DODGING HARDNESS

躲剛拳
DODGING HARDNESS BOXING SET
黃漢勛
by Huang Hanxun [Wong Honfan]
[1954]

[translation by Paul Brennan, April, 2019]

黃漢勛編
By Huang Hanxun:
躱剛拳
Dodging Hardness Boxing Set
韋觀常敬題
– calligraphy by Wei Guanchang

躱剛拳剞劂告成志慶
Some congratulations for completing this book:
湔盡人呼是病夫
君鍛筋膚 我鍛筋膚
迎頭追上復與書
黃魂重甦 國魂重甦
深悟剛柔氣不麄
認我真吾 返象真吾
不教華胄作庸奴
拳不含糊 陽不含糊
Let us wash away the insult of being the “sick men”.
As he has trained his body, we will also train our bodies.
Let us see his example and follow it by going into his book.
As his spirit has come to life, our national spirit will also come to life.
With a deep understanding of hardness and softness, energy will flow.
Let us recognize our true selves, and return to being our true selves.
If we do not train our people, we will just become slaves.
Our boxing arts are the best, and so our potential is extraordinary.
民國三十六年秋韋觀常拜題
– sincerely inscribed by Wei Guanchang, autumn, 1947

W
西
N 北      南 S

E

躱剛拳名稱
POSTURES NAMES FOR THE DODGING HARDNESS BOXING SET

四平双蓄勢
[1] FOUR-LEVEL POSTURE, BOTH FISTS STORING POWER
七星右補捶
[2] BIG-DIPPER STANCE, RIGHT FILLING PUNCH
七星相擊掌
[3] BIG-DIPPER STANCE, PALMS STRIKING EACH OTHER
進式反衝爪
[4] ADVANCE, REVERSE THRUSTING CLAW
右抅摟採手
[5] RIGHT GRAB-PULL-TAKE
七星挑補捶
[6] BIG-DIPPER STANCE, CARRYING, FILLING PUNCH
七星右纒絲
[7] BIG-DIPPER STANCE, RIGHT TWINING SILK
七星掛統捶
[8] BIG-DIPPER STANCE, HANG & THRUST PUNCH
撇掌右抓腿
[9] FLINGING PALM, RIGHT GRAB-KICK
七星右補捶
[10] BIG-DIPPER STANCE, RIGHT FILLING PUNCH
撤歩左躱剛
[11] WITHDRAWING STEP, LEFT DODGING HARDNESS
撤歩右躱剛
[12] WITHDRAWING STEP, RIGHT DODGING HARDNESS
双封手統捶
[13] DOUBLE SEALING HANDS, THRUST PUNCH
刁手左崩捶
[14] HOOKING HAND, LEFT AVALANCHE PUNCH
七星左刁手
[15] BIG-DIPPER STANCE, LEFT HOOKING HAND
七星右補捶
[16] BIG-DIPPER STANCE, RIGHT FILLING PUNCH
登山右挫捶
[17] MOUNTAIN-CLIMBING STANCE, RIGHT SUBDUING PUNCH
穿手攬馬勢
[18] THREADING HAND, ATTACKING HIS STANCE
磨盤閉門腿
[19] MILLSTONE HANDS, DOOR-CLOSING KICK
登山右圈捶
[20] MOUNTAIN-CLIMBING STANCE, RIGHT SWINGING PUNCH
右抅搂採手
[21] RIGHT GRAB-PULL-TAKE
登山右低牽
[22] MOUNTAIN-CLIMBING STANCE, RIGHT LEADING-DOWNWARD PUNCH
登山封統捶
[23] MOUNTAIN-CLIMBING STANCE, SEAL & THRUST PUNCH
馬式偷心勢
[24] HORSE-RIDING STANCE, HEART-STEALING PUNCH
七星右拐肘
[25] BIG-DIPPER STANCE, RIGHT PROPPING ELBOW
七星式低劈
[26] BIG-DIPPER STANCE, LOW CHOP
走歩髙挑手
[27] RUNNING STEP, HIGH CARRYING HAND
七星右補捶
[28] BIG-DIPPER STANCE, RIGHT FILLING PUNCH
七星右纒絲
[29] BIG-DIPPER STANCE, RIGHT TWINING SILK
七星掛統捶
[30] BIG-DIPPER STANCE, HANG & THRUST PUNCH
七星挑補捶
[31] BIG-DIPPER STANCE, CARRYING, FILLING PUNCH
斜步右纒絲
[32] STEP TO AN ANGLE, RIGHT TWINING SILK
登山掛統捶
[33] MOUNTAIN-CLIMBING STANCE, HANG & THRUST PUNCH
撇掌右抓腿
[34] FLINGING PALM, RIGHT GRAB-KICK
登山右補捶
[35] MOUNTAIN-CLIMBING STANCE, RIGHT FILLING PUNCH
登山右低牽
[36] MOUNTAIN-CLIMBING STANCE, RIGHT LEADING-DOWNWARD PUNCH
纒絲大轉身
[37] TWINING SILK, LARGE TURN
七星掛統捶
[38] BIG DIPPER STANCE, HANG & THRUST PUNCH
七星挑補捶
[39] BIG-DIPPER STANCE, CARRYING, FILLING PUNCH
七星捕蟬式
[40] BIG-DIPPER STANCE, CATCHING A CICADA

預備式
PREPARATION POSTURE

君主時代。臣子。覲見。例行跪叩禮。平輩相見。則略點首為禮。卑輩謁見。多以鞠躬禮。凡謙恭之拳家。多採用鞠躬禮。斯即以四圍觀衆為尊輩之意。其用心彌佳。是故羅師嘗訓迪吾人。立身社會。務以謙恭忍讓為旨。凡其子弟登臺奏技之先。必向觀衆肅立鞠躬為禮。是式未鞠躬之前。或鞠躬後之定式。務須整肅。軀體挺直。目向前注視。是謂尊重觀衆之誠意。
In the age of monarchs, when officials had an audience with the ruler, they would perform the ritual of both kneeling down and kowtowing [which means “knock head”]. When greeting each other, they would give but a slight nod of the head [a less extreme gesture of the “knock” and without the deep bow]. When people in the lower classes encountered officials, they would usually bow deeply to them [prostrating themselves in an exaggerated way without the knocking of the head]. The version of these politenesses chosen by martial artists to perform is usually the deep bow [placing them in the position of the lower classes], expressing respect to surrounding spectators. To make our performances more elegant, Master Luo instructed us to do this. To have any standing in society, one should be polite and conciliatory. Before his students went onto a stage to perform, they always had to stand up and bow to the spectators. This is the position we stood in both before and after the bow. It should be austere, body straight, gaze forward. This is called “giving sincere respect to the audience”. See drawing 1a:

第一式 四平雙蓄勢
Posture 1: FOUR-LEVEL POSTURE, BOTH FISTS STORING POWER

說明
Explanation:
躱剛與崩歩之方向略異。崩歩之中平双蓄勢。從側面出手。故稱曰中平。躱剛則從正面起首。是為四平八正。故取四平之意例如由東為起點。由中平鞠躬之後。須移正全身向東。然後緊握雙拳。貼身蓄勢。
The Avalanche Steps boxing set starts with STANDING STABLY, BOTH FISTS STORING POWER, which involves facing sideways [toward the left] before sending out its first technique, and is thus in the standing-stably position. Dodging Hardness begins by facing straight ahead and is thus in the four-level position, the starting point in the east. After bowing, you have to shift your whole body to be facing toward the east, then your hands tightly grasp into fists and are drawn close to your body, storing power. See drawing 1b:

功用
Application:
緊握雙拳。使兩臂束勁。氣貫全身。呼吸自然。血脉和暢。增加氣力。以待展拳佈式。
Your hands grasp into fists, which gives your arms a quality of wrapping. Let energy course through your whole body, your breathing be natural, your blood circulation be smooth, and increase your strength. This is a posture of readiness to send out the punch in the next posture.

第弍式 七星右補捶
Posture 2: BIG-DIPPER STANCE, RIGHT FILLING PUNCH

說明
Explanation:
四平式。乃雙脚拼攏者。先將左脚向左略移。跟之右脚向前出歩成七星式。左掌與右拳相拍。拳直前衝出。以拳補掌位之漏洞。故曰補捶。(詳見於拳譜。〔凡兩手相碰而發出(逼卜)之聲者,俱為補捶,抑亦為螳螂拳所獨特之手法也,譬如右拳打出而未至定點時,左掌卽於半途阻之,迨拳掌相接,卽發出(逼卜)之聲矣。其用法卽為彼拳將到時,我先以左掌拍去來拳,同時右拳直取對方,右拍左打,左拍右打俱一樣耳。〕)
From the four-level posture, in which your feet are together, first your left foot slightly shifts to the left, then your right foot steps out forward to make a big-dipper stance as your right fist thrusts out forward, your left palm and right fist hitting each other on the way. The fist is used to fill the space that your palm has just vacated, thus it is called a “filling” punch. (This technique is described in Mantis Boxing Curriculum (1953) in this way: “This involves the hands colliding as the punch goes out. It is a technique unique to Mantis Boxing. As your right fist goes out, your left palm meets it halfway, fist and palm striking against each other with an audible crack. As for its function, when an opponent sends out a punch, I first use my left palm to slap away his incoming fist, then send out my right fist to attack him. It is the same technique on either side, whether I am slapping with my left palm and striking with my right fist or slapping with my right palm and striking with my left fist.”) See drawing 2:

功用
Application:
敵人向我中路挺進。迎面擊進一捶。我則以低樁之勢。側身卸之。同時以左掌向其肘拍之。當一拍之際。其中便有隙可乘。即用補捶而填其空位。与海底取珠。大同小異。祗正側之別耳。
An opponent advances upon me, coming straight in with a punch to my middle area, so I drop into a stance and turn my body sideways to dispel it, at the same time using my left palm to pat aside his elbow, causing a gap to open in his middle area, and so I use a filling punch to fill the gap. This is mostly the same as the idea of “grabbing a pearl under the sea”, the only difference being that you are turned more sideways rather than facing squarely.

第三式 七星相擊掌
Posture 3: BIG-DIPPER STANCE, PALMS STRIKING EACH OTHER

說明
Explanation:
沿七星歩不變。右拳向左收囘化為掌。以橫截擊。若輾手之狀成一正一反之形勢。
With your stance not changing, your right fist withdraws toward the left, becomes a palm, and strikes across [against your left hand], your right hand turning over so that the back of your right hand is hitting into the left palm of your left hand. See drawing 3:

功用
Application:
我右手補捶已出。左方當感空虛。敵人乘吾顧此失彼之時。突以掌擊我之左太陽。我須及時返救。雙掌以陰陽之勢。沿其臂削囘。乘機擊之。
Once my right hand does the filling punch, my left side is noticeably open, so the opponent takes advantage of my focus toward one area and inattention toward another by suddenly sending a palm to strike to my left temple. I have to immediately bring my hand back to save myself, scraping along his arm on the way, and then seizing the opportunity to strike out at him with my palms, the back of my right hand positioned against the palm of my left hand.

第四式 進式反衝爪
Posture 4: ADVANCE, REVERSE THRUSTING CLAW

說明
Explanation:
當削囘之後。既守可攻。若欲進擊。必須進前方始奏效。右歩向前全身用力挺進数寸。左歩隨前仍為七星歩左手緊封來手。右手成反刁手。從其臂下摽入其肺腑䖏。
After withdrawing with a scraping action, defense can switch to attack. If you want to strike forward, you have to advance in order for it to be effective, thus your right foot goes forward a few more inches, your body urging forward, your left foot following forward to keep you in a big-dipper stance. At the same time, your left hand tightly seals off the opponent’s incoming hand as your right hand forms a reverse hooking hand and darts in under his arm to attack his organs. See drawing 4:

功用
Application:
肺腑為螳螂八打手法之一。惟其部位窄小。不堪容拳。若以指插入。誠恐力有未逮。是故採用反刁手。利其既小力亦雄猛。
The organs lying behind the ribs are one of the “eight recommended targets” in Mantis Boxing. However, because they are positioned in a very cramped area, the impact from a fist will be too dispersed on the surface, and if you instead try to poke through with a finger, I fear it will be beyond your ability. Therefore choose a reverse hooking hand [i.e. wrist strike] in order to use the smallest amount of effort and yet get the greatest penetrative impact.

第五式 右抅摟採手
Posture 5: RIGHT GRAB-PULL-TAKE

說明
Explanation:
右七星歩踏下成右登山式。從右方採手而進。(詳見拳譜之採統捶。〔定式與封統捶相同,但前者乃左封右打,右封左打之長短手,但採統捶則為三手合組之拳,如右刁,左封,然後再用右拳打出,卽為螳螂基本手法之採三手也,一二三之名稱,常掛在螳螂拳同道之口邊,卽此採統捶是也。〕)
Come down from your right big-dipper stance to make a right mountain-climbing stance [as your right hand “grabs”, your left hand “pulls”] and your right hand advances to “take”. (This technique is described in the Curriculum in this way: “The finished posture looks the same as the SEAL & THRUST PUNCH. [It does not look like the version in Posture 23 of Dodging Hardness, instead see the version in Posture 8 of Charging Punches] However, in that case it is simply a matter of sealing with one hand at short range and striking with the other at long range, whereas in this case there are three hand actions combined together: one hand hooking away, the other hand sealing, and then the first hand sending out a punch. This one-two-three method is a fundamental technique in Mantis Boxing, and for a Mantis practitioner is something that is always on the tip of his tongue.”) See drawing 5:

功用
Application:
向外刁曰抅。從內封曰摟。連而相貫。再加一拳。謂之曰採。手法之至妙也。抅。摟。採。佔螳螂拳十二字訣之三種。合而為用。變化無盡。
Hooking outward is “grabbing”. Sealing inward is “pulling”. These two actions are continuous, and then you add a punch, which makes “taking”. This technique is ingenious. Grabbing, pulling, and taking are three of the “twelve terms” in Mantis Boxing. When combined and used together, they are limitlessly adaptive.

第六式 七星挑補捶
Posture 6: BIG-DIPPER STANCE, CARRYING, FILLING PUNCH

說明
Explanation:
將後左歩拼合右歩。右歩踏進一歩。由右登山式變為右七星歩。左掌從右拳下挑出。右拳乘一挑之勢。漏下打出一捶。以補挑漏之空洞。
Your left foot comes forward to stand next to your right foot and then your right foot advances a step, thereby switching you from a right mountain-climbing stance to a right big-dipper stance, as your left palm carries out from below your right fist, your right fist at the same time sinking down, and then your right fist punches out to fill the gap made by your left hand’s carrying action [your left palm now withdrawing toward your right shoulder]. See drawing 6:

功用
Application:
我手為敵㪽封。則受制於人。故須一封之頃。立即解脱牽制。左掌向前一挑。右拳順勢擊出。以補一挑之卸。亦乘虛而入之法
If my hand gets sealed off by the opponent, I will be under his control, thus in the instant that he is sealing, I must immediately escape, and so I send my left palm forward and carrying upward, then send my right fist striking out to fill the gap created from carrying. This is a technique of taking advantage of an opening and attacking it.

第七式 七星右纒絲
Posture 7: BIG-DIPPER STANCE, RIGHT TWINING SILK

說明
Explanation:
由左脚上前一歩。成左七星式。左掌加於右腕之上。右手化為刁手。便成纒絲之勢。
Your left foot goes forward a step to make a left big-dipper stance as your left palm goes on top of your right wrist and your right hand changes to a hooking hand, making the position of “twining silk”. See drawing 7:

功用
Application:
拳經云。截脉。點穴。措筋。為毒着。纒絲之法。則措筋法之局部。亦有大小之别。斯為小纒絲。年代湮逺。真傳稀少耳。倘我手被封。若用纒絲法。則不祗掙脱。且就其勢。反而制敵也。
It says in the boxing classics: “Attacking meridians, acupoints, or joints is a vicious thing to do.” Methods of twining silk belong to the category of attacking joints. There is also a distinction between large twining and small twining. This technique is an example of small twining silk. Long ago, it was taught to only a few people. If my hand gets sealed off and I respond with a twining-silk maneuver, not only does this throw off his sealing action and dispel his power, it also turns the tables and gives me control over him.

第八式 七星掛統捶
Posture 8: BIG-DIPPER STANCE, HANG & THRUST PUNCH

說明
Explanation:
歩與上式不變。而左手橫架頭前。成護上天靈式。右拳乘橫架之形勢。右拳向對方心部直擊。
With your stance not changing, your left hand blocks across in front of your head, guarding your headtop, your right fist going along with its momentum by striking straight to the opponent’s solar plexus. See drawing 8:

功用
Application:
直來橫迎。橫攻直破。斯為不易之理。對方以泰山之勢臨我。當劈下。我即以橫手拒之。反以統捶直取。乃招之即打之意。
“For defeating straight attacks, block across. For defeating sideways attacks, go straight in.” This principle is not easy to understand. In this instance, the opponent attacks me with MT. TAI CRUSHES THE HEAD, chopping down, so I bring my [left] hand across to block it and then counterattack with a thrust punch. The intention is to draw him in and then strike him.

第九式 撇掌右抓腿
Posture 9: FLINGING PALM, RIGHT GRAB-KICK

說明
Explanation:
撇掌者以左掌橫加於右肩之上。直撇而出。以脱封纒之勢。右拳變掌。而力抓右足之趾。以定起腿之終點。右腿若穿心式起至平綫為合。
The “flinging palm” involves bringing your left palm over your right shoulder and then flinging it straight out. In order to keep it from being sealed off or pulled in, your right fist becomes a palm and forcefully grabs the sole of your right foot at the endpoint of a lifting kick, your right leg ideally at the same height as a heart-piercing kick. See drawing 9:

功用
Application:
撇掌而抓腿。是連環相貫。解其上。而攻其下。亦聲此擊彼之意。用拳易。用腿難。練武者多了解斯旨。惟䏻手足并用。以手掩護而出腿。旣減少危險。復易於進襲對方。
The flinging palm and grab-kick flow in succession, defending above and then attacking below, an intention of threatening one area but then attacking another. Applying punches is easy, but applying kicks is difficult, a point that is typically understood by martial arts practitioners. However, when using them together, the hand acts as camouflage so that the kick can be sent out with less risk, making it easier to catch the opponent by surprise.

第十式 七星右補捶
Posture 10: BIG-DIPPER STANCE, RIGHT FILLING PUNCH

說明
Explanation:
當抓腿踢出時。我下三路必感空虛。若敵人以此為目標。則我感受威脅矣故抓腿之後。須瞬即落歩。乘落歩之際。輔以補捶。以填其卸漏。
When you send out the grab-kick, your lower area will be open. If the opponent targets you there, you will feel a sense of being in great peril. Therefore after the grab-kick, you have to immediately bring your foot down [while retracting your right hand] and follow it by sending out a filling punch to fill the gap that he is showing above. See drawing 10:

功用
Application:
我傾全力於脚。設為敵㪽乘。則我危矣。故宜即以補捶輔之。惟其不乘弱點取我。我亦當就䖏攻以補捶。
I am supported entirely on one foot. If the opponent takes advantage of this, I will be in danger. Thus I should use a filling punch to fix this situation. However, even if he does not take advantage of where I am vulnerable in that moment, I am still positioned to attack him with a filling punch anyway.

第十一式 撤歩左躱剛
Posture 11: WITHDRAWING STEP, LEFT DODGING HARDNESS

說明
Explanation:
前右腳跟三角形向後斜退。左腿同時向後側移成斜角式。左掌在右拳肘下向上削出。右拳極力抽囘。藉一抽一削之力。任何敵人強封纒。可自然撤出。
Your right foot retreats diagonally to the [right] rear, making a more acute angle, and then your left foot shifts back and to the [right] side, making a more obtuse angle. At the same time, your left palm goes underneath your right forearm and scrapes out upward as your right fist forcefully draws back [becoming a palm]. The power of one hand pulling back as the other hand scrapes out means that whatever the opponent is trying to do to you, be it sealing or twining, you will naturally be able withdraw from it. See drawing 11:

功用
Application:
斯法有虛實之别。剛手擊來。則以力抽削對之。若夫柔手突入。則用快歩。斜退避之。毋受敵所纒。
This technique can be divided into emptying and filling:
– [Filling] If a hard strike comes in, forcefully draw back your hand while scraping out with your other hand to match the opponent’s attack.
– [Emptying] Or if he suddenly sneaks in a soft technique [i.e. a twining-silk grab], use quick diagonal steps to evade it, preventing yourself from getting caught in his twining action. [In this case, the technique could arguably be called DODGING SOFTNESS.]

第十二式 撤歩右躱剛
Posture 12: WITHDRAWING STEP, RIGHT DODGING HARDNESS

說明
Explanation:
左腿移右。右腳跟從三角綫斜身走而退。右掌在左拳之下。向上削出。合左右之勢。相貫連環為用。早出敵人圈套。
Your left leg shifts to the right [left] and then your right foot follows diagonally, your body evasively retreating [i.e. to the side rather than just back]. At the same time, your right palm goes underneath your left forearm and scrapes out upward. This technique is performed on both sides as a continuous action, keeping you from getting trapped by the opponent. See drawing 12:

功用
Application:
與上第十一式相同。
Same as in Posture 11.

第十三式 雙封手統捶
Posture 13: DOUBLE SEALING HANDS, THRUST PUNCH

說明
Explanation:
兩手向外封法。向右力封衝我之捶。右前腿力踏。轉後足為前足。成左登山式。乘封劈之力。以右拳當胸擊出。
Your hands go outward to the right with a sealing action as your right foot comes down with a stomp, then your rear foot goes forward to make a left mountain-climbing stance as your right fist follows upon the chopping force of the sealing action by striking out to the opponent’s chest. See drawing 13:

功用
Application:
拳腳之㪽以有術者。法之變名也。若夫呆板鬥力者。無術之可言。是故精於拳技者。必攻而帶守。守亦有攻。進攻之時。先計退守。撤歩換形者。非敗退之象。實含深意於其間。左右二躱剛之後。而有此統捶之突襲。是取法之精也。
Those who are skillful with their fists and feet are good at changing from one technique to another. If you are using stiffness and wrestling against your opponent, there is no skill to speak of. This is why masters of boxing skills will use an offense that leads back into a defense, and a defense that contains the potential for another offense. When advancing to attack, first retreat to defend. Withdrawing a step to switch feet is not a matter of retreating in defeat and instead contains profound meaning. After the techniques of LEFT & RIGHT DODGING HARDNESS, to make a surprise attack with this thrust punch is the perfect choice.

第十四式 刁手左崩捶
Posture 14: HOOKING HAND, LEFT AVALANCHE PUNCH

說明
Explanation:
歩如上不變。右統捶刁而向上。左拳迎面崩捶。兩手同綫遥遥呼應。
With your stance not changing, your right thrust punch now hooks away upward and your left fist does an avalanche punch to the opponent’s face, both hands working in concert. See drawing 14:

功用
Application:
統捶為敵所迎。我即順手刁之。乘一牽之力。左捶瞬即崩下是招之即打之要着也。
My thrust punch has been blocked by the opponent, so I smoothly turn my fist into a hooking hand and forcefully drag away his block, my left fist then immediately dropping an avalanche punch onto him. This is a technique of drawing him and then striking.

第十五式 七星左刁手
Posture 15: BIG-DIPPER STANCE, LEFT HOOKING HAND

說明
Explanation:
由登山式化為七星歩。右拳收腰。左手刁出。
Switch from a mountain-climbing stance to a big-dipper stance [by shifting back], your right fist withdrawing to your waist, your left hand hooking out. See drawing 15:

功用
Application:
此勢由實變虛之法。當我以崩捶打出之時。敵殊機警。立以穿手破我。復用穿梭溜進。我即以實式略向後移動。變為虛式。以消其勢。並以刁手封之。
This posture is a method of switching from fullness to emptiness. As I strike out with the avalanche punch, the opponent happens to be unusually aware and immediately sends out a threading hand to block my attack, then continues to advance with the technique of SENDING THE SHUTTLE THROUGH [Posture 13 of White Ape Steals a Peach], so I slightly shift back, switching from my position of fullness to a state of emptying, thereby diminishing his power, at the same time using a hooking hand to seal him off.

第十六式 七星右補捶
Posture 16: BIG-DIPPER STANCE, RIGHT FILLING PUNCH

說明
Explanation:
進右歩成七星歩。右拳擊出。以填補敵之左方空虛。
Your right foot advances to make a big-dipper stance as your right fist strikes out to fill the gap on the opponent’s left side. See drawing 16:

功用
Application:
我既刁開来手。雖䖏主動。然實左方洞開。是故有補捶之設。以補其卸。亦即乘虛進擊之法。
Once I have hooked away the opponent’s incoming hand, I have taken charge of the situation, but now the opening to attack is actually on his left side. This is why there is the technique of the filling punch, to fill a gap. This is a method of taking advantage of a weak spot by advancing and attacking it.

第十七式 登山右挫捶
Posture 17: MOUNTAIN-CLIMBING STANCE, RIGHT SUBDUING PUNCH

說明
Explanation:
循右七星歩。轉前腿為登山式。左手向前封下。如摟手狀。右拳反由下力抽而上。至定式時。與崩捶相同。惟用途各異。
Then your front leg goes forward to change your right big-dipper stance to a mountain-climbing stance as your left hand goes forward and seals downward, in the same manner as the pulling action [of the “grab-pull-take” technique], and your right fist shoots out upward from below. The finished posture looks the same as an avalanche punch, but they each have a different way of arriving in it. See drawing 17:

功用
Application:
世有拋打衝擊之術。惟祗靠拋与衝。是犯險之着。若夫挫捶則穩而勢雄。先封牢來手。然後從容反手抽上。倘不達目的。亦不浪費氣力。亦於我無損。
Everyone has techniques of throwing strikes and thrusting strikes, but they only work by getting in close to the opponent and thus are very risky. The subduing punch is reliable and powerful because I first seal off the opponent’s incoming hand, and then it is easy to roll my forearm over and whip it toward his upper area. In this way, if I happen to miss the target, I have not spent any energy, nor am I likely to get hurt.

第十八式 穿手攬馬勢
Posture 18: THREADING HAND, ATTACKING HIS STANCE

說明
Explanation:
略提前歩。左掌沿右捶下反削而上。右拳沉肘收下。向已面上橫掃一圈。從下三路橫掃敵方之前膝。
Your front foot slightly lifts [and advances, your rear foot following,] as your left palm scrapes upward along the underside of your right forearm, your right fist withdrawing downward, the elbow sinking, heading toward your own face, and then your fist arcs across [rightward, using the heel of the fist] toward the opponent’s front knee [your left palm withdrawing toward your right shoulder]. See drawing 18:

功用
Application:
打上取下。實擊此取彼之意。挫捶者。取上也。被破矣。則順勢沉下。力削其前鋒馬。誠恐坐勢太低。至使上路受敵。故有護膆之手。以防上路受襲。
This action of striking above and attacking below is actually a maneuver of threatening one area in order to attack another. My subduing punch attacking above has been blocked, and so I smoothly sink down and forcefully cut across to the opponent’s front leg. However, if I sit too low, I will invite attack to my upper area, and thus I have a hand guarding above.

第十九式 磨盤閉門腿
Posture 19: MILLSTONE HANDS, DOOR-CLOSING KICK

說明
Explanation:
後歩靠貼前歩。右。左。右。三掌向右連叠撇出。是謂三手。即磨盤手也。最後一手。則右腿以閉門脚法。合而打出。
Your rear foot steps up next to your front foot as your palms swing out to the right in three continuous motions – right palm, left palm, right palm. This is one of “triple hands” techniques, specifically the “millstone hands”. On the third motion, your right leg does a door-closing kick, hand and foot striking out together. See drawing 19:

功用
Application:
三手者。有採三手。掛三手。磨盤三手之分。此式為磨盤三手。輔以閉門一腳。施用時。乘三手之掩護。手腳齊施。適合時間。旣快且凖。
The “triple hands” techniques are divided into “triple catching hands”, “triple hanging hands”, and “millstone triple hands”. This posture uses the millstone triple hands, supplemented by a door-closing kick. When applying it, use the triple hands to shield yourself, on the last one sending out hand and foot together, with speed and precision.

第弍十式 登山右圈捶
Posture 20: MOUNTAIN-CLIMBING STANCE, RIGHT SWINGING PUNCH

說明
Explanation:
右足已起。瞬即猛力踏下。反進後足一歩。為左登山式。右磨盤手之掌抽囘。由外反圈而入。左手力托右臂。
Your right foot comes down fiercely and then your left foot steps forward from the rear to make a left mountain-climbing stance, your right hand at the same time withdrawing and then swinging inward from the outside, your left hand forcefully propping against your right forearm. See drawing 20:

功用
Application:
用腳須迅利。然不䏻過乆。乆之則耗氣而無功。亦易為敵㪽乘。故踢出後。須立即收囬。我已踢出就趁勢用踏歩法。溜進一歩。以左手先封來手。右拳橫圈太陽穴位。与崩打有斜正之别。
Kicks have to be quick and must not linger. The longer you hold your foot up, the more you waste energy, and for no purpose. It is also easy for an opponent to take advantage of. Therefore once you have sent the kick out, you must immediately withdraw it. As soon as I have kicked, I go right into stepping down and sliding forward with an advancing step, while first using my left hand to seal off the opponent’s incoming hand and then swinging my right fist across to his [left] temple, having the same effect as an avalanche strike, except at angle rather than directly forward.

第弍十一式 右抅摟採手
Posture 21: RIGHT GRAB-PULL-TAKE

說明
Explanation:
歩與上式不變。手以右抅左搂叠而直統。是謂抅摟採手也。
With your stance not changing, your right hand “grabs”, your left hand “pulls”, and then you add a thrust punch. This makes the “grab-pull-take” technique. See drawing 21:

功用
Application:
抅者輕而易。採者沉而實。兩者包括輕沉徧正之手。連而貫之復加一手。則成擒拿封打之效。
The grabbing [and pulling] is light and easy. The taking is heavy and solid. These two parts consist of hand actions that involve lightness and heaviness, as well as going to the side and then going forward. This is a continuous movement which then goes right into an attack. This technique has the effect of seizing, sealing, and striking. [These words might seem like they would be a clearer name for the posture, except that they would lack the sheer greed implied by “grab-pull-take”. This is a mantis that is not only stealing a peach with its disproportionately huge arms, but also taking a defiant chomp out of it right in front of your face. “Grab-pull-take” = “You-are-mine”.]

第弍十弍式 登山右低牽
Posture 22: MOUNTAIN-CLIMBING STANCE, RIGHT LEADING-DOWNWARD PUNCH

說明
Explanation:
後歩拼合。推前一歩。左掌從右臂橫撇而起。挑而過腦。右手反拳而上。成半弧形。
Your rear foot urges forward a step so that your feet are standing together [and then your left foot steps forward to maintain a left mountain-climbing stance] as your left palm flings out along your right arm, [both arms] rising, carrying over your head, and then your right hand arcs out upward from below as a backfist [your left palm striking against the wrist area]. See drawing 22:

功用
Application:
我手被捉。須立刻脱去。免為牽制。祗脱出。實有違螳螂拳之主旨。故須脱連反擊。方符其實。拳背由下反抽而上。是極兇猛之手。習斯拳者。慎毋輕用。至招罪疚。
My hand has been grabbed by the opponent, and so I have to immediately escape in order to avoid being under his control. To merely escape is not the way of Mantis Boxing. The way is to go from escaping right into counterattacking, and so I viciously whip out a backfist upward from below [to smash his groin]. This technique should not used rashly or you may end up causing some damage that you will feel guilty for.

第弍十三式 登山封統捶
Posture 23: MOUNTAIN-CLIMBING STANCE, SEAL & THRUST PUNCH

說明
Explanation:
由東而西。復至西而東之始。順歩反身。而轉右手反封。從後擊我之捶。左拳亦以反身衝擊法。迎面直統而出。
You have so far been traveling from east to west. Now you will begin traveling from the west back to the east. With your feet staying in their location, turn around [rightward] as your right fist does a reverse sealing action [i.e. backfist], striking away behind, your left fist going along with the turn of your body by thrusting out straight ahead. See drawing 23:

功用
Application:
打上取下。打右防左。攻前顧後。為拳法之正軌。此為攻前忽而顧後。當我正勇猛前攻。忽背後受敵。乃用此法。此為岳家拳法之黑虎偷心。与下一式相連並用。學者須細心體味。自淂真諦。
Striking above and then attacking below, striking to the right and then defending to the left, attacking in front and then attending to what is behind, and so on, are staples of boxing methods. This particular technique is an example of attacking in front and suddenly turning to attend to what is behind. As soon as I attack ferociously forward, I am suddenly being attacked from behind, and so I use this technique. This is the technique of BLACK TIGER STEALS THE HEART from the Yue school of boxing, which is to be linked together with the following posture as a continuous action. You have to give it great attention, relishing the experience of it, and then you will naturally obtain its essence.

第弍十四式 馬式偷心勢
Posture 24: HORSE-RIDING STANCE, HEART-STEALING PUNCH

說明
Explanation:
右登山之前腿畧提。乘一提之力。重心淂以由前傾後。再由後向前直摽。成騎馬式。右拳蓄勢腰間。如補捶之法打出。
Your front leg slightly lifts and takes advantage of the momentum generated from the lifting (due to the weight shifting slightly back and then bouncing forward again) by darting forward to make a horse-riding stance, your right fist at the same time going from a position of storing power at your waist to striking out in the same manner as a filling punch. See drawing 24:

功用
Application:
傳武穆受業於周個時。文武兼習。武穆問曰。我若為將。當使全軍皆精拳技。備用沙塲。以何法方奏膺功。師以黑虎偷心法授之。後為帥。乃親授士卒。屢奏奇功。此其簡單實用之一耳。
When Yue Fei was tutored by the archer Zhou Tong, he received civil and martial training equally. Yue said: “If I become a general, I will make every soldier in my army an expert in boxing arts so that they have a backup arsenal of skills for dealing with whatever may happen on the battlefield.” He taught the technique of BLACK TIGER STEALS THE HEART when he later commanded an army. He gave personal instruction to his troops and they repeatedly performed amazing deeds. This is one of his simple and practical techniques.

第弍十五式 七星右拐肘
Posture 25: BIG-DIPPER STANCE, RIGHT PROPPING ELBOW

說明
Explanation:
後腳拍進前脚。護肩之掌循臂上撇落。以消敵之牽制。右拳從下反收。右歩開出成七星歩。右拳曲肘托上。
Your rear foot comes forward and stomps down next to your front foot as your left palm flings downward over your right arm to keep the opponent from seizing it, your right fist lowering and withdrawing, then your right foot steps out to make a big-dipper stance as your right arm bends back and the elbow props up. See drawing 25:

功用
Application:
脫手而拐肘。是直逼之法。亦短打之妙䖏。凡用左右橫肘。進歩脱手。拐肘諸肘法。皆已敵我逼近。其勢危殆。須以八短之強。連貫實施。始收奇效。
Techniques like “stripping hand” and “propping elbow” are close-quarters techniques, superb at short range. Whenever you swing an elbow across to either side, advance while sending out a stripping hand, use a propping elbow, or any other elbow technique, they are all for when the opponent is already close to you. When the situation is an emergency, it is necessary to rely on a succession of short-range techniques to get the best results.

第弍十六式 七星式低劈
Posture 26: BIG-DIPPER STANCE, LOW CHOP

說明
Explanation:
由上式之七星式原歩不變上拐肘之手。順勢直劈而下。右手作日字捶形。與左掌相碰。發出(逼卜)之聲為合。
Without changing your stance, your right arm seizes the opportunity by chopping down with a vertical fist, the arm and your left palm striking against each other on the way, making an audible crack. See drawing 26:

功用
Application:
我右上拐之肘。旣向上發展。我中下三路皆感空虛。此勢隨時有被襲之可䏻。彼以偷手方式向中下直入。我當以最敏捷之法。始足應付危急。利用我原歩低劈之法。頗收奇效。
When my right elbow props up, my middle area and lower area are now open and prone to being suddenly attacked. Once the opponent sneaks a hand in, I have to use a technique that is extremely quick in order to deal with this imminent threat. Staying where I am and simply chopping down will be very effective.

第二十七式 走歩髙挑手
Posture 27: RUNNING STEP, HIGH CARRYING HAND

說明
Explanation:
進左歩復進右歩。為兩歩合之法。但為利便計。乃蹤身直前如竄跳邁進之勢。手自下向上挑。臂亦與左掌相碰。如低勢無殊。達定點時。為右七星式。
Your left foot advances, then your right foot, so that you are standing with your feet together. However, this is a position that would be too easy to take advantage of, and so you lunge straight in, as though with a leaping stride, while your [right] hand carries upward from below, the arm and your left palm again striking against each other on the way. As your [right arm] reaches its final position, you are making a [left] big-dipper stance [your left foot going forward following from the lunging step of your right foot]. See drawing 27:

功用
Application:
低劈之手已下。上路亦感空虛。彼必乘空虛而偷進。上路之攻擊。惟距離太逺。逼淂蹤身直前。將劈落之手。抽起縱有攻上之手。亦不難為我㪽挑去矣。
Once my low chop has dropped down, my upper area feels too open. The opponent is sure to take advantage of this opening and sneak in to attack my upper area. Before he can reach me, I have to lunge straight in and whip my right hand upward, with which I easily carry away his attacking hand.

第二十八式 七星右補捶
Posture 28: BIG-DIPPER STANCE, RIGHT FILLING PUNCH

說明
Explanation:
原歩不變。祗將挑起之手收囘。再用補捶法打出。与第二式相同。
With your position not changing [your right foot advancing to make a right big-dipper stance], your right hand withdraws, then strikes out with a filling punch, same as in Posture 2. See drawing 28:

功用
Application:
與第弍式相同。
Same as in Posture 2.

第二十九式 七星右纒絲
Posture 29: BIG-DIPPER STANCE, RIGHT TWINING SILK

說明與功用
Explanation & application:
與第七式相同。
Same as in Posture 7. See drawing 29:

第三十式 七星掛統捶
Posture 30: BIG-DIPPER STANCE, HANG & THRUST PUNCH

說明與功用
Explanation & application:
参看第八式仝
Same as in Posture 8. See drawing 30:

第三十一式 七星挑補捶
Posture 31: BIG-DIPPER STANCE, CARRYING, FILLING PUNCH

説明。功用。
Explanation & application:
与第六式相同
Same as in Posture 6. See drawing 31:

第三十二式 斜歩右纒絲
Posture 32: STEP TO AN ANGLE, RIGHT TWINING SILK

說明:
Explanation:
自直綫封手。纒絲斜向右轉。成一大轉形。至右正方為定點。
From doing a straight-line punch with a sealing hand, turn to the right with a twining-silk action [your right foot pivoting outward a hundred thirty-five degrees, your left foot stepping around it and forward to the right side], making a large turn that brings you facing toward the right side [your head turning ninety degrees, your torso torquing further]. See drawing 32:

功用:
Application:
与第七式。及第廿九式同一功用。祗因敵方被纒時。即向右方斜走。我因是而循其㪽轉。毋使其逃脫之不同耳。
Same as in Postures 7 and 29, except that once the opponent has been grabbed, he this time steps away diagonally toward my right side, so I go along with his movement by turning, not allowing his attempt to escape.

第三十三式 登山掛統捶
Posture 33: MOUNTAIN-CLIMBING STANCE, HANG & THRUST PUNCH

說明:
Explanation:
為斜勢之左登山式。掛手統捶。與前㪽有之挑手統捶。俱為七星式者。虛實之别。
Go into a diagonal left mountain-climbing stance as you execute a hanging hand and a thrust punch. The previous occasions [of going from twining silk into a thrust punch (Postures 8 and 30, and then again in Posture 38 below)] were performed in a big-dipper stance. This version is different because it uses a stance that fills rather than remaining empty. See drawing 33:

功用
Application:
我纒絲之手。為彼所解脫。同時彼更以劈手向我上路擊落。我即用掛手迎之。用統捶還攻乃攻守互易法之一也
The opponent has escaped my twining-silk maneuver and now chops down toward my upper area, so I use a hanging hand to block it and counterattack with a thrust punch. This is a technique of switching from attack to defense.

第三十四式 撇掌右抓腿
Posture 34: FLINGING PALM, RIGHT GRAB-KICK

説明:
Explanation:
與第九式之撇掌抓腿。由七星虛式而出。此式則以穩重之登山式出之。雖大同小異。實有剛柔虛實之别矣。
This is mostly the same as in Posture 9, except that in that case it was coming from a big-dipper stance whereas in this case it is coming from a mountain-climbing stance, a more grounded position, and so the two instances are different in terms of their level of hardness or softness, emptiness or fullness. See drawing 34:

功用
Application:
當我統捶旣出。彼必亟謀應付。彼略退歩。即可避去。我捶倘反封我手。則我屈居下風矣。故我即用撇掌抓腿之法禦之。旣可解彼之封手。更以腿突擊。為計至善非他法可及也。
When I send out the thrust punch, the opponent has to deal with it urgently, so he slightly retreats in order to evade it. If he seals off my punch, I will end up in a disadvantageous position. Therefore I immediately use a flinging palm and grab-kick to fend him off, which enables me to dispel his sealing hand and then suddenly attack him with a kick. This is a technique at a high level, something other techniques are no match for.

第三十五式 登山右補捶
Posture 35: MOUNTAIN-CLIMBING STANCE, RIGHT FILLING PUNCH

説明:
Explanation:
通常㪽用補捶。多是手歩同一方向者。但此式則大異常規。蓋其利用抓腿撤歩之法。再以補捶填其卸位。故此式乃左登山而右補捶也。
A filling punch usually involves the same hand and foot going forward, but this posture changes the pattern by instead going from the grab-kick into a withdrawing step and then sending out the punch, thus putting you into a left mountain-climbing stance even though you are doing a right filling punch. See drawing 35:

功用:
Application:
我腿旣起。若落歩補捶則彼此太近。再無施展之餘地。故此着退歩變通之法耳。
Once my leg is lifted, stepping straight down to punch may bring me too close to the opponent, giving me no room to do the punch. Therefore this is an adaptive version of the technique for when retreating is what is required.

第三十六式 登山右低牽
Posture 36: MOUNTAIN-CLIMBING STANCE, RIGHT LEADING-DOWNWARD PUNCH

說明:
Explanation:
左掌穿右腋下。向拳鋒撇出。右拳。自中部反上。由前轉後。成一弧形狀。再反出与左掌相碰。同時右後腳殿前半歩。就原式登山勢而成。
Your left palm threads out from your right armpit as your right fist goes upward, to the rear, and arcs forward, going out as a backfist, your left palm striking against it [against the wrist area], your rear foot at the same time going forward a half step [followed by your front foot also going forward a half step] to make the same mountain-climbing stance. See drawing 36:

功用:
Application:
我補出之捶。為彼所封。我若任其封纒。將䖏被動之劣勢。我乃用脱手之法。先求解此封纒。同時籍一穿一挑之力。反向彼下三路反抽而上。斯為招之即打。
The opponent has sealed off my filling punch. If I allow him to get away with sealing or twining, I would be putting myself in a disadvantageous position, and so I first extricate my hand by way of threading and carrying, then whip out a backfist upward from below toward his lower area. This is a technique of drawing him in and then striking.

第三十七式 纒絲大轉身
Posture 37: TWINING SILK, LARGE TURN

說明:
Explanation:
與七星纒絲同一方式。但此式由斜式轉為正綫之法。自右纒彼。循右走一圈。至直綫為終點。
This is the same thing as turning from a big-dipper stance [as in Posture 32, in which your right foot was the front foot], except that this time you are turning from a side angle all the way around back to the main straight line of the set [going from a left mountain-climbing stance, in which your right foot is the rear foot]. From your right hand twining around the opponent’s, follow him all the way around in a circle to the right until you are back on the straight line [your right foot pivoting outward two hundred and seventy degrees, your left foot stepping around it and straight ahead, your head also making a turn of two hundred and seventy degrees, your torso torquing further]. See drawing 37:

功用:
Application:
當彼漏手反封我手時。我沉下之手反而纒之。但彼亦機警。被我纒時。彼即轉身疾走。我逼淂亦以轉身隨之。毋使走脫。
The opponent tries to seal off my hand, so I turn my right hand over and twine around his, but he is too quick, turning his body and stepping away [to my right], so I turn around along with his movement, tightly following him, not letting him escape.

第三十八式 七星掛統捶
Posture 38: BIG-DIPPER STANCE, HANG & THRUST PUNCH

説明
Explanation:
参看第八式
Same as in Posture 8. See drawing 38:

功用
Application:
但出勢與返勢之分耳
There is a defending and a counterattacking, which should be distinguished from each other.

第三十九式 七星挑補捶
Posture 39: BIG-DIPPER STANCE, CARRYING, FILLING PUNCH

説明 功用
Explanation & application:
詳注第三十一式
Same as in Posture 31. See drawing 39:

第四十式 七星捕蟬式
Posture 40: BIG-DIPPER STANCE, CATCHING A CICADA

説明:
Explanation:
返身向前成七星歩。兩手互轉便成捕蟬勢。
Turn around toward the front to make a [left] big-dipper stance, your hands arcing along with the turn to make the position of “catching a cicada”. See drawing 40a:

先外後內。以捕捉彼手。用七星勢扣牢彼前鋒馬。上拖下扣。使彼不易解脫。亦為躱剛拳最終之收勢。惟螳螂拳通常收式。俱以跨虎式為多。此七星式。亦為其特異之一。
My hands go first outward and then inward to catch the opponent’s hand while I use a big-dipper stance to control his front leg. Getting pulled above while being jammed below makes it hard for him to escape. This is the final posture of the Dodging Hardness boxing set, and indeed is a common final posture for the sets in Mantis Boxing. Usually involving a sitting-tiger stance, or in this case a big-dipper stance, it is one of the more distinctive postures in the art.

收式
CLOSING POSTURE

躱剛拳結束時。本與方向上是背式但立正預備向觀衆作禮時。則並不限于某方為正確。某方觀衆至多或某方為(台前)。即須轉移。然後始可鞠躬為禮。与開式前無大差異。祗前者為未開式前之動作。斯為演完後之動作耳。
As you finish the set, the direction you are facing changes. When you stand up to bow to the audience, you are not really bound to a fixed direction. The audience is mostly in a certain direction (i.e. in front of the stage) but might be spread beyond that area, and thus you must turn toward them in order to be able to bow to them. This is not much different from the opening posture, except that in that case you were bowing before the posture rather than after. This is a movement that is done after your performance is finished. See drawing 40b:

– – –

[This book was combined together with Charging Punches and Eighteen Elders as a special volume celebrating these three core sets of the Mantis curriculum, published 45th year of the cycle, 2nd month, 26th day (i.e. Mar 24, 1968), for which an additional piece of cover calligraphy was added.]

躱剛插捶十八叟拳合編
Combined in One Volume: Dodging Hardness Boxing Set, Charging Punches Boxing Set, and Eighteen Elders Boxing Set
黃鵬英書
– calligraphy by Huang Pengying

– – –

[As a bonus, included below are half a dozen chapters from Huang’s Notes on the Mantis Boxing Art (1951).]

刀槍不入的正誤
DEBUNKING IMPERVIOUSNESS TO SABERS AND SPEARS

我國五千多年文化歷史,固為舉世皆知之事實,多次的國難,仍然根本未亡者,端賴乎文化歷史所維繫而已,然有無聊文人與夫喪心病狂者,因失意於上流,不惜舞弄文墨,專寫無稽怪誕神話連篇之小說,以導人於迷信,近世更有無恥之徒製造連環圖畫,專繪神奇怪俠之流,附以淺白文字,以至婦孺易於閱覽,致無識稚子因而棄家出走,而曰練仙鍊劍去也。
有識之士痛心疾首之餘,屢向當道力陳其禍之慘烈,請予取締,然此滅彼起若春風之播動焉,吾自任敎職以來十有八年矣,向主張不分派別階級,但求技術上之獲得劃一,時代之改進,倘有困難之處,務宜提出詢問,此風旣播,人多稱便,唯稚齡者嘗問余曰:習拳術能練至刀槍不入之日否?
余初時為之愕然,繼始悟其實因誤中邪說之毒,余乃為之引喻譬解,多有為之釋然而趨正軌者,然亦有小數仍深迷不悟者。
茲為一證正誤起見,略舉梗慨如下述,查刀槍之構造,乃純鋼精鐵鑄造而成,鋒銳無匹,雖遇普通銅鐵亦可一揮而斷,何况乎吾人乃血肉之軀,安克抵禦耶,某君為余辯曰曾於某遊樂塲目覩演技者以槍插喉,以刀砍體,演畢一無所傷,其技果偽歟,苟不相信可偕往一觀,用證其眞偽?吾曰:此江湖覓食者,吾輩同是江湖之士,何須破壞人事哉,但子下次往觀時可細心觀察,刺喉之槍其桿必柔軟無比,先使彎之,然後始就之於喉,非挺槍直刺也,刀必擇鈍者橫斬其腹,蓋腹部富有收縮之彈性力,刀旣呆鈍而着處柔軟必無所傷也,某君果再往觀,但不再言其眞矣,噫!噫!世果有食飯神仙歟。
Our nation’s five thousand years of culture and history is known of throughout the world. We have gone through many national calamities and still we are here, thanks to our culture and history binding us together. However, there have been some silly writers with zany ideas. Frustrated at not being accepted among the highest literary circles, they have used their elegant phrasings to instead make ceaseless distortions of reality, writing fiction comprised of the most absurd and bizarre fantasies, leading people into superstitious beliefs. In modern times, there are people who are even more shameless, those who make comic books, which are filled primarily with depictions of magical marvelous heroes. They include just a few words in speech bubbles in order for it to be easier for women and children to read. The makers of these “books” do not realize the effect they have on impressionable children, inspiring them leave home to go engage in some ascetic training in the belief that they can become just like the “sword immortals” that they had read about.
  This gives heartache and headache to people who have a more worldly awareness, who are critical of such mystical practices, and who have requested that I expose some of these tricks, bringing falsehoods back down to earth so that truth can rise up, like a spring breeze scattering seeds. Over the course of teaching for the last eighteen years, I have always refrained from ranking the worth of different styles of martial arts, concerned only with the building of skills and improvement over time.
  If something in the training is difficult, I encourage students to bring it up and ask about it. When I then respond with the seed-spreading breeze of demystifying an issue, students often remark that they feel quite relieved to have it cleared up. However, a younger student once asked me: “Will practicing boxing arts one day make me impervious to sabers and spears?” At first I was taken aback by his question, then I realized he had simply been seduced by dangerous nonsense and explained to him that it was just a metaphor. Most have comfortably accepted reality, but there are still some who are too enchanted by the idea and refuse to awaken to the truth. In order to clear up this erroneous notion, I will briefly give the gist of it below.
  Examine what sabers and spear tips are made of. They are constructed of tempered steel cast from purified iron and are peerlessly sharp. Even if they are made of bronze, which will break from a single swing that clashes against another blade, the flesh and blood of the human body nevertheless cannot withstand it. A certain gentlemen argued with me: “I’ve seen this done with my own eyes. A performer at a fairground had someone use a spear to stab to his throat and then use a saber to slash to his body, and he ended up without a scratch. Was his skill fake? Should I not believe my own eyes? Can you prove it wasn’t real?”
  I said: “This is just how street performers make a living. Since you and I are both scholars of what they do, we shouldn’t be trying to wreck their livelihood. But for your own sake, the next time you see this, carefully observe how it’s done. For the spear to stab to the throat, the shaft has to be extra pliable. He starts by causing it to have some bend and only then brings the tip to his throat. It’s not a straight stab. For the saber to slash the belly, a duller blade is chosen. The belly is very springy and able to absorb quite a bit. By using a dull blade and keeping his belly soft, he won’t get hurt.” After he saw these feats performed again, he did not claim that what he saw was real. But alas, the world has developed an appetite for the supernatural.

真與偽
REAL VERSUS FAKE

俗語云有麝自然香,無用東風揚之句,吾人何必自居銀樣臘槍頭而不辭耶,國術乃實際之學術,非向此中痛下功夫者難望其有所成就,世有不少專以不經常見之「古怪」噐械到處表演,却又自詡為稀有之絕技,演時繪影繪色,以為討好觀衆,毋乃為有識之事所齒冷!
蓋吾人習武之唯一宗旨,是為求得眞正之藝術,與夫符合强身之道為原則,至欲博取浮名者,豈非舞台小丑之不如耶!譬喻一慘綠少年筆挺其歐服,光亮其革履,但其身上常不名一文,富甲一方之大紳巨賈,却未必具有如此之「裝備」,吳人苟能深悉此中三昧,又何必將曾用以保衛邦基之藝術如此辱沒乎!故凡有愛國思想之國術界同志,應該自我提高警惕,判別其眞偽,無被敗類所蒙蔽,則國術前途尚有一線希望,否則一頁光榮史將蕩然無存,思念及此能不可歎!
There is a common saying: “A musk deer’s scent is already strong enough. It doesn’t need a breeze from the east to help spread it.” We likewise do not need to be posing like gilded cowards and should instead resist such a tendency. Martial arts are supposed to be a practical field of study. Without going through the hardship of training, it is difficult to expect to get anything meaningful out of it. There are quite a few people who perform with uncommonly seen “archaic” weapons just so that they can then brag that they have a “rare” skill. They may perform with artistic and expressive motions in order to appeal to ordinary spectators, but they draw scorn from knowledgeable people.
  We who practice martial arts have one goal: to obtain genuine skill, and to do so in such a way that it conforms to proper principles of improving one’s health. As for a desire to gain an empty reputation, how would that make you any better than a clown on a stage? By analogy, imagine a handsome young man standing tall in his Europeans clothes and polished leather shoes, but who never has a penny on him. He may look like a wealthy businessman, but that does not mean he has what it takes to be one. If we can instead thoroughly understand the secrets of these arts, we will be able to use them to defend our nation without ending up in disgrace like that young poser is destined for.
  Therefore, my patriotic martial arts comrades, we should heighten our vigilance for distinguishing between real and fake. As long as we do not get deceived by degenerate frauds, there will then be hope for the future of Chinese martial arts. Otherwise there will nothing left but a footnote on a page of history. What a terrible pity that would be.

出手快盤架慢之真諦
THE MEANING OF “FAST HANDS, SLOW SET”

習螳螂拳者多知有出手快盤式慢之義,然知之匪艱,行之維艱,又何怪乎後之學者易入歧途而無所覺者乎?余輩追隨先師習技時,常遭斥為「亂七八槽」其稍有自覺性者,尚可痛加改過遷善而趨正常軌範,進而達成功之境域,否則雖終其十數年苦練亦屬枉然。先師留港十餘年來,從之遊者逾萬數,然稍有所得者却寥若晨星。
蓋螳螂拳動作旣快,拳腿步常混為一起致用者,加諸於初學之人百分之百是急於成功之心理,是故心理與術義之影響下,無不陷於零亂無章之階段,倘任之留存此種弊病,將見螳螂拳之面目全非矣。
苟能時時警惕於心,練拳也好,器械也好,出手雖快而佈式穩定,起脚雖快而站式自然,不因別人之快而影響本身之心理,姿勢務求美妙而自然,出手快而淸晰,踢腿高而無所牽强,進退之間節節有序,發力務使平匀,眼須平正而注視,應低則貼地而伏,應高則架搭而起,應遠則凌空而前,應退則迅即囘返,若能持此以恆使螳螂拳一頁光榮史永留人間,方不愧為螳螂拳術之學習者,此不獨為漢勛之自期,抑亦為我後之習者所應自許之責任也。
Many practitioners of Mantis Boxing know the concept of “fast hands, slow set” [i.e. the speed of the hands in application being dependent on practicing the set properly], but it is both difficult to understand and difficult to do, and so there is little point in blaming students for going down the wrong path without noticing. When my fellow students and I practiced our techniques in front of our teacher Luo Guangyu, he often scolded us with: “What a mess!” He did this to give us an awareness of where we were making mistakes so that we could fix them right away, then quickly habituate doing them properly, and thereby progress to a level of success. Otherwise even several decades of practice would have been futile. Our teacher stayed in Hong Kong for more than ten years, where more than ten thousand students came to learn from him, but only a few managed to do the work to really get something out of it.
  Because the movements in Mantis Boxing are fast, the punches, kicks, and steps can often get mixed up together. Added to that, beginners are in a hurry to learn everything, an attitude which consequently affects their performance, and so they cannot help but fall into the trap of making an incoherent mess. If this kind of error is allowed to continue, Mantis Boxing will end up distorted beyond recognition. If instead we can constantly guard against having such a mentality, we will perform the boxing sets and weapon sets well.
  Although the hand goes out fast, the posture should remain stable. Although the foot rises fast, the stance should remain natural. Ignore how fast other people are doing the movements and keep your mind on what you yourself are doing. Strive to make your postures both beautiful and natural. The techniques are to be performed quickly and crisply. Send your kicks high without forcing them to get there. Advance and retreat in an orderly manner. Express power at a consistent level. Your gaze should be level and focused. When it is time to go low, you should drop down to crouch on the ground. When it is time to go high, you should rise and prop up. When it is time to go far, you should lunge forward. When it is time to retreat, you should immediately withdraw. If we can maintain these principles, we will ensure that Mantis Boxing always has its full page in history, and we will thus be worthy of being called students of the art. This is not only my hope, but should also be felt by future practitioners to be a duty.


ON DECEPTION

兵行詭道之說,古之談兵者奉為金科玉律,今之論戰更出神入化,曰:立體、總體戰火海、人海,極行兵之詭計也。
出其不意,攻其無備,聲此擊彼者詭之證也,當敵我對峙之時距離匪遙,俱各聚精會神,以應當前之敵人,求得敵人雙眼一霎則我便有隙可乘矣,然求之雖急,誠非易致,漢勛聞先師言,嘗有以口涎疾吐對方,彼不虞有此一着,必閉目或側首避之,於是其千載一時之機立至矣。
苟非經驗豐富者,難以防此,或在沙地中作戰者,更有佯作倒地之狀,就倒下之勢而抓沙盈握,俟機卽迎面撒去,若非細察其倒地時之作為,詭計得逞矣。
又有在相持中突招手狂叫幫手者,其勢故作敵人之後若有熟人前來模樣,此着可使敵心一急便迥首探望,則呼叫者就趁勢衝前,我不為所敗者幾稀?世途險惡,人心不古,在互相拼鬥之時何來古道之照人,處今之世着着着注意,處處留神則意外之失可為減少,吾人能不警惕斯言哉。
In ancient discussions of warfare, the saying [from Art of War, chapter 7] “warfare is all about deception” was revered as the golden rule on the subject. [Or to put it another way: “The first ‘1st Rule of Warfare’: cheat!”] When people discuss warfare these days, they wax lyrical about “human wave attack”, “dominant firepower”, “triphibious assault”, and “total war”, currently considering these to be the best strategies. However, strategies such as “appear where he does not expect”, “attack where he is not prepared”, or “threaten to the east but strike to the west” are examples of deception.
  When you are facing an opponent from a distance and you are both focusing your attention on each other, you should go right up in front of him and try to get him to shut his eyes for a moment, and then you will have an opportunity to exploit. Even if he urgently seeks a way to escape you once you are upon him, it will not be easy for him to find one. I heard my teacher Luo Guangyu say that he once suddenly spat in the face of an opponent, and that the opponent was so surprised by this that he closed his eyes and titled his head away, thereby giving Luo an amazing opportunity to attack him. Unless one is well-experienced, it is difficult to defend against this kind of situation.
  Or if you happen to be fighting on sandy ground, pretend to stumble to the ground, grab a handful of sand, and then when the moment is right, throw it in your opponent’s face. As long as he does not detect what you are doing while you are on the ground, your ruse will work. Or if you are equally matched with your opponent, wave a hand and shout for help as if you have a friend behind him. This can cause him to turn his head, and then you can take advantage of the opportunity to charge in. This trick has never failed me.
  The world is a dangerous place and people no longer have a traditional sense of decency. When people get into fights with each other, how are they acting in accordance with any ancient wisdom? In our modern world, pay attention to everything you do, being mindful everywhere you go, and then you will reduce the potential for unexpected things to happen to you. You cannot afford to not be vigilant.

健康與快樂
HEALTH & HAPPINESS

攷動物之所以生存者,藉無數之細胞以支持也,人之健康與病弱亦繫於細胞之健全與否耳,然生活方式亦有莫大關係,試查上古及中世紀時代之人體比諸今日何止霄壤之別,前者日出而作,日入而息,生活富有定律,思想簡單而少刺激,後者聲色犬馬,終日追尋以新奇為消遣,兩者相比其精力消長之數為何哉,尤以居於通都大邑者為甚,試觀夫香島在外人治理之下,衛生設備之週全,與及渠溝之淸理總比農村為高,並且積極防癆與滅癆之下,仍患斯種恐怖病者有增無已,其故安在哉!曰生活無定時,飲食無規律也,鄕村中人不知所謂衛生,起居與牛屎堆為比隣,與各種害虫競食,但幾見其患病若都市之普遍乎,為久病纏綿而至自殺之新聞時有所見,香島一隅而有大小公私醫院百數十間之多,尚有人滿之患,吾人稍留心社會事者無不以此寒心,以出賣勞力而博取升斗者一旦患病在床,一家大小平昔两餐固渺無把握,更遑論醫藥乎?豈非病以待死耶?借、賣、典、當之後繼則一死了之而已,疾病之苦為人類生存之莫大威脅,吾人苟欲消除此人類魔王,唯以强健始克為敵,强健有法乎?曰,運動是也,運動途徑殊廣,但能適合經濟、時間、塲所、物質等之力量為計,則捨國術外尚無他法矣,蓋練國術不受塲地、金錢、人數、物質之縛束,苟欲練就强健身軀以與病魔抗衡而達快樂境域者,捨國術莫屬矣。
When we examine what makes animals tick, we find that their existence is maintained by countless cells. The health or illness of human beings likewise has to do with how healthy our cells are. However, lifestyle also plays a huge role. Comparing the bodies of ancient and modern people, they are as different as clouds and dirt. Ancient people started working at sunrise and stopped working at sunset, their lives were full of structure, their thoughts were uncomplicated, and their minds were rarely overstimulated. Modern people on the other hand are obsessed with sensual pleasures, seeking new diversions all day long.
  Between them, there is also a great difference in their amount of energy. This is mainly because so many people nowadays are living in cities. Consider how the foreigners are governing Hong Kong island, how they have covered it in sanitary facilities, how they keep the canals so much cleaner than those of rural areas, how energetically they work to prevent and eliminate tuberculosis. And yet they only get more and more paranoid about hygiene. Just what is the reason for this? It is because city dwellers have lost touch with life’s natural rhythms and regular patterns of eating.
  People living in the countryside do not think about “health”. In their daily life, they shovel up piles of cow dung right next to their homes and their food is infested by various pests, and yet it is in the cities that we see illness everywhere. It is often in the news that someone suffering from a long-term illness has commit suicide. In one corner of Hong Kong Island alone, there are well over a hundred hospitals, large and small, public and private.
  There is also the problem of overpopulation, which greatly concerns us all. What happens when someone who has been selling his labor for a meager wage [because there are too many people for everyone to get a high wage] suddenly falls ill and is stuck in bed? The members of his family already had no assurance of the next two meals, never mind medicines. How then would his illness not end up becoming terminal? And then after the family borrows what it can, sells what it can, even pawns off the children’s future, he dies anyway [and his family subsequently starves]. The hardship of disease is the greatest threat to human life.
  If we want to eliminate this demon, we can build up our health in order to defeat it. And what is the best means of building health? Exercise! There are countless forms of exercise, but for accommodating one’s financial situation, schedule, environment, and capacity to accumulate accessories, there is no method better than martial arts, because practicing these arts does not require special facilities, lots of money, large groups, or an array of specialized equipment. If you wish to train to strengthen your body so that it is resistant against illness, and thereby achieve a state of cheerful contentment, you should not overlook martial arts.

運動家對起居飲食的研討
ON THE FACTORS OF AN ATHLETIC LIFESTYLE

世人祗知運動體育家體格堅强,固無無須乎斤斤計及起居飲食之細節,獨不知體育家無時不在鍛鍊其四肢,健全其心臟六腑,生產其所賴以生存之細胞,以增進其健康,若乎不謹愼其飲食,小之則阻礙其進程,大之則疾病糾纏。
體育在進程中,其心臟胃納時刻在强烈張閉中,若運動後未經適當休息,遽以冷品如雪糕、汽水等飲之,其胃在熱血循行之際,突受此刺激,其有不變化者乎!或飲以熱咖啡、酒等品,當其腦及心臟在極度勞瘁之後,突受此衝擊,雖感一時之興奮,但長期如此,吾恐其心臟神經不無所損,運動在進行中肌肉必張,皮毛必疎而大,在此之時,恆見許多靑年人必當風而立以涼其皮膚,以求一時之快,固屢見不鮮矣,由熱而涼之候,風寒便由此侵入,潛伏體內,繼之傳及遍身,於是外感之病成矣,此固吾國提倡體育運動者,尤其國術部門,全不注意,致有此弊,試觀外國運動家當運動完畢即以厚巾裏體,防止風寒侵入之明證,尤憶丹麥足球隊來港比賽時,每臨塲必使人携備毛毡以俱,甫届休息之時即以氈加體,此固衆目睽睽之事,豈非龐然巨物之歐人,反不如矮小之中華人歟!此即可證明外國人運動之有常識也,余非贊美外國月亮比中國光明之趨附人物,但引用借他山之石以攻己之成語而已,取長補短此固人類進化之良好現象,倘若坐井觀天,夜郎自大,余不禁為我國體育運動前途之危也。
Everyone only knows that athletes have strong physiques, somehow assuming that they do not need to pay extra attention to the many details of daily life. It is not understood that there is no moment in which an athlete is not training his limbs or working to improve the condition of his organs so that they produce healthier cells that will further enhance his overall health. If he is careless about his diet to a small degree, it will impede his progress, and if to a large degree, it may even cause him to become ill.
  During exercise, the area of the heart and stomach will receive moments of intense strain. If you do not get a proper period of rest after exercising and instead immediately consume cold products such as ice cream or soft drinks, a larger amount of blood will rush to your stomach area to provide heat, something that will invariably produce an upset stomach. Or if you consume hot drinks such as coffee or alcoholic drinks such as wine, your brain and heart will become fatigued from being overstimulated, and this will produce acute affects [such as headaches or heart palpitations]. Although these choices may make you feel temporarily invigorated, behaving in this way in the long-term will likely do harm to your heart and nervous system.
  Over the course of exercising, muscles will expand and skin will sweat. I have often seen young people at such a time stand in the wind in order to cool off. There is nothing surprising about seeking temporary relief in this way, but during that moment of rapidly diminishing heat, wind and cold can invade to be hidden within and then spread effects through the whole body, thereby making the body easily susceptible to illness from external influences. However, those in our nation who promote physical education, especially martial arts, never pay attention to this point, and illness commonly manifests as a result.
  Notice that when foreign athletes finish a period of exertion, they promptly cover themselves with a thick towel, demonstrating that they are aware of guarding against wind and cold getting into the body. I particularly recall that when the Danish soccer team came to Hong Kong for a competition, it was made a requirement that during each match there always had to be people carrying towels for all of the players so that they would get draped over with towels whenever they came off the field. (This was probably also done deliberately in order to draw attention to the sheer size of the Europeans compared to us shorter and smaller Chinese people.)
  This towel-covering obsession shows that foreigners certainly have a great deal of common sense when it comes to exercise. No, I am not trying to curry favor with them by saying so. I am in no way trying to praise the moon in foreign countries as being brighter than the sun in China, so I will simply quote an idiom [from the Book of Poems, poem 184]: “The stones of other mountains are just as good at carving jade.” We will progress better as a species when we make use of the strengths of other cultures to offset our own drawbacks. If we have tunnel vision and become deluded that our culture is superior, I fear that physical education in our nation will have no future.

This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.