, even more interesting, he actually had an appointment with the taiji instructor, who teaches hunyuan taiji at the office. He is also the teacher, from whom I first learned taiji. Next time, when I run into him, I am sure I'll have a very interesting conversation.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Introducing a colleague to Taiji

Today, I introduced a colleague, Dominic So, to Taiji at the gym studio at the office. We did positive circle, negative circle, and the first move of Yilu. He was interested, and we would continue next Monday. Hopefully, we would turn this into a more regular practice routine.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Monday, May 24, 2010

How is Chen Style Taijiquan Practical Method different from other taiji styles?

http://workshop.chenzhonghua.org/2010/03/during-form-training-silk-reeling-or-standing-meditation-i-am-really-relaxed-and-try-to-go-deep-into-myself-enjoying-the-feelings/

The above post points out 4 very important characteristics of Chen Style Taijiquan Practical Method.

The Concept of 45 Degrees

Master Chen mentioned in the last workshop about the concept of 45 degrees. He was referring if there was an incoming energy directing at you at 45 degrees, one way to react would be to push at 45 degrees w.r.t to your body. Doing a rotation would be the same thing.

Here is my understanding after thinking about it:
The outgoing energy will be perpendicular to the incoming force. For the rotation part, a tangent of a circle is always perpendicular to the centre, so it is the same thing.

Earlier today, I was doing some gardening at my backyard. I had to create a flower bed, so I needed to remove some existing grass. I was using this half-circular flat shovel usually used to create a nice edge. At first I was using it perpendicular to the ground, trying to cut through the grass and its roots by hammering it or stepping onto it. It didn't really work. The shovel wasn't sharp, and a fair amount of the force going down to the ground was bounced straight up back to my hand. By accident, one of the hits landed at 45 degrees to the ground, and on impact, the shovel slided across horizontally, and it worked much better like a knife this way, and my hand didn't feel any rebounding force. I believed that this could be explained in physics, however, the more important point was that Master Chen demonstrated something quite similar before.

You push on something in one direction, and since the hand couldn't get advancement, it went to a different place.

I found this taiji thought during gardening interesting.

Third Taiji workshop with Master Chen


I just had my third taiji workshop with Master Chen in the last weekend (May 22-23, 2010). I had an extreme great time in this workshop. I was really glad to have him confirmed my little improvement thus far, in particular: my yilu form is starting to take shape, and I am not moving my hand (or at least as much as before).I would need to continue to work hard, so that I don't regress, and hopefully continue to improve.

In this workshop, I felt something different. It wasn't like Master Chen teaching things any differently, it was me who seemed to be able to follow what he said a little better. I got more out of it than previous times. I was fortunate to be able to spend a bit more time outside of the workshop with him as well. The causal conversations with him during lunches and dinners, or in the car gave me a deeper understanding of him as a person. Besides his great taiji skills, Master Chen is a great teacher because he has terrific skills in teaching. He was a teacher of students ranging from kindergarten to Grade 12 in the public school system. He traveled all around the world teaching taiji to people with different cultures, characters, and learning abilities. I was also impressed on how he was able to point out a non-technical issue for a couple of students, and that issue hindered them from making progress. While we are doing exercises or performing yilu, he walked around looking at every student giving advises and correcting mistakes. We only had 13 students in this Toronto workshop, but he did the same thing with 65 students in Italy. I admired his passion and dedication.

He noticed that I asked fewer and fewer questions in each workshop. Part of it was that I was asking questions based on my normal logical mind and non-taiji knowledge, as he pointed out they were basically irrelevant to making progress in taiji. As time passed by, I began to understand that point. Another issue for me was that once I had a question in mind, I wouldn't really listen until I asked my question and got an answer. That obviously wouldn't be good.

The following are notes I took during the workshop:

Day 1
  • Two touched points create a "vertical" line or an axis.
  • Foundations:
    - Single positive/negative left/right
    - Double positive/negative left/right
  • Find two anchor points and aim your push from the waist to the middle of the two points.
  • Let the opponent overpower you and use that as one of the anchor points. The other is the foot.
  • Exercise: Have someone stop your shoulder moving horizontally forward.
  • Eliminate the space between you and your opponent, create space within you to clear.
  • Keep the pressure constant on the opponent (keep engaging the opponent), then add something else.
  • While holding a 100-pound ball, one cannot react to a poke without dropping the ball.
  • Exercise: Touch and keep the pressure while you move.
  • Move the arm/hand to fit, once you can't move, rotate something, e.g. kua.
  • Ying and Yang are two dots on the circle.

Day 2

  • Circle: learn to get stuck at two positions:
    - When the hand is extended.
    - When the elbow is stuck in the ribs.
  • Dantian is like a river. It never moves. The energy from the hand and foot meets at dantian.
  • Rotate when hit (reactive).
  • Everything is at 45 degrees.
  • Keep the missing/invisible side of the triangle in the body fixed/stable.
  • Exercise: Absorb impact and extend the arm and rotate.


Friday, May 21, 2010

First private class with Master Chen

I just had my first private class with Master Chen.

How to imagine the circle without moving the hand:
  • For the first half of the circle, energy travels from the outside of the right foot along the outside of the leg, the back, the outside of the arm, the pinky to the tip of the middle finger. For the 2nd half of the circle, energy travels from the tip of the middle finger, to the thumb, along the inside of the arm, the chest, the inside of the leg, and then to the inside of the foot.
How to find the exact opposite point to create a stretch:
Example 1
  • Hold up the arm like normal when starting the positive circle.
  • Don't move the hand or the arm.
  • Keep the shoulder down.
  • Cave in the chest
Example 2
  • If your opponent is pushing in one direction, stretch in that same direction
  • This is yin yang separation.
  • It is important to keep the base (the lower part of the body from waist down) solid. Keep it front downloaded.
  • Stretch the upper body. This creates the illusion of being long (from the right hand to the left leg).
How to move the chest muscle down and backwards.
  • While moving the chest muscle down and backwards, the spine does not displace, but it may stretch vertically.
How to tuck the buttock towards the heel.
  • The purpose is to redirect the incoming energy to the ground.
  • Point the buttock farthest away from your opponent to the front heel.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Power or no power

I watched the Toronto Workshop 3-4 video today. I got a different understanding on the material presented. Although I was there at the workshop, I didn't really understand much at the time as I was so new to Taiji. I had no clue on many of the concepts. One topic was on Taiji power. According to Master Chen, Taiji practitioner had no real power, but only perceived power. That kind of power was based on the manipulation of length, width, height, weight, speed and angle of the body. We needed to always locate the centre. At this stage, we could regard it as the dantian. Later, it could really be at anywhere inside the body or even outside of the body. If we were able to keep the dantian as the centre all the time, we would be very long (hand to foot). However, a slight touch on our bodies by the opponent might change the centre, as we tried to fight it off. To be better than the opponent, we needed to be longer. We needed to train to keep that in mind.

Another concept I got from the video was to rotate the elbow. In order to lead with hand, you needed to find a spot for your elbow, at which it could be rotated. Once the spot was located, it should not move. Lead with hand, and rotate the elbow. Locating the right spot for the elbow might involve aligning the rest of the body parts.

Foot - striaght to the ground
Knee - rotate empty (meaning no displacement, but just transmit the energy)
Thigh - rotate horizontally
Waist - adjust
Shoulder - rotate down or up
Elbow - rotate sideways and lead in
Hand - lead out

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Kua Rotation

Since I read the article referenced in the blog below, I have a much different understanding of the kua.
http://ktaiji.blogspot.com/2010/03/what-is-kua.html
I am starting to feel what it means to rotate the kua. I am very much looking forward to meet Master Chen in May 2010 to verify whether I am on the correct path.
One thing that I feel different is during the duck walking exercise. I am starting to feel with kua rotation, I can use the front leg as an anchor to pull the hind leg to the front. Rotating the kua allows me to adjust the centre of gravity from the even split on both legs, to 60/40 or 70/30.
I am trying to apply such kua rotation on every leg move in Yilu. It was easier to start with legs wider apart at first, now I can feel the same sensation with legs relatively closer together, like in a normal standing position.

This is very exciting!

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Reversing life to the beginning

http://www.hongkongtaiji.com/files/qing-mag-articles-june2008.pdf

This articles talks about reversing to the same state as a baby (e.g. how it breathes), and eventually you will be back to the beginning and be united with the universe (back to wuji). Master Chen discussed this concept as well.

Not moving the hand

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HfqgwJfA0c4&playnext_from=TL&videos=UDJPqWKIlh8

This is an excellent video by Ian Sinclair providing the student the feeling of relaxation during the displacement of the hand from the bottom to top.
I definitely got the feeling of the hand floating up for about 10 seconds immediately after performing the first exercise. This, in fact, matched what Master Chen once talked about someone's form looking more correct after performing about 100 times of Yilu in a row. A person will be so tired that he can no longer lift the hand by force. I can see how this little exercise can resemble such feeling after exhausting my strength in the arms.


Friday, April 9, 2010

Taiji Fighting Strategy

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F3y8tLH0M_M&feature=related

This video resembled what Master Chen showed me on the first day of class about keeping your intention, and not getting distracted during a fight. It takes training and experience to achieve that relaxed state of mind. I have briefly experienced how advantages it can be against your opponent if you are more relaxed than him/her. However to me, experience and knowledge are needed to achieve relaxation. It's natural to tense up if you are nervous. It's difficult or rather impossible at this point to me to be truly relaxed during an engagement with an opponent. It may seem like a chicken and an egg problem here. If you are more relaxed, you are better than him. If you know that you are better than him, you can be more relaxed. However, a chicken and an egg problem is exactly like a circle, with no beginning nor end. You don't know when it will start to happen. When it happens, it happens.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Attitude for learning Taiji

I think that the attitude for learning taiji should be that you should always consider yourself wrong. There is really only one correct way, which can never be achieved. In the process of striving to get as close to the correct way as possible, you will see improvement along the way. When compared between 2 people, a higher skilled person is one that is closer to the correct way than the less skilled person, but they are both "wrong" or non-perfect, just to difference degrees. Only in this mindset, one can continuously improve one's taiji skill. If one is being criticized as being "wrong", gladly accept it because that is the truth. Openly discuss the reasons for such comment, and one can always learn something from the experience.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Practice Record

This site provides a central place for Master Chen to see which student is doing what. He hopes that the number repetitions in one's form practice and practice consistency will correlate to one's progress.

https://spreadsheets.google.com/viewform?hl=en&formkey=dE9mZ3QyVDEzdFE4ekRUS2N3OVhidmc6MA

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Don't move the hand

What does it mean by not moving the hand?

Here is my understanding:

If I would like change the location of the hand relative to my body, e.g. the current location of the right hand is at the level of my belly button, and the destination is at my eye level in front of the right shoulder, how can I achieve that without moving the hand?
  1. Don't move the hand, but I can move any other part of the body to achieve the same result.
  2. Keep the hand at the same coordinates in this three-dimensional space, and sink my body down, which in turn causes my elbow to go from above the hand to below the hand. Then perform the 2nd half of the positive circle.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Taiji and Steel

I just had a piece of thought on Taiji.
Taiji is considered strong, why?
A large plate of steel is also considered strong too (structurely), but it can't hit you by itself.
If you try to punch at it, your knuckle will probably hurt quite a bit.
If someone tries to push onto a Taiji practitioner with a high level of skill, that person should feel having a great force come right back at him. I think that part of the Taiji training is to make me seem like a solid wall, and force directing at me can "bounce" right back at the source.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Day 2 of the 2nd workshop with Master Chen

Here are some rough notes I took during the workshop:
  1. Moves need to be proportional. 1 unit of the bottom., 1 unit of the mid-section, and 1 unit of the top. The problem is that we have 1 unit of the bottom, 2 units of the mid-section, and 3 units of the top (so we toss).
  2. Fajin is like you are trapped and just able to break out.
  3. You don't do fajin or circle.fajin and circle are artifacts and a realization, and not something that you can just learn to do.
  4. Convert horiztonal move to vertical move.
  5. Rubberband: find the strength to train
  6. Finger points to a spot and should never move.
  7. Back shoulder not moving creates stability.
  8. Don't move where you opponent touches
  9. Angle is only one aspect of intent.
  10. Regarding Yilu, it's better to leave it incomplete, even if it looks bad, than complete it incorrectly. Do what I am told, and not what I think it should be. Less is more.
  11. A circle has two halves, they don't start and end at the same point in space.
  12. Sequence of action is important. There are 9 parts to every move. Do them one at a time. Don't combine them. To start with don't do 9, just concentrate on 3 parts. In time, the 3 parts can be broken further down into 9 parts, which in turn can be broken down even more. At the end, the move will look smooth. No reversal = smooth.
  13. The body should be rigid, in other words, should maintain structure.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Day 1 of the 2nd workshop with Master Chen

Today, I attended the first day of a 2-day workshop with Master Chan. This was the first weekend workshop in Toronto for 2010.

I would just like to write down some notes here about what I learned today.

  1. 3-part move
    shoulder, elbow, hand
    foot, kua, hand
    contact, dig and anchor the lever as the pivot, turn on the pivot
  2. Energy should travel along the length and not the width of the line.
    A line can be established by intent. The longer the better.
  3. There are 9 parts to a circle or a complete move. Only 1 part can be moved at a given time, but don't over do it. Do it a point where it can no longer be moved.

Friday, February 12, 2010

How to walk in a control/stable manner

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-wbdKSUus3U&feature=related
Master Chen describes how normal people walk as falling, and not stable. It's exactly the same as shown in this video by Master Stephen Hwa.

A different look at the circle

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2Uo9lQ6azVA&feature=related

I think that this master is teaching the circle.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

There is no shortcut for Taiji

http://www.chenzhonghua.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=478:chen-fake-and-hong-junshengs-practical-method&catid=40:theory&Itemid=97:

"Through guidance of a qualified teacher and by actually practicing and eventually being able to apply them is when you understand them. Not by merely seeing the moves, reading of the moves and principles, or debating about the principles. Practice hard for many years under the proper teacher’s guidance."

Even with a great teacher, there is no short cut to attain great Taiji skills.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Practical Method YouTube Channel

http://www.youtube.com/user/Practicalmethod#p/a/u/1/YhIRn1Q1dIU

This site has some very good videos.

Shou Ji Shi Fang/ Withdraw is to issue: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YhIRn1Q1dIU

This video clearly explains what no movement means for the hand when doing the lower half of the positive circle.

The two circles of Taiji

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h48hslU31f0&NR=1

Basic rules of Taiji

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bhUiSi9v99k

This serves as a good reminder of what the rules are.

Daqingshan

Daqingshan is a taiji training centre created by Master Chen Zhonghua. It looks like a very tranquil place. "Learning taiji in the clouds" is the feeling I get looking at those pictures. It adds to the mysterious power of taiji.

http://www.chenzhonghua.cn/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=5&Itemid=28

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Chen Zhonghua

This is a very good introduction of my Taiji master: Chen Zhonghua.

http://www.chenzhonghua.cn/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=89%3Ataiji-mingshi-chen-zhonghua&catid=48%3Afamous-masters&Itemid=56

He teaches in the very same way that he was taught. Every concept he talks about seems simple (I may be naive here), yet is extremely difficult to do it correctly.

Meridians

My master told me that there are 18 "balls" in the body that one can rotate. The "balls" are actually joints, and the number of joints also matches the number of meridians. I don't know the location of these joints, so I looked up what meridians are, and found this link to be a good read:
http://tuberose.com/meridians.html

I felt that the material described in the above link was relevant to Taiji, which was a practical way to improve Chi in our bodies. However, it was a by-product of practising Taiji, which main purpose was to fight.

Maps of Meridians:
http://www.acumedico.com/meridians.htm

What meridians are as found in more recent western studies: http://www.massagereferences.com/articles/Techniques/Fascia.pdf