THE TAIJI MANUAL OF WAN LAISHENG

湖南國術訓練所
From the Hunan Martial Arts Training Institute’s
武術小叢書之一
“Small Collection of Martial Arts Books” –
原式太極拳圖解
ORIGINAL POSTURES OF TAIJI BOXING EXPLAINED
萬籟聲編著
by Wan Laisheng
[published 1932]

[translation by Paul Brennan, June, 2017]

萬籟聲先生近影
Portrait of Wan Laisheng

萬籟聲先生武裝撮影
Photo of Wan Laisheng in training clothes

太極拳目次
CONTENTS

弁言
Foreword
題詞
Inscriptions
(一)太極拳源流
One: On the Origins of Taiji Boxing
(二)太極拳論
Two: Taiji Boxing Theory
(三)太極拳行功全圖次序
Three: Complete Taiji Boxing Set with Photographs in Sequence
1 預備式 兩拳握置腰眼下
PREPARATION POSTURE (Your hands grasp into fists and are placed at your waist.)
2 半面向左轉 兩目平視
TURN HALFWAY TO THE LEFT (Your gaze is level.)
3 提手上式 斜開右步
RAISE THE HANDS (Step out diagonally with your right foot.)
4 左向擠手 上左步
PRESS TO THE LEFT [RIGHT] (Step forward with your left foot.)
5 右向擠手 不動步
PRESS TO THE RIGHT [LEFT] (Keep your feet where they are.)
6 攬雀尾 外轉凡三
CATCH THE SPARROW BY THE TAIL (Arc outward three times.)
7 手揮琵琶 左向
PLAY THE LUTE (Move to the left.)
8 提手上式 上右步猶有二手乃右下左上左下右上
RAISE THE HANDS (Step forward with your right foot and move your hands so that your right hand is lower, left hand higher, then your left hand is lower, right hand higher.)
9 摟膝拗步 開左步
BRUSH KNEE IN A CROSSED STANCE (Step out with your left foot.)
10 攬雀尾 裡轉凡三
CATCH THE SPARROW BY THE TAIL (Arc inward three times.)
11 摟膝拗步 上右步
BRUSH KNEE IN A CROSSED STANCE (Step forward with your right foot.)
12 攬雀尾 裡轉
CATCH THE SPARROW BY THE TAIL (Arc inward.)
13 摟膝拗步 開左步
BRUSH KNEE IN A CROSSED STANCE (Step forward with your left foot.)
14 攬雀尾 裡轉
CATCH THE SPARROW BY THE TAIL (Arc inward.)
15 進步搬攔錘 進左脚半步
ADVANCE, PARRY, BLOCK, PUNCH (Advance your left foot a half step.)
16 如封似閉 凡兩手,先撒後進
SEALING SHUT (Your hands first withdraw and then advance.)
17 提手上式 斜開右步收左步
RAISE THE HANDS (Step out diagonally with your right foot and gather in your left foot.)
18 抱虎歸山 開右步,右手摟膝出左手,右手抱囘,右脚虛點前面,右拳在左肘下
CAPTURE THE TIGER AND SEND IT BACK TO ITS MOUNTAIN (Step out with your right foot, your right hand brushing past your knee, and send out your left hand, your right hand withdrawing, then your right foot emptily touches down in front, your right fist moving below your left elbow.)
19 肘底看錘 退右步翻出左手,左脚在前
GUARDING FIST UNDER THE ELBOW (Retreat your right foot, your left hand arcing in and going back out, your left foot now forward.)
20 倒輦猴 凡四手,先倒退左步!出左手,右掌撒囘
RETREAT, DRIVING AWAY THE MONKEY (Your hands move four times, the first time as you retreat your left foot, your left hand goes out, your right palm withdrawing.)
21 斜飛式 開右步
DIAGONAL FLYING POSTURE (Step out with your right foot.)
22 手揮琵琶 左向
PLAY THE LUTE (Move to the left.)
23 提手上式 上右步,如前法,猶有二手
RAISE THE HANDS (Step forward with your right foot, as before, and do two hand movements.)
24 海底針 左向
NEEDLE UNDER THE SEA (Move to the left.)
25 撒步賽通臂 共有四手,第三手時撒右步,以左手向後貫下
WITHDRAWING STEP, SURGE THROUGH THE ARM (There are four hand movements, and then after a third [fifth] one, [turn around and] withdraw your right foot as you use your left hand to penetrate downward to the rear.)
26 斜飛式 上右步
DIAGONAL FLYING POSTURE (Step forward with your right foot.)
27 白鶴亮翅 不動步
WHITE CRANE SHOWS ITS WINGS (Your feet stay where they are.)
28 雲手 凡四手
CLOUDING HANDS (There are four hand movements.)
29 高探馬 起右脚,手翻時,右手均在裡
RISING UP AND REACHING OUT TO THE HORSE (Lift your right foot as your hands turn over, your right hand moving inward.)
30 轉身左右分脚 先右後左
TURN AROUND, KICK TO THE LEFT & RIGHT SIDES (First to the right, then to the left.)
31 摟膝拗步 凡三手
BRUSH KNEE IN A CROSSED STANCE (There are three hand movements.)
32 摟膝栽錘 上左步,右拳在左手外
BRUSH KNEE, PLANTING PUNCH (Having stepped forward with your left foot, your right fist is placed to the outside of your left hand.)
33 翻身撇身錘 右手右腿,翻身向後壓下
TURN AROUND, TORSO-FLUNG PUNCH (Using your right hand and right leg, turn your body and press downward.)
34 披身踢脚 上左步,踢右脚,不落下退囘,再開左步,左手推出
DRAPING THE BODY, KICK (Step forward with your left foot, kick with your right foot, retreat it instead of bringing it straight down, then step out with your left foot, and your left hand pushes out.)
35 翻身二起脚 上左步,右手拍右脚,再左手拍左脚落下
TURN AROUND, DOUBLE KICK (Step forward with your left foot, your right hand slaps your right foot, then your left hand slaps your left foot, which comes back down.)
36 轉身蹬脚 右向轉身,右脚蹬出
SPIN AROUND, PRESSING KICK (Your body spins around to the right and your right foot presses out.)
37 彎弓射虎 成斜式
BEND THE BOW TO SHOOT THE TIGER (Make a diagonal posture.)
38 上步擠 上左步,再開右步,擠時,右掌前擦左掌有聲
STEP FORWARD, PRESS (Step forward with your left foot, then step out with your right foot, and your right palm audibly rubs forward on your left palm as you press.)
39 摟膝拗步 先摟右手,再開左脚
BRUSH KNEE IN A CROSSED STANCE (First brush with your right hand, then step out with your left foot.)
40 攬雀尾 裡轉
CATCH THE SPARROW BY THE TAIL (Arc inward.)
41 退步搬攔錘 卽成正式,完全向後
RETREAT, PARRY, BLOCK, PUNCH (Return to moving on a straight line as you move to the rear.)
42 如封似閉 按前法二手
SEALING SHUT (This forward push involves two hand movements.)
43 雙峯貫耳 斜開右步,上左步,兩拳自肩窩發出
DOUBLE PEAKS THROUGH THE EARS (Diagonally step out with your right foot, then step forward with your left foot, and your fists issue outward from your shoulders.)
44 野馬分鬃 先上左步,凡二手,至第三手變下式
WILD HORSE VEERS ITS MANE (Stepping forward first with your left foot, make two hand movements, then after a third, switch to the following posture.)
45 玉女穿梭 先開左步,凡四手,如面東,習者則南北西南各一,無東也
MAIDEN WORKS THE SHUTTLE (Having first stepped out with your left foot, make four hand movements, which if you are starting facing to the east will take you to the south, north, west, and south again, or following such a pattern if not facing to the east.)
46 單鞭下式 開右步
SINGLE-WHIP LOW POSTURE (Step out with your right foot.)
47 白鶴亮翅 不動步
WHITE CRANE SHOWS ITS WINGS (Your feet stay where they are.)
48 雲手 凡四手
CLOUDING HANDS (There are four hand movements.)
49 金鷄獨立 凡二手,先左手下壓,起右手右腿,後則反之,下掌在𦡁
GOLDEN ROOSTER STANDS ON ONE LEG (Make two hand movements, first your left hand pressing down as your right hand and right leg lift up, then the same thing on the other side, the lower hand covering your crotch.)
50 倒輦猴 凡四手,先倒左步
RETREAT, DRIVING AWAY THE MONKEY (Your hands move four times, the first time as you retreat your left foot.)
51 斜飛式 開右步
DIAGONAL FLYING POSTURE (Step out with your right foot.)
52 手揮琵琶 左向
PLAY THE LUTE (Move to the left.)
53 提手上式 前向上右步,如右法,猶有二手
RAISE THE HANDS (Step forward with your right foot, as before, and do two hand movements.)
54 海底針 左向
NEEDLE UNDER THE SEA (Move to the left.)
55 上步賽通臂 凡三步,左脚在前時,卽收左手,脚向後貫下
STEP FORWARD, SURGE THROUGH THE ARM (There are three [five] stepping movements, finishing with your left foot forward, then withdraw your left hand, [turn around, and step forward with your left] foot as you penetrate downward to the rear.)
56 斜飛式 開右步
DIAGONAL FLYING POSTURE (Step out with your right foot.)
57 白鶴亮翅 不動步
WHITE CRANE SHOWS ITS WINGS (Your feet stay where they are.)
58 雲手 凡三,至第四手,卽變下式
CLOUDING HANDS (There are three hand movements, and then after a fourth, switch to the following posture.)
59 上右步壓肘 先左手攞
RIGHT FORWARD STEP, ELBOW PRESSING DOWN (First pull with your left hand.)
60 上左步壓肘 先右手攞
LEFT FORWARD STEP, ELBOW PRESSING DOWN (First pull with your right hand.)
61 腋下掌 開左步
PALM STRIKE TO THE ARMPIT (Step out with your left foot.)
62 十字擺臁 右向擰身
CROSSED-HANDS SWINGING KICK (Twist around to the right.)
63 彎弓射虎 成斜式
BEND THE BOW TO SHOOT THE TIGER (Make a diagonal posture.)
64 上步擠 上左步,開右步
STEP FORWARD, PRESS (Step forward with your left foot, then step out with your right foot.)
65 上步七星 右手左向抱囘,右脚撒囘虛點前面,兩拳相交疊,右上左下
STEP FORWARD, BIG DIPPER POSTURE (Your right hand wraps inward toward the left as your right foot pulls in and emptily touches down in front, your fists crossed with your right fist on top, left fist underneath.)
66 撒步跨虎 斜落右步,再斜上左步,前掌後鈎散開!
WITHDRAWING STEP, SITTING TIGER POSTURE (Diagonally bring down your right foot, then step diagonally forward with your left foot, spreading open with a palm in front and a hook behind.)
67 轉脚擺臁 右向擰身,右脚側出
SPIN AROUND, SWINGING KICK (Twist around to the right and send your right foot out sideways.)
68 彎弓射虎 由上式,右脚落下
BEND THE BOW TO SHOOT THE TIGER (Continuing from the previous posture, your right foot comes down.)
69 上步擠 上左步,再上右步,兩掌相擦有聲
STEP FORWARD, PRESS (Step forward with your left foot, then your right foot, and your palms rub together audibly.)
70 手揮琵琶 左向轉身,右步撒囘,與左脚成直線
PLAY THE LUTE (Turn around to the left and gather in your right foot to stand next to your left foot.)
71 合太極 先上左步,裡向攬雀尾,再上右步,外向攬雀尾,直至起式地點收式。(約四手)
MERGING WITH THE GRAND POLARITY (First step forward with your left foot and arc inward with CATCH THE SPARROW, then step forward with your right foot and arc outward with CATCH THE SPARROW, making altogether four movements to take you back to your starting position.)
72 收式 兩拳抱肋放下,意存丹田
CLOSING POSTURE (Your fists wrap to your ribs and release downward, your intention staying at your elixir field.)
按此七十二式,卽由書中三十六圖遞演而出者,合看自明。
(These seventy-two postures are performed in this book through thirty-six [thirty-seven] photos, and are made clear simply from looking at these photos.)
(四)推四手
Four: Four-Technique Pushing Hands
(五)大捋
Five: Large Rollback
(六)散手
Six: Sparring Drill
(七)太極拳應輔助之基功圖解
Seven: Recommended Supplementary Foundational Training Exercises for Taiji Boxing
附跋詞
Postscript
壬申春月萬籟聲於湖南國術訓練所
(contents by Wan Laisheng at the Hunan Martial Arts Training Institute, 2nd month of spring, 1932)

弁言
FOREWORD

余曩撰拙著武術匯宗,內有太極泛論一則,曾於太極行功淵源,略事詮釋,第限於篇幅,未克舉為臚列,誠屬耿耿,茲以習太極拳術者之多,而習嫡派太極拳術者之少,不揣識淺技疎,妄加評隲,是葢太極均發源於張三丰祖師,而後人多加删削,遂致有新舊架之別,實則新架即源於舊架,特較舊架之身法高,手法簡,為易學耳,其行功旨則,固皆相同,余所圖釋者,即係張家老式太極,原非本門,亦聊盡其所知,恐年湮遺忘,爰付梨梓,以備一欄,俾吾門修士,藉悉本門津梁,而於專長太極者,亦得有所攻錯,教其不逮,抑何幸焉。
When I wrote A Compilation of Martial Arts Systems [published 1929], there was within it a general discussion of Taiji [which forms Chapter Three below], covering the practice and origin of the art with a very brief presentation. Due to limited space, I was not able to include more developed explanations and do justice to the art.
     There are many practitioners of the Taiji boxing art nowadays, but few who are practicing an authentic version. They are not aware that their knowledge is shallow and their skills sparse, and they so end up coming to hasty conclusions about it. Taiji originated from the founder Zhang Sanfeng, but later generations both added things to it and removed things from it, and so consequently there is a differentiating between a “new frame” and an “old frame”. The new frame of course originated from the old frame, and some of its differences when compared to the old frame are that the body posture is taller and the hand techniques are simpler, making it easier to learn, though their practice methods and principles are entirely the same.
     In this book, I am presenting the older postures of Zhang Style Taiji, which seem to contradict what is usually practiced and understood. Fearing that over time this version will be completely forgotten, I am publishing this material in order to preserve it, both so that students will have an aid to learning and so that experts in Taiji will also gain some further refinement by being taught things they had not noticed before. I hope it will be of great benefit.

大勇之基
“This is the foundation of great courage.”
陳光中題
– calligraphy by Chen Guangzhong

培植現今之後天
以補未來之先天
“Cultivate acquired skills today in order to have innate skills tomorrow.”
文素松題
– calligraphy by Wen Susong

武術救國
“Martial arts will rescue the nation.”
殷德朙敬題
– respectfully inscribed by Yin Deming

積健為雄
“To build up your health is heroic.”
鄭元冲
– [calligraphy by] Zheng Yuanchong

剛柔並濟
“Hardness and softness work together.”
張異君
– [calligraphy by] Zhang Yijun

自強不息
“Ceaselessly strive to improve yourself.”
鄧家彥
Deng Jiayan

太極拳源流
[ONE:] ON THE ORIGINS OF TAIJI BOXING

太極拳傳于宋時張三丰,張為遼東懿州人,後于武當山修道,封洞玄眞人,嗣相演授,乃分張陳李王杜之五大派別,又有名劈太極者!聞其藝業,尤屬精湛,然甚罕遘,但相傳太極拳在唐時有許宣平李道子二人卽擅之,至宋張三丰又闡明,再至元世祖時,有西安人王宗岳得其傳,著有太極拳論,太極拳解,行功心解,搭手歌,總式歌等書,温州有陳州同者從之學,故又留傳温州,又百餘年至明嘉靖時,則以張松溪為最著,張為浙之鄞縣人,師孫十三老,有徒四人,卽四明,王皋,季化南,葉繼美(字近泉),以近泉為獨優,近泉傳單思南,思南傳王征南,征南為明末人,名來咸,有聲於時,至淸時,始傳河南蔣發,蔣傳懷慶府陳家溝子陳長興,長興傳楊露禪,露禪傳子班侯,健侯,近南北習太極拳者,多楊氏所遞嬗,然以便于體質單弱者練習之故,於原式多所更易,於是名之為新架,而張三丰之原傳太極,名之為老架,已如鳳毛麟角,不易見之,余適擅于張傳,爰解之以供高士之指誨焉
Taiji Boxing was passed down from Zhang Sanfeng of the Song Dynasty. Zhang was from Yi County, Liaodong. He later cultivated the Way at Mt. Wudang and was given the title of “The Comprehending-the-Profound Perfected Man”. The art he passed down was subsequently divided into the five major branches of Zhang Style, Chen Style, Li Style, Wang Style, and Du Style, but there were other famous Taiji masters as well. It was heard that his skill was exquisite, though he himself was rarely ever seen. However, tradition has it that Taiji Boxing actually came from two masters who lived during the Tang Dynasty, Xu Xuanping and Li Daozi, and was later expounded upon by Zhang Sanfeng during the Song Dynasty.
     Later during the Zhiyuan era [1260–1294] of Kublai Khan’s reign, there was a Wang Zongyue of Xi’an who received the transmission, and who then wrote the “Taiji Boxing Treatise”, “Taiji Boxing Explanations”, “Understanding How to Practice”, “Connecting Hands Song”, and “Complete Postures Song”. There was a Chen Zhoutong of Wenzhou who learned from him, and thereafter it continued to be taught in Wenzhou.
     Hundreds of years later, during the reign of the Ming emperor Jiajing [1521–1566], Zhang Songxi became the most skillful exponent of it. Zhang was from Yin County in Zhejiang. He had thirteen descendants, but only four students, including Wang Gao of Siming, Li Huanan, and Ye Jimei, called Jinquan, who was the top student. Ye taught Dan Sinan, who then taught Wang Zhengnan.
     Wang Zhengnan, called Laixian, lived at the end of the Ming Dynasty, gained a reputation for the art, and then during the early days of the Qing Dynasty he taught it to Jiang Fa of Henan. Jiang then taught it to Chen Changxing of the Chen Family Village in Huaiqing Prefecture. Chen then taught Yang Luchan. Yang then taught his sons, Banhou and Jianhou.
     Nowadays there are practitioners of Taiji Boxing everywhere in the nation, and what most of them are practicing is Yang Style, but that is because it is easier to practice for those who have frail physiques. Because many of the original postures were modified, we would call it “new frame”, whereas Zhang Sanfeng’s original version would be called “old frame”. It is as rare as a phoenix feather or a unicorn horn, not easy to find. As I have become adept at Zhang’s version, I have therefore made explanations for it to supply instructional material for enthusiasts.

太極拳論
[TWO:] TAIJI BOXING THEORY

太極亦名十三式,又名長拳,長拳者,有如長江大海,滔滔不斷也,十三式者,卽掤捋擠按,採挒肘靠之八卦也,前進後退,左顧右盼中停定此五行,合而言之耳,掤捋擠按,乃應坎離震兌四正方,採挒肘靠,乃應乾坤艮巽四斜方,進退顧盼定,卽金木水火土,亦應內部之心肝脾肺腎而言,蓋心屬火,肝屬木,脾屬土,肺屬金,腎屬水也!其行功手掌,仰為陽手,覆為陰手,同時動作,不離一陰一陽,蓋人秉天地大自然陰陽二氣孕化而成,此拳卽本斯陰陽而練本身之內五行,以却疾延年為本旨,巧打變化為功用,是以分陰陽,定八卦,按九節(卽人身掌拳肘肩腕腰胯膝脚之上下九節),而以綿軟巧為行功旨則,完全不可用力,意存丹田,愈慢愈佳,以神貫氣,隨屈就伸,柔中有剛,似鬆非鬆,將展未展,勁斷意不斷,蓋氣以直養而無害,勁以曲蓄而有餘,心為令,氣為旗,腰為纛,先求開展緊凑,乃可凑于縝密矣,緣此為內功,以氣為本,故先在心,後在身,腰鬆氣歛,入骨神舒,要知一動無有不動,一靜無有不靜,內固精神,外示安逸,邁步如貓,行動有如抽絲,全身在精神不在氣,故須以意導氣,如專注於氣則滯(因內功先用意,後用神),而有氣者無力,無氣者純剛,手若車輪,腰似車軸也,此拳對於老弱練習,最為相宜,其練習應敵,以打四手為根,次為大捋與散手,其打手歌云:
Taiji is also called Thirteen Dynamics, as well as Long Boxing. “Long Boxing: it is like a long river flowing into the wide ocean, on and on ceaselessly… The thirteen dynamics are: warding off, rolling back, pressing, pushing, plucking, rending, elbowing, bumping – corresponding to the eight trigrams:

☴☲☷
☳    ☱
☶☵☰

and advancing, retreating, stepping to the left, stepping to the right, and staying in the center – corresponding to the five elements. These combined [8+5] make the Thirteen Dynamics. 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 metal, wood, water, fire, and earth.”
     The five elements also have to do with the organs within the body. The heart corresponds with fire. The liver corresponds with wood. The spleen corresponds with earth. The lungs correspond with metal. The kidneys correspond with water.
     As your hands move, a palm facing upward is an “active hand” and a palm facing downward is an “passive hand”. Your hands move at the same time, never departing from states of passive and active. Human beings possess Nature’s dual energies of passive and active, and are imbued, changed, and fulfilled by them. This boxing art is based in passive and active, and trains the five elements within the body. Its main purpose lies in preventing illness and prolonging life, and its practical function lies in fighting by way of ingenuity and transformation.
     Therefore distinguish between passive and active, be confident about the techniques of the eight trigrams, act according to whichever of the nine sections will work best (the nine sections being: palm, fist, elbow, shoulder, wrist, waist, hip, knee, foot), and let softness and skillfulness be the goal. Always: there must be no exertion; intention is to be maintained at the elixir field; the slower the better; imbue energy with spirit; follow and bend, then engage and extend; have a hardness within the softness.
     “The power seems relaxed but not relaxed, about to expand but not yet expanding. When my power finishes, my intent of it continues… By nurturing energy with integrity, it will not be corrupted. By storing power in crooked parts, it will be in abundant supply. The mind makes the command, the energy is its flag, and the waist is its banner. First strive to open up, then strive to close up, and from there you will be able to attain a refined subtlety.”
     Because this is internal training, energy is fundamental, hence: “First in your mind, then in your body. Your abdomen relaxes and then energy collects, entering your bones, and your spirit is comfortable. You must keep it in mind that if one part moves, every part moves, and if one part is still, every part is still. Inwardly bolster spirit and outwardly show ease. Step like a cat and move as though drawing silk. Throughout your body, your mind should dwell on the spirit rather than on the energy. Therefore you must guide energy by way of intention. If you focus on the energy itself instead of the intention, your movement will become sluggish. Whenever your mind is on the energy, there will be no power, but if you ignore the energy and let it take care of itself, there will be pure strength. Your hands move like a wheel, your waist like an axle.”
     [The 1929 book here also includes this comment: “Nowadays people often augment and alter the old postures, hence the distinction between old frame and new frame. I only know the old frame, so I cannot really judge which version is superior, but it is clear that the new frame is an altered version of the old frame.”]
     This boxing art is the most suitable for practice by the old and weak. But to train to deal with opponents, the four-technique pushing hands exercise is the foundation, followed by the large rollback exercise and the sparring exercise. [In the 1929 book, Wan instead says that the pushing hands exercise is followed by the old frame Thirteen Dynamics solo set, and then supplies a list of posture names here.] The Playing Hands Song says:

掤捋擠按須認眞,上下相遂人難進,任他巨力來打我,牽動四兩撥千斤,引進落空合卽出,黏連緜隨不丟頂。
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 up and shoot him out.
I stick, connect, adhere, and follow, neither coming away nor crashing in.

又曰:太極長拳眞可誇,變化無窮獨一家,妙處全憑能借力,當場着意莫輕拿。
Another song says:
The Taiji Long Boxing set truly can be praised,
for its endless transformation is something unique.
Its subtlety is entirely based on borrowing the opponent’s power,
and so when the decisive moment comes, do not merely give in to grappling with him.

故其動手,均係因人之勢,借人之力,而行功虛靈,空洞幽慧,故有頂頭懸之諺,是以太極拳活動筋骨,調劑身手,便於老弱,自有足多者,但過無腿法,滯於揉捷,軟於衝陷,以致多年老手,常為人乘,此非其功之不純,乃未效先祖之涉於他們藝業與基功以輔助之也,後之學者,欲于本拳,再求自衞之技能,其三致意焉。
Therefore the movements of your hands should always involve being in accord with the opponent’s actions and borrowing his force.
     Practice with naturalness, a state of emptiness exposing a hidden wisdom, hence the phrase “headtop pulled up as if suspended”. Taiji Boxing thereby livens the muscles and bones, refreshes the body and hands, and is easily practiced by the old and weak. However, a practitioner may be more than adequate in many ways, but be lacking in, for instance, leg training. He may be sluggish when it is time to be quick, or charge forward with an inappropriate softness. The result of such a gap is that even an experienced practitioner with many years of training often gets controlled by opponents, not because his skill is impure, but because he has not yet gone through the same process of training that previous generations did, nor supplemented his practice with foundational training exercises. If you want to succeed in this art, then seek its self-defense skills and repeatedly devote your attention to them.
     [Instead of this final paragraph, the 1929 book originally concluded with: “However, it seems to me that if one does not obtain the authentic Taiji boxing art, then even after working at it for many decades, one would still be no match against noteworthy masters. Skill in this art is therefore not easy to achieve, but when it is achieved, it is at such a high level that the livening of the muscles and bones will happen automatically.”]

太極拳圖解
[THREE:] THE TAIJI BOXING SET WITH PHOTOGRAPHS & EXPLANATIONS

預備式
[1 & 2] PREPARATION POSTURE [and TURN HALFWAY TO THE LEFT] [photo 1]

兩拳握置腰眼下,半面向左轉,眼平視,氣沉丹田、(按丹田穴在臍下一寸)牙咬緊,呼吸均以鼻,意存丹田,氣自下起!(肩要下!)
Your hands grasp into fists and are placed at your waist, which turns halfway to the left, your gaze level. Energy sinks to your elixir field (which is located an inch below your navel). Your mouth is closed and you are to breathe through your nose. Your intention stays at your elixir field so that energy will initiate from below. (Your shoulders should be sinking down.)

提手上式
[3] RAISE THE HANDS [photo 2]

由上式兩拳向左提起、右覆左仰!(由此式起,始入譜名!)
Continuing from the previous posture, your fists lift up to the left, the center of your right fist facing downward, the center of your left fist facing upward. (The set properly begins from this posture.)

右向擠手
[4] PRESS TO THE RIGHT [photo 3]

由前式横開右步,右手推出,左手扶右腕下,因仰者為陽手,覆者為陰手,故此式則右陽左陰,蓋太極者,卽陰二陽氣孕化而成也。
Continuing from the previous posture, your right foot steps out sideways and your right hand pushes out, your left hand supporting below your right wrist. The hand facing upward is an “active hand” and the hand facing downward is a “passive hand”, therefore in this posture the hands are right hand active, left hand passive. This fulfills the “grand polarity” [tai ji] principle of the two energies of passive and active each containing the potential to transform into the other.

左向擠手
[5] PRESS TO THE LEFT [photo 4]

由前式不動步,左向推出,(此時左脚稍向前移之),卽名為左向擠手。
Continuing from the previous posture, your feet stay in their location and your left hand pushes out (although your left foot does slightly shift forward in this moment).

攬雀尾
[6] CATCH THE SPARROW BY THE TAIL [photo 5]

由左向擠手式,不動步而翻成右向推之,外轉者凡三,卽名攬雀尾式矣!均係陰陽手,後手指頭,永隨前腕,同時反覆之!
Continuing from the previous posture, your feet stay where they are as you turn to push to the right and arc outward three times, making the posture of CATCH THE SPARROW BY THE TAIL. All three arcs involve the hands being one passive, one active. The fingertips of the rear hand keep following the wrist of the forward hand, which is now turned downward.

手揮琵琶
[7] PLAY THE LUTE [photo 6]

由前式兩掌裡向轉出,兩手成拳,緩緩向左行去,
Continuing from the previous posture, your palms arc inward, becoming fists, and slowly move out to the left.
直提至左肩後為止,左仰右覆,再直上右步,以左手扶右腕推出,
Your hands lift to be vertical to the rear of your left shoulder, the center of your left fist facing upward, the center of your right fist facing downward. Then step forward with your right foot, pushing out with your left hand assisting at your right wrist.

再并左步,右掌直上,左掌埀下,目左視,名為提手上式!(如2圖!)並連作上下二手。
[8] Then step your left foot next to your right foot. Your right palm is vertical above, your left palm hanging below it. Your gaze is to the left. You are now in the posture of RAISE THE HANDS, similar to photo 2 [but with left and right reversed], the movement flowing into the position of your hands being one above and one below.

摟膝拗步(凡左右左三步)
[9] BRUSH KNEE IN A CROSSED STANCE [photo 7] (Perform altogether three [crossed stance] steps – left, right, left [postures 9, 11, 13].)

由提手上式,變第六圖,先右掌垂下,開左步,左手拂左脚,同時出右手,即名為摟膝拗步,
Continuing from the RAISE THE HANDS posture of photo 6, first your right palm hangs down. Then step out with your left foot, your left hand brushing past your left leg, at the same time sending out your right hand, thus making the posture of BRUSH KNEE IN A CROSSED STANCE.

再呑囘成攬雀尾式,裏轉者凡三,
[10] Then draw back and perform CATCH THE SPARROW BY THE TAIL, arcing inward three times.
如是左手拂左脚,開右步,右手拂右脚,再出左手,
[11] Then your left hand brushes past your left leg, so step out with your right foot, your right hand brushing past your right leg, and send out your left hand.
再呑囘成攬雀尾,
[12] Then draw back and perform CATCH THE SPARROW BY THE TAIL.
再右手拂右脚,開左步,左手拂左脚出右手,
[13] Then your right hand brushes past your right leg, so step out with your left foot, your left hand brushing past your left leg, and send out your right hand.
呑囘轉裏向者凡三,再變下式!
[14] Draw back and arc inward three times, then switch to the following posture.

進步搬攔錘
[15] ADVANCE, PARRY, BLOCK, PUNCH [photo 8]

由前式,左掌在前,裏向抓之,右掌同時撒囘成拳,左脚亦同時向前進半步,而右脚則跟半步如上圖!
Continuing from the previous posture, your left palm goes forward and grabs inward, your right palm at the same time withdrawing and making a fist, while your left foot advances a half step and your right foot follows a half step, as in the photo.

仝右
(Continuing from above) [ADVANCE, PARRY, BLOCK, PUNCH – Part 2] [photo 9]

接前式並步打出右拳,共名為搬攔錘,以其進步也,故名為進步搬攔錘,如其為退步,卽名為退步搬攔錘,其圖則一也!
Continuing from the previous posture, your right foot steps next to your left foot as you strike out with your right fist. These two movements together make the technique of PARRY, BLOCK, PUNCH. If performed with an advancing step, it is called ADVANCE, PARRY, BLOCK, PUNCH. If performed with a retreating step, it is called RETREAT, PARRY, BLOCK, PUNCH [Posture 41]. This photo would be the same in either case.

如封似閉
[16] SEALING SHUT [photo 10]

由前式撒囘右步,左脚亦同時撒囘半步,兩拳均變為掌,右上左下而抽囘,如是左掌在前,右掌在後,均成立式,左脚尖虛點,勁在後腿!
Continuing from the previous posture, withdraw your right foot, your left foot also withdrawing a half step, as your fists become palms, right hand above, left hand below, and then withdraw so that your left palm is forward, right palm behind, both palms upright. Your left toes are emptily touching down, the strength lying in your rear leg.

仝右
(Continuing from above) [SEALING SHUT – Part 2] [photo 11]

再落左脚半步,上右脚,兩掌向前推出,成並步,腰直、頭正、手平!共名為如封似閉式!
Then your left foot comes down a half step [forward] and your right foot steps forward so your feet are now standing next to each other as your palms push out forward. Your waist is erect, head upright, hands level. These movements together make the technique of SEALING SHUT.

由前式兩手成拳左向提起,與左脚成平行線開右步,再左手扶右腕收左步成提手上式,
[17] Continuing from the previous posture, your hands become fists and lift up to the left. Then step out with your right foot, your left foot moving to stand parallel next to it, your left hand assisting at your right wrist, and gather in your left foot to make the RAISE THE HANDS posture.

抱虎歸山
[18] CAPTURE THE TIGER AND SEND IT BACK TO ITS MOUNTAIN [photo 12]

再右向開右步,右手拂右脚出左手,而兩手同時裏向轉囘如手揮琵琶式,却將右步囘置左脚之前,右拳則在左肘下,右脚虛點!目前視!
Then your right foot steps out to the right, your right hand brushes past your right leg, and you send out your left hand. Then your hands arc inward, similar to the PLAY THE LUTE posture, and your right foot gathers in [while you turn around] and is placed in front of your left foot, your right fist going below your left elbow as your right foot emptily touches down. Your gaze is forward.

肘底看錘
[19] GUARDING FIST UNDER THE ELBOW [photo 13]

由前式退右步,兩拳同時自裏外向翻轉,左脚虛點,右拳仍置左肘下!(成一圈!)
Continuing from the previous posture, retreat your right foot, both fists at the same time arcing from inward to outward, your left foot emptily touching down, your right fist again placed under your left elbow (making a full circle to do so).

倒輦猴
[20] RETREAT, DRIVING AWAY THE MONKEY [photo 14]

由前式先退左步出左手,
Continuing from the previous posture, first retreat your left foot as you send out your left hand, [your right palm withdrawing to be placed at your waist.]
再退右步出右手,左掌撒囘置腰眼下,如此法倒退三步,至第四步時,變下式!
Then retreat your right foot as you send out your right hand, your left palm withdrawing to be placed at your waist. Perform in this way for three retreating steps [left, right, left], then with a fourth step [right], switch to the following posture.

斜飛式
[21] DIAGONAL FLYING POSTURE [photo 15]

接由前式至第四步右腿右手在後時,以左手扶右腕右向擠出如本圖,
Continuing from the previous posture, after the fourth step your right leg and right hand go to the rear, and you press out to the right with your left hand assisting at your right wrist, as in the photo.
但上步擠亦同此式,乃均在彎弓射虎之後,而上左步,再開右步擦掌擠出者!
This posture, which is similar to STEP FORWARD, PRESS, will occur after each instance of BEND THE BOW TO SHOOT THE TIGER, in which case you will step forward with your left foot, then step out with your right foot, and press out with a rubbing palm.

前式變手揮琵琶式,
[22] Continuing from the previous posture, switch to PLAY THE LUTE.
再開右步,與左脚成平行線變提手上式,亦連作上下兩手,
[23] Then step out with your right foot, your left foot moving to stand parallel next to it, and switch to RAISE THE HANDS, the movement flowing into the position of your hands being one above and one below.

海底針
[24] NEEDLE UNDER THE SEA [photo 16]

此時自係右掌在上,左掌在下,始變成本圖,乃以右掌直插而下也!
Now put your right palm on top, left palm underneath, and switch to the posture in this photo, your right palm inserting straight downward.

撒步賽通腎
[25] WITHDRAWING STEP, SURGE THROUGH THE ARM [photo 17]

由前式開左步出左手,右掌撒囘如本圖,
Continuing from the previous posture, step out with your left foot as you send out your left hand, your right palm withdrawing, as in the photo.
再並右步,撒囘左手,再開左步如本圖,如是者凡五步,始變下式!
Then step your right foot next to your left foot, withdrawing your left hand. Then step out with your left foot, again as in the photo. Perform in this way for a total of five steps [left foot forward, right foot together, left forward, right together, left], then switch to the following posture.

仝右
(Continuing from above) [WITHDRAWING STEP, SURGE THROUGH THE ARM – Part 2] [photo 18]

由前式至第五步時,乃左脚左手均在前,以左手向上抓之成拳,退右步成背摜之式伸下如本圖,
Continuing from the previous posture, with the fifth step your left foot and left hand are both forward. Use your left hand to grab upward, making a fist, and as you [turn around and] retreat your right foot, reach out downward with a punch thrown from your back, as in the photo.
共為撒步賽通臂式,但上步賽通腎亦同此式,不過至第五手時,左步左手摜背而前耳!
Overall, WITHDRAWING STEP, SURGE THROUGH THE ARM is the same posture as STEP FORWARD, SURGE THROUGH THE ARM [Posture 55], except that in that case, after the fifth hand movement you will [turn around and] send your left foot and left hand forward to do the “throw-from-the-back” punch [with the power coursing through the arm].

由前式上右步、左手扶右腕擠出變斜飛式,
[26] Continuing from the previous posture, step forward with your right foot and press out with your left hand assisting at your right wrist, switching you to the DIAGONAL FLYING POSTURE.

白鶴亮翅
[27] WHITE CRANE SHOWS ITS WINGS [photo 19]

再兩掌上舉向兩旁分下如本圖,乃馬步,兩手成掌,目平視也!
Then your palms raise up and spread apart downward to the sides, as in the photo, while you make a horse stance. Your hands are palms and your gaze is level.

雲手
[28] CLOUDING HANDS [photo 20]

由前式收右步,出右手如本圖,
Continuing from the previous posture, withdraw your right foot as you send out your right hand, as in the photo.
再收囘右手置右腰眼下,同時開左步出左手亦如本圖式,如此法共行四步,始變下式!
Then withdraw your right hand to be placed at the right side of your waist as you step out with your left foot and send out your left hand, in the same way as in the photo [but now on the other side]. Perform in this way for a total of four steps. Then switch to the following posture.

高探馬
[29] RISING UP AND REACHING OUT TO THE HORSE [photo 21]

由前式至第四步時,乃左手左脚在前,再左轉身,右腕搭左腕上,左手裏向翻之踢右腿,以右手拍右脚面如本圖!
Continuing from the fourth step of the previous posture, in which your left hand and left foot are forward, turn to the left, your right wrist touching on top of your left wrist, then your left hand goes inward and turns over as your right foot kicks, and your right hand slaps the top of your right foot, as in the photo.
但二起脚與披身踢脚亦同此圖,蓋二起脚乃上右步拍右手、上左脚拍左手,披身踢脚乃如此圖拍後,脚不落下,向後退落,而同時開左步,右手扶左腕擠出也!
The technique is similar to the DOUBLE KICK [Posture 35] and DRAPING THE BODY, KICK [Posture 34]. In the case of the DOUBLE KICK, your right foot goes forward and is slapped by your right hand, then your left foot goes forward and is slapped by your left hand. In the case of DRAPING THE BODY, KICK, after your [right] foot is slapped, it does not come right back down, instead going into a retreating step, and then you step out with your left foot, pressing out with your right hand assisting at your left wrist.

轉身左右分脚
[30] TURN AROUND, KICK TO THE LEFT & RIGHT SIDES [photo 22]

由前式右步落下,成矮𦡁,兩手成拳,右裡左外,身向左轉,左手裏翻,先向自已右方,起左脚,以左手拍脚背,
Continuing from the previous posture, your right foot comes down to make a low stance as your hands become fists, right fist on the inside, left fist on the outside, your torso turning to the left, and your left hand does an inward arc, going first to your right side, your left foot lifting, your left hand slapping the top of the foot.
落下時、卽又起向自已左方踢出拍如之!卽接本圖
Once the foot comes down, it again lifts, now to the left side, kicking out with the hand slapping it the same as before, making the same posture as in the photo.

由前式落下左步,以左手拂左脚,再上右步,右手拂右脚,變成摟膝拗步式者凡三手,至第三手時,則左脚左手在前,
[31] Continuing from the previous posture, bring down your left foot and use your left hand to brush your left leg, then step forward with your right foot and use your right hand to brush your right leg, and then switch to making the BRUSH KNEE posture for a third time. On the third time, your left leg and left hand are forward.

按膝栽錘
[32] BRUSH KNEE, PLANTING PUNCH [photo 23]

以右拳直左向手外方貫下如本圖!左拳下覆,露出右肘外!眼平視,成弓箭步法!
Use your right fist to penetrate downward straight over your left hand, your left fist covering downward and coming out to the outside of your right elbow. Your gaze is level and you are making a bow and arrow stance, as in the photo.

翻身撇身錘
[33] TURN AROUND, TORSO-FLUNG PUNCH [photo 24]

由前式身向右轉,勁坐左脚,右脚扁出,左手扶右腕,右錘翻出壓下如本圖!
Continuing from the previous posture, your body turns around to the right, sitting powerfully on your left foot, your right foot going out flexed downward, and your left hand assists at your right wrist as your right fist goes out turning over and pressing downward, as in the photo.

由前式上左步右手拍右脚,退囘開左步左手擠出變披身踢脚式,
[34] Continuing from the previous posture, your left foot steps forward and your right hand slaps your right foot, then the foot retreats and your left foot steps out, your left hand pressing out. You have switched to DRAPING THE BODY, KICK.
再右向過左脚拍右脚再拍左脚變翻身二起脚式,按第二十圖卽悉,
[35] Step your left foot to the right and slap your right foot, and then slap your left foot. You have switched to TURN AROUND, DOUBLE KICK. (See photo 20 [22].)

轉身蹬脚
[36] SPIN AROUND, PRESSING KICK [photo 25]

此時左步在前,兩手成拳,右裏左外抱攏,再外撇右脚,以右手背反拍之如本圖!左手直出!
With your left foot now forward, your hands become fists [as your left foot comes down and you spin around], embracing together, right fist on the inside, left fist on the outside. Then your right foot swings outward, the back of your right hand does a reverse slap to it, and your left hand goes straight out, as in the photo.
轉脚擺臁及十字擺臁兩式均同此圖!此乃蹬出也,
It is the same situation as in SPIN AROUND, SWINGING KICK [Posture 67] and CROSSED-HANDS SWINGING KICK [Posture 62], except in this case it is a pressing kick.

彎弓射虎
[37] BEND THE BOW TO SHOOT THE TIGER [photo 26]

由上式右步落下即成本圖!但在前式時,方向即對右方角矣!
Continuing from the previous posture, bring your right foot down and make this posture. Although the previous posture was facing forward, this one is facing toward the right corner.

由前式變上步擠(按第十五圖),
[38] Continuing from the previous posture, Switch to STEP FORWARD, PRESS (same as in photo 15 [DIAGONAL FLYING POSTURE]).
再變摟膝拗步(按第七圖),
[39] Then switch to BRUSH KNEE IN A CROSSED STANCE (photo 7).
再變攬雀尾(按第五圖),
[40] Then switch to CATCH THE SPARROW BY THE TAIL (photo 5).
再變退步搬攔錘(按八九兩圖)則式已正,乃退右步也!
[41] Then switch to RETREAT, PARRY, BLOCK, PUNCH (photos 8 & 9), same as before, but in this case with your right foot retreating.
再變如封似閉(按十十一兩圖),
[42] Then switch to SEALING SHUT (photos 10 & 11).

雙峯貫耳
[43] DOUBLE PEAKS THROUGH THE EARS [photo 27]

始雙手落下,向右轉身,先扁開右脚,再上左步,兩手自下提起成拳,從兩耳下,平行貫出,此時右脚稍向前移動半步!
Then your hands lower and your torso turns to the right as you first step out sideways with your right foot and then step forward with your left foot. Your hands lift from below, making fists, and pierce out level from below your ears, your right foot in this moment shifting a half step forward.

野馬分鬃
[44] WILD HORSE VEERS ITS MANE [photo 28]

由前式,右脚不動,可直上左步,與右脚成平行綫,左手自右脅下分出,自右手下也!如本圖!
Continuing from the previous posture, your right foot stays where it is and you step straight forward with your left foot, moving parallel to your right foot, your left hand spreading away from below your right ribs and from below your right hand, as in the photo.
再上右步,右手自左手下分出,如此凡三手,卽變下式!
Then step your right foot forward, your right hand spreading away from below your left ribs. Perform in this way for a total of three times, then switch to the following posture.

玉女穿梭
[45] MAIDEN WORKS THE SHUTTLE [photo 29]

由前式自第三手時,可偸右步翻左手,以右手横向推出如本圖!
Continuing from the previous posture, after the third hand movement you can do a stealth step with your right foot, turning over your left hand and using your right hand to push out sideways, as in the photo.
共凡四手,在面東習者,有南北西南各一,無東也,如易方習者,隨式變動矣!至第四手時,係偸左步,右手翻,推左手!再變下式!
Perform this for a total of four times [pushing with your right hand, then left hand, then right, then left]. If you are practicing the set facing to the east, this movement will be performed to the south, then north, then west, and then again to the south, not actually to the east itself. If you are practicing the set facing to a different direction, the directions will be adjusted according to the same pattern. When performing the movement for the fourth time, you are doing a stealth step with your left foot, turning over your right hand, and pushing with your left hand, and then switch to the following posture.

單鞭下式
[46] SINGLE-WHIP LOW POSTURE [photo 30]

由前式之第四手,左脚不動,開右步,左手自懷裏向上伸出,右手在外,則向下方掃下!如本圖!
Continuing from the previous posture, after the fourth hand movement, your left foot stays where it is as you step out with your right foot, your left hand extending away above from the inside, your right hand sweeping downward to the outside, as in the photo.

由前式兩手下埀復上舉交叉,自下壓開成馬𦡁,變白鶴亮翅式(按第十九圖),
[47] Continuing from the previous posture, your hands hang down, then raise up crossed, and you sit into a horse-riding stance, switching to WHITE CRANE SHOWS ITS WINGS (photo 19).
再變雲手(按第二十圖),
[48] Then switch to CLOUDING HANDS (photo 20).

金鷄獨立
[49] GOLDEN ROOSTER STANDS ON ONE LEG [photo 31]

凡四手、始變本圖,乃左手左脚在前,左手自懷裏一抓,右掌自下挑起,同時起右脚,左拳亦變為掌,下插𦡁內!
After the fourth [clouding] hand movement, then switch to this posture. With your left hand and left foot now forward, your left hand goes from in front of your chest with a grabbing action and your right hand carries upward from below, your right foot lifting at the same time, your left fist changing to a palm and inserting downward in front of your crotch.
再落右脚右手,起左脚左手!
Then lower your right foot and right hand, and lift your left foot and left hand.

由前式之第二手落左脚出左手變倒輦猴(按十四圖),
[50] Continuing from the previous posture, after performing the technique on the other side, bring down your left foot as you send out your left hand, switching to RETREAT, DRIVING AWAY THE MONKEY (photo 14).
再變斜飛式(按十五),
[51] Then switch to DIAGONAL FLYING POSTURE (photo 15).
再變手揮琵琶(按六圖),
[52] Then switch to PLAY THE LUTE (photo 6).
再變提手上式,與二圖有別,可按第十二圖中所著者習之卽是!
[53] Then switch to RAISE THE HANDS (photo 2), which can instead be performed as in photo 12 [CAPTURE THE TIGER].
再變海底針(按十六圖),
[54] Then switch to NEEDLE UNDER THE SEA (photo 16).
再變上步賽通臂(按十七十八兩圖),
[55] Then switch to STEP FORWARD, SURGE THROUGH THE ARM (photos 17 and 18).
再變斜飛式(按十五),
[56] Then switch to DIAGONAL FLYING POSTURE (photo 15).
再變白鶴亮翅(按十九),
[57] Then switch to WHITE CRANE SHOWS ITS WINGS (photo 19).
再變雲手(按二十),
[58] Then switch to CLOUDING HANDS (photo 20).

上右步壓肘
[59] RIGHT FORWARD STEP, ELBOW PRESSING DOWN [photo 32]

始變本圖!乃左手左脚在前左手反抓,上右步,左手抱右腕,右肘壓下,右脚虛點!
Then switch to this posture. With your left hand and left foot now forward, your left hand does a reverse grab, then step forward with your right foot, your left hand holding your right wrist as your right elbow presses downward, your right foot emptily touching down.

上左步壓肘
[60] LEFT FORWARD STEP, ELBOW PRESSING DOWN [photo 33]

由前式右脚落下,右手反抓,上左步,右手抱左腕,左肘壓下,左脚虛點!如本圖!
Continuing from the previous posture, your right foot comes down, your right hand doing a reverse grab, then step forward with your left foot, your right hand holding your left wrist as your left elbow presses downward, your left foot emptily touching down, as in the photo.

腋下掌
[61] PALM STRIKE TO THE ARMPIT [photo 34]

由前式開左步,左掌横出,右掌向脇下横向推出如本圖!
Continuing from the previous posture, your left foot steps out, your left palm goes out turned sideways, and your right palm pushes out across to the armpit, as in the photo.

由前式兩拳抱攏,右上左下,右向轉身,向右方扁角方向變十字擺臁式,乃以雙手疊成十字故名(按二十五圖),此乃外撇而出者!
[62] Continuing from the previous posture, your [hands becoming] fists embrace together, right fist on top, left fist underneath, and you spin around to the right, then send a CROSSED-HANDS SWINGING KICK to the right corner, your hands making an X shape, hence the name. It is similar to photo 25, but in this case an outward swinging kick.
落下右脚,卽變成彎弓射虎,(按二六圖),
[63] Bring down your right foot and switch to BEND THE BOW TO SHOOT THE TIGER (photo 26).
再變上步擠(按十五圖)
[64] Then switch to STEP FORWARD, PRESS (photo 15).

上步七星
[65] STEP FORWARD, BIG DIPPER POSTURE [photo 35]

始變本圖!乃右手右腿在前,成手揮琵琶式,却不動左步,可左向轉身,將右脚移於左脚前方,虛點於地,兩拳相疊,右上左下!
Then switch to this posture. With your right hand and right foot forward, move into the PLAY THE LUTE posture. Then without moving your left foot from its location, turn your body to the left and send your right foot in front of your left foot to be emptily touching down as your fists pile up, right fist on top, left fist underneath.

撒步跨虎
[66] WITHDRAWING STEP, SITTING TIGER POSTURE [photo 36]

由前式落右步,横上左步,左手自內一翻,成前掌後鈎式,左脚虛點如本圖;
Continuing from the previous posture, your right foot comes down and your left foot steps forward to the side, your left hand arcing from inward to outward to make a posture of front hand a palm, rear hand a hook, your left foot emptily touching down, as in the photo.

由前式右向轉身,兩拳抱起變轉脚擺臁,乃脚腕一轉卽撇出者(按二十五圖),此時方向在右角,
[67] Continuing from the previous posture, spin around to the right, your fists embracing upward, and switch to SPIN AROUND, SWINGING KICK, using the ankle to swing out in an arc. It is similar to photo 25, but the direction in this case is to the right corner.
落下右步卽變為彎弓射虎(按二六圖),
[68] Bring down your right foot and switch to BEND THE BOW TO SHOOT THE TIGER (photo 26).
再變上步擠(按十五),
[69] Then switch to STEP FORWARD, PRESS (photo 15).
仍不動左步,只收囘右步,如手揮琵琶式,
[70] Without moving your left foot from its location, only withdraw your right foot, and perform the PLAY THE LUTE posture.

合太極(停)
[71 & 72] MERGING WITH THE GRAND POLARITY [and CLOSING POSTURE] (final photo [37])

乃入合太極本圖,係上左步,左掌自右手下穿出,卽變為裏轉攬雀尾式,再如法作下穿右手上右步外轉之攬雀尾式,再上左步裏轉,再上右步外轉,兩掌下壓收式,氣沉丹田,目左視,
Then perform MERGING WITH THE GRAND POLARITY. Step forward with your left foot, your left palm threading out from below your right hand, and make an inward-arcing CATCH THE SPARROW posture. Then thread out from below with your right hand, your right foot stepping forward, and make an outward-arcing CATCH THE SPARROW posture. Again step forward with your left foot and arc inward. Again step forward with your right foot and arc outward. Then [your left foot comes next to your right foot and] your hands press downward, thereby performing the CLOSING POSTURE. Energy sinks to your elixir field. Your gaze is to the left [forward].

(四)推四手
FOUR: FOUR-TECHNIQUE PUSHING HANDS

推四手者,即太極拳卒業後,習掤挒擠按四字之用法,而採挒肘靠四字,亦無形寓于內也,因你掤我,我捋你,你捋我,我按你,此四字互相為用,遂成其為推四手,實則餘四字,亦寓于步下手肘上矣!
Four-technique pushing hands is for after you have completed the solo set. It trains the four methods of warding off, rolling back, pressing, and pushing, although the other four techniques of plucking, rending, elbowing, and bumping are also hidden within it. You ward me off, I roll you back, you [press] me, I push you. Function lies in the interrelation between these four techniques. Once you complete the four-technique pushing hands exercise, there is still another exercise of four techniques, which involves stepping below during the use of the arms above.

起式
Starting posture:

上圖為開式,甲乙均開右步,左手按右手推出,右圖為余,左圖為余弟子吳震起。(右為甲,左為乙)
In the starting posture in the photo above, A and B both have their right foot forward, pushing out with their left hand on their right forearm. In the photos, I am on the right (in the role of Person A) and my student Wu Zhenqi is on the left (in the role of Person B).

乙掤甲,甲捋乙
B wards off A, A rolls back B:

由前式甲乙二人相接,乙掤甲,甲用捋字,故甲右手捋乙右手腕,左手扶乙右肘上。
Continuing from the previous posture, A and B connect, B warding off A, A applying rollback. A’s right hand is rolling back B’s right wrist, left hand touching on top of B’s right elbow.

乙擠甲,甲按乙
B presses A, A pushes B:

由前式,乙旣為甲所捋,勢將向甲右側跌出故急用左手扶右腕下向平行對甲腰部擠出,。甲為乙所擠,急呑腹以左手扶乙左腕,右手按乙左肘,向乙右側橫按之,是蓋不顧乙右手,而反按其左手,以側式封之也。
Continuing from the previous posture, B is being rolled back by A and is on the verge of stumbling toward A’s right side, therefore he quickly uses his left hand to support below his own right wrist and press out level toward A’s torso. A is now being pressed by B, so he quickly draws back his abdomen, while using his left hand to touch B’s left wrist and using his right hand to push on B’s left elbow, and does a sideways push to B’s right side. This is a matter of ignoring B’s right hand and instead pushing on his left hand, using a sideways posture to seal him off.

甲擠乙,乙按甲
A presses B, B pushes A:

由前式乙為甲所按,急以右手接甲右腕,左手按甲右肘,卽為甲掤乙,乙用捋也,故又復於初式,如此循環不息,是為推四手,上圖卽甲掤乙,乙捋甲後,甲擠乙,乙按甲之式
Continuing from the previous posture, B is being pushed by A, so he quickly uses his right [left] hand to connect to A’s right [left] wrist and uses his left [right] hand to push on A’s right [left] elbow. A is now warding off B, and so B is using rollback. This is the moment in the photo. After A wards off B and B rolls back A, A then presses B, and B pushes A, which then restores the initial position [of B warding off A, A rolling back B], and then the exercise recycles in this way indefinitely. This is four-technique pushing hands.

(五)大捋
FIVE: LARGE ROLLBACK

大捋者,即活步推手是也,此中各門不同,有成直線進退者,有成圓形進退者,但先能直綫,再變圓形之為愈,上手一如推四手,起式亦相同,只步法為進三退二。
“Large rollback” is moving-step pushing hands. This exercise is done differently in every school, some who advance and retreat along straight lines, some who advance and retreat in a circle. However, it is more effective if you first learn to step in straight lines before switching to stepping in a circle. The first movement is the same as in the four-technique pushing hands, what with the starting posture being identical, except the footwork is now advancing three steps, retreating two steps.

甲進右步
A advances his right foot:

上圖如甲右脚在乙右脚外,卽甲右脚向乙右脚外邁進一步,乙為掤,甲用捋,如上式,(本式卽成直綫進退)
A advances his right foot to the outside of B’s right foot. B is performing ward-off and A is using rollback. (These photos show advancing and retreating in a straight line.)

甲進左步
A advances his left foot:

由前式乙退右步,甲進左步,仍在乙之左脚外,上手隨推四手之變化行之!
Continuing from the previous posture, B retreats his right foot, A advances his left foot, also to the outside of B’s left foot, the hands performing in the same way as in four-technique pushing hands.

甲再進右步
A again advances his right foot:

由前式,甲進乙退,甲進此步為三步,右步須在乙𦡁之內,則步法始不衝突,但乙則只退右步,退左步,故為進三退二。
Continuing from the previous posture, A advances and B retreats, A advancing his third step, and now his right foot has to be below B’s crotch. The feet do not collide. B retreats only his right foot and then his left foot, therefore there are three advancing steps but only two retreating steps.

乙進右步
B advances his right foot:

由前式,則兩人之推法已終,現則乙復邁進右步,亦如甲邁進右步之姿式,右步亦在甲之右步外側。
Continuing from the previous posture, both people have completed a push cycle, so now B advances his right foot in the same manner that A did, bringing his right foot to the outside of A’s right foot.

乙進左步
B advances his left foot:

由前式進乙右步,甲退右步,乙進左步如上圖。
Continuing from the previous posture, B advances his right foot, A retreats his right foot, and B advances his left foot, just like in the photo.

乙再進右步
B again advances his right foot:

甲退右步退左步,右步仍在前,乙則已進右步,復上左步,於甲左脚外,現則再上右步於甲之𦡁中,則乙亦為進三,而甲復為退二也,亦遂循環習之,俟右步習熟,苟按上圖,乙再上左步,甲退右步,則甲之左步在前,卽以左步邁進乙之左步,外側,再上右步進左步,豈非又習左脚之進退乎,兩脚之進退習好,任改各種形式均可矣!
A retreats his right foot, then left foot, and his right foot stays forward, while B advances his right foot, then steps his left foot forward to the outside of A’s left foot, then again steps his right foot forward, now below A’s crotch. Thus B likewise advances three steps and A retreats two steps. The practice then recycles in this way, and once the exercise has been practiced to familiarity advancing right-left-right, as in the photos above, B then steps forward with his left foot, A retreats his right foot, making his left foot the forward foot, and then advances his left foot to the outside of B’s left foot, then advances his right foot, and then advances again with his left foot. The exercise also has to be practiced on the other side [stepping left-right-left in addition to right-left-right]. After you have become accustomed to practicing advancing and retreating equally with both feet, you can then move on to doing so using various postures…

散手
[SIX:] SPARRING DRILL

散手者,即少林中之散打,太極習好而能應敵者極少,是蓋專致力於柔,未審柔中之剛也,然剛亦非全自拳中來,亦須習基功以輔助之,再習散手以應用之,但散手苟不加以內外家運用之精華,欲徒以推手致勝,是萬不可能也。故本門原式傳法,以應用致勝為功,其手法內外家均有,是固應敵,不得限制非推手柔進,即不得名之為太極打法也。
“Sparring” [san shou – “random techniques”] is the same as “freefighting” [san da – “random strikes”] in Shaolin. Taiji is very rarely practiced to the level that it can be used to defend against opponents. This is because there is so much focus on softness and never any examination of the hardness within softness. However, such hardness does not come entirely from doing the boxing set, and so you have to supplement it by also practicing foundational training [examples of which are in the following chapter]. Practicing the sparring will then be effective. But if you do not add in the best of the exercises of both the internal and external schools, and simply hope to gain victory only through using pushing hands, there is no way you will be able to win. Therefore in our school’s Original Version teaching, we do applications training in order to win. As these techniques are from both the internal and external schools, it is a surer way of dealing with an opponent. You must not be confined to only progressing by way of pushing hands softness, for then you would not really obtain Taiji’s striking methods.

甲用捋法
A applies ROLLBACK

上圖為乙右拳打來,甲用捋法橫向旁攞之式。
In the photo above, B is attacking with his right fist, so A uses a rollback to pull it across to the side.

甲用頓法
A performs a JOLTING TECHNIQUE

由前式,乙為甲所捋,自必向後呑縮,甲卽退右步,雙手攞乙右腕,下向頓之,可令乙頭部震動。
Continuing from the previous posture, B is being rolled back by A, so he naturally will withdraw to the rear, but A retreats his right foot and uses both hands to yank on B’s right wrist with a downward jolt, which can cause B’s head to experience whiplash.

撲面掌
POUNCING PALM TO THE FACE

乙為甲所引,其人必後,其首必仰,甲卽利用此時,以左手按乙右腕,同時起右脚扁踩乙之右迎門骨,右手拍乙之面部。
When B is being drawn in by A, he is sure to pull back his body and lean his head back, so A takes advantage of the moment by using his left hand to push on B’s right wrist, at the same time lifting his right foot to do a sideways stomp to B’s right shin and sending his right hand to slap to B’s face.

窩心脚
KICK TO THE SOLAR PLEXUS

乙如退右步架左手,甲卽挑左手,落右步,踢左脚,(向乙心窩(,
If B retreats his right foot and props up with his left hand, A pulls back his right hand as he lowers his right foot and kicks with his left foot (toward B’s solar plexus).

綑腿
WEAVING KICK

乙退左步,甲落左步,以右腿綑乙右腿裏面,卽向外橫掃之勁。
B retreats his left foot, so A lowers his left foot and uses his right leg to weave to the inside of B’s right leg with an energy of sweeping across to send it outward.

扁踩
SIDEWAYS STOMPING KICK

乙為甲所綑,自必提起右脚後退,但又拉下左腿,故甲翻提乙之右手,左脚仰出,是為扁踩。
B is being weaved by A, so he naturally has to lift his right leg and retreat, but he leaves his left leg where it is, so A lifts B’s right hand, turning it over, and sends out his left foot, the foot facing outward to make a sideways stomping kick.

甲點八卦結綱穴
A performs POKING THE BAGUA NET-TYING ACUPOINT

乙退左步,甲則挑開乙之右手,以左手駢中食二指,(卽劍訣),點乙之右脇下之八卦結綱穴,此乃示太極打法中,固無不可用之手,學者勿拘執于推手,而自處於被擊地位。
B retreats his left foot, so A carries aside B’s right hand and uses the forefinger and middle finger of his left hand, the fingers together (making a swordsman’s hex), to poke B’s “bagua net-tying” acupoint under his right armpit [as though an eight-trigrams grid is made to collapse like a house of cards]. This demonstrates that within Taiji’s striking methods, there is really no way in which you cannot use your hand. Students do not need to be restricted to pushing hands actions, instead striking in whatever way the situation calls for.

拍打
SLAPPING STRIKE

乙被點,如右向轉身以避之,甲卽乘式右手拘住乙之右腕,左手橫拍乙之背面肩胛,此時乙之右臂反張,甲只一扳,其臂必拆。
If when B is being poked, he turns his body to the right to evade it, A takes advantage of the situation by using his right hand to grab B’s right wrist and uses his left hand to slap sideways to the back of B’s shoulder. B’s arm is now hyperextended. A need only give a snap [i.e. suddenly pulling back with his right hand while bracing forward with his left hand] and the arm would break.

解法
DISPELLING TECHNIQUE

此圖乃示無論被何人所擊,只向後一退亦無論何腿在前,均可於退任何步法時,以右掌向下斬之卽解。(斬者為乙)
This photo demonstrates that however the other person attacks, all that is needed is to retreat, regardless of which leg is forward, and in that moment of retreat to chop downward to dispel the attack. (B is in the role of the chopper.)

(七)太極拳應輔助之基功圖解
SEVEN: RECOMMENDED SUPPLEMENTARY FOUNDATIONAL TRAINING EXERCISES FOR TAIJI BOXING

基功者,即習拳術上應用制敵之基本勁力,習之旣久,其擊出之力量,不期然而然,莫之與京也。
Foundational training refers to building the essential strength needed for subduing opponents in the practice of boxing arts. After practicing for a long time, the power that comes out when you strike will happen by itself and no one will know of it until is too late.

1 石球
STONE BALL

二十斤重者一球,石作之,置圓木盤中,每日以掌成圈轉之,練其吸力,久之可將球一轉而起,平日猶可拋捉之,刷之,打之,均無不可!
(此乃練掌指上之吸力與推揉之力者)
It is a twenty-pound ball, made of stone, and placed in a round wooden tray. Each day, use your palm to roll it around in circles. This trains “suction” energy. After a long time you will be able to make a circle that lifts the ball up. Ordinary practice with it consists of tossing it aside and catching it back, brushing it away, striking it. All of these things are permissible. (These exercises train the suction energy of the fingers as well as strength in pushing and rubbing.)

石球原圖
Photo of the stone ball:

球重二十斤,盤之直徑尺五寸,如上圖。
In the photo above is a twenty-pound stone ball on a wooden tray a foot and a half across.

習石球圖
Photo of practicing with the stone ball:

人成半馬式,左右手互為之,每手以三十六下為宜,多則更善,承盤之凳,可再大之,於石上再習推揉刷打抓揑之功,後再拋起,以手接承之,以習空中抓力。
Make a half horse stance and train both hands, thirty-six repetitions with each hand being appropriate, though more is even better. The tray is supported on a stool, which has to be large enough. Use the stone to practice the skills of pushing and rubbing, brushing and hitting, grabbing and pinching, then tossing and lifting, using one hand to constantly connect to it, to practice grabbing it into the air.

2 木人
WOODEN DUMMY

直徑五寸,長八尺之木料一根,三尺埋於地中,自上向下一尺處成直徑寸八分之圓孔一,以直徑寸五分,長二尺五寸之小木貫之,他端稍大,使不脫出,人在對端拉打之,如用插打,綑腿等等打法,均無不可,其上端腰部,脚下,均用棉布包紮,輕輕習之!以不感受疼痛為度。(此乃練手上攞拉之力者)
Use a pole half a foot thick and eight feet long, three feet of which are buried in the ground. A foot below the topmost point, make a hole an inch and three quarters wide. Put a smaller piece of wood through it, two and a half feet long and an inch and a half wide, though the far end should be slightly thicker to keep it from slipping out as you practice pulling and striking. You may use inserting strikes, weaving kicks, and various other attacks, everything being permissible. The upper section of the dummy represents the whole torso area, the lower section the legs. Wrap both sections in cotton cloth and practice with gentle enough strikes that you are not causing yourself pain. (This practice trains the hands to have power in the skill of rending and pulling.)

木人原圖
Photo of the wooden dummy:

木人用法圖
Photo of performing applications upon the wooden dummy:

此為插打式,可按散手之打法,用於此中卽是!
This is the inserting-strike posture. You can also apply the striking methods from the sparring exercise within this practice.

3 三角樁
TRIANGLE POSTS

直徑寸五分,長二尺五寸之圓木三根,他端成尖銳,釘土地內一尺,於地面裏軟麻繩,以腿橫掃之,順逆橫掃之,以習腿部抅掛之力也!
Use three round poles, two and a half feet long and an inch and a half wide, the lower end tapered to a point to be hammered a foot into the ground. Wrap the area near the ground in soft hemp rope and then do sideways sweeping kicks against the posts, using both the inside and outside of the foot. This practice trains the legs to have power in the skills of hooking and hanging.

三角樁原圖
Photo of the triangle posts:

樁則釘成三角形,以綑腿法綑之,掃蹚腿法掃之,裏外橫掃之,抅掛之,一年功成,可擲力大千斤者數步外,是在人之運用而已。
The posts are hammered down to make a triangle shape. Use the weaving of the “weaving leg” technique and the sweeping of the “hall sweeping leg” technique. Go both inward and outward, sweeping across, hooking and hanging. After practicing this for a year, you will be able to cast a weight of a great many pounds several feet away, and at that point it will be more than adequate to apply against an opponent.

三角樁習圖
Photo of practicing with the triangle posts [sweeping with the inside of the foot]:

[POSTSCRIPT]

按本書圖像,為民國十八年冬在滬時,為鄧家彥先生之夫人謝女士所撮影,嗣以原圖稍小,製版不便,乃再放大之,遲遲四載,緣適湘省,始得暇整理以行世,疎庸負命,今益歉然,用泐數語以致念。
中華民國廿一年孟夏於湖南國術訓練所萬賴聲
The photographs in this book were taken in Shanghai in the winter of 1929 by Deng Jiayan’s wife, Madame Xie. As the original photos I received were rather small, it was difficult to make photographic plates from them, so I later had them enlarged. This project was delayed nearly four years, but once I had settled into life in Hunan, I was able to find the free time to arrange this work for publication. For getting distracted from this task, I now inscribe these few words as an apology.
     – written by Wan Laisheng at the Hunan Martial Arts Training Institute, 1st month of summer, 1932

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