Some of my former students in Portugal have been puzzled by one of Master Chen's trailers posted on the Facebook group run by Neil Morley for Tai Chi Chuan practitioners
They could not quite follow what he meant in his Ground Connection trailer ( find it on the group page above). So I have taken the unusual step (for me anyway) of responding with a video explanation.
'This question and response highlight a real issue for many modern Tai Chi practitioners, seeking to improve by virtue of You tube'
In my defence, I did try a brief written explanation on the group page first.
Like most teachers, Master Chen expresses fundamental TCC concepts in his own unique vernacular. Where he talks about 'Connecting through the ground', I talk about 'Grounding through a stable framework'. Where one teacher uses phrases such as Tung Jin, another says listening, both refer to proprioceptive skills, the term I prefer. This issue is simply one of terminology.
The demonstrations below were filmed without set up or rehearsal, just before one of our regular classes, hence the noise as students enter. I was assisted by Graham Bould and Gloria on camera duty.
The observant among you will see that my stance wobbles a bit every time Graham pushes, this is because my legs have not yet recovered from the extensive surgery a few months ago, following breaking both legs and requiring a hip replacement. Because of the noise levels there was an explanation for the last demonstration, I have not posted, If I can sort out the sound I may post it later. For now I have written the explanation at the end of this blog. the videos are as shot and unedited
All of the above work in a similar manner,
This question and response highlight a real issue for many modern Tai Chi practitioners, seeking to improve by virtue of You tube. A teachers terminology can be a barrier or an aide to learning, and we all use terminology of one sort or another.
If the seeker is unfamiliar with the phrases that regular students are introduced to they may be misled or at least puzzled. Chen Zhonghua gives a clear and useful demonstration. If you must seek knowledge at a distance, you can visit his site, and buy access to his training resources properly, and you will get further. Alternatively you could join the Golden Rooster School, and I will send you details of our live online courses.
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Keith has studied the Chinese Internal arts for over 40 years. He lives in England and Portugal with artist, designer and writer Gloria Dean and teaches in Portugal and the UK.