TAIJI BOXING ACCORDING TO TIAN ZHENFENG

太極拳講義
TAIJI BOXING EXPLAINED
田鎮峰
by Tian Zhenfeng
[1931]

[translation by Paul Brennan, Jan, 2018]

編者例言 田鎭峯
AUTHOR’S INTRODUCTORY REMARKS

一,是書以闡揚國術,溶化門派為主旨,其虛誕之說,盡皆删去,因編時倉卒,未遑校正,疎漏之虞,槪所難免,故定名曰,太極拳講義草本,擬從事審核,再為出版,
– The purpose of this book is to promote martial arts and melt away bias between styles. All fantastical explanations have been left out. But because it was written in a hurry, there has been no time to proofread it, and so I fear that errors are inevitable. Therefore a better name might be Taiji Boxing Explained – The Rough Draft. I had originally planned to edit it before publishing it. [Despite this admission, the book is no more error-ridden than other manuals from the same era and fulfills its task adequately.]

一,編者囿於見聞,此拳之深妙,理難窮盡,難數載磨習,稍窺門徑,而所獲者,未足一斑,旣無發揮光大之可能,時以為憾,書中經解,皆王宗岳先師之遺註,又經現代太極專家李公景林,午夜琢磨,考核校正,惟恐理深意奧,不易了解,故再重加贅述,以便學者容易領悟,倘荷海內同志不棄,有所闡明見貽者,則不勝馨香祀禱,而跂望之,
– As my knowledge of the subtleties of this art is limited, it is difficult for me to give a full appraisal of its principles. I have barely scratched the surface, and what I have obtained is but a speck. That I cannot do this art justice is something I constantly regret. The theory texts within this book are the writings of Wang Zongyue, which have been carefully scrutinized and proofread by the modern Taiji expert Li Jinglin. But I fear that the deeper meanings of the principles are not easy to grasp, thus I have added commentary in order for you to more easily understand. If my comrades throughout the nation will not look down upon my efforts and can offer better explanations, then I will not be able to stop myself from burning incense and bowing in prayer, for that is how much I am looking forward to it.

一,書內所云,各式之解說明法,僅擇其一端,略加說明,使初學者易於參悟,而太極拳之廣義,非僅乎此,若以狹義擊技而目之,未免有負此拳之眞義,
– In this book, each posture’s application explanation gives only one version, which is explained succinctly, so that beginners will more easily understand. But Taiji Boxing in a broader sense is more than this. If we were to look upon it only as a martial skill, we would lose touch with the true meaning of the art.

一,此拳無男女老幼之別,無短衣擇地之戒,習之旣久,自可强身健腦,塡精補髓,有百益而無一害,人生之有為,端賴此身之培植,凡我同胞豈可忽視,若以此拳為必須之營養料,則別趣橫生,誠無上之補品,
– This art does not distinguish between man or woman, young or old, and does not makes restrictions as to attire or location. After practicing it for a long time, it will naturally strengthen body and mind, boosting essence and rejuvenating marrow. It has countless benefits and not one harm. The productivity of a human life depends entirely upon the training of one’s body, so how can our compatriots ignore it? If this art is seen as a necessary nourishment, then interest in it will increase until it is truly the supreme tonic.

太極拳講義序
PREFACE

吾國拳術,由來尚矣!考諸詩云:『無拳無勇,職為亂階』;管子云:『於子之屬,有拳勇股肱之力,秀出於衆者,有則以告』。卽孔氏人門,有若稱似聖人,而幕庭三踴,與壯士之列;其他若季路冉有之倫,咸以武勇致用;此皆吾國古時注重拳術之明證也。漢唐而後,多重文藝而輕武術,致斯道之之傳,入於釋道內外家之徒。習之者非江湖鬻技,即綠林盗宼。問有一二士夫,精斯藝者,又常挾秘訣以自重,不肯輕易傳人,斯術之消沈,幾如廣陵散,而民氣日衰,民體日弱,說者謂:漢世家法,不克靖黃巾之亂;宋世性理,無以禦蒙古之侵。馴至今日,東亞病夫之名,為世叢詬。噫!其言豈過當哉,迺者,政府振興國術,設舘專司,各學校均設國技專科,發揚國光,誠盛舉也!余濫長民廳,亟思有以提倡,爰於地方行政人員及區長訓練兩所,各設國技一門,承國術舘長李公芳辰,選薦拳術敎授,即以田君鎭峯所編太極拳講義,作為敎科,俾資練習。余覽而悅之!竊考太極拳為武當正宗,法天地自然之理,參太極陰陽之妙,為內家拳術之最平易,而最能發達體育者也。然非田君之研求有素;李公之考核詳明,何以發其精而撮其要,窮其源而溯其流哉!總理有云:『欲恢復我民族之地位,須先恢復我民族固有之「精神」「道德」與「智能」。』余謂太極拳能鍛練身體,陶淑心性,即吾民族「精神」之所表現,亦吾民族「道德」與「智能」之所寄託也。所望各學者,研習探討,融會貫通,神而明之,發揚而光大之,庶吾民族尚武之精神,得以復興,而東亞病夫之恥辱可免,則斯編之刋,為不虛矣!因樂而為之序。
中華民國二十年二月李樹春
Our nation’s boxing arts used to be so esteemed. Examining these lines of poetry [Book of Poetry, poem 198]: “They are without fists, without courage. They are good for nothing but creating confusion [by only talking].” Guanzi said [Guanzi, chapter 20]: “One who has fists and courage, physical strength that sets him apart from the rest, he will be talked about.” Of the disciples of Confucius, Ziruo was considered to be a sage, but he crossed his whole courtyard in just a few bounding strides and had a heroic bearing, and there were others such as Zilu and Ziyou that also had a martial prowess. These are all examples of attention being given to boxing arts in our nation’s antiquity.
  However, after the Han and Tang Dynasties, there was a tendency to emphasize scholarly arts and trivialize martial arts. Thus these methods ended up passed down by followers of Daoism and Buddhism, or the “internal” and “external” schools. Practitioners were either wandering entertainers selling exhibitions of their skills or they were outlaws and bandits. Among them were just a few who had mastered their art, but they often kept its secrets for themselves, unwilling to lightly pass them on to anyone. These arts have thus sunk into oblivion, rather like the Guangling Melody [a notoriously difficult zither tune from the end of the Eastern Han era that apparently no one has been able to do proper justice to ever since].
  As the spirit of the people daily declines and their bodies got weaker, let us point out that the traditions of the Han Dynasty could not pacify the Yellow Turban Rebellion, the principles of the Song Dynasty could not hold back the Mongolian invasion, and in our present era we are called the “sick men of Asia” by the whole world. Oh, those words! This is why the government is now promoting martial arts, setting up special schools for giving instruction, and establishing martial arts courses as part of the curricula of educational institutions. This will develop our national glory and is absolutely a worthy enterprise.
  While working in government [serving as the head of the Provincial Department of Civil Affairs for Henan and then Shandong], I have urgently had it in mind to promote these arts, and so for the training of both administrative staff and district heads, a martial arts school has been established in each area. Martial Arts Institute director Li Fangchen [Jinglin] then selected boxing arts instructors, making use of Tian Zhenfeng’s manuscript for Taiji Boxing Explained to supply teaching material for practitioners. When I looked through it, I was very pleased with what I found. I consider Taiji Boxing to be an authentic example of the Wudang school. It follows the natural principles of the universe, aligning with the subtleties of the Grand Polarity’s passive and active aspects. The internal styles of boxing arts are the most unassuming and thus the most capable for developing the body. However, without Tian’s deep studies and Li’s detailed proofreading, it would have been hard to express the art’s refinements, specifying its essentials, or fully explain its origins, tracing through its development.
  Sun Yat-sen said [from his sixth speech on the Identity of the People, delivered Mar 2, 1924]: “For us to now restore our national status, we first have to restore… our inherent national spirit… our inherent national morality… and our inherent national ability.” I say that Taiji Boxing can develop the body and purify the temperament. It is thereby a means of manifesting our national spirit and of upholding our national morality and ability. I hope students will delve deeply, study thoroughly, and come to fully understand. By carrying on this tradition and spreading it further, our nation’s spirit of valuing the martial quality will be revived, and the humiliation of being called the “sick men of Asia” can be avoided. Therefore this book is no empty project, and I am delighted to write this preface.
  - Li Shuchun, Feb, 1931

太極拳講義目錄
CONTENTS

卷頭語
Introduction
太極拳之意義
The Meaning of “Taiji Boxing”
太極拳之功效
Effects of Taiji Boxing
太極拳之源流
On the Origins & Development of Taiji Boxing
太拳極之眞義
The True Meaning of Taiji Boxing [and other texts]
太極拳論
The Taiji Boxing Treatise
太極拳經
The Taiji Boxing Classic
十三勢歌 附行功心解及打手歌
Thirteen Dynamics Song, Understanding How to Practice, Playing Hands Song
太極拳名勢圖解
Explanations for Each of the Taiji Boxing Postures
推手法
Pushing Hands Methods

卷頭語
INTRODUCTION

宇宙間無論是那一種物,或是那一種學理,都有牠的意義在。那麼,我們不管對於什麼東西,總該去追求牠的意義,研究牠的本末;我們才有相當的裨益;那被追求的東西,也才得有進步。假若我們對於各樣物類,各項事理,不加以思索,不發生絲毫的心得,我們便是無意識的人;也便失去萬物之靈的美稱了!
在過去的社會間,國術一項,因受着重文輕武政策的影響,總是被深深的沈默支配着,固然在史書上很難見有國術的記載,就連在一般學者頭腦裏,心目中,簡直沒有絲毫國術的印象!所以從前練習拳藝的人們,大半都是不學無術的老粗;若想在國術界裏,拜訪幾位所謂文武兼備,了解拳理的同志,真如鳳毛麟角一樣的稀罕!
到了現在,提倡國術,發揚國光的聲浪,幾震遍全國的時光,雖有少許武界的先知先覺,要想開拓國術知識的領域,闡揚此道的精華;然而結果却很不容易獲得滿足的成績,這不用說是因為關於國術的參考書籍太少太少了。即使去向大名鼎鼎的老拳師們探討國術的眞理,他們也是回答不出所以然來。例如國術與心理學,生理學,病理學,軍事學的作用,與各種科學的關係及其精義,他們號稱拳師的諸先進,固然莫知其詳;甚至詢問某種拳術名稱的由來和各式之要點,他們也是啞然無對者居多!
這樣看來,難怪國術不容易得到社會上流階級的重視;原來國術的本身,旣少有歷史的根據;又沒有正確的理論產出;縱然在中國許多舊小說上,或文人的筆記中,可以覓得一點關於拳勇的記載;然而多半是非科學的無稽考的誇張之說;並且還是充滿了神話的虛幻之談;越使得有知識的人們,不願向此道問津。於是國術的命運,也便越趨向於危厄了―險乎埋沒了牠光榮可貴的本質和偉大的靈魂!
幸而牠―國術―到處已遺留下破碎的尸骸。彷彿能常從牠毀滅將盡的靈魂的口裏,吶喊出求救之悲聲;訴說國術與中華種族存亡有密切的關係;若不把牠尊重起來,就等於不尊重國家。因為牠―國術―的確是我們中國的精靈。
那麼,我們國術館,旣担負着强種救國的使命,懷抱着全民衆均國術化的希冀,就該把我們平日所研究的心得,用科學方法,編著出書來,供諸熟心國術的同胞,作煆練的參考。不管我們所建樹的理論,是否有相當價値;所搜集的材料曾否完備;我們總要鼓起一萬二千分的勇氣,大膽的印出來,恭請四海名流,予以不客氣的批評和指導!
至於我們何以要先編太極拳;而不先編其他的拳術,並非我們持有宗派門戶的偏見;實因此拳的一舉一動一進一退,都含有很深的哲理在。從實際的功效上說起來;太極拳,也算是修心養性,增長智慧,健强體魄的唯一好方法,但恐學者不易領悟其奥妙,所以我們山東省國術館編輯科的初步工作,先從事於太極拳的研究,然後再繼續編著其他拳術和器械;這是我們須要向讀者聲明的。
哦!太極拳草稿竟然產生了!哈哈!鍛鍊國術的武士呀!你們旣也是號稱萬物之靈的人,你們至少總該對於本身最感有興趣的國術,下一番追究眞理的苦功;决不宜糢糊不淸的呆鍊一世;以致引起知識界的反感;而使至寶至尊的國術,不易普及;那便是我們國術同志搗毀自己的立場呀!
Everything in the universe, whether thing or principle, has its own significance. That being the case, whatever we concern ourselves with, we should at the very least seek its meaning and study its fundamentals. We will thereby correspondingly benefit from it and be improved by our quest to better understand it. If we approach each thing and each concept without giving it any contemplation or engage in even the slightest experience of it, we would then be people without any knowledge of it, and we would furthermore lose our right to be gloriously ranked as [from Book of Documents, document 27:] “the most intelligent of creatures”.
  In the past, due to the influence of giving great importance to scholarly pursuits and little importance to martial ones, our martial arts ended up suppressed by the mere silence to which they were treated. Accounts of martial arts became very hard to find in historical records, until in the minds of scholars in general there was simply no impression left by our martial arts at all. Therefore practitioners of martial arts were usually uneducated louts. Within the martial arts community, finding those who could be considered to be equally talented in both literature and martial arts, comrades who actually comprehended the boxing theories, was truly as rare as finding phoenix feathers or unicorn horns.
  But today, martial arts are being promoted in the name of national glory. Rallying the whole nation are a few visionaries within the martial arts community who want to expand the field of martial arts knowledge and propagate the best of these methods. However, results have not been easy to achieve, and of course this is because there are too few reference books on martial arts. Even when famous masters are asked about martial arts principles, they have no idea either. For instance, about the essential relationship between martial arts and psychology, physiology, pathology, military science, and various other sciences, these so-called masters know basically nothing. In fact if they are asked about the origin of certain martial arts terms or about the main points of various postures, they mostly have no response.
  It thus seems unsurprising that our martial arts have not had an easy time achieving relevance to the upper classes in our society. These arts themselves rarely had any basis in historical records, and no accurate rendering of principles had been produced. Despite so many old novels about them having been made in China, and some scholars taking notes so that there is some information about noteworthy boxers to be obtained, what we have for the most part are exaggerations that did not pass through any scientific scrutiny, as well as outright tales of magic-riddled delusion. This only causes knowledgeable people to want to have even less to do with these arts. Therefore the fate of our martial arts has veered more and more toward disaster, until they are almost on the verge of vanishing, taking with them all their glory, valuable substance, and mighty spirit.
  Fortunately all around us, the battered bones of our martial arts still remain. It often seems like we can hear from the mouths of their vanquished souls some plaintive cries for aid, telling us of the intimate connection between martial arts and the survival of the Chinese race, and that if we do not respect our martial arts, it is the same as not respecting our nation, because our martial arts are indeed our Chinese soul.
  Therefore at our martial arts institute, we have committed to the task of strengthening the people to rescue the nation, cherishing the hope that the whole populace will be transformed by martial arts. We have decided to take what we have learned through constant study according to scientific methods to write and publish books, in order to supply compatriots enthusiastic for martial arts with reference material for training. The theory we contribute may be of little value, and the information we have gathered may be incomplete, but we simply need to summon up the courage to dare to publish whatever we have. And we cordially invite experts throughout the nation to give us scathing criticism and correction.
  As for why we would start with a book about Taiji Boxing instead of another boxing art, it is not that we have any kind of sectarian bias, it is just that this particular boxing art, in every movement and action, every advancing and retreating, has very deep principles. As for its actual effectiveness, we regard Taiji Boxing as an excellent means of improving the temperament, enhancing the intellect, and strengthening the body. But we fear that students may not easily understand its subtleties, therefore we at the Shandong Martial Arts Institute have decided to start by first presenting research into Taiji Boxing, and will then continue with books about other boxing arts and weapons. We hope our reasoning is clear.
  At last this Taiji Boxing book is here. Hurrah to you warriors training in martial arts, for you can again be considered to be “the most intelligent of creatures”. You should at the very least find the martial art that interests you most and then work hard to study authentic principles. Never present theory in a way that makes it obscure, for that would cause intellectuals to look down on it and make our treasured martial arts harder to popularize, and then we martial arts comrades would only be undermining our own position.

太極拳之意義
THE MEANING OF “TAIJI BOXING”

萬物之生也,負陰抱陽,莫不有太極;有太極斯有兩儀;故太極為陰陽之母。太極即一氣,一氣即太極。以體言則為太極;以用言則為一氣,時陰時陽,活活潑潑。其氣洋溢於四體之中;浸潤於百骸之內。無處不有,無時不然。內外一氣,流行不息,開合自然,中無停滯。故太極無法,動即是法,此即太極是也。法言易中陰陽動靜之理;而運動作勢,純任自然,無中生有,所謂無極而太極也。至其運用圓活,如環無端,莫知所止;則又所謂太極本無極也。勢勢之中,着着之內,均含一圜形。其動而陽,靜而陰,及剛柔進退等,均與易理吻合;故得假借太極易學之理,以說明之。此拳之名稱,亦故因此而來;而以陰陽動靜等喻其作用,非强為附會也。
中國舊日學說,凡物均以陰陽喻之;故陰陽無定位。太極拳之喻陰陽亦然。如拳勢所云:動而陽,靜而陰,出手為陽,收手為陰;進步為陽,退步為陰;剛為陽,柔為陰;黏為陽,走為陰;伸為陽,屈為陰;分為陽,合為陰;仰為陽,俯為陰;升為陽,降為陰;實為陽,虛為陰;無論如何變化,均不離陰陽動靜,圜形虛實之規範。此皆譬喻之說,非世俗卜筮迷信所言之太極也。萬不可作玄虛之談;近代科學闡明,百端進化,尤望學者能以科學等說明之;而不沾於易象,則敝館所深望焉。
Everything that comes into existence “carries the passive and contains the active” [Daodejing, chapter 42]. They all have a “grand polarity” [tai ji]. With a grand polarity, there is thus a duality, and hence it is the mother of the passive and active aspects. “Taiji is continuousness and continuousness is Taiji”. 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. It is very lively, its energy flowing to the four limbs, filling all the body, 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, and this is what makes it “taiji”.
  Modeled upon the principles within the Book of Changes of passive and active, movement and stillness, its movements and postures have a pure naturalness, with something being generated from nothing, in other words: from “nonpolarity” [wu ji] comes a grand polarity. Moving with roundness, it is like a neverending circle, no one knowing where it ends, again the idea of a grand polarity 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.
  Hence the borrowing of the taiji principle from the book is made clear, as is the reason for the name of this boxing art, and the function of its analogies of passive and active, movement and stillness, and so on, need no strained interpretations. In the ancient days of China, passive and active were analogies applied to all things, since passive and active have no fixed states. They are used as analogies in Taiji Boxing in the same way. Active / passive express in the postures as:

movement / stillness
the hand going out / the hand withdrawing
advancing / retreating
hardness / softness
sticking / yielding
extending / bending
spreading apart / coming together
bowing forward / leaning back
ascending / descending
filling / emptying

Regardless of how the postures change from one to another, they do not depart from the standards of passive and active, movement and stillness, emptiness and fullness, and roundness of shape. These analogies are not the same as the common shamanic superstition that made use of the term “taiji”. We must never engage in making mystical explanations. With modern science making things clearer, we are progressing in many ways, and so I look forward to students being able to use scientific knowledge to explain the art rather than divining from the Book of Changes. This is my sincere hope.

太極拳之功效
EFFECTS OF TAIJI BOXING

凡名其為拳者,旣供吾人鍊之,將必獲有相當之功效;但以各拳之門派種類不同;而所產生之功效,亦有大小强弱之差異。至於鍊習太極拳,所受效力,是否勝諸他拳?吾當弗敢武斷;惟聞吾國國術專家李芳辰先生嘗云『太極拳之裨益於練習,實匪淺鮮』!茲舉幾端,以供學者之參考!
It is commonly thought that all boxing arts training will have the same effects. However, boxing arts styles are not all the same, and so the effects they produce will vary according to a person’s size and strength. As for practicing Taiji Boxing, are the effects any better than with other boxing arts? I would not presume to assert my own opinion, but I have heard one of our nation’s martial arts masters, Li Jinglin, say: “The benefits of practicing Taiji Boxing are not at all meager.” Below are a few items for you to consult that demonstrate this.

太極拳一舉一動,極其緩和,若抽絲者然,毫不費力;亦如少女歌舞狀,彷彿含有音樂中之節奏及拍子在焉。固足以舒展筋骨;且可以調和氣血而陶冶性情。運動無過不及,發達順乎自然。體魄健壯,智慧增長,端賴此拳之循序漸進。質言之:於肢體各部,旣鮮偏重之虞;在生理方面,又無防害之弊。總以禁止粗躁滯純為主;力避暴戾之氣,而重致柔之道。可謂身心兼修,外强內壯。此其功效一也。
1. Every movement and action in Taiji Boxing is very mild, like drawing silk, no exertion at all. It is also like a young girl performing a song and dance routine, seeming to contain an almost musical rhythm and tempo. This makes it more than adequate for limbering the sinews and bones, and it can also regulate energy and blood, as well as improve one’s temperament. It is an exercise of neither overdoing nor underdoing, and so it develops a smooth naturalness. The body will be made robust and the mind will be enhanced, provided this art is trained properly and patiently.
  In short, it does not have the problems that come with focusing on any particular part of the body rather than every part, and it is free of the errors that come with working against physiological principles. It most of all prohibits rashness and stubbornness, expressly avoiding having a bullying energy, and instead emphasizes methods of achieving softness. It can be said that it cultivates both body and mind, strengthening both externally and internally.

拳術有防病延年之能,久為人所共知,無庸贅述;然旣染重病之老翁或少年,是否猶可以拳治?尚係問題。蓋因病者,氣血必衰,若鍛鍊外家剛功,未免運動過劇,消耗體力較多,則其精神,難使恢復,反屬有害;惟太極拳法,純為適應生理變化,動作輕靈婉和!而呼吸與血液循環之次數,均不失其常態。如患肺病及瘡癤諸症者,久練此拳,當能殺盡毒菌,化險為夷,轉弱為强。可見太極拳,不僅可以防病於未然,且能除却百病之魔,而保永恆之健康。此其功效二也。
2. This boxing art has the ability to prevent illness and prolong life. After practicing it for a long time, this would be obvious to anyone, and so there is really no need to say it. However, the question remains if someone who has already caught a serious illness, whether old or young, can train in a boxing art at all. One who is ill will have diminished energy. To engage in the hard training of external styles is excessively strenuous. The more bodily strength is spent, the harder it is for the spirit to recover, and so it ends up being counterproductive.
  The method of Taiji Boxing is instead entirely suited to physiological processes, its movements light and gentle. Breath and blood circulation stays at a normal rate. If one who suffers from illnesses such as lung disease or skin ulcers practices this art for a long time, it will help kill off the bacteria and change the situation from danger to safety, converting weakness into strength. This means that Taiji Boxing can not only prevent illness before it happens, but can also deal with illness once it has manifested, and thereby maintain long-term health.

近世一般學外國拳,或其他體育自命為體育專家者,悉以練日本武士道及西洋拳法為有功效:而視吾國固有國粹(太極拳)為柔軟無力,難以制敵。豈不知老子所云:『天下至柔,馳騁天下至堅』之大道;亦未識太極拳之妙,重知泰山,輕似鵞毛,宛若游龍,翩比驚鴻。陰陽動靜,虛實進退,其變化之靈活敏速,雖脫兎沉魚,亦不及也。所謂擊首則尾應,擊尾則首應,擊其身則首尾相應者,非專指常山蛇而言;其長於太極拳者,亦復如斯。吾曾見許多國術同志,以東西洋拳法,或以生平所鍊之剛功,力擊精通太極拳之專家,卒皆不中,拳拳落空,如大石之投流水,鐵錘之擊棉絮。每出一手,不觸太極拳家則已,一觸必敗,弗進猶可支持,進則跟蹌退跌數十武外。此何故耳?非太極拳中,含有『以靜制動』『以柔克剛』『以小勝大』『以退為進』『以順避害』之至理在耶?由此觀之:練是拳者,誠足以防敵自衛。此其功效三也。
3. In this modern era, it is common for our people to study foreign boxing arts, some even declaring themselves experts of another kind of physical education. Familiar with the results that come from Japanese Bushido or Western Boxing, they look upon our own innate cultural essence (i.e. Taiji Boxing) as soft and weak, useless for subduing opponents. But surely they know what Laozi said: “The softest thing in the world wears away the hardest.” They simply are not aware of Taiji Boxing’s marvels: it is heavy as Mt. Tai and light as a goose feather, as lithe as a swimming dragon and as sudden as a flapping swan. Between states of passive and active, movement and stillness, emptiness and fullness, advancing and retreating, its transformations are more nimble than a bolting rabbit or a diving fish.
  It is said [Art of War, chapter 11]: “Strike its head, its tail responds. Strike its tail, its head responds. Strike its middle, its head and tail respond together.” This description of the “Mt. Chang Snake” battle formation epitomizes the Taiji Boxing expert. I once witnessed a group of martial arts colleagues who had studied both Asian and Western boxing methods, some having spent their whole lives engaged in training hardness, forcefully attacking a Taiji Boxing master. They all kept missing, their punches landing on nothing, like large pebbles being tossed into a flowing river or iron hammers hitting at cotton wadding. No strike could touch him, even though just one would have finished him. No attack could hold up to his defense. Whenever they tried to advance, they subsequently stumbled back more than ten paces. Why? Is it not the principles within Taiji Boxing of “use stillness to overcome motion”, “use softness to defeat hardness”, “use the small to conquer the large”, “use retreat as advance”, and “use yielding to avoid harm”? From this can be seen that practicing this boxing art indeed provides a means of defending oneself.

太極拳之源流
ON THE ORIGINS & DEVELOPMENT OF TAIJI BOXING

老子曰:『天下之至柔,馳騁天下之至堅。』夫太極拳者,乃至柔之道也。孟子曰:『吾善養吾浩然之氣,』其氣盎於背,充溢於四肢百骸。而太極拳者,亦純練氣之道也。孟子之道,本於孔子:孔子曾問道於老聃,足徵太極拳法源於李聃,(即老子)。法於亞聖,延至唐代許宣平,及李道子。考許氏係江南徽州府歙縣人。隱城陽山,即本府城南紫陽山:結簷南陽辟穀。身長七尺六,髯長至臍,髮長至足,行及奔馬;每負薪賣於市,獨吟曰;『負薪朝出賣,沽酒日夕歸;借問家何處,穿雲入翠微。』李白訪之不遇,題詩望仙橋而回。所練太極之功,拳名三十七。因三十七式而名之;又名長拳者,所云滔滔無間也。總名太極拳三十七式。而李氏,亦產於長江流域,祖籍安慶與許氏同時人也。或云李氏活至數千年。於宋時與游酢莫逆,至明代,嘗居武當山南岩宮。不火食第啖麥麩數合,此恐神奇之談。蓋以史册實無所稽,當以論為唐時人者為然耳。由許李二氏繼續相傳,至宋武當丹士張三丰―張氏原籍遼東懿州人,名全一,一名通,又名君實,字元元,號三丰,又號昆陽,因其不修邊幅,故時人呼之謂張邋遢。生有異質,龜形鶴背,大耳圓目,鬚髯如戟。身長七尺,衣一袖一簑,雖寒暑而不少變。每食甚巨,或竟日不進飲食,僅吃水果而己。書經目不忘,善嬉諧,游處無恆。嘗遊武當(在湖北境)諸岩壑,語人曰:(此山異日必大興。)時五龍,南岩、紫霄,俱毀於兵,三丰與其徒去荆榛,瓦礫,創草廬居之。徽宗召之,道梗不得進。金人入寇,曾以單人殺金兵五百餘人。陝西人民慕其勇,從學者數十百人,傳百餘年至元世祖時,西安人王宗岳得其傳,名聞海內,著有―太極拳論,太極拳解,行功心解,搭手歌,總勢歌等書。溫州陳州同從學宗岳;由此太極之術則傳入温州。又百餘年至明嘉靖時則以張松溪為最著。
Laozi said [Daodejing, chapter 43]: “The softest thing in the world [referring to water] wears away the hardest thing in the world.” Taiji Boxing is a method of achieving softness. Mengzi said [Mengzi, chapter 2a]: “I am good at nurturing my noble energy.” Its energy fills the spine and flows through the whole body to the four limbs. Taiji Boxing is a purely a method of training energy. The Way according to Mengzi came from Confucius, and Confucius had once asked Laozi about the Way. This sufficiently demonstrates that Taiji Boxing’s methods originated from Laozi, its principles then expressing with Mengzi.
  In the Tang Dynasty, it reached Xu Xuanping and Li Daozi. Xu was Huizhou Prefecture, Xi County, Jiangnan. 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 his feet. When he walked, he seemed as fast as a horse. He often carried firewood to sell in the marketplace, chanting to himself:

At dawn I carry firewood to sell.
By dusk I have spent all my money on wine.
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…” But it was generally known as Thirty-Seven Posture Taiji Boxing.
  Li Daozi was born by the Yangzte River, his native home being Anqing, and he was a contemporary of Xu. Some have said that he lived more than a thousand years, that during the Song Dynasty he wandered, mingling amongst people, and 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, but these are wild tales not even found in historical records, and so we should describe him as a man only of the Tang Dynasty.
  From Xu and Li, the art continued to be passed down until it reached the Wudang elixirist Zhang Sanfeng of the Song Dynasty. He was from Yizhou in Liaodong. His given name was Quanyi, and he was also called Tong, Junshi, Yuanyuan, as well as Sanfengzi and Kunyang, but because he had a slovenly appearance, people of the time called him “Zhang the Slob”. He was born with an unusual nature. He was hunched like a tortoise and had a skeleton like a crane. He had big ears and round eyes. His beard was like a trident. He was more 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. He could eat an enormous quantity of food, go long periods without eating at all, or would eat only fruit.
  He had memorized the classic texts and enjoyed living in harmony, wandering restlessly to find it. He came to the Wudang Mountains (in Hubei) and told the people in the rocky valley: “I bet this place must’ve been breathtaking in bygone days.” At that time, the temples of Five Dragons, Southern Cliff, and Purple Clouds had all been ruined by soldiers. So Zhang took his disciples amidst the destruction and debris, and there they built a thatched hut. A story goes that “Emperor Huizong summoned him, but his route was blocked and he could not get through…” When the Jurchen army invaded, Zhang single-handedly killed over five hundred of their troops. The people of Shaanxi admired his bravery and hundreds went to learn from him.
  Over a hundred years later, during the reign of Kublai Khan [1260–1294], Wang Zongyue of Xi’an obtained the art and became renowned everywhere. He authored the “Taiji Boxing Treatise”, “Taiji Boxing Essay”, “Understanding How to Practice”, the “Touching Hands Song”, and the “Set of Postures Song”. Chen Zhoutong of Wenzhou learned from Wang, and then the Taiji art spread through Wenzhou. More than a hundred years later, during the reign of the Ming Dynasty emperor Jiajing [1521–1567], Zhang Songxi became the most notable master of the art.

張松溪浙江鄞縣人,師孫十三老。松溪為人,恂恂如儒者,遇人恭敬,身不勝衣;人求其術,輒遜謝避去。時少林僧以拳勇名天下,値倭奴亂,當局者召僧擊之,有僧七十輩,聞松溪名,至鄞縣求見,松溪蔽匿不出,少年慫恿之,試一往;見諸僧方校技酒樓上,忽失笑,僧知其松溪也,遂求試。松溪曰:『必欲試,須召里正約,死無問。』僧許之。松溪袖手坐,一僧跳躍來蹴,松溪稍側身,舉手送之,其僧如飛丸隕空,墜重樓下幾斃,衆僧始駭服而散。後常與諸少年入城,諸少年閉之月城中,羅拜曰;『今進退無所,幸一試之。』松溪不得已,乃使諸少年擧圜石可數百斤者累之。謂曰:『吾七十老人,無所用試,供諸君一笑可乎?『言畢,舉手側而劈之,三石皆分為兩。松溪之徒三人,四明,葉繼美字近泉。王皋,季化南;而近泉則獨優。四明從近泉學者,吳崑山,周雲泉,單思南,陳貞石,孫繼槎等人。吳崐山傳李天目,徐岱岳。李天目傳余時仲,吳七郞,陳茂宏。周雲泉傳盧紹岐。陳貞石傳董扶輿,夏枝溪。孫繼槎傳柴元胡,姚石門,僧耳,僧尾。而思南之傳,則王征南,
[From the bio of Zhang Songxi, Records of Ningbo Prefecture, book 31: “Those With Skills”:]
  Zhang Songxi was from Yin County, Zhejiang. His teacher was Sun Shisan. Zhang was as courteous as a Confucian scholar, respectful to everyone he met, seeming to be deferential even to his own clothes. When someone sought his art, he declined them with modesty and evaded the subject.
  The Shaolin monks were at this time famous fighters throughout the nation, and during the period of Wokou piracy, they had been called upon to fend off the pirates. A mob of seventy of the monks, having heard of Zhang Songxi’s fame, went to his native Yin County to seek him out. Zhang stayed in and hid himself away, but the young monks taunted him to come try his luck. Meeting them all in the upper level of a restaurant while they were comparing their skills with each other, he suddenly started laughing at them. They knew he was Zhang Songxi and then sought to test him. Zhang said: “If you insist upon it, you must talk to the headman of the village to see whether or not death would be permitted.” The monks agreed to such a fight, but Zhang slipped his hands into his sleeves and took a seat. One of the monks then attacked him with a jumping kick, and 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 dispersed.
  Once when he was entering a city among some youths, they sealed him off within the arched gateway. They surrounded him and saluted, and he was told, “Now that you can’t go forward or back, we trust that you will grant us a bout.” Zhang had no choice, so he had the youths pile up round stones that each weighed hundreds of pounds. Wearily he said, “I’m a seventy year old man, with no use at all but to see if I can make you gentlemen laugh.” He then raised his left hand, leaned in, and brought it down with a chop. And the three stones were split in two.
  Zhang Songxi had three students: Ye Jimei, called Jinquan, of Siming, as well as Wang Gao and Ji Huanan. Ye Jinquan, the best of these students, then taught others from his hometown: 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.

思南從征關白,歸老於家,以其術授人,然精微所在,亦深自祕惜;掩關而理,學者皆不得見。征南從樓上穴板窺之,得梗槪。思南子不肖,思南自傷身後,莫之經紀。征南聞之,以銀𠂬數器奉為美價之資,思南感其意,始盡以不傳者傳之。征南為人機警,得傳之後,絕不露圭角,非甚困則不發。
王征南明末人;名來咸,少時隸盧海道若騰。海道較藝給粮,征南嘗兼數人,直詣行部,征南七矢破的,補臨山把總。錢忠介公建國,以中軍統營事,屢立戰功,授都督僉事副總兵官。事敗猶與華兵部勾結島人,藥書往復,兵部受禍,仇首未懸。征南終身菜食,以明其志,識者哀之,當征南之從戎時,嘗夜出偵事,為守兵所獲,反接廊柱,數十人轟飯守之。征南拾碎磁偷割其縛,探懷中銀望空而擲,數十人爭攫,征南遂免出,數十人追之,皆踣地匍匐不能起;行數里,迷道田間,守者以為賊,聚衆圍之。征南所向,則無不受傷。歲暮獨行,遇營兵七八人,挽之負重,征南苦辭求免,不聽,征南至橋上,棄其負,營兵拔刀擬之,征南手格而營兵自擲仆地,鏗然刀墮,如是者數人,最後取其刀投井中,營兵索綆出刀,而征南已去遠矣。征南搏人,皆以其穴。有死穴,暈穴,啞穴,其術要訣,為敬,緊,徑,切,勤,五字。有惡少侮之者,為征南擊,其人數日不溺,踵門謝過,乃得如故。牧童竊學其法以擊伴侶,立死。征南往視之曰;『此暈穴也,不久當甦。』己而果然。征南任俠,常為人報仇,然激於不平而後為。有與征南久故者,致金以仇其弟,征南毅然絕之日;『此以禽獸待我也。』征南罷事歸家,慕其才藝者,以為貧必易致,營將皆通慇懃;而征南則漠然不顧,鋤地担糞,若不知其所長,有易於求食者在也。一日遇故人,故人與營將同居,方延松江敎師,講易武藝;敎師倨坐彈三弦,視征南麻布縕袍若無有。故人謂征南善拳法,敎師斜盼之曰:『若亦能此乎?』征南謝不敏,敎師軒衣張眉曰:「亦可小試之乎?」征南固謝不敏。敎師以其畏己也,强之愈力,征南不得巳而應,敎師被跌,請復之較,再跌,而流血被面,敎師乃下拜,贄以二縑。征南嘗遊玩於天童,見僧山燄有臂力,四五人不能掣其手,稍近征南,則蹶然負痛。征南未嘗讀書,然與士大夫談論,則蘊藉可喜,不見其為麤人也。
[From the “Memorial Inscription for Wang Zhengnan” by Huang Zongxi:]
  Returning home after military service, Dan Sinan taught the art, but kept the deeper aspects of it to himself. He shut his door during his own practice so his students could not see him. But Wang watched him from the upper level through a hole in the floor and got the gist of it. Dan Sinan was despondent that his sons were worthless, leaving him with no heirs for his business [selling tea]. Wang overheard this and made a gift of many silver wine goblets to go toward the purchase of the best catalpa trees around [for growing tea leaves]. So touched was Dan Sinan by this, he then taught Wang all that he had not previously taught to anyone else. Wang himself was a careful sort of man, very mindful of what he had learned, never showing it off, never even showing it at all unless a real emergency made him do so.
  Wang Zhengnan, called Laixian, was from the end of the Ming Dynasty. When he was young, he was servant to Lu Haidao, called Ruoteng. Examining his aptitudes, Lu gave him a position, and Wang was then performing the duties of many people all at once, liaising between offices. Since Wang fulfilled all of his tasks with precision, he was put in charge of supplying the Linshan barracks. Qian Zhongjie, called Jianguo, then made him the main army barracks coordinator. He was repeatedly honored for meritorious service and finally promoted by the provincial officer to deputy barracks commander.
  Then the defeat came [i.e. the ousting of the Ming government by the Qing – 1644], and it was as though the Chinese military was trapped on an island. Solutions went back and forth, but the ministry of war sank under utter calamity. Until the enemy’s heads are put on display, Wang decided he would be a vegetarian, for the rest of his life if necessary, to show his patriotic devotion, which strongly impressed his colleagues. Wang then joined the army.
  Happening to be out one night during a search for a spy, he got arrested by some soldiers, and his hands were tied behind him around a pillar. While the dozens of men guarding him grew more boisterous in their drinking, Wang managed to get a hold of some broken porcelain and sawed through his ropes. He then took a silver coin out of his shirt, threw it up into the air, and fled while the soldiers fought over it. They tried to give chase, but being too drunk to stand firm, they all toppled over like dominoes. They followed him for a few miles and became lost in the fields. Stubbornly thinking Wang to be a traitor, they assembled to surround him, but every soldier that got in his way received an injury.
  During the final year of his life, Wang was walking alone and chanced to meet a group of seven or eight soldiers who suddenly conscripted him to carry their heavy gear. Wang pleaded desperately to be released from the task, but they would not listen. So Wang took the weight as far as a bridge and then chucked it over the side. The soldiers grabbed their sabers and moved to punish him, but he blocked with his bare hands and threw one of them to the ground, the man’s saber clanging down. He then did this to each of them, and after the last one, he took up their sabers and flung them down a well. The soldiers pulled up the rope to get their sabers back, but Wang was long gone.
  Whenever he fought people, he always made use of acupoints, targetting points that would cause death, fainting, or muteness. (The key to his art was these five terms: focused, sticky, expedient, precise, potent.) There was an insulting young ruffian who was struck by Wang and could pass no urine for a number of days. He had to go knock on Wang’s door and apologize in order to regain the ability. A shepherd boy had been secretly learning his techniques [just as Wang himself had done] and used them to hit one of his young friends, who suddenly died because of it. Wang investigated and said: “The spot you hit only causes fainting. He’ll wake up in a little while.” As indeed he did.
  Wang was chivalrous, roused to action against injustice rather than any cause of vengeance. A man who had known Wang for a long time nevertheless presented him with some money to avenge his younger brother. Wang cut him off sharply: “You’re confusing me with a beast.”
  When Wang gave up the military life and went home, many who admired his skills worried that he would surely become destitute. Many barracks commanders reached out with offers, but Wang did not care and paid them no attention. He plowed his land and applied manure, seeming to not know at all that he could get food so much more easily by making use of his expertise.
  Wang bumped into an old friend one day who had been housed with the barracks commander. The commander had just hired an instructor from Songjiang to train the troops in martial arts. The instructor arrogantly sat plucking at a lute and looked at Wang in his hemp hat and rough robe as though he was not even there. The friend said Wang was an expert at boxing arts. The instructor peeked at Wang out of the corner of his eye and said: “How could he be?” Wang politely denied that he was. The instructor straightened his top, raised his eyebrows, and said: “Can I test you a little?” Wang even more politely denied that he was an expert. The instructor accused him of being afraid and pushed him more and more aggressively, until Wang had no alternative but to act. After the instructor had been thrown, he asked for more. So he was thrown again and blood flowed out from a cut on his face. He bowed to Wang and afterward made a gift to him of fine silks.
  Wang once went strolled into the Tiantong Temple, where the monk Shanyan was a very brawny specimen. Four or five men at a time could not pull him by the arm, but then a slight pressure from Wang made him collapse in pain.
  Wang never went to school, yet he could talk in an urbane and cordial manner with scholars, and they never looked upon him as a coarse peasant.

此拳至淸傳河南蔣發。蔣發傳懷慶府陳家溝陳長興。長興立身,常中正不倚,形若木鷄,人因稱之為婢位先生。先生傳楊露禪,李伯魁,陳耕芸……等數十人,惟露禪術最精。露禪,傳其子錤,鈺,鑑,及王蘭亭諸人。長子錤早死無傳。次子鈺字班侯傳萬春,全佑……等,三子鑑字健侯,傳其子兆熊,兆淸,兆元,兆林,兆祥,等,近日南北習太極者,大多數由楊氏遞相傳授者。
現代太極劍專家,李公景林,係傳自皖省陳世鈞隱士;其擊劍之妙,純任自然。近來按運用劍法之精神,研究太極拳,劍,兩項,而溶化為一。純用神意,不尚身法氣力。與學者演習時,觸者立跌出數丈;與其他太極家運用迥然不同,而其理則一也。
In the Qing Dynasty, this art was passed down to Jiang Fa, who then taught it to Chen Changxing of the Chen Family Village, Huaiqing Prefecture [in Henan]. Chen always stood straight, not inclining in any direction, and was as expressionless as a rooster made of wood, so people called him Mr. Board. He taught Yang Luchan, Li Baikui, Chen Gengyun, and others. Among all his fellow students, Yang was the best. He taught the art 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. His second son, 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 – and others. Nowadays, what most Taiji practitioners everywhere have learned is the transmission from the Yang family.
  The modern Taiji Sword master Li Jinglin learned [his Wudang Sword art] from the recluse Chen Shijun of Anhui. The secret to his sword skill is pure naturalness, and he has in recent years applied this essential quality from his sword art to his studies of both Taiji Boxing and Taiji Sword, merging them together into a single common principle. He entirely relies on using spirit, rather than emphasizing body techniques and physical strength. When practicing with his students, a single touch immediately makes an opponent stumble over ten feet away. His version may look a little different from other Taiji masters, but the theory is all still the same.

太極拳眞義
THE TRUE MEANING OF TAIJI BOXING

無形無象,全身透空;應物自然,西山懸磬。
虎吼猿鳴,衆淸水靜;翻江閙海,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 hills [their sound resonating far].
Have the roar of a tiger and the cry of an ape.
The bubbling spring keeps fresh the calm stream.
Divert the river and turn back the sea.
Fulfill your nature and accept your destiny.

八字歌
SONG OF THE EIGHT TECHNIQUES

掤捋擠按世界稀,十個藝人十不知,若能輕靈並堅硬,黏連粘隨俱無疑。
採挒肘靠更出奇,行之不用費心思,果得粘連黏隨字,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 be sure to manifest.
  The techniques of plucking, rending, elbowing, and bumping are yet more unusual,
and if you execute them unsuccessfully, they will just be wasted ideas.
But if you are capable with the qualities of sticking, adhering, connecting, and following,
you will occupy the central position and not be dislodged from it.

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。
The lower back is first to command, the throat second to command, the solar plexus third to command.
丹田為第一之賓輔,指掌為第二之賓輔,足掌為第三之賓輔。
The elixir field is first to obey, the palms second to obey, the soles of the feet third to obey.

週身大用論
ON FULLY USING THE BODY

一要性心與意靜,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,問盡天下衆英豪,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, as long as you never show your throat,
you will be able to handle yourself against the best in the world.
How can these things be achieved?
By way of total awareness, inside and out, in general and in detail.

十六關要論
THE SIXTEEN KEY POINTS

蹬之於足,
[1] Pressing is felt at the foot.
行之於腿,
[2] Movement lies with your legs.
縱之於膝,
[3] Springiness lies with your knees.
活潑於腰,
[4] Liveliness lies with your waist.
靈通於背,
[5] Nimbleness lies with your spine.
神貫於頂,
[6] Spirit penetrates to your headtop.
流行於氣,
[7] Flowing lies with your energy.
運之於掌,
[8] Wielding lies with your palms.
通之於指,
[9] Piercing lies with your fingers.
歛之於髓,
[10] Gathering is a matter of your marrow.
達之於神,
[11] Arriving is a matter of your spirit.
凝之於耳,
[12] Concentration depends on your ears.
息之於鼻,
[13] Breathing occurs through your nose.
呼吸往來於口,
[14] Breath is expressed at your mouth.
渾噩於身,
[15] Simplicity depends on your torso.
全體發之於毛。
[16] The issuing of your whole body reaches to every hair.

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

博學 是多工夫
[1] Learn abundantly. (This will lead to a great deal of skill.)
審問 不是口問是聽勁
[2] Inquire meticulously. (This does not have to do with querying verbally, but with listening to energy.)
愼思 時時想念
[3] Ponder wholeheartedly. (Think about the material constantly.)
明辨 生生不己
[4] Discriminate clearly. (New things will always continue to come at you [and you should keep yourself from being distracted by things that are not important].)
篤行 如天行健
[5] Practice sincerely. (“Nature acts with vigor. [Likewise a gentleman ceaselessly improves himself.]” – Hexagram 1 of the Book of Changes)

太極拳論
THE TAIJI BOXING TREATISE

一舉動,週身俱要輕靈。
Once there is any movement, your entire body should be nimble and alert.
純任自然,不用拙力,則舉動自然輕靈。
Acting from pure naturalness, not using any awkward exertion, your movement will automatically be nimble and alert.

尤須貫串。
There especially needs to be connection from movement to movement.
聯絡一氣,綿綿不斷,即為貫串;若勁一斷,彼必乘虛而入,其害匪淺。
To link movements together as a single flow, continuous without interruption, is what is meant by “connection”. If this flow is interrupted at all, the opponent will take advantage of the gap and get through, and so this is no minor error.

氣宜鼓盪,神宜內歛。
Energy should be roused and spirit should be collected within.
鼓盪者,冲實也。內歛者,神靜之謂也。靜則不亂,故未練之先,神宜內歛。由靜生動,以神貫之,以意引之;磨習旣久,始有意之所至,即力之所至之境。
Energy being “roused” means that it is rushing through you, but spirit being “collected within” means that your spirit is in a state of calm. Calmness will keep your movement from falling into disorder, and so before practicing, your spirit should by inwardly collected. Movement is generated from stillness, spirit coursing through it, intention drawing it forth. After practicing over a long period, you will possess the quality of power arriving wherever intention arrives.

無使有凸凹處,無使有斷續時,無使有缺陷處。
Do not allow there to be protrusions or pits anywhere, breaks in the flow anywhere, cracks or gaps anywhere.
凸凹則不平,不平則間斷,斷則易為人所制;斷續則不圓,不圓則易為人所乘。一有缺陷,則彼乘虛而入,此皆致敗之由。
If your postures have pits or protrusions, they will have an unevenness, which will lead to your flow of movement becoming interrupted, which will in turn make it easy for the opponent to control you. If there are breaks in the flow, your movement will lose its roundness, and then the opponent will easily take advantage of this. If there is a crack or gap, then the opponent will take advantage of it and find a way through. Each of these things will result in failure.

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,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.
人之呼吸,由頂至踵;呼吸深長,始可完成一氣。上下相合,隨屈就伸,太極以手指放入,而跌出者,此稍力也。指甲為筋之梢;人身最堅固者筋,最力大者氣。由足跟直發於指,形若砲火,一轟而出,故人不知也。
Let your breath reach from head to heels, deep and long, and then you will be able to fulfill the quality of issuing with a single flow. With your upper body and lower coordinating with each other, follow and bend, then engage and extend. Taiji releases power at the fingertips, throwing the opponent away with the slightest amount of force. The fingertips represent the ending point of the sinews, but whereas the strongest body relies on the sinews, the most powerful body relies on energy. Issuing from heel to fingers is like the boom of a cannon, thus catching the opponent by surprise.

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.
如不得機勢,身即動搖不定,心即愴惶不止,此拳術家最大之病,故必須注意於腰腿。
The result of missing is your body swaying unstably and your mind getting flustered into losing its bearings. This is the greatest error in this boxing art. Therefore you must pay attention to your waist and legs.

上下左右前後皆然,凡此皆是意,不在外面,有上即有下,有前即有後,有左即有右,
This is always so, regardless of the direction of the movement, be it up, down, left, right, forward, back. 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 forward comes a backward, and with a left comes a right.
上下前後左右之動作,處處必須用於腰腿,外形雖然動作輕靈;而內中須有一意存焉,彼力微着我身,我力直達彼內;彼來成虛,我去成實,此即意之用也。
To move in any direction – up or down, forward or back, left or right – you always have to use your waist and legs. Outwardly the movement looks nimble, but inwardly there has to be a single intention. Once the opponent makes the slightest contact with my body, my energy reaches inside his. His incoming force is made empty, while my outgoing force is made full. This is the function of intention.

如意要向上,即寓下意。若將物掀起;而加以挫之之意。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.
交手之時,總是隨機應變。動無定時,隨曲就伸,處處相隨,變化無窮,令人莫測。彼旣心神失措,則我勁發必着,自為我制矣。
When sparring, always act according to the situation. I move without pattern, following and bending, engaging and extending, all parts working in coordination, transforming endlessly, causing the opponent to have no idea what I am doing. His mind will become disoriented, and then when I issue power, it is sure to be effective, for he will naturally be under my control.

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,無令絲毫間斷耳。
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.
兵家云:『虛則實之,實則虛之。』此舉動必用之要訣也。我拳術家,更當注重,不可忽視。彼虛我實,彼實我虛,總須我意在先,彼意在後,彼不知我,我獨知人。氣如車輪,週身聯貫。渙散呆滯,此拳家必戒。交手時,彼身似動未動,我力己至;然而處處只一虛實也。
Military strategists say: “Where he is empty, fill, and where he is full, empty.” This is the major key to the art. Masters strongly stress that it must not be neglected. When the opponent empties, I fill. If he fills, I empty. It is always necessary that my intention arrive first and that his is too late. He does not know me, only I know him. When energy is like a wheel, it keeps the whole body consistent, for to be either too limp or too stiff is forbidden in this art. During sparring, in the moment when the opponent is about to move but has not yet moved, my power has already arrived. It is always simply a matter of emptiness and fullness.

太極拳經
THE TAIJI BOXING CLASSIC

太極者,無極而生,動靜之機,陰陽之母也。
Taiji [grand polarity] is born of wuji [nonpolarity]. It is the manifestation of movement and stillness, and the mother of yin and yang [the passive and active aspects].
太,大也,甚也。極者,中也,至也;又窮也;樞紐根柢之謂。陰陽生於太極,為萬物之根本;而太極拳則為各拳之領袖也。此拳重在鍛鍊精神。運勁作勢,純任自然,不偏不倚,不拘形式,以虛無為本,而包羅萬象。故曰無極。太極本無極,處處分陰陽虛實;故名之曰太極。然初學者,就有形之姿式,入手學習,久之着熟,然後懂勁,融會慣通,始能入於神化之境。機者,巧也,又樞機也。夫動靜無端,陰陽無始,當行功時,中心泰然,抱元守一,未嘗不靜。神明不測,有觸即發,未嘗無動。於動時,存靜意。於靜中,寓動機。一動一靜,合乎自然。此太極拳之所以妙也。
Tai means the “grand” or “great”. Ji means the “center”, the “perfect”, the “ultimate”, or the “central pivot point”. The passive and active aspects are generated from this “grand pivot” and form the basis for everything. Taiji Boxing thus sets the finest example among the various boxing arts. This boxing art emphasizes refining spirit and uses the wielding of energy to make the postures, which are natural, unexaggerated, and unrestrictive in their shapes. Emptiness is the foundation, yet it embraces everything, and thus it is called wuji [also meaning “no limit”]. Once a grand polarity has emerged from a state of nonpolarity, there is everywhere a distinction between passive and active, empty and full. This is why this boxing art is called Taiji. However, a beginner should work on the postures as the initial training. After a long period of becoming familiar with them and then identifying energies, you will naturally have a breakthrough and you will be on your way toward a quality of the miraculous.
  By “manifestation” is meant the key moment, the pivoting from one state to another. There is no beginning or end to the cyclings of stillness and movement, passive and active. When practicing, there is calm within the mind, an embracing of a primordial state of oneness, everything in stillness. Then be magically unpredictable, issuing as soon as there is contact, everything in motion. When moving, preserve an intention of stillness, but within the stillness dwells the potential for more movement. Every moment of movement or stillness conforms to naturalness. Herein lies the subtlety of Taiji Boxing.

動之則分,靜之則合。
When there is movement, the passive and active aspects become distinct from each other. When there is stillness, they return to being indistinguishable.
不動時,渾然一太極。如微動,則陰陽分焉。其靜的姿式;雖無痕跡可指;然陰陽虛實,已具其中。故曰靜之則合,而功重在虛靜。虛則無所不容;靜則無所不應。學者務須詳察領會,自無不如意也。
When you are not moving, you are a taiji all over. As soon as you make the slightest movement, then passive and active become distinguishable. In postures of stillness, although there is no trace of anything that can be specifically pointed out, passive and active, empty and full, are all already within. Therefore it is said that in stillness they become indistinguishable. “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.” Examine this statement until you grasp its meaning, and then everything will go your way.

無過不及,隨屈就伸。
Neither going too far nor not far enough, comply and bend then engage and extend.
過、逾也。不及,未至也。就,即也。過與不及,皆為失中。與人相接之時,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。初學此拳者每失之過迨,稍動勁,則每失之不及。學者宜審愼之。
“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 connecting with an opponent, I adapt to his 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, you will stay connected with the opponent. In the beginning of learning this boxing art, you will usually go too far, but then when you to start to identify energies, you will often fail to go far enough. Be mindful of this.

人剛我柔謂之走,我順人背謂之粘。
He is hard while I am soft – this is yielding. My energy is smooth while his energy is coarse – this is sticking.
人者,敵也。剛,指有力而言。柔,即順也。走者,化也。以柔順變化敵力之方向,不為所制;故曰走。敵施力時,我順其勢而制之;使其就我之範圍;故曰粘。太極拳,常以小力勝大力為主旨。據常理言之,固然不可;而敵之勝者,必有理在。蓋敵力須加吾身,方生效力。苟能御制得道,審機應變;以彼力還制彼身,則我雖弱,常居制人之地位;敵雖力大,何由施哉。然非好學深思之士,未足悟此。
By “he” is of course meant the opponent. Hardness indicates being forceful. Softness has to do with smoothness. Yielding has to do with neutralizing. Using softness and smoothness, I change according to the direction of the opponent’s force so that it does not restrict me. This is what is meant by “yielding”. When he exerts force, I go along with his momentum and thereby take charge of it, causing him to lean into range of my control. This is what is meant by “sticking”.
  The substance of Taiji Boxing is to always use little strength to defeat the opponent’s great strength. According to conventional thinking, this is impossible. But for the opponent to win requires this principle: his power has to get to me in order for it to have any effect. So if I can gain control over what he is trying to do, watching for opportunity and responding accordingly, I will send his force back to him and thereby control his body. Thus even if I am weaker, I am always in charge of the opponent’s position. Even if he is stronger than me, what can he do? However, if you are not an ardent student who ponders deeply upon these things, these words will not be enough to enlighten you.

動急則急應,動緩則緩隨;雖變化萬端,而理為一貫。
If he moves fast, I quickly respond, and if his movement is slow, I leisurely follow. However countless his changes may be, the principle of this timing is a single constant.
此言與人交手,隨彼之緩急而施之也。然非兩臂圓活,週身松靜;實難得相當之效力。敵雖變化萬端,由一本而萬殊;而我執兩用中,扼萬殊使歸一本。審機應候,守一以臨,設非功深,不易知也。
When sparring, move in accordance with the opponent’s speed. Even if your arms are nimble and your whole body is relaxed, it will be very difficult to get it right. No matter what my opponent does, I operate from a single principle – a state of readiness between the two choices of speeding up or slowing down. I thereby put all his variations into that one context. I watch for opportunity and respond according to the situation, holding to the one principle in order to have control over the situation. But if your skill is not yet deep, this will not be easy to understand.

由着熟而慚悟懂勁,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.
習太極拳,進功自有一定程度;萬不可躐等躁進。此拳之妙,全在用勁;(勁字係由功深而練出不可作力量解)然勁為無形,必附於有形之着,方合於用。有每恃用勁,輕視用着,手之發也,難以命中,皆不明此中之深理,而濫竽用勁之故也。練此拳術,先求姿勢正確,再求互相聯貫之精神,熟習之後,須求各勢之用法。再由推手,研究懂勁;由微懂,而略懂,進至無微不覺,無時不然,方稱懂勁。再進至非着非勁,而勁自合;以意運勁,以氣代意;精神所觸,莫之能禦。此卽階及神明豁然貫通也。
In practicing Taiji Boxing, there is a fixed process of progress. You cannot skip steps and rush ahead. The key to Taiji Boxing is entirely a matter of using energy. (This “energy” comes from a deeper level of training, and cannot be explained only in terms of physical strength.) Although the energy is shapeless, it must be in accord with the shape of the technique in order for that technique to work. Every technique depends on energy, but if you neglect the technique itself, then when your hands issue, they will miss the target. This is always a case of not understanding the deeper theory and just making a show of using energy.
  In practicing this boxing art, first get the postures correct, then focus on linking them together. Once you can do the solo set fluently, you must focus on each posture’s function. Then use the pushing hands exercises to work on identifying energies. You will learn to know them a little bit, then a little more, until you progress to the point that you sense the slightest thing and always get it right, and then you can be said to be identifying energies. Then you will progress to the point that you no longer need to use techniques, and then not even need to use energy, for the energy will happen by itself. You will be wielding power by way of intention, intention taking the placing of energy. There will be spirit in your touch and nothing will be able to stand against it. You will have thus proceeded to the level of the miraculous, and suddenly everything will be clear to you.

虛領頂勁,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.
虛者,空也;無意無形之謂。頂者,頭頂也。頭為全身之綱領,又卽拳家之機樞。故運勁於腦,貫神於頂,練神歸一,勿使散亂。道家稱此為上丹田,泥丸宮,卽藏神之府;又為練神之庫。夫人大腦主思想,小腦主運動;且能支配神經,為主宰之樞府。道家之謂,丹田有三:一居頭頂以藏神,一居中脘以蓄炁,一居臍下(臍下三寸)以藏精。氣沉丹田,指下丹田而言。常用深呼吸,歸納於此,自能氣足神旺。蓋常人呼吸短促,每至中脘而回,(卽橫隔膜也)不能下達:因肺力薄弱,循環遲緩之故。練者應虛心實腹,納故吐新。以心意導精氣於下丹田;則自能血脈靈活,排泄炭養;亦自屹然不動,不易憾倒。但沉者,宜徐徐而下,在有意無意之間,萬不可用力下沉,外臌小腹;倘若不愼,每致發生腸痛諸症。不偏不倚者,中正是也。忽隱忽現者,則若顯若沒,變化千端,令人莫測之謂也。
“Forcelessly” means emptily. There is no intention, no shape. “Headtop” means the top of the head. The head is the guide of the body, considered by boxing masters to be the keypoint of one’s structure. When energy moves in the brain, spirit courses through to the headtop. Train spirit until it returns to a state of oneness and then do not allow it to become disordered. Daoists call it the “upper elixir field” or the “clay pellet palace”. It is the mansion in which the spirit is stored, as well as the warehouse in which spirit is developed. A person’s cerebrum controls thought, while the cerebellum controls movement. The brain controls all of the nerves, and thus it is the “governor’s mansion”.
  The Daoists say there are three elixir fields: one at the headtop storing spirit, one in the belly storing energy, and one below the navel (about three inches below) storing essence. To “sink energy to the elixir field” has to do with the lower elixir field. Through constant deep breathing, which causes energy to accumulate at this area, you will naturally have sufficient energy and abundant spirit. The length of the ordinary person’s breath is short, only going as deep as the belly (i.e. meeting the diaphragm [but not expanding it]), and cannot make it to the elixir field. This causes the lungs to weaken and the circulation to slow. You should [from Daodejing, chapter 3:] “empty the mind, fill the abdomen” and [from Zhuangzi, chapter 15] “expel old air and take in fresh”. Use intention to guide energy to the lower elixir field, and then you will naturally be able to liven your blood circulation so that it is more efficiently removing impurities. You will also be majestically stable and it will not be easy for someone to affect you or make you topple. But sinking the energy should be done slowly, somewhere between deliberately and unconsciously. You must not forcefully try to get it to sink, outwardly bulging your abdomen. If you are not careful, this would produce intestinal pains and other ailments.
  To neither lean nor slant means that you are centered and upright. To suddenly hide and suddenly appear means that you seem to disappear and reappear, transforming with such variety that you render the opponent incapable of figuring out what you are doing.

左重則左虛,右重則右杳。仰之則彌高,俯之則彌深。進之則愈長,退之則愈促。
When there is pressure on the left, the left empties. When there is pressure on the right, the right disappears. 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.
左重左虛者,卽解釋與敵黏手,隱現無常之謂也。敵以吾力在左,欲加重吾左方之力,使失平衡;吾則虛以待之,敵自墮吾術中;右方亦然。杳則不可捉摸之意,使之處處落空,無何可施。仰者,升也。俯者,降也。敵欲提我使上,則我因而高之。敵欲抑我使下,則吾因而降之。使彼處處失中,自受吾制。此卽黏隨不丟之意。吾前進時,敵欲順領吾勁,吾卽長身隨之,加力擊之:使其無法退避,如吾牽動敵身,彼順我而逼之;我當以佯退轉進之法以施之。倘敵隨之深入,吾則或俯身含胸,或摺疊動搖,或以指促其腕,或旁按兩脅臂彎:使敵急迫不安,無可再進。
“When there is pressure on the left, the left empties.” While sticking to the opponent’s hands, I hide and reappear inconstantly. If the opponent feels me applying force on my left side and wants to add pressure to it to cause me to lose my balance, I then empty my left side and await his pressure, and he will naturally fall into my trap. The situation on my right side is the same, but to “disappear” means that he cannot figure out what I am doing. I make him always land on nothing, and then there is nothing he can do.
  “Looking up” means rising. “Looking down” means lowering. If the opponent wants to lift me to make me go upward, I then continue it even higher, or if he wants to crush me to make me go downward, I then continue it even lower. This makes him lose his balance and he naturally ends up under my control. This is the idea of sticking, following, and not coming away.
  When I advance, if the opponent goes along with it to draw me in, I then extend my body and follow his lead, increasing the force of my attack, so that he cannot evade me. If instead I was drawing him in and he was following to crowd me, I would play a trick of feigning retreat to then turn retreat into advance. As he gets nearer, I may bend my body and hollow my chest, or fold up and give a shake, or use my fingers to divert his wrist, or twist sideways to push against his ribs or elbow, making him crowded and uncomfortable, and unable to advance any farther.

一羽不能加,一蠅不能落。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. He does not know me, only I know him. A hero is one who encounters no opposition, and it is through this kind of method that such a condition is achieved.
此言善太極拳者,感覺靈敏,一觸卽知;雖微小蠅蟲,亦不能加之也。練至虛靈不味,感而遂通,自有不期然而然之境,我一着一意,必須先期而至,不令使之覺察;則我奇幻突出,敵不及防。彼一略動,我意卽知。所謂『知己知彼,百戰不殆』,自能所向無敵矣。
This describes mastery of Taiji Boxing, having such sensitivity that you are aware of the merest touch. Even something as slight as a fly cannot find a place to land. Practice until you achieve a state of naturalness and clarity, seeing through the opponent with a touch, and giving no warning when you act. With every action and intention, I have to arrive first so as to keep my opponent from detecting it, and thus everything I do will be a surprise and he will not be able to defend against it. Whereas if he tries to do anything at all, I will already be aware of it. [From Art of War, chapter 3:] “Knowing both self and opponent, you will have not one defeat in a hundred battles.” By this means, you will naturally be unbeatable.

斯技旁門甚多,雖勢有區別,槪不外壯欺弱,慢讓快耳。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.
他項拳術頗多,派別不同,姿勢各異,皆不外乎壯欺弱,慢讓快;而太極拳,則不然。此拳皆以虛靈懂勁,知力審勢為主。貴謀而不貴勇,貴精而不貴多。敏捷力大,皆天賦之能力,與學力實有軒輊之別。
Despite there being so many other boxing arts, such variety of styles, each with their own kinds of postures, they are all nothing more than the strong bullying the weak and the slow yielding to the fast. But Taiji Boxing is not like this. This art emphasizes naturalness, the identifying of energies, awareness of force, and observation of position. It values strategy over bravery, and quality of technique over quantity. Speed and strength are both innate abilities, and are actually inferior to trained skilled.

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.
四兩撥千斤之句,則言太極拳,以小力能勝大力,以無力能制有力。耄耋禦衆,古今常理;如古之廉頗,今之二宋者,(世榮雲鶴二兄弟也,原籍宛平,寄居太谷)。雖老尚能勝衆,非持手足之快也。
“Four ounces moves a thousand pounds.” This describes Taiji Boxing’s use of a small force to defeat a large force, or an absence of force to gain control over a presence of force. The image of an old man fending off a whole group of attackers is common to both ancient and modern times, for instance the ancient general Lian Po and the modern Song brothers (Song Shirong and Song Yunhe from Wanping County [an old part of the area of Beijing], now living in Taigu County [in Shanxi]). Despite being old, they can still defeat a group, and it is not because of fast hands and feet.

立如平準,活似車輪;偏沉則隨,雙重則滯。
Stand like a scale. Move like a wheel. If you drop one side, you can move. If you have equal pressure on both sides, you will be stuck.
平準者,中正不倚也。活似車輪者,則氣如滚珠,週身如輪,循環不已,活潑不滯之意也。偏者,單重也。指一端而言。例如用一圓形方形二物,由平坦擲出,圓形必滾出數武,而方形幾動即不動矣。一是一端着地,故靈活無礙。一是兩端着地,則雙重遲滯。故太極拳貴單重,戒雙重。
To stand like a scale means to be balanced rather than leaning in any direction. To move like a wheel means that your energy is like a collection of ball bearings, your whole body turning unceasingly, lively and unhindered. To “drop” means to let there be “single pressure”, i.e. on only one side. For an analogy, if you toss two objects – one round and one square – onto a flat surface, the round object will roll away a good distance, but the square object will roll over just a few times and then stop. With only one part touching the ground, an object is nimble and unimpeded, but with two parts touching the ground, this creates a state of double pressure and slows it down. Therefore Taiji Boxing values a condition of single pressure and avoids having double pressure.

每見數年純功,不能運化者,率皆自為人制,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.
此歧正之分也。有數十年苦功者,與數年之拳家較;功深者奔北,功淺者凱旋。此皆不明雙重,不知運化,不悟虛靈之病耳。
This is the difference between taking the wrong path and the right one. There are those who have put decades of hard work into their training and then test their skill against seasoned masters, only to run away in shame if they are at a higher level or claim some kind of success if they are at a lower level. Their failure is always the error of not understanding the concepts of double pressure, neutralization, and naturalness.

欲避此病,須知陰陽;黏即是走,走即是黏;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.
此係解釋雙重之意。陰陽之說,茲不復贅。制敵勁時謂之黏,化敵勁時謂之走。彼高我隨之高,彼低我隨之低。知已知彼,斯為懂勁。
This has to do with the concept of double pressure. Passive and active have already been explained. To control the opponent’s power is “sticking”. To neutralize the opponent’s power is “yielding”. When he goes high, I follow high. When he goes low, I follow low. Knowing both self and opponent, you will be at the level of identifying energies.

懂勁後,愈練愈精。默識揣摩,漸至從心所欲,本是舍已從人,多誤舍近求遠。所謂『差之毫釐,謬之千里』;學者不可不詳辨焉。
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. The basic of basics is to forget about your plans and simply respond to the opponent. We often make the mistake of ignoring what is right in front of us in favor of something that has nothing to do with our immediate circumstances. For such situations it is said: “Miss by an inch, lose by a mile.” You must understand all this clearly.
懂勁後,為最要關鍵,萬勿稍懈,始獲無窮之益。再向不拘成見,毋彼毋我上面求功夫,方能審微入奧,由悟而覺;所謂『登堂入室』者此耳。
Identifying energies is the key to it all. Once at that level, everything will be easier, and then you will obtain limitless benefit. Become unconstrained by preconceived notions and transcend the distinction between “opponent” and “self”. Then you will be able to delve into deeper subtleties and go from understanding intellectually to knowing intuitively, and you will have “climbed the stairs to enter the hall” [i.e. achieved a high level].

十三勢歌 附十三勢行功心解
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,同敵變化示神奇。勢勢揆心須用意,得來不覺費工夫。刻刻留心在腰間,腹內松淨氣騰然。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,工夫無息法自休。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。歌兮歌兮百四十,字字眞切義無遺。若不向此推求去,枉費工夫貽歎息!
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.
(此歌之意義,前已注明,不再註解。)
(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
UNDERSTANDING HOW TO PRACTICE THE THIRTEEN DYNAMICS

十三勢者,掤,捋,擠,按,採,挒,肘,靠,進,退,顧,盼,中定,是也。
The thirteen dynamics are: warding off, rolling back, pressing, pushing, plucking, rending, elbowing, bumping, advancing, retreating, stepping to the left, stepping to the right, and staying in the center.

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.
心與意合,以意行氣,貴沉實,戒輕浮,聽自然,勿勉强。功力日久,自能塡髓壯骨。腹內松靜氣騰然;則言以氣運身之意也。只要姿式平順,自然氣動身至,從心所欲。
Mind unites with intention, using intention to move energy. Emphasize sinking and avoid floating. Give in to naturalness and avoid forcing things to happen. After practicing the art over a long period, it will automatically enrich your marrow and strengthen your bones. Within your belly, there should be relaxation and calmness, and thereby energy is roused, and you will thus have the condition of energy moving your body. You only need for the movements to have a smoothness, then naturally energy will be driving your body, and everything will happen as you wish.

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: “Your whole body will be nimble and your headtop will be pulled up as if suspended”.
精神貫頂,週身自然輕靈;不受拙力之支配,始無遲滯之患。
When spirit is coursing through to your headtop, your whole body will naturally be nimble. You will not be controlled by an awkward exertion, and thus you will be without the problems of moving sluggishly.

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 that you are to “pay attention to the alternation of empty and full”.
例如與人相黏,彼力在左,我當擊其右。我似發未發之間,彼己覺察,我當以別法變換,信手而應,攻其不備,此即變換靈妙之意。
For example, when sticking to an opponent, if he applies force to the left, I will attack to the right. In the moment when I seem about to issue but have not yet issued, he will sense what is happening, so I suddenly switch to doing something else and catch him unprepared. This is what is meant by having nimbleness.

發勁須沉着鬆淨,專主一方。立身須中正安舒,撑支八面。
When issuing power, you must be calm and relaxed, concentrating it in one direction. Your posture must be straight and comfortable, bracing in all directions.
沉着,乃拳家關重之要訣,一時不可忽略;偶一失愼,則必驚慌失措,為害甚烈。嘗聞某拳術家,工夫亦純,力量亦大。因閑爭而鬥毆,交手之間,身傷數處。忽有人告之曰:『拳術汝忘之乎?』彼即奔騰再較,大獲勝利。此皆心神忙亂,手足失措,不知沉着之為何物,以致有此極大之失敗也。後有人告之醒,方知己身是一位千變萬化之拳術家,則可再較凱旋。發勁不可亂發,亂發則無效。必須身松氣淨,專一猛施,自能發無不中。其發也,彌六合,則撑支八面何難也。
Calmness is considered by masters to be the key secret and must never be neglected. If you lose your cool for a moment, you will then end up in a state of panic, and injury will ensue. I once heard of a certain master who had a pure skill and tremendous power, and who during a fight just kept getting hurt. Suddenly someone called out: “Have you forgotten your boxing art?” His opponent then charged in again and defeated him grandly. This is all because his mind was in chaos, and hence his hands and feet were in disarray. Not knowing what calmness is, the result was huge failure. He was later reminded by someone that he was supposed to be a master of an art involving limitless transformation, and thereafter he was able to become triumphant once again. You must never issue when in a state of disorder, for it would be totally ineffective. You must relax completely and then suddenly concentrate your power. Your issuing can then always hit the mark. When you issue, let your presence fill the world, and thus there will be no difficulty in bracing in every direction.

行氣如九曲珠,無微不到;運勁如百練鋼,何堅不摧。
Move energy as though through a winding-path pearl, penetrating even the smallest nook. Wield power like tempered steel, so strong there is nothing tough enough to stand up against it.
此即一氣流動,長行不息之意也。有隙皆通,微空而至;能達四稍,通九竅。順之則行,背之則斷。勁者氣之至也。未發也蘊於內;其發也,突於外。如砲火然。其彈脫口而出,擋者皆傾;此皆一氣蒸發之力也。
This describes the way energy flows all the way along its path without stopping. It fills any gap on its way and gets into the tiniest of openings. It is able to reach to the four antennas [hair, nails, teeth, tongue] and the nine orifices [mouth, nostrils, eyes, ears, anus, urethra] If the energy has a smoothness, it will flow. If it has a coarseness, it will be interrupted. Power is the arrival of energy. Before issuing, it is stored inside. Upon issuing, it suddenly manifests outside. It is like cannon fire. Once the cannonball shoots out, everything in its path will be knocked aside as though evaporating away.

形如搏兔之鵠,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.
鵠之敏捷,多在盤旋之時。兩眼覩準機會,猛然進攻,突擊而中;則太極拳以行動之間,倐忽制敵,亦此理也。貓之為物,最能審機待勢,蓄而後發;其精妙處,全在用神,其功用處,以靜制動。
The agility of a falcon is usually found when it is circling in the air and its eyes spot an opportunity, then it suddenly attacks and charges upon its target. This represents the moment of action in Taiji Boxing, the swiftness with which you gain control over the opponent. The cat is the animal that is most capable of watching for opportunity and awaiting the right moment. It stores up and then springs into action. This kind of skillfulness depends entirely on using spirit. In practical terms, it is the use of stillness to overcome motion.

靜如山岳,動若江河。蓄勁如張弓,發勁如放箭。
In stillness, be like a mountain, and in movement, be like a river. Store power like drawing a bow. Issue power like loosing an arrow.
山岳之堅,人莫撼動。故言此拳以沉實為主,以川流不息為用。弓張越圓,箭放越速。弓乃富有彈力,箭執於中而後發。故太極拳,誠於中,而發於外,亦此意也。
With the firmness of a mountain, no one can shake you. Therefore this boxing art uses sinking solidly as its foundation, and upon that basis uses ceaseless flow for its function. The rounder a bow is drawn, the faster the arrow will be released. The “bow” represents abundance of springy force, and the “arrow” represents holding within and then issuing. Another meaning of these analogies is that Taiji Boxing is concerned primarily with your internal state, whereas issuing has to do with what is outside of you.

曲中求直,蓄而後發;力由脊發,步隨身換,收即是放,放即是收;斷而復連。
Within bending, seek to be straightening. Store and then issue. Power comes from your spine. Step according to your body’s changes. To gather is to release and to release is to gather. Disconnect but stay connected.
曲能化勁,直乃發勁。蓄則意之中,發則意之至。脊為內腎之源,又即拳家發勁之關鍵。氣由尾閭上騰,由脊而肩而肘而手指,此皆發勁之意也。步隨身換,則上下相隨也,收者內含牽黏外示弱點;彼身微顫,我即放之,此即乘機而發。放者,內蘊彈簧,彼抗我縮,(縮即引也)彼走我放,所謂『若即若離。』
Bending gives you the ability to neutralize. Straightening has to do with issuing. When storing, your intention lies inside. When issuing, your intention arrives outside. Power coming from the area between your kidneys is the key to mastering issuing. Energy rises from your tailbone, goes through your spine to your shoulders, then elbows, then fingers. This is always the case when issuing. By stepping according to your body’s changes, there will be coordination between your upper body and lower. To gather is to lead inward until the opponent outwardly reveals that his posture is destabilizing. As soon as my opponent becomes even slightly unbalanced, I release, taken advantage of the opportunity by issuing. To release is to let go of a spring inside. When he gives me resistance, I withdraw (i.e. lead him in), and then when he backs off, I release. This is called “seeming to be joining and yet separating”.

往復須有摺疊,進退須由轉換。極柔軟,然後極堅硬;能呼吸,然後能靈活。
As you go back and forth, there has to be a quality of folding. As you advance and retreat, it has to come from a quality of transformation. Extreme softness begets extreme hardness. Your ability to be nimble lies in your ability to breathe.
摺疊,乃是灣曲截勁之意。必須由轉換中,含有進退。似退非退,似進非進,亦即此理。週身柔軟,氣自暢達:偶一用力,氣必阻礙。堅硬為何?氣之所至也。戒拙力,呼吸自能深長;遍體自然靈活;偶一用力,呼吸自必短促,遍體亦必遲滯。
The concept of folding is a matter of bending in order to interrupt the opponent’s power. You have to operate from a state of transformation, advancing and retreating within that context. This idea also embodies seeming to retreat but not retreating, and seeming to advance but not advancing. When your whole body has a softness, your energy will move smoothly. If you put forth any exertion, your energy will become hindered. What then is hardness? It is the result of energy arriving. If you avoid using any awkward exertion, your breathing can be deep and long, and your body will naturally be nimble. But if you exert yourself at all, your breathing will become short and shallow, and your body will become sluggish.

氣以直養而無害,勁以曲蓄而有餘。心為令,氣為旗,腰為纛。
By nurturing energy with integrity, it will not be corrupted. By storing power in crooked parts, it will be in abundant supply. Your mind makes the command, the energy is its flag, and your waist is its banner.
人之健壯者,氣必深長;(由頂至踵)人之薄弱者,氣必短促。(或至中腕而不行)氣,生命也。其有限制之度量,豈容一絲之消耗?
時有因伮氣,或練氣功者,發生其他之病患。此皆以有限制之氣,用於他處;而應行流動之氣,自必虧損。故拳術家,更當戒之愼之。勁直無存,勁曲有餘。此當然之理,不再贅述。意動氣隨,皆當以腰為主。
A robust person will take breaths that are deep and long (i.e. reach “from head to heels”), whereas a frail person will take breaths that are short and shallow (i.e. not going past the Zhongwan acupoint [between solar plexus and navel]). Your vital energy is life itself. There is a limited amount, and therefore why would you waste any of it? Some people try to force their energy when practicing qigong, and end up generating illness. This is always because they are expending energy to do the exercise, whereas they ought to be letting energy flow, and so naturally they end up diminished. Therefore boxing arts masters particularly caution against this. When your limbs are straight, there is no power, but when bent, there is always more power. This obvious principle need not be repeated. Where intention moves, energy follows, and the movement should always be driven from your waist.

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.
初步練拳,總以週身松活開展為主。俗云:『伸筋拔骨(此指初學而言)筋長力大。』誠哉是言也!手足能長,彈力必大;手足短縮,彈力必小。磨習旣久,自可由長而短,由大而小,伸縮往來,忽高忽低。放則能彌六合,卷則退藏於密;此即拳家之上乘也。
In the beginning of practicing this boxing art, emphasize most of all the loosening, livening, and opening up of the whole body. It is commonly said (as a pointer for beginners): “Extend the sinews, reach with the bones. The lengthening of the sinews will lead to increased power.” True words indeed. If you reach longer with your hands and feet, you will develop greater springy force. If you are more withdrawn with your hands and feet, you will develop a smaller springy force. After practicing over a long period, you may then go from long to short, from large to small, go back and forth between being extended and withdrawn, and make your posture suddenly taller or suddenly shorter. [From the Zhongyong, preface:] “Sent out, it fills the world. Shrunk back, it hides in subtlety.” This describes the highest level of mastery.

又曰:先在心。後在身。腹鬆氣歛入骨,神舒體靜,刻刻在心。切記一動無有不動,一靜無有不靜。牽動往來氣貼背,歛入脊骨。內固精神,外示安逸。邁步如貓行,運勁如抽絲。全神意在精神,不在氣。在氣則滯,有氣者無力,無氣者純鋼。氣若車輪,腰若車軸。
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.
  Always remember: if one part moves, every part moves, and if one part is still, every part is still.
  As the movement leads back and forth, energy stays near your back and gathers in your spine. Inwardly bolster spirit and outwardly show ease.
  Step like a cat and move energy as if drawing silk.
  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.
  The energy is like a wheel and your waist is like an axle.

打手歌
PLAYING HANDS SONG

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。
引進落空合即出,
黏連黏隨不丢頂。
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 in and shoot him out.
I stick, connect, adhere, and follow, neither coming away nor crashing in.

又曰:彼不動,己不動;彼微動,已先動。勁似鬆非鬆,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. I seem to be relaxed but not relaxed, about to extend but not yet extending. Although the power finishes, the intent of it continues.

以上三節,極為簡明。所有太極拳之要義,前項己經分析詳註,毋庸贅解。
The three essays above are very simple and clear, and they contain the essentials of Taiji Boxing. As these essentials have now already been analyzed in detail, there is no need to reiterate them through the rest of the book.

太極拳各勢名稱
NAMES OF THE TAIJI BOXING POSTURES

(1)預備式
PREPARATION POSTURE
(2)攬雀尾
CATCH THE SPARROW BY THE TAIL
(3)單鞭
SINGLE WHIP
(4)提手
RAISED 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)進步搬攔捶
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
RAISED 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)上步搬攔錘
STEP FORWARD, PARRY, BLOCK, PUNCH
(24)攬雀尾
CATCH THE SPARROW BY THE TAIL
(25)單鞭
SINGLE WHIP
(26)擅手
CLOUDING HANDS
(27)單鞭
SINGLE WHIP
(28)高探馬
RISING UP AND REACHING OUT TO THE HORSE
(29)右分脚
KICK TO THE RIGHT SIDE
(30)左分脚
KICK TO THE LEFT SIDE
(31)轉身蹬脚
TURN AROUND, PRESSING KICK
(32)左右摟膝拗步
LEFT & RIGHT BRUSH KNEE IN A CROSSED STANCE
(33)進步栽錘
ADVANCE, PLANTING PUNCH
(34)翻身白蛇吐信
TURN AROUND, WHITE SNAKE FLICKS ITS TONGUE
(35)上步搬攔捶
STEP FORWARD, ADVANCE, PARRY, BLOCK, PUNCH
(36)右蹬脚
RIGHT PRESSING KICK
(37)左右披身伏虎
LEFT & RIGHT DRAPING THE BODY, CROUCHING TIGER POSTURE
(38)回身蹬脚
TURN THE BODY, PRESSING KICK
(39)雙風貫耳
DOUBLE WINDS THROUGH THE EARS
(40)左蹬脚
LEFT PRESSING KICK
(41)轉身蹬脚
TURN AROUND, PRESSING KICK
(42)上步搬攔捶
STEP FORWARD, PARRY, BLOCK, PUNCH
(43)如封似閉
SEALING SHUT
(44)十字手
CROSSED HANDS
(45)抱虎歸山
CAPTURE THE TIGER AND SEND IT BACK TO ITS MOUNTAIN
(46)斜單鞭
DIAGONAL SINGLE WHIP
(47)野馬分鬃
WILD HORSE VEERS ITS MANE
(48)上步攬雀尾
STEP FORWARD, CATCH THE SPARROW BY THE TAIL
(49)單鞭
SINGLE WHIP
(50)玉女穿梭
MAIDEN WORKS THE SHUTTLE
(51)上步攬雀尾
STEP FORWARD, CATCH THE SPARROW BY THE TAIL
(52)單鞭
SINGLE WHIP
(53)雲手
CLOUDING HANDS
(54)單鞭下勢
SINGLE WHIP, LOW POSTURE
(55)金雞獨立勢
GOLDEN ROOSTER STANDS ON ONE LEG
(56)倒輦猴
RETREAT, DRIVING AWAY THE MONKEY
(57)斜飛勢
DIAGONAL FLYING POSTURE
(58)提手
RAISED HANDS
(59)白鶴亮翅
WHITE CRANE SHOWS ITS WINGS
(60)摟膝拗步
BRUSH KNEE IN A CROSSED STANCE
(61)海底針
NEEDLING “UNDER THE SEA”
(62)扇通臂
FAN THROUGH THE BACK
(63)撇身錘
TORSO-FLUNG PUNCH
(64)上步搬攔錘
STEP FORWARD, PARRY, BLOCK, PUNCH
(65)進步攬雀尾
ADVANCE, CATCH THE SPARROW BY THE TAIL
(66)單鞭
SINGLE WHIP
(67)雲手
CLOUDING HANDS
(68)單鞭
SINGLE WHIP
(69)高探馬
RISING UP AND REACHING OUT TO THE HORSE
(70)十字腿
CROSSED-BODY KICK
(71)摟膝指𦡁錘
BRUSH KNEE, PUNCH TO THE CROTCH
(72)上步攬雀尾
STEP FORWARD, CATCH THE SPARROW BY THE TAIL
(73)單鞭下勢
SINGLE WHIP, LOW POSTURE
(74)上步七星
STEP FORWARD, BIG DIPPER POSTURE
(75)退步跨虎
RETREAT, SITTING TIGER POSTURE
(76)轉脚擺蓮
SPIN AROUND, SWINGING LOTUS KICK
(77)彎弓射虎
BEND THE BOW, SHOOT THE TIGER
(78)上步搬攔錘
STEP FORWARD, PARRY, BLOCK, PUNCH
(79)如封似閉
SEALING SHUT
(80)十字手
CROSSED HANDS
(81)合太極
CLOSING POSTURE

太極拳名勢圖解
EXPLANATIONS FOR EACH OF THE TAIJI BOXING POSTURES [drawing largely from Xu Yusheng’s 1921 manual and Chen Weiming’s 1925 manual]

(1)預備式
PREPARATION POSTURE

(義意)
Explanation of the name:
太極拳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為有效故預備式中㗋起全身注意以警告其振作精神之必要動作初學者當以該式為各式之母所謂由無極而太極也
Taiji Boxing is a soft exercise for working the mind, training the sinews and bones, and developing physical power. During practice, your mind must be focused, your breathing must be even, and you must move in an unbroken flow, and it will then bring results. In this particular posture, rouse your whole body and fill your spirit with a need to move. Beginners should treat this posture as the basis of all the others, going from wuji to taiji [i.e. from a state of nonpolarity to a condition of grand polarity, from stillness to motion].

(動作圖說)
Description of the movement:
開始時頭容正直身體直立眼向平視兩手下垂兩足平行分開約四十生的與上體兩臂膂寬為準(如圖)
To begin, your head is upright, body standing straight, your gaze level, your hands hanging down, your feet standing parallel, spread apart to a distance of about forty centimeters [measuring to the outside edges of the feet] to be positioned at roughly shoulder width. See the drawing:

(要點)
Points for attention:
練習時頭宜正神貫於頂體靜筋舒氣沉丹田週身須靈活敏捷不可絲毫着力
When practicing, your head should be upright, spirit coursing through to your headtop, and your body should be comfortable, energy sinking to your elixir field, and your whole body has to be nimble and lively, without putting forth the slightest exertion.

(2)攬雀尾
CATCH THE SPARROW BY THE TAIL

(義意)
Explanation of the name:
兩手毫不着力原姿式向前向上提起復向下蹲全身重量落在兩小腿上眼注視左臂肘手之間若兩手持雀頭尾然後隨其上下旋轉之意又名攬切尾擬敵人之臂為雀尾攬之以緩其前進之力乘勢前切而擲之也故此二說均可
Without using any effort at all in moving from the initial posture, your hands go forward, lifting up, then you squat down, the weight of your body being felt in your lower legs, and your gaze goes 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. Another name is CATCH & TEAR OFF THE TAIL. Imagining the opponent’s arm is a sparrow’s tail, catch it to slow its forward power, then take advantage of the moment by cutting forward to throw him away. Both of these explanations work.

(動作圖說)
Description of the movement:
初學時僅分攬切二動作熟習後則兩手皆內向外復由外向內其運行遂線子圜形即掤捋擠按是也
由前式順原姿式全身半面向後擰身左手微向下垂手心內合眼轉視右肱左脚斜向前踏出一步全身坐於左腿左手向右肘下劃一圓形向前腰與胸齊右手下按即是肱成右虛左實如圖
In the beginning of the training, this posture divides into only the two movements of catching and cutting. When you are more advanced at it, then your hands will go from inward to outward and again from outward to inward, the path of the movement making a circle, thereby performing ward-off, rollback, press, and push. Continuing from the initial posture, your body twists halfway toward the rear [right], your left hand slightly hanging, the palm facing inward, your gaze going toward your right forearm, and your left foot steps out diagonally forward. The weight shifts to your left leg as your left hand draws an arc forward from below your right elbow until at chest level, your right hand pushing downward. (This is the ward-off posture.) Your right leg is empty, left leg full. See the first drawing:

右手與左手隨腰向右圓轉右手心隨運向下左手心隨轉向上右手在上左手在下右腿向後坐兩臂向懷內合與腰同時往回收若攬物下捋意(即是捋)左腿變實右腿變虛(如圖二)
Your hands then go along with your waist and arc to the right, right palm turning to face downward, left palm turning to face upward, right hand above, left hand below. Your right [left] leg sits to the rear, your arms embracing inward, withdrawing along with your waist, as though with the intent of catching something with a downward rollback. (This is the rollback posture.) Your left leg fills and your right leg empties. See the second drawing:

右手轉動手心隨轉向上向內左手隨動手心隨轉向外左手指距離右手脈門約二寸許(即是擠)兩手同時向右擠出腰亦隨之前進右腿屈左腿直成右實左虛(如圖三)
Your right palm turns upward and inward while your left palm turns outward, your left fingers now about two inches away from your right pulse area. (This is the press posture.) Your hands in unison press out to the right, your torso advancing along with the movement, your right leg bending, left leg straightening, right leg filling, left leg emptying. See the third drawing:

兩手與腰腿同時往回鬆兩手收回時略向上提手尖向上手心向下至左腿坐實時兩手復同時往右按出兩手心向外沉肩墜肘與胸中略平(即是按)右腿復實(如圖四)
Your hands, waist, and legs loosen to the rear in unison. When your hands withdraw, they slightly lift, fingers rising upward, palms facing downward, withdrawing until your left leg has become full. Your hands in unison then push out to the west at about chest level, palms facing outward, with shoulders and elbows dropped. (This is the push posture.) Your right leg is again full. See the fourth drawing:

(要點)
Points for attention:
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勢運動身體腰腹肩背各部
When practicing this posture, the path of your fingers must make a double circle, and your gaze should follow your hands. Your legs and waist have to drive the movement, your spine loosening, in order for you to be able to perform it nimbly. This posture exercises the torso, waist, abdomen, shoulders, and back.

(用法)
Application:
若敵人搭拗手腕背時則可用外掤黏於肘時則可用回捋
If an opponent connects to the wrist of my rear hand, I can ward off outward to stick to his elbow and then withdraw with a rollback.

(3)單鞭
SINGLE WHIP

(義意)
Explanation of the name:
單者單手之意鞭者如鞭之擊人也若單式練習時可改為雙手向左右分擊名雙鞭式
“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)
Description of the movement:
兩手與腰腿同時往回鬆右手屈回如畫一圓圈復向右後方伸直五指下隨微攏作鈎形左手與右手同時屈由左而右如畫一大圓圈復由左腰間轉至右肩前手心向內右足尖微向左轉約九十度全身坐在右腿上同時左足略提起向左前方踏出半步與足尖作同一方向兩足成斜平行方形全身重點始移於左足(如上圖)
Your hands, waist, and thighs withdraw in unison, your right hand bending in and drawing a circle which then extends it to the right rear, the fingers slightly coming together to make a hook shape, while your left arm bends in and draws a larger circle which takes the hand from left to right and then arcing from the left side of your waist to be in front of your right shoulder, the palm facing inward. Your right toes have slightly turned to the left about ninety degrees, with the weight on your right leg. Then your left foot slightly lifts and takes a half step out to the forward left, toes pointing to the same direction, the feet standing parallel on diagonal lines, the weight shifting to your right leg. See the drawing:

(要點)
Points for attention:
前手向前運動時手須用通臂勁以助之略含自上下擊之意而前肩與後肩務須成水平線戒勿聳或下錘左右兩足相隨時宜敏捷一致此勢乃背部及四肢之運動也
When your front hand moves forward, your [rear] hand must put energy through the arm to assist it, and there is a slight intention of striking downward from above. Your shoulders must be level with each other, neither one rising up or drooping down. Your feet should be coordinated with each other, moving nimbly and in unison. This posture exercises your back and limbs.

(用法)
Application:
敵以順手進擊時乘勢即引領其臂使敵身略前傾用按推或切勁均可
If an opponent uses his front hand to advance and strike me, I take advantage of his momentum to draw his arm in, causing him to slightly lean forward, then counter by using either a pushing energy or a cutting energy.

(4)提手
RAISED HANDS

(義意)
Explanation of the name:
提手又名上提手即將手上提如提物然
Also called RAISING THE HANDS UP, send your hands upward as though lifting up an object.

(動作圖說)
Description of the movement:
由前式左足尖內轉約九十度右足提起仍復落下全身重點坐於左腿左右兩手同時相合向懷內抱右手略前左手略後兩手心左右相對同時右手腕從左掌內經過向上提約與鼻平沉肩墜肘須鬆開捧起不可有拙勁(如圖)
Continuing from the previous posture, your left toes turn inward ninety degrees, your right foot lifts then comes down again, the weight on your left leg, as your hands come toward each other, embracing inward, your right hand slightly farther forward, left hand behind, palms facing toward each other. Then your right wrist goes from the inside of your left palm, lifting up to about nose level. Sink your shoulders and drop your elbows. Your arms have to loosen and prop up, and must not have an awkward energy. See the drawing:

(要點)
Points for attention:
此式係練習脊骨之伸縮力於增長神力有密切關係故練習此式之時宜提頂勁而腰腿隨其伸縮上下方有機勢
This posture develops flexibility in the spine and is greatly involved in increasing power. When practicing this posture, you should lift your headtop, and with your waist and legs going along with the expanding and shrinking, with the up and down, you will then achieve the right timing and position.

(用法)
Application:
敵用拳迎面直擊時我即由上搭其臂用腕擠擲之或蹲身下坐向上以擊之用左手下按敵腕掏右手提腕上擊敵之頦額鼻等處
An opponent punches straight to my face, so I make contact with his arm from above and use my wrist to do a pressing technique to throw him away, or squat down and ward off upward to strike him. Or I use my left hand to push down on his wrist, drawing out my right hand and then lifting my wrist to strike his chin or nose.

(5)白鶴亮翅
WHITE CRANE SHOWS ITS WINGS

(義意)
Explanation of the name:
此式兩手兩足均為一上一下一伸一屈兩臂斜開作鳥翼形如鶴之展翅勢故各觀華陀五禽經之鳥形閩之鶴拳婆羅門導引術之第四式之鶴舉第十二式之鳳凰展翅均取此意此拳有斜展正展之別實則斜為展翅正為亮翅
In this posture, your arms and legs are each in the role of one higher and one lower, one extending and one bent. Your arms spread apart at an angle, making a shape like a bird’s wings. It is like a crane spreading its wings, hence the name. There is a bird form in Hua Tuo’s Five Animal Frolics and there is the Crane Boxing of Fujian. The fourth posture in the Brahmanic limbering art is “crane rising” and the twelfth posture is “phoenix spreads its wings”. All of these things are the same idea. In this art, the posture is divided into spreading at an angle and spreading squarely, which is actually a matter of spreading the wings diagonally while showing the wings straight ahead.

(動作圖說)
Description of the movement:
右足略斜開半步蹋實足尖內合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臂斜開如抱球式左掌斜下外摟右臂隨腰向右前方上提右手心向下高與眉齊全身重點寄於右足眼神宜注視右手同時左足提前足尖着地身體直立上提右手心轉向外掌心微向上高過於頭左虛右實(如圖)
Your right foot goes out a half step slightly diagonally and comes down fully, the toes pointing inward, as your hands and waist turn, your right hand arcing downward so the palm is facing upward, your left hand arcing upward so the palm is facing downward, and your arms are spread apart diagonally as though they are holding a ball. Then your left palm brushes diagonally downward and outward as your right arm goes along with your waist by lifting up to the forward right, palm facing downward at eyebrow height, the weight going onto your right foot. Your gaze should be toward your right hand. At the same time, your left foot lifts forward, toes touching down, your body straightens, and your right hand lifts, the palm turning to be facing outward and going slightly higher than your headtop. Your left foot is empty, right foot full. See the drawing:

(要點)
Points for attention:
此式為運動胸部及背部之伸縮力練習時須背心用勁方有奇效
This posture exercises the flexibility of the chest and back. When practicing it, you have to apply power from the center of your back, and then it will be effective.

(用法)
Application:
如敵在右側則可用右臂上擠同時右手亦可從敵腋下穿提上展則敵必倒矣
If the opponent is at my right side, I can send my right arm upward to press him away, or my right hand can thread through from under his [left] armpit, lifting up and spreading away, causing him to topple.

(6)摟膝拗步
BRUSH KNEE IN A CROSSED STANCE

(義意)
Explanation of the name:
摟膝者即手摟膝蓋之意拗步者即拗不順之步也如出左足伸右手出右足伸左手此之謂拗步
To “brush the knee” means your hand is brushing past your knee. A “crossed stance” is the opposite of a “straight stance” [same hand and foot forward]. If you step out with your left foot and reach out with your right hand, or step out with your right foot and reach out with your left hand, that is called a “crossed stance”.

(動作圖說)
Description of the movement:
由前式蹲身腰往下鬆左手自腰前往右順勢向外摟至右左膝旁暫停臂微屈肘尖向後掌心向下手指朝前同時右手心轉向後隨腰下垂由後下方宛轉上伸經過右耳邊按出肘肩手三者成水平線向前伸至極處指尖上翹掌心用力腿成弓箭步(如圖)
Continuing from the previous posture, squat your body, your waist loosening downward, your left hand going from in front of your waist, toward the right, and brushing outward until beside your left knee, arm slightly bent, elbow pointing to the rear, palm facing downward, fingers pointing forward. At the same time, your right palm goes along with your waist by lowering to the rear, then arcs upward, passes beside your right ear, and pushes out, a horizontal line forming from the three parts of shoulder, elbow, and hand, extending forward until in its finished position the fingertips are lifted, power expressing at the center of the palm, legs making a bow & arrow stance. See the drawing:

(要點)
Points for attention:
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力運動故此式係運動兩臂腰膝之屈伸力
When practicing this posture, you must squat your body down. The route of each hand makes an oval shape. The movement of your arms is based on the movement of your waist. This posture trains the flexibility of your arms, waist, and knees.

(用法)
Application:
敵由下方用拳或腿擊來時即可以順手向旁摟開拗步前進以手前推擊其胸
The opponent strikes at me from below with a punch or kick, so I use my front hand to brush it aside and use my rear hand to push forward to his chest.

(7)手揮琵琶
PLAY THE LUTE

(義意)
Explanation of the name:
兩手如抱琵琶狀以指撫弦者然
Your hands look as though they are holding a lute, your fingers strumming its strings.

(動作圖說)
Description of the movement:
右足略提起復隨落下右手隨身之落勢撤回在後同時左手順左胯上提兩手心相對如抱琵琶式沉肩墜肘前手食指約與鼻對準後手掌心約對前手臂彎處鬆開提起不可有夾力同時左足隨身收回伸直足跟着地足尖翹起此時全身立重點移於右足(如圖)
Your right foot slightly lifts and then comes back down, your right hand going along with your body by lowering and withdrawing while your left hand goes from your left hip and rises up, your palms facing toward each other as though holding a lute. Sink your shoulders and drop your elbows. The forefinger of your front hand is at about nose level, and your rear hand is in front of your chest, palm almost facing to the elbow of your forward arm. Your arms are loose and lifted, but cannot have a pincering energy. Your left foot goes along with your body and withdraws, the leg straightening, heel touching down, toes lifted, the weight shifted onto your right foot. See the drawing:

(要點)
Points for attention:
手外運時宜用腰脊之力
When moving your hands outward, you must use the strength of your waist and back.

(用法)
Application:
敵握我右腕時吾即將右手向懷內後撤以柔化其力同時用左手掌按其肩猛向前推
The opponent grabs my right wrist, so I withdraw my right hand toward my chest to neutralize his energy, then put my left hand on his shoulder and fiercely push forward.

(8)左右摟膝拗步
LEFT & RIGHT BRUSH KNEE IN A CROSSED STANCE

(義意)
Explanation of the name:
與第六式同
Same as in Posture 6.

(動作圖說)
Description of the movement:
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左摟至右膝外手心仍向下靠右膝蓋旁右足隨往右前方邁出腰隨手前進至右足變實左摟膝與右摟膝無異惟左右反正不同耳(如圖)
Your left toes turn outward, your waist loosens downward, and your left hand, palm outward, goes along with your waist and hangs down, arcs to the rear, upward, and pushes out from beside your left ear. Your right hand at the same time goes along with your waist by going upward, to the left from in front of your chest, and brushes to the outside of your right knee, palm facing downward, your right foot stepping out to the forward right, and your waist advances along with the pushing hand until your right leg becomes full. There is no difference between the left and right versions of this posture apart from left and right. See the drawing:

(9)手揮琵琶
PLAY THE LUTE
(如第七勢)
(Same as in Posture 7.)

(10)進步搬攔錘
ADVANCE, PARRY, BLOCK, PUNCH

(義意)
Explanation of the name:
搬攔錘者即搬開敵人之手而攔阻之復用拳迎擊之稱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.

(動作圖說)
Description of the movement:
由琵琶式兩手心相對隨腰往左轉左手肘臂向內搬手心朝下右手轉置胸前手心指尖均向上左手在上右手在下右手同時轉至脅際握拳內轉虎口向上隨腰往右鬆藏於右脅間此時右腿同時提起點一步足尖向右全身坐於右腿上同時左掌亦隨腰往前探出(如圖)
Continuing from PLAY THE LUTE, your hands, palms facing each other, go along with your waist and arc to the left, your left forearm parrying inward so the palm is facing downward, your right hand arcing to be placed in front of your chest, the palm facing upward, left hand above, right hand below. Your right hand then arcs until by your left ribs, grasping into a fist, rotating inward so the tiger’s mouth is facing upward, then goes along with your waist and loosens 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 right, and the weight shifts to your right leg, your left palm going along with your waist and extending forward. See the first drawing:

右足尖轉向右前方坐實左掌隨往左搬攔右拳隨即由左掌打出右手手尖向上如扶右手脈門左足亦同時前進成左弓箭步(如圖二)
Your right toes are turned to point the foot to the Right Front and the weight shifts onto it, your left palm doing a parrying block to the left while your right fist strikes forth past your left palm, your right [left] fingers pointing upward, the hand seeming to wipe along your right pulse area. Your left foot at the same time advances to make a left bow and arrow stance. See the second drawing:

(要點)
Points for attention:
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須正身用脊力不可探身向前蓋探身則僅為腰力易向前傾
This posture exercises your spine and improves the nimbleness of your shoulders and hips. When practicing this posture, your back and shoulders must function in unison, and you must keep space in your armpits and loosen your shoulders. When you punch, you must keep your body upright and use power from your spine. You must not reach with your body, for if you are reaching, then you will only be using power from your waist, and you will easily end up leaning.

(用法)
Application:
敵拳當胸擊來時即順手向外搬開敵外逃即攔之乘勢且可直擊敵胸
As an opponent punches to my chest, I move my front hand outward to parry it aside. If he wants to escape, I then jam him and take advantage of the opportunity to strike straight to his chest.

(11)如封似閉
SEALING SHUT

(義意)
Explanation of the name:
封閉者即封鎖敵手之意與形意拳之虎形岳氏連拳之外推手其意均同
The idea is to seal off the opponent’s hands. The technique is similar to the tiger form of Xingyi Boxing or the double push of the General Yue’s Continuous Boxing.

(動作圖說)
Description of the movement:
由前式左手手心翻轉向上貼近右臂自右肘下向右方旋穿右拳同時向左畫一手圈形漸漸收回至左腕上時即變拳為掌兩手隨交叉成十字同時身向後坐兩手隨腰往後抽將近於胸際時雙手隨即分開其距離與肩寬相等然後兩掌復隨腰向前按重點寄於左足或抬左足略前邁亦可(如圖)
Continuing from the previous posture, your left hand turns over so the palm is facing upward, staying close to your right arm, twisting toward your right and threading underneath your right elbow, your right fist at the same time arcing across to the left, gradually withdrawing until over your left wrist, whereupon the fist has changed to a palm, your hands crossed to make an X shape. Then your body sits back, your hands going along with your waist by withdrawing, and once they are near your chest, they spread apart to about shoulder width. Then your palms push forward, going along with your waist, the weight shifting to your left foot, or you could also lift your left foot and step it slightly forward. See the drawing:

(要點)
Points for attention:
撤拳時須將拳帶回全身後坐切不可僅屈臂彎搭腕時不可停滯應即須分開前推分開時兩肘須微曲肘尖下垂近肋不宜旁開使勁分散前推時手指宜前伸掌心吐力不可用正掌
When you withdraw your fist, you must do so by sitting your body back, not merely by bending your arm. Once your wrists are crossed, they must not pause there, but should instead go right into spreading apart and then pushing forward. When your hands spread apart, the elbows have to slightly bend and hang down near your ribs. They should not spread away to the sides, which would cause the energy to become scattered. When pushing forward, your fingers should extend forward with power expressing in the palms, rather than using upright palms.

(用法)
Application:
用搬攔錘時敵以左手推吾右拳即以右拳從下方攔其手使右拳撤回復出右手向前推之
When I apply PARRY, BLOCK, PUNCH, if the opponent uses his left hand to push on my right fist, I then send my [left hand] from below my right fist to block his hand, allowing my right fist to withdraw, then I send out my right hand pushing forward.

(12)十字手
CROSSED HANDS

(義意)
Explanation of the name:
十字手者兩手交叉相搭狀如十字之謂也凡兩勢相連轉折不便者均可加十字手以資銜接
To have “crossed hands” means your forearms are crossed, making an X shape. 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.

(動作圖說)
Description of the movement:
由前勢左足向右內轉約九十度身體隨之右轉兩手先往上分開向下圓轉後又由下而上復合為斜十字左手在內右手在外同時上抱兩臂微屈右足隨右手移近左足平行而立兩足之距離與肩之寬等(如圖)
Continuing from the previous posture, your left foot turns inward toward the right ninety degrees, your body likewise turning to the right, your hands first going upward, spreading apart, and arcing downward, and then come up from below to again come together in an X shape, your left hand on the inside, right hand on the outside, embracing above, arms slightly bent. Your right foot goes along with your right hand by shifting toward your left foot, and your feet stand parallel at shoulder width. See the drawing:

(要點)
Points for attention:
練此式須連續下式不可稍有停頓
When practicing this posture, it must continue into the next posture without the slightest pause.

(13)抱虎歸山
CAPTURE THE TIGER AND SEND IT BACK TO ITS MOUNTAIN

(義意)
Explanation 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即乘勢前推兩式均是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明白
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, and this is because it flows right into the following posture, CATCH THE SPARROW BY THE TAIL, and so it is very easy to get confused. You should clearly distinguish between these two postures.

(動作圖說)
Description of the movement:
右手向左前方左手向右後方分開右足隨右手往右後方邁步全身坐在左腿左手分開後卽從下後方翻轉向上由耳邊向右前方按出腰亦隨之前進卽坐在右腿上右手分開後同時轉至脅下下垂手心向外左手在前微屈(如圖)
Your right hand goes to the forward left and your left hand spreads aside to the right [left] rear, your right foot going along with your right hand by stepping to the right rear, the weight on your left leg. After your left hand spreads aside, it arcs upward from below and then pushes out from beside your ear, your waist advancing along with the movement, the weight shifting to your right leg. Your right hand at the same time spreads away [to the right], arcing until below your ribs, and hangs down, the palm facing outward, while your left hand is now forward, the arm slightly bent. See the drawing:

右手復轉上手心向下至左手處兩手隨腰捋回坐在左腿上兩手復擠按出與攬雀尾同
Your right hand then arcs upward, the palm turning to be facing downward, until by your left hand, and then both hands go along with your waist and roll back, the weight shifting to your left leg, then the hands perform press and push, same as in CATCH THE SPARROW BY THE TAIL.

(要點)
Points for attention:
此式須以腰身運動肩臂宜貫串一氣相連如抽絲為妥
In this posture, you must use your waist to move your shoulders and back, and you should flow through it continuously as though drawing silk.

(用法)
Application:
倘敵自吾右後側擊來宜以右手下摟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敵欲遁逃時可囘身以右手外挒其雙手向前推其胸
If an opponent attacks me from behind on my right side, I then send my right hand downward to brush aside his arm and use my left palm to strike to his face. If he seizes the moment by lifting my hand with his left arm, 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 withdraw my torso, using my right hand to rend his hands outward, and push forward to his chest.

(14)肘底看錘
GUARDING PUNCH UNDER THE ELBOW

(義意)
Explanation of the name:
看者看守之意立肘成直角於肘之下曰肘底錘又名肘下錘
By “guarding” is meant being protective. When your elbow is stood straight up, the arm making a right angle, the space below it is called “under the elbow”. This technique is also called PUNCH UNDER THE ELBOW. [This is one of the five punching techniques in Taiji Boxing.]

(動作圖說)
Description of the movement:
兩手按出後如單鞭式右手伸直手指稍垂左足略提起向左後方落下足尖外撇右足提向左足後與左足相離尺許兩足尖斜向右前方左手轉至右肩時不成單鞭與右手同時隨身隨步由外向內作圈順胯而上至胸前上舉右手同時轉至胸前遂握拳收回藏置於左肘下左足同時提至右足前足跟點地足尖翹起右腿微屈成丁虛步全身重點寄於右足(如圖)
After your hands push out, seem to perform the SINGLE WHIP posture. Your right hand extends and the fingers slightly hang. Your left foot slightly lifts and comes down with the toes swung out to point to the left rear. Your right foot lifts and steps to be about a foot behind your left foot, the toes pointing diagonally toward the forward right. When your left hand arcs to your right shoulder, it does not then make the SINGLE WHIP posture, but instead moves in unison with your right hand, going along with your body and step by arcing outward then inward, passing your hip, and rising until in front of your chest, while your right hand also arcs until in front of your chest, grasping into a fist and withdrawing to be placed under your left elbow. At the same time, your left foot lifts and comes down in front of your right foot, heel touching down, toes lifted, your right leg slightly bent, making a T-shaped empty stance, the weight shifting onto your right foot. See the drawing:

(要點)
Points for attention:
此式練習深呼吸宜注意三合(即肩與胯合肘與膝合手與足合)於出拳時身須隨之略向前有含胸之意同時尤宜鬆腕聳身
This posture trains deep breathing. You should pay attention to the three unions (i.e. shoulder united with hip, elbow united with knee, hand united with foot). When punching, your body must go along with it, your chest slightly shrugging forward. At the same time, you should loosen the wrist and lengthen your torso.

(用法)
Application:
設敵以右手擊我我即以左手捰敵右手前領轉腕上托而以右手下擊其脅
If the opponent uses his right hand to strike, I use my left hand to grab his right elbow and lead it forward, turn my wrist over to prop upward, then use my right hand to strike underneath to his ribs.

(15)倒輦猴
RETREAT, DRIVING AWAY THE MONKEY

(義意)
Explanation of the name:
倒輦猴者即猴遇人即前撲乘勢先以手引之以撤按其頭頂之謂又名倒趕後即向後倒退引敵趕來隨以手乘勢襲擊之意
To “retreat while driving away a monkey” means that when a “monkey” [i.e. a troublemaker] attacks forward, take charge of the situation by first using a hand to draw him in, then counter with the other hand pushing down on his headtop. It is also called RETREATING FROM PURSUIT, for you are retreating, drawing the opponent in as he chases, then take advantage of the moment to make a surprise attack with your other hand.

(動作圖說)
Description of the movement:
由前式右拳鬆開由左肘下往後圓轉而上由右耳邊按出指尖向上掌心吐力同時左手漸向後收置於左腿旁手向下垂如摟膝拗步而左足亦同時向後退半步全身坐於左腿上右足尖微轉仍向前方(如圖一)
Continuing from the previous posture, your right fist opens, goes from below your left elbow arcing to the rear and upward, and then pushes out from beside your right ear, fingers pointing upward, power expressing at the center of the palm. Your left hand at the same time slowly withdraws to be placed beside your left thigh, the hand hanging down. It is similar to BRUSH KNEE IN A CROSSED STANCE. Your left foot at the same time retreats a half step, the weight shifts onto your left leg, and your right foot turns so the toes point to the east. See the first drawing:

右足往後退半步左手亦同時往後圓轉掌心吐力由左耳邊按出使全身坐在右腿上左足尖轉向前方(如圖二)
Your right foot retreats a half step as your left hand arcs to the rear and pushes out from beside your left ear, power expressing at the center of the palm, the weight shifting onto your right leg, your left toes turning to point forward. See the second drawing:

兩手一來一往左手出則右腿實右手出則左腿實或退三步或五步或七步均可至右手按出為止
As one hand comes back, the other hand goes out. When your left hand goes out, your right leg fills, and when your right hand goes out, your left leg fills. Perform this action for three, five, or seven steps, ending with your right hand pushing out.

(要點)
Points for attention:
兩腿灣須微曲兩足尖與足跟前後宜成直線兩足分開之寬度直與肩齊頭宜頂身驅宜正脊骨宜提
Your knees should be slightly bent. Your feet should each make a straight line front to back from toe to heel and should be spread to shoulder width. Your head should pressing up, your body should be upright, and your spine should by lifted.

(用法)
Application:
設敵以拳擊或足踢時即以前手下摟後手迎面前擊
If the opponent uses either his fist to strike or foot to kick, I send my front hand downward to brush it away, then use my rear hand to strike to his face.

(16)斜飛式
DIAGONAL FLYING POSTURE

(義意)
Explanation of the name:
此式如鳥之開展而飛故名
This posture is like a bird opening its wings and taking flight.

(動作圖說)
Description of the movement:
由上式右手按出後腰向左鬆全身重點在左腿上右手隨腰向左腕下落左手由左圓轉而上使兩掌相合右手心向上左手心向下轉至左腕時右手旋隨右足向右後方斜踏出半步右手斜向右前方左手斜向左後方右手心在上左手心在下全身坐在右腿上眼神注視右手若兩鳥開翼狀(如圖)
Continuing from the previous posture, after your right hand pushes out, your waist loosens to the left, the weight on your left leg, your right hand goes along with your waist by lowering below your left wrist, and your left hand arcs upward from the left, causing the palms to come toward each other, right palm facing upward, left palm facing downward. Once below your left wrist, your right hand goes along with your right foot as it goes out diagonally, taking a half step to the right rear, your right hand going out diagonally to the forward right, your left hand going out diagonally to the left rear, right palm facing upward, left palm facing downward, the weight shifting to your right leg. Your gaze is toward your right hand. The posture is like a bird spreading wings. See the drawing:

(要點)
Points for attention:
此式宜含胸拔背須以腰身運動手足
In this posture, contain your chest and pluck up your back, and you must use your waist to move your hands and feet.

(用法)
Application:
此為騰手法如右手與敵左手相搭即以左腕上挑敵腕以右手進擊之
This posture is a technique of surprise. If my right hand and the opponent’s left hand are touching each other, I send my left wrist up to carry his wrist and send my right hand forward to strike him.

(17)提手
RAISED HANDS

(說明)
Explanation:
左足略提起復落下兩手收回相合作提手式右足亦微向後收(如第四圖)
Your left foot slightly lifts then comes down, and your hands withdraw and close in toward each other, making the RAISED HANDS posture, your right foot also slightly withdrawing. (Review the drawing for Posture 4.)

(18)白鶴亮翅
WHITE CRANE SHOWS ITS WINGS
(19)摟膝拗步
BRUSH KNEE IN A CROSSED STANCE
(均見前)
(Both of these postures are done as before.)

(20)海底針
NEEDLING “UNDER THE SEA”

(義意)
Explanation of the name:
海底者人體之穴名海底針即手向海底點穴之意
“Under the Sea” is the name of an acupoint on the human body. NEEDLING “UNDER THE SEA” means your hand has an intent of poking toward the “Under the Sea” point. [i.e. You are pointing toward his “sea of energy” – his lower abdomen.]

(動作圖說)
Description of the movement:
右足不動右手隨腰收回復隨腰向下垂手尖下指手心向左左足亦同時收回足尖點地右腿下屈坐身此時左手仍拊右肱或沿胯後撤均可
Your right foot staying where it is, your right hand goes along with your waist and withdraws, then goes along with your waist and hangs down, fingers pointing downward, palm facing to the left. At the same time, your left foot withdraws, toes touching down, as your right leg squats and your body lowers. At this moment, your left hand may either be touching your right forearm or withdrawing behind your [left] hip. [See the drawing:]

(要點)
Points for attention:
此式係練習脊骨及膝之伸縮力凡右腿下屈時脊骨務須直立不能屈曲前傾手下指時略含點刺之意
This posture develops flexibility in the spine and knees. As your right leg bends, your spine must be erect and should not bend and lean forward. When your hand is pointing downward, there should be a slight intention of striking an acupoint.

(用法)
Application:
若敵以右手擊來時吾即以左手摟開以右手點刺敵胸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, if at that moment he uses his left hand to grab my right wrist, I then turn my wrist over and point downward, making him sit down.

(21)扇通臂
FAN THROUGH THE ARMS

(義意)
Explanation of the name:
通臂者使脊背之力通於兩臂也扇通臂擬兩臂為扇幅脊椎為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 the fan, and it is like a fan spreading open.

(動作圖說)
Description of the movement:
右足不動兩手隨腰提起右臂提至額上手心向外左手提至胸際向前按出左足與左手同時前進足尖向前身須正直兩腿成騎馬式(如圖)
Your right foot staying where it is, your hands go along with your waist and lift, your right forearm lifting until above your forehead, palm facing outward, your left hand lifting to your chest area and pushing out forward. Your left foot advances with your left hand, toes pointing forward. Your body has to be upright as your legs make a horse-riding stance. See the drawing:

(要點)
Points for attention:
此式係練腿力及肩背力運勁時左掌心之力須向前與左肋骨相應同時右臂之力須通於左手
This posture trains strength in your legs and upper back. When wielding energy, the power in your left palm must be coordinated with your left ribs in going forward, and at the same time the power in your right arm must go through to your left hand.

(用法)
Application:
敵以右手擊來即上左腿以右手反刁敵腕上提以左掌擊敵脅下或以右手反刁左手上托則敵肘必段
If the opponent uses his right hand to strike, I then step forward with my left leg, use my right hand to slyly lift his wrist, and use my left palm to strike his ribs, or to prop upward and thereby break his elbow.

(22)撇身錘
TORSO-FLUNG PUNCH

(義意)
Explanation of the name:
撇身錘者使身折叠腰部後撇復用腕進擊之謂此拳亦為太極拳五錘之一
TORSO-FLUNG PUNCH means you fold at your torso and fling to the rear from your waist, striking forward using your wrist. This is one of the five punching techniques in Taiji Boxing.

(動作圖說)
Description of the movement:
由前式身向右轉屈左腿左足尖內合左手曲肘右轉右手曲肘握拳落於右脅下左手掌心向外右手握拳拳心向下如抱物狀眼神同時轉向右方全身重點寄於左足左手不動提右足向右後方斜移半步右拳屈肘撇身肘浮依右脅拳由胸落下與肘成水平線左手當胸作掌同時繞右拳上往前按出手尖向上食指約對鼻目前視全身坐實右腿成丁八步(如圖)
Continuing from the previous posture, your body turns to the right, your left leg bending, the toes closing inward, your left hand arcing to the right, the elbow bending, your right hand grasping into a fist, the elbow bending, and lowering to be below your right [left] ribs, your left palm facing outward, the center of your right fist facing downward. It looks as though you are embracing an object. At the same time, your gaze turns to the right, the weight on your left leg. Then with your left hand staying where it is, your right foot lifts and takes a half step diagonally to the right rear, your right elbow bends and the fist is fling out from your torso, the elbow lightly against your right ribs. While the fist lowers from your chest until lining up level with the elbow, your left hand does a palm strike at chest level, arcing over your right fist as it pushes out forward, fingers pointing upward, the forefinger at nose level. Your gaze is forward. Your body is sitting onto your right leg, making a large T-shaped stance. See the drawing:

(要點)
Points for attention:
撇身時手腿動作須以腰脊為樞紐方能靈活自如
When flinging from your torso, the movement of your hands and legs must use your waist and spine as a pivot, then the technique can be nimble and natural.

(用法)
Application:
倘敵人自右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
If an opponent from behind me on my right side uses a hand to push down on my wrist or elbow and is about to throw me out, I can fling to the rear from my torso, bending my elbow to seize control of his arm, and take advantage of the opportunity to step in and strike with a fist.

(23)上步搬攔錘
STEP FORWARD, PARRY, BLOCK, PUNCH

(義意)
Explanation of the name:
搬攔錘巳說明於前上步者即將步前進挪移與後退者窘異
PARRY, BLOCK, PUNCH has already been explained. To “step forward” is to shift forward a full step, the opposite of retreating.

(動作圖說)
Description of the movement:
右拳由脅下提起同時左手隨腰往左收回由上而下由內向外平運畫一橢圓圈此時左腿坐實右足略提起落下足尖向外坐實進左步轉右腕虎口向上同時右拳前擊與進步搬攔錘式同
Your right fist lifts from below your ribs, your left hand going along with your waist by withdrawing to the left, then goes downward from above, drawing an ellipse from inward to outward, while the weight shifts to your left leg. Your right foot slightly lifts then lowers with the toes pointed outward and the weight shifts onto it. Advancing your left foot, your right wrist rotates so the tiger’s mouth is facing upward as the fist strikes forward. It is the same as ADVANCE, PARRY, BLOCK, PUNCH.

(要點)
Points for attention:
手腕宜隨步動作不可用拙勁
Your wrist should go along with the movement of your step, and must not put forth any awkward effort.

(用法)
Application:
搭手時敵設用力上抬即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 advance [withdraw] a step to neutralize his energy, then take advantage of the moment to strike forward to his chest.

(24)攬雀尾(見前)
CATCH THE SPARROW BY THE TAIL (same as before)
(25)單鞭(見前)
SINGLE WHIP (same as before)

(26)雲手
CLOUDING HANDS

(義意)
Explanation of the name:
雲手者手之運動盤旋回轉如雲之謂也此式於太極拳中為最重要兩手之旋轉運行與少林拳之左右攀援手同
“Clouding hands” means that your hands are swirling like vapors. This is the most important posture within Taiji Boxing. The circling of the hands is the same as the “left & right climbing hands” of Shaolin Boxing.

(動作圖說)
Description of the movement:
單鞭之後左手近左腿翻掌心向下向左外擺右手變吊手鬆開為掌手心朝下隨腰往下往左圓轉經過雙膝轉至左肩前手心轉向內復往右轉繞過眼前與眉齊手心漸轉向下須鬆鬆捧起務令極圓右足隨右手向左挪移半步(如圖一)
After SINGLE WHIP, your left hand approaches your left leg, the palm turning to be facing downward, and swings outward to the left as your right hanging hand opens to become a palm facing downward, goes along with your waist by arcing downward and to the left, passing your knees, and arcs until in front of your left shoulder, the palm turning to be facing inward. Your right hand then arcs to the right, passing in front of your eyes at eyebrow level, the palm gradually turning to face downward, and must loosely prop up. Try to make the movement very round. During the movement of your right hand, your right foot shifts across a half step to the left. See the first drawing:

左手同時亦鬆開手心朝下隨腰往下往右圓轉經過雙膝轉至右肩前手心轉向內復往左轉繞過眼前與眉齊手心漸轉向下鬆捧與右手同同時左足隨左手往左挪移一步(如圖二)
Your left hand at the same time loosens so the palm is facing downward, goes along with your waist by arcing downward and to the right passing your knees, and arcs until in front of your right shoulder, the palm turning to be facing inward. Your left hand then arcs to the left, passing in front of your eyes at eyebrow level, the palm gradually turning to face downward, and must loosely prop up, the same as the right hand did. Your left foot goes along with your left hand by shifting a step to the left. See the second drawing:

左右雲手或三步或五步或七步均可仍變單鞭
As your hands cloud to the left and right, you may take three steps, five steps, or seven steps, then change to SINGLE WHIP.

(要點)
Points for attention:
雙手運行須圓轉如輪右手至左肩前左手伸直左手至右肩前右手伸直雲右手眼神與腰隨往右雲左手眼神與腰隨往左雲右手坐右腿雲左手坐左腿速度須等步須隨身移動上體不宜搖擺頭不宜左右歪斜眼須注視上部運行之左右手
The movement of your hands must be like the rotating of wheels. 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 the right. When clouding with your left hand, your gaze goes along with your waist 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. Your hands must move at an equal speed. Your steps must shift along with your body’s movement. Your upper body should not sway. Your head should not tilt to the left or right. Your eyes have to follow along with your upper body as your hands move side to side.

(用法)
Application:
設敵以左手自前面擊來時即以右手向右運開乘勢進擊若自後襲擊右肩即可以右手迎觸敵手翻掌發勁擲擊之
If an opponent attacks from the front, I then move it aside to the right with my right hand, then take advantage of the moment by advancing and striking [with my left hand]. 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 throw him away.

(27)單鞭 見前
SINGLE WHIP (same as before)

(28)高探馬
RISING UP AND REACHING OUT TO THE HORSE

(義意)
Explanation of the name:
高探馬者即身體高聳向前探出如乘馬探身向前之意
RISING UP AND REACHING OUT TO THE HORSE means your body is rising up and you are reaching out forward, a sense of extending your body forward as if to mount a horse.

(動作圖說)
Description of the movement:
右前單鞭式左手伸直掌心翻轉朝上右手亦變吊手為掌手心亦向上右腿向後坐左足尖點地全身重點寄於右足左手隨腰收回藏於左脅下手心向上右手曲肘自右上方下落由耳邊捧出手心朝下掌心吐力
Continuing from SINGLE WHIP, your left hand reaches out further, the palm turning over to be facing upward, your right hand changing from hanging hand to palm, also facing upward. Your right leg sits back, your left toes touching down, the weight shifting onto your foot, your left hand going along with your waist by withdrawing to be stored below your left ribs, palm facing upward, and your right elbow bends, the hand going from the upper right and bracing out from beside your ear, palm facing downward, power expressing at the center of the palm. [See the drawing:]

(要點)
Points for attention:
此式左手收回時足之起落須與手一致始能上下相隨
In this posture, when your left hand withdraws, the lifting and lowering of your foot must happen in unison, then you will be able to be coordinated above and below.

(用法)
Application:
設敵以右手進擊吾胸即以手背下按右手同時用撲面掌進擊彼胸
If the opponent uses his right hand to strike forward to my chest, I then use the back of my [left] hand to push down his right hand while using a pouncing palm to strike forward to his chest.

(29)右分脚
KICK TO THE RIGHT SIDE

(義意)
Explanation of the name:
右分脚者即用脚向右分踢之意
Use your right foot to do a snapping kick to the right.

(動作圖說)
Description of the movement:
由上式兩手隨腰由右往左往下圓轉左足同時隨腰隨兩手往左斜方邁步兩手由下上轉相合成十字眼注視左前方左足變實右足提起足尖下重向右前方踢出足背須平兩手同時兩邊分開右手向右前方左手向前方同隨伸出手腕與肩成水平兩掌俱坐起手腕手指均向上(如圖)
Continuing from the previous posture, your hands go along with your waist by arcing from the right to the left and downward, your left foot at the same time going along with your waist and hands by stepping out diagonally to the left. Your hands go up from below, coming together to make an X shape, your gaze going to the forward left [forward right], your left leg now becoming full. Your right foot lifts, toes hanging down, then kicks out to the forward right, and the back of the foot must be flat. Your hands at the same time spread apart to the sides, right hand to the forward right, left hand to the front [forward left], extending with the wrists at shoulder level, both palms sitting up at the wrists so the fingers are pointing upward. See the drawing:

(要點)
Points for attention:
此式須渾身鬆開要有頂勁撤步捋手時須手步一致踢時兩臂成水平前足尖須平後腿微屈全身重點寄於後腿
For this posture, you must loosen your whole body and your headtop should be pressing upward. When withdrawing your foot and rolling back with your hand, hand and foot must act in unison. When kicking, your arms are level, your toes must be pointing, your standing leg slightly bent, and the weight is entirely on the standing leg.

(用法)
Application:
設敵順勢用肘或臂上抗撲面掌時即用下纏手由內分手外擊其臂乘勢亦可前踢彼腰
When I do the palm strike to opponent’s face, if he seizes the moment by using his elbow or forearm to resist upward, I then wrap my hand around under it to the inside, spread my hand outward to strike away his arm, and take advantage of the moment by kicking forward to his waist.

(30)左分脚
KICK TO THE LEFT SIDE

(義意)
Explanation of the name:
左分脚者即左脚向左分踢之意
Use your left foot to do a snapping kick to the left.

(動作圖說)
Description of the movement:
右足踢出後旋即收囘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右方邁步跕實雙手由下圓轉上合成十字眼神向右注視左足提起足尖下垂向左斜方踢出足背須平兩手同時分開右手向右後方左手向左前方伸出手腕與肩成水平綫手腕手指向上與右分脚適相反(如圖)
After your right foot kicks, promptly withdraw it, your right hand coming in from right to left while your left hand also comes in so the palms are facing toward each other, left hand above, right hand below. Then they go along with your waist by arcing from the left to the right and downward, your right foot at the same time going along with your waist and hands by stepping to the right, and then the weight shifts fully onto it. Your hands arc upward from below, coming together to make an X shape, your gaze going to the right. Your left foot lifts, toes hanging down, and kicks out diagonally to the left, and the back of the foot must be flat. Your hands at the same time spread apart to the sides, right hand to the right rear, left hand to the forward left, extending with the wrists at shoulder level, wrists bent back so the fingers are pointing upward. It is the same as on the other side. See the drawing:

(要點)
Points for attention:
與右分脚同
Same as the kick to the right.

(用法)
Application:
與右分脚相同惟左右適成相反耳
Same as the kick to the right, but with left and right reversed.

(31)轉身蹬脚
TURN AROUND, PRESSING KICK

(義意)
Explanation of the name:
轉身蹬脚者即身向後轉以足踵前蹬也
Your body turns around to the rear and then you press forward using your heel.

(動作圖說)
Description of the movement:
兩手相合成十字左足收回仍提起足尖向下垂右足立地足尖隨身向左轉同時兩足分開左手在前右手在後左足蹬出足踵用力足尖朝上目注視左方(如圖)
Your hands come together to make an X shape as your left foot withdraws, still raised, toes hanging down, and your right toes go along with your body as it turns to the left. Then your feet [hands] spread apart, left hand forward, right hand to the rear, as your left foot presses out, power expressing at the heel, toes pointing upward. Your gaze is to the left. See the drawing:

(要點)
Points for attention:
此式須渾身鬆開全身之力寄於右足向左轉身時上身宜直立不可前俯
Your whole body must loosen, the weight shifted stably onto your right foot. As you turn around to the left, your upper body should be upright and must not be leaning forward or back.

(用法)
Application:
設敵由身後襲擊時即轉身避過並可乘勢用脚前蹬兩手向左右分開以護膝防敵之摟腿也
If an opponent suddenly attacks me from behind, I then turn around to prevent it, seizing the moment by pressing forward with my [left] foot, my hands spreading away to the left and right to prevent him from brushing my leg aside.

(32)左右摟膝拗步
LEFT & RIGHT BRUSH KNEE IN A CROSSED STANCE

(義意)
Explanation of the name:
由前式左足蹬出收回後足尖遂下垂向前邁步全身重點寄於右腿隨以左手摟膝右手按出復換步以右手摟膝左手按出與前(6)(19)之摟膝拗步同惟中間無琵琶式耳
Continuing from the previous posture, after your left foot presses out, it withdraws, toes hanging down, the weight on your right leg, then steps forward, your left hand brushing past by your left knee, and your right hand pushes out. Then switching sides, your right hand brushes past your right knee and your left hand pushes out. It is all the same as before (Postures 6 and 19), except without the PLAY THE LUTE posture.

(33)進步栽錘
ADVANCE, PLANTING PUNCH

(義意)
Explanation of the name:
進步栽錘者即步向前進使拳由上下栽之謂也故此式亦為太極拳五錘之一
ADVANCE, PLANTING PUNCH means you step forward and plant your fist downward from above. This is another of the five punching techniques in Taiji Boxing.

(動作圖說)
Explanation of the movement:
右足尖外轉左手摟膝左足前邁右手作拳手心向內向下方斜擊左腿前弓成弓箭式(如圖)
Your right toes turn outward, your left hand brushes past your [left] knee as your left foot steps forward, and your right hand makes a fist, the center of the fist facing inward, and strikes diagonally downward, your left leg bending forward, making a bow and arrow stance. See the drawing:

(要點)
Points for attention:
栽錘時須用脊骨力頭宜頂不可傾斜而失去前後中心摟左膝時左手宜浮靠左膝
During the planting punch, you must use power from your spine, your head must be upright rather than tilting, which would 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.

(用法)
Application:
設敵以右拳擊吾胸時即以左手向外摟開右手隨擊敵之面部倘敵以左手內握吾腕即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 to his face. If he then uses his left hand to grab to the inside of my wrist, I then turn over my hand, making a fist, and strike forward to his abdomen.

(34)翻身白蛇吐信
TURN AROUND, WHITE SNAKE FLICKS ITS TONGUE

(義意)
Explanation of the name:
翻身白蛇吐信與(22)之搬身錘同蓋白蛇乃蘄州之毒蛇口中有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 ITS TONGUE is the same as TORSO-FLUNG PUNCH (Posture 22). “White snake” refers to the poisonous snake of Qizhou which would shoot out a thin thread from its mouth, and anyone who happened to touch the animal could not escape. This posture’s indirectness and nimbleness suggests the same kind of image.

(動作圖說)
Description of the movement:
此式與搬身錘相同惟方向不同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朝外右手心朝下眼神亦轉向右方左足不動兩手隨腰向右圓轉右手隨腰下鬆藏於脅旁掌心朝上變拳左手繞右掌向前按出同時右足右轉稍向外移足尖朝前
This is the same as TORSO-FLUNG PUNCH, except the direction is different. Your left toes turn inward, the weight remaining 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, left palm facing outward, 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, [It is the same as TORSO-FLUNG PUNCH, except your right hand uses a palm] instead of a fist. Your left hand coils over your right palm and pushes out forward, your right foot at the same time turning slightly outward for the toes to be pointing forward.

(35)上步搬攔錘
STEP FORWARD, ADVANCE, PARRY, BLOCK, PUNCH

(說明)
Explanation:
右足外轉全身坐於右腿上兩手隨腰往回收圓轉而上右手向前打拳左手亦隨之以掌扶右腕同時左腿前邁變實與前第(10)式同
Your right foot turns outward and your body sits onto your right leg, your hands going along with your waist by withdrawing and arcing upward. Then your right hand strikes forward as a fist, your left palm correspondingly wiping along your right wrist, your left leg at the same time stepping forward and becoming full. It is the same as in Posture 10.

(36)右蹬脚
RIGHT PRESSING KICK

(義意)
Explanation of the name:
即右脚上蹬足踵着力是也
Your right foot rises up and presses out, power expressing at the heel.

(動作圖說)
Description of the movement:
左足跟轉向內兩手相合作十字形全身坐於左腿同時右足提起前蹬兩臂向左右分開與轉身蹬脚同惟左右脚之反正不同耳(如圖)
Your left heel turns to point the foot inward [outward] as your hands come together to make an X shape, your body sitting onto your left leg. Then your right foot lifts and presses forward, your arms spreading apart to the sides. It is the same as in TURN AROUND, PRESSING KICK, except using the other foot and facing to a different direction. See the drawing:

(要點)
Points for attention:
右脚蹬出時身須直立不可前俯
As your right foot presses out, your body has to stand straight and must not lean forward or back.

(用法)
Application:
設敵以左手當胸擊來吾即蹲身右閃以左手進握其腕同時右手可乘機迎擊其面或可變拳斜擊其太陽穴乘其不備亦可以右腿蹬其腹若敵退避下格吾足時即全身躍起換左腿復蹬之亦可
If the opponent uses his left hand to attack my chest, I squat my body and evade with my right [left] side while sending my left hand forward to grab his wrist, then can take advantage of the opportunity by using my right hand to strike to his face, or I could make a fist and strike diagonally to his temple, catching him unprepared, and can then send out my right leg with a pressing kick to his belly. If he was to retreat and block my foot downward, I could also hop to switch feet and kick again to his belly using my left leg.

(37)左右披身伏虎
LEFT & RIGHT DRAPING THE BODY, CROUCHING TIGER POSTURE

(義意)
Explanation of the name:
此式之氣象凶猛用法精妙類打虎意故名
In this posture, the energy is fierce and the technique is to be applied with the spirit of a fighting tiger, hence the name.

(動作圖說)
Description of the movement:
由前式右足收回垂足尖落於左足處左手往右與右手隨步隨腰往下往左圓轉而上握拳手心朝外同時左足向左後方斜撤半步弓膝作左弓箭式右腿伸直身向左傾右手由丹田而上至胸際握拳手心朝下左手在額之上右手在胸之下上下相對(如一圖)
Continuing from the previous posture, your right foot withdraws, toes hanging down, comes down beside your left foot, and your left hand goes to the right. Then in unison with your right hand, as well as going along with your step and waist, your left hand goes downward, to the left, and arcs upward, grasping into a fist, center of the fist facing outward. At the same time, your left foot diagonally withdraws a half step to the left rear to make a left bow & arrow stance, your right leg straightening, your torso inclining to the left, while your right hand goes upward from the area of your elixir field toward your chest area, grasping into a fist, the center of the fist facing inward. Your left hand is above your forehead and your right hand is below your chest, aligned with each other above and below. See the first drawing:

左足尖內轉兩手隨腰右轉右足向右後方退移半步弓膝作右弓箭步左腿伸直身向右傾左手由上往左圓轉而下轉至胸際手心朝下右手由下往右圓轉而上轉至額上手心朝外全身坐於右腿(如二圖)
Your left toes turn inward, your hands going along with your waist as it turns to the right, then your right foot diagonally withdraws a half step to the right rear to make a right bow & arrow stance, your left leg straightening, your torso inclining to the right. At the same time, your left hand goes to the left from above, arcing downward toward your chest area, the center of the fist facing downward, your right hand going to the right from below and arcing upward to be above your forehead, the center of the fist facing outward, the weight shifting to your right leg. See the second drawing:

(要點)
Points for attention:
左右兩式之運行路線宜成圓形其交叉線在大腹之前左伏虎時不可過傾於左右伏虎時不可過傾於右以免失去重心
In the left and right postures, the paths your fists move along should draw two circles that would link with each other in front of your stomach. When performing the posture on the left, you must not lean to the left, likewise on the right, in order to keep from losing your balance.

(用法)
Application:
由前式右脚蹬出收回時敵之左手倘仍不能逃脫時即可搭而後撤退左步左轉復以右肩猛擊敵之左肘則其肘必段右式相同若敵以雙手握吾之臂即將臂後撤上轉復用他手由脅下穿替出所握之臂迎頭痛擊之亦可
Continuing from the previous posture, when I withdraw my right foot after the pressing kick, if the opponent cannot pull back his left hand in time, I can connect with it, retreat a step with my left foot, and turn to the left, then use my right shoulder to fiercely strike to his left elbow, breaking it. The posture of the right side can be applied in the same way. Or if the 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 frontal attack.

(38)回身蹬脚
TURN THE BODY, PRESSING KICK

(義意)
Explanation of the name:
回身蹬脚者即身向後轉起脚前蹬也
Your body turns to the rear, then your [right] foot lifts and presses forward.

(動作圖說)
Description of the movement:
由前式兩足跟稍提起向左轉成左弓箭後復踏實身向左坐同時兩手作掌由右向左運行半圈左手置胸左側右手置胸前右腿稍向前撤左腿下蹲兩手稍向前伸作十字手後始分向前後展開同時起右脚蹬出(與右蹬脚同)
Continuing from the previous posture, your heels [toes] slightly lift and turn to the left, making a stance of left leg a bow, right leg an arrow, the feet coming down fully, your body sitting onto your left leg. At the same time, your hands become palms and go from right to left in a half circle, your left hand placed to the left of your chest, your right hand placed in front of your chest. Your right leg slightly withdraws in front of you, your left leg squatting down, as your hands slightly extend in front of you, making an X shape, and then they spread apart to the front and rear as your right foot lifts and presses out (the same as in RIGHT PRESSING KICK).

(要點)
Points for attention:
此式須以腰為樞紐而運動兩臂起脚蹬時左腿宜微屈使全身重點寄於左足切不可前俯後仰
You must use your waist as a pivot to move your arms. When lifting your foot to do the pressing kick, your left leg should slightly bend to get the weight to shift onto your left foot. You must not lean forward or back.

(用法)
Application:
敵以左手當胸猛擊時即披身捋敵之臂復以右手向外挑擊同時亦可起右脚蹬敵胸脅
The opponent uses his left hand to fiercely attack my chest, so I drape over my body by rolling back his arm, then I send my right hand outward with a carrying strike while lifting my right foot and doing a pressing kick to his chest or ribs.

(39)雙風貫耳
DOUBLE WINDS THROUGH THE EARS

(義意)
Explanation 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 swing from the sides to strike the opponent’s ears as swift as the wind.

(動作圖說)
Description of the movement:
由上式右足蹬出後旋收回仍提起足尖下垂兩手相合手心轉向內合至右膝處復往下兩邊分開手心漸轉向上向外向前相對圓轉至面前拳孔相對拳心向外兩臂彎成橢圓形合至右膝時右腿隨腰下鬆向前踏出一步隨鬆隨轉左腿伸直全身重點寄於右腿(如圖)
Continuing from the previous posture, after your right foot presses out, it withdraws, remaining lifted, toes hanging down, and your hands come toward each other until they reach your right knee area, palms the turned to be facing inward. Then your hands go downward and spread to the sides, the palms gradually turning over, and then they go upward, outward, and forward, arcing toward each other until in front of your face, now as fists pointing toward each other, the centers of the fists facing outward, the bend of your arms making an oval shape in front of you. Once your hands have closed toward your right knee, your right leg goes along with your waist in loosening downward and steps out to the southeast, your left leg straightening, the weight shifting to your right leg. See the drawing:

(要點)
Points for attention:
兩臂運動須與兩足一致始可活潑無滯完整一氣也
The movement of your arms must be in unison with your feet in order for it to be lively and without sluggishness, a single flow.

(用法)
Application:
敵以雙衝進擊我胸時卽以兩手分格乘勢貫擊敵之雙耳及太陽穴
An opponent punches to my chest with both fists, so I use my hands to block them away to the sides, then take advantage of the opportunity by doing swinging strikes to his ears or temples.

(40)左蹬脚
LEFT PRESSING KICK

(義意)
Explanation of the name:
此式先向前進步次起左腿上蹬之謂也
First step forward, then lift your left leg and do a pressing kick.

(動作圖說)
Description of the movement:
右足根外轉兩手相合作十字全身坐在右腿左腿同時上提前蹬兩手隨同左右分展(如圖)
Your right heel turns outward, your hands coming together to make an X shape, your body sitting onto your right leg. Then your left leg lifts up and presses out forward, your hands at the same time spreading apart to the left and right. See the drawing:

(要點)
Points for attention:
左腿上蹬時須足踵吐力右腿宜微屈不可前俯後仰
When your left leg rises up and presses out, you must express power at the heel, your right leg should be slightly bent, and you must not lean forward or back.

(用法)
Application:
設以左手擊敵敵以右手自下托吾肘時應即蹲身向外下纏敵臂起左足前蹬敵脅
When I use my left hand to strike the opponent, if he uses his right hand to prop up my elbow from below, I then squat my torso down, [my right hand] wrapping outward and downward around his arm, then lift my left foot and do a pressing kick forward to his ribs.

(41)轉身蹬脚
TURN AROUND, PRESSING KICK
(42)上步搬攔錘
STEP FORWARD, PARRY, BLOCK, PUNCH
(43)如封似閉
SEALING SHUT
(44)十字手
CROSSED HANDS
(45)抱虎歸山
CAPTURE THE TIGER AND SEND IT BACK TO ITS MOUNTAIN

(46)斜單鞭
DIAGONAL SINGLE WHIP

(說明)
Explanation:
此式與正單鞭之動作相同惟勢成斜形方向不同耳
In both posture and movement, this is the same as the ordinary SINGLE WHIP, but the orientation of it is different, pointing diagonally.

(47)野馬分鬃
WILD HORSE VEERS ITS MANE

(義意)
Explanation of the name:
野馬分鬃者以此式之運動如野馬奔馳兩手分展如馬鬃之左右分披之謂也
The movement of this posture is like a wild horse running swiftly, your hands spreading away like the horse’s mane draping side to side, hence the name.

(動作圖說)
Description of the movement:
由前式右手隨腰往左與左手相合右手在下手心朝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足提起往右前方斜邁右手隨右足往右前方分開在上左手同時往左後方分開在下右手心仍向上左手心仍向下全身坐在右腿眼神隨注視右手此式與斜飛式相同惟前手較低耳(如圖一)
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 about ninety degrees to the right, your body also turning. With the weight on your left leg, your right foot lifts and steps out to the forward right. Your right hand goes along with your right foot by spreading away forward and upward, your left hand at the same time spreading away downward to the left rear, right palm still facing upward, left palm still facing downward, and the weight shifts to your right leg. Your gaze goes toward your right hand. This posture is the same as DIAGONAL FLYING, except that the forward hand is slightly lower. See the first drawing:

左手隨腰往右與右手相合左手在下右手在上左手心朝上右手心朝下右足尖稍向外移同時左足提起往左前方斜邁身隨之向左轉全身坐在左腿上左手隨左足向左前方分開在上右手同時往右後方分開在下眼神亦隨視左手(如圖二)
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 foot by spreading away forward and upward, your right hand at the same time spreading away downward to the right rear. Your gaze goes toward your left hand. See the second drawing:

此是左右野馬分鬃或三次或五次至分時鬆換下式
This is WILD HORSE VEERS ITS MANE on both sides. Do it three or five times, changing to the next posture from the [right] side.

(要點)
Points for attention:
兩臂分合須腰胯一致全身動作須沈肩鬆腰運行時須輕靈敏捷亦為合宜
As your hands spread apart and come together, they must act in unison with your waist and hips, whole-bodied movement. You must sink your shoulders and loosen your waist. During the movement, you must be lively and nimble for it to be correct.

(用法)
Application:
設敵直擊吾胸時卽可進按敵腕順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.

(48)上步攬雀尾
STEP FORWARD, CATCH THE SPARROW BY THE TAIL
(49)單鞭 (見前)
SINGLE WHIP (same as before)

(50)玉女穿梭
MAIDEN WORKS THE SHUTTLE

(義意)
Explanation of the name:
此式先前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 posture first advances then turns around to the rear, then again advances and turns around to the rear, traveling toward the four corners in a continuous maneuver, like the manner of the shuttle slipping in and out when weaving, hence the name.

(動作圖說)
Description of the movement:
由前式左足內轉右足收回足跟着地左手轉出脅外左足向前邁步左手心向下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重點坐在左腿(如圖一)
Continuing from the previous posture, your left foot turns inward, your right foot withdraws, heel touching down, and your left hand arcs to the outside of your [right] ribs. Your left foot steps forward and your left hand, palm facing upward, moves close to your right arm and props up until above your forehead, the palm turning to face outward, while your right hand goes from goes along with the movement of your waist and step, pushing out below your left hand, power expressing in the center of the palm, your body sitting onto your left leg. See the first drawing:

左腿坐實足尖內轉右手轉出左脅外手心朝上右足提起向右後轉邁步右手心向上挨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重點坐在右腿(如圖二)
With the weight on your left leg, the toes turn inward, your right hand arcing to the outside of your left ribs, the palm facing upward. Your right foot lifts and steps out to the right rear, and your right hand, palm facing upward, moves close to your left arm and props up until above your forehead, the palm turning to face outward, while your left hand goes along with the movement of your waist and step, pushing out below your right hand, power expressing in the center of the palm, your body sitting onto your right leg. See the second drawing:

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)
With the weight again on your right leg, advance your left foot while your hands are as before, left hand above, right hand below, propping up and pushing forward. See the third drawing:

復坐實左腿足尖內轉右足提起向右後方轉邁步向前捧按(如圖四)
With the weight again on your left leg, the toes turn inward, your right foot lifts and steps out to the right rear, and your hands prop up and push forward. See the fourth drawing:

(要點)
Points for attention:
轉身時須腰步相隨一致運動方向雖斜而身體姿勢仍宜中正
When turning your body around, your step and waist movement must be in unison, and although the direction is diagonal, your body posture should still be upright and not lean.

(用法)
Application:
設敵以右手自正面擊來時即可順左步右手上捧左手隨步向敵臂按出若敵自後側面擊來時則可回身以拗手傍纏敵腕隨進順步以順臂上捧敵臂伸手擊敵胸腋
If an opponent uses his right hand to attack me from directly in front, I can step my left foot forward, my right hand propping upward, my left hand going along with the step to push out to his arm. If an opponent attacks me from behind and to the side, I can turn around and use my rear hand to wrap around his wrist from the side, then advance a step and send my forward arm upward to prop up his arm while extending my other hand to strike to his chest.

(51)上步攬雀尾
STEP FORWARD, CATCH THE SPARROW BY THE TAIL
(52)單鞭
SINGLE WHIP
(53)雲手 (均見前)
CLOUDING HANDS
(All of these postures are done as before.)

(54)單鞭下勢
SINGLE WHIP, LOW POSTURE

(義意)
Explanation of the name:
單鞭下式者即由單鞭後而身體下降之謂也
After performing SINGLE WHIP, your body descends.

(動作圖說)
Description of the movement:
由單鞭式左手按出後身隨腰收回往下坐左腿伸直右腿屈曲下蹲愈低愈好身體不可前俯頭仍須有頂勁左手同時隨腰收回屈肘後撤至右胯彎轉面向下伸掌前指至左足腕處右手仍為吊手(如圖)
Continuing from SINGLE WHIP, after your left hand pushes out, your body, going along with your waist, withdraws and sits downward, your left leg straightening, your right leg bending and squatting down, the lower the better. Your body must not overly lean forward and your head has to maintain an energy of pressing up. Your left hand, the elbow bending, goes along with your waist by withdrawing until near the inside of your right hip, then arcs goes downward until by your left ankle, fingers pointing forward. Your right hand is still making a hanging hand. See the drawing:

(要點)
Points for attention:
蹲身時脊骨須直立不宜前傾斜腰膝臂屈伸時與身之起落務須一致
When squatting your body, your spine has to be upright and should not be leaning forward or to the side. The bending and extending of your knee and arm must happen in unison with the lowering and rising of your body.

(用法)
Application:
敵以猛力撲吾身或以雙手握吾臂不能抵抗時則可用蹲身下坐揉避敵力令其落空即乘勢猛擊其頭胸各部
If an opponent fiercely charges, or if he grasps my arm with both hands so that I cannot resist, I can squat my body down to evade his force and cause it to land on nothing, and then take advantage of the situation by striking forward to his head or chest.

(55)金鷄獨立
GOLDEN ROOSTER STANDS ON ONE LEG

(義意)
Explanation of the name:
金鷄喜獨立此式亦一足立地一足提起手臂上揚作展翅狀若金鷄獨立然故名
Roosters like to stand one-legged. In this posture, one foot stands on the ground while the other is lifted, a hand rising up to make a posture of a spreading a wing. It looks like a rooster standing on one leg, hence the name.

(動作圖說)
Description of the movement:
由前式腰手隨向前進隨前隨上提使全身坐左腿左手隨身向上至與肩齊處而往下按右手隨右腿往前提起右腿提至膝與腹平足尖下垂右手提至肘與膝蓋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內指尖指右足左側(如圖一)
Continuing from the previous posture, your waist and hands go forward and lift up, making the weight shift to your left leg. Your left hand goes along with your body by going upward until at shoulder level, then pushes down. Your right hand goes along with your right leg as it comes forward and lifts up until the knee is level with your abdomen, toes hanging down, your right hand lifting, the elbow and knee coming together, the palm facing to the left, fingertips pointing upward at eyebrow level. Your left leg is standing straight, your left arm hanging down, palm facing inward, fingers pointing to the left side of your right foot. See the first drawing:

右足向後退半步下落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蓋相合手心向右與左肩齊右手同時下按(如圖二)
Your right foot retreats, coming down a half step behind you, and the weight shifts onto it. Your left hand goes along with your left foot as it lifts upward, the knee level with your abdomen, toes hanging down, the elbow and knee coming together, the palm facing to the right at shoulder level, your right hand at the same time pushing down. See the second drawing:

(要點)
Points for attention:
此式係運動鬆腰及頂勁全身重點寄於一足使下盤穩若山嶽不可絲毫動搖手足之起落尤須一致
In this posture, the movement pivots around your waist and headtop and the weight is entirely on one foot. Make it as stable as a mountain and do not sway. When your hands and feet lift and lower, they should do so in unison.

(用法)
Application:
設吾擊敵胸而敵以手攔格時即可以手向上挑開敵手以後腿之膝衝敵小腹同時前手仍可進擊敵身若敵以順步左拳進擊時亦可以左手搭敵手右手拗纏敵腕同時以右腿上提猛擊敵肘則敵手必損
If I strike to an opponent’s chest and he uses his hand to block it, I can use my [other] hand to lift his away, then strike to his lower abdomen with my knee, and strike forward with the same hand. Or if the opponent attacks with a left punch, standing with his left leg forward, I can use my left hand to connect to his wrist, then coil around his wrist with my right hand, and lift my right leg to fiercely strike his elbow, which will surely injure him.

(56)倒輦猴
RETREAT, DRIVING AWAY THE MONKEY
(57)斜飛勢
DIAGONAL FLYING POSTURE
(58)提手
RAISED HANDS
(59)白鶴亮翅
WHITE CRANE SHOWS ITS WINGS
(60)摟膝拗步
BRUSH KNEE IN A CROSSED STANCE
(61)海底針
NEEDLING “UNDER THE SEA”
(62)扇通臂
FAN THROUGH THE BACK
(63)撇身錘
TORSO-FLUNG PUNCH
(64)上步搬攔錘
STEP FORWARD, PARRY, BLOCK, PUNCH
(65)進步攬雀尾
ADVANCE, CATCH THE SPARROW BY THE TAIL
(66)單鞭
SINGLE WHIP
(67)雲手
CLOUDING HANDS
(68)單鞭
SINGLE WHIP
(69)高探馬
RISING UP AND REACHING OUT TO THE HORSE
(均見前)
(All of these postures are done as before.)

(70)十字腿
CROSSED-BODY KICK

(義意)
Explanation of the name:
十字腿者以伸順拳踢拗腿之謂也
[In boxing arts,] when you extend your front fist while kicking with your rear leg, it is called a “crossed-body kick”.

(動作圖說)
Description of the movement:
由前式左腿坐實左手仰掌由右臂上穿出手心朝上右手同時收回屈肱置於左脅下手朝下左足隨左手同時邁出半步左掌伸出後隨即屈回內運下合掌心朝外右手仍在左脅下手心朝下眼神前視復坐實左腿右足尖內轉向右後方轉身略舒右腿如丁虛步右臂由頭左上舉掌心向內右足上提同時左掌前拍右足面左臂下垂掌心向下(如圖)
Continuing from the previous posture, the weight goes onto your left leg and your left hand threads out over your right forearm, palm facing upward, while your right hand withdraws, the arm bending, to be placed below your left armpit, palm facing downward, and your left foot goes along with your left hand by going out a half step. Once your left hand has extended, it promptly bends inward, covers downward, and then the palm faces outward, your right hand still at your left flank, palm facing downward, your gaze forward, the weight shifting onto your left leg. Your right [left] toes turn inward as you turn around to the right rear, slightly relaxing your right leg so you seem to be in an empty stance, while your right [left] arm goes from the left of your head to raise up above it, palm facing inward. Your right foot lifts up and your left palm goes forward and pats the top of your right foot, then your left arm hangs down, the palm facing downward. See the drawing:

(要點)
Points for attention:
此式係運動腿部轉身時須以全身重點寄於左足方可將右足提起
This posture exercises the legs. When you turn around, you must shift all the weight onto your left foot in order to be able to lift your right foot.

(用法)
Application:
設敵由後方襲擊時即可轉身以手攔格乘勢以足踢之
If an opponent suddenly attacks me from behind, I can turn around, use my hand to block it, and take advantage of the situation by sending out a kick.

(71)摟膝指𦡁錘
BRUSH KNEE, PUNCH TO THE CROTCH

(義意)
Explanation of the name:
此式為太極拳五錘之一乃摟膝後乘勢用拳進擊敵𦡁之意
This is one of the five punching techniques in Taiji Boxing. After you brush past your knee, take advantage of the opportunity by punching forward to the opponent’s crotch.

(動作圖說)
Explanation of the movement:
由前式右腿蹬出後落下坐實左手摟膝右拳前伸斜下指向前向下打出左手至置左膝旁(如圖)
Continuing from the previous posture, after your right leg presses out, it comes down and sits full. Your left hand brushes past your [left] knee [as your left leg advances], and your right fist strikes out diagonally, forward and downward, your left hand now placed beside your left knee. See the drawing:

(要點)
Points for attention:
拳前擊時右肩探出力須由背脊發出使可得其要領
When punching forward, your right shoulder reaches out. The power must express from your spine in order for you to be able to perform the technique correctly.

(用法)
Application:
敵設以雙手脚連擊時應以雙手攔格乘勢進擊敵之下部
If the opponent attacks with each hand and foot in succession, I respond by blocking with each of my hands [right then left], then take advantage of the opportunity by punching forward to his crotch.

(72)上步攬雀尾
STEP FORWARD, CATCH THE SPARROW BY THE TAIL
(73)單鞭下勢
SINGLE WHIP, LOW POSTURE
(均見前)
(Both of these postures are done as before.)

(74)上步七星
STEP FORWARD, BIG DIPPER POSTURE

(義意)
Explanation of the name:
拳術家以兩臂相挽兩拳斜對名七星式
When a boxing practitioner rolls his arms toward each other so the 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].

(動作圖說)
Description of the movement:
由下勢左膝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隨向前邁約半步許足尖點地(如圖)
Continuing from the previous posture, your left knee bends forward, your torso advances to sit fully onto your left leg, and your hands go along with your waist by going forward and crossing to make an X shape, your right foot going forward about a half step, toes touching down. See the drawing:

(要點)
Points for attention:
七星式全身重點寄於左足身宜直頭宜頂
The weight is shifted onto your left foot. Your body should be straight. Your head should be pressing up.

(用法)
Application:
設敵以掌當胸擊來應以左臂上架或外攔同時可順進右足以右拳自左拳下猛擊敵胸
If an opponent uses a palm to attack my chest, I use my left arm to prop it up or block it outward. At the same time, I can advance my right foot and send my right fist under my left fist to fiercely strike to his chest.

(75)退步胯虎
RETREAT, SITTING TIGER POSTURE

(義意)
Explanation of the name:
拳術家以兩臂分開兩腿蹲屈一足立地一足提起足尖點地名胯虎式
When a boxing practitioner spreads his arms apart, his legs squatting with one foot standing and one foot lifted, toes touching down, it is called a “sitting tiger” posture.

(動作圖說)
Description of the movement:
右足復向後退半步屈膝下蹲兩手分開右手在上手心朝外左手在下手心朝下左足即隨之退回足尖點地成丁虛步如白鶴亮翅勢惟身體略低手更分開之不同耳(如圖)
Your right foot then retreats a half step and the knee bends into a squat as your hands spread apart, right hand above, the palm facing outward, left hand below, the palm facing downward, your left foot withdrawing, toes touching down, making an empty stance. This posture is similar to WHITE CRANE SHOWS ITS WINGS, except your body is slightly lower and your hands are farther apart. See the drawing:

(要點)
Points for attention:
此式全身重點寄於右足身宜直頭宜頂
The weight is shifted onto your right foot. Your body should be straight. Your head should be pressing up.

(用法)
Application:
如用前式敵以手下壓或外摟及前踢時即以左手下摟敵手或足身向後退以備轉踢之意
When applying the previous technique, if the opponent uses his hand to push [my strike] down or brushes it aside and kicks forward, I then use my left hand to brush down his hand or foot, retreating my body in preparation to spin and kick.

(76)轉脚擺蓮
SPIN AROUND, SWINGING LOTUS KICK

(義意)
Explanation of the name:
轉脚擺蓮者即轉身蓄勢向旁擺踢之謂也
To spin around and do a swinging lotus kick means that you turn around to store up power, then do a swinging kick to the side.

(動作圖說)
Description of the movement:
由前勢左足提起右足尖向右轉全身隨之轉一大圈落下坐實左腿雙手內合眼斜視右方復起右足由左向右擺踢兩手由右擺左稍拍足背(如圖)
Continuing from the previous posture, your left foot lifts, your right toes turn toward the right, and your whole body turns a full circle, your foot then coming down and the weight shifting fully onto your left leg, your hands coming together inward, your gaze going diagonally to the right. Then lift your right foot and go from left to right with a swinging kick, your hands at the same time swinging from right to left, slightly slapping the back of the foot. See the drawing:

(要點)
Points for attention:
上左足時足尖宜向內合以便迴轉靈敏迅速
When your left foot steps forward, the toes should be pointed inward so as to make it easier to turn nimbly and swiftly.

(用法)
Application:
設敵自左側面擊來即閃身上左足以避之誘敵追襲乃轉身起右足以踢敵脅
If an opponent attacks from the left side, I evade it by dodging with my body and stepping forward [back] with my left foot, drawing him in to be ambushed as I then turn around and lift my right foot to kick to his ribs.

(77)彎弓射虎
BEND THE BOW, SHOOT THE TIGER

(義意)
Explanation of the name:
此式係取人在馬上彎弓射虎之意
The idea in this posture is of a person on horseback drawing a bow to shoot.

(動作圖說)
Description of the movement:
由前式右足向右前方踏出一步落下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右臂肩肘相平虎口向下近右腮指左前方勢如持箭左臂屈肘近脅舉手當胸如掘弓勢雙目前視右拳在額上左拳向前平伸(如圖)
Continuing from the previous posture, your right foot comes down to the forward right and the weight shifts onto it, your hands go along with your waist and right foot by arcing downward to the right, then going up from below, until to the right of your waist, and your arms lift up. Your right elbow is at shoulder level, the tiger’s mouth facing downward near your right cheek, pointing to the forward left, the posture like holding an arrow. Your left elbow is bent near your ribs, the hand lifted in front of your chest, the posture like holding a bow. Your gaze is forward, your right fist is above your forehead, and your left fist is reaching out forward. See the drawing:

(要點)
Points for attention:
此式係用腰力雙拳前擊時須隱合螺旋之意
This posture is driven by power from the waist. When both fists strike forward, there must be a corkscrewing intention.

(用法)
Application:
設敵從右搭吾右臂下按時即可隨其動作而轉以揉化其力乘勢且可前擊其胸
If the opponent connects with me to the right and pushes down my right arm, I go along with his movement, turning to neutralize his energy, and can then take advantage of the situation by striking forward to his chest.

(78)上步搬攔錘
STEP FORWARD, PARRY, BLOCK, PUNCH
(79)如封似閉
SEALING SHUT
(80)十字手
CROSSED HANDS
(均見前)
(All of these postures are done as before.)

(81)合太極
CLOSING POSTURE

(義意)
Explanation of the name:
此為太極拳練習完畢還原之勢
This concludes the Taiji Boxing solo set by returning you to the original posture.

(動作圖說)
Description of the movement:
由前式雙手向兩旁轉向上捧復輕輕下按成還原立正式(如圖)
Continuing from the previous posture, both hands go the sides, arc upward, and then gently push downward, returning to your original posture, standing straight. See the drawing:

推手
PUSHING HANDS [drawing largely from Chen Weiming’s 1925 manual]

推手者所以求其近身用着之靈活敏捷也他種拳術雖亦有二人對手然僅機械之勢終不過十餘式或數十式耳而太極推手則有掤捋擠按採挒肘靠八法此八法所以練其身之輕靈圓轉綿隨如長江大河之流滔滔不絕而週身節節貫串能虛空粉碎穩若泰山誠所謂太極論中之極柔軟然後能極堅剛也此術尤以懂勁為最要宜二人肘腕互搭推盪往來以覺察敵勁之虛實輕重久之即感覺靈敏微動便知隨己意而虛實應付斯即為懂勁矣懂勁後愈練愈精物來順應變化無窮練太極拳者宜注意焉
Pushing hands is the means by which we train nimbleness and agility in applying techniques against an opponent. In other boxing arts, although there are two-person exercises, they are nothing more than lots of postures and then lots more postures. In Taiji pushing hands, there are the eight techniques of warding off, rolling back, pressing, pushing, plucking, rending, elbowing, and bumping, and the training of these eight will make the body nimble. They circle continuously, “like a long river flowing into the wide ocean, on and on ceaselessly…” “Throughout your body, as the movement goes from one section to another there is connection.” This gives you the ability to dissolve into nothing and yet be as stable as Mt. Tai. It is truly as it says in the classics: “Extreme softness begets extreme hardness.”
  The most important thing in this art is identifying energies. Two people make contact at the elbow and wrist, then push back and forth, and in this way they learn to detect the emptiness and fullness, lightness and heaviness, of an opponent’s energy. After a long time, you will perceive keenly and be aware of the slightest movement, and then you may deal with the situation as you please. This is what it means to identity energies. “Once you are identifying energies, then the more you practice, the more efficient your skill will be.” You will adapt to whatever attack comes at you, transforming limitlessly. Practitioners of Taiji Boxing should give this their attention.

合步推手法
SAME-STEP PUSHING HANDS METHOD

掤者捧而上承之意令力不得下落之謂也
WARD-OFF [peng]: to hold up or to carry. The idea is to cause the opponent’s force to be unable to push all the way down onto you.

甲乙二人對立各右足向前踏出一步如形意拳之三體式同時各伸右手以手腕背相黏兩人之步相對其距離之寬窄則隨各個之高矮而伸縮總以身體前進後退毫不費力為適宜所謂掤是也如第一圖(左右均相同)
Two people face each other, Person A and Person B, each sending their right foot forward. It is similar to the three-realms posture in Xingyi Boxing. They each extend their right hand for the backs of the wrists to be sticking to each other. The size of their stance will depend on their individual height and reach, but while their bodies advance and retreat, there should never be any exertion. This is a ward-off. (The posture would be the same on the other side.) See drawing 1 [A 甲 and B 乙 indicated in each of the drawings]:

捋者舒也舒散其力使敵力騰散而不能復聚之意
ROLLBACK [lü]: to extend. Dispel the opponent’s force, causing it to gallop away, unable to be regrouped.

由前式甲右手隨腰轉回後收復以左手腕黏乙右肘而回捋如第二圖之甲即為捋
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 right elbow, at the same time rolling back to the rear. For the rollback, see A in drawing 2:

擠者排推也以手或肩背擠住敵身使不得力而復推擲之之意
PRESS [ji]: to forcefully remove or to push away. You may use your hand, shoulder, or back to press the opponent’s body and make him unable to move, and from that point give him a push to throw him away.

由上式乙被甲捋時身體必傾於左方似不得力而乙之右手即隨甲捋之方向送去同時以左手掌靠右肘彎處猛向外擠如第二圖之乙即為擠
Continuing from the previous posture, B is being rolled back by A, causing his body to incline to the left side, and it seems he has no chance, but he sends his right hand along the direction of A’s rollback, uses his left palm to assist at the bend of his own right elbow, and presses forward. For the press, look above at B in the same drawing.

按者抑也遇敵前擠時即下按遏抑以制敵力使不能上逞之謂也
PUSH [an]: to press downward. When the opponent presses forward, use your hands to push down and suppress his force, making him unable to move upward.

由前式甲被乙擠似不得勢將成敗倒之狀即含胸以左手掌心黏乙左手背往左化去則乙必擠空矣如第三圖之甲
Continuing from the previous posture, A is being pressed by B, and it seems he has no chance, but he turns defeat into victory by hollowing his chest and using his left palm to stick to the back of B’s left hand and neutralizing it to the left so that B’s press cannot get to him. See A in drawing 3:

同時甲之右手按乙右肘處兩手猛向前按去此之謂按知第四圖之甲
A’s right hand at the same time pushes on B’s right [left] elbow and both hands push forward together. For the push, see A in drawing 4:

乙又被甲按似不得力則仍以右手隨腰往回收以左腕黏甲右肘往回捋如第四圖之乙
B is now being pushed [pressed] by A, and it seems he has no chance, so he withdraws his right hand, moving along with his waist, uses his left wrist to stick to A’s right elbow, and rolls back to the rear. Look above at B in the same drawing.

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

甲擠乙掤如第六圖
A presses, B wards off. See drawing 6:

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

如此循環不斷即可得其意焉
Perform in this way, the movements recycling endlessly, and you will be able to grasp the meaning.

換步法
METHOD OF SWITCHING FEET

換步者即甲乙二人相對甲坐左腿進右腿乙坐右腿退左腿是也若反之乙進左腿甲退左腿亦無不可
To switch feet, with both people facing are each other, A sits onto his left leg and advances with his right leg, while B sits onto his right leg and retreats with his left leg. To reverse, B advances with his left leg and A retreats with his left [right] leg.

換手法
METHOD OF SWITCHING HANDS

換手者即於推手之乙捋甲時甲不擠而捋回乙復補擠之則手自換矣
To switch hands, in the moment that B rolls back A, A does not perform press but instead withdraws with a rollback and B then performs press, and thus the hands naturally switch.

順步推手法
OPPOSITE-STEP PUSHING HANDS METHOD

順步推手之手法與合步推手法相同惟甲左足在前右足在後乙右足在前左足在後之不同耳如第八為九圖
The hand method for opposite-step pushing hands is the same as in same-step pushing hands, except that A has his left foot forward, right foot behind, while B has his right foot forward, left foot behind. See drawings 8 and 9:

活步推手法
MOVING-STEP PUSHING HANDS METHOD

活步推手者係甲乙二人相對各出左足在前右手相黏甲捋乙右步略騰起復落下左步退於右步之後右步復退於左步之後乙擠甲左步略騰起落下右步進於左步之前左步復進於右步之前甲掤乙按乙擠乙左步略騰起落下右步進於左步之前左步復進於右步之前乙掤甲捋甲右步略騰起落下左步退於右步之後右步復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來反復練之換步換手均可活步推手難以圖形表示其擠按均與順步推手同惟變成活步耳
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 slightly 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 slightly 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 A wards off, pushes, and presses B, A’s left foot slightly 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 slightly 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 too hard to demonstrate with drawings, but its pressing and pushing are the same as in opposite-step pushing hands, except with moving steps.

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