PLUM BLOSSOM FISTS

梅花拳
PLUM BLOSSOM FISTS
順德黃漢勛編述
by Huang Hanxun [Wong Honfan] of Shunde
校對者:黃子英
text proofread by Huang Ziying
[published 1957]

[translation by Paul Brennan, Oct, 2019]

楳華拳
Plum Blossom Fists
何重署
– calligraphy by He Zhongshu

梅花拳形勢图
Map for the Plum Blossom Fists boxing set:

N

W 西  東  E

S

起 / 止
(begin / finish)


PREFACE

螳螂派拳術中有三花手,即梅花手,梅花拳,梅花落是也,前者手法簡短而靈活,後者則採取大架子及番車法,剛而主大勁,獨中者能中和兩拳之間,手步新頴而與他拳大異其趣,且柔手獨多,練之者若非經過多時浸淫不易了解其深意也。
丁酉年上元節於螳螂館
Within the Mantis boxing art, there are the “three flowers” sets: Plum Blossom Hands, Plum Blossom Fists, and Plum Blossoms Falling. Plum Blossom Hands is brief and lively. Plum Blossoms Falling has larger postures and wheeling techniques, involving more hardness and strength. Plum Blossom Fists is the middle ground between the two. The techniques are quite unique, very different from other boxing sets in the curriculum, soft techniques in particular occurring more frequently. For practitioners who have not already gone through a long period of ingraining the art, it will not be easy to understand the deeper meanings of these techniques.
  - written at the Mantis Institute during the Lantern Festival [which takes place on the 15th day of 1st month] of the 34th year of the cycle [i.e. Feb 14, 1957]

第一式 背轉雙蓄勢
Posture 1: STANDING WITH YOUR BACK TURNED, BOTH HANDS STORING POWER

說明:
Explanation:
假定吾拳由東,作起點者,應左東,右西,面南背北,目注視西方作起式,雙足緊靠,雙手握拳抽起至極高,肘部向後緊收,提氣於上,集全神注視展開之動作,免使有鬆懈之象是為切要。
Stand in the eastern part of the practice space with the east to your left, west to your right, south in front of you, north behind you. Your gaze is toward the west, your feet are together, your hands are grasped into fists and pulled up high, and your elbows are pulled backed behind you. Rouse your energy, focusing your attention, ready to move. It is crucial that you do not allow yourself look indifferent to what is going on. See photo 1:

功用:
Application:
僅作預備之勢,尚無實用可言,惟許多練拳同道,祗知凝神聚氣目注前方而已!但此梅花拳之開式為背轉之勢,若目視前方則對斯拳開始動作之方向大相逕庭,余以為此式之注視應以右方為合,因此拳是向右方開始動作之故也,幸練之者毋忽視之為要。
This is simply a readiness posture, and so there is real application to speak of. However, many practitioners are accustomed only to focusing their attention on looking forward in beginning positions, whereas this set begins from the back-turned position, meaning that if you are looking forward, it will not suit this set. Your attention in this posture should be toward the right because this boxing set starts by moving toward the right. I hope practitioners will not neglect this point.

第二式 入環掠翅式
Posture 2: KNEELING STANCE, SWATTING WINGS

說明:
Explanation:
循上式,前右脚向西方開出半步,後右脚跟入而足踝離地以成入環步,同時雙手由拳化掌自腰部發出,往前撥過北方,前掌直而略高,後掌短而貼於左肩之上,右左兩掌雖分長短,但須同時發出方符此掠翅式之原來作用,否則徒具形式而去實用之道遠矣。如「定式圖」。
Continuing from the previous posture, your right foot goes out a half step to the west, then your right [left] foot follows with the heel raised, making a kneeling stance. At the same time, your fists become palms and go out forward from your waist, deflecting toward the north, the front palm slightly higher and with the arm straight, the rear palm at shorter range near your left [right] shoulder. (Although your palms are spread apart so that one is at long range and the other at short range, they have to go out in unison in order to fulfill the technique of “swatting wings”, otherwise they would just be making the shape and lack the practical function.) See photo 2:

功用:
Application:
彼由西方擊入,自我中上路打來一拳,我即坐馬進前以與彼接近,再以長短手齊出,短者拍去來手,長者反擊其臉部,斯即招之即打之法也。螳螂拳之攻守法則俱以迅速敏捷見長,若迂迴不前是與拳宗相反,且反予敵以機會,斯為智者所不取,抑亦自取其敗而已。
An opponent comes from the west to punch to my middle area or upper area, so I lower my stance and advance to crowd him while I send out my hands in unison, one at short range to slap away his incoming fist, the other at long range to do a backhanded strike to his face. This is a simple block & strike technique. Mantis Boxing’s methods of attack and defense are all fast, nimble, and efficient, the opposite of the overly elaborate methods of other boxing arts, which only end up giving the opponent more opportunities. Wise men would not choose those kinds of methods since they increase risk and thus have a greater chance of leading to defeat.

第三式 提腿迎面掌
Posture 3: LIFTING LEG, PALM STRIKE TO THE FACE

說明:
Explanation:
循上式,伸直左脚,提起右脚以成獨立之勢,同時以前右掌往左肩上撥歸,而以左後掌橫撑而出,長短旣分,順逆乃明,兩掌在交替之中切宣吻合出與歸之時間,來手被撥去之時亦即我掌抵達對方之同時,若此乃可收全功,如「定式圖」。
Continuing from the previous posture, your left leg straightens and your right leg lifts to make a one-legged stance as your right palm deflects across to be over your left shoulder and your left palm braces out with the palm sideways, one hand at long range, the other at short range, one hand performing an action of going along with, the other an action of going against. (Your palms switch places at the same instant. When the opponent’s incoming hand has been deflected, your other palm has at the same time reached its target. This is the means for this technique to be fully successful.) See photo 3:

功用:
Application:
彼由低手改為高手,又由我右方易向左方攻來,我即提腿就其勢,同時以長作短,化短作長,趁其勢而利其便,用高屯掌方式直取其臉部。提腿旣可就其高來之勢,更能防對方予我以下路之攻擊,且藉提腿之便而隨將出脚攻彼之下也。
The opponent switches from a low technique to a high technique, as well as switching from attacking my right side to attacking my left side, so I adapt to what he is doing by lifting my right leg while turning my long-range hand into a short-range hand and my short-range hand into a long-range hand, taking advantage of the moment to do what is most convenient, which in this case is sending a high bracing palm to attack his face. The lifting leg not only can help boost me up to engage his incoming high attack, it can also help defend my lower area against attack, as well as putting me in a position to potentially kick out to his lower area.

第四式 入環右反掌
Posture 4: KNEELING STANCE, RIGHT BACKHANDED PALM STRIKE

說明:
Explanation:
循上式,先原步不動,將右短掌直向前反落,如「過渡式」甲,
Continuing from the previous posture, with your stance not changing, first your right palm goes forward, coming down with the back of the palm [as your left hand withdraws to your right shoulder]. See photo 4a:

再收右掌於腰,同時出左掌橫盖而下替之,如「過渡式」乙,
Then your right palm withdraws to your waist as your left palm goes out to switch places with it by doing a covering action with the palm sideways. See photo 4b:

再落右脚以成右入環步,收於腰部右掌則反掌由後出前,自上打落,左掌則收於右肘之下,如『定式圖』。
Then your right foot comes down to make a right kneeling stance as your right palm goes forward with a backhanded strike coming down from above, your left hand withdrawing below your right elbow. See photo 4c:

功用:
Application:
彼欲偸打我中路,我即用連環掌法破開之,再用反掌由頭部擊落,使彼有突如其來之感,而張惶失措,於是我乃佔其優勢矣。
The opponent tries to sneak in a strike to my middle area, which I defeat with a flurry of palm actions and then send a backhanded palm strike downward to his head, causing him to panic with a feeling of being overwhelmed, thereby putting me in the superior position.

第五式 提腿雙提刁
Posture 5: LIFTING LEG, DOUBLE LIFTING HOOKS

說明:
Explanation:
循上式,再提起前右脚以成獨立式,雙手由掌化為雙刁手向上直舉,此式又名為「螳螂雙提爪」為螳螂拳中少見之手法,手與腿須同時提起,切戒分先後為之,肘部不宜彎曲,身體須平正獨立,使姿勢達成佳妙之境,如「定式圖」。
Continuing from the previous posture, your right foot lifts to make a right one-legged stance as your palms become double hooking hands and rise up high. (This posture is also called MANTIS LIFTS BOTH CLAWS and is a technique rarely seen in Mantis Boxing. Your hands and leg have to lift in unison and you must not allow one to precede the other. Your elbows should not be bent and your body should stand straight while you stand one-legged. This will cause the posture to be beautiful.) See photo 5:

功用:
Application:
彼欲以雙拳迎頭劈落,我乃雙手往上提消之,或雙刁將來拳刁住,再用腿襲其下部也。此法是純柔之法,不論刁得對方之手或用手背向上舉消來手皆不能勉强發力者,祗要順其自然之趨勢而將來手由上消去之,再遠距離則提腿撩之,迫近則利用膝部向上頂去,皆勢順而使彼方易於疎忽之着也。
The opponent tries to use both fists to chop down toward my head, so I send double hooking hands lifting up to dispel his incoming fists, or to hook them away, as I use my leg to attack his groin. This is a purely soft technique, and so whether using the backs of the hands to lift his hands away or using the hooks to trap them, it cannot be done forcefully, but only with naturalness. If the distance is far, the lifting leg can become a raising kick, and if near, it will be an upward knee strike, but either way the leg attack is easy for the opponent to overlook [due to being distracted by the double hooks].

第六式 入環雙壓掌
Posture 6: KNEELING STANCE, DOUBLE PRESSING PALMS

說明:
Explanation:
循上式,先將提起之右腿原位落下以成右入環步,雙刁手復化為雙掌向前直下,手與脚俱由高而下,有如大江之水,沛然而莫之能禦,掌尖微撓起斜出以就彼軀,若平落則益與彼方作遠距離矣,希注意及之毋使良佳之手法化成無用為可惜也,如「定式圖」。
Continuing from the previous posture, first your right leg comes down to make a right kneeling stance as your double hooking hands switch back to being palms and go forward. (Your hands and foot come down from above like the water of a powerful river, an overwhelming flow that cannot be resisted against. Your fingertips are slightly raised as your palms go out diagonally to meet the opponent’s body, the line of force becoming more horizontal as you lower in order to reach him from a greater distance. I hope you will give this wonderful technique attention and not let go unused, which would be a great pity.) See photo 6:

功用:
Application:
彼以我提高之勢,中下路必感空虛也,於是欲自我空檔中取得便宜,我早知其有此一着矣,乃即化掌直壓而下,以防其有此攻勢也,凡習此拳之同道或有誤雙掌之勢,甚雄猛必為剛手無疑,惟是究其實際則為柔手,螳螂拳中剛柔綜錯,若非細察手法中之含義每易使人疑似兩可也。
When I am lifted high, the opponent will notice that my middle area and lower area are open and thus will try to take advantage of this. Anticipating him, I switch my hands to palms and come down pressing out, thereby preventing him from attacking. Fellow practitioners sometimes assume that the double-palms position is very fierce and therefore must surely involve hardness, but actually the hands in this technique are using softness. In Mantis Boxing, hardness and softness often work together. Unless you carefully examine the techniques to find this factor, it will be easy to get the impression that hardness and softness are always two separate things.

第七式 入環單臂爪
Posture 7: KNEELING STANCE, SINGLE CLAW-ARM

說明:
Explanation:
循上式,左後脚進前以成左入環步,當進前之時右掌已以成歸後方矣,乘後歸方而變為刁手,復由後向前橫掃而出,如『定式』(另附反面圖如下)
Continuing from the previous posture, your left foot advances to make a left kneeling stance as your right palm goes to the rear, becoming a hooking hand, and then sweeps across forward. See photo 7a (and also 7b for a reverse view):

功用:
Application:
彼被我雙壓掌襲擊,逼得退步卸之,我即跟步直入,另以單臂爪法襲其下部,斯毒着也。
When the opponent is being attacked by my pressing palms, he is compelled to retreat, so I follow him and use the single claw-arm method to attack his groin. This is a vicious technique.

第八式 引針右腰斬
Posture 8: DRAWING THE NEEDLE, RIGHT SLICING THROUGH THE WAIST

說明:
Explanation:
循上式,先動右後脚,再動左前脚,用小跳法,蹤身直前以成七星步,左掌化拳往左斜下方拖,右刁手化掌亦向左前方斜斜發出,是為引針而腰斬矣,此式之佈式已難得其美妙,至着力之處尤為習之者所夢寐以求,蓋左手往外拖,右掌向內斜撇,復須用左脚以七星式作抅入之勢乃複雜而難練也,如「定式圖」。
Continuing from the previous posture, first your right foot steps out and then your left foot, making a small hop, your body hopping forward to make a big-dipper stance, while your left palm becomes a fist and drags diagonally downward to the left, thus performing the action of “drawing the needle”, and your right hooking hand becomes a palm and flings out diagonally forward to the left, thus performing the action of “slicing through the waist”. (It is difficult to make this posture beautiful, even though practitioners try so hard to get it right that they continue to work on it even in their dreams. With the left hand dragging outward, the right palm flinging inward, and the left foot making a big-dipper stance, this technique is comprised of a complex assortment of actions that can make it somewhat difficult to learn.) See photo 8:

功用:
Application:
彼欲自我左方攻入,我即以左手封去之,再乘走跳之勢入彼前鋒馬,另以右掌斜撇其腰部,如是可使其失去重心之平衡,而易於傾仆矣,同道中每易誤凡欲傾仆人者必用剛手為最佳法則,惟曾試用此引針腰斬者莫不知非所盡然,「引針」二字顧名思義當是極細緻之手法,吾人欲用之須向此中下功夫也。
The opponent tries to attack to my left, so I use my left hand to seal off his attack, jump in to trap his front leg, and fling my right palm diagonally to his waist. In this way, I can cause him to lose his balance, easily making him lean forward. Fellow practitioners often mistakenly assume that to get the opponent to lean forward requires hardness in order to make it work, but those who have actually tested this technique all know that this is not the case. The action of “drawing the needle” is as the name suggests a meticulous method in itself. Therefore if we wish to apply this technique, we must train with this goal [refined softness] in mind.

第九式 提腿右献桃
Posture 9: LIFTING LEG, RIGHT OFFERING A PEACH

說明:
Explanation:
循上式,踏平前脚,提起右後脚以成獨立式,左拳化掌伸前貼於右掌之內,再自下向前提起,身不妨往後畧仰以利其勢。但仰身者非勉强所能得其佳妙,必須先使肩鬆腰活而具有强靱之腰力方克致此,若人仰亦仰徒具其表者,無是東施效顰徒演其拙而已。如「定式圖」
Continuing from the previous posture, your left foot comes down fully and then your right foot lifts to make a one-legged stance as your hands lift up from below, your left fist becoming a palm and extending forward near the edge of your right palm. (Your body can slightly lean back to improve the poise of this posture, but you must not forcefully do so, for only then will it be beautiful. You must first loosen your shoulders and liven your waist, it all depending on the strength and flexibility of your waist. If you lean back just for the sake of leaning back, this is nothing more than the clumsiness of trying too hard to imitate someone [“Dong Shi knitting her brows” – a story from Zhuangzi, chapter 14, in which the beautiful Xi Shi, who had an endearing habit of knitting her brows, was envied for her beauty by the ugly Dong Shi, who decided to imitate Xi Shi’s habit of knitting her brows under the impression that it would therefore make her beautiful too, and which only made her so much uglier that she terrified the people of the town].) See photo 9:

功用:
Application:
彼避過我腰斬之勢而欲以中心擊入,我即隨手往前向上撥去之,且提起之脚又可隨時施以突擊也,獻桃法亦屬柔手之一,且以前長後短合兩掌而為之,在一提一仰之間即將來手消滅於無形,我旣提之脚可以同時撩出,又能消去其手始踢出,斯乃端視當前情形然後可定,亦非筆墨之間所能武斷成敗之機,惟用之者擇取有利時間耳。
The opponent evades my slicing to the waist and tries to attack my middle area, so I smoothly send my hands forward and upward to deflect it away, also lifting my leg to potentially kick out at him. The technique of “offering a peach” is one that involves softness. Both hands work together, one hand in front at long range, the other hand behind at shorter range. Between lifting up and leaning back, the opponent’s incoming hand is deflected so minimally as to be almost unnoticeable. Since my lifting leg can become a kicking leg, I can also kick him as soon as I have deflected his hand, but this depends on observing the situation closely and responding appropriately. The exact moment that determines success or failure is difficult to describe in words, but it all comes down to choosing the best time to act.

第十式 入環右滾膀
Posture 10: KNEELING STANCE, RIGHT ROLLING FOREARM

說明:
Explanation:
循上式,先落提起之右脚,以成右入環步,兩掌同時化拳,右拳而微曲向內,左拳緊靠右拳之內,隨落步而順勢向前推出,滾是具有如波浪之氣勢滾滾而來,膀乃藉兩手合流如江河之滙通其勢益為不可遏止矣,更有入環步與之為輔使勢銳而益臻佳妙,如「定式圖」。
Continuing from the previous posture, first your right foot comes down to make a right kneeling stance as your palms become fists, your right fist in front, the arm slightly bent inward, your left fist tight against the inside of your right fist, your fists going along with your step by pushing out forward. (The rolling-forearms technique is like an overwhelming wave, the forearm and hands moving together like the flow of a river coursing through unstoppably. The kneeling stance increases the focus of the power and adds to the beauty of the posture.) See photo 10:

功用:
Application:
兩我上式旣已消去來手,當採取反擊也,於是我乃用滾膀法往前力推之,此法實補前式之不足,抑亦每凡起脚必須提防為對方所絆,或為所提皆予我有莫大之危險也,以是而迅即隨提腿而下,往前用膀手推進,旣可免除種種足以危及本身之害處,復可以藉此法竟其全功也。
Having dispelled the opponent’s attack with the previous technique, I now seek to counterattack, and therefore I use the rolling-forearm technique to forcefully push forward. This technique compensates for the inadequacies of the previous technique. Whenever I lift a leg, this can potentially put me in a perilous situation, and so I have to guard against the opponent getting control over my leg or seizing it. Therefore I immediately follow lifting my leg by bringing it back down and going forward with my forearm pushing out. In order to prevent a variety of potential harms to my body, this method is supremely effective.

第十一式 提腿左献桃
Posture 11: LIFTING LEG, LEFT OFFERING A PEACH

說明:
Explanation:
循上式,先提起左後脚以成左獨立式,復將滾膀手化成雙掌,左前而直,右倚左掌而短,同時自下向前而提高,與第九式雖屬同法,但練拳不能偏用一手,故此有左有右即所以使吾人無所徧癈而無弱點之顯露也,切勿以其雷同而生厭惡或荒棄之心則於拳術之進步受其大病也。如「定式圖」。
Continuing from the previous posture, first your left foot lifts to make a left one-legged stance, then your fists become palms and lift up forward from below, your left hand in front, the arm straight, your right hand at shorter range near your left palm. (Although this is the same technique as in Posture 9, it is done on the other side because practitioners should not overly rely on one hand. Performing it on both sides will keep us from developing the flaw of being good on one side and bad on the other. We should be careful not to perform the postures dogmatically and end up despising or dismissing other variations, which would only hamper the progress of boxing arts.) See photo 11:

功用:
Application:
「我用滾膀者低勢也,彼若還擊當以我上路為有利之目標,假定其果自我上攻來,或且更轉變方向,於是右獻桃之後而有此左獻桃者即是預知其必以「取上打下,攻左防右」之陰謀矣,且對用功者亦能使左右平匀無牽强板滯之弊病焉。
When I execute the rolling-forearms technique, I am in a low stance. If the opponent counterattacks at this moment, his best target would be in my upper area, so I can assume that I will be attacked there, but he may change his direction from before, and therefore having performed “offering a peach” on the right, I now perform it on the left in anticipation of such an eventuality. It is necessary to employ strategies like “attacking above to strike below” or “attacking on one side to defend the other”. Furthermore, if you can practice techniques on both sides equally, it will prevent the error of having awkwardness or stiffness on either side.

第十二式 入環左滾膀
Posture 12: KNEELING STANCE, LEFT ROLLING FOREARM

說明:
Explanation:
循上式,先落提起之左脚,以成左入環步,兩掌同時變拳,左前而微曲向內,右拳緊靠左拳之內,隨步落而順勢向前推出,滾是具有波浪之氣勢滾滾而來,膀乃藉兩手合流如江河之滙通,其勢益為不可遏止矣。更有入環步與之為輔勢銳而益臻佳妙,如「定式圖」
Continuing from the previous posture, first your left foot comes down to make a left kneeling stance as your palms become fists, your left fist in front, the arm slightly bent inward, your right fist tight against the inside of your left fist, your fists going along with your step by pushing out forward. (The rolling-forearms technique is like an overwhelming wave, the forearm and hands moving together like the flow of a river coursing through unstoppably. The kneeling stance increases the focus of the power and adds to the beauty of the posture.) See photo 12:

第十三頁第十二式之電版誤排別拳者,其實為左入環步及左手在前者方合,祈閱者諸君原諒與注意焉。
(Note: The printing plate for the page including Posture 12 mistakenly uses the photo from another posture [repeating the photo for Posture 10]. What was meant to be shown was a left kneeling stance with the left hand in front. I hope readers will both take note of this and forgive the error.)
功用:
Application:
我上式旣已消去來手,當採取反擊也,於是我乃用滾膀法往前力推之,此法實補前式之不足,抑亦每凡起脚必須提防為對方所制,或為所捉,皆予我有莫大之危險也,以是而迅即隨提腿而下,往前用膀手推進,旣可免除種種足以危及本身之害處,復可以藉此法竟其全功也。
Having dispelled the opponent’s attack with the previous technique, I now seek to counterattack, and therefore I use the rolling-forearm technique to forcefully push forward. This technique compensates for the inadequacies of the previous technique. Whenever I lift a leg, this can potentially put me in a perilous situation, and so I have to guard against the opponent getting control over my leg or seizing it. Therefore I immediately follow lifting my leg by bringing it back down and going forward with my forearm pushing out. In order to prevent a variety of potential harms to my body, this method is supremely effective.

第十三式 提腿右挫捶
Posture 13: LIFTING LEG, RIGHT SUBDUING PUNCH

說明:
Explanation:
循上式,身往後向東方而轉,在轉動中即提起右脚以成右獨立式,左手先隨轉身而封去,右拳繼而自下衝上。螳螂多以登山步為挫捶者,由別種步法或提步者頗少,提腿為虛步,挫捶為旣實且剛之手,習此式無啻是上實下虛矣,因此乃特別提出之是使習此者提高其注意焉。如「定式圖」。
Continuing from the previous posture, turn around [rightward] toward the east, your right foot lifting to make a right one-legged stance as your left hand performs a sealing action and your right fist thrusts upward from below. (In Mantis Boxing, the subduing punch is usually done in a mountain-climbing stance, rarely done with a lifting leg or some other stance. The lifting leg is a kind of empty stance, whereas the subduing punch is solid, performed with hardness. But practicing the technique in this way is not merely a matter of being solid above while empty below. What this posture is especially good for is heightening awareness [of potential activity happening below while busy with what is happening above].) See photo 13:

功用:
Application:
彼自我前繞過我右方而往後圖謀襲我後方,我亦跟之而轉,當其拳來時我先用左手封閉之,再以右拳曲肘直衝其頷下。其用意除如一般登山式之挫捶外,或我旣封得來手彼即用脚突襲我下圖解被封之危,我若縱之,豈非旣得復失,因此乃提腿避過來脚隨即出手作挫捶也。
The opponent goes around me, passing me on my right side, to attack me from behind, so I turn around to follow him, first using my left hand to seal off his attack and then using my right fist to thrust upward with the elbow bent. In the usual version done in a mountain-climbing stance, once I have sealed off the opponent’s incoming hand, there is a risk that he might suddenly throw out a kick to attack my lower area. If I ignore this risk, I might gain above only to lose below, and so I lift my leg to prevent a kick and can thus send out the subduing punch in a safer position.

第十四式 穿捶右蹬𨁏
Posture 14: THREADING FIST, RIGHT PAVING KICK

說明:
Explanation:
循上式,左拳自下向右拳鋒外穿出,而收於腰部,右拳在被穿時即往後收,復向前斜出,同時提起之右脚亦往後橫撑而去,手與脚務須配合準確時間,否則大失此之要點矣,此法與揪腿適成相反,亦即一般人之所謂「後彈腿」也,惟力道此揪腿為雄勁,且由後出此為難防耳。如「定式圖」。
Continuing from the previous posture, your left fist threads out from below along the outside of your right arm as your right arm pulls back, then your left fist withdraws to your waist as your right fist goes out diagonally forward and your right foot braces out to the rear. Your hands and foot must act in unison, otherwise this technique will not work. This technique is the opposite of a scooping kick and is often called a “rear snapping kick”. The power of this kick is fierce and thus it is difficult to defend against. See photo 14:

功用:
Application:
彼以手來招我之挫捶,我先以左手穿消之,再利用提高之步往前探出,斜撑彼前鋒馬,而右拳亦於是時直衝彼中上路,斯即螳螂拳著名之蹬𨁏法,抑亦許多蹬𨁏法中最强勁之一,練時多注意腿部之活動,方不致未動即被發現而失去大好機會。
The opponent sends out a hand to block my subduing punch, so I first send my left hand threading out to deflect his hand, then extend my right foot to diagonally brace away his front leg as I thrust out my right fist to his middle area or upper area. In Mantis Boxing, this kind of leg technique is called a “paving kick” and it is one of the most powerful versions of such leg techniques. When practicing it, always remember that your leg needs to be lively, for if the opponent notices what you are about to do before your leg has done it, you will have lost a great opportunity.

第十五式 囘身右封手
Posture 15: TURN, RIGHT SEALING HAND

說明:
Explanation:
循上式,先將斜出之右脚踏囘東方對正之方位,右拳轉繞過下方,再向前方封去,螳螂拳中固無祗一封而罷之手法,習拳者至此實不無疑問也,其實與下式為相連作用者,余特以為分先後者其意即欲習此拳者得分別致力,毋使因快而疎忽耳!或以為故作畫蛇添足為不足法也。如「定式圖」。
Continuing from the previous posture, with your right foot stepping out diagonally, you turn toward the east as your right fist arcs downward and then goes forward with a sealing action. (Techniques in Mantis Boxing never stop at sealing, and so practitioners are always perplexed when they get to this posture. This posture and the following posture are actually to be performed as a continuous action, but I have specially divided it into two parts so that practitioners will give them both more attention instead of rushing through them or looking upon them as superfluous techniques.) See photo 15:

功用:
Application:
彼欲乘我斜勢之時,打我右太陽穴一拳,我立即移步使對正彼站立之處,再漏手封閉之。因來勢旣兇我迫得先封去之,以求連續之勢得順利展開耳,拳擊之道稍一遲延即每每屈居下風,故我先謀制止其另一動作而急封之,用意純然在此矣。
The opponent takes advantage of the moment in which I am positioned at an angle by sending a punch toward my right temple, so I immediately shift a step to be more directly facing him and send out a hand to seal off his attack. Because of the fierceness of his attack, I am forced to first seal it off in order to find the best means of continuing into an attack. It is the way of boxing arts that whenever there is a moment of delay, one has to momentarily accept being in a disadvantageous position. Therefore I first prevent him from launching another attack by urgently sealing off the first one. This is the whole purpose of this technique.

第十六式 底穿左封掌
Posture 16: THREADING BELOW, LEFT SEALING HAND

說明:
Explanation:
循上式,兩脚原位置不變祗向右一扭,便成為扭步之勢矣,收於左腰之拳伸向右肘之下而往前封去,而右手則變拳收於腰部,此式是出左手以替代前式之右手者,抑亦準備下一手之發動,合三記動作於一起不稍嫌其緩滯乎?但我早已計及連貫之勢而出此者,又何緩滯之有。如「定式圖」。
Continuing from the previous posture, your feet stay where they are but pivot to the right, making a twisting stance, as your left hand extends forward under your right elbow and performs a sealing action, your right hand becoming a fist and withdrawing to your waist. (This posture is a matter of sending out your left hand to switch places with your right hand, and is also a preparation for the following posture. When combining these three postures into a single flow, there should be no stagnancy in transitioning from one to the other, because they are in fact all to be performed as a continuous action.) See photo 16:

功用:
Application:
與上式封手乃接連之勢,亦即替囘右手以俟下式之展開也,迎上接下是此式固有之義,若能出之於敏捷恰當則無負此式之佈置矣,否則因一式之失而影響全局,封手為實手,若非對指力相當造詣,則雖能觸及敵人,亦莫克控制之,故宜審情度勢切勿輕於嘗試也。
Continuing from the previous sealing hand, I send out my left hand to switch places with my right hand in readiness to perform the following technique. The purpose of this technique is to serve as a bridge between the previous technique and the following technique. If you can perform those two techniques with the proper nimbleness, then you could get away with leaving this one out, but otherwise the absence of this technique could derail the whole situation. On the other hand, the sealing hand is a technique that has substance to it [as opposed to a feint], and if you do not have sufficient finger strength for it, then even though you may connect with the opponent, you might not be able to control him. Therefore you should carefully observe the situation and not attempt things casually.

第十七式 扭步右叠肘
Posture 17: TWISTING STANCE, RIGHT PILING ELBOW

說明:
Explanation:
循上式,原步不變,收於腰部之右拳曲肘向前撞去,而左掌則張開迎之,當相碰時乃發出「必卜」之聲也,叠肘為純剛之手,用之者多以入環及登山步,跨虎步與扭步則以此拳中見之,或有人以為反常,其實因勢利導隨機應變之機非越出常軌則反受其害,愼毋以法自繩致貽伊戚,如「定式圖」。
Continuing from the previous posture, with your stance not changing [your left foot stepping forward to make a left twisting stance], your right elbow smashes forward, your left palm striking against it to make an audible crack. (The piling elbow is a technique of pure hardness. Because it is usually done in a kneeling stance or a mountain-climbing stance, people find the instances within this set of it being done in a twisting stance and a sitting-tiger stance [Posture 24] to be very strange. These moments are just a matter of adapting according to circumstances and are not violations of established rules. Be careful not to hold yourself back by being dogmatic.) See photo 17:

功用:
Application:
前兩式俱為防守性或為擒拏性質,此式乃殿該兩式之後而展開攻擊之殺手,入環叠肘是由上叠下而致力,此式因扭步而勢橫乃由右方施壓力於左方為橫力,法同而勢別,純剛之勁道分正斜,知乎此則叠肘為可用矣。
The previous two techniques are both defensive actions which have a quality of seizing.
This technique then follows upon them by attacking. Performing the piling elbow in a kneeling stance focuses on piling downward from above, whereas doing it in a twisting stance forcefully applies pressure across from right to left. Therefore although it is the same technique, there is a difference in terms of the posture. Both versions use pure hardness, but their patterns divide into one going diagonally downward and the other going straight across. Knowing this, you will be able to apply the piling elbow in all circumstances.

第十八式 扭步右崩捶
Posture 18: TWISTING STANCE, RIGHT AVALANCHE PUNCH

說明:
Explanation:
循上式,原步仍未改變,祗是左掌化封手變拳,而右肘從內轉外化拳打出,崩捶與叠肘俱為短手,旣用短手即表示彼此之間已入短兵相接之境界,叠肘為所破我亦處於欲罷不能之中,以當前環境所需與可能施展者厥為崩捶而已。如「定式圖」。
Continuing from the previous posture, with your stance not changing, your left palm becomes a sealing hand and then a full fist as your right forearm rolls over outward from inside and your right fist strikes out. (The avalanche punch and piling elbow are both short-range techniques. The performance of short-range techniques indicates a situation in which you and the opponent are very close to each other. In order to continue from the piling elbow once it has been nullified, the best choice in such a situation is to use an avalanche punch.) See photo 18:

功用:
Application:
螳螂拳中之叠肘十九皆以崩捶為繼之手法。大凡遇肘部被壓制無論何派拳術皆以沉肘消之,蓋肘直為曲肘壓下之勢有如泰山之壓頂,除沉肘躱去外更無其他更有效之法矣,當其曲肘避過我叠下時我即變成崩捶直向其面門劈去,力雄勢順乃不可多得之法則也。
In Mantis Boxing, the piling elbow often continues into an avalanche punch. In most cases of an elbow putting pressure onto an opponent’s elbow, regardless of the boxing art, he can dispel it simply by sinking his elbow. The pressure of a bent elbow on top of a straight elbow is like being crushed by a mountain, and nothing he could do would be quite as effective as simply sinking his elbow to evade it. Once he bends his elbow to absorb the weight of my elbow piling down on top of it, I switch to using an avalanche punch to chop down straight to his face, a technique with a rare quality of having both great fierceness and great smoothness of execution.

第十九式 提腿雙提刁
Posture 19: LIFTING LEG, DOUBLE LIFTING HOOKS

說明:
Explanation:
循上式,就原式先提起右脚以成右獨立式,雙手俱化作刁手向上高高舉起,此式雖有其妙用,但初習或未經明師開導者多不知其用處,縱使稍知大槪亦不敢謬然以之作實用,蓋提腿舉手之間易使中路空虛而難防也,如「定式圖」。
Continuing from the previous posture, your right foot lifts to make a right one-legged stance as your palms become double hooking hands and rise up high. (Although this technique can indeed be effective, beginners are often unclear about the teacher’s instructions and fail to understand its function, causing them to know only the general idea. They also tend to lack the confidence to apply it, and this is because lifting the leg and raising the hands could easily leave the middle area open and difficult to protect.) See photo 19:

功用:
Application:
彼欲以雙拳迎頭劈落,我乃雙刁往上提消之,或雙刁將來拳刁住,再用腿襲其下部也。此法是純柔之法,不論刁得對方之手或用手背向上舉消來手,皆不能勉强發力者,祗要順其自然之趨勢而將來手由上消去之,再遠距離則提腿撩之,迫近則利用膝部向上頂去,皆勢順而使彼方易於疎忽之着也。
The opponent tries to use both fists to chop down toward my head, so I send double hooking hands lifting up to dispel his incoming fists, or to hook them away, as I use my leg to attack his groin. This is a purely soft technique, and so whether using the backs of the hands to lift his hands away or using the hooks to trap them, it cannot be done forcefully, but only with naturalness. If the distance is far, the lifting leg can become a raising kick, and if near, it will be an upward knee strike, but either way the leg attack is easy for the opponent to overlook [due to being distracted by the double hooks].

第二十式 入環雙壓掌
Posture 20: KNEELING STANCE, DOUBLE PRESSING PALMS

說明:
Explanation:
循上式,先將提起之右腿原位落下以成右入環步,雙刁手復化為雙掌向前直下,手與脚俱由高而下,有如大江之水沛然而莫之能禦,掌尖微撓起斜出以就彼軀,若平落則益與彼方作遠距離矣,希注意及之毋便良佳之手法化成無用為可惜也。「如定式圖」
Continuing from the previous posture, first your right leg comes down to make a right kneeling stance as your double hooking hands switch back to being palms and go forward. (Your hands and foot come down from above like the water of a powerful river, an overwhelming flow that cannot be resisted against. Your fingertips are slightly raised as your palms go out diagonally to meet the opponent’s body, the line of force becoming more horizontal as you lower in order to reach him from a greater distance. I hope you will give this wonderful technique attention and not let go unused, which would be a great pity.) See photo 20:

功用:
Application:
彼以我提高之勢,中下路必感空虛也,於是欲自我空檔中取得便宜,我早知其有此一着矣,乃即化掌直壓而下以防其有此一着也,凡習此拳之同道或有誤雙壓掌之勢甚雄猛,必為剛手無疑,惟是究其實際則為柔手,螳螂拳中剛柔綜錯,若非細察手法中之含義每易使人疑似兩可也。
When I am lifted high, the opponent will notice that my middle area and lower area are open and thus will try to take advantage of this. Anticipating him, I switch my hands to palms and come down pressing out, thereby preventing him from attacking. Fellow practitioners sometimes assume that the double-palms position is very fierce and therefore must surely involve hardness, but actually the hands in this technique are using softness. In Mantis Boxing, hardness and softness often work together. Unless you carefully examine the techniques to find this factor, it will be easy to get the impression that hardness and softness are always two separate things.

第二十一式 穿梭刁手式
Posture 21: SENDING THE SHUTTLE THROUGH WITH HOOKING HANDS

說明:
Explanation:
循上式,原步仍未變動,右掌亦未變更,祗將左掌化為刁手往上舉起,如『上圖』。甲,
Continuing from the previous posture, with your stance not changing and your right hand staying where it is, your left palm becomes a hooking hand and rises up. See photo 21a:

再原步不變而舉起右刁手,而左刁手則落下置於胸前,如『下定式圖』。
Then with your stance still not changing, your right hooking hand rises up as your left hooking hand lowers to be placed in front of your chest. See photo 21b:

功用:
Application:
當我用雙壓掌壓落時彼向外漏去,復以單手向我左方力壓而下,我即亦用單手迎之,斯即留有以待之故也。彼再擊我右方時,我再舉右手迎之,斯乃左右連環穿梭式之法也。
As my double pressing palms lower into place, the opponent backs off and then forcefully presses down with one hand toward my left side, so I use my left hand to block it, a means of bringing things to a halt and waiting to see what happens next. He then strikes toward my right side, so I raise my right hand to block it. This technique is a method of continuously “sending the shuttle through” on both sides.

第二十二式 入環右腰斬
Posture 22: KNEELING STANCE, RIGHT SLICING THROUGH THE WAIST

說明:
Explanation:
循上式,進左脚以成為左入環步,右上刁手向下後方斜落,再橫撇而前,左下刁手向頭上橫遮,多數之入環腰斬為上拳曲肘橫架頭上耳!但此式為上刁手則與他式為大異,亦有呼之為「玉環腰斬」者,編者純根據及統一名詞上之「入環步」為整個名稱耳。如「定式圖」。
Continuing from the previous posture, your left foot advances to make a left kneeling stance as your right hooking hand lowers diagonally to the rear and then flings out forward with the palm sideways while your left hooking hand blocks across above your head. (Usually the technique of slicing to the waist in a kneeling stance involves a fist propping up over the head with the forearm placed across, but this time it is uniquely a hooking hand instead. There are some who call this technique JADE RING SLICES THROUGH THE WAIST, but I think this “jade ring” is just a mistake for “through the ring” [i.e. kneeling stance].) See photo 22:

功用:
Application:
彼以手自我左方來,我以左手刁之,順勢溜步入扣其前鋒馬,右掌自其腰部斜撇之,入環腰斬之別於引針腰斬純為步法之關係,入環是緊扣對方前馬而斬之,引針則僅輕輕抅入彼前步而拖斬,入環是手柔步剛,引針則手與步皆柔,惟其予敵以創則一。
The opponent sends a hand to attack from my left, so I use my left hand to hook it away and seize the opportunity to sneak forward a step and trap his front leg as I fling my right palm diagonally to his waist. The difference between KNEELING STANCE, SLICING THROUGH THE WAIST and DRAWING THE NEEDLE, SLICING THROUGH THE WAIST is just a matter of footwork. With the kneeling stance, you are tightly trapping the opponent’s front leg, whereas with drawing the needle, you are gently hooking his foot. With the kneeling stance, there is softness in the hand technique and hardness in the stepping, whereas with drawing the needle, there is softness in both the hand technique and the stepping. However, the effect on the opponent is the same in either case.

第二十三式 封手雙飛腿
Posture 23: SEALING HANDS, FLYING DOUBLE KICK

說明:
Explanation:
循上式,先進右脚以類似為跨虎步,左刁手仍不動,祗將右掌向前封,如「過渡式」甲,
Continuing from the previous posture, first your right foot advances to almost make a sitting-tiger stance, your left hooking hand maintaining its position, as your right palm goes forward with a sealing action. See photo 23a:

再將右手拖後,左後手繼往前封,以形成雙封手之勢,如「過渡式」乙,
Then your right hand pulls back as your left hand goes forward with a sealing action, thereby making the position of double sealing hands. See photo 23b:

再先起後左脚,然後全身蹤起,當躍起之時踢起右前脚,如『定式圖』。
Then your left foot lifts, your body jumps up, and your right foot kicks out. See photo 23c:

功用:
Application:
我先以一手封往來手,再封另一手,借其勢而蹤身直往,因勢而攻以撩陰脚,凡用雙飛腿者多因遠距離然後可用之,若一步以內之距離而偏欲用之者,不但不見其利,反而常予敵以𨻶,致容易受制於人,其勢至强而急,苟善用之殆非尋常輩所能禦之也。
I first use a hand to seal off the opponent’s incoming hand and then seal off with my other hand, then I borrow his force [of trying to pull back away from me] by leaping toward him and attacking with a raising kick to the groin. The flying double kick is for use at long range. If you are too close to your opponent, not only would it be ineffective, it would also give him an opening and you would easily end up under his control. This technique is powerful and fast. If you are good at applying it, most people will not be able to defend against it.

第二四十式 跨虎右叠肘
Posture 24: SITTING-TIGER STANCE, RIGHT PILING ELBOW

說明:
Explanation:
循上式,先將踢出之右脚原位落下以成右跨虎步,同時右後手則曲肘向前橫叠出,而左手則返後迎之以成相壓之勢,前於扭步叠肘文內嘗以扭步及跨虎用此手法為極少數,於本拳內曾各用一次,抑亦專為習拳者備各種不同之手法,以便臨時應用之需焉。如「定式圖」。
Continuing from the previous posture, your right foot comes down to make a right sitting-tiger stance as your right elbow swings across forward with a piling technique, your left hand striking against it. (As mentioned in the explanation for Posture 17, performing a piling elbow in a twisting stance or a sitting-tiger stance is very rare, both occurring only once throughout the curriculum: within this set. The purpose is to equip practitioners with a more comprehensive variety of techniques so that you have them ready if you ever need to use them.) See photo 24:

功用:
Application:
當我用雙飛腿之時,彼即側身卸過,且欲掙脫我封纏之手,於是我乃不俟其掙脫而用肘叠之,由長距離復成短兵相接之形勢,最適當莫過於以肘叠壓之,勝敗之機斷於俄頃之間,若前後不克含接,實予敵以有乘之空𨻶耳!用拳如用兵,善用者勝,不善用者敗,為天經地義。
When I apply the flying kick, the opponent turns his body sideways to dodge it. He also tries to cast off my sealing hands, but before he can finish doing so, I apply a piling elbow. In a situation of going from long-range to short-range, nothing is more suitable than a piling elbow. Within the instant that determines victory or defeat, if one technique cannot flow right into another, this will only give the opponent an opportunity to take advantage of. Using a boxing art is like using an army. Those who are good at using it will win. Those who are not good at using it will lose. This is just the way of things.

第二十五式 跨虎右崩捶
Posture 25: SITTING-TIGER STANCE, RIGHT AVALANCHE PUNCH

說明:
Explanation:
循上式,原步不變,祗將右曲肘之捶由內反手而出以成崩捶之勢,與前扭步崩捶之少見如同出一轍,此跨虎崩捶亦螳螂拳中僅見之手法,且亦同為上剛下柔之不相稱,惟形勢比人强,有時反因此而奏殊效也。如「定式圖」。
Continuing from the previous posture, with your stance not changing, [your left hand performs a sealing action and] your right forearm rolls over outward, sending out your right fist with an avalanche punch. (Equally as unique as [Posture 18] TWISTING STANCE, RIGHT AVALANCHE PUNCH [which appears in no other set], the technique of SITTING-TIGER STANCE, RIGHT AVALANCHE PUNCH is rarely seen in Mantis Boxing [the only other time being the final posture of Black Tiger Leaves the Cave]. Both share the dichotomy of the upper body using hardness while the lower body is using softness, but for situations in which the opponent is stronger, these versions may prove more effective.) See photo 25:

功用:
Application:
我旣叠其肘,彼必沉肘以避,否則其臂必斷矣,我當其時迅即再用崩捶迎臉打落,由叠肘而崩捶不但勢順易打,且每令對方難予招架,試思一手旣被封壓,其謀求掙脫之不遑,更何暇計及另一之攻勢哉?我不俟其掙脫或遲疑,迅即自上劈落,設身處地亦必感到此威脅之不輕矣。
When I perform the piling elbow, the opponent is bound to sink away his own elbow, for otherwise his arm would get broken, and so I immediately switch to sending an avalanche punch to strike downward to his face. To go from a piling elbow to an avalanche punch is not only a very smooth transition, it is also difficult for the opponent to block. Once his hand has been sealed off, he will have no time to escape before another attack comes, for I will not hesitate and let him have a chance to get away. I immediately chop down from above, and being positioned as he is, he is sure to feel that he is in serious danger.

第二十六式 走步右軋膝
Posture 26: JUMPING STEP, RIGHT PRESSING THE KNEE

說明:
Explanation:
循上式,兩手不變,先將右前脚循面前轉過後方,如「上圖」甲,
Continuing from the previous posture, with your hand position not changing, first your right foot withdraws to the rear by arcing around in front of you. See photo 26a:

再將左脚開前以成扭步之勢,合此兩個動作以成走跳之勢,右橫手向斜下方橫掃而出,當至中線時即以左掌拍之,如『定式圖』。
Then your left foot steps out forward to make a twisting stance, these two stepping actions to be done together as a single hop, as your right fist at the same time swings across diagonally downward, your left hand slapping against the forearm when it reaches the centerline. See photo 26b:

功用:
Application:
彼欲自我後方攻來,我迅即走步歸後方,在走跳當中以手橫掃彼下三路。
An opponent comes to attack me from behind, so I quickly step to the rear with a hop and send my right fist to sweep across to his lower area [although the photo seems to show an attack that is much higher].

第二十七式 提腿裡纏絲
Posture 27: LIFTING LEG, INWARD TWINING SILK

說明:
Explanation:
循上式,右拳轉過左方,而左拳亦緊貼右臂彎之內,轉而向上,當轉動時將右脚提起以成獨立式,纏絲一法,屬擒拏法之一種,螳螂拳中有外纏絲,裡纏絲,大小纏絲之分,外纏法是進馬扣步為有利,裡纏絲而軋腿,則於「十八叟」拳中見之,此提腿而用裡纏絲是故意扳舉之使受牽力於上也,如「定式圖」。
Continuing from the previous posture, your right fist arcs to the left with your left fist tight against the inside of your right forearm, then rolls over upward as your right leg lifts to make a one-legged stance. (The “twining silk” technique is a method of seizing. In Mantis Boxing, there is outward twining and inward twining, as well as large twining and small twining. Outward twining has the advantage of advancing to control the opponent’s front leg. Inward twining is paired with a crushing kick in [Posture 32] of Eighteen Elders, but in this case is paired with a lifting leg, causing force to be drawn upward [instead of downward as in Eighteen Elders].) See photo 27:

功用:
Application:
彼手欲上擊我,我即隨纏繞而上,務使高至頂點為止,盖愈高彼受纏壓之力道愈重,因此乃以高為妙。註:編者於拙著第四種「拳譜」中誤寫為「提腿上仰膀」名稱。查仰膀須與對方緊接方能致用,由提腿而更遙遠何能仰而膀之哉?於此特為之更正焉。
The opponent tries to strike me above, so I twine upward, all the way to headtop level. The higher I go, the more pressure he will feel from it, therefore the key to the technique is to go high. (Note: In Mantis Boxing Curriculum [1953], I mistakenly listed this posture as LIFTING LEG, UPWARD PRESSING FOREARM. The actual pressing-forearm technique requires staying close to the opponent in order for it to be effective, but lifting the leg creates distance, meaning that pressing with the forearm does not apply in the same way, and so in this book I have corrected the name of the posture [though the incorrect name of the posture was nevertheless reproduced the following year in the revised 1959 edition of Curriculum].)

第二十八式 入環右挫掌
Posture 28: KNEELING STANCE, RIGHT SCRAPING PALMS

說明:
Explanation:
循上式,右拳落下反收於後方,再轉而上,化成掌向前下方直落,而左手亦化成掌以與之相接,雙掌碰至極响為度,同時提起之脚亦落下以成右入環步,勢由極高轉為極低有如黃河之水自天降沛然莫之能禦之槪,如「定式圖」。
Continuing from the previous posture, your right fist lowers, withdraws to the rear, arcs upward, becoming a palm, and comes down forward, connecting with your left hand, which has also become a palm, the palms striking against each other audibly, as your right foot comes down to make a right kneeling stance. (The posture goes from very high to very low, having a quality of being like the irresistible weight of a huge waterfall.) See photo 28:

功用:
Application:
措掌者如外行人視之實形同兒戲,蓋類打手掌之勢也,然此手專為破崩捶或挫捶者,當之者有斷肘之危。此式雖僅為單措掌「黑虎交叉」內有連環措掌者方為完全,但由上而下之勢則似比連環之上勢為强勁,多練之更能使力道增加,時間準確,毋以法簡而輕視之也。
The technique of scraping palms looks trivial to laymen, nothing more than the palms striking together, but this technique is actually designed to defeat the avalanche punch and subduing punch, and threatens to break the opponent’s elbow. This version of the technique uses only a single scraping. A more complete version is the continuous scraping palms in [Postures 25 and 26 of] Black Tiger Crosses the Path. However, there is in the act of descending from above a sense of flowing from the preceding posture, which makes the technique more powerful. Practicing this technique a lot can lead to an increase of strength and an improvement in timing, and so it should not be dismissed as being too simple.

第二十九式 提腿迎面掌
Posture 29: LIFTING LEG, PALM STRIKE TO THE FACE

說明:
Explanation:
循上式,再提起右脚以成獨立之劈,兩掌同起,右者橫架於頭上,左掌則橫掌直出,此式與第三式之名稱雖同,但動作上微有不同,前者以右掌自外撥歸,斯勢則用右掌向頭上橫攔,左掌俱迎面打出者,前式之撥歸是破去敵人之手,此式乃僅橫攔消去來手耳。如「定式圖」。
Continuing from the previous posture, your right foot lifts to make a one-legged stance as your palms lift in unison, your right palm propping up over your head with the palm sideways [fingertips pointing to the left], your left palm going straight out with the palm sideways [fingertips pointing to the right]. (Although this posture has the same name as Posture 3, the movements are slightly different. Your left hand in both cases strikes out to the face, but your right palm in the earlier posture deflects outward, whereas your right palm in this posture blocks over your head with the hand sideways. The deflection in the earlier posture smacks away the opponent’s incoming hand, whereas the block in this posture is merely used to lead it off-target.) See photo 29:

功用:
Application:
彼以漏手法反擊我頭部,我即橫掌消之,同時更以左掌直撑其面,斯乃攻守同一之手法也。人或以梅花拳拳勢並不頗長,為何練時甚費氣力?此實未嘗尋覓其原因所在耳!查此拳多由高而低,復由低而高之手法,因此乃使練時忽高忽低而勞氣耗力也,並且拳中手法亦多與他拳不同之法門而剛柔參差為難練之另一因素也。
The opponent uses a [left] slipping-hand technique to counterattack to my head, so I place my right palm across to deflect it as I use my left palm to do a bracing strike to his face. This is therefore a technique of simultaneous attack and defense. People sometimes think that the postures in Plum Blossom Fists are not very expressive, but nevertheless become exhausted when practicing them, and then they never even wonder why. Notice that this set has many techniques going from high to low and low to high. Practitioners consequently expend a lot of energy suddenly rising and suddenly lowering. Moreover, the techniques are often very different from those in other sets, and then there is also the difficulty of the continual switching between using hardness and using softness.

第三十式 登山右反掌
Posture 30: MOUNTAIN-CLIMBING STANCE, RIGHT BACKHANDED PALM STRIKE

說明:
Explanation:
循上式,右脚落地,左脚往後縮退以成右登山步,兩掌同落,右掌長而直取,左掌則短而橫落,掌自上而下時由於步法之倒退及具有小跳性質,乃以輕盈敏捷見長之手法,若板滯以成之則相去遠矣。如「定式圖」。
Continuing from the previous posture, your right foot comes down and your left foot retreats to make a right mountain-climbing stance as your palms come down in unison, your right palm at long range with the arm straight, your left palm at short range with the palm sideways. (While your palms lower from above, your retreating step is done with a small hop. The whole action is performed with graceful and nimble efficiency. If it is done stiffly, it will instead be clumsy.) See photo 30:

功用:
Application:
彼以我集中精神注意上方,乃欲自我中下取得攻擊,我迅即落掌縮步禦之,不但禦之而已!且藉反掌之勢迎頭拍落,使對方有不及迎拒之捷疾,與「一路摘要」「螳螂出洞」之「番天印」式有異曲同功之妙。
The opponent notices that my attention is focused above and thus tries to attack my middle area or lower area. I quickly lower my palms and retreat, not only to defend, but also to counterattack by sending a backhanded palm strike downward to his head, [this simultaneous defense and counter] rendering him too slow to block it. This technique is mostly the same as the OVERTURNED-SKY STAMP in [Posture 54 of] 1st Road of Picked Essentials and [Posture 30 of] Mantis Leaves the Cave.

第三十一式 撤步穿封統
Posture 31: WITHDRAWING STEP, THREAD & SEAL THRUST PUNCH

說明:
Explanation:
循上式,先左手自右肘下穿出,至拳鋒外為止,如「上圖過渡式」,
Continuing from the previous posture, first your left hand threads out from below your right elbow until at the outside of your right knuckles. See photo 31a:

再先動左後脚往後撤退,仍為右登山步,而右拳乃在此時再得直統而出矣,如『定式下圖』。
Then your left foot withdraws further, still making a right mountain-climbing stance, as your right fist thrusts out. See photo 31b:

功用:
Application:
彼用手來封我右掌,我即用穿手法脫之,乘勢倒撤而以右拳直統之,此乃欲進先退之法也。
The opponent sends out a hand to seal off my right palm, so I use a threading technique to strip his hand away, then take advantage of the opportunity by backing off and thrusting out my right fist. This is an example of retreating in order to advance.

第三十二式 撤式封統捶
Posture 32: WITHDRAWING STEP, SEAL & THRUST PUNCH

說明:
Explanation:
循上式,先原步不變,左掌由右臂之上削出而封,如「上圖過渡式」,
Continuing from the previous posture, with your stance not changing, your left palm slides out along the top of your right arm and does a sealing action. See photo 32a:

再原步往後一縮,仍為右登山式,當一縮之時右拳亦收後,再往前統出,而左封手化拳收於右肘之下如『定式下圖』。
Then you withdraw a step, your feet maintaining their position, still making a right mountain-climbing stance, as your right fist pulls back and then thrusts out forward, your left sealing hand becoming a fist and withdrawing below your right elbow. See photo 32b:

功用:
Application:
前式我僅穿去來手便即攻以統捶,此式則自上削出,乘機封去來手,再跟住統捶打之。
In the previous posture, I threaded out to merely deflect the opponent’s incoming hand and then attacked with a thrust punch. This time I slide out to fully seal off his incoming hand and then thrust out.

第三十三式 走步右挑手
Posture 33: JUMPING STEP, RIGHT CARRYING HAND

說明:
Explanation:
循上式,先動左後脚跳前,而右前脚等如已進前一步以成為右七星步矣,當躍前之時右拳已漏下,旣蹤身之間右臂伸直經過左掌而向上挑起,如『定式圖』。
Continuing from the previous posture, first your left foot goes forward with a jump and then your right foot steps forward to make a right big-dipper stance. As you begin to jump forward, your right fist lowers, then as you finish the jump, your right forearm carries upward, passing your left palm on the way. See photo 33:

功用:
Application:
彼擬自我上路攻襲,我即躍進用高挑手破之。普通之攻防手法皆是以「直破橫」或「橫破直」者,但此式則為以直破直之法,直與直之間位置至小,苟非正確而準繩,乃有毫厘千里之繆誤矣,且在躍進之間身體或受牽動而失去準繩,斯則端視個人用功程度而定優劣矣。
The opponent tries to attack my upper area, so I jump forward and use a high carrying technique to defeat it. Techniques of attack and defense are usually a matter “vertical defense defeats horizontal attack” or “horizontal defense defeats vertical attack”, but this technique is a case of vertical defeats vertical. For a vertical technique to connect with a vertical technique, the space in which to do it is narrowed, and so unless there is precise judgment, there will be the error of “miss by an inch, lose by a mile”. Furthermore, the very act of jumping can affect the positioning of your body and thus bring your targeting out of alignment. This requires closely examining your skill level and identifying where you are doing well and where you need work.

第三十四式 七星右補捶
Posture 34: BIG-DIPPER STANCE, RIGHT FILLING PUNCH

說明:
Explanation:
循上式,原步不動,高挑之手往後收盡,再經過左掌而碰至(必卜)聲响,然後打出,凡屬補捶皆千篇一律之打法,但偶一不留神頓能予一輩志在使拳快速而使右拳未及收囘腰部便打出之錯着,且不必勉强使掌拳相觸致發出甚响之聲,須聽其自然,不為佳着,如「定式圖」。
Continuing from the previous posture, with your stance not changing, your right fist pulls all the way back [by your right shoulder], then strikes out, your left palm striking against it on the way, making an audible crack. (The filling punch is usually done according to the same pattern, but occasionally it can break the mold and be done in a different way. In this particular case, it is being performed with greater speed because it is not being withdrawn all the way to the waist before striking out. Furthermore, it is not really necessary to insist on making the palm strike audibly against the fist. It is always more important to do what is natural rather than trying to make the technique beautiful.) See photo 34:

功用:
Application:
我上式雖已挑去來手,但尚未採取反擊之法,且中路亦因高挑而感空虛,因此乃以補捶塡之,或彼因我高挑而迅即漏手自我中下路進擊,我即採用此具有連消代打之補捶以補上勢之不足,使來勢受遏阻與被反擊之虞也。
Although in the previous technique I carried away the opponent’s incoming hand, I have still not counterattacked. Having carried his hand high, I notice that there is now a gap in his middle area, therefore I fill the gap with a filling punch. Or perhaps he quickly slips his hand away from my carrying technique and attacks to my middle area or lower area, in which case I use the filling punch to deflect rather than strike, filling in for the insufficiency of the carrying technique instead of literally filling a gap, causing his incoming force to be so hindered that he switches his attention to worrying about getting counterattacked.

第三十五式 右封左圈捶
Posture 35: RIGHT SEALING, LEFT SWINGING PUNCH

說明:
Explanation:
循上式,右脚向前踏進以成右登山式,左掌仍未變動,祗右掌化作封手向前封去,如「上圖過渡式」,
Continuing from the previous posture, your right foot comes down forward to make a right mountain-climbing stance as your right fist becomes a sealing hand and seals off forward, your left palm maintaining its position. See photo 35a:

再令步微標進,右封手縮後貼於左肩,左掌化拳用反橫捶自左方圈打過右方,如『定式』。
Then your stance slightly darts forward as your right hand pulls back to your left shoulder and your left palm becomes a fist and swings across from left to right. See photo 35b:

功用:
Application:
彼用手招我補捶,我即順手封之,再標進以求與彼相近,而用左橫捶疾掃擊彼太陽穴位置。
The opponent sends out a hand to block my filling punch, so I use the same hand to seal off his hand, then dart forward to crowd him while quickly swinging my left fist across to do a sweeping strike to his temple.

第三十六式 左封右圈捶
Posture 36: LEFT SEALING, RIGHT SWINGING PUNCH

說明:
Explanation:
循上式,原步不變,將左圈之捶化作封手,住前封去,如「上圖過渡式」,
Continuing from the previous posture, with your feet staying where they are, your left fist becomes a sealing hand and seals off forward. See photo 36a:

再標步進前,將左封手拉歸貼於右肩之內,而右捶乃橫掃過左方,如『定式圖』。
Then your stance darts forward as your left hand pulls back to your right shoulder and your right fist swings across to the left. See photo 36b:

功用:
Application:
與上式雖有左右之別,惟其中運用皆一理耳!且其連繫之作用每使對方容易陷於迷惘不覺之間而為我所乘。
Same as in the previous technique, except with left hand and right hand reversed. These two postures are a continuous action, causing the opponent to fall into confusion and thereby giving me an opportunity to take advantage of.

第三十七式 入環右腰斬
Posture 37: KNEELING STANCE, RIGHT SLICING THROUGH THE WAIST

說明:
Explanation:
循上式,進左脚以成左入環步,左手自右臂下穿出,再向上橫置於頭上,右拳收歸後方化掌,再斜出作腰斬之勢,如「定式圖」。
Continuing from the previous posture, your left foot advances to make a left kneeling stance as your left hand threads out from below your right arm to be placed sideways above your head and your right fist becomes a palm and goes out diagonally with a slice to the waist. See photo 37:

功用:
Application:
彼以手來迎我右圈捶,我迅即用手穿之,再入馬逼步靠緊之,斜掌橫撇其腰焉。此式與第二十二左完全相同,但前者是由穿梭式而變成腰斬,此式則從左右兩圈捶之後而有斯着,乃為其變化之重大關係也,我左右橫圈其太陽穴,是陰着也,彼不得不集全力以應付之,於是我一變而突襲其下是取其不及防也。
The opponent sends a hand to block my right swinging punch, so I immediately send a hand threading out to clear the way, then advance to crowd him and send a palm flinging diagonally to his waist with the palm sideways. This posture is entirely the same as in Posture 22, except that in that case the posture was preceded by SENDING THE SHUTTLE THROUGH, whereas in this case it is preceded by LEFT & RIGHT SWINGING PUNCHES. These transitions have an enormous impact on how the postures are to be applied. My swinging punches heading toward his temples are treacherous actions and he has no choice but to concentrate all his strength on dealing with them, and therefore I switch to suddenly attacking below, where he will be too late to defend.

第三十八式 右抅摟採手
Posture 38: RIGHT GRAB-PULL-TAKE

說明:
Explanation:
循上式,全身左右脚不變,向右轉過後方以成右登山步,手用右刁,左封,然後打出右拳,即成一組手法之抅摟採手矣,如『定式圖』。
Continuing from the previous posture, with your feet staying in their location, turn around to the right to make a right mountain-climbing stance as your hands perform these actions: right hand hooking [“grab”], left hand sealing [“pull”], right fist punching [“take”]. See photo 38:

功用:
Application:
抅摟採手乃螳螂拳基本十二字法門中之三個字,伸言之乃包括三個基本之動作,螳螂拳中幾無拳無之者,是知其所佔之重要性矣,若逐字解釋之是「抅」乃試探性之柔手。「摟」是實行封閉性之剛手。採是連貫抅摟之意,復加一手則不論捶,指,掌俱為攻擊性之一着也。
The grab-pull-take technique uses three of Mantis Boxing’s “basic twelve terms” and incorporates them into three fundamental actions. Most of the sets in Mantis Boxing contain this technique, making it clear that it occupies a place of great significance in the art. These terms can be explained in this way: “grab” explores with softness, “pull” seals off with hardness, “take” continues from grab and pull by adding an attack, whether it be a punch, a palm strike, or a finger jab.

第三十九式 跨虎右截捶
Posture 39: SITTING-TIGER STANCE, RIGHT INTERCEPTING FIST

說明:
Explanation:
循上式,先將前右脚向後收,以成右跨虎步,右拳微微曲肘往後橫掃而返,至定點時以左掌迎逆之,如『定式圖。(另附反面圖如下)
Continuing from the previous posture, first your right foot withdraws to make a right sitting-tiger stance as your right fist sweeps across to the rear with the elbow slightly bent, your left palm stopping it at its final position. See photo 39a (and also 39b for a reverse view):

功用:
Application:
彼一手自為我左手封閉,當我採手打入時,彼以另一手招架之,但我迅即漏手,劈其被捉之手,斯即打人先打手之要着也。
The opponent pulls his hand away from my left sealing hand and uses his other hand to block my punch, so I quickly slip my hand away and then use it to chop away his blocking hand. This is an example of the key concept of “to strike a man, first strike his hand”.

第四十式 雙封橫統捶
Posture 40: DOUBLE SEALING HANDS, SIDEWAYS THRUST PUNCH

說明:
Explanation:
循上式,左右脚不變原來位置,祗向右方一轉即成扭步之勢矣,同時兩手背以封手法由左封過右方,如「上圖過渡式」,
Continuing from the previous posture, your feet stay where they are but pivot to the right, making a twisting stance, as your hands become sealing hands and seal across from left to right. See photo 40a:

再原步不變,左手不動,右手化拳橫斜向前統出,如『定式下圖』。
Then with your stance not changing and your left hand maintaining its position [as well becoming a fist], your right hand becomes a fist and thrusts forward diagonally with the fist sideways. See photo 40b:

功用:
Application:
彼消去我截捶,乃立即轉過我右方打來,我亦轉而雙封其手,再以上捶直統其太陽穴。
The opponent dispels my intercepting fist, then immediately goes around to my right side to attack me, so I turn and use double sealing hands to seal off his hand and then send a thrust punch above to strike to his temple.

第四十一式 蹤跳右仰膀
Posture 41: HOP, RIGHT PRESSING FOREARM

說明:
Explanation:
循上式,先進前左脚,雙拳向下垂,如「上圖過渡式」,
Continuing from the previous posture, first your left foot advances as your fists hang down. See photo 41a:

再進右脚以成右入環步,合兩步為一蹤躍方合,手再由內轉出,向前直推如『定式圖』。
Then your right foot advances to make a right kneeling stance (both steps completing an action of hopping into place) as your hands arc outward from inside, pushing forward. See photo 41b:

功用:
Application:
彼以我忽攻而欲謀惴息之機,乃欲往後倒撤,我緊食其弱點,亦即追踪之,再以仰膀法以逼推之。
Faced with my sudden attack, the opponent now looks for a way to catch a breath and ends up selecting to retreat, but I stick close to him as he falters, chasing him, and then use a pressing-forearm technique to push him away.

第四二十式 撤式掛統捶
Posture 42: WITHDRAWING STEP, HANG & THRUST PUNCH

說明:
Explanation:
循上式,右前脚往後一標,左後脚一撑而直,即變成右登山式矣,右拳向上一橫而架於頭上,左拳自腰部直出,螳螂拳中不少標前與標後之法,標前雖難仍可有目標及易着力標去,但標後則失去目標與重心,初練時頗易使身體失去平均力而致有搖搖欲仆之弊。如「定式圖」。
Continuing from the previous posture, your feet dart to the rear, your left leg straightening to make a right mountain-climbing stance, as your right fist props up sideways above your head and your left fist thrusts out from your waist. (In Mantis Boxing, there are many occasions of darting forward and darting back. Although darting forward is difficult, it is nevertheless easy to express power into the target. But in the case of darting to the rear, you might become unaligned both with the target and in your own structure. When first practicing darting back, it is easy to lose balance and end up wobbling.) See photo 42:

功用:
Application:
彼以找勢低而採用上手壓逼我上路,於是我乃畧撤其步就其勢,右手向上橫者是架格之,左直統則是反擊,大凡以原步標進與撤式應敵,不論用何種手法相輔行之,俱受主宰於步法,若步法不純熟與不合尺度時,不但不克施予敵方以威脅或且因此而反為所控制,可不愼歟哉。
The opponent takes advantage of the fact that I am in a low posture by attacking my upper area. I then slightly withdraw a step to engage him, my right hand blocking above with the forearm placed across, my left fist thrusting out to counterattack. Generally speaking, whether you are darting forward or back, whatever hand technique you use to complement it will be determined by the footwork. If your footwork is unskillful or imprecise, not only will you be no threat to the opponent, you will also end up under his control, and so you have to be very mindful in such moments.

第四十三式 進式右劈軋
Posture 43: ADVANCE, RIGHT CRUSHING CHOP

說明:
Explanation:
循上式,原步不變,祗前脚一標,後脚一撑而前,仍為右登山式,上右掌改為日字拳向前直劈而下,當與左拳相碰時,左拳乃化為掌矣,且碰時又發出「必卜」之聲,如『定式圖』。
Continuing from the previous posture, with your stance not changing, your right foot darts forward and your left foot pushes off to also go forward, still making a right mountain-climbing stance, as your right palm [sideways fist] becomes a vertical fist as it chops down forward, your left fist becoming a palm and striking against your right fist, making an audible crack. See photo 43:

功用:
Application:
彼方集中全神招迎我直統之捶,找即以上手如泰山壓頂之勢由上劈落,上式旣是撤式則此式採進式最為洽當不過,且除以劈擊其上路之外,假如我上式之統捶為彼握制,我亦可賴此劈進之法,向其手劈落,如是則我手雖被握持亦可藉一劈而解矣。
The opponent has focused all of his attention on blocking my thrust punch, so I send my right hand chopping down from above with the technique of MT. TAI CRUSHES THE HEAD. After the previous technique involved withdrawing, this one appropriately advances. If my thrust punch has instead been grabbed by the opponent, I can also use this technique to chop down on his hand rather than his head, thus breaking free of his grip.

第四十四式 進式右蓋掌
Posture 44: ADVANCE, RIGHT COVERING PALMS

說明:
Explanation:
循上式,畧提前右脚以進前,仍為右登山步,右拳自右下方落下,復轉而上,再陰掌盖落。第三十式是反掌打落,此式則與之成相反,前式由上而下之勢雖猛,但距離亦微嫌過遠,此式乘劈進而標步進前其勢至疾且捷,如「定式圖」。
Continuing from the previous posture, your right foot slightly lifts and advances, still making a right mountain-climbing stance, as your right fist lowers to the lower right, then arcs upward, and then comes down again with a covering palm, the palm facing downward. (The downward strike in Posture 30 is a backhanded palm strike, whereas the hand in this posture is turned over. Although the downward chop of the previous posture was fierce, the distance to the opponent has now slightly increased, therefore this posture makes us of the forward momentum from the chop by having the stance dart forward, making the technique fast and agile.) See photo 44:

功用:
Application:
彼以手招去我劈捶,再以另一手打來,我乃用兩掌短者盖之,長者迎頭擊落,因標步而手急勢順,且以連續標進之故,頗能予强敵以打擊也。
The opponent sends out a hand to block my chop, then uses his other hand to strike, so I use both palms, one at short range covering his attack, the other at long range striking down to his head. As my stance darts forward, my hands urgently flow along with it. This is an excellent method for striking a stronger opponent.

第四十五式 進式右反掌
Posture 45: ADVANCE, RIGHT BACKHANDED PALM STRIKE

說明:
Explanation:
循上式,拉起前脚,雙掌向左下方收,如「上圖過渡式」,
Continuing from the previous posture, your right foot pulls back as your palms withdraw downward to the left. See photo 45a:

再標進前脚以成右登山式,雙掌再自左下方向前反掌而出,如『定式圖』。
Then your right foot darts forward to make a right mountain-climbing stance as your palms go forward to send out a backhanded palm strike. See photo 45b:

功用:
Application:
與上掌之一蓋一反是具有連續性之進攻者,不論彼手如何,我俱以一貫之法攻之。
Combined with the previous posture, this forms a continuous attack, a covering strike followed by a backhanded strike. No matter what the opponent does with his hands, I attack constantly.

第四十六式 撤式左屯掌
Posture 46: WITHDRAWING STEP, LEFT BRACING PALM

說明:
Explanation:
循上式,左右之脚仍未變動,但後脚先往後一縮使全步後向後倒退有半尺之遠,同時右掌化拳拖歸後,而收於腰部,左掌則橫屯而出,如『定式圖』。
Continuing from the previous posture, with your feet maintaining their position, your left foot withdraws and your right foot follows, moving you back a half step, as your right palm becomes a fist and pulls back, withdrawing to your waist, and your left palm braces out with the palm sideways. See photo 46:

功用:
Application:
我旣連續進式以求攻擊對方,但此式採欲進而退之法之使瞞過對方,步旣退而手徧進為螳螂不常見之法,若能以右手封得對方一手益見此式之佳妙,連續四五個動作俱採取或標前或撤後之步者是螳螂拳,必以猿猴步相輔之特徵,且可藉此而收克敵致果之效也。
Having advanced to attack the opponent, I now retreat to deceive him. To retreat with the step but advance with the hand is a method not commonly seen in Mantis Boxing, and the key to this technique is to use the right hand to seal off the opponent’s hand. To go through four or five movements of continuous attacking, advancing, or withdrawing is more typical of Mantis Boxing, characteristically supplemented by “monkey stepping”, but this technique can be just as effective for defeating opponents.

第四十七式 登山右叠肘
Posture 47: MOUNTAIN-CLIMBING STANCE, RIGHT PILING ELBOW

說明:
Explanation:
循上式,原步不變,右手曲肘向前撞去,當出手中步亦得進前小許,以成右登山步,因變成登山步益使叠肘之勢增强力道,或且由此以成「蹬𨁏」亦未可料,如「揷捶」之第二十八式焉。如「定式圖」。
Continuing from the previous posture, with your feet maintaining their position, your right elbow bends and smashes forward, your feet going along with the technique by slightly advancing, still making a right mountain-climbing stance, which adds power to the elbow. It is also possible to do the smaller version of a paving kick, like in Posture 28 of Charging Punches. See photo 47:

功用:
Application:
彼以手來招我掌,我即順手封之,再以右肘叠之使其臂受斷折之危,若其不知退步求躱避則我更可形成蹬𨁏之勢以仆之,由虛步柔手一變而以實步剛手作攻擊頗易使敵不知所措也。
The opponent sends out a hand to block my palm, so I use the same hand to seal off his hand, then use my right elbow to pile onto his arm and put it in danger of breaking. If he does not figure out a way to retreat or evade, I could also add a paving kick to drop him to the ground. By switching from a step that is a feint while using a technique of softness to a step that is real while using a technique of hardness produces an attack that causes the opponent to have no idea what to do.

第四十八式 七星大撤式
Posture 48: BIG-DIPPER STANCE, LARGE WITHDRAWING

說明:
Explanation:
循上式,左右脚不變原來位置,祗左後脚一曲,前右脚一直,足尖蹺起以成為右七星式,右肘伸直握拳往下向後撇去,右拳自右方身傍由前向後繞成一圈形,左掌亦同時向左身傍卸下使中路形成眞空之狀以俟下式之塡補,如「定式圖」。
Continuing from the previous posture, your feet maintain their position, except that your left leg bends and your right leg straightens, your right toes lifting, to make a right big-dipper stance as your right hand grasps into a fist, the elbow straightening, and flings forward, downward, and to the rear, moving in an arc past the right side of your body, your left palm at the same time deflecting downward on the left side of your body [and then swinging back up to your right shoulder according to the photo], thus opening up the middle area in preparation for it to be filled in with the following technique. See photo 48:

功用:
Application:
不論彼以手或腿襲擊我中下路,我俱可以大撤式消解之,且我由登山步轉為低七星步時,雖未撤步或退馬,但兩相比較其距離則無殊已撤退一步之遙遠矣,再以手圈卸之,來勢莫不瓦解矣。
Whether the opponent uses a hand or leg to attack my middle area or lower area, I can withdraw to a great extent and dispel it just by switching from a mountain-climbing stance to a big-dipper stance. Without retreating a step, I can move the same distance away as if I had. I then swing my hand to deflect, shattering any kind of attack he might attempt.

第四十九式 七星式低劈
Posture 49: BIG-DIPPER STANCE, LOW CHOP

說明:
Explanation:
循上式,原步不變,右手繞過背後,再復自上劈落,其終點以正中為合,當其與左掌相碰時發出「必卜」之聲,如『定式圖』。
Continuing from the previous posture, with your stance not changing, your right hand arcs through to the rear, upward, and then chops downward, and as it is coming to its final position on the centerline, your left palm strikes against it, making an audible crack. See photo 49:

功用:
Application:
與上式功用畧同,前者低,此式則中而前,並且前手是採着而求卸去之法,此式則直接向來手作劈殺,雖略同,惟剛柔虛實之間存有莫大之分野,毋渾而為一使埋沒兩法中之一法為是。
It is mostly the same as in the previous posture, except low in that case, and in this case it is at the middle height and in front. Furthermore, that technique sought merely to deflect the opponent’s attack, whereas this one directly smashes his incoming hand. Although these two techniques are mostly the same, they are very different in terms of hardness and softness, emptiness and fullness. Do not blur them together and end up overlooking these two distinct methods by thinking they are the same thing.

第五十式 走步高挑手
Posture 50: JUMPING STEP, HIGH CARRYING HAND

說明:
Explanation:
循上式,全身往前一跳,仍為右前左後之七星步,右拳自下直挑而上,由步法以至手法須於走跳當中之同時做成,否則必有一方顯露出緩滯或不相配合之處,練之者必注意及之為要。如「定式圖」。
Continuing from the previous posture, your whole body jumps forward to again make a right big-dipper stance as your right fist carries upward from below. The stepping and the hand technique have to finish at the same time that the jump finishes, otherwise there will be a part that is noticeably sluggish or out of synch. Practitioners must pay attention to this key point. See photo 50:

〔功用:〕
[Application:]
彼擬自我上路攻襲,我即躍進用高挑手破之。普通之攻防手法皆是以「直破橫」或「橫破直」者但此式則為以直破直之法,直與直之間位置至小,苟非正確而準繩乃有毫厘千里之繆誤矣,且在躍進之間,身體或受牽動而失去準繩,斯則端視個人用功程度而定優劣矣。
The opponent tries to attack my upper area, so I jump forward and use a high carrying technique to defeat it. Techniques of attack and defense are usually a matter “vertical defense defeats horizontal attack” or “horizontal defense defeats vertical attack”, but this technique is a case of vertical defeats vertical. For a vertical technique to connect with a vertical technique, the space in which to do it is narrowed, and so unless there is precise judgment, there will be the error of “miss by an inch, lose by a mile”. Furthermore, the very act of jumping can affect the positioning of your body and thus bring your targeting out of alignment. This requires closely examining your skill level and identifying where you are doing well and where you need work.

第五十一式 七星右補捶
Posture 51: BIG-DIPPER STANCE, RIGHT FILLING PUNCH

說明:
Explanation:
循上式,原步不動,高挑之手往後收盡,再經過左掌而碰至「必卜」聲响,然後打出,凡屬補捶皆千篇一律之打法,但偶一不留神頗能予一輩志在使拳快速而使右拳未及收囘腰部便打出之錯着,且不必勉强使掌拳相觸時發出甚响之聲,須聽其自然方為佳着,如「定式圖」。
Continuing from the previous posture, with your stance not changing, your right fist pulls all the way back [by your right shoulder], then strikes out, your left palm striking against it on the way, making an audible crack. (The filling punch is usually done according to the same pattern, but occasionally it can break the mold and be done in a different way. In this particular case, it is being performed with greater speed because it is not being withdrawn all the way to the waist before striking out. Furthermore, it is not really necessary to insist on making the palm strike audibly against the fist. It is always more important to do what is natural rather than trying to make the technique beautiful.) See photo 51:

功用:
Application:
我上式雖已挑去來手,但尚未採取反擊之法,且中路亦因高挑而感空虛,因此乃以補捶塡之,或彼因我高挑而迅即漏手自我中下路進擊,我即採用此具有連消代打之補捶以補上勢之不足,使來勢受遏阻與破反擊之虞也。
Although in the previous technique I carried away the opponent’s incoming hand, I have still not counterattacked. Having carried his hand high, I notice that there is now a gap in his middle area, therefore I fill the gap with a filling punch. Or perhaps he quickly slips his hand away from my carrying technique and attacks to my middle area or lower area, in which case I use the filling punch to deflect rather than strike, filling in for the insufficiency of the carrying technique instead of literally filling a gap, causing his incoming force to be so hindered that he switches his attention to worrying about getting counterattacked.

第五十二式 踢腿右滾膀
Posture 52: KICK, RIGHT ROLLING FOREARM

說明:
Explanation:
循上式,右拳向左下方收,而以右前脚直撩而起,如「上圖過渡式」,
Continuing from the previous posture, your right fist withdraws downward to the left as your right foot lifts up and does a raising kick. See photo 52a:

再落下踢起之脚,以成右入環步,右拳橫而在前,左拳壓於右腕之間推出,如『定式圖』。
Then your right foot comes down to make a right kneeling stance as your right fist goes forward with the fist sideways, your left fist pressing against the inside of your right wrist, both fists pushing out. See photo 52b:

功用:
Application:
我先撩腿以分其勢,使其注意於下,或因此而撤退,我即以滾膀法力推之。
I first do a raising kick to disrupt the opponent’s position by causing his attention to lower or causing him to retreat, and then I do a rolling-forearm technique to forcefully push him away.

第五十三式 引針右腰斬
Posture 53: DRAWING THE NEEDLE, RIGHT SLICING THROUGH THE WAIST

說明:
Explanation:
循上式,自東前方循左方走過後西方,以引針腰斬法斜掌撇出,與第八式相同,如『定式圖』。
Continuing from the previous posture, turn leftward from east to west, flinging out your palm diagonally, same as in Posture 8. See photo 53:

功用:
Application:
定式是與第八式相同,惟循上式以至此式定式之經過則大別,且與通常引針腰斬之組成亦異,由後轉前者一也,用走跳方式出之者二也,有此兩端便即其他引針腰斬所不同之明證矣,其迅速敏捷亦為其他所望塵莫及也。
The final position is the same as in Posture 8, but this posture has a different way of arriving in it. Both of these two versions of DRAWING THE NEEDLE, SLICING THROUGH THE WAIST are different from the usual rendition of the technique in two ways: Posture 53 involves turning around and Posture 8 involves hopping into place. These two aspects not only set them apart from the rest, but also cause them to be much faster and nimbler than usual.

第五十四式 雙刁右圈脚
Posture 54: DOUBLE HOOKS, RIGHT SWINGING KICK

說明:
Explanation:
循上式,雙脚原位往左一扭以成扭步之勢,雙手化作刁手往前向後一抅,如「上圖過渡式」,
Continuing from the previous posture, your feet stay where they are and pivot to the left to make a twisting stance as your hands go forward, becoming hooking hands, and pull to the rear [across to the right]. See photo 54a:

再直踢出後右脚以成,如『定式圖』。
Then your right foot kicks out. See photo 54b:

功用:
Application:
原勢不變而扭者是順勢,雙刁手是封閉來手,再以脚撩之。
With my posture staying in place but twisting to the left, I use double hooking hands to seal off the opponent’s incoming hand and then send out a raising kick.

第五十五式 跨虎左挑掌
Posture 55: SITTING-TIGER STANCE, LEFT CARRYING PALMS

說明:
Explanation:
循上式兩手不變,先將踢起之右脚落歸前面轉過後方,如「上圖過渡式」,
Continuing from the previous posture, with your hand position not changing, first your right foot comes down to the rear, passing in front of you. See photo 55a:

再循左轉身拉起左以成左跨虎步,兩手化掌分左前右後挑起,如『定圖』。
Then continuing the motion, your body turns around to the left, your left foot pulls back to make a left sitting-tiger stance, and your hands become palms and carry upward, left palm in front, right palm behind. See photo 55b:

功用:
Application:
當我轉身之時,彼欲向我頭上握我之髮,我即用挑掌法挑之。(此式亦為此拳之收式)
Once I turn around, the opponent tries to reach out toward my head to grab my hair, so I use a carrying-palms technique to carry away his hand. (This posture also serves as the closing posture for the whole set.)

– – –

[View an original Chinese edition of Plum Blossom Fists, provided by the Ravenswood Academy.]

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