'Song' is the secret!


'Song' is the secret!


Practise Diligently and Intelligently

NB: - Any mistakes or misinterpretations of what was trying to be taught to me are due to me! Basically I have left the notes as I wrote them at the time, there is a lot of repetition but generally a progression (sometimes, mainly due to me, a regression!). No doubt I've missed a lot too. Please refer to the Download section for documents and video that are not riddled with my interpretations.

Song=Relaxed/Soft/Release (pronounced Soo-ng), GMH=Grandmaster Huang, Mr F=Master Foong, HYZZ=Hun Yuan Zhan Zhuang (Song up/down exercise), SSWF=Song Shen Wu Fa (GMH's 5 Song exercises), HCC=Ho Ching Chi (stretching/expanding), PH=Push Hands.

Tenom November 2012

10-11-12 AirAsia Bkk-KL met Nick KL-KK (3 hr delay – arrived 1.30am!)
11-11-12 Lunch and Dinner in KK for Foong Kim Pang and Danni Mai’s wedding
12-11-12 Taxi to Keningau with Kuku and Nick. Dinner with Keningau Assoc. Drive to Tenom
13-11-12 Keningau Sabah tournament then dinner at Assoc.
14-11-12 Easy morning. Seremban Assoc. arrived 11.30 and push-hand demo.
- Movements fine and turning. Ying change to Yang and back without break. Yield and attack at same time. Have Song, Yi, timing and fine turning.
- HCC; back leg stretch slightly as front knee forward and slightly down(qua stretching open).
- No arm TC; not horizontal push but See-Saw. Eg Brush Knee To A Step, arm up because shoulder down. Yi goes into finger tips last and then Song from fingertips first to retreat. Back leg bows and bends, not stay stiff otherwise easy to push over.
14 to 18th-11-12
- Lots of fixed PH which I haven’t done much of as no training partner. Doing the basic 8 FPH and learnt 4 more. Also started to do them with stepping. Of course try to keep the fundamentals of Song and HCC but at my level and experience in PH I am just trying to get the external moves and posture correct.
- Mr F mentioned that need to get the Song from the external to the internal. Most people don’t even get the external Song (and he mentioned that most of us in the workshop he would still class as beginners in external Song). He said not to despair, as to go from the external to the internal and then be able to apply it is like a quantum leap; it is not something that you gradually get better at. You have to trust the method of training, train diligently and one day it will come. I guess it is like meditation; you can’t be a little bit enlightened or a lot enlightened, you keep meditating and you are either enlightened or not. As he has said before, to train the internal you have to lose all fears, worries, doubts etc. At one point I asked him if he was completely Song, and he replied that he could always find somewhere to be more Song
- about PH he said that without being Song and without a light touch you cannot listen. Without the listening you cannot apply the physics and timing required to throw someone. It is important to keep your posture upright and not to lean out of your centre (for an advanced practitioner this is not important, as at that level can separate the centre and HYZZ). Keep your centre and step when required to keep the light touch for listening. Movements are continuous, so you know what they are doing but they don’t know what you are doing. Don’t push, use HCC. All movement through Song and Yi.
19-11-12 KL and China depart. Mr F correcting Nick and me on some basics
- the wonderful Bernard as always came along to observe. Towards the end of the session as Mr F was looking at my Short Form, he and Bernard discussed something and Mr F said “You have been practicing!”. I reminded him of the 1, 2, 3 version he taught us last time and I had been practicing trying to get external Song and continuous movement. Personally I feel I have gone backwards or at the very least only practice enough to maintain what I have learnt before. Then again, perception of one’s self can be very deceptive.
SSWF1 (a few things to work on)
- as HYZZ up, arms are slightly into body (when fingertips touching leg)
- when arms 45° Song shoulders down but also shoulder stretches out and chest stretches open to help bring hand up
- when doing the above, turn the hip (don’t twist the waist), body Song but don’t Song body down until centre into one leg and HYZZ down into that leg (one leg empty, other leg full)
- Song is continuous, never stop it. Always find room in shoulders (for example) to continuously Song otherwise becomes hard/stiff
- same as SSWF1; make sure hands comes up enough by Song shoulders (See-Saw) and stretching out shoulder
- make sure head doesn’t bob forward - shoulders drop first, then elbows. Don’t push the hands down first
- body continuous up and down
- when HYZZ/HCC up, the qua stays soft and doesn’t stretch when ankle/knee/leg comes up
- at advance level must separate centre and HYZZ. This is done internally
- don’t HYZZ body up and down too far
- when hand forward, opposing hip turned; wait for hand to come up (Song and See-Saw shoulder) before turning waist back (I thought continuous movement was the turning of the waist, but not correct)
- when turned into hip fully don’t fill leg (and empty other) until hand has dropped and brushed side of leg
- slowly!
- keep posture and keep centre between legs
- arm movement same as preparation posture
- is okay except at open-book ; when closing the palms bring hands towards the chest and open hands (as they go away from chest) pivoting on thumbs
- HYZZ big release through whole body at the same time before up and before down movements

Nick’s notes November 2011

Keep hands soft - no extra movements
Let elbows swing - relax and release the shoulders - forearms parallel to lower legs
Shoulders sung, but must loosen
Suman mentioned Mr F said he diverted from his path with the need to standardize for China
Train shoulder down and arms up
Sense the stretch in your back
Sung down chi spreads - higher level
Yi and chi. All the time
Opening movement - more space, shoulders down arms up, stretch and find room in the shoulders.
Chest and back in and in and in sung, sung, sung
Balance movement in the arms
Continuous movement - hands move with body
Move more into the hips - sink more make like a spring
Look for see saw - keep even space between forearm and upper arm when push - swing up like a see-saw and sit more into hips More open and space between hands and body and underarms
First turn in form - further into front foot
HYZZ - the chest and back continue to sink in all the way down and back - continues to subside
Stretch the head - keep it still - body down and head stretch up
Raise arms - arms open wide - shoulders down hands up - continuous - shoulders down elbows move to behind body with hands and arms turning continuously - circle in, but straight out - yi and chi directed straight out
Hands arms always circling with the waist; in push hands, too
Sung legs - like a spring MUST - sink in hips more and soften legs make like a spring
Head chest upper back shoulders must sung and separate - don't sink chest in or round back
Body down arms up to push. Sticking: whole body sung. Arms sung hand strong and sticking
The shoulder pushes the elbow, the elbow pushes the wrist, the wrist pushes the fingers
Brush knee twist step: hand comes down parallel to floor - watch the angle of the hand
Push hands: up and down empty full between feet: no double weighting
Arms round tree to push: sung shoulder - elbow straight line back - push up by sung shoulders - shoulders push elbows- elbows wrist - wrist finger tips
Disconnect all parts in push hands - give the body
Legs and hands move at the same time - when fa jing hands and legs also at same speed.
Brush knee twist step: HCC turn 45° then leg straightens through - not turn sink HCC. - continuous- down then up, up, up all the way through from 45°
Train the sung - use yi - sung down then wait for 'poom' and chi/sung returns - bounces up and expands
Work on hands - relax - not eagle claws
Carry tiger to the mountain - hug tiger - HYZZ two times
1: train shoulders and upper back - don't hunch forward
2: see above - keep it smooth - yi
3: arm up 45° then sink - keep chest open - train the shoulders - turn the hips - stay upright
4: watch hands coming together - keep space between elbow and body - full of yi

End of Repel like monkey: take narrower steps - circle arms like hug tiger to the mountain - rounded and smaller - then when turning out, hand straight, turn left foot in then again as right hand stretches out then into cloud hands.
End Nick’s notes Nov 2011

Tenom January-February 2013

Arrived 21st Jan 8.45pm
22-1-13 Mr F picked me up at 8am for brekkie. He asked whether I had done any private practice this morning, which I had. i told him I was still trying to concentrate on the tailbone(Wei Li) not popping out near the top of HYZZ etc, and also trying to stop my chest closing which made my shoulders fold towards the front. He showed me how to avoid the first problem (which he has mentioned before in relation to other things). The Qua keeps its position/form/shape as you go up, which also means the tailbone stays tucked in. This is achieved simply by using only the legs to make you go up (same principle used to Fajing), but of course the legs (muscles etc) must be soft
Rest of the day off so did some housework. Badly gashed my foot and ankle from falling through a metal grate. A little painful but can still walk and do TC. Great to be back. I really want to improve my ‘monkey mind’. Mr F looks very good and healthy, Mr Lim was his helpful self and even made sure there was some papaya in the fridge for me.
23-1-13 Mr F dropped by at 7.15am. Corrected my Open and Close then laksa at Sri Jaya.
Open and Close
- Song down and subtly shift centre to right leg (at one stage previously I thought there was no shift of centre but it is a very fine movement so no one should detect it). Whole body Song at same time. Left leg empty, slide left foot out. Turn waist to the right – keep horizontal height, do not physically drop down but Song down internally. Turn, turn and then shift centre to the middle while finishing the turn. Song down whole body (again, don’t lose height). Turn, turn towards the front and only then connect the right foot to the waist, so when finished turning the right toes are pointing forward. Big whole body Song (don’t lose much body height), open left Qua so left foot turns out; nothing else moves (not waist etc). Then turn waist left 45° and then shift forward into left leg. Make sure you come well forward (more than you think) so that the right leg is empty. Song down (internally) and turn to the front before sliding right foot in. Then finish with Song down, then Song up to bring body back to starting position. Eyes always focused forward and horizontal, head doesn’t turn. Make the turns big. Continuous movement (either by turning or with Song) is very important; do not disconnect movements. Try not to lose too much height by physically dropping down, as it will get difficult to do towards the end, but always Song in body as much as possible. Doing O & C correctly, you can then do the same principle throughout the form. A beginner will have to make the external movements big until they start to get a bit of internal Song, and they will have broken (disconnected) movements
- over breakfast I asked Mr F again about my problem with the shoulders/chest closing up. He said that internally work on releasing (contracting?) everything towards the centre (of chest) and this would externally open up the chest and shoulders. I guess this may work with other parts of the body such as the hands; instead of actively stretching fingers out, release towards the centre of palm and the fingers stretch out. (BTW my theory only!) Also for the shoulders, if you get more Song in the rest of the upper body, this will then give more room for the shoulders to drop and move naturally. He laughed and agreed with me when I said the problem was that I think too much!
25/26-1-13 Small workshop with Sarawak participants
- the latest thing to general work on at the Assoc. is to open the shoulder blades to lift the arm. This is done in co-ordination with the ribcage opening. The top of the shoulder doesn’t seem to lift much, more of a stretching in the armpit, as the arm lifts it seems the shoulder blades close towards the middle while the muscles/tendons/ligaments stretch out.
- the last couple of days have been working on HYZZ, OC and SSWF1. I still have to concentrate on the Wei Li staying in, the weight staying in bubbling well point and the shoulders not hunching but it is getting easier. The big thing for me is getting and keeping the right posture for the shoulders (opening the chest) and freeing them up a bit
27-1-13 Keningau joins the workshop with Sarawak
21/27-2-13 Workshop with China, KL and Nick
4-3-13 Fly to Melbourne

Nick’s Notes February 2013

HYZZ: real release in shoulders chest and back and neck; sink into hips; ankles and feet song; arms soft and song continuous expand and then contract; fingers still touching thighs; Mr F's arms in, in, in, in; nonstop
When up, the body follows the yi and responds to the yi - song up the back; through the back of the neck and then back over the top of the head and down the face Yi and body separate: stretch; continuous; expand contract
Really emphasize subsiding muscles - visible movement - visible song.

SSWF1: Work on hips first - no arms - turn hips; down; turn back; up; turn hips; down; back to centre; up
Don't twist upper body; don't twist waist.
When going up head pulls the body - spirit. Keep upright.
Soften thighs, knees, calves, ankles and soles.
beginner 45° advanced 25° before sinking:
No more horizontal movement- sink down one leg - song down - no extra movement in hands - all movement from shoulders and elbows - no movement in wrists
Soft ankles - toes don't move - sink all into one leg, other leg song
Move up and down more - song one side of body; empty other. Don't sink chest - stay upright. Empty hips - focus on emptying smoothly - remove jerky movements - keep the yi
Sung through the legs first - this pulls the upper body down - don't twist.

SSWF2: More natural in arms. More movement in shoulders. Relax the knees. Relax the stomach (otherwise bad for health). No extra movement in hands. Keep arms away from body. Elbows drop and don't shift horizontally

SSWF3: Song down one side. No horizontal movement. Eyes ahead, head still. More up and down movement - focus on the vertical. Keep chest upright - don't sink. Song chest more - pronounced movement. Keep it smooth and fluid. Open empty hips. Really distinguish empty and full.
Yi shifts- practice legs only. Soften knees and ankles

SSWF4: fists chest high (between chest and neck) - song down and let the mind relax - fists come to body first, then follow the elbows down, then relax down, turn hands open and facing up (no money) then turn hands back - open space round arms.
Practice three steps - down HCC

SSWF5: Song both legs; ho jing chi (back energy up); 2 times; not horizontal;

Open/Close legs: hips turn first then move - into hips, relax ankles , more forward.
Don't grip with the toes - relax all

Fa jing: vertical sink down - then close the distance. HYZZ down - because like rubber - close the distance and he will bounce off the rubber.

Form: 1st movement: keep rounded. Hands not too close to body. Not too far apart (8 inches). Keep legs song.
Really keep hips in.
Then: turn waist; hands stay still; then HYZZ down and arms come up - don't shift horizontally; vertical down; HCC vertical; turn then turn back; 45° again stay vertical; HCC balanced - one hand down; one hand up
Roll back press and push: wrists come together at joint; hands not close to body; back around tree (8inches); shoulders release arms drop behind body naturally (work on softening the arms)
MINIMISE Body movement
Hips in HCC
Swing arms
End Nick’s notes Feb 2013

Tenom 3rd to 13th August 2013
Classes every day 9-11, 3-5, 7.30-9.30

- external moves can be taught but it is up to the practitioner to try and make the movements internal; only the person doing it knows what they are doing. Someone looking at them doesn’t know if the person is doing internal movements or not, therefore cannot teach
- Song everything at once not one by one
- SSWF1: weight shifts 100% into the leg, must empty the other leg when turning
- SSWF2 : don’t control shoulders, let drop naturally. Body continuous up and down but stop on first movement
- SSWF3: hip and knee movement important. Let shoulders and hands drop naturally
- SSWF5: Song down first, rear knee goes forward when body goes backwards or forward. Don’t lose height. HCC is just a stretch
- my legs and hips okay but no Song in upper body. I need to practice releasing legs and chest, shoulders, torso
- HCC don’t come forward (body)
- open chest
-the sole and palm are connected
- PRACTISE - legs Song, body Song, shoulders Song, then move (for both up and down of arms and hands). SONG SHOULDERS!
- arm doesn’t move (particularly for up) without waist moving.
- automatic means no thinking, if you learn a technique then need to think. With Song your moves become automatic because your body is Song and very sensitive to listening. Whole body is spring.
- when I concentrate and slow the movements down Mr F says I am just like Nick; I don’t know if that is good or bad!  So, I can get the nice releasing moves in the upper body if I try. Mr F commented that when I do the form my legs don’t shake.
- learnt sections 2, 3 and 4 of the standardized form in the last 8 days. Considering we only did the standardized 1st section for the last 5 years, that is not a bad achievement for my lousy memory, though, how much sticks is the issue.

Nick’s Notes November 2013 workshop

Keep hands by side - don't swing them.
Smile, relax, easy
Practice internal movement continuously. Stand quietly and HYZZ.
Internal and external will separate.
In each pose, especially brush knee twist step, practice HYZZ and HCC internal. Smile be happy, and really enjoy.
When attacked, sia and prepare, half way HCC and attack.
Open shoulders and chest at all times.

Be precise - don't skip or join releases
Skin on sole - be precise
Expand down; expand up
Song to hips before down and before up
Square the shoulders
Knees forward, hips further in - bring you forward
Spirit lifts the head so as not to use force to sink in all positions. Spirit. Spirit lifts body expands lightness on feet

Focus on 3 joints - hip knee ankle
Song each then song siaa (down)
Shoulder elbows wrist song at same moment
Centre through legs, then song siaa. Wait for centre before song finally down
Active hips, not waist. Don't twist waist! Shift more weight into full leg and empty other leg more. Practise on one leg - make it springy. Spirit!
Turn first, then sink
Song shoulders - don't press them forward in twist step etc. down and back - song

Don't sink abdomen
Keep hands soft - no claws

Hips in. Song down. Soften legs. HCC. Stretch. Straight down. Automatic forward. Knee moves forward.

Short Form
Song whole body - smile, enjoy, make it easy. More natural
Hips in more. 1 inch more all the time
Song starts from legs - straight and stretch - relax; don't worry
Punch: swing arms naturally, blocking with the left hand

Push Hands
Keep centre. Be brave. Inactive arms. More forward and down, don't only hua backwards (dangerous)
Two arms work together
End of Nick’s notes Nov 2013

Tenom August 2014
Same as all the above.:)

'Most people have a high tolerence for pain; as long as the pain is someone else's.' [Taichiplanet 17-8-15]

Nick’s Notes August 2014
More qua - totally in
Shoulder square
Lead up with back of hand. Don't hunch or lift shoulders
Up, then 10 degrees down
Don't twist - turn then song down. Separate
Turn then song straight down one leg. Keep very fine
Song chest down
Don't bend shoulders in. Keep them balanced

Shoulders song to move. Every small movement

Handbrake on, handbrake off, screw into stability; release screw

Short Form
Turning - 50/50 knees song out - turn. Not forward and back - straight down. Continuous movement.
One movement. Front knee continuous down - don't back up front knee. 50/50 not too far forward before turn.
Repulse monkey. Shoulder song down not swing out.
Keep head still and upright.
Put SSWF4 into all
Practice slow and fast – but be careful
Snake creeps down. Open hips to shift foot back weight still in front foot - shift back then up and wave down and through
Handsome macho head. Don't sink and twist body
Soften and song feet.
Step lightly toes first to train song in ankles.
Song completely into turns - train the qua.
Don't forget: continuous turn and HCC.

Tui Shou
Horse stance
Connect and follow - don't push
End Nick’s notes Aug 2014

Seremban 21st-24th August 2015
Training: 7-8am (S), 9-11, 2.30-4.30, 7-9pm

- show respect by arriving on time and no matter who is heading the class
- Song; slowly, stably and constantly
- HYZZ; Ting I Ting (stillness) after going down and before going up. Wait for Chi (fluids etc) to settle (like sediment in water) before coming up. There is no waiting at the change over at the top (from up to down)
- Mr F showed me some stretching exercises to help with my stiffness, stretching the muscles and ligaments. Everything stretching/expanding out and bring Song inside of it. Apparently good for Fa-jing too. Stretch out into finger tips and toes and top of head etc.
- HYZZ must wait for Ting I Ting. A beginner, Song starts from top. An intermediate, Song starts from feet. Advanced, Song whole body at same time. Must learn to do step by step. I have tried to jump to whole body, but must learn to do from soles of feet upwards first.
- SSWF1; make continuous with shoulders. Keep hands at side by stretching shoulder muscles. Lift arms naturally, then shoulders down (about half way up) as arms continue upwards. Shoulders still dropping as waist turns. In SSWF also have tendon stretch but with Song. If no Song then difficult for Yi to go through muscles. As hands go up (when turning, one hand in front the other behind) drop shoulders again, don’t touch torso with hands.
- with all training; make movements finer and slower

'You are not important, but you are no less important than anyone else' [Taichiplanet 17-8-15]

Nick’s Notes Tai Chi China Tour June 2016

Alan Showed me to accept, receive the force and then HYZZ. Pull the opponent in like catching a ball. Very helpful.
Nei gong; bu tse chi gong

Training Day 1
Yi and heart are same word.
Knee cannot be strong. Must be soft.
Master shoulder turns 360°.
From individual session.
Every moment song HYZZ down.
Maintain a gap.
Song down stretch up
Gap in every joint
Very light in arms and all joints.
Legs will feel heavy, but not from pressing; arms light as clouds.
Arms and hips arrive at same time.
Keep movements continuous - continuous HYZZ.
Send jing to the fingertips.
Remember to use the wave - non stop
Practice HYZZ fast and slow. But rise slowly.

Smile and empty

Talk kindly to your body. Explain how you want it to be - to song; to release, correct posture. Reminds me of Feldenkrais and the gentle, compassionate encouraging of the body to change. Tapping lightly the points to release. Using your mind to release, to empty.
Like in SSWF5 release the handbrake to move. Make it natural and light. Train the joints. Make sure there are no blockages on the wheels. Move forward till center is between feet, then HCC. This is the same in each movement. And in push hands, allows you to yield not with arms; not with body; but with the horse stance.
Move with hips. Remember, the hips, once song, will turn lightly one way, then automatically resolve and turn back. Very effortless
Keep hands passive and dong. Don't curl or open. Keep soft, but straight.
To really improve you must empty the self. Be generous. See others as they really are. Don't be selfish or self absorbed - a real sensation. Remember vipasana.
When song, must empty. Empty song.
Practice HYZZ fast and slow. But up always slow.
Every movement preceded by song. To move right, song the left hip.
When advanced, there will be no shakiness; no jerky movements; no hard breathing; no shifting eyes.
Beginners can try to move loose and relaxed. But higher level, each joint movement must be distinct and song with yi. If not like this, the jing cannot run.
Song with yi, must be total. While body song. Each part distinct.
Everything that must move, must move.
Everything that needs to be still, must be still.
Ting I ting. Before HCC, must be Ting I ting. Stillness.
Separate each part using yi. Song the parts, including the internal organs (eg kidneys). Very still. Very mindful.
Maintain a gap between joints. Don't press. Allows to be disconnected. Hips knees ankles all with gap. Down with gap and up with gap. Ho Jing Chi maintain gap.
Stretch and contract. Stretch and contract.
More movement through shoulders and arms through all joints to fingertips. Shoulders 3 step song, according to Dylan. Send song by opening gaps and moving from shoulders to fingertips.
The muscles in the legs should be contracting expanding and even in the feet, alive and moving, sponging against the floor. Train the qua. Same level. Don't collapse and keep the gaps open - water through bamboo no blockages. Close legs really shift hips forward. Separate buttocks and bend knee.
Imagine stretched up high to the heavens and then emptying Deep into the earth. A very straight line in between.
Open the shoulders more and drop the shoulder blades. More flat and open back. Shoulders still rounded.
Separate the hips. Separate the shoulders from the chest. Light and still. When moving arm, don't move chest or push shoulder forward.
Send song through all the joints; train the joints; right through to the fingertips. Let the fingers free - no claws.
Again more into hip joint. Tummy should not stick out when correct, and should naturally incline forward when in. More and more in and sense the gi lo (muscles) change.
HCC - arms move at exactly the same rate as the back leg stretches.
If hips light and song and gaps maintained, no need to compress joints to song, and knees will move smoothly.
Focus on qua - don't tuck in stomach or rely on waist to turn. Feeling much more forward by folding qua and turning in unison. Turn before song down. Arms should feel more song. Empty leg should feel more song.
More qua so that the buttocks separate forward. Will sense a forward momentum.
Let the fingers free - no claws. Beautiful lady's hands.

More qua and thighs knees ankles song and down and forward.
When rising, rise100%. Higher stretch to the heavens.
Image of water through a pipe of bamboo - blockages are like the different ladders/levels? Within - our job is to remove these steps so that the water flows through unobstructed.
Feet should not press or lift, but should be actively listening to the ground, like worms in the feet the muscles contracting and expanding - make it light.
Remember, put in the qua, feel the buttocks slide forward, release the hamstrings, knees and ankles and feel the energy slide forward.

Kai Her Jiao
Really feel the qua. When song down, knees turn in slightly with song, and feel an inward turning inward of the groin. Turning in from both hips. And remember forward, like preparing for a high dive. Weight on the yung Chen bubbling well.
Keep arms full of internal song (nei song) with fingers open and soft, touching thigh (don't let them shift forward) and allow shoulder blades and back to straighten and song down.

Separate hips from buttocks
Shoulders hips knees ankles all at same time.
Stretch the arms from shoulders to fingers.
Keep Jong ding. Central axis barely shifts from side to side.
Stay higher - don't compress down. Keep turning very light (Ching) and smooth (ro). Keep central axis straight. Don't shift from side to side.
When shifting yi from leg to leg, visualize a weighted pulley system, with the wheel in your qua (or Dan tien?). These movements must be smooth and even.
Still reported song hip high and shoulders not even. Must work on this.
Don't use stomach or waist. Tummy should be song, not twisting, tightening, or extending.

Forward more. Remember the stop - bu tong.
Arms switch touch elbow more song in hands.
Open chest more and drop upper back.
Very soft hands - exchange elbow touch, but keep it smooth and caress arms.
More movement in the shoulders, but don't press them down. "When you know the method, everything is easy". Everything becomes more natural?

Turn, don't bounce or cycle. Turn more, same level. That way arms and hands won't hit body. Turn more. More. Not too fast with arms. Let them loose - elbow should be heavy, bend with qua and loose.
Make sure hands don't rise before qua turns.
Forward qua in like a diver.
Song down each leg smoothly. Shoulders don't jerk, but smoothly roll. Use see saw to bring hands higher.
Keep qua and center rotating smoothly and evenly. Keep feet light but song on floor.
Very light HYZZ up and down. Lighten the fingers. Make it more natural.

Straighten legs 2 times.
Song shoulders to move hands. More smooth; more soft; more song.
The arm movement just like in form with many movements such as brush knee twist step.
Song precedes every movement
Each movement see saw, originating in song down, HYZZ.

Keep shoulders and chest open.
Like a wave

Juan dia: Short Form
When movements are correct, it must become continuous. That is, HYZZ down and up in continuous flow. Non stop HYZZ.
Preparation stance: more qua and very smooth. Elbows back and forearms sloping forward (keeps upper back square). don't make a claw - beautiful lady's hands.
Don't pull arms down - song them down, starting with the qua relaxing. But make sure it's the qua working - don't fold the tummy.
HCC arms extend out slightly. Chest does not press out. Flow like a wave.
Turn right and hold ball, HCC brings left hand under.
Lower body song down, upper body song up.
Very minimal turn of the left foot 10° only. Song down left leg, tuck in Wei li and release the handbrake to move to 50/50. HCC and hands move out 8 inches from body. Not too close.
Ward off - right hand closer to thigh and elbow back - chest open. HCC as the right hand draws down. After ward off, move straight in front and release back leg before turning left.
Catch sparrow’s tail - fingers two inches from bottom of hand. New style. Right shoulder relaxed.
Open shoulders and circle shoulders before raise hands. But when opening, keep the qua.
Shoulder stroke: circle the arms in HCC Arms and hands turn slightly.
Carry tiger to the mountain - Foot turns first left 45° on heels before turning back. Wider, bigger ball when turning to the corner. Remember the HCC before moving into catch sparrow tail.
To song shoulders, move them opposite to swing of hips.
Remember to keep your center. Center most important.
Balance. Left arm up, right arm down at same time.
Brush knee: hand starts at ear and then drops straight down so that elbow is behind the waist, arm almost parallel to floor before HCC. Don't let hand push forward till in position - drop vertically down.
Ho Ching Chi - Every HCC in form completed with front knee forward and moving into next posture?
Keep fingers song, and extend HCC to finger tips.
End Nick’s notes China June 2016

Tenom July 2016

- caught up with Nick at KLIA arrived Tenom 6.30pm. Mr F and Mr Lim waiting to take us for dinner, then we joined the scheduled class
- Suddenly release, Mind the Gap, Be Happy!
- make the Song more internal keeping the gap between body parts. Inside going up or down the opposite is happening externally. When I asked Mr F for more explanation he said not to worry about it; work on being soft, then Song and it will happen naturally
- soles of feet like cotton and flatten out as HYZZ down but not fixed, has a slight pulsating effect, don’t press. I am doing HYZZ a bit more finer and slower , I am getting the stretch (head suspended/hanging) so the joints have a bit more gap. Ting-I-Ting is body stillness but Yi still running before coming back up. Always release through the soles of the feet before going up or down. When at top ‘Suddenly Song’ internally (and a bit externally) before body Song down (i.e. Song soles first and scanning up each part of the body to release before moving to next part of body)
-my arms are much better (Eagle’s wings, not Chicken’s wings) but as turning the body don’t drop the body externally down but still stretch. When in one leg , then Song down body slightly and let arms drop naturally. Move finer into one leg, don’t ‘Suddenly Song’.
- At beginning don’t lift pull arms up. Fingers touch thighs, Song down, elbows bend, Dong up, elbows come towards body. This helps soften shoulders. Then, hands start to lift from thighs with see-saw of shoulders.
- arms come up only about 25° (from shoulder down; see-saw), a little before body down
- body comes back up when facing front and weight is 50-50.
- let arms drop naturally – don’t control them. As arms swing up from bent elbow (when hands cross in front), the chest opens slightly and shoulder drop (same as when arms are up in Eagle’s Wing position). Mr F has said several times in the past that gets his shoulders to rotate 720° in one complete movement of arm. I am guessing this is what he means. E.g. from when hands are at side to Eagle’s Wing to back to the sides is 360°, then from side up to cross arms back to the sides is another 360°. Don’t let head bob forward (difficult not to do if concentrating on making the shoulder movements externally big to try and get the rotation).
- don’t lean body forward as arms swing up, keep the centre. Let arms drop naturally. Arm up, opposite leg 100% full.
- don’t slap arms on legs when doing the 10 side-to-side swings
- keep height, vertical Song! Basically don’t lose physical height, but Song internally and from that release the body will move back or forwards.
- don’t come forward, keep centre and Song soles.
- the soles accept the HYZZ. My qua is okay.
- beginners make it external but must start to make it internal as well. Then can make it internal without the external so it cannot be seen from the outside

UPGRADE: Don’t collapse body in HYZZ; stretch and maintain the gap in joints – Song internally.

- The principles are always the same, they never change. Get the principles working in HYZZ, then get it is SSWF, and get it also in the Short Form and Push Hands. You don’t have to do too many different things, work on the basics and then bring that into other aspects of training.
- Must have Song heart and mind. Don’t be afraid to lose, and don’t worry! Approach training with happiness otherwise your health will be affected and you will not achieve Song. Don’t compare yourself to others, just do the best you can and eventually you’ll achieve the desired results. Don’t worry about whether your teacher or others think you are doing something wrong or right, just do your best for yourself.
- Practise stepping, changing feet in a circle.
- Suddenly Empty creates a gap, then you Suddenly Full. It is too fast for the opponent to fill the gap
- Arms like noodles; disconnect – Suddenly Empty arms slightly rotate
- Practise whole body Suddenly Empty and Suddenly Full but not with force, it must be with Song (internally). Empty is contracting, Full is stretching (at higher level it is expansion). Can do many times and very fast at an advanced level.
- Always non-stop, circular and continuous. At first it is broken movements, then becomes finer, then get turn from shoulders (for arms) and waist. Very advanced can get the turning from the soles.
- in Form and Push Hands always leg first, then arms; legs active, arms passive – slight disconnection. Horse step yield is better than body yield, body yield is better than arm yield (same also for attack).
- Wei Li; Song Wei Li (and Dan Tien) to keep the Qua. Then easy to step etc. E.g. use in SSWF1 to turn and release into one leg.
- Shoulder movement is the same in SSWF1, 2, 3 and 4. See-Saw; shoulder down, arm up. Find it in one and put it into others.
- the whole body moves, not just lift the arm. Have to be passive. Relax leg, then relax body etc to relax chest to relax shoulders to raise/lift arm.
- when you think you are stuck or cannot improve then go back to basics of HYZZ and SSWF

Calmness, Slowly, Fine, Longer
Calmness, Stable, Slowly, Song Down

Short Form
- don’t lose height! Song body but move horizontally. I move back and forwards and my body loses height. Song down and HCC but keep stretch and gaps in body, don’t collapse. Make sure Song down into centre (directly down) before moving. This way you don’t put stress on legs and are able to Song better and also get nice stretch.
- Roll Back, Press and Push; keep hands higher, after HCC as turn to the right the hands go out slightly, right arm disconnects. As turn to left, the left hand starts to go back and right arm sinks due to Song shoulder and elbow (right hand basically stays in the same position; disconnect). As turn back to centre the right arm is rotating slightly (palm starting to face down), left hand swings not much higher than shoulder and drops onto right wrist. Arms rotate (helps with yielding). HCC, then body goes back but arms don’t rise, body Song down (don’t lose height) so arms are just below chin level (do not raise arms!) as Song back. As Song forward, shoulders Song down, hands separate by swinging arms off shoulders (basically elbows drop) but hands keep vertical position (don’t move back or forwards), arms rotating to bring hands palm down. HCC hands take off like airplane about 45° from shoulders dropping and going back while elbows and hands go slightly forward. Then hands come back by Song/dropping shoulders and elbows.
- U-Step; turn first and then step, don’t step and then turn.

Nick’s Notes Tenom July 2016

Soften and expand palms and feet.
Chest soften and expand and stretch.
Fold Qua; fold knees (forward); fold ankles (back)
Yi and Song from back foot through hips to front foot and then up the back chest expand behind neck and down face.
Sole spreads like putty on the ground.
Legs first, arms follow.

Calmly, Slowly, Finely, Long.
Calm, Stable, Slow, Song.

Push Hands
Horse step yield better than body yield; body yield better than arm yield.
Be very light on the feet and supple in the waist.
Practice stepping and being light and listening with the hands. Don't let the pressure build. Bend the Qua and redirect with the chest.
Fold fold fold.

Both knees down.
More Qua to lean in.
Hands not gripped.
Arms stretch. Out straight. Eagle wings, not chicken wings.
Calves and ankles still too tight.
Fold knees forward. Hips in. Ankles back.

End Nick’s notes July 2016

Tenom July 12th – 21st February 2017

- there are 3 positions to practise HYZZ; heels together, horse stance and half-horse (L-step) stance. HYZZ down from head to soles, HYZZ up from soles to head. Eventually everything at once. Kong, Kong, Kong – empty, empty, empty.
- every move you do starts with HYZZ and then continuous empty and full. It is like a pulse (internally) through your body which no one can resist. Don’t just push or do HYZZ/HCC once, in your form and PH do continuous empty and full, your ligaments, tendons and muscles continuously running/releasing, so you are on standby. Don’t use force. Ying/Yang – expansion/contraction. Like teeth on a saw blade or like a hammer drill. If you try to drill concrete with an ordinary drill you have to use a lot of force but if you set it to hammer drill, even with a slight force it will quickly drill a hole. Your body is always passive.
- work on releasing the ligaments, muscles and tendons in the whole body, so that they are constantly in that state.
- HYZZ is always straight, don’t turn or tilt. Like water going down the inside of bamboo.
- SSWF1 when arm 10-25% up then shoulders and chest (and body) start to drop down while hands/arms continue up. HYZZ straight down, then turn and shift weight and Yi into one leg (other leg not 100% empty in weight but 100% empty in Yi). Shoulders drop first to drop the arms.
- WORK ON: keep chin in, open chest more, HYZZ slowly down with emphasis on big Song sown with shoulders and chest.

Tenom 20th – 31st March 2017

- 3 things to work on:
    1) SSWF1 get timing correct for shoulders going down (as arms come up), keep shoulders going down even as turning. Stretch the ligaments/tendons. Practice getting one arm and then the other doing properly, then try to get both correct when doing together. Don’t stop the movement down. Body drops before shoulders start to do (a lag), this creates the effect of the shoulders lifting but it is only the body dropping while shoulders stay in place.
    2) Single leg HYZZ; turn back, roll back arm 45° and HYZZ up (in the one leg). Then HYZZ down as hand comes near ear, drop hand in front of body and repeat. Do for both sides.
    3) Stretching Exercise; beginners do very slow. Internal stretch but Song in body

- Do HYZZ in 4 positions; closed, horse (open), single leg and horse step (half-horse).

- get the ligaments and tendons to stretch inside with Song. This makes the movement internal, and externally cannot see if Song or not. Achieve this by making the movements big externally and eventually feel the Ligaments/Tendons/Muscles stretching and contracting. This is Fajing.

- SSWF3; knee goes in slightly (ie towards centre between feet) as turn. Don’t move knees too much as turning and don’t lean. Stretch as turn so knees not move too much forward, get it working internally. One knee goes out, the opposite arms comes up but be carefully not to lean.

Nick’s Notes – Tenom March 2017

- Constantly running, constantly turning. Feet soft body like a spring.
- Song spreading to the toes
- HYZZ - constant circular running standing style
- HY jing
- Practice 4 positions: HYZZ; HYZZ 2 legs; one leg; ho jing chi in horse stance
- Tongkat (Malay word for support, in TC meaning the back leg acting as a support). Step light and move in close - no need to push. Move with one movement.
- Folding, folding, folding to find root.
- Muscles on the back of neck very important for internal organs - make it song.
- Feel the atmosphere - like swimming. Very heavy arms.
- HYZZ; Whole body song. Very fine. Feet soft so muscles can song through young chuan.
- SSWF1: Body up arms up down and turn and arms moving non stop drop arm between shoulder and elbow earlier and keep whole arm stretched and song. Concentrate more on Qua. Keep full and empty. Knees forward.
- SSWF 2; Very light and smooth. Hands incorrect.

Form - Turn Wei li in even more.
- Ting. Very still center. More and more song. Fold fold. Don't lean or push forward. Keep the Qua tucked in.
- Ankle and calves still not enough song - test in low punch.
- 37 form has 100 ting I ting. Ting I ting, song I song
- Arms very soft. Always running.
- Moving like a saw.
- Tuck Wei li in; curve it in
- Knees down; fold whole body.

Push Hands
- Tongkat
- Shift empty full
- Sink knees and turn
- HYZZ down and an down
- Light arms touch but shift body - like a wave
- Direction straight; hips in; tongkat
End Nick’s notes March 2017

Tenom 17th – 28th August 2017

Stretching Exercise -Song heart (literally and figuratively) this helps with releasing muscles in chest, back, shoulders and stomach. Stretch and contract ligaments and tendons, movements start from rotating inside (e.g. shoulders to turn arms). When contracting fold the qua a lot. When doing the 2 parts were fists are made, it is contracting. Think of soles of feet being on eggs or mattress (cotton feet) so not pressing down too much (even for SSWF and SF). When expand/stretch heels are almost off the ground. Mr F reiterated this exercise is good for me, he has seen an improvement in my shoulders releasing. Everyone is taught according to their needs and thinking. Also reiterated good for learning Fajing. Basically it is HYZZ up and down or how it should be.

SSWF1 – keep arms smooth and continuous, just don’t let drop at end of each cycle - it has 2 HYZZ down; once in both feet and then in single leg. HYZZ is always straight down without shifting centre (have to be very advanced to HYZZ and shift centre at same time, so have to learn separately first). HYZZ in both feet straight down as arms coming up, stop the HYZZ and turn horizontally shifting weight and centre into one leg (shoulders still going down as arms continue up and out, chest opening), then single leg HYZZ as arms drop and fold, then horizontal turn back to both legs as arms drop from fold position

SSWF3 – make arms lazy, don’t be keen with the arms. Left knee forward right arm forward. Waist before arm. Waist leads the shoulder. Shoulder leads the arm. Don’t bob body or head forward; straight up and down HYZZ.

PH – move when see the shadow
- 2 methods; early or late. When early either get of the way or come in before they do. When late then yield and stay connected
- Expansion is attack, contraction is retreat at the same time. Song is the ultimate but must also have technique and experience otherwise Song is useless. Being soft is not enough. Mr F compliments people on being soft, but I think it is similar to GMH saying to someone that displayed good PH prowess “Your force is good!” Though being soft is a step above using force!
- stay connected. The touch can seem to be firm or heavy but as long as arms are Song then it is okay
- yield but try to stay connected or connect back in
- Song, always Song. It doesn’t matter if you lose, as long as you lose by doing the correct method. If you win by using the incorrect method (force) then you will never improve
- don’t stay 50/50, put most of your weight in back or front leg. This gives a chance to step or yield while keeping the lower body stable and freeing up the arms to be more Song. Back leg is tongkat (brace) if you are in front leg, but with Song!

- always practice slowly and finely (see Nick’s notes below on 8 Characteristics)
- make soles like cotton
- shoulders move the arms and hands
-HYZZ straight up and down; make it clear
- HCC is HYZZ up, HYZZ is Song, Song is everything
- forward knee is slightly in (towards centre)
- even though rooted in ground (CMC), your soles are still like cotton (or on egg shells)

HCC – close the hip i.e. Song down then back leg slightly stretching up (don’t push) as front knee comes forward and waist turns (not the torso) towards the front leg side slightly. This keeps the Qua folded and soft. Make sure Wei-li is tucked in. No force, just Song. It gives a stable base for when your arms move forward from the shoulders dropping (don’t push or fold body forward!). In PH if the timing is right with connecting all movements then you will Fajing. There is no force in arms or legs.

Nick’s Notes – Tenom August 2017

1 2 3 turn and ho ching chi
- 1 45° down arms steady and song
- 2 turn and sink Qua and stretch back leg
- 3 arms up then lightly down, with SONG starting at shoulders

Front knee forward and turn in slightly

Sinking down stretching at same speed as arms rise. Very precise.
Also practice turn waist and sink shoulders, stepping patterns. Turn arms in and raise, lead with waist, and end on back foot, hands in position similar to fair lady start. Keep the shoulders rotating and swing the arms. Very natural.

Push Hands
1. Song and back the upper body, front knee forward, hip sink in.
2. Snake hands, very clear release and quickly attack - don't wait. Timing.
3. Use both hands. E.g. take off opponent with right and follow through with left - faster with left. Firm connection with hands and constant pressure. Don't release. And step, step, step, but upright.
Push behind the opponent.
Watch the opponents hands, not arms.
Practice quick steps. Tap, tap, tap.
Practice quick steps, hip in, arms forward.
Upper body yield big and round, but lower body in and under.
- Step, step, step hands constant. Horse stance correct. Feet soft and SONG. Have waist and feet very nimble and soft.
- Song the joints. Shoulders. Work more.
- Much lighter in feet. Like practicing on a mattress.
- Shift lightly from foot to foot. One full; one empty.
- Stretch back leg and soften and turn the Qua. Keep a long stance. Bend at waist, but don't push forward.
- When in contact, maintain a firm pressure with hands, but soft arms and shoulders.
- Forward, forward, forward don't release.
- Can SONG push up.
Sink straight Down, arms stretch out
SONG. Think of back and front leg separating like the splits and body straight down.

Up down turn straight down. Straight back then up.
Keep chest straight and relaxed.
Legs more SONG. Knees down. Let legs lead the shoulders and arms down.
Slowly down keep very separate. Steady and down. More complete.
Keep legs steady, smooth and connected.
Feet on a mattress.
SSWF2 - Hands more relaxed and natural
SSWF3 - Start, SONG down left leg, left knee forward.

Push - hands move into funnel, from wide to narrow.

Eight Characteristics
1. Song(1) Release/Relax/Yield
2. Man(4). Slow.
3. Wen(3). Stable/sure
4. Yun(2). Even/steady
5. Jing(4). Calm
6. Mian(2). Soft, like cotton.
7. Xi(4). Fine
8. Chang(2). Long

Nei gong, not chi gong. HYZZ trains internal movement, not chi. Down contract and stretch, up expand.
The SONG is pulled down from the legs. Legs SONG first. Arms follow. Song chest and contract more and more and more.
End Nick’s notes August 2017

Next Tai Chi Notes

Huang Tai Chi Association Tenom, Borneo. March 2006