TAIJI BOXING ACCORDING TO LI SHOUJIAN

武當嫡派太極拳術
DESCENDED FROM WUDANG – THE TAIJI BOXING ART
李壽籛
by Li Shoujian
[published by the 業餘太極拳社 After-Work Taiji Boxing Society, Sep, 1944, and printed by 大東書局 Great East Press (having moved its offices from Shanghai to Chongqing in 1937)]

[translation by Paul Brennan, Sep, 2015]

《武當嫡派太極拳術》 李壽籛 (1944) - callig 1

武當嫡派太極拳術
Descended from Wudang – The Taiji Boxing Art
賀耀組題
– calligraphy by He Yaozu

《武當嫡派太極拳術》 李壽籛 (1944) - portrait

編者肖影
Portrait of the compiler

《武當嫡派太極拳術》 李壽籛 (1944) - callig 2

武當嫡派太極拳術
壽籛先生著
Descended from Wudang – The Taiji Boxing Art
by Li Shoujian
陳立夫
– [calligraphy by] Chen Lifu

《武當嫡派太極拳術》 李壽籛 (1944) - callig 3

夀籛同志
剛柔相濟
For comrade Li Shoujian:
“Hardness and softness assist each other.”
張之江題
– calligraphy by Zhang Zhijiang

《武當嫡派太極拳術》 李壽籛 (1944) - callig 4

壽籛先生 大著
健兒身手
For Li Shoujian’s book:
“He has a valiant skill.”
賀耀組
– [calligraphy by] He Yaozu

《武當嫡派太極拳術》 李壽籛 (1944) - callig 5

天行健君子以自強不息
敬題 壽籛先生 大著
“Just as Nature acts with vigor, a gentleman ceaselessly improves himself.” [Book of Changes]
– respectfully inscribed for Li Shoujian’s book.
梁溪張錫君
– calligraphy by Zhang Xijun of Liangxi

《武當嫡派太極拳術》 李壽籛 (1944) - callig 6

體用兼備
剛柔相濟
Form and function develop together.
Hardness and softness assist each other.
西平陳泮嶺敬題
– calligraphy by Chen Panling of Xiping [in Henan]

凡例
GENERAL COMMENTS

一太極拳時時變動方向。說明書內。以東西南北方向聊以表示。使閱者易於了解。俟練習熟後。卽不擇方向矣。
The Taiji boxing set constantly changes direction. Within the instructions, we use “north, south, east, west” as indicators to keep the changes of direction clear for you. Once you are familiar with the set, you will no longer need the directions specified.

一書內各圖式。以不同勢之架子五十個。略為標示。然其姿勢架子規矩手法步法起落進退。均按師之所授,不另加變動。以保真傳。以免門户之見。
The drawings within this book depict fifty distinct moments signposting the postures in the solo set. The descriptions of the postures, the movements of the hands and feet, in lifting and lowering, advancing and retreating, are all according to my teacher’s instructions without anything added, in order to maintain the authentic teachings and avoid generating a new style.

一推手。分大捋小捋散手。小捋有順步推手。合步推手。活步推手。略備九圖。以資表示惟活步則不便繪出。散手變化不居。尤難表示。
Pushing hands divides into large rollback, small rollback, and sparring. The small rollback occurs in the same-step pushing hands, opposite-step pushing hands, and moving-step pushing hands. They are demonstrated through nine drawings, except for moving-step pushing hands, which is not convenient to draw. Sparring endlessly changes and would thus be especially difficult to show.

一大捋卽採例肘靠。變化無定。僅備四圖。以甲乙二人互換為之。略具形式。以資表示。
Large Rollback is the techniques of pluck, rend, elbow, and bump switching endlessly. There are for this exercise only four drawings, thus persons A and B switch their roles in order to demonstrate the techniques since not every moment of the exercise is displayed.

太極拳術目錄
CONTENTS

太極拳術序
Prefaces
太極拳術之意義及功效
The Meaning & Effectiveness of the Taiji Boxing Art
太極拳術源流
Origin & Development of the Taiji Boxing Art
太極拳術十要
Ten Essentials of the Taiji Boxing Art
太極拳術各式名稱
Names of the Postures in the Taiji Boxing Solo Set
太極拳術圖解說明
The Taiji Boxing Solo Set with Illustrations & Explanations
各種推手及圖解說明
The Various Pushing Hands Exercises with Illustrations & Explanations
太極拳論
Taiji Boxing Essays
十三式歌
Thirteen Dynamics Song
推手歌
Pushing Hands Song

太極拳術序
PREFACE [BY ZHANG ZHIJIANG]

嘗讀漢書藝文志載手搏蹵鞠,劍道諸篇名,雖未見其書,而悉其意,然由此可以覘知我國武術發達已早,而其流傳也久矣。惜習者徒知武技之鍛練,而忽略精義之研討,卽間有知一二者,亦不肯筆之於書,祕不示人,故年久時遠,湮沒無聞,而失其傳者殆不知凡幾矣。歐風東漸,國人醉心歐化,對於固有國粹,視之無足輕重。溯自中央設館教士,十五年以來,立矯此重心理,一以溝通中西文化,挽弱圖强,普及健勇教育為職志,冀有以發揚光大我民族尚武精神,積健為雄,以期臻國際地位於平等。且深感於倡導國術之先决工作,莫要於國術教材之編訂與理論之探討,以科學方法,整理國粹,俾成為有系統之著作,而使教者有所準繩,學者有所摹仿,如此,則國術教育之普及,可計日而待也。所冀在此民族衰微,千鈞一髮之際,無論男女老少,均有健全之身軀,與自覺之决心,起而禦侮圖存,則復興民族,又何難耶。抑更有進者,吾人研究學術,必須具有大公無私之態度,對於國術之本身,尤應化除宗派門戶之見,融會貫通,竭盡學理經驗之所得,貢獻於國家社會,以期裨益於國防軍事之基本教育,與擅長近戰肉搏格門之必勝技能,並能增强一般國民體育之效率。李先生夀籛早習軍事,尤嫻技擊,近以所著太極拳術一書原稿見示,囑為之序,余受而閱其圖,讀其說,既欣羨其圖說精湛詳明,且尤喜其於拳術之虛實,開合,起落旋轉之法,動靜陰陽之理,反復辨別,闡發詳明,使學者按圖而知精義所在,心領而神會矣。誠所謂闡幽發微,關係於武化之宣揚,不亦鉅乎。且太極拳之功用,重在剛柔相濟,以靜制動,苟能明其動靜相養,陰陽持平之理,則於其中奧義,思過半矣。其卓然特點,便於普及教學,男女老少,練之咸宜,誠可為普及國民體育之良好教材,更如取是書為範本,以供參考自修之用,定可收事半功倍之效矣。是為序。
鹽山張之江序
I once read in the “Bibliographical Records” in the Books of Han that there were books describing methods of fighting with hands or feet, of using bow and arrow, and of swordwork. Although we cannot take a look at these lost books, we have a sense of what was in them, and we can know from such a record that our nation’s martial arts developed very early and were handed down over a very long time.
     There were past practitioners who understood the training of martial skills but neglected the study of essential concepts. Among them were those who knew a thing or two and were not willing to record any of it in books, keeping it a secret and not sharing with others. Thus after the passage of many years, their arts disappeared into oblivion. The arts that have not been passed down are impossible to count.
     Due to the gradual Western influence that has come our way, our countrymen are infatuated with becoming more Western and look upon their own culture as something insignificant. Ever since the Central Martial Arts Institute was established fifteen years ago, we have strived to rectify this mentality. Due to the communication between Chinese and Western cultures, we will withdraw our weakness and build our strength. The mission is to popularize education in health and courage. We seek to carry forward our nation’s martial spirit, accumulating health to build heroism. We hope in this way we will achieve equal status among other nations.
     I furthermore feel deeply that the first task in pushing our martial arts forward
is to compile teaching materials and analysis of theories, using scientific methods to organize our cultural essence into systematic writings, thereby providing teachers with criteria to live up to and students with examples to imitate. In this way, martial arts instruction will spread and we can soon achieve our goal.
     I long for our national decline to be on the cusp of ending. Regardless of man or woman, young or old, all will have strengthened bodies and will feel a sense of determination, roused to resist foreign aggression, and our people will be rejuvenated. But there is a problem:
     In order to progress to the point that we can study and learn, it is necessary to have an unselfish attitude. As for the people who represent these arts, they especially should eliminate sentiments of faction or sect. What they have obtained through their hard work and experience ought to be contributed to the rest of society. It would surely be of benefit in the training of our defensive forces, such unbeatable excellence in close combat, and such a physical education could also strengthen and increase the productivity of ordinary people.
     Li Shoujian has a long experience of military affairs and is especially adept at boxing arts. He recently showed me his manuscript for this book and urged me to write a preface for it. I perused his drawings and read his words. I admire this handbook’s exquisite clarity. I particularly enjoy its discussion of the art’s methods of emptiness and fullness, opening and closing, rising and lowering, twisting and turning, its principles of movement and stillness, of passive and active, as they alternate and yet remain distinct. Detailed explanations enable the student to follow the drawings and understand the essentials, grasping the art intuitively, truly a situation of hidden subtleties being revealed. For propagating martial transformation, it is superb.
     As for the function of Taiji Boxing, it emphasizes hardness and softness complementing each other, using stillness to overcome movement. If you can understand how movement and stillness support each other, and the principle of the passive and active aspects maintaining a balance, then you will be more than halfway to knowing the subtleties in the art.
     Its most outstanding characteristic is its convenience for widespread teaching. All can practice – man and woman, young and old. Truly this can be considered excellent material for physical education throughout the nation. Moreover, if you use this book as an example to work from, using it for self-cultivation purposes, you are sure to get twice the result for half the effort. Thus I have written this preface.
     – written by Zhang Zhijiang of Yanshan [in Hebei]

太極拳術序
PREFACE [BY LI SHOUJIAN]

我國國術一道。在過去社會間,受着重文輕武的影響。是被深刻的沉默支配着。固然。在史書上很難見有國術的記載。就連在一般學者的頭腦裏。心目中。簡直沒有絲毫國術的印象。所以從前練習國術的人。多半都是不讀書的人。若在國術界中。尋訪幾位文武兼備。了解拳理的同志。真如鳳毛麟角。現在提倡國術。發揚國光的聲浪。幾震遍全國。雖有少數同志。要想闡揚國術之精華。很不易得到圓滿成績。原因是以參考書很少。對於國術與心理學。病理學。軍事學的作用。與科學的關係。及國術的精義。就是請教那些老國術教師。也很難得其圓滿的答復。近十數年來。政府有鑒於國術對於民族健康。强身强種强國。有莫大的關係。設立國術館。提倡不遺餘力。惟尚未普徧社會。凡我同志。對於任何國術。研究有心得者。勿獨善其身。嚴守祕密。應兼善全國。望我同胞。無論男女長幼。均成國術化。尤以太極拳術為最要。此拳的意義。深有哲理在內可以修身養性。增長智慧。强健身體。鍛練精神。所謂體育、智育、德育、三德兼備。深望學者。研討其中原理。領悟其中奧妙。庶可得其三昧焉。
東武悟真子李夀籛序
The way of our nation’s martial arts has been ignored within general society. It has been affected by the attitude that intellectual pursuits are of superior worth to martial ones, subtly silencing martial arts. Indeed it is very difficult to find accounts of martial arts in historical records. In the minds and memories of ordinary scholars, there seems to be not the slightest impression of martial arts. This is because previous practitioners of martial arts were usually not literate people. If we seek through the world of martial arts for a few people who are equally possessed of both literary and martial qualities, we find that comrades who understand boxing theory are truly as rare as phoenix feathers and unicorn horns.
     Nowadays, martial arts are greatly encouraged and there is a clamor to promote our national glory that is shaking the whole country. Although such comrades are in the minority, we want to explain the essence of martial arts. It is really not easy to do this satisfactorily because reference books are very rare. As for the use of martial arts for psychological, medical, or military studies, or their connection to science, or simply their essentials, I have sought advice from many old teachers, but it is very difficult to get satisfactory answers.
     In the last few decades, the government has recognized that martial arts improve the health of the people. For strengthening the body, the masses, and the nation, it is of the greatest importance, and so the Martial Arts Institutes were established. Though they do their utmost to promote these arts, there is still no universal martial society. To all my comrades, in whatever martial art, do not use what you have learned only for yourself or keep such things secret. You should benefit the whole nation, for we are all one family.
     Regardless of man or woman, young or old, all may be transformed by martial arts, and by the Taiji boxing art most of all. The concepts in this art are deep and philosophical. It can improve health, increase wisdom, strengthen the body, and train the spirit. Therefore it simultaneously fulfills the three kinds of education – physical, intellectual, ethical. I sincerely hope you will all study the principles within this book and come to understand the art’s subtleties, and then you will be able to obtain the knack.
     – written by Li Shoujian, “Mr. Awakened to the Truth”, of the Eastern Warriors Association

太極拳術之意義
THE MEANING OF THE “TAIJI” BOXING ART [the text drawing somewhat from Sun Lutang’s 1921 manual]

萬物之生也。莫不負陰抱陽。都有一太極。有一太極。斯有兩儀。故太極為陰陽之母。太極者卽一氣也。以體言則為太極。以用言則為一氣。時陰時陽。活活潑潑。其氣充溢於四肢。浸潤於百骸。無處不有。無時不然。內外一氣流行。一身內外開合自然。中無停滯。故太極本無法。動卽是法。陰陽動靜之理。純任自然。運動作勢無不自然。無中生有。變化萬端。所謂無極而太極也。至其運用圓活。如環無端。莫知所止。則所謂太極本無極也。勢勢之中。着着之內。均含一圓形。其動而陽。靜而陰。剛柔進退。均與易理相合。故假易學之理。以說明之。此拳之名稱亦因之而生。而又以陰陽喻其作用焉。
太極拳之功效。凡練習太極拳者。其所得之功效。異於他種拳術。裨益學者實非淺鮮。茲舉數端以供參考。此拳之一舉一動。輕鬆和緩。如抽絲然。毫不費力。又如歌舞狀。彷彿含有音樂中之節奏。及拍子在焉。固足以舒筋展骨。調和氣血。陶冶性情。動中求靜。與道相合。純一神行。不尚拙力。呼吸根蒂。氣沉丹田。循環無端。綿綿不絕。專氣致柔。以弱勝强。吾人最大之患處。淺率浮燥。恃强任氣。太極拳之要訣。為養氣歛神。先練生。次練心。又次練神。學者練習純熟後。功效自見。能却病延年。故無男女。無老幼。皆可學。皆當學。余過去在浙竷。所傳數百人其中因吐血而癒者十餘人。因患肺病及失眠等症而愈者數十人。因病後虛弱。及手足麻木。一經練熟後。無不强健如初。誠强身强國强種之妙術。因編印成書。供應社會。使學者有所遵循。而知用法之精巧。曲中求直。變動不居。實難以筆墨形容。力求簡明。恐有不盡之處。深望海內明哲。儘量批評。悟真子。李夀籛識。
Everything that comes into existence “carries the passive and contains the active” [Daodejing, chapter 42]. They all have a grand polarity [tai ji]. With this polarity, they therefore have a duality. The grand polarity is thus the mother of the passive and active aspects. It is also the condition of continuousness.
     In terms of the theory, it is a grand polarity. In terms of the function, it is a continuousness. When it is time for active, then active. When it is time for passive, then passive. So lively, this energy fills the body and flows to the four limbs. It is in every part at every moment, continuously flowing both internally and externally. The body’s movement opens and closes naturally, no stagnation within. Therefore Taiji starts with no method, then once there is movement, there is method. The theory of passive and active, of movement and stillness, is pure and natural in every movement and posture. Something is born of nothingness, then transforms endlessly. Thus it is said that the grand polarity comes from nonpolarity. Moving with roundness is like a neverending circle, no one knowing where it ends. Thus the grand polarity is based in nonpolarity.
     Within every posture and technique, there is a rounded shape. In movement, a posture is active, and in stillness, a posture is passive. In hardness and softness, advancing and retreating, the postures always conform to the theory in the Book of Changes. Therefore by drawing upon the principles within the Book of Changes for explanation, the name of this boxing art then makes sense [i.e. harmony between the two polarities = grand polarity = “Taiji”]. The passive and active aspects provide the analogy for the way it functions.
     As for the effects of Taiji Boxing, all those who practice it obtain effects that are different from other kinds of boxing arts. The benefits to students are by no means insignificant. Here are some points for reference:
     This art’s movements are relaxed and gentle, as though drawing silk, not at all strenuous. It is like dancing, seeming to contain the sort of rhythms and timings found in music. It can relax the sinews and stretch the joints, regulate energy and blood, and train the temperament. Seeking stillness within movement, the art conforms to Daoism. It is purely a matter of spirit moving, rather than any esteem for awkward effort. Rooted in the breath, energy sinks to your elixir field and circulates unceasingly. [From Daodejing, chapter 10:] “Focus on your breath and achieve softness.” Use weakness to overcome strength.
     Our greatest troubles are an obsession with the superficial, a reliance on using force to achieve our goals, and getting carried away with our emotions. The key to Taiji Boxing is to cultivate energy and concentrate spirit. First train the body, then the mind, and then the spirit. Once you have practiced to the point of skill, you will automatically see results, able to prevent illness and prolong life. Therefore regardless of male or female, young or old, all can learn it, and all should.
     I went to teach in Zhejiang and Jiangxi. Among several hundred students were some who had been spitting blood, some who had been suffering from lung disease, some from insomnia, and so on. They were cured by the dozen. Those debilitated by illness, to the point of becoming numb in hands and feet, were all made as healthy as new after going through the process of practicing the art. It is indeed a wonderful art for strengthening the body, the people, and the nation.
     I have produced this book to provide martial arts clubs with material for students to follow and to help them understand the exquisiteness of this art’s function. Taiji Boxing postures seek to straighten while bending, and to transform rather than get stuck in their shape. It is truly difficult to describe in words, and although I have strived to make it simple and clear, still I fear there are parts that are inadequate. I sincerely hope that wise people throughout the land will give me their criticism.
     – written by “Mr. Awakened to the Truth” Li Shoujian

太極拳術之源流
ORIGIN & DEVELOPMENT OF THE TAIJI BOXING ART

老子曰。天下之至柔。馳聘天下之至剛。又曰專氣致柔其嬰兒乎。孟子曰。吾善養吾浩然之氣。直養而無害。至大至剛。可塞乎天地間。其氣發於心。盎於背。溢於四肢百骸。太極拳純任自然。養氣之道也。孟子之道。本於孔子。孔子曾問禮於老子。(問禮卽問道)足徵太極拳發源於老子。(李耳)法於亞聖。至唐代許宣平。及李道子氏。攷許係徽州歙縣人隱城陽山中。卽紫陽山。結茅山之陽。辟穀。身長七尺有六,髯長至臍。髮長生地。行走如飛。每負薪賣於市。獨吟曰。負薪朝賣出。沽酒日夕歸。借問家何處。穿雲入翠微。李白訪之不遇。題詩望仙樓而回。所練太極拳。名三十七。因三十七式而名之。又名長拳者。以滔滔不斷也。李氏亦生於長江流域。祖籍安徽。或云活至千餘歲。在宋時。與游酬莫逆。至明代。常居武當山南岩宮。不火食。啖麥數合。傳武當丹士張三丰。名全一。又名通。又君實。字元元。號三丰子。一號昆陽。遼東懿州人。元代進士。生有異質。大耳圓目。鬚髯如戟。龜形鶴背。身長七尺。衣一衲一笠。冬夏御之。不修邊幅。故人呼為邋遢道人。食每兼數人。或數十日不食。有人問仙術。絕口不答。問經書。終日不倦。宋徽宗屢召不至。金人入寇。以單身殺金兵五百餘。陝西人從學者數百人。至明代傳西安王宗岳。名最著。術最精。太極拳論。宗岳所著也。傳溫州陳洲同。陳州同傳鄞縣張松溪。松溪為人。恂恂如儒者。遇人恭謹。人求其術。輒遜謝。少林寺僧數輩。聞松溪名。訪之。遇於一酒樓。一僧跳躍來蹴。宋溪側身。舉手送之。其僧如飛丸隕空。墜樓下幾斃。衆僧始駭而散。松溪傳四明葉繼美。字近泉。王皐。季化南。近泉術最優。傳吳崐山。周雲泉。單思南。陳貞石。孫繼槎等。吳崐山傳李天目。徐岱岳。天目傳余時仲。吳七郎。陳茂宏周雲泉。傳盧紹歧。陳貞石。傳董扶輿。夏枝溪。孫繼槎傳柴元明。姚石門。僧耳。僧尾。單思南傳王征南。思南征關內。歸老在家。以其術精微自秘。掩門自練。不輕授人。征南寓其隔璧。從樓上板隙窺之略得梗概。思南以子不肖。自傷身後。莫可經紀。征南聞之。以銀器數事。奉之為美價之資。思南感其義。始以不傳者。儘量傳之。思南得傳。日夜練習。絕不露圭角。搏人常點其穴。有死穴。暉穴。啞穴。其術要訣。為敬緊徑切勤五字。至清時。傳河南蔣發。懷慶陳長興。廣平楊露禪先生。負笈從學。同門數十人惟露禪最精。露禪傳其子。錤鈺鑑及王蘭亭諸人。長子錤早亡無傳。鈺字班候。傳萬春。全佑等。三子鑑。字健候。傳其子兆熊。兆清。兆元。兆林。兆祥。劉勝魁。張義。僧妙蓮大師。兆熊字少候。傳田肇麟。尤志學。余於壬子年。亦從少候先生學。兆清字證甫。傳武匯川。牛春明。閻仲奎。陳微明。鄭曼青不知者尚多於癸丑年在魯。又從妙蓮大師學。前後從遊八年。此篇為妙蓮師口授。余為筆述焉。東武悟真子李夀籛識。
Laozi said [Daodejing, chapter 43]: “The softest thing in the world [referring to water] wears away the hardest thing in the world.” And also [DDJ, 10]: “Focus on your breath and achieve softness. Can you be like a newborn?” Mengzi said [Mengzi, chapter 2a]: “I am good at nurturing my noble energy… until it is vast and strong. I use integrity to nurture it and do not corrupt it, and thus it fills up the world.” Its energy comes from the mind, fills the spine, and flows through the whole body to the four limbs. Taiji Boxing is pure and natural, the Way of cultivating energy.
     Mengzi’s Way came from Confucius, and Confucius had once asked Laozi about ritual (“ritual” being his way of discussing the Way). This sufficiently demonstrates that Taiji Boxing has its origins with Laozi (his name being Li Er), its principles then expressing with Mengzi. In the Tang Dynasty, it reached Xu Xuanping and Li Daozi.
     Xu Xuanping was from Huizhou Prefecture, Xi County. He lived as a hermit at Mt. Chengyang, also called Mt. Ziyang, dwelling in a thatched hut on the south-facing slope, and avoided eating grains. He was more than seven feet tall. His beard reached his navel and his hair grew down to the ground. When he walked, he seemed to fly. He often carried firewood to sell in the marketplace, chanting to himself:

I carry firewood in the morning to sell,
so I can buy wine to find retreat in being drunk all day.
Pardon me, where do I live?
Through the clouds up the verdant hillside.

Li Bai went to visit Xu but did not meet him, then carved a poem [about not meeting him] onto Gazing Immortal’s Bridge. Xu practiced a Taiji boxing art he called Thirty-Seven, because it had only thirty-seven posture names. It was also called “Long Boxing”, as in: “It is like a long river flowing into the wide ocean, on and on ceaselessly…”
     Li Daozi was born in Anhui along the Yangzte River. It is said that he lived more than a thousand years. During the Song Dynasty, he wandered, mingling amongst people. Then during the Ming Dynasty, he often stayed at Mt. Wudang in the Southern Cliffs Temple, never eating cooked food, merely helpings of wheat bran.
     Li taught the art to the Wudang elixirist Zhang Sanfeng, given name Quanyi, he was also called Tong, Junshi, Yuanyuan, as well as Sanfengzi and Kunyang. He was from Yizhou in Liaodong. A graduate of the imperial examinations during the Yuan Dynasty, he was born with an unusual nature. He had big ears and round eyes. His beard was like a trident. He was hunched like a tortoise and had a skeleton like a crane. He was than seven feet tall. He wore a patchwork monk’s vest and a bamboo hat. He never adjusted his clothes to suit winter or summer in their peak, nor did he decorate his attire, and so people called him the “Daoist Slob”. He could eat at a sitting as many as several people or go weeks without eating. When people asked him about magic arts, he never answered them, but when asked about the Confucian classics, he expounded tirelessly. The Song emperor Huizong frequently called upon him. When the armies of the state of Jin invaded, Zhang single-handedly killed over five hundred of their troops. Hundreds of people from Shaanxi followed him to learn from him.
     In the Ming Dynasty, the art was passed down to Wang Zongyue of Xi’an. Both the best scholar and expert of the art, he wrote the Taiji Boxing Treatise. He taught the art to Chen Zhoutong of Wenzhou, who then taught it to Zhang Songxi of Yin County. Zhang was as courteous as a Confucian scholar and respectful to everyone he met who sought his art, declining them with modesty. There were many Shaolin monks who heard of his fame and sought him out. Encountering him in the upper level of a restaurant, one of the monks attacked him with a jumping kick. Zhang turned his body just slightly sideways, lifting his hand to send him away, and the monk flew off like a shooting star, falling heavily to the lower level and almost died. The rest of the monks were astonished and ran away.
     Zhang Songxi taught Ye Jimei, called Jinquan, of Siming, as well as Wang Gao and Ji Huanan. Ye Jinquan, the best of these students, taught Wu Kunshan, Zhou Yunquan, Dan Sinan, Chen Zhenshi, and Sun Jicha. Wu Kunshan taught Li Tianmu and Xu Daiyue. Li Tianmu taught Yu Shizhong, Wu Qilang, and Chen Maohong. Zhou Yunquan taught Lu Shaoqi. Chen Zhenshi taught Dong Fuyu and Xia Zhixi. Sun Jicha taught Chai Yuanming, Yao Shimen, the monk Er, and the monk Wei. Dan Sinan taught Wang Zhengnan.
     Returning home after military service, Dan Sinan kept the deeper aspects of the art to himself. He shut his door during his own practice and would not lightly teach others. Wang Zhengnan, a neighbor, watched from the upper level through a hole in the floor and got the gist of the art. 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 practiced day and night what he learned, but he never used it to show off.
     When Wang Zhengnan fought with people, he often poked acupoints, acupoints which caused death, fainting, or muteness. The key to his art lies in five terms: focused, sticky, expedient, precise, potent. At the beginning of the Qing Dynasty, he taught the art to Jiang Fa of Henan, who taught it to Chen Changxing of Huaiqing, who taught it to Yang Luchan of Guangping, who had left home to learn it. Among his fellow students, Yang was the best.
     Yang passed the art onto his sons, Ji, Yu, and Jian, as well to Wan Lanting and others. His eldest son, Ji, died young and thus taught it to no one. Yu, called Banhou, taught Wan Chun, Quan You, and others. Yang’s third son, Jian, called Jianhou, taught his own sons, Zhaoxiong, Zhaoqing, Zhaoyuan, Zhaolin, and Zhaoxiang, as well as Liu Shengkui, Zhang Yi, and the monk Miao Lian. Zhaoxiong, called Shaohou, taught Tian Zhaolin, who is an especially dedicated student. In 1912, I too learned from Yang Shaohou. Zhaoqing, called Chengfu, taught Wu Huichuan, Niu Chunming, Yan Zhongkui, Chen Weiming, Zheng Manqing, and I do not know how many others. In 1913, I went to Shandong, where I learned from Master Miao Lian for a total of eight years. This book is from his oral teachings, which I have written down in dictation.
     – written by Li Shoujian, “Mr. Awakened to the Truth”, of the Eastern Warriors Association

太極拳術十要
TEN ESSENTIALS OF THE TAIJI BOXING ART [text copied from Chen Weiming’s 1925 manual]

(一)虛靈頂勁
1. FORCELESSLY PRESS UP YOUR HEADTOP

頂勁者。頭容正直。神貫於頂也。不可用力。用力則項强。氣血不能通流。須有虛靈頂勁。精神方能提得起。
By “press up your headtop” is indicated that the appearance of your head is upright and spirit penetrates to your headtop. You must not use exertion. If you use exertion, your neck will be straining, and energy and blood will be unable to flow through. There must be a quality of forcelessly pressing up your headtop, then spirit can be raised.

(二)含胸拔背
2. CONTAIN YOUR CHEST & PLUCK UP YOUR BACK

含胸者。胸略內涵。使氣沉於丹田也。胸忌挺出。挺出。則氣擁胸際。上重下輕。脚跟易於浮起。拔背者。氣貼於背也。能含胸。則自然拔背。能拔背則力由脊發。所向無敵也。
To “contain your chest” means your chest is slightly shrugged inward, causing energy to sink to your elixir field. Your chest must not stick out. If it sticks out, then energy will swarm to your chest area, resulting in your upper body being heavy and your lower body being light, and your heels will easily float up. To “pluck up your back” means energy sticks to your back. If you can contain your chest, then you will automatically be able to pluck up your back. If you can pluck up your back, then you can issue power from your spine and be invincible.

(三)鬆腰
3. LOOSEN YOUR WAIST

腰為一身之主宰。能鬆腰然後兩足有力。下盤穩固。虛實變化。皆由腰轉動。故曰命意源頭在腰隙。有不得力。必於腰腿求之也。
The waist is the controller of the whole body. If you can loosen your waist, then your feet will have strength, and your stance will be stable. The transformations between empty and full all come from the turning of your waist. Thus it is said [in the Thirteen Dynamics Song] that the “command comes from your lower back”, and if you do not have the advantage, the problem “must be in the waist and legs, so look for it there”.

(四)分虛實
4. DISTINGUISH BETWEEN EMPTY & FULL

太極拳以分虛實為第一義。如全身坐在右腿。則右腿為實。左腿為虛。如全身坐在左腿。則左腿為實。右腿為虛。虛實能分。轉動毫不費力。如不能分。則邁步重滯。自立不穩。易為人所乘也。
In the Taiji boxing art, distinguishing empty and full is of prime importance. If the weight is on your right leg, your right leg is full and your left leg is empty. If the weight is on your left leg, your left leg is full and your right leg is empty. If you can distinguish empty and full from each other, movements will be not at all strenuous. If they cannot be distinguished, your steps will be heavy and sluggish, your stance will naturally be unstable, and it will be easy for an opponent to gain the advantage.

(五)沉肩墜肘
5. SINK YOUR SHOULDERS & DROP YOUR ELBOWS

沉肩者。肩鬆開下垂也。若不能垂。兩肩端起。則氣亦隨之而上。全身皆不得力矣。墜肘者。兩肘往下鬆垂之意。肘若懸起。則肩不能沉。放人不遠。似外家之齗勁矣。
To “sink your shoulders” means your shoulders loosen and hang down. If they cannot loosen and hang, they will end up lifting, then energy will also follow them upward, and your whole body will have no strength. To “drop your elbows” means an intention of loosening your elbows to drop them downward. If your elbows are lifted up, your shoulders cannot sink, and you will not send the opponent far. It would be more like the interrupted power of external styles.

(六)用意不用力
6. USE INTENTION, NOT EXERTION

太極拳論云。全是用意不用力。全身鬆開。不使有分毫拙力。以留滯於筋骨血脈之間。以自縛朿。然後輕靈變化。圓轉自如。或疑不用力。何以能長力。蓋人身之有經絡。如地之有溝洫。溝洫不塞而水流。經絡不閉而氣通。如渾身拙勁。充滿經絡。氣血停滯。轉動不靈。牽一髮而全身皆動。若不用力而用意。意之所至氣卽至焉。如是氣血流注日日貫輸。周流全身無時停滯。久久練習。則得眞正內勁矣。卽太極論中云。極柔軟然後能堅剛也。太極拳功夫純熟之人。臂膊如綿裹鐵。分量極重也。
A Taiji Boxing essay [Li Yiyu’s Five-Word Formula] says: “This is entirely a matter of using intention, not exertion.” Your whole body should be loosened. If you do not allow there to be the slightest bit of clumsy effort clogging up the spaces between your muscles and bones, vessels and meridians, and which would tie you up in knots, then you can be nimble and adaptable, rounded and unhindered. You may ask: “If one does not exert oneself, how can one get stronger?” A person’s body has energy channels like irrigation canals. When a canal is unblocked, the water can move, and when the channels are not closed off, energy can flow. If your whole body is stiff, it is as though the channels have been filled in, and thus the energy and blood become stagnant, the movement becomes awkward, and your whole body will be affected by but the tug of a hair. If you use intention instead of exertion, then wherever your intention goes, energy will arrive. If energy and blood are flowing, everyday coursing through, circulating through your whole body without a moment of stagnation, then after practicing for a long time, you will obtain genuine internal power. Another Taiji essay [Understanding How To Practice] says: “Extreme softness begets extreme hardness.” One who is skilled in Taiji Boxing has arms like silk wrapped around iron and they feel very heavy.

(七)上下相隨
7. YOUR UPPER BODY & LOWER COORDINATE WITH EACH OTHER

上下相隨者。其根在脚。發於腿主宰於腰。形於手指。由脚而腿而腰。總須完整一氣。手動足動腰動。可謂之上下相隨。有一不動卽散亂矣。
The meaning of this is [from Essays, part 1]: “Starting from your foot, issue through your leg, directing it at your waist, and expressing it at your fingers. From foot through leg through waist, it must be a fully continuous process.” Your hands move, your feet move, and your waist moves. Then you can say your upper body and lower are coordinating with each other, but if there is one part that is not moving with all the rest, then you are in disorder.

(八)內外相合
8. INSIDE & OUT JOIN WITH EACH OTHER

太極所練在神。故云神為主帥。身為驅使。精神能提得起。自然舉動輕靈。架子不外虛實開合。所謂開者。不但手足開。心意亦與之俱開。所謂合者。不但手足合。心意亦與之俱合。能內外合為一氣。則渾然無間矣。
Taiji training is all about the spirit. Therefore it is said [in an earlier version of Understanding How to Practice]: “Your spirit is the general and your body is the army.” If your spirit can be lifted, naturally the movement will be nimble. There is nothing more to the solo set than emptiness and fullness, and expansion and contraction. Expansion is not only a matter of hands and feet. The intention also expands. Contraction is not only a matter of hands and feet. The intention also contracts. If you can merge inside and outside into a single unit, there will be entirely no distinction between them.

(九)相連不齗
9. THE MOVEMENTS ARE LINKED TOGETHER WITHOUT INTERRUPTION

外家拳術。其勁乃後天之拙勁。故有起有止。有斷有續。舊力已盡。新力未生。此時最易為人所乘。太極拳用意不用力。自始至終。綿綿不斷。周而復始。循環無端。原論所謂如長江大河。滔滔不絕。又曰運勁如抽絲。皆言貫串一氣也。
In external styles of boxing arts, their strength is only the clumsy strength of acquired habit. Therefore there is a start and a stop, a continuing and an interrupting. It is when old force is spent and new force is not yet initiated that is the easiest moment for an opponent to take advantage of. Taiji Boxing uses intention, not exertion, and so from beginning to end, it is continuous without interruption, recycling endlessly. A primary text [Essays, part 1] says: “It is like a long river flowing into the wide ocean, on and on ceaselessly.” It is also said [in Understanding How to Practice]: “Move energy as if drawing silk.” These words describe a continuous flow throughout.

(十)動中求靜
10. WITHIN MOVEMENT, SEEK STILLNESS

外家拳術。以跳躑為能。用盡氣力。故練習之後。無不喘氣者。太極拳以靜御動。雖動猶靜。故練架子。愈慢愈好。慢則呼吸深長。氣沉丹田。自無血脈僨張之弊。學者細心體會。庶可得其意焉。
External styles of boxing arts look upon jumping and posing as ability. Practitioners spend all of their energy, and therefore after practicing are always panting for breath. Taiji Boxing uses stillness to control movement, and although moving, seems yet to be in stillness. Therefore when practicing the solo set, the slower the better. When it is slow, your breath will be deep and long, energy will sink to your elixir field, and there will naturally be no excessive rise in heart-rate. Students who are attentive and realize through experience will all get the idea.

太極拳術各式名稱
NAMES OF THE POSTURES IN THE TAIJI BOXING SOLO SET

1.預備式
PREPARATION POSTURE
2.攬雀尾
CATCH THE SPARROW BY THE TAIL
3.單鞭
SINGLE WHIP
4.提手
RAISE THE HANDS
5.白鶴亮翅
WHITE CRANE SHOWS ITS WINGS
6.摟膝拗步
BRUSH KNEE IN A CROSSED STANCE
7.手揮琵琶
PLAY THE LUTE
8.左右摟膝拗步
LEFT & RIGHT BRUSH KNEE IN A CROSSED STANCE
9.手揮琵琶
PLAY THE LUTE
10進步搬攔錘
ADVANCE, PARRY, BLOCK, PUNCH
11如封似閉
SEALING SHUT
12十字手
CROSSED HANDS
13抱虎歸山
CAPTURE THE TIGER AND SEND IT BACK TO ITS MOUNTAIN
14肘底看錘
GUARDING PUNCH UNDER THE ELBOW
15倒輦猴
RETREAT, DRIVING AWAY THE MONKEY
16斜飛式
DIAGONAL FLYING POSTURE
17提手
RAISE THE HANDS
18白鶴亮翅
WHITE CRANE SHOWS ITS WINGS
19摟膝拗步
BRUSH KNEE IN A CROSSED STANCE
20海底針
NEEDLING “UNDER THE SEA”
21扇通臂
FAN THROUGH THE ARMS
22撇身錘
TORSO-FLUNG PUNCH
23進步搬攔錘
ADVANCE, PARRY, BLOCK, PUNCH
24攬雀尾
CATCH THE SPARROW BY THE TAIL
25單鞭
SINGLE WHIP
26抎手
CLOUDING HANDS
27單鞭
SINGLE WHIP
28髙探馬
RISING UP AND REACHING OUT TO THE HORSE
29左右分脚
KICK TO THE LEFT & RIGHT SIDES
30轉身蹬脚
TURN AROUND, PRESSING KICK
31左右摟膝拗步
LEFT & RIGHT BRUSH KNEE IN A CROSSED STANCE
32進步栽錘
ADVANCE, PLANTING PUNCH
33翻身白蛇吐信
TURN AROUND, WHITE SNAKE FLICKS OUT ITS TONGUE
34進步搬攔錘
ADVANCE, PARRY, BLOCK, PUNCH
35右蹬脚
RIGHT PRESSING KICK
36左右披身伏虎
DRAPING BODY, CROUCHING TIGER POSTURE – LEFT & RIGHT
37回身蹬脚
TURN, PRESSING KICK
38雙風貫耳
DOUBLE WINDS THROUGH THE EARS
39左蹬脚
LEFT PRESSING KICK
40轉身蹬脚
TURN AROUND, PRESSING KICK
41進步搬攔錘
STEP FORWARD, PARRY, BLOCK, PUNCH
42如封似閉
SEALING SHUT
43十字手
CROSSED HANDS
44抱虎歸山
CAPTURE THE TIGER AND SEND IT BACK TO ITS MOUNTAIN
45斜單鞭
DIAGONAL SINGLE WHIP
46野馬分鬃
WILD HORSE VEERS ITS MANE
47進步攬雀尾
CATCH THE SPARROW BY THE TAIL
48單鞭
SINGLE WHIP
49玉女穿梭
MAIDEN WORKS THE SHUTTLE
50進步攬雀尾
ADVANCE, CATCH THE SPARROW BY THE TAIL
51單鞭
SINGLE WHIP
52抎手
CLOUDING HANDS
53單鞭下式
SINGLE WHIP, LOW POSTURE
54金鷄獨立左右
LEFT & RIGHT GOLDEN ROOSTER STANDS ON ONE LEG
55倒輦猴
RETREAT, DRIVING AWAY THE MONKEY
56斜飛式
DIAGONAL FLYING POSTURE
57提手
RAISE THE HANDS
58白鶴亮翅
WHITE CRANE SHOWS ITS WINGS
56摟膝拗步
BRUSH KNEE IN A CROSSED STANCE
60海底針
NEEDLING “UNDER THE SEA”
61扇通臂
FAN THROUGH THE ARMS
62撇身錘
TORSO-FLUNG PUNCH
63進步搬攔錘
ADVANCE, PARRY, BLOCK, PUNCH
64攬雀尾
CATCH THE SPARROW BY THE TAIL
65單鞭
SINGLE WHIP
66抎手
CLOUDING HANDS
67單鞭
SINGLE WHIP
68高探馬
RISING UP AND REACHING OUT TO THE HORSE
69十字穿臂
CROSS-SHAPED THREADING ARM
70十字蹬脚
CROSS-SHAPED PRESSING KICK
71摟膝指𦡁錘
BRUSH KNEE, PUNCH TO THE CROTCH
72進步攔雀尾
ADVANCE, CATCHING THE SPARROW BY THE TAIL
73單鞭下式
SINGLE WHIP, LOW POSTURE
74上步七星
STEP FORWARD WITH THE BIG DIPPER
75退步跨虎
RETREAT TO SITTING TIGER POSTURE
76轉脚擺蓮
SPIN AROUND ON THE FOOT, SWINGING LOTUS KICK
77彎弓射虎
BEND THE BOW, SHOOT THE TIGER
78進步搬攔錘
ADVANCE, PARRY, BLOCK, PUNCH
79如封似閉
SEALING SHUT
80十字手
CROSSED HANDS
81合太極
CLOSING POSTURE

太極拳術圖解
ILLUSTRATED TAIJI BOXING SOLO SET
東武李壽籛編述 江蘇張錫君校對
Description arranged by Li Shoujian of Dongwu, proofread by Zhang Xijun of Jiangsu [Although Li says he took dictation from the monk, the text for this section draws heavily from Xu Yusheng’s 1921 manual and Chen Weiming’s 1925 manual.]

預備式
[1] PREPARATION POSTURE

意義
Meaning of the name:

太極者。以心意作用。鍛鍊筋骨。發展體力之柔軟運動也。練習時。必須精神專注。呼吸平和。綿綿不斷。方可有效。故預備式。乃喚起全身註意。初學者。當以該式為各式之母。所謂由無極而太極也。
Taiji is action by way of intention. It trains the sinews and bones, a soft exercise for developing physical strength. While practicing, you must concentrate spirit, breathe evenly, move continuously without interruption, and then you will be able to have results. Therefore the PREPARATION POSTURE rouses the whole body’s attention. In the beginning of the training, you should treat it as the basis for every posture. Thus it is said the “grand polarity comes from nonpolarity”.

動作圖解
Movement explanation:

向南正立。兩足平行分開。與兩肩齊。眼向前視。兩臂自然下垂。兩足與肩同寬。此式為太極未動之形式也。如第一圖。
Stand straight, facing south. Your feet are parallel and spread apart to shoulder width. Your gaze is forward. Your arms hang down naturally. This is the posture in Taiji before there is movement. See drawing 1 [There are orientation indicators surrounding each drawing: 北 north, 南 south, 東 east, 西 west. The north and south indicators do not signify above and below. They represent the area behind and in front of this initial posture.]:

《武當嫡派太極拳術》 李壽籛 (1944) - drawing 1

要點
Important points:

練習時頭宜正。神貫於頂。體靜而舒。氣沉丹田。週身須靈活敏捷。不可有絲毫拙力。
When practicing, your head should be upright so that spirit courses through to your headtop. Your body is calm and relaxed. Energy sinks to your elixir field. Your whole body will need to be nimble and lively, and so there must not be the slightest bit of awkward effort.

攬雀尾
[2] CATCH THE SPARROW BY THE TAIL

意義
Meaning of the name:

兩手毫不着力。由原姿勢向上提起。復向下蹲。全身重量落在兩小腿上。眼注觀左臂肘手之間。如兩手持雀尾然。復隨上下旋轉之意。似敵人之臂為雀尾。攬之緩其前進之力。乘勢前向而抑之也。故此二說均可。
Without using any effort at all, your hands lift upward from their original position and then you squat down, the weight on both feet. Your gaze is toward your left forearm. The idea is that your hands are holding a sparrow by the tail and following its movement as it flutters up and down. Or imagining the opponent’s arm is a sparrow’s tail, catch it to slow its forward power, then take advantage of the opportunity to go forward and press him away. Both of these explanations work.

動作圖說
Movement explanation:

兩手毫不着力。向前向上提起。提與胸平。手心向下。兩臂稍屈。不可太直。與腰同時下沉。左手轉至丹田。手心向內。向前伸出。(此卽是掤)路與胸齊。右手同時向下分開。手心向下。五指向前。左足同時直向前進。此時全身坐在左腿。右足伸直不動。左實右虛。如第二圖。
Your hands, without the slightest bit of force, go forward and lift upward until at chest level, palms facing downward. Your arms are slightly bent and must not be too straight. Your waist then sinks down as your left hand arcs until by your elixir field, palm facing inward, and then extends forward at chest level. (This is the ward-off position.) Your right hand at the same time spreads away downward, palm facing downward, fingers pointing forward, and your left foot steps straight forward. The weight is now on your left leg, your right leg straightening and not stepping from its location. Your left leg is full, right leg empty. See drawing 2:

《武當嫡派太極拳術》 李壽籛 (1944) - drawing 2

右手隨腰同時轉至左手處。手心隨轉向上。左手亦隨腰轉。手心隨轉向下。兩手如捧一圓球。右足往西邁。足尖正向西。與左足略成丁字形。兩手隨腰隨右腿同時向西圓轉。右手在前。左手在後。右手心向上向內。左手心向下向外。如抱圓球。眼亦隨向西視。此時全身坐在右腿。左腿伸直。凡兩足之距離。以人之長短不同。以各人之最適處為度。右手與左手。隨腰往左圓轉。右手心轉向下。左手心隨轉上。右手在上。左手在下。與腰同往回收。全身坐在左腿。(此卽是捋)左腿變實。右腿變虛。如第三圖。
Your right hand goes along with your waist to arc toward your left hand, palm turning to face upward, while your left hand also arcs along with your waist, palm turning to face downward. Your hands seem to be holding a ball. Your right foot steps out to the west, toes pointing to the west, and is with your left foot making a slight T stance. Your hands go along with your waist and your right leg by arcing to the west. Your right hand is forward, your left hand behind it, right palm facing upward and inward, left palm facing downward and outward, as though holding a ball. Your gaze goes to the west. The weight goes onto your right leg and your left leg straightens. The distance between your feet is up to you, everyone’s height being different. Your hands arc to the left along with your waist, right palm turning to face downward, left palm turning to face upward, right hand above, left hand below. Your hands go out and withdraw with your waist. The weight is on your left leg. (This is the “rollback” position.) Your left leg becomes full and your right leg becomes empty. See drawing 3:

《武當嫡派太極拳術》 李壽籛 (1944) - drawing 3

右手隨動。手心隨轉隨向內。左手隨動。手心隨轉向外。左手心距離右手脈門二寸許。(此卽是擠)兩手同時向西擠出。腰亦隨之前進。至右腿變實。左腿變虛。如第四圖。
Your hands continue to move, right palm turning to face inward, left palm turning to face outward and about two inches from your right pulse area. (This is the “press” position.) Your hands then press out to the west, your waist also advancing forward until your right leg has become full and your left leg has become empty. See drawing 4:

《武當嫡派太極拳術》 李壽籛 (1944) - drawing 4

兩手與腰與腿。同時往回鬆。兩手收回時。略向上提。手尖向前。手心向下。收至左腿坐實。兩手復同時往西按。兩手心向外。手尖向上。沉肩墜肘。略與胸齊。(此卽是按)右腿復實。如第五圖。
Your hands, waist, and thighs withdraw and loosen in unison. As your hands withdraw, they lift slightly upward, fingers pointing forward, palm facing downward. Withdrawing until your left leg is full, your hands then push to the west, palms facing outward, fingers pointing upward, shoulders sinking and elbows hanging, hands at about chest level. (This is the “push” position.) Your right leg is again full. See drawing 5:

《武當嫡派太極拳術》 李壽籛 (1944) - drawing 5

要點
Important points:

練習時。手尖路線須成一雙環形。眼神須隨手足腰而變動。脊背鬆開。方能靈活。此式運動身腰腿各部。
When practicing, your fingers must trace a double circle. Your gaze must go along with the movements of your hands, feet, and waist. Your spine relaxes so you can then be nimble. This posture exercises the torso and thighs.

用法
Application:

若敵人搭抝手腕背肘。則可用外掤。黏於肘時。則可回捋。
Upon connecting with an opponent’s wrist, forearm, or elbow, I can ward-off outward, or once sticking to his elbow, I can perform rollback.

單鞭
[3] SINGLE WHIP

意義
Meaning of the name:

單者單手之意。如鞭之擊人也。若單式練習時可改為雙手向左右分擊。成雙鞭式亦可。
“Single” means with one hand. “Whip” means it is like you are hitting someone with a whip. When practicing this as a single posture, you can also change to using both hands spreading to the sides at the same time, in which case the posture would be called DOUBLE WHIP.

動作圖說
Movement explanation:

兩手與腰與復同時往回鬆。右手屈回。如畫一小圓規。復往西鬆直。五指旋卽垂下。變為吊手。左手與右手同時屈回。由左而右畫一大圓形。轉至右肩時。手心向內。右足尖隨身體轉向南。全身坐在右腿上。此時左足亦同時向東邁去。足尖稍向北。此時右足尖亦同時轉東南。全身坐在左腿上。左腿變實。左手隨動隨轉。手心朝外。變成單鞭式。與左足同一方向。右腿伸直。眼向東視。如第六圖式
Your hands, waist, and abdomen withdraw in unison, your right hand bending in and drawing a small circle which then extends it to the west and with the fingers coiled downward to make a hanging hand, while your left hand bends in and draws a larger circle which takes it from left to right, and by the time it reaches your right shoulder, the palm is facing inward. Your right foot has turned to point to the south, the weight on your right leg. Now your left foot steps to the east, toes slightly turning toward the north, your right toes turn to the southeast, and the weight shifts to your left leg, which becomes full. Your left hand goes along with the movement and turns to face outward, making the SINGLE WHIP posture in the same direction as your left foot, your right leg straightening. Your gaze is to the east. See drawing 6:

《武當嫡派太極拳術》 李壽籛 (1944) - drawing 6

要點
Important points:

左手向前運動時。手須由通臂勁以助之。略含自上下擊之意。而兩肩須成水平線。戒聳起或下垂及傾仄。左右兩足尤宜敏捷一致。此式為練背及四肢之運動也。
As your left hand moves forward, it must be driven by power going through your arm, slightly harboring an intention of striking down from above. Your shoulders must be level, neither of them lifting or drooping to make you look slanted. Your feet should be nimble and coordinated. This posture exercises the back and limbs.

用法
Application:

如敵人以兩手來擊時。我乘其勢。引其臂。使其身向前。我以手按出之。仍須臨機應變。
If an opponent uses both hands to attack, I take advantage of his momentum to draw his arm in, causing him to lean forward, then use my hand to push out, always responding according to the situation.

提手上勢式
[4] RAISE THE HANDS

意義
Meaning of the name:

又名提手。卽將手上提。如提物然。須輕鬆上捧。
This means that your hands are lifting up as though lifting an object, but you must carry it upward lightly.

動作圖解
Movement explanation:

由前式左足轉向南。兩手同時相合。手心斜對如捧物然。隨腰轉向西南。右手稍高。左手稍低。沉肩墜肘。輕鬆捧起。右足同時提起。向西南落下。足跟點地。足尖翹起。眼神看手。左腿變實如第七圖
Continuing from the previous posture, your left foot turns to point to the south as your hands close toward each other, palms facing each other along a diagonally as though carrying an object, and your waist turns to the southwest. Your right hand is slightly higher, left hand slightly lower. Sinking your shoulders and dropping your elbows, your arms gently loosen and prop up. Your right foot at the same time lifts up and comes down to the southwest, heel touching down, toes lifted. Your gaze is toward your [right] hand. Your left leg becomes full. See drawing 7:

《武當嫡派太極拳術》 李壽籛 (1944) - drawing 7

要點
Important points:

此式係練習左腿左胯。及脊骨之伸縮。增長精神。於腰腿之伸縮力。有密切之關係。
This posture exercises your left thigh and hip, as well as the flexibility of your spine, and increases spirit. It also has a strong influence upon the flexibility of your hips.

用法
Application:

敵如以拳對面打來時。我卽以右手從上搭其臂。以腕擠之。或捋之。或蹲身下坐以擊之。或用右手擊敵之面部等。
If an opponent punches to my face, I then use my right hand to make contact with his arm from above and use my [left] wrist to do a pressing technique to throw him away, or I perform a rollback, or I squat down to attack him, using my right [left] hand to strike to his face.

白鶴亮翅
[5] WHITE CRANE SHOWS ITS WINGS

意義
Meaning of the name:

兩手一高一下。兩足一伸一屈。兩臂如鶴之展翅然。華陀之五禽經。鳥形運動。斜為展翅。正為亮翅。
With one hand high and the other low, and with one leg bent and the other extended, your arms are like a crane spreading its wings. This is the bird exercise from Hua Tuo’s Five Animal Frolics. When at an angle, it is called “spreading wings”. When facing squarely, it is called “showing wings”.

動作圖解
Movement explanation:

右足略進半步踏實。足尖向東南。全身坐右腿上。兩手與腰同時而轉。右手轉下。手心向上。左手轉上。手心向下。兩掌斜對如抱圓球。隨卽分開。右臂隨腰向上提起。眼神隨之。至右手心轉向外。眼向東視。左手同時往左往下分。轉至手心向下。左足隨提前。足尖點地。面正向東。右腿實。左腿虛。如第八圖。
Your right foot slightly advances a half step and comes down fully, the toes pointing to the southeast, and the weight then shifts onto your right leg, your hands arcing with the turning of your waist, right hand arcing downward, palm facing upward, left hand arcing upward, palm facing downward, the palms facing each other diagonally as if they are holding a ball. They promptly spread apart, your right arm going along with the movement of your waist by lifting up. Your gaze goes toward your right hand as the palm turns to face outward, and then your gaze is to the east. Your left hand at the same time spreads away downward to the left, turning until the palm is facing downward, your left foot lifting forward, toes touching down pointing to the east. Your right leg is full, left leg empty. See drawing 8:

《武當嫡派太極拳術》 李壽籛 (1944) - drawing 8

要點
Important points:

此式為運動胸及背部之伸縮力。練習時須含胸拔背。方有奇效。
This posture exercises the flexibility of your chest and back. When practicing, you must contain your chest and pluck up your back, then the technique will be extraordinarily effective.

用法
Application:

如敵人由左右側擊來時。可用左臂上擠。同時亦可從敵腋下穿提上展。則敵必跌出也。
If an opponent attacks from my right side, I can use my left arm to press on him while my other arm threads through from under his armpit and spreads upward, causing him to stumble away.

左摟膝抝步式
[6] LEFT BRUSH KNEE IN A CROSSED STANCE

意義
Meaning of the name:

摟膝者。卽手摟腿膝之意。抝步者。不順之步也。如出左足伸右手。出右足伸左手。此之謂抝步。
Brushing the knee means brushing downward past your knee. A “crossed stance” is the opposite of a “straight stance” [i.e. same hand and foot forward]. If the left foot is advanced while the right hand is extended, or the right foot is advanced while the left hand is extended, that is called a “crossed stance”.

動作圖解
Movement explanation:

腰往下鬆。右手轉向後隨腰下垂。往後圓轉而上。由耳邊按出。左手同時隨腰而上。由腰前往右摟至左膝外。手心復向下。左足同時隨往東邁。腰隨手前進。至左腿變實。如第九圖。
Your waist loosens downward and your right hand turns so the palm is facing to the rear, goes along with your waist by hanging down, arcing to the rear, upward, and then pushes out from beside the ear. Your left hand at the same time goes along with your waist by going upward, to the right, and from in front of your belly, brushes to the outside of your left knee, palm again facing downward, while your left foot steps to the east and your waist advances along with the pushing hand until your left leg becomes full. See drawing 9:

《武當嫡派太極拳術》 李壽籛 (1944) - drawing 9

要點
Important points:

練習時須蹲身。左右手運行時。路線皆為橢圓形。而兩臂之動作。全憑腰臂運動。故此係運動兩臂及膝之屈伸力。
When practicing, you must lower your body. As your hands move, they draw ovals. The actions of both arms driven entirely by your waist, therefore this posture exercises the flexibility of your arms and knees.

用法
Application:

敵由下方用拳或腿擊來時。卽可以雙手向旁摟開。抝步前進。以手前推。擊其胸部。
If an opponent attacks me from below with a punch or kick, I can use either hand to brush aside while stepping forward into a crossed stance, then with the other hand I will push forward, attacking his chest.

手揮琵琶式
[7] PLAY THE LUTE

意義
Meaning of the name:

兩手如抱琵琶狀。以指撫弦者然。
Your hands seem to be holding a lute, your fingers strumming the strings.

動作圖解
Movement explanation:

右足略提起。隨落下。右手隨身之落勢。收回在後。左手隨身提起在前。兩手心相對如抱琵琶。沉肩墜肘。鬆開捧起。不可有夾勁。左足隨身收近。足跟點地。足尖翹起。右腿仍實。如第十圖。
Your right foot slightly lifts then comes down. Your right hand goes along with your body by lowering and withdrawing to the rear, while your left hand lifts forward, and the palms are toward each other as if holding a lute. Sinking your shoulders and dropping your elbows, your arms loosen and prop up, but must not have a pincering energy. Your left foot withdraws along with your body, heel touching down, toes lifted. Your right leg is still full. See drawing 10:

《武當嫡派太極拳術》 李壽籛 (1944) - drawing 10

要點
Important points:

手外運時。宜用腰膝之力。
As your hand turns outward, you should use power from your waist and knees.

用法
Application:

敵握我左腕時。吾右手向懷內後撤。以柔化其力。同時以右手掌按其肩。猛向前推。
If the opponent grabs my left [right] wrist, I withdraw my right hand toward my chest to neutralize his energy while using my right [left] hand to fiercely push forward to his right shoulder.

左右摟膝拗步式
[8] LEFT & RIGHT BRUSH KNEE IN A CROSSED STANCE

意義
Meaning of the name:

如第六式同
Same as in Posture 6.

動作圖解
Movement explanation:

左足尖向外移開。腰往下鬆。左手心轉向外隨腰下垂。往後圓轉由左耳邊按出。右手同時隨腰而上。由胸前往右摟至右膝外。手心仍向下。靠右膝蓋旁。右足隨往前方邁出。腰隨手前進。至右脚變實。左摟膝與右式同。惟左右不同耳。如第十一圖。
Your left toes shift outward, your waist loosens downward, and your left hand, palm turning to face outward, goes along with your waist by hanging down, arcing to the rear, and then pushes out from beside your left ear. Your right hand at the same time goes along with your waist by going upward, to the right from in front of your chest, and brushes to the outside of your right knee, the palm again facing downward, close beside your right knee. Your right foot stepping forward, your waist advances along with the pushing hand until your right leg becomes full. This is the same as BRUSH KNEE on the other side, except that left and right and reversed. See drawing 11:

《武當嫡派太極拳術》 李壽籛 (1944) - drawing 11

手揮琵琶如第十一圖
[9] PLAY THE LUTE (same as in drawing 11 [10])

進步搬攔錘式
[10] ADVANCE, PARRY, BLOCK, PUNCH

意義
Meaning of the name:

搬攔錘者。卽搬開敵人之手。而攔阻之。復用拳迎擊之。南人稱拳為錘。故此錘為太極拳五錘之一。
PARRY, BLOCK, PUNCH means that you use a parry to take aside the opponent’s hand, then a block to obstruct him, and then a punch to strike him directly. Southerners use a different character for “punch” which directly indicates a fist, whereas the one used here instead expresses a mace. This is one of the five punching techniques in Taiji Boxing.

動作圖解
Movement explanation:

由琵琶式。兩手心相對。隨腰往左轉。左手轉至手心朝下。右手轉至手心朝上。左手在上。右手在下。右手轉至左協際握拳。又隨腰往右鬆。藏於右協下。此時右腿同時提起邁一步。足尖向東。全身坐於右腿上。左手亦同時隨腰往前探出。如第十二圖
From PLAY THE LUTE, your hands, palms toward each other, go along with your waist by arcing to the left, your left hand turning until the palm is facing downward, your right hand turning until the palm is facing upward, left hand above, right hand below. Your right hand arcs until by your left ribs and grasps into a fist, then goes along with your waist by loosening to the right to be placed by your right ribs. At the same time, your right leg lifts and takes a step forward, toes pointing to the east, and the weight shifts to your right leg, your left hand going along with your waist by extending forward. See drawing 12:

《武當嫡派太極拳術》 李壽籛 (1944) - drawing 12

右足尖轉向東南坐實。左手隨往左搬攔。右拳隨卽打出。左手如扶右肘內。指尖向上。左足亦同時前進坐實。如第十三圖。
Your right foot turns to point the toes to the southeast and the weight shifts onto it, your left hand doing a parrying block to the left [here revealing there is a different source for the name explanation] while your right fist strikes forth, your left hand seeming to wipe along the inside of your right elbow, fingertips upward. Your left foot at the same time advances and the weight shifts to it. See drawing 13:

《武當嫡派太極拳術》 李壽籛 (1944) - drawing 13

要點
Important points:

此式係運動脊椎。靈活肩胯。練習時背肩均須一致。須空腋鬆肩。擊拳時須正身用脊力。不可探身向前。
This posture exercises the spine, as well as the liveliness of the shoulders and hips. When practicing, your back and shoulders must work together, and you must maintain space under your armpits and loosen your shoulders. When punching, you must keep your body upright to use power from your spine. You must not lean your body forward.

用法
Application:

敵拳當胸擊來時。卽雙手向外搬開。敵外逃卽攔之。乘勢卽可直擊敵胸。或以左手攔敵手。以右拳擊之。
If an opponent punches to my chest, I then use both hands to parry it aside. If he wants to escape to the outside, I then jam him and take the opportunity to punch straight to his chest. Or I may block with my left hand while punching with my right fist.

如封似閉式
[11] SEALING SHUT

意義
Meaning of the name:

封閉者。卽封鎖敵手之意。如形意拳之虎形。岳氏連拳之外推手。其意均同。
SEALING SHUT means to seal off the opponent’s hands, and is the same idea as in the tiger form of Xingyi Boxing and the double-hand push of General Yue’s Continuous Boxing.

動作圖解
Movement explanation:

由前式左手手心翻轉向上。貼近右臂。旋穿出右肘。右拳隨變為掌。兩手隨腰後抽。漸移漸分。至兩掌近於胸際。此時右腿變實。然後兩掌復隨腰前按。至左腿變實。如第十四圖。
Continuing from the previous posture, your left hand turns so the palm is facing upward and threads out under your right elbow, sticking along your arm, while your right fist becomes a palm, both hands going along with your waist by withdrawing, gradually spreading apart until the palms are close to your chest. Your right leg has now become full. Then your palms again go along with your waist, pushing forward until your left leg becomes full. See drawing 14:

《武當嫡派太極拳術》 李壽籛 (1944) - drawing 14

要點
Important points:

撤拳時。須將拳帶回。全身後坐。切不可屈臂彎腰。搭腕時不可停滯。應卽分開前推。分開時兩肘須微曲肘尖下垂近脇。不宜旁開便勁分散。前推時手指宜前。伸掌以吐力。
To withdraw the fist, you must lead it back. As your whole body sits back, you must not bend your back or waist. When your wrists touch, it must not cause stagnation in the movement, instead the hands should spread right away and push forward. When spreading, your elbows should slightly bend and hang downward close to your ribs. You should not spread more to one side or the either, which would cause the spreading energy to be scattered. When pushing, your fingers should point forward, palms extended to release energy.

用法
Application:

搬攔錘時。敵以左手推吾右拳。卽以左手從下方攔其手。右拳撤回。復出兩手向前推之。
When I apply PARRY, BLOCK, PUNCH, if the opponent uses his left hand to push my right fist, I send my left hand from below to block his hand, withdrawing my right fist, then push forward with both hands.

十字手式
[12] CROSSED HANDS

意義
Meaning of the name:

十字手者。兩手交叉相搭。如十字之謂也。凡兩式相連。轉折不便者。均可加十字手。以資銜接也。
CROSSED HANDS means your wrists cross each other to make an X shape, hence the name. Whenever two postures are linked by a transition that is not flowing, you can always add the crossed hands as a way to join them up.

動作圖解
Movement explanation:

左足尖轉向南。兩手先往上分開。向下圓轉後。又由下而上。復合為斜十字。右足隨右手同時移近左足。平行而立。此式面向南方。如第十五圖。
Your left toes turning to point to the south, your hands first go upward and spread apart, go downward and arc to the rear, then go up from below, and join to make an X shape. Your right foot goes along with your right hand to shift toward your left foot and stand parallel with it. In this posture, you are facing to the south. See drawing 15:

《武當嫡派太極拳術》 李壽籛 (1944) - drawing 15

要點
Important points:

練此式須連續下式。不可稍有停頓。
When practicing this posture, you have to be continuously lowering, without the slightest pause.

抱虎歸山式
[13] CAPTURE THE TIGER AND SEND IT BACK TO ITS MOUNTAIN

意義
Meaning of the name:

抱虎歸山者。擬敵為虎。抱而擲之也。又名抱虎推山。當抱敵時。敵思逃走。卽乘勢前推。兩手都有理。惟學者。於此式多不注意。蓋以此式與後式之攬雀尾。最易混淆。故宜分淸白。
CAPTURE THE TIGER AND SEND IT BACK TO ITS MOUNTAIN means that the opponent is in the role of the “tiger” and you take hold of him and throw him away. It is also called EMBRACE THE TIGER AND PUSH THE MOUNTAIN. When you embrace the opponent and he wants to escape, take advantage of it by pushing forward. Both of these explanations are equally valid. Students often do not pay attention to this posture because it goes right into CATCH THE SPARROW BY THE TAIL, and so it is very easy to get confused. Thus you should clearly distinguish between the two techniques.

動作圖解
Movement explanation:

右手向西北。左手向東南分開。右足隨右手往西北邁步。此時全身坐在左腿。左手分開後。旋卽轉上。由耳邊向西北按出。腰亦隨之前進。卽坐在右腿上。右手分開後。同時轉至脇下下垂。手心向上。如第十六圖。
Your right hand goes to the northwest, your left hand spreading away to the southeast. Your right foot goes along with your right hand by stepping to the northwest, the weight still on your left leg. After your left hand spreads away, it immediately arcs upward and pushes out from your ear to the northwest, your waist also advancing, the weight now on your right leg. After your right hand spreads away, it then arcs until below your ribs, hanging down, palm facing upward. See drawing 16:

《武當嫡派太極拳術》 李壽籛 (1944) - drawing 16

右手復轉上。手心向上。至左手處。兩手隨腰抱回。坐在左腿上。兩手復擠出。按出。與攬雀尾同。
Your right hand, palm facing upward, then goes to be by your left hand, and both hands go along with your waist by doing a withdrawing embrace, the weight shifting to your left leg. Both hands will then perform press and push, the same as in CATCH THE SPARROW BY THE TAIL.

要點
Important points:

此式須以腰身運動。肩臂宜貫串。一氣相連。如抽絲然。
In this posture, you must move from your waist, energy coursing through your arms continuously as though you are drawing out silk.

用法
Application:

倘敵由吾右後側擊來。宜以右手下按其臂。以左掌迎面擊之。若以左臂乘勢上抬。而左轉擊吾頭部。應卽進身。以右肩承接其臂根。圈右臂後以抱敵身。設欲逃去。可回身以右手外挒其雙手。向前推其胸。
If an opponent uses his left hand to strike me from behind on my right side, I should use my right hand to push his arm downward and use my left palm to strike his face. If his left arm takes advantage of the opportunity to lift up, or he turns to the left and strikes to my head, I then advance, using my right shoulder to brace under his armpit, circle my right arm to the rear, and wrap around his torso. If he wants to escape, I can withdraw my torso, using my right hand to rend his hands outward, and push forward to his chest.

肘底看錘式
[14] GUARDING PUNCH UNDER THE ELBOW

意義
Meaning of the name:

看者看守之意。立肘成直角於肘底下。曰肘底看錘。亦名肘下錘。
By “guarding” is meant being protective. When your forearm is stood up at a right angle, the fist under the elbow is called “guarding punch under the elbow”. This technique is also called simply PUNCH UNDER THE ELBOW.

動作圖解
Movement explanation:

兩手按出後。如單鞭式。右手鬆直。手指稍垂。不成吊手。左足略提起落下。足尖轉向東南。右足隨提起往南邁。與左足相距二尺許。足尖亦向東南。左手轉至右肩時。不成單鞭與右手同時隨身隨步劃一大圓規。左手畫至左邊。復轉回至胸際。向東伸出。手心朝南。右手同時畫至胸前時。遂握拳收回。藏於左肘下。左足同時提至右足前。足跟點地。足尖翹起。此式面向正東。如第十七圖。
After your hands push down, almost go into the SINGLE WHIP posture, your right arm loosely straightening, fingers slightly drooping but not making a hanging hand. Your left foot slightly lifts and comes down with the toes turn to point to the southeast. Your right foot then lifts and steps toward the south to be at a distance of about two feet from your left foot, the toes also pointing to the southeast. When your left hand arcs until by your right shoulder, it does not make the SINGLE WHIP posture and instead draws a large circle in time with your right hand, body, and step. When your left hand’s arc has taken it to the left side, the hand then withdraws until in front of your chest and extends to the east, palm facing to the south. Your right hand at the same time arcs to be in front of your chest, grasping into a fist and drawing in to be stored below your elbow, your left foot lifting and coming down in front of your right foot, heel touching down, toes lifted. In this posture, you are square to the east. See drawing 17:

《武當嫡派太極拳術》 李壽籛 (1944) - drawing 17

右腿微屈。成丁虛步。全身坐在右腿上。
Your right leg is slightly bent. You are making a T-shaped empty stance.  The weight is on your right leg.

要點
Important points:

此式練習時。宜注意三合。『卽肩與胯合。肘與膝合。手與足合。』出拳時。身須隨之略向前。有含胸之意。同時尤須鬆腕。沉肩墜肘。眼向前視。
When practicing this posture, you should pay attention to the three unions: shoulder united with hip, elbow united with knee, hand united with foot. As the fist goes out, your body must follow it slightly forward with an intention of hollowing your chest. At the same time, you also have to loosen the wrist, sink the shoulder and drop the elbow. Your gaze is forward.

用法
Application:

倘敵以右手擊我時。我卽左手捰敵。右手上托。而以我之右手。下擊其胸。
If an opponent attacks me with his right hand, I use my left [right] hand to grab him, my right [left] hand to prop up, then my right hand to strike to his chest.

倒輩猴式
[15] RETREAT, DRIVING AWAY THE MONKEY

意義
Meaning of the name:

倒輦猴者。因猴遇人卽向前跳。乘勢先以手引之。以按其頭之意。又名倒趕後。卽向後退。引敵來趕。隨以手乘勢擊之也。
RETREAT, DRIVING AWAY THE MONKEY means that when a “monkey” [i.e. a troublemaker] leaps forward, take advantage of the opportunity to first use a hand to draw him in and then push down on his headtop with the other. It is also called CHASED RETREAT, meaning moving backward away from pursuit, drawing the opponent in as he chases, then taking advantage of the opportunity to strike with your hand.

動作圖解
Movement explanation:

右拳旋鬆開。由左肘下。向後圓轉而上。由右耳旁按出。左足同時向後退步。全身重量坐在左腿。右足尖隨轉向東。眼神東視。如第十八圖
Your right fist twists and opens, going from below your left elbow to the rear then arcing upward, and pushes out from beside your right ear. Your left foot at the same time retreats, the weight shifts to your left leg, and your right foot turns so the toes point to the east. Your gaze is to the east. See drawing 18 [19]:

《武當嫡派太極拳術》 李壽籛 (1944) - drawing 19

左手亦同時由前往後圓轉而上。從左耳旁向前按出。右足同時往後退步。全身坐在右腿。左足尖隨轉向東。如第十九圖
Your left hand at the same time goes to the rear then arcs upward and pushes out from beside your left ear, your right foot retreating, the weight shifting to your right leg, your left foot turning to point to the east. See drawing 19 [18]:

《武當嫡派太極拳術》 李壽籛 (1944) - drawing 18

兩手如輪。一往一來。左手按出。則右腿坐實。右手按出。則左腿坐實。或三步、或五步、或七步、至右手按出為止。
The hands are like a wheel, one coming, one going. When your left hand goes out, your right leg fills, and when your right hand goes out, your left leg fills. Do three, five, or seven steps, ending with your right hand pushing out.

要點
Important points:

兩腿彎須微曲。兩足尖與兩足跟。前後勿成一直線。兩足左右相距之寬度。約與肩同。頭宜頂。身宜正。脊骨宜上提。須有虛靈頂勁。
Your knees must slightly bend. Do not let your toes and heels make a straight line forward and back. The distance between your feet is about shoulder width. Your head should be straight, your body should be upright, your spine should lift, and you must forcelessly press up your headtop.

用法
Application:

設若敵人以拳擊來。或以足踢來時。我卽以一手下摟。迅以一手迎擊之。
If an opponent uses either his fist to strike or foot to kick, I then use one hand to brush it away downward, then quickly use the other to strike to his face.

斜飛式
[16] DIAGONAL FLYING POSTURE

意義
Meaning of the name:

此式如鳥之兩翅展開斜飛。故名。
This posture is like a bird opening its wings to fly away at an angle, hence the name.

動作圖解
Movement explanation:

由前式。右手按出後。腰向左鬆。全身坐在左腿上。右手隨腰向右向下。左手由左圓轉向上。兩掌相合。左手心向下。右手心向上。如抱圓球。右手隨身向西南分開在上。手心仍向上左手向東北分開在下。手心仍向下。全身重量坐在右腿。眼神向西南。如第二十圖。
Continuing from the previous posture, after your right hand pushes out, your waist loosens to the left, the weight is on your left leg, your right hand goes along with your waist downward to the left, and your left hand arcs upward from the left, the palms closing toward each other, your left palm facing downward, right palm facing upward, as if holding a ball. Your right hand goes along with your body by spreading away upward to the southwest, the palm still facing upward, your left hand spreading away downward to the northeast, the palm still facing downward. The weight shifts to your right leg. Your gaze is to the southwest. See drawing 20:

《武當嫡派太極拳術》 李壽籛 (1944) - drawing 20

要點
Important points:

此式宜含胸拔背。須腰身手足一致運動。
In this posture, you should contain your chest and pluck up your back. Your waist, hands, and feet must act in unison.

用法
Application:

此式為騰手法。如右手與敵左手相搭。卽以右腕上托敵腕。以左手進擊之。
This posture is a technique of surprise. If my right hand and the opponent’s left hand connect with each other, I use my right [left] wrist up to prop up his wrist and send my left [right] hand forward to strike him.

提手式
[17] RAISE THE HANDS

說明。
Explanation:

左足略提起復落下。兩手收回相合。輕鬆上捧,作提手式。右足同時微向後收。足跟點地。如前第七圖。
Your left foot slightly lifts then comes down, and your hands withdraw and close toward each other, lightly and loosely propping upward, making the RAISE THE HANDS posture, your right foot also slightly withdrawing, heel touching down. (Review drawing 7.)

白鶴亮翅。如前第八圖。
[18] WHITE CRANE SHOWS ITS WINGS (same as in drawing 8)

摟膝抝步。如前第九圖。
[19] BRUSH KNEE IN A CROSSED STANCE (same as in drawing 9)

海底針式
[20] NEEDLING “UNDER THE SEA”

意義
Meaning of the name:

海底者。人身上之穴道名也。海底針。卽點此穴之意。
“Under the Sea” is the name of an acupoint on the human body. NEEDLING “UNDER THE SEA” means your hand has an intention of poking toward this point.

動作圖解
Movement explanation:

右足不動。右手隨腰收回。復隨腰向下埀。手尖向下。手心向北。左足亦同時收回。足尖點地。左手仍在原處。眼神前視。如第二十一圖。
Your right foot staying where it is, your right hand withdraws, then goes along with your waist by hanging down, fingers pointing downward, palm facing to the north. Your left foot at the same time withdraws, toes touching down, your left hand staying where it is. Your gaze is forward. See drawing 21:

《武當嫡派太極拳術》 李壽籛 (1944) - drawing 21

要點
Important points:

此式係練習脊骨。及膝之伸屈力。凡右腿下屈時。脊骨務須直立。不得屈曲前傾。手下指時。略含點刺之意。
This posture exercises your spine and the flexibility of your knees. As your right leg bends, your spine must stay straight. Do not let it bend and lean you forward. As your fingers point downward, there is a slight intention of poking acupoints.

用法
Application:

若敵以右手擊來時。吾卽以左手摟開。以右手點刺敵胸及海底穴。如敵以左手握吾右腕時。則轉腕向下直刺。敵必坐倒。
When the opponent [in the previous posture] used his right hand to strike me and I then used my left hand to brush it away to the side while using my right hand to strike his chest or belly, if at that moment he uses his left hand to grab my right wrist, I then turn my wrist over and poke straight downward, making him sit down.

扇通臂式
[21] FAN THROUGH THE ARMS

意義
Meaning of the name:

通臂者。使脊背之力。通於兩臂也。扇通臂。兩臂姿勢如扇幅。脊椎如扇軸。如扇之分開狀之謂也。
“Through the arms” means that you send power from your spine through your arms. FAN THROUGH THE ARMS means that your arms are like the cloth of a fan and your spine is like the hinge of a fan, and it is like a fan spreading open.

動作圖解
Movement explanation:

右足不動。兩手隨腰提起。右手提至額上。手心向南。左手提至胸際。向東按出。左足與左手同時前進。全身坐在左腿上。眼神東視。如第二十二圖。
Your right foot staying where it is, your hands go along with your waist by lifting, right hand lifting until above your forehead, palm facing to the south left hand lifting to your chest area and pushing out to the east. Your left foot advances with your left hand and your weight shifts to your left leg. Your gaze is to the east. See drawing 22:

《武當嫡派太極拳術》 李壽籛 (1944) - drawing 22

要點
Important points:

此式係練腿力。及肩背力。運動時。左掌心須向前。與右臂之筯骨相應。同時右臂之力須通於左手。
This posture exercises the strength of the legs, and of the shoulders and back. During the movement, your left palm must go forward in coordination with the joints of your right arm, and the power of your right arm must course through your left hand.

用法
Application:

敵以右手擊來。卽上左腿以右手反刁敵腕。以左掌擊敵腋下。或以左手上托。則敵肘必折矣。
If an opponent uses his right hand to strike, I then step my left leg forward, using my right hand to slyly oppose his wrist, and use my left palm to strike under his armpit, or to prop upward and thereby break his elbow.

撇身錘式
[22] TORSO-FLUNG PUNCH

意義
Meaning of the name:

撇身錘者。使身折疊。腰部後撇。復用腕進擊之謂。此為太極五錘之一。
TORSO-FLUNG PUNCH means that you cause your torso to fold up and then you fling to the rear from your waist, striking forward using your wrist. This is one of the five punching techniques in Taiji Boxing.

動作圖解
Movement explanation:

左足尖轉向南。全身仍坐在左腿。左手曲肘西轉。掌心向南。右手握拳。掌心向下。如抱物然。眼神亦轉向西。左足不動。兩手隨腰圓轉向西。右手隨腰往下鬆。藏在右脇下。拳心向上。左手繞右拳上。往西按出。右足同時西轉足尖向西。右腿坐實。眼神西視。如第二十三圖
Your left foot turns to point south, the weight remaining on your left leg, your left arm bends at the elbow and arcs to the west, palm facing to the south, and your right hand grasps into a fist, the center of the fist facing downward. It is like you are embracing an object. Your gaze turns to the west, your left foot stays where it is, and your hands go along with your waist by arcing to the west, your right fist going downward to be placed below your ribs, the center of the fist facing upward your left hand coiling over your right fist and pushing out to the west. Your right foot at the same time turns to the west, toes pointing west, and the weight shifts to your right leg. Your gaze is to the west. See drawing 23:

《武當嫡派太極拳術》 李壽籛 (1944) - drawing 23

要點
Important points:

撇身時。手腿動作須以腰脊為樞紐。方能靈活自如。
When flinging your torso, the movement of your hand and legs must use your spine as an axle, then the technique can be lively and natural.

用法
Application:

倘敵人由後方以手按肘腕將擲。吾可向後撇身。屈肘擒制敵臂。乘勢抬步握拳迎擊之。
If an opponent from behind me uses one hand to push down on my elbow and the other to push down on my wrist, then when he is about to hurl me away, I can fling to the rear from my torso, bending my elbow to seize control of his arm, taking advantage of the opportunity to step in, making a fist, and intercepting his attack with a [palm] strike.

上步搬擱錘式
[23] STEP FORWARD, PARRY, BLOCK, PUNCH

意義
Meaning of the name:

搬攔錘已說明於前。上步者。則將步前進。與後退者迥異。
PARRY, BLOCK, PUNCH has already been explained. By “step forward” is meant advancing where there would otherwise be retreating.

〔動作圖解〕
[Movement explanation:]

右拳由右脇下提起。同左手隨腰往左收回。如畫一橢圓。此時左腿坐實。右足略提起落下。足尖向西北落實。進左步。左手搬攔。右手打拳。與進步搬攔同。
Your right fist lifts from below your ribs, your left hand going along with your waist by withdrawing to the left, [and goes up from below] as if drawing an ellipse, while the weight shifts to your left leg. Your right foot slightly lifts then lowers with the toes pointed northwest and then the weight shifts onto it. Advancing your left foot, your left hand does a parrying block, and then strike with your right fist. It is the same as ADVANCE, PARRY, BLOCK, PUNCH.

要點
Important points:

手腕宜隨步動作。不可用拙力。
Your wrist should go along with the movement of your step, and must not use awkward effort.

用法
Application:

交手時。敵如用力上抬。卽上步以緩化敵力。乘勢進擊其胸。
When contacting the opponent’s hand, if he forcefully lifts up, I step forward to neutralize his energy, then take advantage of the moment to strike forward to his chest.

進步攬雀尾單鞭式
[24 & 25] ADVANCE, CATCH THE SPARROW BY THE TAIL and SINGLE WHIP

左足尖轉向西南。右拳鬆開。同左手隨腰往下鬆。坐實左腿。右足前進。右手心朝上。左手心朝下。變為攬雀尾式。隨又變為單鞭。如前第三第四第五第六等圖。
Your left foot turns to point the toes to the southwest. Your right fist opens and goes along with your waist to be under your left palm. With the weight on your left leg, advance your right foot, right palm facing upward, left palm facing downward, and perform CATCH THE SPARROW BY THE TAIL, then SINGLE WHIP. Review drawings 3-6.

要點
Important points:

用法均同前
The application is the same as before.

左右抎手式
[26] CLOUDING HANDS

意義
Meaning of the name:

抎手者。手之運動盤旋圓轉如雲之謂也。此式於太極拳中為最重要。兩手旋轉運行。與少林拳之左右攀援手同。
CLOUDING HANDS means your hands move like the swirling of clouds. This is the most important posture within Taiji Boxing. The movement of the hands to the left and right is the same as the “left & right climbing hands” of Shaolin Boxing.

動作圖解
Movement explanation:

單鞭之後。右手吊手鬆開變為掌。手心朝下。隨腰往下往左圓轉。轉至左肩前。手心轉向內。復往右轉。隨轉手心轉向下。須鬆鬆捧起。務令極圓。右足隨右手往東。橫移半步。左手同時亦鬆開。手心朝下。隨腰往下往右圓轉。轉至右肩前。手心轉向內。復往左轉。隨轉手心隨轉向下。鬆捧如右手。左足右手往東橫移一步。兩手圓轉如輪。右手至左肩前。左手伸直。左手至右肩前。右手伸直。抎右手。眼神隨腰右視。抎左手。眼神隨腰左視。抎右手坐右腿。抎左手坐左腿。如第二十四二十五兩圖。
After SINGLE WHIP, your right hanging hand opens and becomes a palm facing downward, and going along with your waist, arcs downward and to the left until in front of your left shoulder, palm turned inward, and then it arcs to the right, palm turning downward, and must loosely prop up. Try to make the movement very round. Your right foot goes along with your right hand to the east, taking a half step across. Your left hand at the same time loosens to be palm down, and going along with your waist, arcs downward and to the right until in front of your right shoulder, palm turned inward, and then it arcs to the left, palm turning downward, loosely propping up like the right hand. Your left foot goes along with your right hand to the east, taking a half step across.
     The hands arc like a wheel. When your right hand is in front of your left shoulder, your left hand is extended. When your left hand is in front of your right shoulder, your right hand is extended. When clouding with your right hand, your gaze goes along with your waist to look to the right. When clouding with your left hand, your gaze goes along with your waist to look to the left. When clouding with your right hand, the weight shifts to your right leg. When clouding with your left hand, the weight shifts to your left leg. See drawings 24 and 25:

《武當嫡派太極拳術》 李壽籛 (1944) - drawing 24

《武當嫡派太極拳術》 李壽籛 (1944) - drawing 25

此抎手或三步或五步或七步均可。卽變為單鞭式。
Do it three, five, or seven times, then change to SINGLE WHIP.

要點
Important points:

雙手運行須圓轉如輪。然其運行速度須匀。身體不得左右搖擺傾斜。亦不得前俯後仰。頭宜正直。須有虛靈頂勁之意。
Your hands must move in circles, like wheels, but their speed must be even. Your body must not sway to either side, nor lean forward or back. Your head should be upright, with an intention of forcelessly pressing up your headtop.

用法
Application:

倘敵以左手由前面擊來時。我以右手向右抎開。乘勢進擊。若敵由後面襲我右肩。亦可以右手迎觸敵手。翻掌發勁擊之。
If an opponent attacks from the front with his left hand, I then cloud it aside to the right with my right hand and take advantage of the opportunity to strike forward with my left. Or if an opponent attacks my right shoulder from the rear, I can meet his hand with my right hand, and as I turn over my palm, I issue power to strike him.

單鞭
[27] SINGLE WHIP

右手抎直時。隨變為吊手。左足尖亦略向東北。
When your right hand clouds and extends, it then becomes a hanging hand, and your left toes shift slightly to the northeast.

髙探馬式
[28] RISING UP AND REACHING OUT TO THE HORSE

意義
Meaning of the name:

高探馬者。如乘馬上。身高聳向前探出之意。
RISING UP AND REACHING OUT TO THE HORSE means your body is rising up and you are reaching out forward, in the manner of one mount a horse.

動作圖解
Movement explanation:

由單鞭式。左手隨腰收回。藏於左脇下。手心向上。右手同時曲肘。由耳邊捧出。手心向下。左足同時收回。足尖點地。腰收回時。隨收隨往上提。故曰高探馬也。此式右腿實。如第二十六圖。
Continuing from the previous posture, your left hand withdraws along with your waist until below your left ribs, palm facing upward. Your right hand at the same time, elbow bending, carries outward from beside the ear palm facing downward, your left foot withdrawing, toes touching down. As you withdraw your waist, you are simultaneously withdrawing, going outward, and rising up, thus the name RISING UP AND REACHING OUT TO THE HORSE. In this posture, your right leg is full. See drawing 26:

《武當嫡派太極拳術》 李壽籛 (1944) - drawing 26

要點
Important points:

此式左手收回時。足之起落須與手一致。須上下相隨。
In this posture, when your left hand withdraws, the lifting and lowering of the foot must be in unison with the hand, and there must be coordination of upper body and lower.

用法
Application:

敵如以右手擊來。我卽以左臂下按。右手同時以掌進擊彼胸。
If an opponent uses his right hand to strike, I then use my left arm to push down while my right palm strikes forward to his chest.

右分脚式
[29.1] KICK TO THE RIGHT SIDE

意義
Meaning of the name:

右分脚者。卽將脚輕輕上提。向右伸開之意。
To kick to the right side, gently lift your foot and extend it to the right.

動作圖解
Movement explanation:

將原式右手心向下。左手心向上相對。右手在上。左手在下。隨腰由右往左往下圓轉。左足同時隨腰隨兩手。往東北邁步。兩手又往上相合作十字。眼神向東南。此式左腿變實。右足提起。足尖下垂。向東南輕輕踢出。足背須平。兩手同時兩邊分開。右手向東南。左手向東北。兩掌俱坐起手腕。手指向上。此式須渾身鬆開。要有頂勁。不然則不穩矣。如第二十七圖。
Continuing from the previous posture, your right palm faces downward, your left palm facing downward, the palms facing each other, right hand above, left hand below They go along with your waist from right to left and down, turning in an arc. Your left foot at the same time moves along with your waist and hands, stepping out to the northeast. Your hands go upward, coming together to make an X shape, your gaze going to the southeast. Your left leg now becomes full and your right foot lifts, toes hanging down, then gently kicks out to the southeast, and the back of the foot must be flat. Your hands at the same time spread apart to both sides, right hand to the southeast, left hand to the northeast, both palms sitting up in the wrists so the fingers are pointing upward. In this posture, your whole body must loosen and there should be an energy of pressing up. If not the case, it will not be stable. See drawing 27 [Notice the orientation indicators for east and west are flipped for this drawing. The view in this case is a reversed profile.]:

《武當嫡派太極拳術》 李壽籛 (1944) - drawing 27

要點
Important points:

此式須渾身鬆開。含胸拔背。要有頂勁。邁步合手均須一致。踢足時兩臂成水平。前足尖須平。右腿微屈。全身重量在左腿。
In this posture, you must loosen your whole body, contain your chest and pluck up your back, and press up your headtop. Your hands coming together and the step must be coordinated with each other. When you kick, your arms make a horizontal line, and your front toes must point straight. Your right leg is slightly bent. The weight is on your left leg.

用法
Application:

倘敵以勢用肘或臂。上抗撲面掌時。卽用下纏手。由內分手外擊其臂。乘勢亦可前踢其脇。
If the opponent goes along with my energy and uses his elbow or arm to resist upward against my palm strike to his face [chest], I then wrap my hand around under it, from inward spread my hand outward to knock away his arm, and take advantage of the opportunity to kick forward to his ribs.

左分脚式
[29.2] KICK TO THE LEFT SIDE

意義
Meaning of the name:

左分脚者。卽將左脚提起。輕輕向左踢也。
To kick to the left side, lift your left foot and gently kick to the left.

動作圖解
Movement explanation:

右脚踢出後。旋卽收回。右手由右往左。與左手手心相對。左手在上。右手在下。同時隨腰由左往右往下圓轉。右足同時隨腰隨兩手。往東南邁步坐實。兩手由下圓轉。往上相合作十字。眼神向東北。左足提起。足尖下垂。向東北踢出。足背須平。兩手同時兩邊分開。右手向西南。左手向東北。兩掌俱坐起手腕。手指向上。與右分脚同。如第二十八圖。
After your right foot kicks out, promptly withdraw it, your right hand going from right to left while your left hand comes in so the palms are toward each other, left hand above, right hand below. At the same time, they go along with your waist from the left to the right and down, turning in an arc. Your right foot at the same time moves along with your waist and hands, stepping to the southeast, and then the weight shifts fully onto it. Your hands arc upward from below and come together to make an X shape, your gaze going to the northeast. Your left foot lifts, toes hanging down, and kicks out to the northeast, and the back of the foot must be flat. Your hands at the same time spread apart to both sides, right hand to the southwest, left hand to the northeast, both palms sitting up in the wrists so the fingers are pointing upward. It is the same as on the other side. See drawing 28:

《武當嫡派太極拳術》 李壽籛 (1944) - drawing 28

要點
Important points:

與右分脚同。
Same as in KICK TO THE RIGHT SIDE.

用法
Application:

與右分脚同。惟左右適相反耳。
Same as in KICK TO THE RIGHT SIDE, except with left and right reversed.

轉身蹬脚式
[30] TURN AROUND, PRESSING KICK

意義
Meaning of the name:

轉身蹬脚者。卽轉身向左。以左足踵蹬出也。
TURN AROUND, PRESSING KICK means your body turns around to the left, and then you press out using your left heel.

動作圖解
Movement explanation:

兩手相合作十字。左足收回。仍提起足尖下垂。右足尖轉向北。兩手分開。左手向西。右手向東。左足蹬出。足心向外。足尖向上。此式面雖向北。而眼神向西看。如第二十九圖。
Your hands come together into the CROSSED HANDS posture, your left foot withdraws, staying lifted, toes hanging down, and your right toes turn to point to the north. Your hands spread apart, left hand to the west, right hand to the east. Your left foot presses out, sole facing outward, toes pointing upward. Although this posture squares you to the north, your gaze is to the west. See drawing 29:

《武當嫡派太極拳術》 李壽籛 (1944) - drawing 29

要點
Important points:

此式須渾身鬆開。全身之力寄於右足。向左轉時。上身宜直立。不可前傾及左右歪。
In this posture, your whole body must loosen, the weight on your right foot. As you turn to the left, your upper body should be upright. You must not lean forward of to the sides.

用法
Application:

倘敵由後襲擊時。卽轉身避過。並可隨機用脚前蹬。兩手向左右分開以護膝。防敵之摟足也。
If an opponent suddenly attacks me from behind, I then turn around to prevent it, taking advantage of the moment to press forward with my foot, my hands spreading away to the left and right to protect my knee and prevent him from brushing my leg aside.

左右摟膝抝步式
[31] LEFT & RIGHT BRUSH KNEE IN A CROSSED STANCE

說明
Explanation:

左足蹬出後。旋收回。足尖下垂。全身坐在右腿。左足前邁。左手摟膝。右手按出。復換步。右手摟膝。左手按出。與前相同。惟中間無琵琶式耳。看第九第十一圖。
After your left foot presses out, it withdraws, toes hanging down, your weight on your right leg. Your left foot steps forward, your left hand brushes by your left knee, and your right hand pushes out. Then switching sides, your right hand brushes by your right knee and your left hand pushes out. It is all the same as before, except without the PLAY THE LUTE posture. (Review drawings 9 and 11.)

進步栽錘式
[32] ADVANCE, PLANTING PUNCH

意義
Meaning of the name:

進步栽錘者。左步向前進。使拳由上往下栽之謂也。此式為太極拳五錘之一。
ADVANCE, PLANTING PUNCH means you advance with your left foot and plant your fist downward from above. This is one of the five punching techniques in Taiji Boxing.

動作圖解
Movement explanation:

右足尖轉向西北。左手摟膝。左足前進。右手卽由腰間向下打出。眼向西看。如第三十圖。
Your right toes turn to point to the northwest, your left hand brushes past your [left] knee as your left foot advances, and your right hand strikes out downward from beside your waist. Your gaze is to the west. See drawing 30:

《武當嫡派太極拳術》 李壽籛 (1944) - drawing 30

要點
Important points:

栽錘時。須用脊骨力。頭宜正直。不可傾斜。而失去前後中心。摟左膝時。左手宜靠左膝。手心向下。
During the planting punch, you must use power from your spine, your head must be upright rather than tilting, which will cause you to lose your balance forward or back. As you brush past your left knee, your left hand should stay close to the knee, palm facing downward.

用法
Application:

倘敵以右拳擊吾胸時。卽以左手向前摟開。右手隨擊敵之面部。敵以左手內握吾腕。則復以手作拳前擊其腹。
If the opponent uses his fist to strike to my chest, I then use my left hand to brush it aside while sending my right hand forward to strike his face. If he then uses his left hand to grab my wrist, I then turn over my hand, make a fist, and strike forward to his abdomen.

翻身白蛇吐信式
[33] TURN AROUND, WHITE SNAKE FLICKS OUT ITS TONGUE

意義
Meaning of the name:

翻身白蛇吐信者。與撇身錘同。蓋白蛇乃蘄州之毒蛇。口口有白絲吐出。人誤觸之。無有脫者。此式婉轉靈活。故以此名耳。
TURN AROUND, WHITE SNAKE FLICKS OUT ITS TONGUE is almost the same as TORSO-FLUNG PUNCH. There is a poisonous white snake in Qizhou that emits a white silky substance with each mouthing. If a person by chance comes into contact with it, there is no hope for him. This posture is lithe and nimble, hence the name.

動作說明
Movement explanation:

此式與撇身錘相同。惟方向不同耳。左足尖內轉。全身坐於左腿。左手曲肘右轉。右手曲肘左轉。左手心向外。右手心向下。眼亦轉向右方。左足不動。兩手隨腰。右圓轉。右手隨腰下鬆。藏於下。掌心向上左手由右掌上。向前按出。右脚尖右轉稍向外移。
This is the same as TORSO-FLUNG PUNCH, except the orientation is different. Your left toes turn inward, the weight sitting on your left leg, and your left arm bends at the elbow and arcs to the right as your right arm bends at the elbow and arcs to the left, your left palm facing outward, your right palm facing downward. Your gaze turns to the right, your left foot stays where it is, and your hands go along with your waist and arc to the right, your right hand going downward to be placed below your ribs, palm facing upward. Your left hand goes over your right palm and pushes out forward. Your right foot toes at the same time shift slightly outward.

上步搬攔錘式
[34] STEP FORWARD, PARRY, BLOCK, PUNCH

說明
Explanation:

右足尖向東南轉。全身坐在右腿上。兩手隨腰往回收。圓轉而上。右手向前打拳。左手同時以掌扶右腕。掌心向南。左腿同時前邁變實。與前第十三圖相同。
Your right foot turns to point the toes to the southeast, the weight sitting on your right leg, your hands going along with your waist by withdrawing and arcing upward. Your right hand strikes forward as a fist, your left palm wiping by your right wrist, palm facing to the south. Your left leg at the same time steps forward and becomes full. It is the same as in drawing 13.

右蹬脚式
[35] RIGHT PRESSING KICK

意義
Meaning of the name:

卽右脚向右方。輕輕蹬出。脚跟着力是也。
Your right foot presses out gently to the right, power expressing in the heel.

動作圖解
Movement explanation:

左足尖轉向北。兩手相合。作十字。全身坐在左腿上。右腿提起蹬出。兩手隨之分開。與轉身蹬脚同。惟左右脚不同耳。此式身向北。眼向東看。如第三十一圖。
Your left toes turn to point to the north, your hands coming together to make an X shape. With your whole body sitting on your left leg, your right leg lifts and presses out, your hands spreading apart. The posture is the same as in TURN AROUND, PRESSING KICK, except with left and right reversed. Your torso is squared to the north, but your gaze is to the east. See drawing 31 [reversed profile]:

《武當嫡派太極拳術》 李壽籛 (1944) - drawing 31

要點
Important points:

右足蹬出時。身須直立。不可前後左右傾斜。
As your right foot presses out, your body must be upright and must not lean in any direction.

用法
Application:

倘敵以右手當胸擊來。吾卽轉身向右閃。以左手進握其腕。同時右手乘機迎擊其面。或可變拳斜擊其太陽穴。乘其不偏。亦可以腿蹬其腹。若敵退避下格我時。卽全身躍起。換左腿復蹬之亦可。
If an opponent uses his right hand to strike to my chest, I then twist my body to the right [left] to prevent it, sending my left hand forward to grab his wrist and then striking to his face with my right hand, which could also be used as a fist to punch to his temple, as well capitalizing on the opportunity to do a pressing kick to his abdomen. If he retreats or blocks me, I may hop to change feet and kick him once more, now with my left leg pressing out.

左右披身伏虎式
[36] DRAPING BODY, CROUCHING TIGER POSTURE – LEFT & RIGHT

意義
Meaning of the name:

此式之氣象凶猛。用法精妙。似打虎意故名。
In this posture, the energy is fierce in the manner of a fighting tiger, although there is subtlety in the application.

動作圖解
Movement explanation:

由前式。右足收回。足尖下垂。落於左足處。左手往右。右手往左。同時隨步隨腰。往下往西圓轉而上。握拳。手心向外。右手由丹田而上至胸際。握拳手心向內。左手在額上。右手在胸下。上下相對。兩手轉時。左足同時往西橫一步。全身坐在左腿。右腿伸直。此式面向正北。如第三十二圖。
Continuing from the previous posture, your right foot withdraws, toes hanging down, and comes down beside your left foot. Your left hand goes to the right as your right hand goes to the left. Your left hand goes along with your step and waist, going downward to the left, arcing upward, grasping into a fist, the center of the fist facing outward, while your right hand goes from the area of your elixir field to your chest area, grasping into a fist, the center of the fist inward. Your left hand is above your forehead and your right hand is below your chest, aligned with each other above and below. While your hands arc, your left foot shifts across to the west and the weight shifts onto your left leg, your right leg straightening. In this posture, you are squared to the north. See drawing 32 [reversed profile]:

《武當嫡派太極拳術》 李壽籛 (1944) - drawing 32

左足尖轉向東北。兩手隨腰右轉向東南。左手由上圓轉而下轉至胸際。手心向內。右手由下往右圓轉而上。轉至額上。手心向東南。右足同時提起。隨腰轉向東南落實。全身坐在右腿。左腿伸直。此式面向東南。如第三十三圖。
Your left foot turns to point to the northeast, and your hands go along with your waist and arc to right toward the southeast, your left hand going to the left from above, arcing downward to your chest area, the center of the fist inward, your right hand going to the right from below, arcing upward to be above your forehead, the center of the fist outward. Your right foot at the same time lifts and, going along with your waist, steps to the southeast, and the weight shifts to your right leg, your left leg straightening. In this posture, you are square to the southeast. See drawing 33 [reversed profile]:

《武當嫡派太極拳術》 李壽籛 (1944) - drawing 33

要點
Important points:

左右兩式之運行路線。宜成圓形。其交叉點。在大腿之前。左伏虎時。上身不可過傾於左。右伏虎時。上身不可過於右。以免失去重心。
The movement to the left and right should draw circles that overlap in front of the thigh. In the fighting tiger posture on the left side, your upper body must not lean to the left. In the fighting tiger posture on the right side, your upper body must not lean to the right. This will keep you from losing your balance.

用法
Application:

由前式。右足蹬出後。收回時。敵之左手如仍不能脫去。卽可搭而後撤。退左步左轉。復以右肩猛擊敵之左肘。其肘必斷。右式相同。倘敵雙手握吾之臂。卽將臂後撤。上轉。復用他手由脇下穿。替出所握之臂。迎頭痛擊之。
Continuing from the previous posture, if when I pull back my right foot the opponent’s left hand cannot be escaped, I connect with it and withdraw, retreating my left foot, turning away to the left, and using my right shoulder to fiercely strike his left elbow, breaking his arm. The technique on the right side would be the same. Or if an opponent uses both hands to grab my arm, I withdraw my arm, turning it over upward, then use my other hand to thread through below my ribs, replacing his grab of my arm with a strike to his head [ribs].

回身蹬脚式
[37] TURN, PRESSING KICK

說明
Explanation:

左足尖轉向北。身亦隨之。兩隨相合作十字。左腿坐實。右足蹬出。兩手分開。與翻身蹬脚同。
Your left foot turns to point the toes to the north, your body again going along with it, both hands join to make an X shape, the weight shifts fully onto your left leg, and your right leg presses out, your hands spreading apart. It is the same as in TURN AROUND, PRESSING KICK.

雙風貫耳式
[38] DOUBLE WINDS THROUGH THE EARS

意義
Meaning of the name:

此式以兩拳自側方貫擊兩耳。敏捷如風之謂也。
In this posture, both fists come from the sides to strike the opponent’s ears as swift as the wind, hence the name.

動作圖解
Movement explanation:

右足蹬出後。旋收回。足尖下垂。左足尖轉向東北。兩手相合。手心轉向內合至右漆處。復往下向左右兩邊分開。手心漸轉。向外向前向東南。相對圓轉而至前面。用手握拳相對。拳心向外。兩手合至右膝時。右腿隨腰往下鬆。隨鬆向東南邁出。全身坐在右腿左腿伸直。此式面仍向東南。如第三十四圖。
After your right foot presses out, it withdraws, toes hanging down, and your left foot turns to point the toes to the northeast. Your hands close toward each other, palms turning inward, closing until they reach your right knee area. Then they go downward and spread to the sides, palms gradually turning, and then they go outward and forward to the southeast, arcing toward each other until in front of your face, grasping into fists facing each other, centers of the fists facing outward. Once your hands have closed to your right knee, your right leg goes along with your waist in loosening downward and steps out to the southeast, and the weight shifts to your right leg, your left leg straightening. In this posture, you are squared to the southeast. See drawing 34 [reversed profile]:

《武當嫡派太極拳術》 李壽籛 (1944) - drawing 34

要點
Important points:

兩臂運動。須與兩足一致。始能活潑無滯。完整一氣也。
The movements of your arms must be coordinated with your feet. Then you can be lively and unobstructed, moving continuously.

用法
Application:

敵以兩手雙衝進擊我胸時。卽以兩手分格。乘勢貫擊敵之雙耳。及其太陽穴也。
If an opponent uses both hands to strike to my chest, I then use both hands to block to the sides, and then take advantage of the moment to advance and strike to his ears, or to his temples.

左蹬脚式
[39] LEFT PRESSING KICK

意義
Meaning of the name:

此式右足尖向右轉。次起左腿上蹬之謂也。
In this posture, your right toes turn to the right, then you lift your left leg and press out.

動作說明
Movement explanation:

右足尖轉向南。兩手相合作十字。全身坐在右腿。左腿向東蹬出。與前轉身蹬脚相同。惟此式面向南耳。
Your right foot turns to point the toes to the south, both hands join to make an X shape, the weight shifts onto your right leg, and your left leg presses out to the east. It is the same as in TURN AROUND, PRESSING KICK, except that this time your body is squared to the south.

轉身蹬脚
[40] TURN AROUND, PRESSING KICK

說明
Explanation:

左腿蹬出後。旋收回。仍提起。不落下。足尖下垂。全身隨右足尖轉向北。左足落地。兩手復相合作十字。右脚蹬出。與翻身蹬脚相同。右足心向東。眼神東視。
After your left leg has pressed out, it withdraws but stays lifted and does come down yet, toes hanging down, and your whole body goes along with your right foot as it turns around toward the north. Your left foot now comes down, both hands again joining to make an X shape, and your right leg presses out. This is almost the same as TURN, PRESSING KICK, the sole of your right foot now toward the east. Your gaze is to the east.

上步搬攔錘。如封似閉。十字手。抱虎歸山。均同前。
[41-44] Perform STEP FORWARD, PARRY, BLOCK, PUNCH, then SEALING SHUT, CROSSED HANDS, CAPTURE THE TIGER AND SEND IT BACK TO ITS MOUNTAIN, all as before.

斜單鞭式
[45] DIAGONAL SINGLE WHIP

說明
Explanation:

此式與正單鞭。姿勢動作均同。惟成斜式。方向不同耳。
In both posture and movement, this is the same as the ordinary SINGLE WHIP, but the orientation of it is different, pointing diagonally.

野馬分鬃式
[46] WILD HORSE VEERS ITS MANE

意義
Meaning of the name:

野馬分鬃者。以此式之動作姿勢。如野馬奔馳。兩手分展如馬鬃之左右分披也。
In this posture, the manner of the movement is like a wild horse running swiftly, your hands spreading away like the horse’s mane draping side to side, hence the name.

動作圖解
Movement explanation:

由前式。右手隨腰往左。與左手相合。右手在下。手心向上。左手在上。手心向下。左足尖向右移轉。約九十度。身亦隨之右轉。全身坐在左腿。右脚提起。往右前方邁步。全身在右腿。左手隨腰往右。與右手相合。左手在下。手心向上。右手在上。手心向下。右脚尖稍向外移。同時左足提起。往左前方斜邁。身隨之左轉。全身坐在左腿上。左手隨左足。向前方分開在上。右手同時向後方分開在下。眼神隨視左手。如第三十五。三十六圖。
Continuing from the previous posture, your right hand goes along with your waist to the left, your hands closing toward each other, right hand below, palm facing upward, left hand above, palm facing downward. Your left toes turn ninety degrees to the right, your body also turning, the weight staying on your left leg. Your right foot lifts and steps out to the forward right. The weight moving onto your right leg, [your right hand goes along with your right leg by spreading away forward and upward, your left hand at the same time spreading away downward to the rear. Your gaze is toward your right hand.]
     Your left hand goes along with your waist to the right, your hands closing toward each other, left hand below, palm facing upward, right hand above, palm facing downward, your right toes shifting slightly outward. Then your left foot lifts and steps out to the forward left, your body turning to the left. The weight moving onto your left leg, your left hand goes along with your left leg by spreading away forward and upward, your right hand at the same time spreading away downward to the rear. Your gaze is toward your left hand. See drawings 35 and 36:

《武當嫡派太極拳術》 李壽籛 (1944) - drawing 35

《武當嫡派太極拳術》 李壽籛 (1944) - drawing 36

要點
Important points:

兩臂分合。須腰腿一致。全身動作。須沉肩鬆腰。運行時須輕靈敏捷。方為合宜。
As your hands spread apart and come together, they must act in unison with your waist and legs, whole-bodied movement. You must sink your shoulders and loosen your waist. During the movement, you must be lively and nimble, then it will be correct.

用法
Application:

設敵直擊吾胸時。卽可進按敵腕。以步至敵腿後。伸臂自敵腋下斜擊上挑。
If an opponent makes a direct attack to my chest, I can push down on his wrist while advancing a step behind his leg and extending my other arm under his armpit to go diagonally upward with a carrying strike.

上步攬雀尾。單鞭式。同前
[47 & 48] Perform CATCH THE SPARROW BY THE TAIL and SINGLE WHIP as before.

玉女穿梭式
[49] MAIDEN WORKS THE SHUTTLE

意義
Meaning of the name:

此式先進。次後轉。又前進。復後轉。週行四隅。綿綿不斷。如穿梭狀。故名。
This technique first advances, then turns around to the rear, then again advances, and again turns around to the rear, traveling toward the four corners in a continuous maneuver, like the shuttle slipping in and out [while weaving silk], hence the name.

動作圖解
Movement explanation:

由前式。左足右轉。右足收囘。足跟着地。左手轉出右脇外。左足向左前方。邁步坐實。左手挨右臂上捧。隨捧手心隨向外轉。而至額上。右手在下。左手在上。隨腰隨步按出。掌心吐力。全身坐在左腿。如圖一。
Continuing from the previous posture, your left foot turns to the right, your right foot withdraws, heel touching down, and your left hand arcs to the outside of your right ribs. Your left foot steps out to the forward left and becomes full as your left hand goes near your right arm and props upward, the palm turning to face outward, until above your forehead. Your right hand from below your left hand goes along with your waist and step by pushing out, power expressed in the palm. The weight is on your left leg. See the drawing for part 1 [drawing 37]:

《武當嫡派太極拳術》 李壽籛 (1944) - drawing 37

左腿坐實。足尖內轉。右手轉出左脇外。手心向上。足提起。向右後轉。右手心向上按。左臂上捧。隨捧手心隨向外轉。至額上。左手由右手下隨腰隨步按出。掌心吐力。全身坐在右腿。如圖二。
Your left leg sits full, the toes turn inward and your right hand arcs to the outside of your left ribs, palm facing upward. Your [right] foot lifts and steps to the right rear, your right hand propping up, the palm turning to face outward, until above your forehead. Your left hand from below your right hand goes along with your waist and step by pushing out, power expressed in the palm. The weight is on your right leg. See the drawing for part 2 [drawing 38]:

《武當嫡派太極拳術》 李壽籛 (1944) - drawing 38

復坐實右腿。進左步。兩手如前。左手在上。右手在下。向前捧按。如圖三。
Again your right leg becomes full, your left foot advances, and your hands are as before, left hand propping up, right hand below pushing forward. See the drawing for part 3 [drawing 39]:

《武當嫡派太極拳術》 李壽籛 (1944) - drawing 39

復坐實左腿。足尖向內轉。右足提起。向右後方轉邁步。兩手向前捧按如圖四。
Again your left leg becomes full, the toes turn inward, your right foot lifts and steps around to the right rear, then your hands prop up and push forward. See the drawing for part 4 [drawing 40]:

《武當嫡派太極拳術》 李壽籛 (1944) - drawing 40

要點
Important points:

轉身時。須腰步相隨一致運動。方向雖斜。身體姿勢仍宜中正。
As you turn around, the movement of your waist and the step should be in coordination with each other. Although the orientation is at an angle, your body posture should still be upright.

用法
Application:

若敵以正面擊來時。卽可邁左步。右手上捧。左手隨步向敵臂按出。若敵自後側面擊來。卽可回身。以抝手傍纏敵腕。隨進右步。以右臂上捧敵臂。伸左手擊敵胸脇
If an opponent facing me attacks, I can step in with my left foot, carrying upward with my right [left] hand and pushing out on his arm with my left [right] hand. If an opponent attacks me from behind, I can turn around and use my rear hand to wrap around his wrist from the side, then advance with my right foot and use my right arm to carry his arm upward, extending my left hand with a strike to his ribs.

進步攬雀尾單鞭抎手均見前
[50-52] Perform ADVANCE, CATCH THE SPARROW BY THE TAIL, then SINGLE WHIP, CLOUDING HANDS, all as before.

單鞭下勢式
[53] SINGLE WHIP, LOW POSTURE

意義
Meaning of the name:

單鞭下勢者。卽由單鞭後。而身體蹲下之謂也。
After performing SINGLE WHIP, your body squats down, hence the name.

動作圖解
Movement explanation:

由單鞭式。左手按出後。身隨腰收回往下坐。左腿伸直。右腿彎曲下蹲。愈低愈好。身體不可前俯。頭須有頂勁。左手同時隨腰收回。屈肘後撤。至左胯向下。伸掌指至左脚腕處。右手仍吊手。眼神前視。如第四十一圖。
After your left hand pushes out in the SINGLE WHIP posture, your torso withdraws and squats down, left leg straightening, right leg bending, the lower the better, but your body must not lean forward and your head should have an energy of pressing up. Your hand at the same time goes along with your waist by withdrawing, elbow bending, until below your left, then sinks and extends until the fingers are by your left ankle. Your right hand is still making a hanging hand. Your gaze is forward. See drawing 41:

《武當嫡派太極拳術》 李壽籛 (1944) - drawing 41

要點
Important points:

蹲身時。脊骨須直。不宜向前傾斜。腰膝屈伸時。與身之起落。務須一致。
When you lower your body, your spine must be straight and should not lean forward or off at an angle. The bending and extending of your knees has to be coordinated with the rising and lowering of your body.

用法
Application:

敵以猛力撲我時。或以雙手握臂。不能抵抗時。則可蹲身下坐。以柔避敵力。令其落空。卽乘勢猛擊其頭胸各部。
If an opponent forcefully strikes at me, or grasps my arm with both hands, and I am unable to resist, I can then squat my body down to avoid his force, causing him to land on nothing, and then take advantage of the situation by striking to his head or chest.

金鷄獨立式
[54] GOLDEN ROOSTER STANDS ON ONE LEG

意義
Meaning of the name:

金鷄獨立者。此式一足立地。一足提起。手臂上揚。作展翅狀。若金鷄獨立然。故名。
In this posture, one foot stands on the ground while the other is lifted, a hand rising up to make a posture of spreading wings, in the manner of a rooster when standing on one leg, hence the name.

動作圖解
Movement explanation:

由前式。腰手隨向前進。隨往上提。全身坐在左腿。左手隨身向上至與肩齊。而往下按。右手隨右腿往前上提起。右腿提至膝與腹平。足尖下垂。右手肘與右膝相接為度。手心向左。手指向上。與眉齊。左腿直立。左臂下垂。掌心向下。眼神前視。如第四十二圖。
Continuing from the previous posture, your waist and hand continue forward and lift up, your whole body sitting on your left leg. Your left hand goes along with your body by rising up to shoulder level, then pushes down. Your right hand goes along with your right leg, which lifts until the knee is level with your abdomen, the toes hanging down, your right elbow and your right knee meeting, the palm facing to the left, fingers pointing upward, at eyebrow level. Your left leg stands straight. Your left arm is hanging down, palm facing downward. Your gaze is forward. See drawing 42:

《武當嫡派太極拳術》 李壽籛 (1944) - drawing 42

右足向後退半步落實。全身坐在右腿。左手隨左足上提。左膝與腹平。足尖下垂。左肘與左膝相接。手心向右。與右肩齊。右手同時下按。如第四十三圖。
Your right foot retreats a half step to the rear and becomes full. Your whole body sits on your right leg. Your left hand goes along with your left foot as it lifts up, your left knee level with your abdomen, the toes hanging down. Your left elbow and left knee meet, the palm facing to the right, level with your right shoulder, your right hand at the same time pushing down. See drawing 43:

《武當嫡派太極拳術》 李壽籛 (1944) - drawing 43

要點
Important points:

此式係練習腰及項。全身重點寄於一足。使下盤穩若山岳。不可絲毫動搖。手足之起落。尤須一致。
This posture exercises your waist and neck. The weight is on one foot. Make your lower body as stable as a mountain. There must not be the slightest bit of swaying. The lifting and lowering of the hands and feet must be coordinated.

用法
Application:

設吾擊敵胸。而敵以吾擱時。吾卽以手向上挑開敵手。以後腿之膝衝敵小腹。同時前手仍可追擊敵身。若敵以右步右擊時。亦可左手搭敵手。右手抝纏敵腿。同時以右腿上提。猛擊敵肘。敵手必傷。
If I strike to the opponent’s chest and he uses his hand to block it, I then use my other hand to lift his hand away, then strike to his lower abdomen with my knee while striking forward to his body with the same hand. If he uses his right hand to attack while stepping with his right foot, I can likewise connect to his hand with my left hand while using my right hand to twist aside his leg, my right [left] left at the same time lifting to fiercely strike his elbow, injuring his arm.

倒輦猴。斜飛式。提手。白鶴亮翅。摟膝抝步。海底針。扇通臂。撇身錘。上步搬攔錘。進步攔雀尾。單鞭。抎手。單鞭。高探馬。均見前。
[55-68] Perform RETREAT, DRIVING AWAY THE MONKEY, then DIAGONAL FLYING POSTURE, RAISE THE HANDS, WHITE CRANE SHOWS ITS WINGS, BRUSH KNEE IN A CROSSED STANCE, NEEDLING “UNDER THE SEA”, FAN THROUGH THE ARMS, TORSO-FLUNG PUNCH, then STEP FORWARD, PARRY, BLOCK, PUNCH, then ADVANCE, CATCH THE SPARROW BY THE TAIL, then SINGLE WHIP, CLOUDING HANDS, SINGLE WHIP, RISING UP AND REACHING OUT TO THE HORSE, all as before.

十字蹬脚
[69 & 70] CROSS-SHAPED PRESSING KICK

意義
Meaning of the name:

十字蹬脚者。以伸右掌。蹬脚之謂也。
Extend your right palm while pressing out with your foot.

動作圖解
Movement explanation:

由前式。左腿坐實。左手仰掌。由右臂上穿出。手心向上。右手同時收回。屈肱置於左脇下。手心向下。左足隨左手同時邁出半步。左掌伸出後。隨卽曲回內運下合。掌心向外。右手仍在左脇下。手心向下。眼神前視。復坐實左腿。左足尖內轉。身亦隨之。由右向後轉。略舒右腿。如丁虛步。左臂上舉。掌心向內。右足輕輕上提蹬出。同時右掌前拍足面。左臂下垂掌心向下。如第四十四圖。
Continuing from the previous posture, your left hand rises and threads out over your right arm, palm facing upward, your right hand at the same time withdrawing, the arm bending, to be placed below your left ribs, palm facing downward. Your left foot goes along with your left hand by stepping out a half step and becomes full.
     After your left palm extends, the arm then bends inward and covers downward, the palm facing outward, your right hand still below your left ribs, palm facing downward. Your gaze goes forward as your left toes turn inward, the weight still on your left leg, and your body turns around to the right rear, slightly withdrawing your right leg almost into an empty T stance, your left arm raised, palm facing inward.
     Then your right foot gently lifts and presses out, your right palm going forward to slap the back of the foot, your left arm hand down, palm facing downward. See drawing 44:

《武當嫡派太極拳術》 李壽籛 (1944) - drawing 44

要點
Important points:

此式係運動腿部。轉動時全身重量寄於左腿上。方可將右足提起蹬出也。
This posture exercises the leg. When turning around, the weight shifts onto your left leg so you can lift and press out with your right foot.

用法
Application:

倘敵由後方襲擊時。卽可轉身以手攔格。乘勢以足踢之。
If an opponent attacks me from behind, I can turn around and block with my hand, then take advantage of the opportunity by using my foot to kick.

摟膝指𦡁錘式
[71] BRUSH KNEE, PUNCH TO THE CROTCH

意義
Meaning of the name:

此錘亦為太極拳中五錘之一。是摟膝後進擊敵𦡁之意也。
This is one of the five punching techniques in Taiji Boxing. The idea is that after you brush past your knee, advance and punch the opponent in the crotch.

動作圖解
Movement explanation:

由前式乘腿蹬出後。旋卽落下坐實。左手摟左膝。右拳向前向下斜擊。左手仍置左膝旁。手心向下。如第四十五圖。
Continuing from the previous posture, after your leg presses out, it immediately comes down and becomes full, your left hand brushes to again be placed beside your left knee, and your right fist punches diagonally, forward and downward, the center of the fist facing downward. See drawing 45:

《武當嫡派太極拳術》 李壽籛 (1944) - drawing 45

要點
Important points:

拳向前下擊時。右肩探出。力須由背脊發出。方能得其要領。
As your fist strikes forward and downward, your right shoulder reaches out. The power must express from your spine, then you be able to perform the technique correctly.

用法
Application:

設敵以雙手擊時。我卽以雙手攔格。乘勢進擊。敵之下部。
If an opponent attacks with both hands, I block with both hands, then take advantage of the opportunity to attack forward to his lower body.

進步攔雀尾。單鞭下式。如前同
[72 & 73] Perform ADVANCE, CATCHING THE SPARROW BY THE TAIL, then SINGLE WHIP, LOW POSTURE, as before.

上步七星式
[74] STEP FORWARD WITH THE BIG DIPPER

意義
Meaning of the name:

拳術家以兩臂相挽。兩拳斜對為七星式。
When boxing practitioners roll their arms toward each other so their fists line up diagonally with each other, it is called a “big dipper” posture [i.e. making a bucket shape resembling the saucepan of the Dipper].

動作圖解
Movement explanation:

由單鞭下式。左足前弓。腰身前進。坐實左腿。兩手隨腰往前相交。作斜十字形。右足同時向前邁半步。足尖點地。眼向前視。如第四十六圖。
Continuing from the previous posture, your left leg bends forward and you advance your torso to sit fully on your left leg. Your hands go along with your waist by going forward and crossing to make an X shape. Your right foot at the same time goes forward a half step, toes touching down. Your gaze is forward. See drawing 46:

《武當嫡派太極拳術》 李壽籛 (1944) - drawing 46

要點
Important points:

七星式。全身重點寄於左足。身要直立。頭要有頂勁。眼向前視。
In the BIG DIPPER posture, the weight shifts to your left foot. Your body should be upright and your head should press upward. Your gaze is forward.

用法
Application:

倘敵以掌當胸擊來。應以左臂上架。或外攔。同時可以進左足。以拳右自左拳下。猛擊敵胸部。
If the opponent punches to my chest, I use my left arm to prop it up or block it outward, then advance with my left [right] foot and send my right fist under my left fist to fiercely strike to his chest.

退步跨虎式
[75] RETREAT TO SITTING TIGER POSTURE

意義
Meaning of the name:

拳術家。以兩臂分開。兩腿蹲屈。一足立穩。一足稍提足尖點地。名為跨虎式。
When experts of boxing arts spread both arms, the legs squatting with one foot standing and one foot slightly lifted, toes touching down, it is called a “sitting tiger” posture.

動作圖解
Movement explanation:

提足向後退半步。屈膝下蹲。兩手分開。右手在上。手心向前。左手在下。手心向下。左足同時退回。足尖點地。成丁虛步。如白鶴亮翅式。惟身體略低。兩足稍寬。兩手亦稍開展耳。眼神前視。如第四十七圖。
Lift your [right] foot and retreat a half step to the rear, bend the knee, and squat down. Your hands spread apart, right hand above, palm facing forward, left hand below, palm facing downward. Your left foot at the same time withdraws, toes touching down, making a T stance. It is similar to WHITE CRANE SHOWS ITS WINGS, except in this case your body is slightly lower, the distance between your feet is slightly wider, and your hands are spread open slightly further. Your gaze is forward. See drawing 47:

《武當嫡派太極拳術》 李壽籛 (1944) - drawing 47

要點
Important points:

此式全身重點寄於右足。頭宜有頂勁。身宜直立。
In this posture, the weight is on your right foot, your head should have an energy of pressing upward, and your body should be upright.

用法
Application:

如用前式。遇敵以手下壓。或外摟及踢來時。我卽以左手下摟敵手或足。身向後退。以備轉踢之意。
Continuing from the previous technique, if the opponent uses his hand to push [my strike] down or brushes it aside and attacks with a kick, I then use my left hand to brush his hand or foot downward while retreating my body, preparing myself to a do a spinning kick.

轉脚擺蓮式
[76] SPIN AROUND ON THE FOOT, SWINGING LOTUS KICK

意義
Meaning of the name:

轉脚擺蓮者。卽轉身蓄勢。向旁擺踢之謂也。
Turn around to store up power, then perform a swinging kick to the side.

動作圖解
Movement explanation:

由前式。左足提起。右足尖身向右轉。全身隨之轉一大圈。落足坐實。雙手落於身之右側。旋提起右足。由左向右擺踢。兩手由右向左。輕拍足背後。右足輕輕落於右側方。如第四十八圖。
Continuing from the previous posture, your left foot lifts, your right toes and your body spin around to the right, your whole body making a complete circle. When your [left] foot comes down fully, your hands lower to the right side of your body. Your right foot lifts in an arc and does a swinging kick from left to right as your hands go from right to left and gently slap the back of the foot, after which your right foot will lightly come down to the right side. See drawing 48:

《武當嫡派太極拳術》 李壽籛 (1944) - drawing 48

要點
Important points:

上左足時。足尖宜向內合。轉身時須靈敏迅速。
As you raise your left foot, the toes should turn inward. When you turn do around, you must be nimble and quick.

用法
Application:

倘敵由左側面擊來。則閃身上左足以避之。誘敵襲我。乃轉身起省左足。以踢敵脇。
If an opponent attacks from my left side, I dodge with my body and evade with my left foot, drawing him into me, then I turn around and lift my left [right] foot to kick his ribs.

彎弓射虎式
[77] BEND THE BOW, SHOOT THE TIGER

意義
Meaning of the name:

此式如人在馬上。射虎之意。
This posture is as though you are on horseback shooting at a tiger.

動作圖解
Movement explanation:

由前式。右足向右前方斜落坐實。兩手隨腰隨右足。向右向下圓轉。又由下而上至右腰旁。雙臂上舉。轉向東北作射虎勢。右手握拳在額上。左拳伸出。如第四十九圖。
Continuing from the previous posture, your right foot comes down diagonally to the forward right and becomes full. Your hands go along with your waist and your right foot, arcing downward to the right, then coming up from below to the right side of your waist. Both arms rise up as you turn toward the northeast to make the SHOOT THE TIGER posture, your right hand grasped into a fist above your forehead, your left fist reaching out. See drawing 49:

《武當嫡派太極拳術》 李壽籛 (1944) - drawing 49

要點
Important points:

此式係用腰力。雙拳前擊時。須穩合螺旋之意。
This posture is driven by power from the waist. As your fists strike forward, they must have a hidden intention of spiraling.

用法
Application:

若敵由右搭吾右臂下按時。卽隨其動作。而柔化其力。乘勢擊其胸部。
If the opponent connects with me to the right and pushes down my right arm, I go along with the movement and neutralize his power, then take advantage of the opportunity to strike to his chest.

進步搬攔錘。如封似閉。十字手。均如前。
[78-80] Perform ADVANCE, PARRY, BLOCK, PUNCH, then SEALING SHUT, and CROSSED HANDS, all as before.

合太極式
[81] CLOSING POSTURE

意義
Meaning of the name:

此為太極拳。練習完畢。還原姿勢。
At the conclusion of practicing the Taiji Boxing set, return to the original posture.

動作說明
Movement explanation:

由十字手。往下按。歸於起勢。為合太極。如第一圖。
From the CROSSED HANDS posture, push downward, returning to the BEGINNING POSTURE, which is now the CLOSING POSTURE. It is the same as in drawing 1. [See drawing 50:]

《武當嫡派太極拳術》 李壽籛 (1944) - drawing 50

以上所列各式。學者循序漸進。每日學之。至多不能過二三式。務求規矩悉合。不可貪多。初學之時。每式不能不斷。至學完後。漸求聯合一氣。以前所列注十事。均須時刻體驗。練習一二年。後大之力始能化去。先天自然之力漸生。內勁漸長。原論所謂。以心行氣。務令沉着。乃能收殮入骨。練架子。歛神養氣。久之歛氣入骨。則渾圓綿柔。沉重堅剛。兼而有之。
[This coda to the solo set is copied from Chen Weiming’s 1925 manual:] All of the postures above are to be learned one at a time. Learning every day, you cannot absorb more than two or three of them in a day. Strive with each for a standard of quality and do not be obsessed with quantity. When beginning to learn this, every posture will inevitably have an issue of stop-and-start, but once you have learned the whole thing, gradually strive to link them as a single flow. Pay attention to the preceding ten requirements, for always you must experience them in order to learn them. After a year or two of practice, habitual effort will be melted away and the innate naturalness of internal power will gradually grow. A primary text [Understanding How to Practice] says: “Use the mind to move energy. You must get the energy to sink. It is then able to collect in the bones.” When practicing the solo set, the main thing is that the spirit concentrate and the energy sink. After a long time, you will train the energy to enter the bones, and then you will have both an unbroken roundness and a heavy solidity.

推手
PUSHING HANDS [text mostly taken from Chen Weiming’s 1925 manual, drawings also clearly based on its photos]

推手者。所以求其用也。他種拳術。雖亦有二人對手者。然不過十餘式。再多不過數十式耳。而來者其法不一。又何能執定法以應付之。太極推手。則有掤捋擠按。採挒肘靠八字。手法。以練身體。使柔軟活潑。二人之黏連綿隨。循環無端。如渾天圓球。斡旋不已。其經緯弧直之度全備。將身體練成渾圓之體。隨曲就伸。逸來順應。變化無窮。佛家所謂萬法歸一。道家所謂萬殊一本。儒家謂。吾道以一貫之。得其一萬事畢。蓋一者何。一氣也。太極卽一氣也。
Pushing hands is the means by which we train applicability. In other boxing arts, although there are two-person exercises, they are nothing more than lots of postures and then lots more postures. But when being attacked in a variety of ways, how could you then have a stable method of response?
     In Taiji pushing hands, there are the eight techniques of ward-off, rollback, press, push, pluck, rend, elbow, and bump, and the training of these eight will make the body supple and lively. Two people stick to each other and move along with each other, cycling round and round like the endless rotation of the sky. With the proper degree of crissing and crossing, bending and straightening, you will always be prepared, using the whole body, training the principle of being rounded all over. “Comply and bend then engage and extend.” Whatever the attack, you will adapt to it, transforming limitlessly. Buddhists call this “countless methods returning to a single principle”. Daoists call it “countless ways, one source”. Confucianists say: “My doctrine has a single unifying thread running through it.” By obtaining the One, everything is taken care of. This “One” is a continuous flow. Taiji is this continuous flow.

合步推手
SAME-STEP PUSHING HANDS

甲乙二人對立。甲左足在前。右足在後。乙左足在前。右足在後。此為合步推手。
Two people face each other, A [on the right in the drawings] and B [on the left], each with their left [right] foot forward and right [left] foot back, thus pushing hands with the same step as each other.

甲左足。乙右足。要平行相對。甲右足。乙左足其距離寬窄。則各人長短不同。不能拘定。須以各人之身體。動作適宜為度。前進後退。均須便利。甲乙各出右手。以手腕之背相黏。此謂之棚。如推手第一圖。(先出左手亦然。)
A’s left foot and B’s right foot are on the same line. The width [i.e. length] of their step depends on their individual height and is not restricted. The movement of each person’s body should be appropriate, for advancing and retreating must always be carried out with ease. A and B each put out their right hand and stick to each other with the back of the wrist. This is a ward-off. See drawing 1 (Starting with the left hand would also be like this.) [There are indicators each person for 甲 A and 乙 B in the drawings.]:

《武當嫡派太極拳術》 李壽籛 (1944) - push 1

甲右手隨腰往回收。以左手腕。黏乙左手之肘。亦同時往回捋。(此之謂捋)。如推手第二圖。
A’s right hand goes along with his waist, drawing back to the rear, and he uses his left wrist to stick to B’s left [right] elbow, at the same time rolling back to the rear. For the rollback, see [A in] drawing 2:

《武當嫡派太極拳術》 李壽籛 (1944) - push 2

乙被甲捋。則身偏於左。覺不得力。乙之右手卽隨甲捋之方向送去。以左手掌。補在右手肘彎處。向前擠去(此謂之擠)。
B is being rolled back by A, causing his body to incline to the left side so he feels there is nothing he can do in his position, but while B’s right hand goes out along the direction of A’s rollback, he uses his left palm to assist at the bend of his right elbow and presses forward. This is the “press”. [Look above at B in the same drawing.]

甲被乙擠。甲覺不得力。速含胸。以左手掌黏乙左手背。向左化去。乙擠不到身上。如第三圖之甲。
A is being pressed by B. A feels there is nothing he can do in his position, so he quickly hollows his chest and uses his left palm to stick to the back of B’s left hand and neutralize it to the left so B’s press cannot get to him. See A in drawing 3 [The A and B indicators are mistakenly reversed in drawings 3, 4, and 7.]:

《武當嫡派太極拳術》 李壽籛 (1944) - push 3

甲之右手。同時按乙右肘處。兩手同時向前下按去。(此謂之按)。如第四圖之甲。
A’s right hand at the same time pushes on B’s right [left] elbow and both hands in unison push down and forward. For the push, see A in drawing 4:

《武當嫡派太極拳術》 李壽籛 (1944) - push 4

乙又被甲按。乙覺不得力。則仍以右手往回收。以左腕黏甲右肘。向回捋。如第四圖之乙。
B is now being pushed [pressed] by A. B feels there is nothing he can do in his position, so he withdraws his right hand and uses his left wrist to stick to A’s right elbow. Look above at B in the same drawing.

乙捋甲擠。如第五圖。
B rolls back, A presses. See drawing 5:

《武當嫡派太極拳術》 李壽籛 (1944) - push 5

甲擠乙又掤。如第六圖。
A presses, B wards off. See drawing 6:

《武當嫡派太極拳術》 李壽籛 (1944) - push 6

乙按甲又捋。如第七圖。
B pushes, A again rolls back. See drawing 7:

《武當嫡派太極拳術》 李壽籛 (1944) - push 7

周而復始。循環無端。
掤捋擠按四字。有人疑曰。不能表現出實在架式。及功夫出來。吾聞之不覺啞然一笑。說此話者。實未得太極推手之眞傳。未得其中之奧妙。今於此書詳言之。蓋掤捋擠按之掤字。如孝弟忠信之孝字。掤字在前。深有意義也。擠時須掤。按時捋時亦須掤。掤者如手捧圓球然。如擠按捋時不能掤。彼力近我身矣。掤者。使兩手如圓球之面。使彼力在圓球面上。而圓球一動。其力化去。若不掤。而彼之力到球心矣。或謂化敵擠時。兩手掤起。掤捋擠按。二人循環為之。掤時擠時坐前腿。按時捋時坐後腿。前進後退。腰要柔活。須上下相隨。原論云。掤捋擠按須認眞。上下相隨人難進。任他巨力來打我。牽動四兩撥千斤。
And then the movements recycle endlessly…
     There are people who doubt the four techniques of ward-off, rollback, press, and push,
saying they cannot be demonstrated as genuine techniques. Then when the skills are shown to them, I have heard such people unwittingly give a laugh. Those who say such things have truly not obtained the authentic teachings of Taiji pushing hands nor the subtleties within it. But they are explained in detail within this book.
     Of ward-off, rollback, press, and push, ward-off takes precedence, like the filial in “filial, respectful, loyal, trustworthy”, for it has the deepest significance. When doing press, push, or rollback, there also must be ward-off. Ward-off is like the hand is holding up a ball. If when I press, push, or rollback, I cannot ward-off, then the opponent’s power will come near me. Ward-off causes the hands to be like the surface of a sphere, and makes it so that when the opponent’s power is on this surface and the sphere moves, his power is thus neutralized. But if there is no ward-off, his power reaches through to the center of the sphere, or in the case of neutralizing his press with my hands warding off by lifting, [the ward-off posture would also be broken through.]
     Ward-off, rollback, press, and push are cycled round and round by the two people. When warding off [pushing] and pressing, the weight is on the front leg, and when pushing [warding off] and rolling back, the weight is on the back leg. While advancing and retreating, the waist should be supple and lively, and the upper body and lower must coordinate with each other. A primary text [Playing Hands Song] says: “Ward-off, rollback, press, and push must be taken seriously. With coordination between above and below, it is difficult for the opponent to find a way in. I will let him attack me with as much power as he likes, for I will tug on his movement with four ounces of force moving his of a thousand pounds.”

換步
SWITCHING FEET

換步者。甲坐左腿進右步。乙坐右進左步。反之乙進左步。甲退右步亦可。
To switch feet, A shifts his weight onto his left leg and advances with his right foot, while B shifts his weight onto his right leg and advances [retreats] with his left foot. To reverse, B advances with his left foot and A retreats with his left foot.

換手
SWITCHING HANDS

換手者。甲被捋時。不補擠而捋回。乙卽補擠。手卽換矣。
To switch hands, when A is rolled back by B, he does not perform press but instead withdraws with a rollback and B performs press, and thus the hands have been switched.

順步推手
OPPOSITE-STEP PUSHING HANDS

順步推手者。甲左足在前。右足在後。乙右足在前。左足在後。謂之順步推手。如第八第九圖。
In opposite-step pushing hands, A [on the right in the drawings] has his left foot forward, right foot behind, while B [on the left] has his right foot forward, left foot behind, thus the name. See drawings 8 & 9 [The feet and hands are reversed in the second drawing, which otherwise shows the same situation as the first.]:

《武當嫡派太極拳術》 李壽籛 (1944) - push 8

《武當嫡派太極拳術》 李壽籛 (1944) - push 9

略備形式。其手法與推手相同。
The postures are only displayed in brief because the hand method is the same as in the same-step pushing hands.

活步推手
MOVING-STEP PUSHING HANDS

活步推手者。甲乙二人對立。均左脚在前。右手相黏。甲捋乙。右步騰起落下。左步退於右步之後。右步再退於左步之後。乙擠甲。左步騰起落下。右步再進於左步之前。甲掤乙擠乙按乙。左步騰起落下。右步進於左步之前。左步再進於右步之前。乙掤甲捋甲。右步提起落下。左步退於右步之後。右步再退於左步之後。乙又掤甲按甲擠甲。步如前甲。甲又掤乙捋乙。步如前乙。二人往返練之。或換步。或換手均可。活步推手。難以圖形表示。而其擠按均與順步推手同。惟動步耳。以上各推手。無論那種步法。均須時時練習。不能間斷。久之自能懂勁。
In moving step pushing hands, both people face each other with their left foot in front, right hands connected.
     When A rolls back B, A’s right foot lifts and comes down, his left foot retreats behind his right foot, and his right foot then retreats behind his left foot.
     When B presses A, B’s left foot lifts and comes down, his right foot then advances in front of his left foot [and his left foot then advances in front of his right foot].
     When A wards off, pushes, and presses B, A’s left foot lifts and comes down, his right foot advances in front of his left foot, and his left foot then advances in front of his right foot.
     When B wards off and rolls back A, B’s right foot lifts and comes down, his left foot retreats behind his right foot, and his right foot then retreats behind his left foot.
     B now wards off, pushes, and presses A, using the same footwork as A before, and A now wards off and rolls back B, using the same footwork as B before. The two people go back and forth, and may switch steps and switch hands as they please.
     Moving-step pushing hands is harder to demonstrate in drawings. Its pressing and pushing are the same as in the opposite-step pushing hands, except with moving steps.
     The pushing hands exercises above, regardless of same-step, opposite-step, or advance & retreat, must all be practiced frequently and consistently. After a long time, you will be able to identify energies.

大捋推手
LARGE ROLLBACK

大捋者。採挒肘靠四隅也。二人對立。甲面南。乙面北。都以右足在前。甲乙右手腕相黏。乙捋甲肘。乙右步向西南邁去。作騎馬式。右手攏甲腕。右手腕黏甲之肘。與小捋相同。甲右足向東南邁去。與乙兩足成三角形。左足卽向乙之𦡁內插入。 正對乙之正面。右手往前鬆勁。左手扶在右肘彎內。眼神對乙之面右肩靠乙之胸部。乙卽不能立住而跌出矣。
乙見甲至。卽以左膊向下一沉。甲卽不能靠入。以右手向面上閃。一閃。卽挒意。
甲若不變化。當彼乙挒。或彼乙左膊擠出。甲速以右手腕接乙右手腕。右足收至左足處。翻身。右足向東南撤去。左手捋乙之肘。形勢與乙第一次捋時相同。乙速進左足。右向甲𦡁內插進。靠入。如甲第一次靠相同。甲彼乙靠。速用左手採乙之左手背。含胸。左足撤出乙右足前。乙若不動。甲用兩手將乙按出。乙速以左手腕黏甲左手腕。右足收至左足處。用右手捋甲左肘。左足向西北撤去。甲速進右步。與乙兩足成三角形。左足向乙𦡁內插入。以左肩靠之。乙見甲至。以右膊往下一沉。甲就不能靠入。用左手向甲面上一閃。閃卽是挒。甲速用左手腕黏乙左手腕。左足收至右足處。翻身。左足向東北撤去。右手捋乙之肘。乙速進右足。左足向甲腿𦡁內插入靠之。四隅俱全。若隨捋。或逃腿。單手閃。都可隨機應便。
Large Rollback is pluck, rend, elbow, and bump – the “four corners”. Two partners stand facing each other, partner A facing south, partner B facing north, both with their right [left] foot forward and right wrists sticking together.
     B rolls back A’s elbow, stepping his right foot to the southwest, making a horse-riding posture, with his right hand holding A’s wrist and his right [left] wrist sticking to A’s elbow. This is the same as the small rollback.
     A steps out his right [left] foot to the southeast, and there is a triangle shape made in relation with B’s feet. He promptly steps his left [right] foot between B’s legs, directly in front of B. His right hand goes forward with relaxed power, his left hand assisting inside the bend of his right elbow. His gaze is to B’s face. He bumps his right shoulder into B’s chest so that B will be unable to stand firmly and will stumble away.
     When B sees A arriving, he promptly sinks his left arm downward, making A unable to come in with his bump, and uses his right hand to do a flashing palm toward his face, which has the rending intention.
     If A does not change, he may receive B’s rending or be pressed by his left forearm, therefore A quickly uses his right wrist to catch B’s right wrist and withdraws his right foot to his left foot, turning his body. He steps his right foot to the southeast and rolls back B’s elbow with his left hand. The posture is the same as when B rolled back A’s elbow the first time.
     B quickly steps his left foot forward, then steps his right foot forward between A’s legs, and comes in with a bump, same as when A bumped B the first time.
     While A is being bumped by B, he quickly uses his left hand to pluck B’s left wrist, hollowing his chest, and pulls away his left foot to be in front of B’s right foot. If B does not change, A can push him out with both hands.
     B quickly uses his left wrist to stick to A’s left wrist and withdraws his right foot to his left foot. He uses right hand to roll back A’s left elbow, stepping his left foot to the northwest.
     A quickly steps his right foot forward, making a triangle in relation to B’s feet, and steps his left foot between B’s legs to do a bump with his left shoulder.
     When B sees A arriving, he sinks his right arm downward, making A unable to come in with his bump, and uses his left hand to do a flashing palm toward A’s face, the flashing palm being the rending technique.
     A quickly uses his left wrist to connect to B’s left wrist and withdraws his left foot to his right foot, turning his body. He steps his left foot to the northeast and roll back B’s elbow with his right hand.
     B then steps his right foot forward and then steps his left foot between A’s legs to do a bump.
     When these “four corners” have been trained to perfection, then whether you are rolling back, evading with a leg, or doing the single-handed flashing palm, you can do them all as you please.

如大捋四圖。第一圖甲捋乙靠。
Large rollback is displayed in the four drawings below. Drawing 1 – A [on the right] rolls back, B bumps [A and B indicators mistakenly reversed in this drawing]:

《武當嫡派太極拳術》 李壽籛 (1944) - dalu 1

第二圖甲靠乙捋。
Drawing 2 – A bumps, B rolls back [rends]:

《武當嫡派太極拳術》 李壽籛 (1944) - dalu 2

第三圖。乙靠甲單手採逃腿。
Drawing 3 – B bumps, A does a single-hand pluck and evades with his leg:

《武當嫡派太極拳術》 李壽籛 (1944) - dalu 3

第四圖甲靠。乙逃腿雙手按。
Drawing 4 – A bumps, B evades with his leg and does a double-hand push:

《武當嫡派太極拳術》 李壽籛 (1944) - dalu 4

略備形式。甲乙互換練習之。其應用之規矩。雖詳細說明。然其巧妙。仍非口傳心授不可。
When you have gotten somewhat used to the postures, A and B switch roles. How to do it has been explained here in detail, but to be skillful at it requires personal instruction.

太極拳之真義
THE TRUE MEANING OF TAIJI BOXING

無形無象。全身透空。應物自然。西山懸罄。虎吼猿鳴。泉淸水靜。翻江鬧海。盡性立命。
Be formless and shapeless.
Let your whole body be full of emptiness.
Respond to things naturally.
Be like chimes hung in the westerns mountains [whose sound resonates far].
Have the roar of a tiger and the cry of an ape.
The water is still, but the spring is clear.
Divert the river and turn back the sea.
Fulfill your nature and accept your destiny.

八字歌
SONG OF THE EIGHT TECHNIQUES

掤捋擠按世間稀。十個藝人十不知。若能輕靈並堅硬。黏連綿隨俱無疑。採挒肘靠更出寄。行之不用費心思。果得黏連綿隨字。得其環中不支離。
The techniques of warding off, rolling back, pressing, and pushing are so unique
that out of ten skillful people there are ten who do not understand them.
But if you can perform them with both agility and solidity,
the qualities of sticking, connecting, adhering, and following will then be sure to manifest.
     The techniques of plucking, rending, elbowing, and bumping are yet more unusual,
and if you execute them unsuccessfully, they will be but wasted ideas.
But if you have obtained the qualities of sticking, adhering, connecting, and following,
you will be centered on the target and loathe to veer away.

心會論
ON MENTALLY UNDERSTANDING

腰脊為第一之主宰。喉頭為第二之主宰。心地為第三之主宰。丹田為第一之賓輔。指掌為二賓輔。足掌為第三賓輔。
The lower back is first to command, the throat second to command, solar plexus third to command. The elixir field is first to obey, palms second to obey, the soles of the feet third to obey.

週身大用論
ON FULLY USING THE BODY

一要心性與意靜。自然無處不輕靈。二要遍體氣流行。一定繼續不能停。三要喉頭永不拋。問盡世界衆英豪。如詢大功因何得。表裏精粗無不到。
First, when your emotions are stable and your mind is calm,
you will naturally be nimble and alert at every point.
Second, when energy flows through your whole body,
there is a continuousness that cannot be interrupted.
Third, when you are never affected by opponents going for your throat,
everyone will think of you in heroic terms.
What here is the great achievement?
It is that all has been reached, inside and out, in general and in detail.

十六要論
THE SIXTEEN KEY POINTS

登之於足。行之於腿。從之於膝。活潑於腰。靈通於背。神貫於頂。流行於氣。通之於掌。達之於神。凝之於耳。息之於鼻。呼吸往來於口。渾淪於身。沉之於丹田。
[1] Energy is pressed from your feet,
[2] travels up your leg,
[3] past your knees,
[4] and becomes liveliness at your waist.
[5] Rousing through your spine,
[6] spirit penetrates to your headtop,
[7] flows through as energy,
[8] and courses through to your palms.
[(9) Penetrating to your fingertips,
(10) it then gathers in your marrow,]
[11] alerts your spirit,
[12] and wakens your ears.
[13] Breathing in through your nose
[14] and out through your mouth,
[15] energy courses through your body,
[16] then sinks to your elixir field.

功用歌
SONG OF FUNCTION

輕靈活潑求懂勁。陰陽相濟無滯病。若得四兩撥千斤。開合鼓盪主宰定。
Be nimble and lively, seeking to identify the opponent’s energies.
Passive and active are meant to exchange with each other, so do not make the error of getting stuck in either.
Once you have got the skill of “four ounces moves a thousand pounds”,
it will be determined by your expanding and contracting, and the rousing of your energy.

用功五誌
FIVE STUDY REMINDERS [These five terms are originally from the “Zhong Yong” – chapter 31 of the Book of Rites.]

博學(是多功夫)
審問(不是口問是聽勁)
愼思(時時去研究)
明辦(是否有益身心)
篤行(如天行健自强不息)
[1] Learn abundantly. (This will lead to a great deal of skill.)
[2] Inquire meticulously. (This does not have to do with querying verbally, but with listening.)
[3] Ponder wholeheartedly. (Constantly study the material.)
[4] Discriminate clearly. (See whether or not it is beneficial for body and mind.)
[5] Practice sincerely. (Nature acts with power. Improve yourself unceasingly.)

太極拳論
TAIJI BOXING ESSAYS [with commentary mostly by Chen Weiming]

[part 1]

一舉動週身俱要輕靈
Once there is any movement, your entire body should be nimble and alert.
【解】純任自然。不用絲毫拙勁。則舉動自然輕靈。
(Explanation) With pure naturalness, if you are not using the slightest bit of awkward energy, your movements will naturally be nimble and alert.

尤須貫串。
There especially needs to be connection from movement to movement.
【解】聯成一氣。綿綿不斷。卽為貫串。若勁一斷。則為人乘虛而入。
(Explanation) Continuous flow is when it is continuous without interruption. This is what is meant by “connection from movement to movement.” If there is any discontinuity to your energy, then your opponent can take advantage of the gap and get through.

氣宜鼓盪。神宜內歛。
Energy should be roused and spirit should be collected within.
【解】氣鼓盪。則無間。神內歛則不亂。
(Explanation) When energy is roused, there are no gaps. When spirit is collected within, there is no confusion.

無使有凸凹處。無使有斷續處。
Do not allow there to be protrusions or pits anywhere, breaks in the flow anywhere.
【解】凸凹不平則間斷。卽為人所制。斷續則不圓。不圓則易為人所乘。皆致敗之由也。
(Explanation) If there are areas of your posture that stick out or sink in unevenly, there will be interruptions in your movements, which the opponent can take advantage of. With breaks in the flow, you will not be rounded. Unrounded, it will easy for the opponent to take advantage of the situation. This will all add up to failure.

其根在脚發於腿。主宰於腰。形之於手指。由脚而腿而腰。總須完整一氣。向前退後。乃得機得勢。
Starting from your foot, issue through your leg, directing it at your waist, and expressing it at your fingers. From foot through leg through waist, it must be a fully continuous process, and whether advancing or retreating, you will then catch the opportunity and gain the upper hand.
【解】人之呼吸由頂至踵。呼吸深長。始能完成一氣。上下相合。隨屈就伸。太極以手指放人而跌出者。並非手指之力也。其力發於脚。而人不知也。故變動其根在脚。由脚而上至腿腰。以及手指。無處不應。自然能得機得勢。
(Explanation) A person breathes from head to heels. When the breathing is deep and long, it can then be a fully continuous process. With coordination between above and below, I comply and bend then engage and extend. In Taiji, when your fingers are used to send away an opponent and he falls, it is not only due to the strength of your fingers, it is power that was undetectably initiated from your feet. Therefore when you move, start from your foot. From your foot it goes up through your leg and waist, and then to your fingers. When all are coordinated with each other, you will naturally be able to catch the opportunity and gain the upper hand.

有不得機得勢處。身便散亂。其病必於腰腿求之。
If you miss and your body easily falls into disorder, the problem must be in your waist and legs, so look for it there.
【解】不得機不得勢。必是手動而腰腿不動。腰腿不動手愈有力。而身愈散亂。故有不得力處。必留心動身腰腿也。
(Explanation) If you do not catch the opportunity and do not get the upper hand, it must be that your hands are moving but your waist and legs are not moving. If your waist and legs are not moving, your hands will use that much more effort, causing your body to fall that much further into disorder. Therefore to keep from using effort anywhere, you must make sure to be moving your waist and legs.

上下前後左右皆然。凡此皆是意。不在外面。有上卽有下。有左卽有右。有前卽有後。
This is always so, regardless of the direction of the movement, be it up, down, forward, back, left, right. And in all of these cases, the problem is a matter of your intent and does not lie outside of you. With an upward comes a downward, with a left comes a right, and with a forward comes a backward.
【解】上下前後左右之動作。皆須動腰腿。然後纔能如意。雖動腰腿。而內中有知彼已。隨機應變之意在。若無意。雖動腰腿。亦亂動而已。
(Explanation) If you want to go up, down, forward, back, left, or right, you must always move your waist and legs, and then you will be able to do as you please. Yet even though you move your waist and legs, inside you have to know yourself and know your opponent, for therein lies the meaning of adjusting according to the situation. If you have no intent, then even though you move your waist and legs, it will be merely a disordered movement.

如意欲向上。卽寓下意。若將物掀起。而加以挫之之力。斯其根自斷。乃壞之速而無疑。
If your intention wants to go upward, then harbor a downward intention, like when you reach down to lift up an object. You thereby add a setback to the opponent’s own intention, thus he cuts his own root and is defeated quickly and certainly.
【解】與人交手時。務要隨機應變。動無定向。隨曲就伸。反復無端。令人莫測。使敵顧此不能顧彼。心神失措。自然散亂。則我可乘機而擊之。
(Explanation) When sparring, I should adjust according to the situation, responding to the changing directions by complying and bending then engaging and extending,
constantly and endlessly, so the opponent cannot figure out what I am doing. This will cause him to watch only himself and cease paying attention to me. Being distracted will naturally lead him into being disordered, and I can then take advantage of the opportunity and attack him.

虛實宜分淸楚。一處自有一處虛實。處處總此一虛實。週身節節貫串。無令絲豪間斷耳。
Empty and full must be distinguished clearly. In each part there is a part that is empty and a part that is full. Everywhere it is always like this, an emptiness and a fullness. Throughout your body, as the movement goes from one section to another there is connection. Do not allow the slightest break in the connection.
【解】練架子要分淸虛實。與人交手亦須分淸虛實。然全視來者之意而定。彼實我虛。彼虛我又實。實者忽變而為虛。虛者忽變而為實。彼不知我。我能知彼。則無不勝矣。週身節節貫串。方能虛空粉碎。能虛空粉碎。處處不相牽連。而運用之時。始得輕靈變化。運用圓活耳。
(Explanation) When practicing the solo set, empty and full should be clearly distinguished. When sparring, empty and full must still be clearly distinguished. However, you also should be completely aware of the way you are being attacked so as to deal with it properly. When he is full, I am empty. When he is empty, I am full. Fullness suddenly transforms to become emptiness. Emptiness suddenly transforms to become fullness. He does not understand what I am doing but I can understand him, and thereby I always win.
     By connecting movement through your whole body from one section to another, you will then have the ability to empty and dissolve. With this ability, no sections will jam each other up. When you move, you can then obtain nimbleness and adaptability, moving with roundness and liveliness.

長拳者。如長江大海。滔滔不絕也。
Long Boxing: it is like a long river flowing into the wide ocean, on and on ceaselessly…
【解】太極拳亦名長拳。楊氏所傳有太極拳。更有一種長拳。名稱雖異。其理則同。
(Explanation) Taiji Boxing is also called Long Boxing. The Yang school teaches a Taiji Boxing solo set and also a Long Boxing solo set. Although the names are somewhat different, the theory is the same.
十三勢者。掤捋擠按採挒肘靠。此八卦也。前進後退左顧右盼中定。此五行也。掤捋擠按。卽坎離震兌。四正方也。採挒肘靠。卽乾坤艮巽四斜角也。進退顧盼定。卽金木水火土也。
The thirteen dynamics are: warding off, rolling back, pressing, pushing, plucking, rending, elbowing, and bumping – which relate to the eight trigrams:

☴☲☷
☳    ☱
☶☵☰

and advancing, retreating, stepping to the left, stepping to the right, and staying in the center – which relate to metal, wood, water, fire, and earth: the five elements. Warding off, rolling back, pressing, and pushing correspond to , , , and in the four principle compass directions [meaning simply that these are the primary techniques]. Plucking, rending, elbowing, and bumping correspond to , , , and in the four corner directions [i.e. are the secondary techniques]. Advancing, retreating, stepping to the left, stepping to the right, and staying in the center correspond to the five elements of metal, wood, water, fire, and earth.
太極各式。及掤捋擠按已見前。
[Explanation] Each of the postures in Taiji Boxing, such as ward-off, rollback, press, push, and so on, have been explained in previous sections.

原書註云。以上係武當張三丰祖師所著。欲天下豪傑。延年益壽。不徒為武術之末也。
A note in Yang’s original document says:
“The above relates to the writings of Zhang Sanfeng of Wudang. He wanted all the heroes in the world to live long and not merely practice martial skill.”

[part 2]

太極者。無極而生。陰陽之母也
Taiji is born of wuji, and is the mother of yin and yang.
【解】太者。大也。極者。至也。無極者。沒有到極處。卽廣大無際也。空而又空。空不空。空中有實。卽天一生水也水中生金。是謂之眞卽無極之眞。而生太極。太極分兩儀。兩儀生四相。四相生八卦。卦卦變化無窮者。是陰陽動盪錯綜。生有爻變也。太極拳推手。隨機應變。純任自然。處處分陰陽虛實。故名之曰太極。初學者。就有形之姿勢入手學習。久久練熟。然後懂勁。而階及神明。當行功時。中心泰然。渾然一氣。抱元守一。未嘗不靜。有觸卽發。未嘗無動。於靜中生動。動中求靜。一動一靜。合乎自然。此太極拳之所以妙也。
(Explanation) Tai means “grand”. Ji means “limit”. Wuji [“without limit”] is the condition in which limit has not yet been reached, vast boundlessness. It is the emptiest of emptiness, and yet it is emptiness without emptiness, for within emptiness there is fullness, just as Nature generates one substance and then another substance is generated from within that substance. And so it is said that Truth is the truth of nonpolarity [wuji], from which was generated the grand polarity [taiji]. The grand polarity then generated the dual aspects, the dual aspects generated the four manifestations, and the four manifestations generated the eight trigrams. The trigrams transform endlessly as the passive and active aspects are intricately agitated back and forth, producing the alternations in the hexagram lines.
     In Taiji Boxing’s pushing hands, respond according to the situation, behaving with purity and naturalness. Every part of your body divides into either empty or full, i.e. passive or active. That is why this boxing art is called Taiji. In the beginning of the training, it is just a matter of learning the postures. After a long time, they will have been practiced to familiarity, so you will move on to identifying energies, and at last proceed to a magical understanding.
     When practicing, be calm within and consistently flow. Cling to the primal Oneness, for always there is stillness. As soon as there is contact, issue, for always there is movement. Movement is generated from within stillness, yet you should also strive for a quality of stillness while moving. In movement and in stillness, conform to what is natural. This is why Taiji Boxing is wonderful.

動之則分。靜之則令。
When there is movement, the passive and active aspects become distinct from each other. When there is stillness, they return to being indistinguishable.
【解】我身不動。則渾然一太極。稍動。則陰陽分焉。其靜的姿勢。雖無痕跡可見。然陰陽虛實之氣。已具其中。故曰。靜之則合。而其功重在靜。虛則無所不容。靜則無所不應。武侯曰寧靜以致遠。學者務須詳察領會。無不貫通焉。
(Explanation) When my body does not move, it is a taiji all over. Once it moves even a little bit, then passive and active become distinguishable. In postures of stillness, although there is no trace of anything that can be specifically discerned, passive and active, empty and full, are all already within. Therefore it is said that in stillness they become indistinguishable. [Wang Chongyang said: “Here I describe the source of the Way:] work first at emptiness and quietude. As for emptiness, there is nothing it does not welcome. As for quiet, there is nothing it does not answer.” Zhuge Liang said: “It is by way of tranquility that we will reach the farthest.” You must examine these words until you understand, and then everything will make sense.

無過不及。隨屈就伸。
Neither going too far nor not far enough, comply and bend then engage and extend.
【解】過者。逾也。不及者。未至也。就卽也。過不及皆為失其中。與人交手之時。隨彼之動而動。彼屈我伸。彼伸我屈。與之密合。不丟不頂。以中為主。自無不合。初學此拳者。每失之太過。稍動勁則失之不及。學者宜審愼之。
(Explanation) “Too far” means you are going beyond. “Not far enough” means you are not arriving. [To “comply” means to not resist.] To “engage” means to approach. Going too far or not far enough are both cases of becoming uncentered. When sparring, adapt to the opponent’s movement and act according to it. When he bends, I extend. When he extends, I bend. I closely join with him, neither coming away nor crashing in. Making centeredness your priority, [engage by sticking, adhering, connecting, and following,] staying always with the opponent. A beginner in this boxing art will usually go too far, and while you begin to identify energies, you will often fail to go far enough. You should be carefully aware of this.

人剛我柔謂之走。我順人背謂之黏。
He is hard while I am soft – this is yielding. My energy is smooth while his energy is coarse – this is sticking.
【解】人者。敵也。剛是用力。柔是輕鬆。亦順也走是化也。以柔化敵之力。不為所制。故曰走。敵用力時我順其勢而制之。使其就我範圍。故曰黏。
(Explanation) By “he” is of course meant the opponent. By “hard” is meant using effort. By “soft” is meant being relaxed, as is “smooth”. Yielding is neutralizing. I use softness to neutralize his power, though not to be under his control, and thus it is called “yielding”. When he puts forth effort, I smoothly respond to his momentum and take charge of it, causing him to lean into range of my control, and thus it is called “sticking”.

動急則急隨。動緩則緩應。雖變化萬端。而理則一貫。
If he moves fast, I quickly respond, and if his movement is slow, I leisurely follow. Although there is an endless variety of possible scenarios, there is only this single principle [of yielding and sticking] throughout.
【解】此言與人交手時。隨彼之緩急。則自然黏連不斷。非兩臂圓活鬆靜。不用絲毫拙力。不能相隨黏連如意也。敵雖變化萬端。由一本而萬殊。而我則執兩用中。扼萬殊成一本。審機應候。守一以臨。非功深者不知也。
(Explanation) When sparring, my speed depends on his, and thus I am automatically able to stick and connect continuously. But unless my arms supple and relaxed, not using the smallest bit of awkward effort, then I will not be able to stick and connect to him smoothly. The opponent may adapt limitlessly, but all changes derive from this single basic principle. So I hold to the middle ground between the two extremes by receiving all his changes and returning them to the one principle. I watch for the opportunity and then respond at the right moment, overseeing everything from a state of oneness. If your skill is not deep, this may not make sense to you.

由着熟而漸悟懂勁。由懂勁而階及神明。然非用力之久。不能豁然貫通焉。
Once you have ingrained these techniques, you will gradually come to identify energies, and then from there you will work your way toward something miraculous. But unless you practice a lot over a long time, you will never have a breakthrough.
【解】練太極拳之功夫。自有一定程序。不能躐等躁進。此拳之奧妙。勁字。係功深而練出。不可作力量解。然勁為無形。每恃用勁。輕視用着。手發出時。難以命中。皆不明此中深理。濫為發勁之故也。先由着熟。習拳以練體。推手以應用。用力旣久。自然懂勁。而神明矣。
(Explanation) To develop Taiji Boxing skill, there is a fixed process of progress. You cannot skip steps and rush ahead. The secret to this art is energy. It will arise from a deeper level of training and cannot be understood only in terms of physical strength. Although the energy is shapeless, every technique relies on the using of energy. If you neglect it when applying techniques, then whenever your hands shoot out, they will rarely be on target. If you never come to understand the profound theory within the art, it will be useless to issue energy. Begin with “ingraining the techniques”, which means practicing the solo set to train the essence and the pushing hands to apply it. With “a lot of practice over a long time”, you will naturally come to identify energies and then become miraculous.

虛靈頂勁。氣沉丹田。不偏不倚。忽隱忽現。
Forcelessly press up your headtop. Energy sinks to your elixir field. Neither lean nor slant. Suddenly hide and suddenly appear.
【解】虛者。空也。頂者。頭頂也。虛靈頂勁者。卽歛神於頂。方能提起精神。故練架子及推手。皆須有虛靈頂勁。氣沉丹田之意。但不可用力去沉。只以意下沉耳。不偏不倚者。立身中正也。忽隱忽現者。虛實無定。變化不測也。
(Explanation) “Forcelessly” means “emptily”, and “headtop” is of course the top of your head. To “forcelessly press up your headtop” is to gather your spirit there, and thus you will be able to rouse your spirit. Therefore whether practicing either the solo set or the pushing hands, in both cases you must have the intentions of pressing up your headtop and of energy sinking to your elixir field. However, you must not effort to sink energy, only do so by way of intention. To “neither lean nor slant” means to stand straight and balanced. To “suddenly hide and suddenly appear” means your emptiness and fullness are not constant and that your changes are unpredictable.

左重則左虛。右重則右杳。
When there is pressure on the left, the left empties. When there is pressure on the right, the right disappears. [Due to the different contexts of “empty” and “disappear”, this section is referring to facing an opponent with your right side forward, left foot behind.]
【解】與人黏手時。覺左邊重。我之左手處。卽變為虛。右邊亦然。杳者。卽忽隱忽現。令彼不可測度之意。與彼相黏。彼若用力。我隨其意而化之。不可稍有抵抗。使其處處落空。以彼之力還以制其身也。
(Explanation) When connecting to an opponent, if I feel some pressure on my left side, then the place on my left side where he is sticking to me promptly changes to become empty. The situation on my right side is the same. To “disappear” is the same idea as in “suddenly hide and suddenly appear” and renders him unable to figure out what I am doing. If an opponent applies force, I go along with his intention and neutralize it. I must not even slightly resist, but instead make him always land on nothing, gaining control over his body by using his force against him.

仰之則彌高。俯之則彌深。進之則愈長。退之則愈促。
When looking up, it is still higher. When looking down, it is still lower. When advancing, it is even farther. When retreating, it is even nearer.
【解】仰者。升也。俯者。降也。敵欲提我使上。我隨而高之。敵欲抑我使下。我卽隨之而降。使彼處處落空。自受我制。此卽黏隨不丟不頂之意。彼進則覺我愈長而不可及。彼退則覺我愈逼而不可逃。皆言我黏連綿隨。不丟不頂之意也。
(Explanation) The meaning of “looking up” is rising. The meaning of “looking down” is lowering. If the opponent wishes to lift up, I go along with him, causing him to go even higher. If the opponent wishes to press down, I go along with him, causing him to go even lower. He is thus made to land on nothing and will automatically be under my control. This has to do with sticking and following, neither coming away nor crashing in. When he advances, he perceives me to be even farther away and cannot get to me. When he retreats, he perceives me to be even nearer and cannot get away from me. All of these words are about my ability to stick and follow, neither coming away nor crashing in.

一羽不能加。蠅蟲不能落。人不知我。我獨知人。英雄所向無敵。蓋由此而及也。
A feather cannot be added and a fly cannot land. The opponent does not understand me, only I understand him. A hero is one who encounters no opposition, and it is through this kind of method that such a condition is achieved.
【解】此言太極拳。感覺靈敏。一觸卽知。雖極小蠅虫。亦不能加之也。功夫精深者。始能如此。舉動輕靈。自然人不知我。我獨人。所謂知彼知已。百戰不殆。自能所向無敵也。
(Explanation) This describes Taiji Boxing’s awareness and sensitivity, through which the slightest contact will tell you everything about the opponent. Even something as small as a fly cannot land on you. Once your skill has deepened and you are able to reach this level, your movements will be nimble and you will naturally have the quality of “he does not understand me, only I understand him”. As it is said [Art of War, chapter 3]: “Knowing both self and opponent, you will never lose even in a hundred battles.” You will be invincible.

斯技旁門甚多。雖有區別。槪不外壯欺弱。慢讓快。有力打無力。手慢讓手快。是皆先天自然之能。非關學力而有為也。
There are many other schools of boxing arts besides this one. Although the postures are different between them, they generally do not go beyond the strong bullying the weak and the slow yielding to the fast. The strong beating the weak and the slow submitting to the fast are both a matter of inherent natural ability and bear no relation to skill that is learned.
【解】以上言外家手術。派別甚多。姿勢各異。不外乎以快以力勝人。若遇手快力更大者。則又敗矣。太極拳則以虛靈懂勁。知力審勢。貴謀而不貴勇。貴精巧柔和。不恃快不恃力。而能勝人也。
(Explanation) These words address external styles of boxing arts, of which there are many different branches. Though their postures are different, they do not go beyond using strength and speed to win. [If I try to win by way of strength and speed,] then when I face someone faster and stronger than me, I will lose. Taiji Boxing therefore uses forcelessness and identifying of energies, awareness of power and observation of posture, calculation rather courage, skillful gentleness rather than reliance on speed and strength, to be able to overcome opponents.

察四兩撥千斤之句。顯非力勝。觀耄耋能禦衆之形。快何能為。
Examine the phrase “four ounces moves a thousand pounds”, which is clearly not a victory obtained through strength. Or consider the sight of an old man repelling a group, which could not come from an aggressive speed.
【解】此言太極拳之巧妙。以弱勝强。以柔克剛。以四兩撥千斤者。彼雖有千斤之力。我順彼背。則千斤無用也。彼之快乃自動。倘遇有精深太極拳術者。用手黏之。彼動且不能。焉能快乎。
(Explanation) Taiji Boxing’s ingenuity of the weak defeating the strong, of softness overcoming hardness, lies in its use of four ounces to move a thousand pounds. Even if the opponent has a thousand pounds of force, my energy is smooth while his energy is coarse, rendering his thousand pounds useless. Although his speed is generated by his own actions, if he encounters an expert in the Taiji boxing art, the hands will be sticking to him so much that when he wants to take action he cannot, and being unable to act he certainly cannot act very fast.

立如平準。活似車輪。
Stand like a scale. Move like a wheel.
【解】立如平準者。有虛靈頂勁。中正不偏倚也。活似車輪者。以腰為主。氣如流珠。週身活潑。無處不隨腰運動圓轉也。
(Explanation) To stand like a scale means to have the quality of forcelessly pressing up your headtop so that you are standing upright without leaning in any direction. To move like a wheel means to use your waist to control the movement, as well as the energy moving as though through a “winding-path pearl” and thereby livening your whole body. With every part complying with your waist, the movement will be rounded.

偏沉則隨。雙重則滯。
If you drop one side, you can move. If you have equal pressure on both sides, you will be stuck.
【解】與人交手時。若兩處與彼相黏。其力平均。則兩相抵抗。是謂雙重。則二人必相持不可。而力大者勝。兩處之力平均。若鬆一處。是謂偏沉。我若能偏沉。彼力雖大。亦何能為。我可走化彼之力也。
(Explanation) When sparring, if you stick to the opponent with equal strength on both sides of your body, [then once he opposes your strength,] you will be resisting each other. This is what is meant by being equal on both sides. Being equal on both sides, you will freeze up each other’s movement and winning will return to a matter of who is strongest. If your strength on both sides is equal but then one side is loosened, this is the meaning of dropping one side. If I let go on one side, then even if the opponent has strength, he can do nothing with it and I can neutralize him.

每見數年純功。不能運化者。率為人制。是雙重之病未悟耳。
We often see one who has practiced hard for many years yet is unable to perform any neutralizations and is generally under the opponent’s control, and the issue here is that this error of double pressure has not yet been understood.
【解】雖有數年純功。仍有雙重之病。不免為人所制。不能立時運化也。
(Explanation) If you have practiced hard for many years but still make the error of double pressure, then you will inevitably be under the opponent’s control, incapable of neutralizing fast enough.

若欲避此病。須知陰陽。黏卽是走。走卽是黏。陰不離陽。陽不離陰。陰陽相濟。方為懂勁。
If you want to avoid this error, you must understand passive and active. In sticking there is yielding and in yielding there is sticking. The active does not depart from the passive and the passive does not depart from the active, for the passive and active exchange roles. Once you have this understanding, you will be identifying energies.
【解】欲避雙重之病。須知陰陽。陰陽卽虛實也。稍覺雙重。卽速徧沉。虛處為陰。實處為陽。雖分陰陽。仍黏連不脫。故能黏能走。陰不離陽。陽不離陰。彼實我虛。彼虛我實。陰變為陽。陽變為陰。陰陽變化。本無定形。隨彼之動。虛實應付。毫釐不爽。是謂眞懂勁矣。
(Explanation) If you want to avoid the error of double pressure, you must understand passive and active, i.e. emptiness and fullness. If you slightly sense double pressure is happening, promptly drop one side. The empty area is passive. The full area is active. Although passive and active separate into distinct areas, there is still no disconnecting with the opponent, and thus you are able to stick and to yield. “The active does not depart from the passive and the passive does not depart from the active” means that when the opponent is full I am empty, and once he becomes empty I change my emptiness into fullness. Passive changes into active and active changes into passive, passive and active exchanging roles without any solid pattern. If you can go along with the opponent’s movement and then respond with emptiness or fullness without at all mistaking which one fits where, you are then accurately identifying energies.

懂勁後。愈練愈精。默識揣摩。漸至從心所欲。
Once you are identifying energies, then the more you practice, the more efficient your skill will be, and by absorbing through experience and by constantly contemplating, gradually you will reach the point that you can do whatever you want.
【解】此言練推手。懂勁之後。始能入門。萬不可間斷。必須日日練習。時時揣摩。遇有領悟。卽默誌於心。心動則身手俱隨。無不如意。技日精進。
(Explanation) This is about practicing pushing hands. Once you are identifying energies, it can be said that you have graduated kindergarten. But you must not rest on your laurels and give yourself a break from it, but must instead continue to practice every day, contemplating it always. As you come to grasp it more and more, absorbing the experience of it into your mind, then mind will act and body will comply, all will happen as you will it, and your skill will daily improve.

本是捨已從人。多為捨近求遠。
The basic of basics is to forget about your plans and simply respond to the opponent. We often neglectfully ignore what is right in front of us in favor of something that has nothing to do with our immediate circumstances.
【解】太極拳。與人交手。不自作主張。處處從人。逆來順應。彼之動作。必有一方向。則我順其方向而去。不稍抵抗。使彼落空。或跌出。皆彼用力太過。如有一定手法。不知隨彼。是之謂捨近求遠矣。
(Explanation) When using Taiji Boxing in a fight, you do not act from yourself but always according to the opponent, going along with his attacks. Since his movements will be in some direction, I go along with him in the same direction and send him away along it instead of even slightly resisting against his direction. This causes his attack to land on nothing and he stumbles away all because he himself has used too much power. When you are intent on using a particular technique and are consequently not aware of and not going along with the opponent, this is what is meant by ignoring what is right in front of you in favor of something that has nothing to do with your immediate circumstances.

斯謂差之毫釐。謬以千里。學者可不詳辨焉。
For such situations it is said: “Miss by an inch, lose by a mile.” You must understand all this clearly.
【解】太極拳與交手時。卽在黏連密切之處應付之。所謂不差毫釐也。稍離則遠。失其機矣。
(Explanation) In Taiji Boxing, when fighting with an opponent, you will respond to the area that you are most closely connecting to, and so it is said that you are not to “miss by an inch”. To slightly separate is to be greatly separated, for you then lose connection with the timing.

此論句句切要。並無一字敷衍陪襯。非有夙慧之人。不能悟也。先師不肯妄傳。非獨擇人亦恐枉費功夫耳
This essay contains one crucial sentence after another and does not have a single word that does not enrich and sharpen its ideas. But if you are not smart, you will not be able to understand it. The founder did not lightly teach the art, not just because he was discriminating over accepting students, but also because he did want to go to the effort only to have it wasted.
【解】太極拳之精微奧妙。皆不出此論。非有夙慧之人不能領悟。可見此拳不能以技藝視之也。
(Explanation) Taiji Boxing’s refined subtleties all manifest in this essay. From the notion that unless you are a smart person you will be incapable of making sense of it, it is apparent that this art cannot be looked upon as just a skill.

十三勢歌
[part 3] THIRTEEN DYNAMICS SONG

十三總勢莫輕視。命意源頭在腰隙。變轉虛實須留意。氣遍身軀不少滯。靜中觸動動猶靜。因敵變化示神奇。勢勢揆心須用意。得來不覺費工夫。刻刻留心在腰間。腹內鬆淨氣騰然。尾閭中正神貫頂。滿身輕利頂頭懸。仔細留心向推求。屈伸開合聽自由。入門引路須口授。功夫無息法自休。若言體用何為準。意氣君來骨肉臣。想推用意終何在。益壽延年不老春。歌兮歌兮百字字字眞切義無遺。若不向此推求去。枉費工夫貽歎惜。
Do not neglect any of the thirteen dynamics,
their command coming from your lower back.
You must pay attention to the alternation of empty and full,
then energy will flow through your whole body without getting stuck anywhere.
     In stillness, movement stirs, and then in moving, seem yet to be in stillness,
for the magic lies in making adjustments based on being receptive to the opponent.
In every movement, very deliberately control it by the use of intention,
for once you achieve that, it will all be effortless.
     At every moment, pay attention to your waist,
for if there is complete relaxation within the belly, energy is primed.
Your tailbone is centered and spirit penetrates to your headtop,
thus your whole body will be nimble and your headtop will be pulled up as if suspended.
     Pay careful attention in your practice
that you are letting bending and extending, contracting and expanding, happen as the situation requires.
Beginning the training requires personal instruction,
but mastering the art depends on your own unceasing effort.
     Whether we are discussing in terms of theory or function, what is the constant?
It is that mind is sovereign and body is subject.
If you think about it, what is emphasizing the use of intention going to lead you to?
To a longer life and a longer youth.
     Repeatedly recite the words above,
all of which speak clearly and hence their ideas come through without confusion.
If you pay no heed to those ideas, you will go astray in your training,
and you will find you have wasted your time and be left with only sighs of regret.
十三勢歌之意。前已講明。故不復註解。
The concepts within the Thirteen Dynamics Song have already been explained in the previous sections, and therefore will not be repeated with further annotation here.

十三勢行功心解
[part 4] UNDERSTANDING HOW TO PRACTICE THE THIRTEEN DYNAMICS

以心行氣。務令沉着。乃能收歛入骨。以氣運身。務令順遂。乃能便利從心。
Use mind to move energy. You must get the energy to sink. It is then able to collect in your bones. Use energy to move your body. You must get the energy to be smooth. Your body can then easily obey your mind.
【解】以心行氣者。卽意到氣到。然意要沉着。則氣可收斂入骨。工夫旣久。骨日沉重。內勁增長。以氣運身者。氣動身亦動氣要順遂。身能便利從心所欲。變動往來。毫無阻之滯虞矣。
(Explanation) “Use mind to move energy” means that the energy arrives where the intent goes. However, the intent should sink, then energy can collect in your bones [instead of moving around]. If you work at it for a long time your bones will daily become heavier and internal power will increase. “Use energy to move your body” means that your body moves when the energy moves. The energy should be smooth so your body can easily obey your mind. As the movements change and go back and forth, there is no worry of the energy being obstructed at any point.

精神能提得起。則無遲重之虞。所謂頂頭懸也。
If you can raise your spirit, then you will be without worry of being slow or weighed down. Thus it is said [in the Thirteen Dynamics Song]: “Your whole body will be nimble and your headtop will be pulled up as if suspended”.
【解】能虛靈頂勁。則精神自然提得起。精神提起。則身體自然輕靈。可知捨精神而用拙力者。身體必為力為所軀使。不能轉動自如矣。
(Explanation) By forcelessly pressing up your headtop, your spirit will automatically be raised, and with your spirit raised, your body will automatically be nimble. It follows then that if you do not raise your spirit, your body will be clumsy and require effort to be moved around, incapable of moving smoothly.

意氣須換得靈。乃有圓活之妙。所謂變轉虛實也。
Your mind must perform alternations nimbly, and then you will have the qualities of roundness and liveliness. Thus it is said [in the Thirteen Dynamics Song] that you are to “pay attention to the alternation of empty and full”.
【解】若與敵人相黏。須隨機換意。虛實須分得淸楚。舉動自然有圓活之妙。
(Explanation) When sticking with an opponent, you must go along with the situation to adjust your intent. Empty and full must be distinguished clearly, and then you will automatically have the qualities of being rounded and lively.

發勁須沉着鬆淨。專主一方。
When issuing power, you must sink and relax, concentrating it in one direction.
【解】沉着為太極拳之要訣。與人交手時。要發勁。必須全身鬆淨。不鬆則不能沉着。能沉着鬆淨。自然放得人遠。專主一方者。卽隨敵動之方向而直去也。必須身鬆氣淨。專一猛擊。發無不中也。
(Explanation) Sinking is crucial in Taiji Boxing. When issuing power during sparring, it is necessary for your whole body to relax completely. If you do not, you will not be able to sink. If you can be heavy and relaxed, you will naturally be able to send the opponent far. “Concentrate it in one direction” means that you are to go straight out along the direction of the opponent’s movement. Your body must be relaxed and your energy must be complete. Focused into a sudden attack, your issuing will always reach your target.

立身須中正安舒。撑支八面。
Your posture must be straight and comfortable, bracing in all directions.
【解】能以頂頭懸。身自能中正。鬆淨自然安舒。精神能提起。穩如泰山。自然撑支八面。
(Explanation) If you can suspend your headtop, your body will automatically be balanced. When you are relaxed, you will automatically be comfortable and your spirit will be able to rise. When you are as stable as Mt. Tai, you will automatically be able to brace in all directions.

行氣如九曲珠。無微不到。
Move energy as though through a winding-path pearl, penetrating even the smallest nook.
【解】九曲珠。言其氣之圓活。四肢百體無處不有圓珠。亦無處不是太極圈子。有隙皆通。微空而至。達四肢。通九竅。故力未有不能化也。
(Explanation) The mention of the winding-path pearl is used to describe the roundness and liveliness of the energy. Through your limbs and bones, everywhere it is like a rounded ball, everywhere a taiji circle. Energy courses through every gap and into every space, through the four limbs and nine orifices. And thus you will have power that can never be neutralized.

運勁如百練鋼。何堅不摧。
Wield power like tempered steel, so strong there is nothing tough enough to stand up against it.
【解】太極拳雖不用力。而其增長內勁。可無窮盡。其勁如百練之鋼。無堅不摧。其未發也。蘊蓄於內。旣發也。突於外。如砲火然。砲彈出口。擋者立傾。
(Explanation) Taiji Boxing does not use exertion. Instead it develops internal power, which can go on without limit. This power is like steel folded hundreds of times, nothing tough enough to stand up against it. Before it is issued, it is stored inside. Then when it is issued, it is suddenly outside. It is like the firing of an artillery shell. The opponent will get leaned away if he attempts to defend against it.

形如搏兔之鶻。神如捕鼠之貓。
The shape is like a falcon capturing a rabbit. The spirit is like a cat pouncing on a mouse.
【解】鵠之敏捷。全在盤旋之時。賭準目標。猛然進攻。擊無不中。貓之為物。最能審機待勢。蓄而後發。太極拳。全在用神用意。其功用處。以靜禦動。
(Explanation) The agility of a bird of prey entirely depends on observing its target while circling. Suddenly attacking, it always hits its mark. When a cat catches an animal, it is extremely talented at calculating the moment, poised to strike. It stores and then issues. Taiji Boxing is entirely a matter of spirit and intention. When it is applied, it defeats movement by way of stillness [i.e. by focusing on observing the situation, like the falcon and cat].

靜如山岳。動若江河。
In stillness, be like a mountain, and in movement, be like a river.
【解】山岳之堅。人莫能撼。言其沉重不浮。江河之水。人莫能止。此言太極拳。以沉重為主。以周流不息為用。
(Explanation) With the solidity of a mountain, no one can shake you. This means you should sink rather than float. With the slipperiness of a river, no one can stop you. This means that in Taiji Boxing, although you are to use sinking as the foundation, you should have a ceaseless flow in application.

蓄勁如張弓。發勁如放箭。
Store power like drawing a bow. Issue power like loosing an arrow.
【解】蓄勁如張弓以言其滿。發勁如放箭。以言其速。
(Explanation) “Store power like drawing a bow.” This has to do with completeness. “Issue power like loosing an arrow.” This has to do with suddenness.

曲中求直。蓄而後發。
Within curving, seek to be straightening. Store and then issue.
【解】曲乃化人之勁。勁旣化去。必向彼身求一直線。勁可發矣。又蓄乃意之中。發乃意之至。
(Explanation) Curving is when you neutralize the opponent’s power. Once it is neutralized, you must find a straight line in his direction so your power can issue. Storing is when your intention is contained within. Issuing is when your intention arrives.

力由脊發。步隨身換。
Power comes from your spine. Step according to your body’s changes.
【解】此言與人交手。含胸拔背。以蓄其勢。發勁之時。力由脊背而出。身動步隨。變換無定。卽渾圓綿柔。上下相隨也。
(Explanation) When sparring, contain your chest and pull up your back to store your power. When issuing energy, the power comes from your spine. Your body moves and your steps go along with it, changing unpredictably. Be rounded and silky soft, your upper body and lower coordinating with each other.

收卽是放。放卽是收。斷而復連。
To gather is to release and to release is to gather. Disconnect but stay connected.
【解】與人黏手。黏化打雖是三意。收卽黏化。放卽是打。放人之時。勁似稍斷。而意仍不斷。卽內含牽黏。外示弱點。彼身微動。我卽放之。乘機發放。內蓄彈力。彼抗我縮。我引進落空也。彼走我放。所謂若卽若離也。
(Explanation) When sticking to an opponent, sticking, neutralizing, and attacking are three distinct concepts. Gathering is sticking and neutralizing. Releasing is attacking. When you send the opponent away, the power seems to almost come to an end but the intent of it does not finish. While inside there is contained a quality of leading and sticking, there is outwardly shown a quality of weakness. As soon as he even slightly moves, I release, seizing the opportunity to issue. Contained within is a springiness. If he clashes against me, I shrink away, leading him in so he lands on nothing, and then when he retreats, I release. This is called “seeming to both connect and disconnect”.

往復須有摺叠。進退須有轉換。
In the back and forth [of your arms], there must be folding. In the advance and retreat [of your feet], there must be variation.
【解】摺叠者。亦變虛實也。此言所變換之虛實很微細。太極拳之截勁。內含摺叠。外面看似未動。而其內以有折叠。進退須隨腰換步。退卽是進。
(Explanation) Folding means the transformation between empty and full, which is extremely subtle. Taiji’s stopping power contains folding. Outwardly it looks as if you have not moved while inwardly there is folding going on. Advancing and retreating must accord with the waist and the changes in footwork. Even in retreat there is advance.

極柔軟。然後極堅剛。能呼吸然後能靈活。
Extreme softness begets extreme hardness. Your ability to be nimble lies in your ability to breathe.
【解】老子曰。專氣致柔。能嬰兒乎。又曰天下之至柔。馳騁天下之至堅。其至柔者。乃至剛也。太極拳柔中有剛。吸為提為收。呼為沉為放。一呼一吸為一息。不呼不吸亦為一息。此道家先後天之分也。此為先天之呼吸。故能提得人起。放得人出。所以能靈活也。
(Explanation) Laozi said [Daodejing, chapter 10]: “Focus on your breath and achieve softness. Can you be like a newborn?” Also [DDJ, 43]: “The softest thing in the world wears away the hardest thing in the world.” To achieve softness is therefore to achieve hardness. In Taiji Boxing, there is softness within hardness. Inhaling is lifting and gathering. Exhaling is sinking and releasing. (Inhaling and exhaling makes one breath. Neither inhaling nor exhaling also makes one breath. This is the Daoist distinction between innate and acquired breathing.) This is the manner of breathing you were born with [and the opposite of the breathing habit you have learned]. With it you can lift the opponent and send him away, and you can do so with liveliness.

氣以直養而無害。勁以曲蓄而有餘。
By nurturing energy with integrity, it will not be corrupted. By storing power in crooked parts, it will be in abundant supply.
【解】孟子曰。吾善養吾浩然之氣。直養而無害。至大至剛。可以塞乎天地之間。太極拳是養先天之氣。非運後天之氣也。蓋運氣之功。流弊極大。養氣則純任自然。太極拳動作起落。須慢而匀。呼吸方能調匀。日習之養之。數十年後。積虛成實。放之則彌六合。卷之退藏於密。卽曲蓄其勁以待發。一發則沛然莫能禦也。
(Explanation) Mengzi said [Mengzi, chapter 2a]: “I am good at nurturing my noble energy… until it is vast and strong. I use integrity to nurture it and do not corrupt it, and thus it fills up the world.” Taiji Boxing is a matter of nurturing the energy you were born with rather than wielding the energy of habits. Exercises of wielding energy are big frauds, but in nurturing energy there is purity and naturalness. As the movements of the Taiji Boxing solo set lift and lower, they must be performed slowly and evenly so the breathing can be smooth. Practice every day, nurturing it. After several decades, so much emptiness will have been amassed that it turns into fullness. [From the preface to the “Zhong Yong”:] “Sent out, it fills the world. Shrunk back, it hides in subtlety.” This means that when you make use of it, your crooked parts will store power and standby to issue, but upon issuing, it will be so abundant that no one would be able to resist.

心為令。氣為旗。腰為纛。
Your mind makes the command, the energy is its flag, and your waist is its banner.
【解】心為主以發令。氣為受令之旗。以腰為大纛。其纛中正不偏。無致敗之由也。
(Explanation) Your mind is the commander issuing orders. The energy is the flag which conveys the orders. Your waist is the large banner that stands straight and does not tip over, and thus does not signal to the army that it has lost the battle.

先求開展。後求緊凑。乃可臻於縝密矣。
First strive to open up, then strive to close up, and from there you will be able to attain a refined subtlety.
【解】初練太極拳時。總要先求開展。卽舒筋展骨。俟功夫純熟。再求緊凑。卽由大圈。而變為小圈。漸臻於無圈。而縝密矣。
(Explanation) In the beginning of practicing the solo set, in every posture first strive to open up, which loosens your sinews and stretches your joints. Once you have become skillful, strive to close up, big circles turning into small circles, then gradually into no circles as you achieve refined subtlety.

又曰。先在心。後在身腹鬆淨。氣歛入骨。氣歛入骨。神舒體靜。刻刻在心。
It is also said:
First in your mind, then in your body. Your abdomen relaxes completely and then energy collects in your bones. Your spirit should be comfortable and your body should be calm – at every moment be mindful of this.
【解】太極拳。以心意為本。身體為末。腹鬆淨。不用後天之拙力。氣自收神入骨。其剛可知。神要舒。體要靜。然後能應變。審機發勁。不至心慌意亂。
(Explanation) In Taiji Boxing, it begins with your mind and ends with your body. When your abdomen relaxes completely, not using any habitual effort, then energy will collect and spirit will enter your bones, and you will realize the strength of it. Your spirit should be comfortable and your body should be calm. Then you will be able to adapt, look for right moment, and issue power without becoming flustered or confused.

切記一動無有不動。一靜無有不靜。
Always remember: if one part moves, every part moves, and if one part is still, every part is still.
【解】上下相隨。內外相合。始能如此。
(Explanation) When inside and out are as one and your upper body and lower coordinate with each other, you will then be capable of this.

牽動往來。氣貼背。歛入脊骨。內固精神。外示安逸。
As the movement leads back and forth, energy stays near your back and gathers in your spine. Inwardly bolster spirit and outwardly show ease.
【解】與人交手時。牽動往來。須涵胸拔背。使氣貼背。歛入脊骨。待機發勁。則能力由脊發。神固體逸。以靜制動。
(Explanation) During pushing hands, it is necessary while the movements lead back and forth to contain your chest and pluck up your back, which makes the energy stick to your back and collect in your spine, where it waits for the opportunity, then issues once the moment comes. Thus you will be able to get the power to come from your spine. With your spirit bolstered and your body at ease, stillness will overcome movement.

邁步如貓行。運勁如抽絲。
Step like a cat and move energy as if drawing silk.
【解】此言綿綿不絕。待機而發之意。
(Explanation) This describes moving continuously without interruption and the intention of waiting for the moment to issue power.

全身意在精神。不在氣。在氣則滯。有氣者無力。無氣者純剛。
Throughout your body, your mind should be on your spirit rather than on the energy, for if you are fixated on the energy, your movement will become sluggish. Whenever your mind is on the energy, there will be no power, whereas if you ignore the energy and let it take care of itself, there will be pure strength.
【解】太極純以神行。不尚氣力。此氣為後天之氣。蓋養氣之氣。為先天之氣。後天之氣有盡。先天之氣無窮。
(Explanation) Taiji is all about the movement of spirit and does not emphasize the physical effort of acquired habit. The energy of letting energy maintain you is innate from birth. [The energy of moving energy around] is an acquired habit. The acquired energy keeps finishing. The innate energy goes on and on.

氣如車輪。腰似車軸。
The energy is like a wheel and your waist is like an axle.
【解】氣為旗。腰為纛。此言其靜也。氣如車輪。腰似車軸。此言其動也。腰為一身之主宰。腰動則先天之氣。如車輪之旋轉。所謂氣遍身軀不少滯也。
(Explanation) Whereas the energy being a flag and your waist being a banner describes the still aspect, the energy being a wheel and your waist being an axle describes the moving aspect. Your waist is the commander of your whole body, so if your waist moves, the innate energy will be like the moving of a wheel. It will be as it is said [in the Thirteen Dynamics Song]: “Energy will flow through your whole body without getting stuck anywhere.”

打手歌(卽推手)
[part 5] PLAYING HANDS SONG (playing hands meaning pushing hands)

掤捋擠按須認眞。上下相隨人難進。任他巨力來打我。牽動四兩撥千斤。引進落空合卽出。粘連綿隨不丟頂。
Ward-off, rollback, press, and push must be taken seriously.
With coordination between above and below, the opponent will hardly find a way in.
I will let him attack me with as much power as he likes,
for I will tug with four ounces of force to move his of a thousand pounds.
Guiding him in to land on nothing, I then close on him and send him away.
I stick to him and go along with his movement instead of pulling away or crashing in.
【解】認眞者。掤捋擠按四字。皆須按照師傳規矩。絲毫不錯。日日練習。功久自能上下相隨。一動無有不動。雖巨力來打。稍一牽動。我之四兩。可撥彼之千斤。彼力旣巨。必長而直。
當其用力之時。不能變動方向。我隨彼之方向而引進。則彼落空矣。然黏連綿隨。不丟不頂。方能引進落空。四兩撥千斤也。
(Explanation) [line 1] “Taken seriously” means that the four techniques of ward-off, rollback, press, and push must all be in accordance with the standards of the teaching as it has been passed down, precise to the smallest detail.
[line 2] Practice playing hands every day. By working at it over a long period, you will automatically be able to have coordination between the upper body and the lower. When one part moves, every part will move.
[line 3] Even if he comes in to hit me with a lot of power,
[line 4] I slightly tug on his movement with a little extra, and so my “four ounces” can move his “thousand pounds”. If he uses a lot of power, he will inevitably be extending far and straightening his joints, and so when he applies such power he will be incapable of altering his direction once he has started along it.
[line 5] I follow his direction and tempt him farther along it. His attack thus lands on nothing.
[line 6] However, I stick to him and move along with him rather than pull away from him or crash into him, for only then will I be able to draw him in to land on nothing with four ounces moving a thousand pounds.

又曰彼不動。已不動。彼微動。己先動。似鬆非鬆將展未展。勁斷意不斷。
It is also said:
If he takes no action, I take no action, but once he takes even the slightest action, I have already acted. He seems relaxed but not relaxed, about to expand but not yet expanding. When my power finishes, my intent of it continues.
【解】打手之時。彼不動。己亦不動。以靜待之。彼若微動。必有一方向。我意在彼之先。隨其方向而先動。則彼必跌出矣。
似鬆非鬆。將展未展。皆言聽彼之勁。蓄勢待機。機來則放。放時勁似斷而意仍不斷也。
(Explanation) During playing hands, if he takes no action, I take no action and calmly await his action. If he takes the slightest action, his action will assuredly be in some direction, so my intention will move ahead of his action by going along the path he wants to take, and I will then take the initiative before he does and he will consequently stumble away. “He seems relaxed but not relaxed, about to expand but not yet expanding.” – these are words concerning monitoring the opponent’s energy. Be poised to act and await the opportunity, then when the moment comes, release. When you release, the power seems to finish but the intent of it does not finish.

以上相傳為王宗岳先生所著。太極拳之精微奧妙。已包蘊無餘。功夫深者。方能得其精妙處。願海內君子。研究有得。發揚光大。達到我全民族强身强種强國為要。
――終――
The transmissions above are the writings of Wang Zongyue and contain Taiji Boxing’s profound subtleties in full. Those who deepen their skill can achieve mastery. I hope all the experts in the land who have studied and obtained from it will promote it, for the sake of our bodies, our people, our nation!

This entry was posted in Taiji. Bookmark the permalink.