KUNWU SWORD NEIGONG

昆吾劍之內功
KUNWU SWORD NEIGONG
姜容樵
by Jiang Rongqiao
[published Feb, 1930]

[translation by Paul Brennan, April, 2020]

劍學內功小言
A FEW WORDS ABOUT INTERNAL TRAINING FOR LEARNING THE SWORD ART

凡吾人所習之青萍劍。昆吾劍。謂之劍術可。謂之劍學亦可。然而皆外功也。是不可不以內功輔之。必內外兼修。而後劍學乃得以互相調劑。而益臻完美。以上二十七動作。有明亮於眼者。有開通耳竅者。有養氣助肺呼吸者。有益於五臟六腑及腦髓者。要皆內功之要旨。入學之階梯也。九式為劍學之基礎。亦即內功之進階。總之。於手足腰腿各部。有百益而無一害。學者循序以進。自有佳境。勿待編者喋喋也。
We can consider the practice of Qingping Sword and Kunwu Sword to be “sword arts” or “sword knowledge”, but it is in either case external training. Therefore it is necessary to engage in internal training [“nei gong”] to supplement it, for the internal and external must both be cultivated, and then your study of the sword will be properly enriched and fulfilled. The first twenty-seven movements brighten the eyes, open the ears, improve the breathing of the lungs, and benefit the vital organs and the brain. The purpose of the internal training is to provide a stairway into the learning of the sword art. The final nine postures are the basics in a study of the sword, and yet are still a phase of internal training. To your hands, feet, and hips, these exercises will bring countless benefits and not one harm. If you proceed according to the proper sequence, you will discover a beautiful experience for yourself and need not wait for me to tell you what to feel.

內功第一動作
Movement 1:

由立正姿式。將兩足分開。兩腿彎曲。身體下蹲。兩足作||字形之騎馬式。距離二尺五寸至三尺。亦要隨乎人之高矮。兩膝蓋彎曲。脊背要直。頸項亦要豎直。雙手插於兩脇。大拇指向背後。餘四指均置膀胱。兩肩下垂。下頦微向後收。丹田向後吸勁。提肛如忍糞狀。口宜緊閉。牙宜緊咬。舌尖抵上齶。再由鼻孔作平均呼吸。其法即一吸一呼。合算一度。再呼吸。又算一度。先吸氣。後呼氣。共計二十一度為止。其精妙處。在兩腿似彎不彎。兩膝有朝裏扣勁之意。兩足踵有朝外撇勁之意。初練時。不妨高點。迨至功夫純熟。愈矮愈好。動靜自然。渾淪一氣。雙目平視前方。其式如第一圖。
From a posture of standing at attention, your feet spread apart, your legs bend, and your body squats down, making a horse-riding stance with your feet parallel, your feet two and half to three feet apart, the height of the stance depending on what is natural for you. Your knees are bent, your back is straight, and your head is upright. Your hands hold your waist, your thumbs behind you, the rest of the fingers pointing toward your bladder, your shoulders hanging down. Your chin is slightly drawn back, your elixir field has an energy of being sucked in, and your tailbone is tucked in as though you are trying to keep yourself from defecating. Your mouth should be closed, teeth together, your tongue touching your upper palate. Breathe evenly through your nose, a full breath being an inhale and an exhale. You will inhale and then exhale for a total of twenty-one times and then rest. The subtlety of the exercise lies in the legs seeming to be bent but not bent, the knees having an energy of covering inward, and the heels having an energy of pressing outward. In the beginning of the training, you can squat rather tall, but as you become more skillful, the lower the better. The exercise should be natural and should involve the entire body working in unison. Your gaze is forward and level. See photo 1:

內功第二動作
Movement 2:

再將插於腰間之兩手。挪到肚臍上方。兩手心均朝上。兩手背朝下。五指分開。如同抓一圓皮球。兩胳膊彎曲。此為過渡法。其式如第二圖。
Then your hands shift to be over your navel, the palms facing upward, the backs of the hands facing downward, the fingers spread as through your hands are each holding a leather ball, your arms bent. This is a transitional posture. See photo 2:

內功第三動作
Movement 3:

承上式。似停不停時。再將兩手由腹部經過胸前。向上托舉。舉至下頦為止。再由下頦。向身體前方推出。雙手變為陰掌。兩拇指相對。手虎口要圓。拾指分開。兩手仍如抓著圓皮球。兩肱微曲。沉肩墜肘。手與肩平。兩腿弓曲。仍不動。丹田往後吸勁。提肛如忍糞狀。呼吸七度。雙目平視前方。其式如第三圖。
Continuing from the previous posture, seeming to pause but not pause, send your hands past your chest, propping up until at chin level, then pushing out forward, your hands turning over so that the palms are facing outward, the thumbs pointing toward each other. The tiger’s mouths are rounded, the fingers still spread as though your hands are each holding a leather ball, your arms slightly bent. Sink your shoulders and let your elbows hang down heavily, your hands at shoulder level. Your legs are bent, your stance still not changing. Your elixir field has an energy of being sucked in and your tailbone is tucked in as though you are trying to keep yourself from defecating. Breathe seven breaths. Your gaze is forward and level. See photo 3:

內功第四動作
Movement 4:

身體起立。兩足並齊。相距一尺。兩手收回。如同立正姿式。再將兩手掌由下向前向上撩伸。至身體前方時。變為手心朝上。如托物狀。托至與鼻端相對。手心朝裏。距離面部二三寸許。兩手均握半個拳式。(即手指甲之稍抵於手指第一節是也)大拇指亦微曲。兩手如捋物狀。由上往下墜勁。墜至下頦為止。兩拳相並。同兩足提踵。足尖觸地。於兩手往下捋墜時。再將腳踵落地。一面動作。一面呼吸。腳跟起落二十一次。兩胳膊伸托二十一次。呼吸亦是二十一次。雙目平視前方。其式如第四圖。
Your body rises to be standing, your feet coming together until they are only a foot apart, your hands withdrawing to be in the same position as when standing at attention. Then your palms extend forward from below and raise up, the palms turning to be facing upward once they are in front of you, as though they are holding up an object, raising until at nose height, whereupon the palms face inward and move in to be about a quarter of a foot away from your face, your hands now closing into half fists (meaning the fingertips are reaching to the joints of the fingers instead of going all the way to the middle of the palm), your thumbs slightly bending, as though your hands are pulling something in, and they heavily lower until at chin height, your fists together. At the same time [that your hands raise up], your heels lift up so that the balls of your feet are supporting you, and then as your hands pull in and down, your heels come back down. With one full movement, there is one full breath. Your heels rise and lower twenty-one times as your arms extend and pull back twenty-one times, and thus the exercise has twenty-one breaths. Your gaze is forward and level. See photo 4:

內功第五動作
Movement 5:

兩手由前方撤回。仍置於肚臍上方。兩手心朝上。與第二圖相同。
Your hands withdraw from in front of you to again be placed over your navel, the palms facing upward, the same position as in photo 2.

兩手再由胸部往上。自兩耳旁極力向上高舉。舉至極處。兩手心相對。身體仍極力下蹲。丹田往後吸勁。頭要頂勁。項要豎勁。雙目平視前方。此為過渡法。其式如第五圖。
Your hands then go upward, passing your chest, passing beside your ears, and reaching up as high as they can, the palms facing toward each other. Your body is again squatting down and your elixir field has an energy of being sucked in. Your head should be upright and your neck should be straight. Your gaze is forward and level. This is a transitional posture. See photo 5:

內功第六動作
Movement 6:

再將兩手由前方撤回。置於肚臍上方。手心朝上。如第二圖。
Then your hands withdraw in front of you, placed over your navel, the palms facing upward, the same as in photo 2.

再由胸部往上。自兩耳兩旁。向上高舉。舉至極處。兩手心相對。再往身體兩旁。緩緩落下。兩肘置於兩脇靠緊。兩手伸向兩旁。各與肘平。兩手心朝上。如同托兩杯水。拾指仍如抓圓皮球式。兩腿兩足均不動。丹田往後吸勁。頭要頂勁。項要豎勁。雙目平視前方。其式如第六圖。
Your hands again go upward, passing your chest and beside your ears, rising up as high as they can, the palms facing each other. Then your hands slowly lower to your sides, the elbows placed against your ribs, and your hands extend to your sides to be at elbow level, the palms facing upward, as though each hand is holding up a cup of water, but with the fingers spread apart as though each hand is holding a leather ball. Your legs and feet do not move. Your elixir field has an energy of being sucked in. Your head should be upright and your neck should be straight. Your gaze is forward and level. See photo 6:

內功第七動作
Movement 7:

兩足仍用馬步式。兩手由顱頂上方。緩緩落下。落至身體前方。手背朝上。手心朝下。拾指分開。大拇指相對。手虎口要圓。兩手如抓圓球式。與肩平。沉肩墜肘。肱微曲。呼吸七度。呼吸法仍如第一動作。再按照上式之動作。一般無二。重演一次。合共呼吸十四度。頭要頂勁。項要豎勁。丹田往後吸勁。雙目平視前方。其式如第七圖。
With your feet still in a horse-riding stance, your hands slowly lower from over your head until in front of you, the backs of the hands facing upward, the palms facing downward. The fingers are spread apart as though each hand is holding a leather ball, the thumbs pointing toward each other, the tiger’s mouths rounded, the hands at shoulder level. Sink your shoulders and let your elbows hang down heavily, your arms slightly bent. Breathe seven breaths, breathing in the same manner as in Movement 1. Then repeat the previous movement and then this movement again, making it a total of fourteen breaths in this posture. Your head should be upright and your neck should be straight. Your elixir field has an energy of being sucked in. Your gaze is forward and level. See photo 7 [which is simply a reuse of photo 3 and thus shows the palms facing forward rather than downward]:

內功第八動作
Movement 8:

兩足仍為||字形。距離二尺五六寸。與馬步相同。惟兩膝蓋蹬直。不可有彎。兩手掌由身體兩旁。往上高舉。至下頦手心翻而朝下。手背朝上。拾指相對。再一齊往下按勁。按至距離地一二寸為止。兩手與兩足尖並齊。兩胳膊朝下伸直。兩手虎口相對。距離二三寸。目注兩手。此為過渡法。其式如第八圖。
Remaining in a horse-riding stance with your feet parallel about two and half feet apart, your knees fully straighten as your palms rise up from the sides of your body until at chin level, whereupon the palms turn over to be facing downward, the backs of the hands facing upward, the fingers pointing toward each other. Then your hands push downward in unison until they are a couple inches away from the ground, your hands in line with your toes, your arms straightening, the tiger’s mouths facing each other, your hands about a quarter of a foot apart. Your gaze is toward your hands. This is a transitional posture. See photo 8:

內功第九動作
Movement 9:

承上式。兩手由貼地處。先由裏向外劃平圓圈。兩手各劃至左右足前握拳。再由身體兩旁。經過兩耳。向上高舉。舉至極處。同時身體隨起。兩拳心相對。仰面向天呼氣一口。兩足仍不動。兩腿仍為馬步式。頭向後仰。目視天空。其式如第九圖。
Continuing from the previous posture, your hands arc outward [and then back inward], staying the same distance from the ground, and become fists once they are in front of your feet. Then your body rises up as your fists pass along the sides of your body, then go past your ears, and rise up as high as they can, the centers of the fists facing each other, your head leaning back with an exhale toward the sky. Your feet do not move, your legs again making a horse-riding stance. Your head is leaned back, your gaze toward the sky. See photo 9:

內功第十動作
Movement 10:

承上式。再將兩胳膊落下。落至身體兩旁。兩肘緊靠兩脇。兩手再向身體兩旁外方伸出。兩手心均向上。拾指分開。如同托住圓皮球式。兩腿兩足均不動。兩肩下垂。含胸雙目平視前方。其式如第十圖。
Continuing from the previous posture, your arms lower to your sides, the elbows against your ribs, and your hands again extend outward, the palms facing upward, the fingers spread apart as though each hand is holding a leather ball. Your legs and feet do not move. Let your shoulders hang down and hollow your chest. Your gaze is forward and level. See photo 10:

內功第十一動作
Movement 11:

承上式。再將兩手落下。落至兩胯外方。手心朝裏。兩胳膊往下斜垂直。兩手仍如抓住圓皮球式。兩足不動。兩腿登直。兩胳膊兩腿及手足全身各部分一齊鬆著勁全身抖搜一次口張開用丹田力大聲咳嗽一聲雙目平視前方其式如第十一圖
Continuing from the previous posture, your hands lower to the outside of your hips, the palms facing inward, the arms hanging down diagonally, your hands still as though they are each holding a leather ball, your feet staying where they are, your legs straightening. Then your arms and legs, hands and feet, and every part of your body in unison loosens and gives a shake as you open your mouth and emit a loud coughing sound from your elixir field [i.e. projecting from your lower abdomen to increase the volume]. Your gaze is forward and level. See photo 11:

內功第十二動作
Movement 12:

兩足仍站馬步式||字形惟兩膝蓋登直不可有彎兩手掌由身體兩旁往上高舉至下頦兩手心翻而朝下手背朝上拾指相對。再一齊往下按勁。按至距地一二寸為止。兩手掌與兩足並齊。兩胳膊朝下伸直。兩手虎口相對。距離二三寸許。目注兩手。此為過渡法。參觀第八圖。
Remaining in a horse-riding stance with your feet parallel, your knees fully straighten as your palms rise up from the sides of your body until at chin level, whereupon the palms turn over to be facing downward, the backs of the hands facing upward, the fingers pointing toward each other. Then your hands push downward in unison until they are a couple inches away from the ground, your hands in line with your toes, your arms straightening, the tiger’s mouths facing each other, your hands about a quarter of a foot apart. Your gaze is toward your hands. This is a transitional posture. Review photo 8.

兩手由貼地處。先由裏往外劃平圓圈。再由外朝裏劃平圓圈。兩手各劃至左右足前。同時握拳。再由身體兩旁。經過兩耳。向上高舉。舉至極處。同時身體隨起。兩拳心相對。仰面向空呼吸一口。頭向後仰。目視天空。參觀第九圖。
Your hands arc outward and then back inward, staying the same distance from the ground, and become fists once they are in front of your feet. Then your body rises up as your fists pass along the sides of your body, then go past your ears, and rise up as high as they can, the centers of the fists facing each other, your head leaning back with an exhale toward the sky. With your head leaned back, your gaze is also toward the sky. Review photo 9.

再將兩胳膊落下。落至身體兩旁。兩肘緊靠兩脇。兩手再向身體外方兩旁伸出。兩手心均朝上。拾指分開。如同托住圓皮球式。兩腿兩足均不動。扣肩含胸。吸氣一口。參觀第十圖。
Then your arms lower to your sides, the elbows against your ribs, and your hands again extend outward, the palms facing upward, the fingers spread apart as though each hand is holding a leather ball. Inhale during this action. Your legs and feet do not move. Let your shoulders shrug and hollow your chest. Review photo 10.

再由第八動作。照樣至第十動作。一般無二。重迭練習。二十一次。呼吸亦二十一次。練完起立。兩足距離一尺。成||字形。兩手握拳。兩肩下垂。含胸。頭要頂勁。項要豎勁。雙目平視前方。其式如第十二圖。
The three actions above are the same as in Movements 8–10. Perform this series of actions a total of twenty-one times, making twenty-one breaths [inhaling with Movements 10 and 8, exhaling with Movement 9]. When you finish, bring your feet in to stand parallel about a foot apart, your hands grasping into fists. Let your shoulders hang down and hollow your chest. Your head should be upright and your neck should be straight. Your gaze is forward and level. See photo 12:

內功第十三四動作
Movements 13 & 14:

兩足兩腿均不動。兩手仍下垂。頭向正面。兩臂由下垂姿式。自兩腿兩旁。由下向前向上平伸。兩手背朝上。兩手心朝下。沉肩墜肘。兩手與肩平齊。如第十三圖。
With your feet and legs not moving, your head facing forward, your arms extend forward and upward from beside your thighs, the backs of the hands facing upward, the palms facing downward, your shoulders sinking, your elbows hanging down heavily, your hands at shoulder level. See photo 13:

然後重行落至兩腿原處。再將兩手。仍如前由下向前向上平伸。離身約一尺時。變為手心朝上。如托物然。托至頭部上方。兩旁。手心朝裏。兩手握拳。如同抓住重物。由上往下墜勁。墜至兩耳兩旁為止。同時呼氣一口。兩足提踵。腳尖觸地。於兩手往下捋墜時。再將兩足踵落地。練習一次。呼氣一次。共計十四次。呼氣亦十四次。此方向並不變動。照像因正面不宜。故用一側一正。其實皆在正面。雙目平視前方。其式如第十三圖。及第十四圖。
Your hands lower, returning to their place at your thighs, then extend forward again until about a foot away from your body, the palms turned over to be facing upward as though holding up an object, and prop up until at the sides of your head, the palms facing inward, your heels lifting so that the balls of the feet are supporting you. Your hands then become fists and lower as though pulling on a heavy object until beside your ears. At the same time, you exhale and your heels come back down. Perform this movement a total of twenty-four times, one full breath each time, thus also making a total of twenty-four breaths. (Movements 13 and 14 actually face the same direction, but because Movement 13 would not be clear if shown from the front, the photo for it shows a view from the side.) Your gaze is forward and level. See photo 14:

內功第十五六動作
Movements 15 & 16:

兩足兩腿均不動。兩拳變掌。高舉頭部上方。兩手心朝外。兩臂互相交叉。成剪子股式。再向兩邊抽回數寸。至天庭止。拾指分開、兩拇指相抵。如第十五圖。
With your feet and legs not moving, your fists become palms and raise over your head, the palms facing outward, the forearms crossing to look like scissors. Then your hands pull apart a few inches until in front of the middle of your forehead with the fingers spread apart and the thumbs bracing against each other. See photo 15:

在似停未停時。兩掌變拳。如同抓住重物。往下墜勁。墜至兩手距離兩耳二三寸時停住。兩手背均朝外。同時呼氣一口。兩足提踵。足尖觸地。兩手往下墜勁時。再將兩足踵落地。動作七次。足踵起落七次。呼吸亦七次。雙目平視。前方其式如第十五圖。及第十六圖。
Seeming to pause but not pause, [your hands lower, then extend forward again about a foot away from your body, the palms facing upward as though holding up an object, and prop up until at the sides of your head,] your heels lifting so that the balls of the feet are supporting you. Your hands then become fists again and lower as though pulling on a heavy object until about a quarter of a foot away from your ears, the backs of the hands facing outward. At the same time, you exhale and your heels come back down. Perform this movement seven times, your heels lowering seven times, making seven full breaths. Your gaze is forward and level. See photo 16:

內功第十七八動作
Movements 17 & 18:

兩手由握拳式。鬆開。變掌。仍極力下垂。同時頭部向左肩扭轉。轉至極處。下頦與左肩接近。向外呼氣一口。雙目亦隨向左方平視。
Your fists open to become palms and hang down as far as they can. Your head then turns to the left as far as it can, your chin nearing your left shoulder, as you exhale. Your gaze is to the left and level. See photo 17:

似停未停。頭部再向右肩扭轉。轉至極處。下頦與右肩接近。亦向外呼氣一口。雙目隨向右方平視。
Seeming to pause but not pause, your head then turns to the right as far as it can, your chin nearing your right shoulder, as you exhale. Your gaze is to the right and level. See photo 18:

如此左右互轉。二十次。呼氣亦二十次。混混沌沌。閉口蓄氣。用意送達丹田。頭要頂勁。項要豎勁。其式如第十七圖。及第十八圖。
Go back and forth in this way for a total of twenty times, making twenty breaths, returning to a primordial state of being. Keep your mouth closed and store energy, using intention to send it to your elixir field. Your head should be upright and your neck should be straight.

內功第十九動作
Movement 19:

開步成斜||字步。距離二尺七八寸。先將右手掌心朝上平托。托至腹部。接近右乳。左手掌心朝上平托。托至腹部。再向身體前方上方平起。起至左肘靠左乳微停。同時右手掌。由左肘彎上方。向身體左方推出。推至極點。與左足上下相對。右手與右肩平。肘下垂。左手由身體前方。朝下按勁。自左胯往後。向上停於距臀部一尺餘。手心朝上。與左肩成斜坡形。頭由左隨向後轉。轉至面向後方。為止。兩腿似弓不弓。似直不直。在未停時。呼氣一口。雙目平視後方。其式如第十九圖。
Step out so that your feet are standing on diagonal parallel lines [i.e. in a left bow stance] about two and three-quarters feet apart. Your hands prop up, your right hand in front of the right side of your chest, your left hand in front of the left side of your chest, the palms facing upward, and slightly pause. [Inhale during this action.] Then your right palm pushes out to the left over your left arm, reaching as far as it can, aligning vertically with your left foot, the hand at shoulder level, the elbow hanging down, your left hand pushing down, passing your left hip, and going behind you and upward, finishing more than a foot away from your buttocks, the palm facing upward, the hand making a diagonally line with your left shoulder, as your torso turns to the left, your head facing to the rear. Exhale during this action. Your legs seem to be bent but not bent, straight but not straight. Your gaze is to the rear and level. See photo 19:

內功第二十動作
Movement 20:

再將右手抽回。右肘置於右乳前方。距離二寸餘。右臂向身體前方伸出。右手掌心朝上。左手掌亦同時隨身抽回。置於左乳。同時身體面目。轉回正面。再將左手。自右胳膊肘彎上端。朝右方推出。推至極點。與右足上下相對。左手掌。與左肩平齊。肘下垂。右手由身體前方。朝下按勁。自右胯往後向上。停於距臀部尺餘。手心朝上。與右肩成斜坡形。右足左掌成拗步。頭自右隨向後轉。轉至面向後方為止。兩腿似弓不弓。似直不直。同時呼氣一口。如此連十九動作。更換練習。左右二十次。呼氣亦二十次。雙目平視後方。其式如第二十圖。
Then your right hand withdraws to be placed about a quarter of a foot in front of the right side of your chest your left hand withdrawing to be placed at the left side of your chest, the palms facing upward, as your body turns so that you are again facing forward. [Inhale during this action.] Then your left palm pushes out to the right over your right arm, reaching as far as it can, aligning vertically with your right foot, the hand at shoulder level, the elbow hanging down, your right hand pushing down, passing your right hip, and going behind you and upward, finishing more than a foot away from your buttocks, the palm facing upward, the hand making a diagonally line with your right shoulder. With your right foot and left palm forward, you are making a crossed stance, as your torso turns to the right, your head facing to the rear. Exhale during this action. Your legs seem to be bent but not bent, straight but not straight. It is the same as Movement 19, except on the other side. Go back and forth to perform the movement a total of twenty times, making a total of twenty breaths. Your gaze is to the rear and level. See photo 20:

內功第二十一動作
Movement 21:

兩足改為正||字馬步。距離約二尺五六寸。兩手握拳。兩胳膊由兩耳旁向上高舉。舉至極處。兩拳相對。距離一尺五六寸。再將兩拳往下直落。落至距地二三寸。伏下身子。隨身體向左方雲去。雲至右足接近時。離地上起。右手較遠一點。再向右足上方。身體前方雲起。兩手雲至頭部上方。兩胳膊極力朝後扳勁。頭部腰部亦極力朝後扳勁。其狀如折軟腰。再由後方。雲至左肩外方。適成圍繞週身一匝。左拳心朝上。左胳膊如半月形。向左伸去。沉肩墜肘。左拳高於左肩約二寸。右拳置於右額上方。約七八寸。身體向左傾側。此為過渡法。
Your feet adjust to stand parallel in a horse-riding stance just over two and a half feet apart, your hands grasping into fists. Your fists rise up, passing your ears, and go as high as they can, the centers of the fists facing each other just over a foot and a half apart, and then lower until they are about a quarter of a foot away from the ground, your body bending over. Then your fists go along with your body by swaying to the right, and once they are near your right foot, they rise up, your left fist slightly higher, your body also rising up, until your fists are above your head, your arms, head, and torso reaching behind you as far as they can. It looks as though your back is breaking. Your fists then sway to the outside of your left shoulder, the center of your left fist facing upward, your left arm extending to the left with a bend in it like a crescent moon. Sink your shoulders and let your elbows hang down heavily, your left fist a couple inches higher than your left shoulder, your right fist placed about three quarters of a foot above the right side of your forehead, your body leaning to the left. This is a transitional posture. Your gaze is toward your left fist. See photo 21:

再由此式往下按勁。兩拳落至距左足二三寸許。伏下身子。照樣向右方雲去。如此向左邊雲回十次。目注左手。其式如第二十一圖。
Your fists then lower until they are about a quarter of a foot away from your left foot, your body bending over, your fists now having made a complete circle all the way around you. Then continue to sway to the right, going into another circle. Make ten of these counterclockwise circles.

內功第二十二動作
Movement 22:

承上式。似停未停時。兩拳向左後方扳勁。頭腰亦向後扳勁。如折軟腰狀。兩拳由身後向右肩雲去。雲至右肩前方。往下按勁。按至兩拳與右足接近。身子伏下。再由身體前面。向左足上方雲去。雲至左足上端外方。往上搞起。起至與肩平時。再將兩拳向身後扳勁。頭與腰亦向後扳勁。仍如折腰狀。兩拳再由身後向右肩雲去。雲至右肩停住。仍為圍繞週身一匝。身體向右傾側。右手向右邊伸出。高於右肩二三寸。拳心向上。與面部相對。肱微曲。左拳置於頭部上方。距顱頂七八寸。與右手亦相對。
Continuing from the previous posture, seeming to pause but not pause, your fists now sway to the left, up, and reach behind you, together with your head and torso, and again it looks as though your back is breaking. Your fists then sway to the outside of your right shoulder, your body leaning to the right, your right fist extending to the right about a quarter of a foot higher than your right shoulder, the center of the fist facing upward in line with your face, the arm slightly bent, your left fist placed about three quarters of a foot above your head, the centers of the fists facing each other. Your gaze is toward your right fist. See photo 22:

如此照樣。向右邊雲回十次。連上式係左右互雲。其二十次。練習時。腰腿隨動。身子愈矮愈好目注右拳。其式如第二十二圖。
Your fists then lower toward your right foot, your body bending over, your fists now having made a complete circle all the way around you. Then continue to sway to the left, going into another circle. Make ten of these clockwise circles. Added to the previous movement, you make twenty circles altogether. When practicing this exercise, your waist and legs have to go along with the movement, allowing your body to bend that much lower [both forward and back].

內功第二十三動作
Movement 23:

先就上式。馬𨀵。兩足不動。兩腿弓曲。再將兩手掌。提至臍部。兩手心均朝上。右手先往身體前面下方平托伸去。伸至極處。同時左手亦向身體前面下方平托伸去。伸至極處。右手即變為陰掌。手心朝下。往上高起一尺。撤回至右乳部。
Continuing from the previous posture, with your feet staying where they are in a horse-riding stance, your legs bent, your hands lift up until over your navel, both palms facing upward, and extend level in front of you as though propping up from below. Then your right hand turns over so the palm is facing downward, rising up about a foot, and withdraws toward the right side of your chest. See photo 23:

再變陽掌。仍向前面下方平托伸去。左手即由前面變為陰掌。手心朝下。往上高起一尺。撤至左乳部。其時右手又變為陽手。
Then your right hand turns over so the palm is facing upward, again extending level in front of you, propping up from below, as your left hand turns over so the palm is facing downward, rising up about a foot, and withdraws toward the left side of your chest [which can be shown by reversing photo 23].

兩手一來一往。左陰右陽。右陰左陽。循還來往二十次。兩手如同搏一大皮球式。停住時。左右均可。如在左胳膊停止。即將右手陰掌。退至右肩前面上方。左手陽掌。適伸至面前極處。沉肩墜肘。兩掌陰陽相對。練習時。腿部、腰部、身體。隨著兩手自然轉動。循還不已。手足肘胯合成一氣。目注前方。其式如第二十三圖。
Your hands go back and forth, your right palm facing downward while your left palm is facing upward, then your left palm facing downward while your right palm is facing upward, for a total of twenty times, your hands as though they are rolling a large leather ball over. To finish, whichever hand is extended forward with its palm facing upward stays there and the other goes forward beside it. While performing this exercise, your palms are facing toward each other. Sink your shoulders and let your elbows hang down heavily. Your legs, waist, and torso all go along with the continuous circular movement of your hands so that your hands, legs, elbows, and hips are all working in unison. Your gaze is forward.

內功第二十四動作
Movement 24:

兩足仍為矮𨀵馬步。左手先極力向身體右邊伸去。伸至極點。手心朝上。右手再由左手脈窩上方。穿出。穿至極點。右手朝外擰勁。擰至手背朝下。大拇指朝後。手心朝上。右胳膊斜伸直。微向上。左胳膊向面前撤退。身體極力下伏。頭部及右耳。距右膝蓋約三四寸。左手陽掌手心與右耳相對。右腿彎曲。左腿伸直。成單邊式。此乃過渡法。雙目扭視左足。其式如第二十四圖。
Your legs go into a low horse-riding stance as your left hand reaches to the right as far as it can, the arm pulled back in front of your face, the palm facing upward, and your right hand threads out as far as it can from over your left wrist, the arm extending diagonally upward, the hand twisting outward so that the palm is facing upward, the back of the hand facing downward, the thumb pointing to the rear. At the same time, your body is crouching down as far as it can so that your right ear is placed a few inches away from your right knee, or about a foot away from the ground, your left palm facing toward your right ear. Your right leg is bent, left leg straight, making a “single-side” stance. This is a transitional posture. Your gaze is turned toward your left foot. See photo 24:

內功第二十五動作
Movement 25:

承上式。似停未停時。兩足微向左擰勁。左腿曲膝。右腿登直。成斜||字。前弓後箭步。身體隨起。向左方傾側。同時左手由胸前。直向身體左方。平著伸去。左手高於左肩。左肘下垂。左手心朝上。右手亦極力向後方伸去。右手低於右肩。右手心亦朝上。兩胳膊往兩處掙勁。前後成一斜直線。以上兩式。合成一動作。左右更翻練習。各十次。頭要頂勁。項要豎勁。目注左手。其式如第二十五圖。
Continuing from the previous posture, seeming to pause but not pause, your feet slightly pivot to the left, your left leg bending, your right leg straightening, making a stance of front leg a bow, rear leg an arrow, your feet making diagonal parallel lines, your body rising up and leaning to the left. At the same time, your left hand extends to the left from your chest, going higher than your left shoulder, your left elbow hanging down, the palm facing upward, as your right hand extends behind you as far as it can, going lower than your right shoulder, the palm also facing upward, your arms stretching in both directions to make a diagonal line. This and the previous posture combine to form a single movement. Alternating left and right, you will perform this action ten times on each side. Your head should be upright and your neck should be straight. Your gaze is toward your left hand. See photo 25:

內功第二十六動作
Movement 26:

兩足仍歸矮𨀵馬步。右手先極力向身體左邊伸去。伸至極點。手心朝上。左手再由右手脈窩上方穿出。穿至極點。左手極力往外擰勁。擰至手心朝上。大拇指朝後。手背朝下。左胳膊斜伸。右胳膊向面前撤退。身體極力下伏。頭部及左耳。距地約一尺。右手陽掌。右手心與左耳相對。左腿彎曲。右腿伸直。成單邊式。此乃過渡法。雙目扭視右足。其式如第二十六圖。
Your legs again go into a low horse-riding stance as your right hand reaches to the left as far as it can, the arm pulled back in front of your face, the palm facing upward, and your right hand threads out as far as it can from over your left wrist, the arm extending diagonally upward, the hand twisting outward so that the palm is facing upward, the back of the hand facing downward, the thumb pointing to the rear. At the same time, your body is crouching down as far as it can so that your left ear is placed a few inches away from your left knee, or about a foot away from the ground, your right palm facing toward your left ear. Your left leg is bent, right leg straight, making a “single-side” stance. This is a transitional posture. Your gaze is turned toward your right foot. See photo 26:

內功第二十七動作
Movement 27:

承上式。兩足微向右擰勁。右腿曲膝。左腿登直。成斜||字前弓後箭步。身體隨起。向右方傾側。同時右手由胸前直向身體右方伸去。右手高於右膚。右肘下垂。右手心朝上。左手亦極力向後方伸去。左手低於左肩。左手心亦朝上。兩胳膊往兩處掙勁。前後成一斜直線。以上二十六。二十七兩式。合成一動作。與二十四。二十五兩式。更翻練習。左右共二十次。頭要頂勁。項要豎勁。目注右手。其式如第二十七圖。
Continuing from the previous posture, your feet slightly pivot to the right, your right leg bending, your left leg straightening, making a stance of front leg a bow, rear leg an arrow, your feet making diagonal parallel lines, your body rising up and leaning to the right. At the same time, your right hand extends to the right from your chest, going higher than your right shoulder, your right elbow hanging down, the palm facing upward, as your left hand extends behind you as far as it can, going lower than your left shoulder, the palm also facing upward, your arms stretching in both directions to make a diagonal line. This and the previous posture combine to form a single movement, just like Movements 24 and 25. Alternating left and right, perform this action for a total of twenty times altogether. Your head should be upright and your neck should be straight. Your gaze is toward your right hand. See photo 27:

劍術之基礎
FUNDAMENTALS OF THE SWORD ART

余曩客寧。主任某處。屢奉李芳辰先生召。欲授以劍術。旋以戰事未果。後余辭職之滬。適先生亦居滬。因得朝夕過從。獲益良多。時滬上諸友。經余介紹。亦皆從先生遊。於是先生之武當對劍。傳遍海上矣。余旋因事未卒業。去而之津。迨先生二次來滬。復蒙指授。練劍之基礎。如練習手腕法。側足立足跑步法。抖劍法。皆有至高至妙之理法在。余練習一載。自覺手腕靈活。剛柔咸宜。步法敏捷。變化多端。較二十年前所習。殆強十倍。真有茅塞頓開。一旦豁然景象。先生謂用劍全在手腕與足步身腰。故須先由此入手。洵為至理名言。以下各式。皆芳辰先生所授。幸勿滑口讀過。
While I was teaching in Nanjing, I repeatedly invited Li Fangchen [Jinglin] to give instruction in his sword art, but war [the Northern Expedition] prevented him from doing so. Later I came to Shanghai and Li happened to be here too. We quickly became friends and I have benefited greatly from our association. Most of the colleagues I have made here have learned from him, indicating how widely his Wudang two-person sword set has spread throughout Shanghai.
  I did not have the chance to learn that set because Li had to go to Tianjin, but when he came back to Shanghai, I instead got to receive instruction in a series of basic exercises for learning the sword art, including training the wrists, running on the edges of the feet, running tiptoe, shaking the sword, and so on, all of which are ingenious training methods. After practicing these exercises for a year, I found that my wrists were more flexible, capable of both hardness and softness, and that my footwork was more agile and adaptable. These exercises made me much stronger than everything I had been practicing for the previous twenty years. It was a true awakening to me. Li said to me: “Wielding the sword depends entirely on the wrist, step, and waist. Therefore these are the things to start with.” Wise words indeed. The movements below were all taught to me by Li Jinglin. I hope you will not just skim through them.

內功第二十八動作 手腕練習法
Movement 28: TRAINING THE WRISTS

每日先將內功二十七式練完。再由此順序練習。兩足先由場中。隨意走動。同時再將兩手腕。上下大仰大合。朝上仰。仰到極點。朝下合。亦盡力甩到極點。兩手均為陰掌。手心朝下。兩足順圓圈轉走。兩手亦同時上下甩動。初練習一二百度。暫可休息。迨有進步再行增加。此為雙手同時練法。若單手練法。左手仰握右手腕部。右手仍為陰掌。手心朝下。盡力甩動右手。至右腕微有疼痛。再換左手。亦將右手仰握左手腕部。左手亦為陰掌。手心朝下。再盡力甩動左手。亦至左腕疼痛為止。附右腕練習法。其式如第二十八圖。
Every day, first practice the twenty-seven movements above, then move on to these exercises. While stepping around the practice space, flex your wrists up and down, bringing your hands all the way back in each case. With your hands positioned so that the palms remain facing downward [as opposed to rotating the forearms for the palms to be facing upward], your feet walk around in circles as your hands bend upward and downward as far as they can. In the beginning, do this a hundred times or so, and then rest. As you progress, increase the number. This is the method of training both hands at the same time. To train one hand at a time, your left hand grabs your right wrist, your right palm still positioned to be facing downward, and do the movement with your right hand until the wrist is tired. Then switch to practicing with the left hand, your right hand grabbing your left wrist, your left palm still positioned to be facing downward, and do the movement with your left hand until the wrist is tired. Then work the right wrist again, and so forth. See photo 28:

內功第二十九動作 側足跑步法
Movement 29: RUNNING ON THE EDGES OF THE FEET

用兩腳外掌側面著地。使腳心朝裏。兩足拇指均朝上。兩腳心相對。距離約一尺。兩腿弓曲。身體下蹲。頭往上頂。勁項往上豎勁。丹田抱勁。兩手插腰。兩拇指向後。餘指均置兩胯前。兩肩下垂。兩肘往前扣勁。順著圓圈外邊一條線跑去。初練時數十圈。即休息。迨至工夫純熟。逐漸增至數百圈。其式如第二十九圖。
Go up onto the edges of your feet, causing the soles of the feet to be facing inward, the big toes to be pointing upward. With the soles of your feet facing each other about a foot part, your legs bend, your body squatting. Your head should be upright and your neck should be straight. Your elixir field has an energy of embracing. Your hands are holding your waist, the thumbs behind, the rest of the fingers placed at the front of your hips. Your shoulders are hanging down, your elbows slightly closing forward. In this position, run around in a circle. In the beginning, do a few dozen circles, then rest. As you become more skillful at this, you will gradually be able to do it for hundreds of circles. See photo 29:

內功第三十動作 足趾跑步法
Movement 30: RUNNING TIPTOE

兩足距離仍約一尺。用兩足尖著地。兩足踵與掌心。均高高提起。兩腿彎曲。兩手插於腰間。兩手大拇指。均朝後。兩手餘指。置於兩胯前。頭要頂勁。項要豎勁。丹田抱勁。兩肩下垂。兩肘往前扣勁。順著圓圈外邊。一條線跑去。初練時數十圈即休息。迨至工夫純熟。逐漸增至數百圈。以上兩式。均為練習步法。最妙之訣。其式如第三十圖。
With your feet about a foot apart, your heels rise up high so that you are supported on the balls of the feet, your legs bent. Your hands are holding your waist, the thumbs behind, the rest of the fingers placed at the front of your hips. Your head should be upright and your neck should be straight. Your elixir field has an energy of embracing. Your shoulders are hanging down, your elbows slightly closing forward. In this position, run around in a circle. In the beginning, do a few dozen circles, then rest. As you become more skillful at this, you will gradually be able to do it for hundreds of circles. This and the previous movement are both superb exercises for enhancing footwork. See photo 30:

內功第三十一動作 劄腳步
Movement 31: POKING STEPS

此式較上式為易習。而效力尤大。兩手插於腰間。兩肩下垂。兩肘往前扣勁。頭要頂勁。項要豎勁。丹田往後吸勁。左足著地。右足提起。落地之左足掌心。與足踵。均提起。用足尖貼地。猛向上提起。原來提起之右足。遂即落地。搶佔左足之地位。仍用足尖貼地。如此兩足互提。互落。由數十次。至數百次。始終一足尖著地。一足懸起。懸起之足。足尖下垂。腳面扣勁。其式如第三十一圖。
Compared to the previous exercise, this one is easier to practice, but is even more effective. Your hands are holding your waist. Your shoulders are hanging down, your elbows slightly closing forward. Your head should be upright and your neck should be straight. Your elixir field has an energy of being sucked in. With your left foot on the ground, your right foot lifts up, your left foot still supporting you on the ball of the foot, the heel raised. Your left foot suddenly lifts up as your right foot comes down where your left foot was, likewise coming down onto the ball of the foot. Perform in this way, your feet switching places, one lifting as the other comes down, dozens or hundreds of times. The toes of the lifted foot are pointing downward, the top of the foot stretching. See photo 31:

內功第三十二動作 子午活動步
Movement 32: LIVELY STEPS IN A POINTER STANCE

先用左足斜橫落實。左腿極力彎曲。身體下蹲。重點移於左腿。右足前伸。成順步。距左足一尺餘。足尖微觸地。不用力。足踵提起。兩手插於腰間。兩拇指向後。餘指均置兩胯前。兩肩下垂。兩肘往前扣勁。頭要頂勁。項要豎勁。預備整齊後。右足迅即抽回。與左足竝齊。仍為足尖觸地。似停未停時。復又邁去。如此更翻進退。抽回。邁出。由數十次。至數百次。再換右足落實。一切姿式。仍如左足一樣動作。抽回邁出之足。愈快愈好。其式如第三十二圖。
With your left foot flat on the ground and pointing outward diagonally, your left leg strongly bends, your body squatting down, the weight fully on your left leg, your right leg extended forward, making a “straight stance”. Your right foot is just over a foot away from your left foot, the toes gently touching down, the heel raised. Your hands are holding your waist, the thumbs behind, the rest of the fingers placed at the front of your hips. Your shoulders are hanging down, your elbows slightly closing forward. Your head should be upright and your neck should be straight. Once you are settled into this position, your right foot swiftly pulls back next to your left foot, and then with barely a pause, your left foot steps out, also touching down with the toes. With your right foot now placed in the same way as your left foot was, the foot flat on the ground [and pointing outward diagonally], your left foot pulls back and then your right foot steps out, the quicker the better. Perform in this way, your feet alternately advancing and retreating, one pulling back as the other steps out, dozens or hundreds of times. See photo 32:

內功第三十三動作 抖劍法一
Movement 33: SHAKING SWORD – Part 1

兩足隨意走動。或順著圓圈外邊。一條線走去。邊走邊以劍刃橫平。向左右兩方抖去。盡右胳膊之長短完全發出。由肩窩吐勁。直貫劍鋒。使其變成無數劍鋒。如腕口然。與擰長槍。使槍鋒彈動同一理法。以左手為助勁。先右後左。忽上忽下。抖至胳膊酸痛為止。今先記右邊一式。右足先進一步。左足跟進一步。兩足竝齊。左足踵提起。成鷄步。重點移於右腿。右手劍陽手。極力向身體右方抖去。沉肩墜肘。頭頂項豎。丹田抱勁。劍鋒微高。右手心朝上。劍刃橫平。左手訣附於右臂。目注劍鋒。其式如第三十三圖。
Stepping either with curving steps or along a straight line, and holding the sword with the edges facing to the sides, go to the left and right with a shaking action, your right arm fully extended, power going from your shoulder to the sword tip, making it blur as if there are many tips, your wrist using the same twist as when causing a spear tip to have a snapping motion. With your left hand assisting the power, go to the right, then to the left, sometimes higher, sometimes lower, shaking the sword until your arm is tired. Begin with the right side. Your right foot advances a step and your left foot follows it so that your feet are standing together, your left heel lifted, making a “chicken step”, the weight on your right leg. At the same time, your right hand forcefully sends the sword from left to right with a shake. Sink your shoulders and let your elbows hang down heavily. Your head is upright, your neck straight. Your elixir field has an energy of embracing. The sword tip is slightly raised, the center of your right hand facing upward, the sword edges facing to the sides. Your left hand’s swordsman’s hex is assisting at your right forearm. Your gaze is toward the sword tip. See photo 33:

內功第三十四動作 抖劍法二
Movement 34: SHAKING SWORD – Part 2

再開左足一步。右足跟進。兩足竝齊。右足踵提起。成鷄步。身體重點。移於左腿。同時右手劍。由身體右方。向身體左方。極力抖去。使劍鋒彈動。變成無數劍鋒。沉肩墜肘。劍鋒微高。右手心朝上。劍刃橫平。頭頂項豎。丹田抱勁。左手訣附於右臂。目注劍鋒。如此更翻迭進。或上或下。抖至胳膊酸痛為止。其式如第三十四圖。
Then your left foot advances a step and your right foot follows it so that your feet are standing together, your right heel lifted, making a “chicken step”, the weight now on your left leg. At the same time, your right hand forcefully sends the sword from right to left with a shake, causing the tip to have snapping motion, making it blur as if there are many tips. Sink your shoulders and let your elbows hang down heavily. The sword tip is slightly raised, the center of your right hand facing upward, the sword edges facing to the sides. Your head is upright, your neck straight. Your elixir field has an energy of embracing. Your swordsman’s hex is assisting at your right forearm. Your gaze is toward the sword tip. Repeat the movements on both sides, sometimes higher, sometimes lower, continuously advancing and shaking the sword until your arm is tired. See photo 34:

內功第三十五動作 雲劍法一
Movement 35: CLOUDING SWORD – Part 1

雲劍法。由無極而生。實太極也。此係順直線走法。多為弓箭步。而不用力。今記左式。左足先開一大步。左腿曲膝。右腿登直。兩足距離二尺五六寸。同時右手劍。朝裏裹勁。向左方雲去。雲至右手背。與左足上下相對。手心朝上。劍刃橫平。劍鐓水平。左手訣。附於右臂。目注劍鋒。其式如第三十五圖。
The clouding sword method is a matter of taiji [representing a state of movement] emerging from wuji [representing a state of stillness]. It involves stepping in a straight line with bow & arrow stances and without any undue exertion. Start with the left side. Your left foot takes a large step forward and the leg bends, your right leg straightening, your feet just over two and a half feet apart, as your right hand wraps inward with the sword, clouding across to the left until the back of your right hand is over your left foot. The center of the hand is facing upward, the sword edges facing to the sides, the sword pommel held level with the tip, [the sword tip angled outward – i.e. to the right,] your swordsman’s hex assisting at your right forearm. [The sword tip, your left shoulder, and your left foot are making a triangle shape.] Your gaze is toward the sword tip. See photo 35:

內功第三十六動作 雲劍法二
Movement 36: CLOUDING SWORD – Part 2

右足再直向前開一步。右腿曲膝。左腿登直。成前弓後箭步。右手劍往外擰勁。擰至手背朝上。向右方雲去。雲至右手心與右足上下相對。劍刃橫平。劍鋒朝裏鈎勁。與右肩右足成三角形。左手訣附於右臂。如此更翻迭進。上下左右。綿綿不斷。亦步亦趨。手動足亦動。意動劍亦動。凝神歛氣。目注劍鋒。其式如第三十六圖。
Your right foot takes a large step forward and the leg bends, your left leg straightening, making a stance of front leg a bow, rear leg an arrow, as your right hand twists outward with the sword, clouding across to the right until the center of your right hand is over your right foot. The back of the hand is facing upward, the sword edges facing to the sides, [the sword pommel held level with the tip,] the sword tip angled inward [i.e. to the left], your swordsman’s hex assisting at your right forearm. The sword tip, your right shoulder, and your right foot are making a triangle shape. Repeat the movements on both sides, sometimes higher, sometimes lower, continuously advancing in this constant pattern. When your hand moves, your foot also moves. When your intention moves, the sword also moves. Concentrate spirit and gather energy. Your gaze is toward the sword tip. See photo 36:

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