Peter has named Cheng Hsin Martial Art as "the Art of Effortless Power". The practice involves a completely relaxed yet effective powerful way of BEING.  All techniques including throws, pushes, and kicks are executed in a relaxed manner. The goal is to move effortlessly, both one's own body and that of a partner, creating an Effective Interaction during training.

However, achieving this state of effortlessness and effective interaction is not easy. It requires a change in mindset, perception, and posture, as well as a shift in focus from the result to the process of movement. The practitioner must be aware of the mind and body's position, and learn to relax both while remaining constantly present in the moment.


picture of 2 people doing a technique effortlessly

"The success of our actions depends entirely on our ability to relate appropriately to what is actually occurring in this moment. When we continuously follow and blend with whatever arises, what we create presents no conflict with what is occuring."
Peter Ralston

Through training, practitioners learn to experience the intrinsic strength of their body, gaining confidence in its abilities. They learn to stretch their muscles and compress their body like a giant ball to find balance and move freely. When practicing with a partner, they learn to deal with the extra force and weight by using principles like yielding, following, leading, and joining. These simple skills lead to profound effectiveness during interaction, even with an incoming force.

During interaction, the focus is on opportunities to accept, listen, feel, follow, join, and connect with the partner, rather than avoiding, resisting, forcing, anticipating, or reacting. Cheng Hsin's classes include boxing, 2-person sword form and swordplay, push hands drills and free push hands, and San Shou form, all done with the principles of Effortless Power and Effective Interaction in mind. The practitioner trains their mind to entirely focus on these aspects, responding rather than reacting.