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"The footage of Master Chen punching is priceless!! "

Jeremy Bacon, New York, NY




"Really enjoying the online videos recently released by William CC Chen. It is definitely worth paying and watching if you like tai chi chuan ... Easily hit 8 hours of watching over 4 days. (Of course training and taking notes along the way) ... Much cheaper than travelling and having to attend his seminar as well. As a previous seminar attendee, it pretty much covers most of what he has said over the years. "

Neijia_Boxer,
Rum Soaked Fist, Internal Martial Arts Forum




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In giving him their Hall of Fame "Man of the Year" award, the martial arts magazine, Inside Kung-Fu, described Master Chen's unique background: "A senior disciple of the legendary Cheng Man-Ching, New York-based grandmaster William C.C. Chen is among the world’s foremost authorities on tai chi free fighting."

William C. C. Chen Teaches How to Punch - Videos

Tai Chi master reveals secrets of fast, effective punching From: Essential Sports and Fitness Video Channel

Grandmaster Chen's specialty is teaching the connection between the Tai Chi movements and achieving great speed and power for self defense. He has trained world-champion martial artists, police, military hand-to-hand combat instructors, and professional boxers.


Demonstration of a Few Hard Punches

The fist takes the shock

William Chen explaining how to punch with Tiffany Chen nearby

Grandmaster Chen throws some hard punches to illustrate that the knuckles are taking the shocks and the body is doing the punching. That is, it's best to think of the fist's role as just receiving the force instead of participating in its creation. (San shou class, 2010. Master Chen was 78 at the time.)

From: William C. C. Chen (00:00:16)

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How to get the Most Power in a Punch

Empty the chest. Stay loose. Don't push

William Chen demonstrating right cross punch

Grandmaster Chen explains that the most effective punches use the lower abdomen (tan t'ien) and the inner thigh. Try pretending that you have a broken arm with a cast and so can't use your arms. Think of punching, unlike breaking a wall, as being like playing the drums, where playing louder yields more power. (San shou class, 2009)

From: William C. C. Chen (00:04:20)

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How to do a Fast Punch

Don't clench your fist

William Chen demonstrates right cross punch without clenching fist

Grandmaster Chen explains and shows why the fingers of the fist should be left open, with the knuckles delivering the punch. As an exercise, pretend that your fingers are hiding a secret written on the target. Don't push in. Clenching slows you down and is not necessary to protect the hand. He illustrates the "one-inch punch" and rapid strikes from a close distance, which requires proper alignment of the fingers, knee, and toes plus a focus on alternating use of the fingers both for the strikes (thumb and first two digits) and for releasing the leg muscles between them (using the pinky finger). (Applications class, 2009.)

From: William C. C. Chen (00:08:23)

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Television Demo of Tai Chi Principles and Punches

What's the difference between Tai Chi for exercise and Tai Chi Chuan?

William Chen shows how to punch

We see a short clip of Michelle Obama doing Tai Chi in China, and then Grandmaster William C. C. Chen discusses the principles of relaxation, flow, and energizing the fingers in the Tai Chi form. The interview gets pretty hilarious as he shows that Tai Chi is more than a health exercize and is a practical martial art. He explains that avoiding muscular tension leads to great speed and demonstrates by holding a banana that the fist does not need to be clenched to deliver an effective punch. (Recorded 2014-03-27.)

From: William C. C. Chen and Arise TV (00:10:42)

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Punching Holding a Banana and with an Open Hand

The fist never needs to be clenched for a strong punch

William Chen punching a bag holding a banana in each hand

This is a clip of Grandmaster William C. C. Chen hitting a punching bag while holding a banana in each hand. He proves that the fist never needs to be clenched, either while doing the Tai Chi form or while strking. By punching a padded wall with his open hand, he shows that the knuckles receive the shock without injury, and demonstrates that a relaxed punch gives the greatest speed, as well as power. (Demonstration at age 81.)

From: KungFuMagazine.com (c) 2014, used with permission (00:00:20)

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Teaching Grandma how to punch

William Chen showing his mother in law how to punch with a banana

Grandmaster Chen teaches his mother-in-law how to punch while holding a banana. She was 90 at the time. Then, he's shown teaching one of his intermediate students how to do the same punch. (Tai Chi application class 2014-04-08.)

From: William C. C. Chen (00:00:37)

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The Connection between Punching and Tai Chi Principles

Sink down, relax, use your toe to spin your fingers

William Chen showing a hook punch

Grandmaster Chen explains and demonstrates the difference between using internal "compression" energy versus muscle power for punching. He compares chi to "pumping air in a tire". He talks about the how energy is transmitted from the toe and leg muscles to the fingers. He starts with images: you "get ready to jump" and then "jump your fingers". Your toe drives in, spinning the fingers, with the body following. Meet the resistance without pushing in. (San shou class, 2010)

From: William C. C. Chen (00:10:56)

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Arms are floating. Swimming in the air

William Chen giving Tom Otterness punch pointer

Grandmaster Chen gives punching pointers to senior student, Tom Otterness. The emphasis is on keeping the body relaxed throughout the punch, with no tensing or extra use of muscles.

From: William C. C. Chen (00:04:31)

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How to do Fast Punches

The body stays loose and follows

William Chen showing the role of the lower abdomen (tan t'ien)

To speed up punches, Grandmaster Chen recommends against thinking too much about the punch as a strike. Focus on keeping the body loose and following the hand, rather than the body leading the hand. The axis that the body turns on is in one hip or the other, not both, so don't try to turn both hips in unison. (Workshop, 2009)

From: William C. C. Chen (00:01:08)

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How to do a Powerful Punch

Stay loose and maintain "gorilla shape" no matter how hard you punch

William Chen helping student maintain correct shape for a punch

Grandmaster Chen uses the image of serving coffee and tea in a relaxed manner to convey the body shape needed to deliver power while protecting the shoulder. He discusses the similarity of the shape made for a punch with the shapes made in the Tai Chi form, such as the "ward-off" movement. He shows adjusting the position to protect from kick attacks and demonstrates rapid alternating between low and high punches. The toe spins you in. Don't push out. (San shou class, 2009)

From: William C. C. Chen (00:04:40)

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Reach out and stay there. Don't pull back

William Chen demonstrates right cross punch

Grandmaster Chen warns about reducing impact by bouncing off or pushing. For a knock out punch, use your toe to help spin to the target, and "jam-up" and stay until you decide not to stay. Both hands support each other. You don't need to pull all the way back. Don't drop your hands but learn to protect your head and punch from there. (San shou class, 2009)

From: William C. C. Chen (00:04:04)

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How to Jab with Power

Don't push. Expand from the ground

William Chen instructing Tiffany Chen in the jab

Grandmaster Chen corrects the jabs of his students. Here he is training his daughter Tiffany. Don't push into the target, and don't turn the hips. Expand from the ground, "walk up", like marching in a parade. Put your foot down first and use the toe and the ball of the foot to push the knuckles out, making a solid popping sound at the target. If you don't pull all the way back, you create the possibility of doing another, faster jab. If you do pull back, your elbow doesn't need to stay up and you can get some extra protection. (San shou class, 2009)

From: William C. C. Chen (00:07:05)

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Strong impact requires a stabble knee

William Chen instructing Jordan F. and Eddy on how to jab

Grandmaster Chen corrects students, showing them how to jab with power and create an impact. Knee pushes in and is stabble, not wobbly. Toe spins. The fist drives in and takes the shot and the inner thigh generates the power. (Application class, 2009)

From: William C. C. Chen (00:01:48)

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The arm transmits the body's power

William Chen explaining how to punch

Grandmaster demonstrates some fast, solid jabs and a couple of cross punches and explains that the arm shouldn't pull back and push forward independently. (San shou class, 2009)

From: William C. C. Chen (00:00:25)

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Some Medium Power Jabs and Cross Punches

Tiffany Chen gets pointers from her father

William Chen explaining how to punch

Grandmaster Chen and Tiffany Chen doing some left jabs and right cross punches. With brief guest appearance of his son Max. (San shou class, 2010)

From: William C. C. Chen (00:00:19)

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How to do Fast and Hard Uppercuts and Jabs

Keep arm and body loose and step up

William Chen shows a jab punch

Grandmaster Chen demonstrates and offers advice on doing fast jabs. Imagine you are catching something that's dropped. Spin the fingers and just get there. For power, don't step down when you punch. Instead, "step up". A light punch is like carrying an empty shopping bag, and it can get heavier and heavier. Finally, he shows the position needed to protect from kicks and body shots without loosing the power of the punch. (Application workshop, 2009)

From: William C. C. Chen (00:02:52)

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How to do High Speed Uppercuts, Jabs, and Cross Punches

Don't stop your punch. Just get there

William Chen explaining cross punch

Grandmaster Chen teaches students to do high speed punches. Don't stop your punch or squeeze your fist. Just get there and stay there. The body knows how to take the power The toe is involved in generating the punch, but the leg doesn't need to move. The two hands work together and support each other. Don't think about one hand at a time. (Application workshop, 2009)

From: William C. C. Chen (00:04:34)

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How to do Fast, Energetic Uppercuts

Yes, yes!

William Chen demonstrates uppercut to student

Grandmaster Chen demonstrates turning the mind off and on, switching between memory shapes. He spins his hand and says "Yes" with each uppercut to energize and speed the punch. He emphasizes staying loose and not pushing in after the punch. (Application workshop, 2009)

From: William C. C. Chen (00:03:42)

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Spinning power

William Chen explaining uppercut to students

Grandmaster Chen shows how to speed up repeated uppercuts by staying loose and spinning the hand for each punch. He demonstrates using an open palm for the strike to make it easier for the students to stay relaxed while moving. (Application workshop, 2009)

From: William C. C. Chen (00:00:36)

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Make the shape. Thinking about turning takes too much time

William Chen teaching the uppercut punch to Kan K.

Grandmaster Chen explains and shows the principles behind making rapid uppercuts. Wake up and make the shape. Go right back and do it again. Head and neck must be coordinated with the move. Like a weightlifter, the arms stay loose and the fingers do the work. (Application workshop, 2009)

From: William C. C. Chen (00:01:36)

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Don't push!

William Chen demonstrates uppercut to Steven A. and Kan K.

Grandmaster Chen corrects students doing repeated uppercuts. Don't push. Stop right at the target and stay there. Body folds and unfolds. (Application class, 2009)

From: William C. C. Chen (00:02:01)

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How to do Effective Hooks

Open up the hip

William Chen showing a hook punch

To help students understand the body mechanics of the hook, Grandmaster Chen slows down the action. To set up the hook, you must wind up your hip, opening up the space between the chest wall and the elbow. Don't wind up the whole body. (Application class, 2010)

From: William C. C. Chen (00:00:38)

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A snake is fast because it's soft. Just make the "memory shape"

William Chen showing a hook punch

In studying the hook, Grandmaster Chen advises students not to try to hit hard or penetrate the target. He explains that a snake strike is so quick because it's soft and focuses on moving its teeth accurately. Its body just follows along. For a hook, you just flip over the fingers and make the shape. The toe spins the inner thigh. (Application class, 2010)

From: William C. C. Chen (00:03:03)

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Maintain "gorilla shape". Knees close on activation of the toe and legs

William Chen showing a hook punch

Grandmaster Chen explains the details of generating a strong hook. The elbow stays in space and doesn't pull back. You take on a "gorilla shape" in the relationship between chest, shoulders, and arms. To generate power requires a serious intention ("I want to kill you"). (Application class, 2010)

From: William C. C. Chen (00:01:47)

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How to do an Uppercut Hook Combination

Slap and Roll in

William Chen showing a hook

Grandmaster Chen demonstrates the relaxed power and speed needed to do a hook after an uppercut. Slap up for the uppercut, and then roll in with the hook. (Application workshop, 2009)

From: William C. C. Chen (00:01:27)

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Slap and catch the fly

William Chen showing the uppercut as a slap

Grandmaster Chen explains how to do a fast hook after an uppercut. Being relaxed and staying loose is the key. If you get tense, you can't catch a fly. First slap up for the uppercut, and then catch the fly. (Application workshop, 2009)

From: William C. C. Chen (00:03:10)

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How to do a Backfist Hook Combination

Turn the wheel. Don't push. Just get there

William Chen showing how to do a hook after a backfist punch

Grandmaster Chen teaches a strike against two opponents. The axis is the "positive" hip, over the leg doing the punch. The hook curves downward with the elbow up. Roll in. Think about turning a big wheel. Use the inner thigh and maintain rounded gorilla shape of the shoulders. (Application workshop, 2009)

From: William C. C. Chen (00:23:24)

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