BOXING METHODS OF THE INTERNAL SCHOOL (NEI JIA QUAN FA)

王征南先生傳
BIOGRAPHY OF WANG ZHENGNAN
[also known in abridged form as 內家拳法 Boxing Methods of the Internal School]
黃百家
by Huang Baijia
[1676]

[translation by Paul Brennan, Aug, 2014]

王征南先生傳 - 1

王征南先生傳 - 2

王征南先生傳 - 3

王征南先生傳 - 4

王征南先生傳 - 5

王征南先生傳 - 6

王征南先生傳 - 7

王征南先生傳 - 8

征南先生有絕技二曰拳曰射然穿楊貫戟善射者古多有之而惟拳則先生為最
Wang Zhengnan mastered two arts: boxing and archery. But although there have been many extraordinary archers throughout history, Wang was the best boxer.

葢自外家至少林其術精矣張三峰旣精於少林復從而飜之是名內家得其一二者已足勝少林先生從學於單思南而獨得其全
Shaolin is the peak of refinement for the external arts. Zhang Sanfeng was a Shaolin expert, but he turned the art on its head and thereby created the internal school. Obtaining just a little bit of it is enough to defeat Shaolin. Wang Zhengnan learned it from Dan Sinan and was the only one of his students to obtain the entire curriculum.

余少不習科舉業喜事甚聞先生名因褁糧至寶幢學焉先生亦自絕憐其技授受甚難其人亦樂得余而傳之有五不可傳心險者好鬭者狂酒者輕露者骨柔質鈍者居室欹窄習余於其旁之鐵佛寺
When I was young, I did not train at all for the civil service exams, for I preferred doing things that were a little more extreme. Once I had heard about Wang’s fame, I bundled up some provisions and went to the village of Baozhuang to learn from him. Wang was extremely proprietorial toward his art and very picky about accepting students, but he was happy to take me in and teach me. (There were five kinds of people who he would never teach: those who are devious, those who love to fight, those who are addicted to booze, those who gossip, and those who are klutzy.) There was not enough space in his house, so he trained me instead at the neighboring Iron Buddha Temple.

其拳法有應敵打法色名若干長拳滚斫分心十字擺肘逼門迎風銕扇棄物投先推肘補陰彎心杵肋舜子投井剪腕點節紅霞貫日烏雲掩月猿猴獻果綰肘褁靠仙人照掌彎弓大步兊換胞月左右揚鞭銕門閂柳穿魚滿肚疼連枝箭一提金雙架筆金剛跌雙推窓順牽羊亂抽麻燕擡腮虎抱頭四把腰等
His art has many colorfully named combat techniques, such as: Reaching Punch and Rolling Chop, Punch Across the Center to Each Side, Swinging an Elbow to Force the Door, Waving an Iron Fan Against the Wind, Letting Go of One Object to Fling Another Forward, Pushing an Elbow into the Crotch, Caving in with Your Chest to Pound His Ribs, Emperor Shun is Thrown into the Well, Cutting with Your Wrist to Attack His Joints, Sun Breaking Through Dawn Clouds, Dark Clouds Hiding the Moon, Ape Offers Fruit, Coil an Elbow in to Curl Up and Bump, Immortal Shows a Palm, Drawing a Bow in a Long Stance, Share an Embrace with the Moon, Left & Right Lifting a Rod, Sealing the Door With an Iron Bar, Hanging a Fish on a Branch, Filling the Stomach with Agony, Successive Arrows, Lifting Up a Gold Piece, Holding up a Writing Brush with Both Hands, Arhat Tumbles on the Ground, Pushing Open a Window with Both Hands, Leading a Sheep, Untangling a Rope, Swallow Tilts Up a Cheeks, Tiger Hides its Head, Wrapping All the Way Around the Waist, and so on.

穴法若干死穴啞穴暈穴咳穴膀胱蝦蟆猿跳曲池鎖㗋解頤合谷內關三里等穴
There are many acupoint targets, such as: points which cause death, muteness, fainting, coughing, as well as the bladder, the “croaking toad”, the “jumping ape”, or Qu Chi [outer part of the bend at the elbow], Suo Hou [spot on the throat between the collar bones], Jie Yi [side of the jaw], He Gu [pit between thumb and forefinger], Nei Guan [inside of forearm near wrist], San Li [outside of forearm near elbow], among others.

所禁犯病法若干嬾散遲緩歪斜寒肩老步腆胸直立軟腿脫肘戳拳紐臀曲腰開門捉影雙手齊出
There are many prohibitions against bad habits: do not be lazy, sluggish, or slouching, do not raise your shoulders, step like an old man, stick out your chest, stand too upright, pamper your legs, lift your elbows, sprain your fists, stick your butt out, bend at the waist, engage randomly, or put out both hands with the same reach.

而其要則在乎鍊鍊旣成熟不必顧盻擬合信手而應縱橫前後悉逢肯綮
The key principle is practice. Skill will only be achieved through practice. It is not necessary to seek for someone to copy, only to respond to opponents with whatever works, up or down, left or right, forward or back, and to notice the correct moment to engage.

其鍊法有鍊手者三十五斫削枓磕靠擄逼抹芟敲搖擺撒鐮囂兠搭剪分挑綰衝鈎勒耀兊換括起倒壓發揷削釣
There are thirty-five hand techniques to practice: chop, erase, shake, knock, bump, wrap, urge, wipe, hack, beat, wave, swing, deflect, slash, clap, cover, meet, cut, spread, carry, entwine, thrust, hook, pull, dazzle, replace, switch, contract, lift, overturn, crush, shoot, insert, peel, and dangle.

鍊步者十八㼭步後㼭步碾步冲步撒步曲步蹋步歛步坐馬步釣馬步連枝步仙人步分身步翻身步追步逼步斜步絞花步
There are eighteen stepping techniques to practice: cushion step, rear cushion step, grinding step, racing step, scattering stance, crouching stance, stomping step, withdrawing step, horse-riding stance, high horse-riding stance, alignment stance, immortal’s stance, sideways-body step, turning-body step, chasing step, urgent step, diagonal step, and twisting-vine step.

而總攝於六路與十叚錦之中各有歌訣
These elements are all used within the Six Lines and the Ten Sections of Brocade, each recorded in verse. [The name “ten sections” is obviously not the same kind of thing as the “six lines” seeing it has twelve lines of verse. What exactly the “sections” are is a mystery.]

其六路曰佑神通臂最為高斗門深鎖轉英豪仙人立起朝天勢撒出抱月不相饒揚鞭左右人難及煞鎚衝擄兩翅搖
The Six Lines:
     DIPPER POSTURE reaches out and locks up, turning you into a hero.
The THROUGH-THE-ARM punching posture of guardian gods is the highest skill.
IMMORTAL STANDS POINTING TO THE SKY.
Deflect aside and EMBRACE THE MOON, leaving none of it for others.
LIFTING A ROD makes it difficult for surrounding opponents to reach you.
CRUEL HAMMERING, THRUST & WRAP, then SWING BOTH WINGS.

其十段錦曰立起坐山虎勢廻身急步三追架起雙刀歛步滚斫進退三廻分身十字急三追架刀斫歸營寨紐拳碾步勢如初滚斫退歸原路入步韜隨前進滚斫歸初飛步金雞獨立緊攀弓坐馬四平兩顧
The Ten Sections of Brocade:
     BEGINNING POSTURE, TIGER SITS ON ITS MOUNTAIN.
TURN AROUND, THREE QUICK CHASING STEPS.
PROP UP TWO SABERS, WITHDRAWING STEPS.
ROLLING CHOPS WITH THREE ADVANCES AND RETREATS.
PUNCH ACROSS THE BODY TO EACH SIDE, TRIPLE PUNCHES.
PROP UP A SABER AND CHOP, RETURN TO BARRACKS.
     TWISTED PUNCHES, GRINDING STEP, RESUME ORIGINAL POSTURE.
ROLLING CHOP, RETREAT TO FACE ORIGINAL DIRECTION.
ENTERING STEP, ADVANCING LIKE SLIPPING INTO A SHEATH.
ROLLING CHOP, JUMP BACK TO STARTING POINT.
GOLDEN ROOSTER STANDS ON ONE LEG, PULL THE BOWSTRING TAUT.
LEVEL HORSE-RIDING STANCE, LOOK TO BOTH SIDES.

顧其詞皆隱略難記余因各為詮釋之以備遺忘
Considering that these poems are obscure and brief, and therefore hard to hold in the mind, I have added detailed explanations for each of them so as to preserve the material for posterity:

詮六路曰
The Six Lines in detail:

斗門左膊垂下拳衝上當前右手平屈向外兩拳相對為斗門以右足踝前斜靠左足踝後名連枝步右手以雙指從左拳鈎進復鈎出名亂抽麻右足亦隨右手向左足前鈎進復鈎出作小蹋步還連枝o
DIPPER POSTURE:
     Your left arm hangs down, then thrusts upward in front of you with a fist, while your right arm, level and bent, goes outward. Both fists then point to each other to make the Dipper posture. The front of your right ankle is diagonally facing the back of your left ankle, making an alignment stance. Then your right hand, pointing with two fingers, goes forward from your left fist, which is now a hook hand, and then the hook goes out. This is the way to perform the technique of Untangling a Rope. Your right foot goes along with the movement of your right hand by hooking around in front of your left foot, then as the hook hand goes out, it makes a small stomp and you perform another alignment stance.

通臂長拳也右手先陰出長拳左手伏乳左手從右拳下亦出長拳右手伏乳共四長拳足連枝隨長拳微搓挪左右凡長拳要對直手背向內向外者卽病法中戳拳o
THROUGH-THE-ARM (another name for reaching punch):
     Your right hand, starting out with its palm facing downward, sends out a reaching punch, your left hand bending in toward your chest. Then your left hand goes from below your right fist, also coming out as a reaching punch, your right hand bending in to your chest. Repeat this for a total of four punches. Your feet are in an alignment stance and go along with your reaching punches by pivoting side to side. Reaching punches should always be pointing as a vertical fist with the back of the hand slightly visible to you, for punching with the back of the hand facing outward [i.e. bending the wrist inward] is a bad habit that will lead to sprains.

仙人朝天勢將左手長拳往右耳後向左前斫下伏乳左足搓左右手往左耳後向右前斫下鈎起閣左拳背抝右拳正當鼻前似朝天勢右足跟劃進當前橫向外靠左足尖如丁字樣是為仙人步凡步俱蹲矬直立者病法所禁o
IMMORTAL POINTS TO THE SKY:
     Send your left reaching punch behind your right ear, then do a chop downward to the forward left and bring it back to your chest. Your left foot pivoting to the left, your right hand goes behind your right ear, then does a chop downward to the forward right and hooks upward, bracing the back of your left fist. Your right fist then turns inward in front of your nose as though pointing to the sky, your right heel scraping forward to be in front of you and turned outward, touching your left toes to make a T shape, or an “immortal’s stance”. Every stance should be squatted down. Standing straight up is a bad habit to be avoided. [i.e. Although this is a kind of feet-together position, your knees are still to be bent.]

抱月右足向右至後大撒步左足隨轉右作坐馬步兩拳平陰相對為抱月復搓前手還斗門足還連枝仍四長拳歛左右拳緊叉當胸陽靣右外左內兩膊夾脇o
EMBRACE THE MOON:
     Your right foot takes a large scattering step to the right rear, your left foot goes along with the movement by pivoting to the right to make a horse-riding stance, and your fists point to each other, the fist centers facing downward, to make the posture of “embracing the moon”. Then twist forward, your hands returning to the Dipper posture, your feet returning to an alignment stance. Then do another four reaching punches and withdraw both fists to be crossed close in front of your chest, the backs of the fists facing outward, right arm outside, left arm inside, arms pressed to your ribs.

揚鞭足搓轉向後右足在前左足在後右足卽前進追步右手陽發陰膊直肘平屈橫前如角尺樣左手扯後伏脅一歛轉靣左手亦陽發陰左足進同上o
LIFTING A ROD:
     Your feet twist you around to the rear, right foot in front, left foot behind. Then your right foot advances with a chasing step as your right hand goes from facing outward with the back of the hand to shooting out with the palm facing downward, the forearm straight across in front of you, the elbow level and bending the arm into a right angle. Your left hand is pulled back, withdrawn to your ribs. Then turn and do the same shooting action with your left hand as your left foot advances, the technique the same as on the right.

煞鎚左手平陰屈橫右手向後兠至左掌右足隨右手齊進至左足後o
CRUEL HAMMERING:
     With your left arm bent in horizontally, palm facing downward, your right hand goes to the rear and comes inward to cover over your left palm [as it turns to be palm upward], your right foot going along with the movement of your right hand by advancing until behind your left foot.

衝擄有手向後翻身直斫右足隨轉向後左足揭起左拳衝下着左膝上為釣馬步此專破少林摟地挖金磚等法者右手擄左㬹左手卽從右手內竪起左足上前逼步右足隨進後仍還連枝兩手仍還斗門o
THRUST & WRAP:
     Your right hand does a vertical chop to the rear, your body turning around, your right foot going along with the movement by pivoting to the rear, your left foot lifted, and your left fist thrusts downward until touching the top of your left knee. You are in a high horse-riding stance. This is designed for defeating opponents who use Shaolin techniques such as DIGGING BURIED GOLD BRICKS OUT OF THE GROUND, etc. Your right hand wraps over your left elbow, then your left hand goes straight up from inside your right arm, your left foot taking an urgent step forward and your right foot following the advance to again make an alignment stance, your hands having returned to the Dipper posture.

兩翅搖擺兩足搓右作坐馬步兩拳平陰着胸先將右手掠開平直如翅復收至胸左手亦然o
SWING BOTH WINGS:
     Your feet pivot to the right and make a horse-riding stance, both fists coming in level to touch your chest, the fist centers facing downward. Your right hand sweeps aside like a wing and returns to your chest, then your left hand does likewise. [Then return to Dipper posture.]

詮十叚錦曰
The Ten Sections of Brocade in Detail:

坐山虎勢起斗門連枝足搓向右作坐馬兩拳平陰着胸o
TIGER SITS ON ITS MOUNTAIN:
     Beginning with the Dipper posture, pivot your alignment stance to the right and make a horse-riding stance, both fists coming in level to touch your chest, the fist centers facing downward.

急步三追右手撒開轉身左手出長拳同六路但六路用連枝步至槎轉方右足在前仍為連枝步而此用進退歛步循環三進o
THREE QUICK CHASING STEPS:
     Your right hand deflects away to the side as your body turns and then your left hand does a reaching punch. The is similar to the [THROUGH-THE-ARM technique in the] Six Lines set, but in that case it is done with an alignment stance pivoting with your right foot in front, then around to again make an alignment stance, while the footwork in this case is instead the actions of advance > retreat > withdraw, advancing three times [right, left, right].

雙刀歛步左膊垂下拳直豎當前右手平屈向外叉左手內兩足緊歛步o
TWO SABERS, WITHDRAWING STEPS:
     Your left arm hangs down and then punches upward in front of you as your right arm, level and bent, goes outward and then inward to cross to the inside of your left arm, your feet urgently withdrawing.

滚斫進退三廻將前手抹下後手斫進如是者三進三退凡斫法上圓中直下仍圓如鉞斧樣o
ROLLING CHOPS WITH THREE ADVANCES AND RETREATS:
     Your front hand wipes downward as your rear hand chops forward. Repeat this action three times advancing [right hand chopping with right foot forward, left chop with left foot, right chop with right foot] and three times retreating [left hand chopping with left foot forward, right chop with right foot, left chop with left foot]. Each chop begins above with an arc [away from you], becomes more vertical on its way down, and is arcing again [back toward you] at the bottom, in the manner of a hatchet cleaving through.

分身十字兩手仍着胸以左手撒開左足隨左手出右手出長拳循環三拳右手仍着胸以右手撒開左足轉面左手出長拳亦循環三拳o
PUNCH ACROSS THE BODY TO EACH SIDE:
     Both hands come back to your chest, then your left hand deflects away to the side, your left foot stepping out along with the movement of your left hand, and your right hand does a reaching punch, then continue for a total of three successive punches. Your right hand comes back to your chest, then deflects away to the side, your left foot pivoting in as you turn around, and your left hand does a reaching punch, then continue for a total of three successive punches.

架刀斫歸營寨右手復叉左手內斫法同前滚斫法但轉面只三斫用右手轉身o
PROP UP A SABER AND CHOP, RETURN TO BARRACKS:
     Your right hand crosses to the inside of your left arm and chops as before, a rolling chop, but turned to a different direction. Do a total of three chops, your right hand chopping the third time as your body turns around.

紐拳碾步拳下垂左手畧出右手下出上進俱陰面左足隨左手右足隨右手搓挪不轉面兩紐o
KNOTTED FISTS, GRINDING STEP:
     Your hands hang down as fists, then your left fist slightly comes out and your right fist comes out under it to go forward and upward, the fist centers facing downward. Your left foot goes along with the movement of your left fist and your right foot shifts along with the movement of your right fist, but you do not change direction while performing this technique.

滚斫退歸原路左手翻身三斫退步o
ROLLING CHOP, RETREAT TO FACE ORIGINAL DIRECTION:
     Your left hand chops three times as your body turns around and your step retreats.

縚搥連進左手平着胸畧撒開平直右手覆拳兠上至左手腕中止左足隨左手入歛步翻身右手亦平着胸同上o
ADVANCING LIKE SLIPPING INTO A SHEATH:
     Your left hand comes in level to touch your chest, then slightly deflects away to the side until level and straightened. Your right hand returns to being a fist and covers over your left wrist. Your left foot does an entering step, then withdraws as your body turns. Your right hand then comes in level to touch your chest and the movement repeats on the other side.

滚斫歸初飛步右手斫後右足搓挪o
ROLLING CHOP, JUMP BACK TO STARTING POINT:
     Your right hand chops to the rear, as your right foot shifts.

金雞立緊攀弓右手復斫右足搓轉左拳自上揷下左足釣馬進半步右足隨還連枝卽六路拳衝釣馬步o
GOLDEN ROOSTER STANDS ON ONE LEG, PULL THE BOWSTRING TAUT:
     Your right hand again chops, your right foot pivoting to turn you around, and your left fist inserts downward from above as your left foot goes into high horse-riding stance then advances a half step, your right foot then returning to an alignment stance. This is the same as the Six Line’s thrust punch in high horse-riding stance [THRUST & WRAP].

坐馬四平兩顧卽六路兩翅搖擺還斗門轉坐馬搖擺
LEVEL HORSE-RIDING STANCE, LOOK TO BOTH SIDES (same as the Six Line’s SWING BOTH WINGS and return to Dipper posture.):
     Turn around, horse-riding stance, swing. [Then return to Dipper posture.]

六路與十叚錦多相同處大約六路鍊骨使之能緊十叚錦緊後又使之放開
Although the Six Lines set and the Ten Sections set are for the most part the same kind of material, the Six Lines emphasizes toughening the bones while the Ten Sections emphasizes loosening the joints.

先生見之笑曰余以終身之習往往猶費追憶子一何簡捷若是乎雖然子藝自此不精矣
Wang looked at what I had so far recorded, then smiled and told me: “I’ve practiced this stuff my whole life, but I often still seem to have trouble remembering it all. How’ve you made it is as clear as this? I don’t think your skill in the art will ever be able to live up to this record you’ve made of it.”

余旣習其拳射則以無其器而僅傳其法其射法
Although I trained in his boxing art, my experience of his archery did not involve any actual bow and arrow, for I had only been taught the principles. His archery art runs thus:

一曰利器調弓審矢弓必視乎已力之强弱矢又視乎弓力之重輕寧手强於弓毋弓强於手如手有四力五力寧挽三力四力之弓古者以石量弓今以力一個力重九斤四兩三力四力之弓箭長十把重四錢五分五六力之弓箭長九把半重五錢五分大約射的者弓貴窄箭貴輕禦敵者弓寧寬箭寧重
1. The proper equipment:
     Examine both the bow and the arrows. The bow must suit your body’s strength. The arrow must suit the bow’s draw weight. Better for the hand to be stronger than the bow rather than the bow stronger than the hand.
     If your hand can handle up to four or five “efforts”, it is best to be drawing a three to four effort bow. In ancient times, “stones” were used to determine draw weight. Nowadays, we use efforts: one “effort” is the equivalent of about ten pounds. For a three or four effort bow, the arrow should be ten grips in length and weigh eight ounces. For a five or six effort bow, the arrow should be nine and a half grips in length and weigh nine ounces.
     Generally speaking, in sport archery, the bow should be thin and the arrow should be light, while in battlefield archery, it is better for the bow to be thick and for the arrow to be heavy.

二曰審鵠鵠有遠近欲定鏃之所至則以前手高下凖之箭不知所落處是名野矢欲知落處則以前手之高下分遠近如把子八十步前手與肩對一百步則與眼對一百三四十步則與眉對最遠一百七八十步則與帽頂相對矣
2. Addressing the target:
     To be certain your arrow tip will go the full distance and reach the target, the height of your front hand must be accurate. If you do not know where your arrow is going to land, this is called a “wild arrow”. If you wish to know where it will land, the height of your front hand will determine the distance. If the target is eighty paces away, place your front hand at shoulder level. A hundred paces away – eye level. A hundred and thirty to a hundred and forty paces away – brow level. A hundred and seventy to a hundred and eighty paces away, the limit of range – headtop level.

三曰正體葢身有身法手有手法足有足法眼有眼法射雖在手實本於身忌腆胸偃背須亦如拳法蹲矬連枝步則身不動臀不顯肩肘腰腿力萃於一處手法務要平直必左拳與左㬹左肩及右肩右㬹節節相對如引繩發箭時左手不知巧力盡用之右手左足尖右足跟與上肩手相應眼不可單看把子葢眼在把子則手與把子反不相對矣只立定時將左足尖恰對垜心身體旣正則手足自相應引滿時以右眼觀左手無不中矣
3. The proper posture:
     The body has its body principles, the hand has its hand principles, the foot has its foot principles, and the eye has its eye principles:
     Despite taking place in your hands, archery is actually based in your body. Never stick out your chest and lean back. It has to be just like in the boxing art. Lower yourself in an alignment stance [i.e. “front of your right ankle diagonally facing the back of your left ankle”] to keep your body from swaying and your butt from sticking out. The power of your shoulders, elbows, waist, and legs gathers upon a single target.
     As for the hand principles, your left arm should be straight and level, the fist in a line with your left elbow, left shoulder, right shoulder, right elbow, each part linking together. When drawing back the string and loosing the arrow, your left hand should not try to be clever, only your right hand should be making any action.
     There should be coordinating above and below involving your left toes and right heel with your shoulders and hands. Once you are standing before the target, point your left toes to the center of it. When you have the proper posture, your hands and feet will be naturally aligning with each other.
     Your eyes must not fixate on the target. If you stare at the target, your hand will come out of alignment with it. Once the bow is drawn fully, look with your right eye at your left hand, then you will always hit the target.

然此雖精詳纎悉得專家之秘授者猶或聞之
(Although this is exquisitely detailed, there may still be more secrets for us to learn from other experts.)

而惟是先生之所注意獨喜自負逈絕乎凡技之上者於拳則有盤斫拳家唯斫最重斫有四種滚斫柳葉斫十字斫雷公斫而先生另有盤斫則能以斫破斫
The thing Wang gave special attention to, was most triumphant about, and what puts his art above the rest, is his twisting chop. (Boxing experts all agree the technique of chopping is extremely important. There are four kinds of chop: rolling chop, willow leaf chop, crossed-body chop, and Lei Gong [the Chinese god of thunder] chop, to which Wang has added the twisting chop as a way to use a chop to defeat a chop.)

於射則於斗室之中張弦白矢出而注鍭百發無失卷席作垜以凳仰置桌上將席閣之使極平正以矢鏃對席心離一尺滿彀正體射之矢着席看其矢鏃偏向或左或右卽時救正之上下亦然必使其矢從席罅無聲而過則出而射鍭但以左足尖對之信手而發自然無失
The special feature within his archery was his method of small room practice, in which he drew back the string and shot out a white arrow so the tip went all the way through – a training for never missing.
     Roll up a bamboo mat, place the roll on a stool on top of a table, and position it as straight as possible. Aim the arrow tip at the center of the roll from only a foot away. Fully draw the bow, stand properly, and shoot. Once the arrow has hit the roll, look at which direction the arrowhead is inclining, whether to the left or right, upward or downward, and seek to correct it. You must get the arrow to pass silently through the gaps in the roll so the tip comes out the other side. As long as your left toes are pointing at the target and your hands are confident when they shoot, it will be natural to not miss.

此則先生熟久智生劃焉心開而獨創者也
These ideas came from Wang’s many years of experience. With much thought came realizations and then original creations.

方余之習拳於鐵佛寺也琉璃慘澹土木猙獰余與先生演肄之餘濁酒數杯團圞繞歩候山月之方升聽溪流之嗚咽先生談古道今意氣忼慨因為余兼及槍刀劔鉞之法曰拳成外此不難矣某某處卽槍法也某某處卽劒鉞法也以至卒伍之步伐陣壘之規模莫不淋漓傾倒曰我無傳人我將盡授之子矣余時鼻端出火興致方騰慕雎陽伯紀之為人謂天下事必非齷齪拘儒之所任必其能上馬殺敵下馬擒王始不負七尺於世
My training at the temple was as precise as making glass and as demanding as constructing a building. After a practice, Wang and I would share some cups of wine, then walk in the moonlight once it had risen over the hills on the horizon, and I heard the brook gently babbling while he talked of old ways and new.
     Because he was so generous with me, he trained me at the same time in the methods of spear, saber, sword, and axe. “Once you have learned the boxing sets, the rest of this curriculum is no trouble. Some of the boxing techniques will be just like techniques for the spear, others like techniques for the sword or the axe.” Teaching me even about how to march squads of soldiers or plan for the encampment of an army, he poured out everything he knew to the last drop. “I have no disciples, so I will do my utmost to teach the art to you.”
     I was in those days breathing fire out of my nose and jumping all over the place. I admired men like Bo Ji of Suiyang, who thought that the world must not be run by narrow-minded pedants, but instead by those who are able to mount a horse and go kill the enemy and then dismount to seize their king. Only then could one stand tall in the world.

顧箭術雖授未嘗習其支左屈右之形因與先生約將於明年正月具是器而卒業焉
(Although I had received his archery art, I had not yet trained in his bow drawing posture. Because of his restrictiveness, he had scheduled me to start it in the beginning of next year, a special course of study for after I had completed the rest of the boxing curriculum.)

然當是時西南旣靖東南亦平四海晏如此眞挽强二石不若一丁之時家大人見余跅弛放縱恐遂流為年少狹邪之徒將使學為科舉之文而余見家勢飄零當此之時技卽成而何所用亦遂自悔其所為因降心抑志一意夫經生業擔簦負笈問途於陳子䕫獻陳子介睂范子國雯萬子季野張子心友等而諸君子適俱亦在甬東先生入城時嘗過余齋談及武藝事猶為余諄諄愷切曰拳不在多惟在熟鍊之純熟卽六路亦用之不窮其中分陰陽止十八法而變出卽有四十九又曰拳如絞花槌左右中前後皆到不可止顧一面又曰拳亦由愽而歸約由七十二跌卽長拳滚斫分心十字等打法名色三十五拿卽斫刪科磕靠等以至十八卽六路中十八法由十八而十二倒換搓挪滚脫牽綰跪坐撾拿由十二而總歸之存心之五字敬緊徑勁切故精于拳者所記止有數字余時注意舉業雖勉强聽受非復昔時之興會而先生亦且貧病交纒心枯容悴而憊矣
In those days, peace had been brought to the southwest. Peace had been brought to the southeast. Peace had been brought to the whole nation. It was indeed a time when dragging two stones into place [i.e. building a fortress] was seen as inferior to hammering in a single nail [i.e. building a house].
     My parents considered me to be rebellious and out of control, worried that I would turn into a young libertine, so they decided to send me away to study for the civil service examinations. I had myself already become aware that the household was in financial trouble. Under these circumstances, what use would there be in completing my training? I found myself regretting that I had spent my time on it, so I suppressed my feelings and quelled those ambitions, putting my mind instead to the task of mastering the classics. With my bamboo hat and case of books, I set out on the road accompanying Chen Kuixian, Chen Jiemei, Fan Guowen, Wan Jiye, and Zhang Xinyou. All the young gentlemen were then congregated in Ningbo’s eastern quarter.
     Wang came to town and went to my dorm. He talked to me about martial arts with still the same tireless sincerity: “Boxing arts a matter of quality, not quantity. Once practiced to the point of skill, there will be no limit to the applicability of the Six Lines set. The techniques within it divide into passive ones and active ones, and altogether make a mere eighteen, the variations of each bring them up to forty-nine…”
     He continued: “A technique such as Punch in Twisting-Vine Step can be performed in any direction – left, right, center, forward, back – and so you must not think of it as being done in only one way…”
     He further continued: “Also, boxing arts go from complexity to simplicity. From the seventy-two throwing techniques (such as Reaching Punch and Rolling Chop, Punch Across the Center to Each Side, and other colorfully named combat techniques), there are then the thirty-five hand techniques (chop, erase, shake, knock, bump, and so on), and then the eighteen techniques [testing, sending, aiding, seizing, pulling, pushing, crowding, absorbing, sticking, hoisting, curving, inserting, throwing, propping, rubbing, scattering, vanishing, ejecting] (contained in the Six Lines set). This reduces from eighteen to twelve (overturn, switch, twist, shift, roll, shed, lead, entwine, kneel, sit, drum, grab), and then reducing from twelve, always remember the five words (focused, sticky, expedient, potent, precise). Observe boxing experts, the way they really only think about a few terms…”
     I was at the time focused on preparing for the civil service exams, and despite making myself listen, I could not feel as inspired as I used to. Wang himself was destitute, ill, under stress, weary is his heart, sallow in his complexion, worn out…

今先生之死止七年干戈滿地鋒鏑縱橫吾鄕盗賊亦相蟻合流離載道白骨蔽野此時得一桑懌足以除之而二三士子猶伊吾于城門晝閉之中當事者命一二守望相助等題以為平盗之政士子摭拾一二兵農合一之語以為經濟之才龍門子秦士錄曰使弼在必當有以自見言念先生竟空槁三尺蒿下寧不惜哉嗟乎先生不可作矣
It is a mere seven years since Wang died, and now weapons are clashing everywhere, arrows shooting in all directions. Our area of the countryside has become infested with criminals. They wander the roads and litter the fields with the bones of those they prey upon. We now need a hero like Sang Yi who can get rid of them all, but all we have are some candidates for the civil service exams who spend their days snug behind city walls reciting prose and verse. The authorities have made a few proclamations of protection and aid, naively thinking this will somehow administer a pacification of such evil men. The exam candidates for their part have come up with a few slogans about soldiers and farmers joining forces, naively thinking this would somehow have the capacity to manage the situation.
     It says in the “Record of the Warrior of Shaanxi” in Great Philosophical Discourses [by Song Lian]: “If Deng Bi was still here, things would surely look different.” [Not many years after the mighty Deng had died, the realm was in chaos.] When I read these words, I cannot help but think about how much we are to miss you, Wang, buried there three feet under the artemisia. Unfortunately he cannot help us now.

念當日得竟先生之學卽豈敢謂遂有關于匡王定覇之畧然而一障一堡或如范長生樊雅等䕶保黨閭自審諒庻幾焉亦何至播徒海濱擔簦四顧望塵起而無遯所如今日乎則昔以從學于先生而悔者今又不覺甚悔夫前之悔矣
I think so fondly about those days of learning from him, but I would not presume to proclaim that such training represents a meaningful scheme for assisting the ruler in pacifying warlords. However, for safeguarding the walls of a single city, like men such as Fan Changsheng or Fan Ya did in protecting their own communities, it seems to me to be a reasonable course of action. And while it seems impossible that so much trouble has spread throughout the nation, and under our straws hats we gaze all around watching the dust rise and having nowhere to flee to, such is the present reality facing us! There was a time when I regretted that I was learning from Wang, but now I deeply regret that I ever regretted it.

先生之家世本末家大人已為之誌小子不敢復贅
(As for Wang’s family background and fuller life story, this has already been written of by my father and so I will not presume to repeat it here.) [This statement indicates that for Huang Baijia’s “biography” of Wang to more properly be a biography, Huang Zongxi’s text must be studied alongside it, and is thus included below.]

獨是先生之術所授者惟余匕旣負先生之知則此術已為廣陵散矣余寧忍哉故特備著其委屑庻後有好事者或可因是而得之也雖然木牛流馬諸葛書中之尺寸詳矣三千年以來能復用之者誰乎
I alone was taught his art, but I abandoned his learning. As a result, this art has since become buried away in a big tomb. This is unbearable to me, and so I have devoted myself to writing down as much of these details as I can in order that future generations of enthusiasts can obtain something of the art. But then again, Zhuge Liang wrote in detail the dimensions for his trojan-horse ox thousands of years ago, but who has made any use of it yet?

王征南墓誌銘 己酉
MEMORIAL INSCRIPTION FOR WANG ZHENGNAN (1669)
[by 黃宗羲 Huang Zongxi, Baijia’s father]

王征南墓誌銘 - 1

王征南墓誌銘 - 2

王征南墓誌銘 - 3

王征南墓誌銘 - 4

王征南墓誌銘 - 5

少林以拳勇名天下然主於搏人人亦得以乘之有所謂內家者以靜制動犯者應手卽仆故别少林為外家葢起於宋之張三峯三峯為武當丹士徽宗召之道梗不得進夜夢玄帝授之拳法厥明以單丁殺賊百餘三峯之術百年之後流傳於陝西而王宗為最著温州陳州同從王宗受之以此敎其鄕人由是流傳於温州嘉靖間張松溪為最著松溪之徒三四人而四明葉繼美近泉為之魁由是流傳於四明四明得近泉之傳者為吳崑山周雲泉單思南陳貞石孫繼槎皆各有授受崑山傳李天目徐岱岳天目傳余波仲吳七郎陳茂弘雲泉傳盧紹岐貞石傳董扶輿夏枝溪繼槎傳柴玄明姚石門僧耳僧尾而思南之傳則為王征南思南從征關白歸老於家以其術敎授然精微所在則亦深自秘惜掩關而理學子皆不得見征南從樓上穴板窺之得梗槩思南子不肖思南自傷身後莫之經紀征南聞之以銀巵數器奉為美檟之資思南感其意始盡以不傳者傳之征南為人機警得傳之後絕不露圭角非遇甚困則不發嘗夜出偵事為守兵所獲反接廊柱數十人轟飲守之征南拾碎磁偷割其縛探懷中銀望空而擲數十人方爭攫征南遂逸出數十人追之皆殕地匍匐不能起行數里迷道田間守望者又以為賊也聚衆圍之征南所向衆無不受傷者歲暮獨行遇營兵七八人挽之負重征南苦辭求免不聽征南至橋上棄其負營兵援刀擬之征南手格而營兵自擲仆地鏗然刀墮如是者數人最後取其刀投之井中營兵索綆出刀而征南之去遠矣凡搏人皆以其穴死穴暈穴啞穴一切如銅人圖法有惡少侮之者為征南所擊其人數日不溺踵門謝過始得如故牧童竊學其法以擊伴侶立死征南視之曰此暈穴也不久當甦已而果然征南任俠嘗為人報讐然激於不平而後為之有與征南久故者致金以讐其弟征南毅然絕之曰此以禽獸待我也征南名來咸姓王氏征南其字也自奉化來鄞祖宗周父宰元母陳氏世居城東之車橋至征南而徙同嶴少時𨽾盧海道若騰海道較藝給糧征南嘗兼數人直指行部征南七矢破的補臨山把總錢忠介公建以中軍統營事屢立戰功授都督僉事副總兵官事敗猶與華兵部勾致島人藥書往復兵部受禍讐首未懸征南終身菜食以明此志識者哀之征南罷事家居慕其才藝者以為貧必易致營將皆通慇懃而征南漠然不顧鋤地擔糞若不知己之所長有易於求食者在也一日過其故人故人與營將同居方延松江敎師講習武藝敎師倨坐彈三絃視征南麻巾緼袍若無有故人為言征南善拳法敎師斜盻之曰若亦能此乎征南謝不敏敎師軒衣張眉曰亦可小試之乎征南固謝不敏敎師以其畏己也强之愈力征南不得已而應敎師被跌請復之再跌而流血破面敎師乃下拜䞇以二縑征南未嘗讀書然與士大夫談論則藴藉可喜了不見其為麄人也余弟晦木嘗揭之見錢牧翁牧翁亦甚奇之當其貧𡇒無聊不以為苦而以得見牧翁得交余兄弟沾沾自喜其好事如此予嘗與之入天童僧山燄有膂力四五人不能掣其手稍近征南則蹶然負痛征南曰今人以內家無可眩矅於是以外家攙入之此學行當衰矣因許敘其源流忽忽九載征南以哭子死高辰四狀其行求予誌之余遂敘之於此豈諾時意之所及乎生於某年丁已三月五日卒於某年己酉二月九日年五十三娶孫氏子二人夢得前一月殤次祖德以某月某日塟於同嶴之陽銘曰
Although Shaolin boxing prowess is known everywhere, it emphasizes attack, giving opponents something to take advantage of. Hence there is what is known as the internal school, which defeats movement with stillness [i.e. defeats obviousness by way of subtlety]. A mere gesture of the hand sends assailants sprawling. Therefore Shaolin is classified as being of the external school.
     This art began with Zhang Sanfeng of the Song Dynasty, an elixirist of the Wudang mountains. Emperor Huizong summoned him, but his route was blocked and he could not get through. That night in a dream, the first Song Emperor gave him the boxing method, and the next day he killed more than a hundred bandits single-handed.
     A hundred years on, Zhang’s art was transmitted to Shaanxi, where Wang Zong became the top practitioner of it. Chen Zhoutong of Wen county learned it from Wang Zong and then taught it to the men of his hometown, thereby spreading it in Wen county. During the reign of Emperor Jiajing [1521-1567], the best at the art was Zhang Songxi. He taught it to a mere three or four people, of whom Ye Jimei, called Jinquan, of Siming was the most talented. The transmission thereupon spread in Siming, where Ye Jinquan taught Wu Kunshan, Zhou Yunquan, Dan Sinan, Chen Zhenshi, Sun Jicha. Wu Kunshan taught Li Tianmu and Xu Daiyue. Li Tianmu taught Yu Bozhong, Wu Qilang, and Chen Maohong. Zhou Yunquan taught Lu Shaoqi. Chen Zhenshi taught Dong Fuyu and Xia Zhixi. Sun Jicha taught Chai Xuanming, Yao Shimen, the monk Er, and the monk Wei. Dan Sinan’s disciple was Wang Zhengnan.
     After returning home from military service in Guanbai, Dan Sinan taught the art, but kept the deeper aspects of it to himself. He shut his door during his own practice so his students could not see him. But Wang watched him from the upper level through a hole in the floor and got the gist of it. Dan Sinan was despondent that his sons were worthless, leaving him with no heirs for his business [selling tea]. Wang overheard this and made a gift of many silver wine goblets to go toward the purchase of the best catalpa trees around [for growing tea leaves]. So touched was Dan Sinan by this, he then taught Wang all that he had not previously taught to anyone else.
     Wang was a careful sort of man, very mindful of what he had learned, never showing it off, never even showing it at all unless a real emergency made him do so. Happening to be out one night during a search for a spy, he got arrested by some soldiers, and his hands were tied behind him around a pillar. While the dozens of men guarding him grew more boisterous in their drinking, Wang managed to get a hold of some broken porcelain and sawed through his ropes. He then took a silver coin out of his shirt, threw it up into the air, and fled while the soldiers fought over it. They tried to give chase, but being too drunk to stand firm, they all toppled over like dominoes. They followed him for a few miles and became lost in the fields. Stubbornly thinking Wang to be a traitor, they assembled to surround him, but every soldier that got in his way received an injury.
     During the final year of his life, Wang was walking alone and chanced to meet a group of seven or eight soldiers who suddenly conscripted him to carry their heavy gear. Wang pleaded earnestly to be released from the task, but they would not listen. So Wang took the weight as far as a bridge and then chucked it over the side. The soldiers grabbed their sabers and moved to punish him, but he blocked with his bare hands and threw one of them to the ground, the man’s saber clanging down. He then did this to each of them, and after the last one, he took up their sabers and flung them down a well. The soldiers pulled up the rope to get their sabers back, but Wang was long gone.
     Whenever he fought people, he always made use of acupoints, targeting points that would cause death, fainting, or muteness, as indicated on those bronze statues with the acupuncture maps. There was an insulting young ruffian who was struck by Wang and could pass no urine for a number of days. He had to go knock on Wang’s door and apologize in order to regain the ability. A shepherd boy had been secretly learning his techniques [just as Wang himself had done] and used them to hit one of his young friends, who suddenly died because of it. Wang investigated and said: “The spot you hit only causes fainting. He’ll wake up in a little while.” As indeed he did.
     Wang was chivalrous, roused to action against injustice rather than any cause of vengeance. A man who had known Wang for a long time nevertheless presented him with some money to avenge his younger brother. Wang cut him off sharply: “You’re confusing me with a beast.”
     Named Laixian, his surname was Wang, and he was called Zhengnan. He moved from Fenghua county to the Yin district. His grandfather’s name was Zongzhou. His father’s name was Zaiyuan. His mother’s maiden name was Chen. The family had lived for generations by Wagon Bridge to the east of the city [Ningbo], but had moved to Tong’ao when Zhengnan was born.
     When he was young, he was servant to Lu Haidao, called Ruoteng. Examining his aptitudes, Lu gave him a position, and Wang was then performing the duties of many people all at once, liaising between offices. Since Wang fulfilled all of his tasks with precision, he was put in charge of supplying the Linshan barracks. Qian Zhongjie, called Gongjian, then made him the main army barracks coordinator. He was repeatedly honored for meritorious service and finally promoted by the provincial officer to deputy barracks commander.
     Then the defeat came [ousting of the Ming government by the Qing – 1644], and it was as though the Chinese military was trapped on an island. Solutions went back and forth, but the ministry of war sank under utter calamity. Until the enemy’s heads are put on display, Wang decided he would be a vegetarian, for the rest of his life if necessary, to show his patriotic devotion, which strongly impressed his colleagues. But he then gave up the military life and stayed at home. Many who admired his skills worried that he would surely become destitute. Many barracks commanders reached out with offers, but Wang did not care and paid them no attention. He plowed his land and applied manure, seeming to not know at all that he could get food so much more easily by making use of his special expertise.
     Wang bumped into an old friend one day who had been housed with the barracks commander. The commander had just hired an instructor from Songjiang to train the troops in martial arts. The instructor arrogantly sat plucking at a lute and looked at Wang in his hemp hat and rough robe as though he was not even there. The friend said Wang was an expert at boxing arts. The instructor peeked at Wang out of the corner of his eye and said: “How could he be?” Wang politely denied that he was. The instructor straightened his top, raised his eyebrows, and said: “Can I test you a little?” Wang even more politely denied that he was an expert. The instructor accused him of being afraid and pushed him more and more aggressively, until Wang had no alternative but to act. After the instructor had been thrown, he asked for more. So he was thrown again and blood now flowed out from a cut on his face. He bowed to Wang and afterward made a gift to him of fine silks.
     Wang never went to school, yet he could talk in an urbane and cordial manner with scholars, and they never looked upon him as a coarse peasant. He reminds me of when my younger brother, Huimu, and I discovered Qian Muweng, who is also an extraordinary man unresentful of his impoverished and arduous circumstances. When we get to see Qian, he gets to mix with us as a brother, and there is delight in this good deed.
     I once went with Wang into the Tiantong Temple, where the monk Shanyan was a very brawny specimen. Four or five men at a time could not pull him by the arm, but then a slight pressure from Wang made him collapse in pain. Wang said: “People these days think the internal school is not dramatic enough, so they add in things from the external school, and if that goes on, this knowledge will fade away.” Therefore he allowed the history of the art to be written down.
     Suddenly, nine years have gone by since then, and weeping for his son, Wang has died. Gao Chensi compiled these facts about his life and requested I make for Wang an epitaph. Once I had agreed to do so, I then felt compelled to preface it with these accounts of the man. He was born on the fifth day of the third month, 1617, and died on the ninth day of the second month, 1669, at the age of fifty-three. His wife’s maiden name is Sun. He had two sons, the first named Mengde, who died a month before him, and the second named Zude. Wang is now buried in the southern end of Tong’ao. These are the words engraved on his memorial tablet:

有技如斯而不一施
終不鬻技其志可悲
水淺山老孤墳孰保
視此銘章庶幾有考
He had a great skill,
but did not flaunt it.
He never sought to profit by his art.
Such integrity is a grievous loss to us.
Among these shallow streams and ancient hills,
will someone tend to this solitary grave?
Whoever reads this inscription
examines a man who set a good example.

This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.