The Positive Circles: A Biomechanical Look

Coach Joyce performing the positive circle

Purpose:    Hong Junsheng said, “Taijiquan is the art of peng. Peng is the result of the two circles.”  The purpose is to (1) seek to understand the shape/order/direction, (2) rules of motion, and (3) to eventually transfer this skill to the entire body.

Words of Chen Zhonghua:  “When all the joints are moving either in positive or negative circles, the whole body becomes a ‘gearbox’ (note: GM Feng calls this phenomenon “The 18 balls of the body).  When all the gears in the box engage, not one gear can move without the others.  When all gears are disengaged, the movement of one gear will not affect the other gears.  When one can transform the body into the above described gearbox, one will possess the ability of one part moves, all parts move.”

Food for Thought:  The two circles are the building blocks of Taijiquan, without whcih Peng jin energy cannot be developed.  So practice practice practice!

Method:  (Refer to Picture #1)  Assume a left horse-riding stance.  The left hand reaches out to approx. eye height.  Keep the shoulder relaxed and sink the elbow.  The other hand should rest comfortably on the navel/dantian.

(Refer to Picture #2) Pull the elbow into the body (almost touching the ribs).  Note: Hand is pulled back naturally by the elbow.  Remember…strength on elbow…not the hand.

(Refer to Picture #3) Waist turns to the right and the hand moves to the centerline of the body with palm facing to the heart.  While the palm pushes up slightly, the elbow sinks downward (slightly).  The left knee pushes outward. Strength should be be on the left foot.

(Back to Picture #1) Hand pushes back out to the beginning position.  Strength comes from the right foot & extends to the left hand.

Additional Considerations: (1) The fingers should remain naturally open with thumb resting comfortably alongside the index finger (2) The imaginary line that is traced should be between eye level and the thighs (3) The hand is always higher than the elbow; elbow lower than the shoulder (4) The spine is erect and never “tosses” (5) When hand withdraws, the power is on the front foot and when the hand extends the power is on the rear foot (pushing away from the body and into the ground)

Acknowledgements:  This entry is the cornerstone of the Chen Style Practical Method of Hong Junsheng, as explained to me in great detail by my teacher, Chen “Joseph” Zhonghua (during my teacher’s certification in early 2003.  Edmonton, Alberta, Canada). 

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~ by chencenter on January 23, 2008.

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