I was telling a coworker of mine about the upcoming Chen Zhonghua workshop and how I have been kicking my training into full gear to prepare. I mentioned that the Chen Style Practical Method is different than my previous training so I have a lot of unlearning to do. One of the primary differences is the idea of not doing lateral weight shifting from leg to leg. Instead, the weight distribution is roughly 55/45 with change being initiated by functions of the kua. The knees only move up and down and when one kua goes up, the other goes down.
He didn’t really grasp what I was talking about since he doesn’t practice taiji, so I proceeded to demonstrate the difference. Immediately after the demonstration, he noted, "that’s just like golf!" Huh?!?? My coworker said that in order to get the most power in a golf swing, you stand with your feet shoulder width apart and knees slightly bent. During the back swing and follow through, there is NO side to side horizontal movement, the turning of the shoulders is initiated by a turning/folding of the inguinal crease, aka KUA!! As I watched him perform the motion, one kua went up while the other kua went down! Furthermore, throughout his movement, the knees only moved up and down, not side to side!
My coworker went on further to explain that a lot of people will shift their weight and slide the knee in a horizontal lateral motion in hopes of generating more power through momentum. But in reality, this side to side knee motion obstructs the power generation path. The more I watched him demonstrate a golf swing, the more excited I became as I saw the principles of taiji manifest. He demonstrated perfect harmony between the movement of the kua and the shoulders. He did not shift his weight in a lateral horizontal movement. He was relaxed and at ease with knees slightly bent during the swing. It was as if the instruction he received in golf confirmed the notions of power generation within the Hong Chen Style Taiji Practical Method as taught by Chen Zhonghua. I was baffled and awestruck!