TAIJI BOXING ACCORDING TO DONG YINGJIE

太極拳釋義
TAIJI BOXING EXPLAINED
董英傑
by Dong Yingjie
[published in Hong Kong, Aug, 1948 (revised Oct, 1950)]

[translation by Paul Brennan, July, 2022]

董英傑《太極拳釋義》(1948) - cover

河北董英傑先生著
by Dong Yingjie of Hebei:
太極拳釋義
Taiji Boxing Explained
玄玄子署
– calligraphy by Xuanxuanzi

太極拳釋義目錄
CONTENTS

序文十篇
Prefaces
祖師觀雀蛇鬥智圖
A Painting of the Founder Watching a Fight Between a Sparrow and a Snake
著者像
Photo of the Author
同學合照
Group Portraits
著者手書
Author’s Calligraphy
著者事略
A Brief Bio of the Author
太極拳系統表
Lineage of Taiji Masters
太極圖表
Taiji Diagrams
凡例
About This Book
太極拳源流
Taiji Boxing History:
 太極拳源流論
 On the Origins of Taiji Boxing
 宋氏太極拳源流支派論
 Discussion of the Origins & Branches of the Song Family Transmission of the Taiji Boxing
拳論詳解
Commentary to the Taiji Classics:
 王宗岳太極拳論詳解
 The Taiji Boxing Treatise of Wang Zongyue
 王宗岳行功論詳解
 Wang Zongyue’s Treatise on How to Practice
 行功口訣詳解
 Secrets of How to Practice
歌訣論解
Taiji Boxing Poetry:
 十三勢歌
 Thirteen Dynamics Song
 八字歌
 Song of the Eight Techniques
 心會歌
 On Mentally Understanding
 功用歌
 Song of Function
 打手歌
 Playing Hands Song
 四性歸元歌
 Song of the Four Natures Returning to One
 周身大用論
 On Fully Using the Body
 關要論
 The Sixteen Key Points
 八門五部
 The Eight Gates & Five Steps
 八門五部用功法
 On the Training Method for the Eight Gates & Five Steps
 固有分明法
 Our Innate Ability to Distinguish
 粘連黏隨
 Stick, Adhere, Connect, and Follow
 頂扁丟抗
 Crashing in, Collapsing, Coming Away, and Resistance
 對待無病
 Fighting Without Mistakes
 對待用功法守中土(俗名站撞)
 Practicing Maintaining the Central Ground in Fighting (Commonly Called “Standing Like a Post”)
 身形腰頂
 The Body’s Posture – The Waist & Headtop
 太極圈
 Taiji’s Circling
 太極進退不已功
 Taiji’s Skill of Advancing & Retreating Ceaselessly
 太極上下名天地
 Taiji’s Above & Below, or “Sky & Ground”
 太極人盤八字歌
 Taiji’s Eight Techniques in the Realm of Mankind
 太極體用解
 Taiji’s Substance & Application
 太極文武解
 Taiji’s Civil & Martial Qualities
 太極懂勁解
 Taiji’s Identifying of Energies
 八五十三勢長拳解
 On the Thirteen Dynamics Long Boxing Set
 太極陰陽顚倒解
 Taiji’s Inversion of the Passive & Active Aspects
 人身太極解
 The Taiji-ness of the Human Body
 太極分文武三成解
 Taiji’s Separation of the Civil & Martial Qualities into Three Accomplishments
 太極武功事解
 Taiji’s Lesser Accomplishment – Its Martial Quality
 太極正功解
 Correctness of Skill in Taiji
 太極輕重浮沈解
 Taiji’s Lightness & Heaviness, Floating & Sinking
 太極四隅解
 Taiji’s Four Secondary Techniques
 太極平準腰頂解
 The Proper Alignment of Waist & Headtop in Taiji
習拳須知
Taiji Boxing Prose:
 大小太極解
 The Large Taiji & the Small Taiji
 太極拳能卻病延年
 Taiji Boxing Can Rid Illness and Lengthen Life
 談太極拳養身
 A Discussion of How Taiji Boxing Nurtures the Body
 學太極拳初步
 The First Steps of Learning Taiji Boxing
 習太極拳程序
 The Process of Learning Taiji Boxing
 太極虛實之解釋
 An Explanation of Emptiness & Fullness
 太極弓腿坐腿之解釋
 An Explanation of Taiji’s Bow Stance & Sitting Stance
 身法練法
 Body Principles & Training Principles
 習拳箴言
 Maxims for Practice
 經驗談二十則
 Some Lessons from Experience
太極拳式
Taiji Boxing Postures:
 太極拳架子名目
 Taiji Boxing Solo Set Posture Names
 太極拳架子圖附詳解
 The Boxing Set Presented in Photos & Explanations
太極推手
Pushing Hands:
 四正推手法
 Pushing Hands Method for the Four Primary Techniques
 四正推手圖
 Photos for the Four Primary Techniques
 四隅推手圖
 Photos for the Four Secondary Techniques
 四隅推手法
 Pushing Hands Method for the Four Secondary Techniques
 五行步法
 Five Elements Footwork
附錄
Appendices:
 太極劍
 Taiji Sword
 太極刀
 Taiji Saber
 太極槍
 Taiji Spear
 太極快拳
 Taiji Fast Set
 董英傑太極快拳緣起
 On the Creation of Dong Yingjie’s Fast Set

黃序
PREFACE BY HUANG ZUNSHENG

中國拳術。自來分內外兩家。王士禎云。拳術之勇少林為外家。武當張三峯為內家。今海內流行之太極拳。則云傳自三峯也。攷三峯名通字君實。先世豫章人。後徙居遼陽。明洪武間。居湖廣武當山。湛通道法。技拳絕倫。所傳太極拳名十三勢者。有山右王宗岳於太極蘊義。闡發至盡。今所傳太極拳經。十三勢行功心解。皆宗岳撰也。宗岳以其技傳至浙江陳州同河南蔣發。由是其門人分傳南北。南由州同而傳遞張松溪。而葉繼美。而單思南。而王征南。皆浙東人。以松溪征南為最著。後不得其傳。北則由蔣發傳之陳家溝陳姓。數代而繼之陳長興。長興傳之楊祿禪。祿禪河北廣平人。盡得長興祕傳。益以苦練技臻絕境。聲華最顯。愛好拳術者。多從之學。稱弟子焉。祿禪有子三。長鳳侯次班侯三建侯。均傳其學。班侯建侯二人傳其家。中有振遠少侯澄甫。班侯建侯又傳至外姓弟子數人有陳秀峯萬春全佑凌山王茂齋等。其他惜未能一一知其名字云。自祿禪以來。先後垂五十年。太極拳幾為楊氏之家學。自南方香火失繼。此道獨行於北方。凡黃河兩岸。燕山太行。紹其統緒者不可勝述。自荊楚而吳越。五嶺以南之流行乃為後來事耳。太極拳象徵陰陽循環之理。陰陽也。虛實也。動靜也。開闔也。循環周行。貫串延綿不斷也。由此陰陽虛實開闔動靜。而周行貫串循環不斷。其運動變化無窮。凡外家拳必硬必快。練太極雖柔慢。用時則神速。柔取其圓轉綿延。慢所以靜。靜所以定。故能以靜待動。以柔尅剛也。太極拳最貴虛實。而忌雙重。雙重謂無虛實也。虛實之間。必有重心。曰中定。每一虛實皆有中定。有變化。中定之機。其根在腳。發於腿。主宰於腰。而形之於指。其動作而鼓盪。則沈死。鬆胯。淨腹。涵胸。拔背。沉肩垂肘。以此鼓盪。發而為一種潛在之內力。內家不名之曰力而名之曰勁。勁之為義有五曰粘。曰連。曰黏。曰隨。曰不丟頂。粘者提上拔高也。連者貫也。不中斷也。黏者貼也。彼進我退。而彼退我進也。隨者從也。捨己以從人也。不丟頂者。言不丟。不頂。不脫離。不抵抗。不搶先。不落後。如粘。如黏。而丟之不開。投之不脫也。其精義則總括之於十三勢。十三勢者八門五步也。八門四正方四斜方也。亦卽掤。捋。擠。按。採。挒。肘。靠。之八法也。五步則前進。後退。左顧。右盼。中定也。或以八門比諸八卦。五步比諸五行四方四角。而陰陽開闔。迴環不斷。故十三勢又名長拳。長拳者。如長江大海滔滔不斷也。至其精微玄妙之處。所謂沉著鬆靜。所謂氣鼓盪神內斂。所謂人剛我柔。我順人背。所謂極柔軟而後極堅剛。所謂以心行氣。以氣運身。所謂力由脊發。步隨身換。所謂動急急應。動緩緩隨。所謂心為令。氣為旂。腰為纛。所謂先心後身。氣斂入骨。已詳於宗岳所論。非有經久之體驗。具甚深之造詣。莫能領會。中國拳術。無論外家內家。均各有獨到之處。其所以不宏。或竟至中道斬絕。厥故有五。歷來教法之不尚。與學者之畏難一也。授受悉憑口耳。無文字記載以補口耳之不足二也。卽或有之。專講文字空談理論。而不求太極拳眞功夫自損其價値三也。門戶各立。勢同水火四也。歷代重文輕武。士大夫故作鄙夷五也。有此五因。中國拳術。乃淪於市井之技。無由達於社會。晚近國人漸知。提倡拳術。不遺餘力。南北內外各家長足競進。省市部會。均有拳社之創立。公開研究。力矯己往之失。而學校功課。亦以體育為重。中國人種之改造。此其轉機乎。
河北董英傑先生。今中國太極拳之名師也。出楊氏澄甫門。為楊學嫡傳。數十年寢饋斯道。未嘗一日間斷。足跡遍南北各省。所至授徒。善誘不倦。門人述其軼事甚多。嘗與人交手。從容若定。其人奮拳擊先生。先生不以為意。略一推手。其人已跌出丈外。是先生之技。已由妙境而進於化境矣。余於南北內外各家之拳。均愛好而未嘗學。廿五年冬。執役北平中法大學。聞有洪君者。精太極拳。始學焉。法國友人邵可侶先生。執教北京大學。亦學焉。惜為時未久。南歸以後。強半荒廢。及來濠鏡。始識先生。最近先生編太極拳釋義一書。凡二百六十圖。由王君希逸為攝影。徵序於予。余非能太極拳。不過略解其意。因抒鄙見。述其大要如此。
黃尊生
Chinese boxing arts divide into two categories: internal and external. Wang Shizhen said: “The bold warriors of Shaolin – that is the external school. The art of Zhang Sanfeng of Wudang – that is the internal school.” The Taiji Boxing that has now been spread throughout the nation is said to have come from Zhang.
  Zhang Sanfeng was named Zhang Tong and was known as Zhang Junshi. Originally from Yuzhang [in Jiangxi], he later moved to Liaoyang [in Liaoning]. During the reign of the Ming Dynasty emperor Hongwu [1368–1398], Zhang went to the Wudang Mountains, where he mastered Daoists methods and became peerless at boxing skills. The Taiji Boxing he passed down was called Thirteen Dynamics.
  There was also a Wang Zongyue of Shanxi, who obtained the authentic art and then explained it fully in a series of writings. The theory texts that we study to this day, such as the Taiji Boxing Classic and How to Practice the Thirteen Dynamics, were all written by Wang. Wang taught his skills to Chen Zhoutong of Zhejiang and Jiang Fa of Henan. Thereafter the art split into two branches – northern and southern.
  In the south, Chen Zhoutong taught it to Zhang Songxi, Ye Jimei, Shan Sinan, and Wang Zhengnan, all from eastern Zhejiang. Zhang and Wang were Chen’s best students, but the southern branch later came to end altogether. In the north, Jiang Fa passed it down to the people of Chen Family Village, where several generations later it was taught by Chen Changxing to Yang Luchan.
  Although Yang was from Guangping Prefecture in Hebei, he obtained all of Chen’s secrets. Through hard work, his skill became incomparable, and hence his reputation grew. Boxing arts enthusiasts flocked to learn from him. Yang had three sons: the eldest Fenghou, then Banhou, the third Jianhou. He taught the art down to each of them. Banhou and Jianhou then passed the art down to their own sons: Laozhen, Shaohou, and Chengfu. Banhou and Jianhou also taught several people outside of their family, such as Chen Xiufeng, Wan Chun, Quan You, Ling Shan, Wang Maozhai, and others. After Yang Luchan died, Taiji Boxing was carried on in his family for more than fifty years.
  Because the southern branch faded out, the art continues only through the northern branch. From the banks of the Yellow River to the Yan Mountains and Taihang Mountains, it continues unstoppably, but its presence has been flowing southward, through Hubei and Hunan, Jiangsu and Zhejiang, and along the Nanling Mountains.
  “Taiji” Boxing signifies the principle of the alternation of the passive and active aspects. Complementary opposites such as passive and active, empty and full, movement and stillness, opening and closing, and so on, cycle continuously and ceaselessly. This is why the movements are endlessly transforming.
  External styles rely on hardness and speed. Although Taiji Boxing is soft and slow in practice, it is amazingly fast in application. To have the quality of softness requires roundness and continuous flow. As for slowness, it leads to a sense of stillness, from which comes stability. Equipped with slowness and softness, you will be able to “await movement with stillness” and “defeat hardness with softness”.
  What is most of all valued in Taiji Boxing is a balance of emptiness and fullness, avoiding a state of “double pressure”. If there is double pressure, there is not a state of having both emptiness and fullness. Within emptiness and fullness, there has to be a balance of the two, or what is called “centered stability”. With every instance of emptiness and fullness, there has to be both centered stability between them and alternation between them.
  The key to centered stability is for power to “start from the foot, issue through the leg, be directed at the waist, and expressed at the fingers”. Movement has to be vibrant, filled with energy. Loosen your hips and relax your abdomen. Hollow your chest and round your back. Sink your shoulders and hang your elbows. Using this vibrancy, you will issue with a kind of internal strength.
  The internal school does not discuss strength, only energy. There are five types of energy: sticking, connecting, adhering, following, and neither coming away nor crashing in. Sticking means to lift up high. Connecting means to link with and not disconnect from. Adhering means to be so glued to the opponent that when he advances, you retreat, and when he retreats, you advance. Following means to go along with, to “let go of yourself and go along with the opponent”. Neither coming away nor crashing in means neither separating nor resisting, neither struggling to get ahead of him nor lagging behind. As long as you stick and adhere, you will be able to come away without breaking contact, to cast him off without disconnecting.
  The essence of the art is the “thirteen dynamics”, which are the eight basic techniques plus the five kinds of steps. The eight basic techniques are: the four primary techniques of ward-off, rollback, press, and push, and the four secondary techniques of pluck, rend, elbow, and bump. The five steps are: advancing, retreating, stepping to the left, stepping to the right, and staying in the center. The eight techniques correspond to the eight trigrams. The five steps correspond to the five elements. The passive and active aspects manifest in the movements of opening and closing, these actions recurring ceaselessly.
  The Thirteen Dynamics art is also called Long Boxing, as in “like a long river flowing into the wide ocean, on and on ceaselessly”. The art has many profound concepts, such as:
  “When issuing power, you must sink and relax, concentrating it in one direction. Your posture must be upright and comfortable, bracing in all directions.”
  “Energy should be roused and spirit should be collected within.”
  “He is hard while I am soft – this is yielding. My energy is smooth while his energy is coarse – this is sticking.”
  “Extreme softness begets extreme hardness. Your ability to be nimble lies in your ability to breathe.”
  “Use mind to move the energy. You must get the energy to sink. It is then able to collect in the bones. Use energy to move your body. You must get the energy to be smooth. Your body can then easily obey your mind.”
  “Power comes from the spine. Step according to your body’s adjustments.”
  “If he moves fast, I quickly respond, and if his movement is slow, I leisurely follow.”
  “The mind makes the command, the energy is its flag, and the waist is its banner.”
  “First in the mind, then in the body. With your abdomen relaxed, energy gathers in your marrow. Spirit comfortable, body calm – at every moment be mindful of this.”
  Such ideas appear in the writings of Wang Zongyue. Without long-term experience and a certain depth of skill, you will not be able to comprehend them.
  Chinese boxing arts, whether internal or external, all have their own unique characteristics. There are five things that keep them from true greatness and leave them no better than mediocre achievements:
  1. The traditional teaching method has ceased to be respected due to students fearing that the training will be too difficult.
  2. The teachings have been passed down through oral transmission only, nothing having been written down, and thus are inadequate to fill in the inevitable gaps in a teacher’s understanding.
  3. There are indeed writings, but they are so empty of content and do not properly represent the authentic art, making the art seem of less value.
  4. Different styles of a system have gotten established, their own interpretations of the postures becoming as incompatible as fire and water.
  5. There has been a tendency throughout history to elevate scholarly pursuits and look down upon martial matters, and so the influential literati have often dismissed these arts as something low-class.
  For these five major reasons, Chinese boxing arts had degenerated into tricks for street performers rather than being treated as something worth spreading throughout society.
  In recent years, our countrymen have gradually come to understand the value of these arts and are now working hard to promote them. All styles, whether northern or southern, internal or external, are making rapid progress side by side. Boxing arts clubs are being founded in every province and every city. The public nature of the research is forcing teachers to face up to their own errors. Schools are adopting these arts into their curricula, finding them to be a valuable contribution to physical education. Our people are being transformed. This is a turning point for us all.
  Dong Yingjie of Hebei is now a Taiji Boxing teacher famous throughout the nation. Having learned directly from Yang Chengfu, he passes down the knowledge of the Yang family. For decades, practicing the art has been part of his daily routine, and he has never skipped a day. He has traveled throughout the nation to teach the art, an excellent and untiring instructor, and his many students have told countless anecdotes about the experience of learning from him. Whenever he would cross hands with a challenger, he was as leisurely as if nothing was happening. His opponent would vigorously hurl punches at him, which he treated with total indifference and then, using only the slightest push of his hand, send the fellow stumbling more than ten feet away. Dong’s skill, which was already amazing, continued to progress all the way to perfection.
  I was fascinated by all kinds of boxing arts, northern and southern, internal and external alike, but I had not yet studied any. In the winter of 1936, while teaching [Esperanto] at the l’Université Franco-Chinoise in Beijing, I heard about a Taiji Boxing expert called Mr. Hong and started to learn the art from him. My French colleague Jacques Reclus, while teaching [French] at Peking University, also learned the art from Hong. Unfortunately I was not able to study it very long, for I had to return to the south, and I lost most of what I had learned so far. Later when I came to Macao [to teach at Sun Yat-sen University], I finally met Dong Yingjie.
  Dong has lately finished his book Taiji Boxing Explained, in which he demonstrates the boing set in two hundred sixty photos taken by Wang Xiyi, and has asked me to provide a preface. I have no skill at Taiji Boxing and merely the smallest understanding of its principles. Based on my own meager perspective of the art, I have here only highlighted some general ideas.
  - written by Huang Zunsheng

林序
PREFACE BY LIN BOYAN

太極拳之動作與運動。無處不合於生理衛生之條件。故體鬆勁柔。所以無激烈之害。一動全身皆動。所以無偏頗之弊。以意運身。呼吸自然。所以無滯氣損肌之患。立身中正。不偏不欹。所以有矯正姿勢之效。且氣歛入骨。有易骨換髓之妙。意之所至。更可使不隨意之肌肉亦能動彈。氣沉丹田。則臟腑隨之而蠕動。神凝氣固。則精液不散。習之者能使神經健全。呼吸深成。血液流通。消化增良。排洩暢通。而助新陳代謝之功用。習之旣久。更能使身體靈活。思想敏捷。及養成持久耐勞忍苦等美性。而予吾人事業上教育上以莫大之助力。其在身體上之價値。實為妥善之運動。且他種運動。須有廣大場所。多項器械。及集合多人。方能實行。或則宜於壯者。不宜於老幼。太極拳則不然。無須廣大場所。置備器械。復免集合多人同習之煩。一人可練。多人亦可練。宜男宜女。宜老宜幼。其實施便利。旣合體育生理衛生各條件。復為終身可練有永久性之運動。誠有體有用盡善盡美之國粹體育。高尚道德之人。盍一致提倡。以福我同胞。而闡揚我國光也。
弟子林伯炎譔
Every movement in Taiji Boxing conforms to physiological principles. Because the body is loosened and strength is applied with a softness, it is an exercise completely free of pain. When one part moves, every part moves, and therefore no part gets overly worked. Use intention to move your body and let your breathing be natural, thereby dispelling any problems of your energy becoming stagnant or your muscles getting strained. Stand upright, not leaning in any direction, a simple thing that automatically fixes your overall posture. Energy gathers into your bones, cleansing your marrow. Wherever your intention goes, it stimulates the involuntary muscles. Energy sinks to your elixir field, giving your organs more room to adjust. With your spirit focused and your energy settled, your essence will not be scattered.
  Practicing the art will enhance the nervous system, promote deeper breathing, increase blood circulation, improve digestion, and make excretion smoother and boost your metabolism. Long-term practice will cause your body to become more nimble and your mind to become more quick-witted, as well as cultivating the virtue of being able to endure hard work for long periods, which will be of tremendous assistance for both education and career.
  The main value to the body is that it provides proper exercise. Other forms of exercise require a large field, a great deal of equipment, a large number of people gathered together, and are ideally suited for the young and strong. These things are not the case for Taiji Boxing. There is no need for a large space, no need to buy any special equipment, and it is free of the frustration of trying to get lots of people together, for it can be practiced either solo or with a group. It also does not matter if practitioners are young or old, and men and women do need to be separated into their own teams.
  It is so easy to do, aligning fully with the principles of physical education and physiological health, and can be practiced for your whole life. In both theory and function, it truly is the peak of physical expression in our culture. It is unanimously endorsed be all who have high moral standards. I hope my fellow countrymen will all participate in it to further spread the glory of our nation.
  - written by Dong’s student, Lin Boyan

胡序
PREFACE BY HU WENXUAN

吾國拳術。大別之為內外功兩派。而有益身心。收効極宏。莫若內功太極拳。蓋外功拳術尚力。太極拳尚氣。外功尚剛。太極尚柔。故無論男女老少壯弱。均可學習之。鄙人素稟孱弱。早年曾患氣促痰喘。屢醫罔效。旋得一同學黃君勸習太極拳。幷授以運動方式。據稱毋須服藥。習旣久諸病自除。遵之。初習旬餘。味同嚼蠟。復據黃君屢道此中神妙。姑耐心習之。月餘漸覺精神煥發。興趣盎然。由是習之不懈。不一年諸病悉除。迨民廿七年。違難香江。復得太極拳專家楊澄甫嫡傳董英傑先生。將從前所學方式。加以矯正。幷授以陰陽開闔伸縮疾徐呼吸相應之理。忽忽習又數年。遂將從前一切萎靡不振之態。廓而淸之。益覺丹田氣壯。血液暢通。體重不加肥。遇勞不覺倦。其功眞非筆墨所能殫述。鄙人奉以為護身驅病至寶。日必習之。如服一貼補藥焉。茲者董先生將太極拳釋義刊印成書。鄙人謹以獲益於斯道。略述數言於此。
及門胡文軒謹述
Our nation’s boxing arts are generally divided into internal and external styles. For bringing the most benefit to body and mind, nothing compares to the internal art of Taiji Boxing. External boxing arts emphasize strength. Taiji emphasizes energy. External boxing arts emphasize hardness. Taiji emphasizes softness. Therefore regardless of man or woman, young or old, strong or weak, all can practice it.
  I was born with delicate health, suffering from asthma as a child. I was given a whole succession of different medicines for it, none of which were effective. My classmate Huang urged me to practice Taiji Boxing and taught me this method of exercise, telling me that there is no need for medicines, just practice it for long time and all kinds of illness will automatically vanish. I tried it for a couple weeks and found it to be rather boring. But he kept asserting how great it is and that I should just be patient. After a whole month, I realized how much my spirit had been boosted from the activity and I finally became interested. From then on, I persevered, and after not even a year, all my afflictions had indeed disappeared.
  When Hong Kong was invaded in 1938, this caused Dong Yingjie, student of the Taiji Boxing expert Yang Chengfu, to come to Macao. Under his instruction, corrections were made to what I had learned before. He also taught me the principle of complementary opposites, such as passive and active, open and close, extend and contract, fast and slow, inhale and exhale. Before I knew it, I had been practicing for several years and my previous lethargic demeanor had been exorcised by the exercise. I felt that there was now an abundant energy in my lower abdomen, my blood circulation had been increased, my physique was slimmer, and physical labor was no longer tiring. The transformation was beyond the scope of mere words.
  Having received the treasures of self-defense and good health, I feel a compulsion to practice it every day. It is like a powerful tonic. Dong’s Taiji Boxing Explained is about to be published, and so I briefly present a few words about how I have benefitted from the art.
  - sincerely written by his student, Hu Wenxuan

周序
PREFACE BY ZHOU LAN’GAI

我國人之謀健康者。恆取資於飲食與丸餌。實則烹宰傷生。藥物鮮當。其收效之能否神速。殊屬疑問。西人大不謂然也。西人圖強。注重運動。運動技術。千端萬緒。要皆視如菽粟水火。不可一日離。是以修幹偉軀。以侏儒目我。不知我國運動。固有出神入化之國粹。不獨西人所未喻。卽我國老年拳術家亦未有諳其奧妙者。則太極拳是也。太極拳創始於武當張三丰祖師。師偉人。亦屬異人。其手創拳術拳名。有十三勢。凡三十七式。二百六十紀。採天地陰陽之精理。變化無窮。其循環旋轉。又如日月之不息。神而明之。可以愈羸。可以益壽。亦可以禦侮。其術由北而南。身受益處。何止千百。不知凡幾矣。予患胃病。經已數載。每苦飲食之窒礙。居恆鬱鬱不安。天假之緣。前數年董師英傑因香港事變來澳。同人設館於天天俱樂部。奉為導師。日鍛月鍊。予亦捧手其間。習至四月。飲食增進無礙。再越兩月。其病若失。迄今數年。體重亦較增重。設非予身受其益。斷不信運動之效可至於此。然亦幸遇董師耳。
弟子周蘭陔謹述
When my countrymen seek health, they always look for it through food and pills. However, eating meat can actually be harmful, and as for medicines, they are rarely effective and never produce results a rapidly as promised. Westerners have a completely different approach. They most of all seek strength, and so they focus on exercise, employing a variety of over-complicated sports. The two approaches, diet and exercise, go together like water and fire, or perhaps rice and beans, and should not really be separated.
  Westerners have larger builds and look upon us as midgets. They do not understand that our nation’s forms of exercise are in fact the quintessence of our nation’s culture. Westerners have no equivalent, no form of exercise that is the sum total of all their culture, and even though there are masters in our nation who do not understand all of the art’s subtleties, the ultimate expression of our culture is Taiji Boxing.
  Taiji Boxing was created by Zhang Sanfeng of Wudang, a great and very unique man. He called his boxing art “Thirteen Dynamics”, comprised of thirty-seven distinct postures, which are demonstrated in this book in two hundred sixty movements. It adopts the exquisite principle of Nature’s passive and active aspects, the way they alternate without end, its circular actions as ceaseless as the movements of sun and moon through the sky. Once you have understood the art, it can turn your weakness into strength, increase your longevity, and give you the ability to defend yourself against attackers. Originating in the north and then spreading south throughout the nation, this art provides benefits too numerous to count.
  I suffered from stomach illness for several years. Everything that I ate or drank caused obstructions, putting me in a constant state of discomfort. When the Japanese occupied Hong Kong, Dong Yingjie left it and came to Macao. Colleagues established classes at the Daily Social Club for him to give instruction. Applying myself every day to the training, my digestion gradually ceased to have obstructions after about four months. Another couple of months and my stomach illness disappeared altogether. In the last few years, my bodyweight has finally increased to a healthy standard. If I had not received these benefits, I would not believe exercise could produce such results. I have been fortunate indeed to have met Master Dong Yingjie.
  - sincerely written by his student, Zhou Lan’gai

譚序
PREFACE BY TAN YAOCHUAN

太極精微重守中 璇機變化妙無窮 董師編纂成書後 上下相隨盡景從
受業譚耀川敬頌
The ingenuity of Taiji lies in maintaining one’s center.
Its profound transformations are endlessly subtle.
Now that Master Dong has finished his book,
he will be followed with the greatest admiration.
  - sincerely inscribed by his student, Tan Yaochuan

黃序
PREFACE BY HUANG YUQIAO

鄙人素稟孱弱。冬令頻冒傷風。曾於二十年前。在書坊購得八段錦一本練習。但雖按圖仿學。始終乏師指導。其中奧妙之處。茫然無知。引為憾事。久聞河北。董英傑先生。為中國太極拳名師。出自楊師澄甫老先生之門。足跡遍江南各省。所至備受歡迎。民廿八年。董師適蒞香港。仝人於是年四月。敦請董師來澳教授。假寄閒地方為館址。月來教數次。得黎君柱石為佐教。遂與同志等每晨練習。黎君亦循循善誘。迨香港事變後。請董師來澳。朝夕得聆矩誨。由鄙人商借平安戲院習早場。孔教學部習夜場。風雨無間。數年以來。不特前病若失。覺精神體魄。似比前猶勝。鄙人今年已六十又五矣。步履視往昔較為穩健。謂非太極拳之功。其可得乎。今夏董師將太極拳釋義刊印。鄙人謹將獲益於太極拳者。略述數言。
及門黃豫樵護述
I was born with delicate health, always catching colds in winter. Twenty years ago, I once purchased a Baduanjin manual in a bookstore so that I could practice those famous exercises. I tried my best to learn the stuff, but it was just not the same as having guidance from an actual teacher. The subtleties went right over my head, making me feel incompetent.
  I had long heard of Dong Yingjie of Hebei, a famous Taiji Boxing teacher who had learned the art from master Yang Chengfu. Having been warmly welcomed throughout the southern provinces, he came to Hong Kong in 1939. Space was borrowed in a restaurant, where he taught several times a month. The services of his colleague Li Zhushi were obtained, who served as an assistant teacher to help cover morning practices. Li was likewise an excellent and methodical teacher.
  After Hong Kong had been occupied by the Japanese, Li then invited Dong to come to Macao instead, where Dong would give lessons throughout the day. Through my business connections, I was able to obtain space at the Ping’an Theater for morning practice and the Confucian Academy for evening practice, ensuring that practice could be consistent, uninterrupted by rain or wind.
  In the last few years, not only has my tendency to become ill disappeared, I also find that my overall spirit and physique have dramatically improved. This year, I am already sixty-five years old and yet I am now walking with a much steadier gait than ever before. If these are not results of Taiji practice, then what else could they be coming from? This summer, Dong’s Taiji Boxing Explained will be published, and so I here present these few words on behalf of all those who have benefited from the art.
  - sincerely written by his student, Huang Yuqiao

董序
PREFACE BY DONG SHIZUO

余拜師傅。學了三年。練功七年。十遍寒暑。三易肥瘦矣。精神足滿。眼神光芒外射。渾身不怕打。不知病。惟打人未敢魯莽耳。時盼我師蒞滬。續請教誨。以完初志。
I bowed to my teacher, learned from him for three years, trained hard for another seven, throughout those ten years undeterred by the coldest days of winter or the hottest days of summer, and transformed from a fat man to a slim one. My spirit is full, my gaze shining. My body does not know any illness or fear any fight, though I would not dare be so crude as to bully anyone. I often wish my teacher would come to Shanghai and teach me more, so that I could finish what I started.

得道傳道大行其道
練功成功不負此功
Learn the art, teach the art, spread the art far.
Practice the skills, achieve the skills, do not dishonor these skills.

吾師拳書編成。略上淺言。非敢荒唐。因近習拳同志。皆知拳能養身。不知拳能防身。學成柔而無能。如此以往。將來失其謂之拳乎。故此語激勵同志。有恆學深造也。
弟子董世祚
Now that his book has been completed, I contribute these few words, but will spare you from any gushing praise. Martial arts practitioners nowadays are all aware that these arts can improve one’s health, but have forgotten that they are also for self-defense. They have achieved a softness, but have no skills. If this continues, the day will come when they will no longer be called “martial” arts. Therefore I hope these words encourage you to persevere into more advanced levels of training.
  - written by Dong’s student, Dong Shizuo

溫序
PREFACE BY WEN BOQI

吾國拳術。大別分為內外兩家。各家以相傳日久。取法漸有分歧。迄今派別雖多。然能運用輕靈。法尚神妙者。其為太極拳乎。太極拳創自宋末張三峯先生。由太極變化而成拳。能以靜制動。以柔制剛。日常練習。可以健身。可以延年。造詣較深。則更可以禦侮。自明迄今。代有傳人。薪火綿延。不絕如縷。自楊澄甫祖師出。道乃大行。英傑老師為楊祖師高足。躬承衣砵。追隨杖履者。幾及二十年。荷厥甄陶。藉其砥礪。用能探玄窺祕。識遠智微。模楷友生。津梁後學。二十年前。廣州習拳同志禮聘來粵。廣傳絕技。法針砭俗。神手點金。靑衿組帶。濟濟趨塵。高蓋華軒。侁侁捧手。或坐風而立雪。或負笈而袪衣。若水歸墟。如星拱極。顧盼感風雲之氣。吹噓揚行素之芬。甚盛事也。今日者。樹旣成蹊。鍼皆補袞。待用者。不為恆絲庸帛。就植者。自非苦李寒桃。點瑟堪誇。尼牆可接。顧以及門之旣衆。遂思暌跡之恆多。徒切山高水長之思。不少雲飛泥滯之慨。是用有釋義之作。將以永銘教澤。共企光輝。豈惟道統之克傳。庶幾聲氣之同應。淵源有自。宗派斯尊。驥尾可追。龍門未遠。亦及門諸子所樂聞歟。是為序。
溫伯琪
Our nation’s boxing arts are divided roughly into the two schools: internal and external. When each system gets passed down over a long time, it gradually branches off into distinct styles. There are now countless styles of our martial arts, but for developing lightness and sensitivity, the best method is Taiji Boxing.
  It was created by Zhang Sanfeng of the Song Dynasty, who took the constant change in the taiji principle of the alternations between the passive and active aspects and made it into a boxing art. It can use stillness to defeat motion, softness to defeat hardness. Daily practice of it can bring health and longevity. As the training becomes more advanced, it also brings the ability to defend oneself against attackers.
  The art has been passed down through the generations like an unbroken thread, reaching Yang Chengfu, who then spread it widely. Dong Yingjie, one of Yang’s top students, now carries on the tradition, and I have been learning from him for almost twenty years. His mission is to educate and encourage. Having a clear view into the secrets of the art, his knowledge is extensive and detailed. He sets an example for his friends, provides a path for his students.
  Twenty years ago, boxing arts colleagues in Guangzhou ceremoniously invited him to teach in Guangdong. The marvels of acupuncture seem so common next to his skills, his magic hands by comparison seeming like precious gold. He found himself surrounded by eager students, so numerous they were like a cloud of dust, with splendid gifts offered in their hands. Some were willing to wait outside even in bad weather, others shouldering all their belongings with an intention to stay for good. The crowd was like water filling a valley, or like the night stars spinning around Polaris. All around was a feeling of electricity, as well as the sweetness of praise in the air, a grand occasion indeed.
  Now a tree has been planted, or perhaps a royal gown has been sewn, for one who is ready to serve the community will certainly not be treated like common cloth. Since he has been established among them, those students no longer need to suffer alone in the wilderness. Plucking at a zither may make one feel good on one’s own, but forming a community brings connection to others.
  Having so many students, he will have an enduring legacy. They all feel that it will go on and on, like the height of a mountain or the length of a river, and often sigh with a sense of previous confusions being washed away, like clouds parting or muddy paths finally drying. Hence the “explained” in the title, meant to convey a lasting effect upon the way the art is taught, sharing a strong hope of carrying it forward. And how could the art not be passed down since all agree that it can? When an art has a history, it deserves respect. When one follows a great man, success is not far away. Students, rejoice!
  - written by Wen Boqi

玄玄子序
PREFACE BY XUANXUANZI

河北任縣董英傑先生。幼好技擊。讀書之暇。遍訪名師。虛心請益。燕趙之間。本多悲歌慷慨之士。先生近水樓臺。得各派眞傳。嗣遇順德李香遠先生授以內家拳太極十三勢。功益精進。各播遐邇。先生時已三十餘矣。自覺未能登峯造極。擬再訪名師。以求深造。輾轉數省。訪師實難。後聞楊氏太極拳乃天下眞傳。先賢楊祿禪之孫楊澄甫先生。時授徒北平。先生負笈往投。隨師南下。程門立雪者十年。澄先生鑒其意誠。盡將所得授於先生。先生推而化之。期年豁然貫通。輕靈剛柔。變化無方。先生曾曰。昔日師尊諄諄教誨。當時不明其意。一旦貫通。方悟一言一動。盡屬玄妙。集李氏之功勁。楊氏之輕靈於一身。師恩難忘。今日方知太極拳也。竊思強國必先強種。強種必先強身。如各國之於拳擊。甚為重視。吾國國粹豈能任令其湮滅。乃請之先生。將所學心得。製成圖文。刊行海內。俾好武同志。有所借鑑。庶幾先賢之學。不致湮滅。先生曰。吾所願也。吾所吝者。不肯妄傳匪人耳。旣志在發揚國粹。吾當盡其所學曁先賢留傳口訣。附以圖表。刊行海內。定名曰太極拳釋義。供好學諸君子備作參考。先生是書。言昔人所不言。發今人所未發。一卷刊行。定當洛陽紙貴。精奧備錄。實好學者之福音也。
戊子秋七月玄玄子序於香島
Dong Yingjie of Ren County, Hebei, has loved martial arts since his youth. Studying books in his spare time and visiting teachers everywhere, he opened his mind to any and all instruction. There were many celebrated masters in Hebei. So conveniently placed, he received the authentic transmission of various systems. He for instance met Li Xiangyuan of Shunde Prefecture [now Xingtai, Hebei], from whom he learned the internal art of Taiji Thirteen Dynamics [Hao Style Taiji, Li having been a student of Hao Weizhen]. Dong’s abilities progressed in all manner of skills.
  By the time he had passed thirty years old, he was still unsatisfied with his level, and so he decided to find another noteworthy teacher and pursue more advanced studies. He traveled through many provinces, but it was difficult to find the right man. Then he heard that the teachings of Yang Style Taiji were being spread everywhere, taught by Yang Luchan’s grandson Yang Chengfu, who was at that time giving instruction in Beijing.
  Dong gathered up all his books and went to learn from him, subsequently accompanying him south and devoting himself to his teachings for ten years. Yang was impressed by his sincerity and taught him everything he knew. Dong applied himself and became transformed by the art, eventually having a breakthrough. He became light and nimble, balancing hardness and softness, adapting unpredictably.
  Dong once said: “Master Yang was a very patient teacher, which was good because for a long time I didn’t understand what he was talking about. Then one day it all made sense to me, and I realized that every utterance and every movement was something profound. The skills and energies of Hao Style and the lightness and nimbleness of Yang Style merged together within me. I’ll never forget Yang’s generosity. It was because of him that I now understand Taiji Boxing.”
  I share the view that to strengthen the nation, it is first necessary to strengthen the masses, and that to strengthen the masses, it is first necessary to strengthen the self. Other nations treat their martial training very seriously. So why should we allow what is the very essence of our culture to disappear? I therefore encouraged Dong to take what he has learned and make it into a book for widespread publication so that fellow martial arts aficionados can gain from his experience, and also to keep the knowledge of previous generations from fading into oblivion.
  He told me: “I would like to, but I have to confess I’m a little miserly about the art. I don’t really want to casually share it with people who won’t care about it. However, I do have an ambition to promote our cultural essence, and so I’ll write down everything that I’ve learned, together with the secrets passed down by previous generations, add some photos, and put it all into a book. I’ll call it Taiji Boxing Explained and I hope it’ll supply useful reference material for all those who’ll appreciate it.”
  In his book, he goes the extra mile and says things that previous generations neglected to say, sharing wisdom that has otherwise not yet been shared. Once this volume is published, it is sure to become a bestseller. With such marvels within, it will truly be wonderful news for all serious students.
  - written by Xuanxuanzi in Hong Kong, late summer, 1948

自序
AUTHOR’S PREFACE

古者六藝。禮、樂、射、御、書、數。絃歌而外不廢武事。拳術與古六藝之中射字同其意義。可作藝術推手進步之研究。但祇應用以防身。不可挾勇而打鬥也。習拳同志。當以禮讓,道德,忍耐,涵養為先。張良論中云。古之所謂豪傑之士。必有過人之節。人情有所不能忍者。匹夫見辱。拔劍而起。挺身而鬥。此不足謂勇也。(此言不可挾勇打鬥)。又云。天下有大勇者。無故加之而不怒。言其有忍耐、涵養。此所以挾持大而其志甚遠也。練壯身體。作大事業。為國家有用之才。其志在斯。
孟子云。天將降大任於是人也。必先苦其心志。勞其筋骨。此言人當運動。尤須恆心毅力。練太極拳應不畏勞苦。以數月之艱辛。換取終身之康泰。其受用為何如耶。
禮讓 道德 忍耐 涵養 練功
董英傑
The ancient “six arts” were rituals, music, archery, charioteering, calligraphy, and mathematics. These were methods of education, a curriculum which did not ignore martial training. Of the six arts, the closest equivalent to boxing arts would be archery, the study of which can enhance one’s pushing hands training. Boxing arts are for self-defense, not for showing off one’s fighting prowess. When learning a boxing art, give priority to developing humility, morality, patience, and self-restraint.
  It says in Su Dongpo’s “Discussing Zhang Liang, Marquis of Liu”: “In ancient times, in order to be considered heroic, one had to have a higher moral integrity than most people, able to tolerate what the human temperament usually cannot. Ordinary people take offense, pull out their weapons, and attack. This is not what it means to be heroic. (These words have to do with not getting into fights.) Great heroes do not panic when suddenly confronted with danger and do not get angry when insulted. (These words have to do with patience and self-restraint.) This is because their aspirations are grander than such things, their ambitions reaching far beyond.” To train the body is a noble cause in itself, for the nation may at any time call upon the help of talented individuals, and herein lies the source of his ideals.
  Mengzi said [Mengzi, chapter 6b]: “When Nature bestows responsibility on a person, it first tests his willpower, works his body, starves him, makes him destitute, and ruins whatever he tries to do, thereby activating his mind and building his endurance, making him able where he used to unable.” Take these words to heart, for you more than anything need perseverance and willpower. When practicing Taiji Boxing, do not be afraid of hard work, of enduring many months of difficulty. Is it not a small price to pay in exchange for a lifetime of health? In addition to humility, morality, patience, and self-restraint – practice!
  - written by Dong Yingjie

武當山祖師觀雀蛇鬥智圖
A PAINTING OF THE FOUNDER IN THE WUDANG MOUNTAINS WATCHING A FIGHT BETWEEN A SPARROW AND A SNAKE

董英傑《太極拳釋義》(1948) - painting

武當山張三峯真人觀雀蛇鬭智圖 民國二十六年孟夏
A painting of Zhang Sanfeng watching a fight between a sparrow and a snake, made in the 1st month of summer, 1937

太極拳。傳自張眞人。眞人遼東懿州人。道號三峯。生宋末。身高七尺。鶴骨松姿。慈眉善目。修髯如戟。頂作一髻。寒暑唯一箬笠。手持佛塵。日行千里。洪武初至蜀太和山。結庵玉虛宮修煉。後至陝西寶雞山。又入湖北武當山。與鄕人論書經。談說不倦。一日在屋誦經。有喜雀其鳴特異。眞人憑窗視之。雀在柏樹如鷹俯瞰。地上有一長蛇。蟠結仰視。二物相爭。雀鳴聲飛下。展翅扇打。長蛇搖首微閃避過。雀一擊不中。翻然飛返樹上。移時性燥。又飛下翅打。長蛇復蜿蜒輕身閃過。仍作圈形。如是多次。並未打著。後眞人出視。雀飛蛇走矣。眞人由此而悟。蟠如太極。採剛柔。按太極陰陽變化。組成太極拳。養精氣神。動靜消長。通於易理。傳之久遠。而功効愈著。北京白雲觀。陝西寶雞山。現存有眞人聖像古蹟。可供瞻仰云。
Taiji Boxing was passed down from the Daoist Zhang Sanfeng. He was from Yizhou in Liaodong. The monastic name he was given was Sanfeng. He was born during the end of the Song Dynasty [ending in 1279]. Standing seven feet tall, he had a crane’s build and a pine’s bearing, with kindness in his eyes and brows. His beard was as long as a halberd and his hair was in a bun atop his head. Regardless of winter or summer he wore the same wide hat of bamboo. He held a Buddhist duster and walked immense distances in a single day.
  At the beginning of Emperor Hongwu’s reign [1368], Zhang went to Mt. Grand Harmony in Sichuan to practice asceticism, joining the Temple of Jade Emptiness monastery, then went to Mt. Baoji in Shaanxi. Zhang traveled again, going to Mt. Wudang in Hubei, where he tirelessly conversed with the villagers about the Daoist scriptures.
  One day, while reciting passages in his room, an excited sparrow appeared in the courtyard. Because of its unique chirping, Zhang looked out his window to watch it. The sparrow was in a cypress tree, gazing down eagle-eyed, while on the ground there was a snake coiling and weaving, looking up at the sparrow. The two animals were fighting. The sparrow cried out and flew down, spreading its wings to give flapping strikes. The snake waved its head to slightly dodge, avoiding the sparrow’s wings. Having missed, the sparrow returned to the tree to express its annoyance for a while, then flew down to try again. The snake again wriggled its nimble body to evade, remaining in its coiled shape. It went on like this many times without a strike. Then Zhang came out to watch more closely, and the sparrow flew away and the snake slithered off.
  Zhang was enlightened by this incident. The snake’s coiling was like the taiji symbol, embodying both hardness and softness. From the taiji’s alternations of passive and active was devised Taiji Boxing. It cultivates essence, energy, and spirit. Movement and stillness wax and wane as in the theory of the Book of Changes. This is the way it comes down to us from long ago and its effectiveness is increasingly proven. In the White Cloud Temple in Beijing, as well as at Mt. Baoji in Shaanxi, there is still a historic image of Zhang that we can gaze upon with reverence.

董英傑《太極拳釋義》(1948) - portrait 1

著者近照
Current photo of the author

董英傑《太極拳釋義》(1948) - portrait 2

民國卅年英傑太極拳同門合照攝於香港
Group photo: Dong Yingjie with his Taiji Boxing students, taken in Hong Kong, 1941 [before the Japanese occupied it that December]

董英傑《太極拳釋義》(1948) - portrait 3

民國卅三年甲申十月初八慶祝董夫子生辰太極拳社同人合影
Group photo: celebrating Master Dong’s birthday with Taiji Boxing Society colleagues, 21st year of the cycle, 10th month, 8th day [i.e. Nov 23, 1944]

董英傑《太極拳釋義》(1948) - portrait 4

民國三十八年十一月廿七日董老師壽辰香港英傑太極拳同人公宴攝影
Group photo: banquet celebration of Master Dong’s birthday with Taiji Boxing colleagues in Hong Kong, Nov 27, 1949

董英傑《太極拳釋義》(1948) - calligraphy

精氣
Pureness and energy
英傑
– calligraphy by Dong Yingjie

Upper inscription:
太極拳為宋末張三峯真人所創其術以靜制動以柔制剛小之可以健身大之可以禦敵故承其流者不絕
董英傑先生為北方太極拳之魁年前承粵省軍府之聘以教多士比來香江從之遊者益衆近以精氣二字書贈
秉剛五兄蓋勵以不息不怠之精成其正大正剛之氣也吾知其不負贈言之意矣
建國三十年黃花莭後十日為秉剛五兄題 王站薪
Taiji Boxing was created by Zhang Sanfeng during the late Song Dynasty. His art uses stillness to control movement, softness to control hardness. On the smaller scale, it can build up the body. On the larger scale, it can fend off enemies. That is why this tradition has continued ceaselessly to this day.
  Dong Yingjie is renowned in the north for his mastery of Taiji Boxing. Last year, he came to Guangdong, hired by the army to teach martial arts to the soldiers. Recently he has come to Hong Kong and has made us an edifying gift of calligraphy which says: “pureness and energy”. Also known as 5th Brother Binggang, he says this is encouragement to have the purity of never resting and never being lazy, and is also a hope that we will achieve an energy of grandness and indomitability. I know we will not betray the intention of his message to us.
  - inscription by Wang Zhanxin, ten days after the Daylily Festival, 1941

Lower inscription:
董君英傑精於武偶然書之雄姿具在自來愚人能書者眾矣善其氣完其力則備精氣二字迺董君為秉剛五兄所書飄颺灑落及太極法同其功可佩也 簡經綸
Dong Yingjie is an expert at martial arts and also happens to produce heroic calligraphy. Any fool can make calligraphy, but he has perfected his energy and strength, which is clear from his writing of the words “pureness and energy”. Dong is also known as 5th brother Binggang [“controller of hardness”]. His calligraphy is waving and flowing, just like his Taiji. His skill is admirable.
  - inscription by Jian Jinglun

董師英傑事略
A BRIEF BIO OF DONG YINGJIE

董師河北任縣世家也。祖業農。幼聰穎。惜體弱。童年好讀書。兼嗜習武事。請於祖父。許之。適其世好劉瀛州先生在座。劉為老拳術家。曾與廣府太極拳名師楊老振先生為盟友。深知太極為最高之拳術。祖命拜劉氏學習。劉問志。答曰願學天下最好之武術。健身自衛。他日功成必發揚國術之光。劉羨其志。隨先授一個攬切衣。時劉氏已年逾古稀。祇可耳提口授。經數月請老振先生之弟子李增魁。授完全套太極架子(卽十三式)。越年劉氏攜吾師往會甯村訪李香遠先生。李府石屋高聳宅壯如城。李迎劉於門外。見李年少儒雅。彬彬有禮。至宅坐談。未久劉命跪呈帖拜師。李師隨命演拳一看。後又授以用法。使一中指用內勁微按肌膚。痛入骨髓。吾師神其技。知為隱居高人。逐留居苦練經年。技大進。李嘉之。命歸家鄕自練。約期造府傳授。及抵家園。體魄魁梧。不復當年荏弱矣。
自是闢室自居。文武兼修。廣納豪傑。每有訪者。必留居之。日必酒肉盛待。以武會友而求博學。未幾好學慷慨之名不踁而走。身懷絕技者亦遠道而來。面授精奧。吾師獨愛太極拳。慕北平楊氏名。又別鄕井再求深造。抵平時。友好每謂楊氏功夫代不外傳。請毋徒勞。吾師曰。惟志誠能感天地。昔武俠劍俠皆義氣待師。忠實感情而得傳。已有前例。原待師傳得眞傳殊非難事也。拳如不外傳何以得自陳家濃。依法求學得到而後已。乃踵門拜楊師澄甫先生為師。求學不倦。迨楊太老師南來攜吾師同行。隨待晨昏三年。功臻輕巧矣。時有機緣得遊南京、上海、杭州、蘇州、各處名勝。遊山玩水。藉以會友。寓蘇州時。前師李香遠先生來蘇。吾師狂喜叩拜。李曰知汝好學。隨楊師足跡遍大江南北。今以師徒之份特來訪。知汝功夫尚未到家。南方有功夫之拳術家甚多。恐汝吃虧。於師傅名譽不雅。今再傳汝內勁功夫。囑要悟、要練、自成。庶可放心矣。李師住蘇州年餘始北行。二十年前。楊師應廣州之聘。吾師隨太老師南來。又得恭侍左右。時已隨楊師十年。到至誠感應。楊氏家學亦已得之矣。嗣後與師弟楊守中共承衣砵。留粵宣傳太極拳術。以繼師志。十餘載於茲。桃李芬芳。遍布國內外。粵港陷落隱居澳門時。頗愛書畫。日以品茗著述自遣。不問世事。其品格淸高。殊堪敬佩。而偶一興至。必演其身手。以示衆徒。動如遊龍。靜似山岳。具輕靈沉靜之巧。及試其運勁各種妙法。或輕舒猿臂。發人於丈外。或蓄勁含胸。化巨力如擊絮。虛虛實實。神乎其技。設非身歷其境或個中健者。似未敢置信。夫子之道誠高深莫測也。吾師嘗言得楊師口授。得李師指點。不敢自當成功。但知眞太極拳門徑耳。
弟子李琪佳
Dong is from Ren County, Hebei, born into a wealthy farming family. He was a bright boy, but also rather frail. In his youth, he loved to read books and was also addicted to practicing martial arts. He asked his grandfather for permission to train, who then invited his friend Liu Yingzhou to visit.
  Liu was an old boxing arts master and a colleague of the famous Taiji Boxing master Yang Laozhen of Guangping Prefecture. Aware that Taiji Boxing was a superb boxing art, the grandfather engaged Liu as a teacher. Liu asked about the boy’s motivation.
  Dong said: “I want to learn the best martial art in the world. That way I can get fit, protect myself, and carry on our cultural glory.”
  Liu admired his ambition and taught him the first move. Liu was already more than seventy years old, so he could no longer properly demonstrate, only give spoken instruction. After a few months of this, he invited Li Zengkui, a student of Yang Laozhen, to teach Dong the rest of the boxing set.
  After a year, Liu took Dong to Huining Village to meet Li Xiangyuan. Li lived in tall stone house, sturdy as a city wall. He came outside to welcome Liu. Liu then saw that Li was a young gentleman, scholarly and urbane. They went inside, sat and talked, and soon Liu told Dong to kneel before Li as his teacher.
  Li then told Dong to show him what he had learned so far. After watching him, Li taught him some applications for the movements. He also demonstrated using internal power with a single finger, showing that just a slight pressure on skin can induce pain all the way into bone. Dong was amazed and knew that Li was a genuine master living in seclusion.
  Dong stayed with him and trained hard for several years, and his skill made tremendous progress. Li acknowledged his achievement, then told him to go home and keep practicing, and after a certain amount of time to return for further instruction. When Dong arrived in his hometown, he now had a robust physique, no longer the weakling that he used to be.
  After completing his training with Li, Dong started teaching students himself. Being equally skilled in both literature and martial arts, he accepted a wide range of eager heroes. Every challenger ended up deciding to stay. There was wine and meat served every day, martial arts friendships formed, and a sincere desire to learn from each other.
  Soon his reputation was being spread by enthusiastic students. Even those who were already highly skilled came from far away to receive personal instruction from him in order to gain a deeper understanding. Although Dong appreciated other martial arts, he loved only Taiji Boxing. He admired the version taught by the Yang family in Beijing, and so he left home again to pursue even more advanced studies.
  When Dong arrived in Beijing, his friends there all told him: “The Yang family doesn’t teach their art to outsiders, so don’t even waste your time.”
  Master Dong replied: “Sincerity can move heaven and earth. In the old days, swordsmen were all loyal to their teachers, and it was this sentiment that moved those teachers to pass down the knowledge. By serving their teachers, they received the teachings – it’s as simple as that. Anyway, if the art was not taught to outsiders, then how could it have left the Chen Village in the first place? As long as you approach it with the correct attitude, then seek and you shall find, right?” He then went to visit Master Yang Chengfu, bowed before him, was accepted as his student, and proved to be tireless in his quest for knowledge.
  When Yang came to the south, he brought Dong with him, who served as his personal servant every morning and evening for three years. Constantly being in Yang’s presence, Dong consequently achieved a very high level of skill. He also had the great fortune to visit such scenic places as Nanjing, Shanghai, Hangzhou, and Suzhou during this tour for Yang to meet with Taiji Boxing colleagues.
  While in Suzhou, his former teacher Li Xiangyuan happened to be visiting there as well. Dong was overjoyed to see him again and bowed before him. Li told him: “I know that you love to learn and that you have traveling all over the country with Master Yang. But as your former teacher, I see that your skill is not yet complete. In the south, there are a great many skilled boxing artists,
and I worry they will defeat you, ruining Yang’s reputation. I’ll teach you some more internal power training. Contemplate it, practice it, fulfill your potential. Then you can be more confident of your chances.” Li stayed in Suzhou for more than a year before returning north.
  Twenty years ago, Yang accepted an invitation to go to Guangzhou. Dong accompanied him south as his personal assistant. He had already accompanied Yang for ten years. Impressed with his sincerity, Yang had already taught him the entire curriculum. He subsequently became a formal inheritor of the art alongside Yang Shouzhong, Chengfu’s eldest son and Dong’s junior classmate. Dong and Shouzhong both remained in Guangdong area to promote the art and continue Yang Chengfu’s work. After carrying out this work for more than ten years, the students he taught were everywhere, both within the nation and abroad.
  When Guangdong and Hong Kong fell to the Japanese, he moved to Macao, where he devoted himself to painting and calligraphy, and kept himself sane each day by drinking tea, producing writings, and ignoring the war. His aloofness to worldly affairs was greatly admired. However, he was still getting visited from time to time by Taiji Boxing enthusiasts, for whom he would demonstrate his skills, making a point of sharing the art with students even in those days.
  In movement like a swimming dragon, in stillness like a mountain, he possesses the qualities of both nimbleness and serenity. Whenever people give him a try, he has various subtle ways of manipulating energy, sometimes extending his arms like an ape and shooting a person away more than ten feet, sometimes hollowing his chest and absorbing power so that attacking with a large force feels like striking in futility at cotton. Fuller and fuller, emptier and emptier, his skill seems magical. Unless you feel it yourself, you will not believe it. What he does is beyond comprehension.
  Master Dong once said: “Despite the personal instruction I received from Master Yang and the guidance I was given by Master Li, I would still not dare to say that I am accomplished in the art, but at least what I was taught is the authentic stuff.”
  - written by Dong’s student Li Qijia

太極拳系統表
LINEAGE OF TAIJI MASTERS

董英傑《太極拳釋義》(1948) - chart

張三丰祖師―王宗岳
Zhang Sanfeng → Wang Zongyue
〔王宗岳〕{北支派 南支派
Wang Zongyue → northern branch, southern branch
〔北支派〕{蔣發─陳家溝數代―陳長興
Northern branch: Jiang Fa → Chen family through several generations → Chen Changxing
〔陳長興〕{楊祿禪 子姓輩
Chen Changxing → Yang Luchan, descendents of the Chen family
〔南支派〕{張松溪 王來咸 上為四明支派傳人不詳
Southern branch: Zhang Songxi → Wang Laixian (These represent the transmission of the art at Mt. Siming, which is not detailed clearly.)

〔楊祿禪〕{長子鳳侯未傳人 次子班侯 幼子健侯
Yang Luchan → his eldest son Fenghou, his second son Banhou, and his youngest son Jianhou
〔楊班侯〕{陳秀峯 姪兆林字振遠鳳侯子 外姓數人
Yang Banhou → Chen Xiufeng, his nephew Zhaolin (called Zhenyuan [and Laozhen], Fenghou’s son), and many others outside of the family
〔楊健侯〕{子兆熊字少侯 子兆淸字澄甫 外姓數人
Yang Jianhou → Yang Zhaoxiong (called Shaohou), Yang Zhaoqing (called Chengfu), and many others outside of the family

英傑受業於楊老師澄甫。吾師所傳弟子遍於海內。人才傑出者。何止千人。實難一一備錄。尚希諸位師兄見諒。余在上海、廣州、港、澳、各地。所授亦在數千以上。亦不及一一備錄。希諸友見諒為禱。
I myself learned the art from Master Yang Chengfu. Yang has taught students throughout the nation, producing thousands of talented practitioners. There are far too many to list here, so I hope you will forgive me for not doing so. I too have taught additional thousands, in very places such Shanghai, Guangzhou, Hong Kong, Macao, and so on. Again too many to list, again your pardon.

董英傑《太極拳釋義》(1948) - diagram 1

無極
Nonpolarity:

無形無象
全體透空
恍兮惚兮
其中有物
Formless, shapeless,
your whole body should feel empty.
Then spontaneously, imperceptibly,
from within nothingness, somethingness arises.

董英傑《太極拳釋義》(1948) - diagram 2

太極
Grand Polarity:

有餘不足
判分陰陽
動靜消長
乃成太極
There is more than enough and yet also not enough,
and thus arises the distinctions of passive and active.
Movement and stillness alternate,
forming a grand polarity.

董英傑《太極拳釋義》(1948) - diagram 3

四象五行
Four Manifestations & Five Elements:

消長老嫩
演成四象
寒暑亨貞
寓以五行
Growth and decline throughout the season
produces the four manifestations.
Responding to the changing seasons smoothly and appropriately
is represented by the five elements.

太陰―水
Greater passive – water
少陽―木
Lesser active – wood
太陽―火
Greater active – fire
少陰―金
Lesser passive – metal
萬物歸於土
Return to a balanced state – earth

四正四隅圖
Compass chart for the four cardinal directions & four corner directions:

董英傑《太極拳釋義》(1948) - diagram 4


S
東南 西南
SE  SW
東  守中  西
E  center  W
東北 西北
NE  NW

N

董英傑《太極拳釋義》(1948) - diagram 5

Eight Trigrams:

巽 離 坤
☴ ☲ ☷
震☳   ☱兌
☶ ☵ ☰
艮 坎 乾

震 Zhen – “Quake”
巽 Xun – “Thunder”
離 Li – “Fire”
坤 Kun – “Ground”
兌 Dui – “Valley”
乾 Qian – “Sky”
坎 Kan – “Water”
艮 Gen – “Mountain”

Ten Celestial Stems:

丙丁
☴ ☲ ☷
甲乙☳戊 己☱庚辛
☶ ☵ ☰
壬癸

甲 Jia – “Seed”
乙 Yi – “Sprout”
丙 Bing – “Shoot”
丁 Ding – “Ear”
戊 Wu – “Sickle”
己 Ji – “Bundle”
庚 Geng – “Pestle”
辛 Xin – “Sack”
壬 Ren – “Haul”
癸 Gui – “Store”

Twelve Terrestrial Branches:

辰巳 午 未申
☴ ☲ ☷
卯☳   ☱酉
☶ ☵ ☰
寅丑 子 亥戌

子 Zi (11pm–1am: “Conception” – picture of a baby, representing also the new day beginning at midnight)
丑 Chou (1am–3am: “Curled Up” – in sleep)
寅 Yin (3am–5am: “Contortion” – curled up further in sleep)
卯 Mao (5am–7am: “Shutters Opening” – i.e. dawn)
辰 Chen (7am–9am: “Slight Bowing” – looking down away from the sun above the horizon)
巳 Si (9am–11am: “Deep Bowing” – slouching over in response to rising sun)
午 Wu (11am–1pm: “Oppression” – sun directly above)
未 Wei (1pm–3pm: “Short Shadow” – shadow finally moving off center)
申 Shen (3pm–5pm: “Long Shadow”)
酉 You (5pm–7pm: “Wine Withdrawn” – the wine going back into the bottle, i.e. sunset)
戌 Xu (7pm–9pm: “Depression” – woundingly missing the daylight)
亥 Hai (9pm–11pm: “Bliss” – picture of a man and woman in bed together)

凡例
ABOUT THIS BOOK

(一)本書所列無極太極八卦五行諸圖。乃先賢解釋拳理之用。其意由無形無象判分陰陽。再由陰陽動靜分成四象。四象之老嫩演成五行。山川日月上下六合而成八卦。學太極拳者。乃由八卦五行練起。至無形無象而大成。故讀者以符號目之可也。不必泥而究之。
1. This book contains diagrams representing the concepts of nonpolarity, grand polarity, the eight trigrams, and the five elements. These can be used to aid you in understanding the writings of the masters. The basic theory is that from a state of formlessness and shapelessness arose the distinctions of passive and active, the duality of the passivity of stillness and the activity of movement were then subdivided into the four manifestations, these four stages of the life cycle evolved further into the concept of the five elements, and the six unions (mountain with river, sun with moon, upward with downward) subsequently led to the development of the eight trigrams.
  The great achievement of Taiji Boxing practitioners is to go from training with the eight trigrams and five elements back to a state of formlessness and shapelessness. Therefore although these symbols can be used to give you insights, there is no need for them to become the main focus of your studies.

(二)本書太極拳架子圖共二五八幅。各有名稱。各有解釋。解釋不厭求詳。故不求文字之茂麗。
2. This book presents the Taiji boxing set in a total of two hundred fifty-eight photos. Also included are the names of the postures and instructions on how to perform the movements. The instructions are merely intended to explain the movements in detail, so do not expect the text to be flowery prose.

(三)架子圖所以示範後學。用代原人。故必須力求迫肖。勿失其眞。例如古字古畫。差一分一釐卽神彩盡失。毫無價値矣。若架子圖祇用摹仿之繪圖畫像。必難得眞確。非但不易遵循。更恐以訛轉訛。貽誤於人。故著者特不惜工資。製成精美圖片。庶使能顯現原人姿態神情。學者按圖索驥。自易明白領悟。進步加速。
3. The purpose of the photos of the boxing set is so that it can be demonstrated to students in the absence of an actual teacher. You have to strive to imitate them as faithfully as possible. It is like copying ancient calligraphy or ancient paintings. With the slightest divergence from the original, it loses all its character and hence its value.
  However, if you are merely imitating the photos, it will be difficult for you to make your performance truly authentic. Other students would then have a harder time following along with you and would probably pick up errors from you that they would have trouble fixing later. Therefore generous men have spared no expense to produce photos of high enough quality that they also reveal the teacher’s poise and expressiveness. By examining these photos carefully, you will easily understand how to perform the set properly, and thereafter your progress will quicken.

(四)是書乃發揚國粹。不湮眞傳。故將心得全部刊出。辭不模棱。文不掩飾。公開作科學上之研究。
4. The purpose of this book is to promote the essence of our culture so that it does not disappear into oblivion. I am therefore publishing in these pages all that I have learned, conveyed in plain and unpretentious language, and share it openly also that it might be of some use for scientific research.

(五)昔人授拳。僅授口訣。極少形之於筆墨。現將先賢遺留歌訣。全部刊出。其不詳者。再於經驗談中補述之。
5. Long ago, boxing arts were taught only through oral instruction, and so it was extremely rare for any material to be written down. In this book, I present the unique instructional poems passed down from the old masters. Wherever they are not entirely clear, I hope my chapter called “Lessons from Experience” will help make more sense of their ideas.

(六)經驗談二十則。乃平素經驗之談。諺云。欲知山下路。要問過來人。讀者細心體會。勿以等閑目之。
6. The twenty items in “Lessons from Experience” are ordinary words of wisdom. There is a saying: “If you want to know the road ahead, ask a passerby.” Therefore examine these items carefully rather than casually.

(七)前人所傳口訣。僅輕靈鬆軟外柔內剛八字而已。學者以此八字對核原文。自可領悟。
7. The secrets of the old masters can be summed up in a mere eight words: light & sensitive, loose & supple, external soft, internally hard. Keep these eight words in mind while studying the classics and you will easily grasp everything.

(八)外界有云。楊氏太極拳。有大中小三套架子。實則僅此一套。練熟之後。由熟而化。或高或低。或快或慢。隨心所欲。編者於四十年前。見鳳侯先生之子兆林先生之拳。係楊班侯先生親授。乃係緊湊之架子。打來不快不慢。澄甫先生係寬大柔綿而緩。少侯先生則緊湊而速。余乃集三位先生之意。收斂而不速不遲。此乃成功之後。隨心所變者也。倘初習者。仍以澄甫先生之架子為根基。希讀者勿疑架子為三套也。
8. Laymen sometimes say that Yang Style Taiji has three sets: a large one, a medium one, and a small one. They are actually all the same set. Once you have become skillful at it, you can adjust it as you please, doing the stances higher or lower, doing the movements faster or slower.
  Forty years ago, I saw Yang Fenghou’s son Laozhen perform the set, who had received personal instruction from his uncle Banhou. The postures were compact and it was done at a medium pace. Yang Chengfu’s performance was big postures, soft, flowing, and slow. Yang Shaohou’s was compact postures and fast. Having observed the interpretations of these three masters, my own postures are rather restrained and my movements are done at a relatively medium pace.
  Once you have learned the set well, you will be able to switch the size and speed as you wish, but I suggest that beginners use Yang Chengfu’s version as the foundation. I just hope it is clear now that there are not three sets.

(九)有云。太極拳功勁。有一部份失傳。此係欺人之談。倘盡心研究。必可得全體大用之一步。惟須有勤恆兩字。
9. It is said that Taiji Boxing’s energy skills have been partially lost. This is a lie. If you study the art with your full dedication, you will surely be able to attain the whole thing and make enormous progress. All you need is hard work and perseverance.

(十)練拳為基本。如學字先寫九宮格也。練成之後。正草隸篆。隨心所欲。至各種兵器。亦然如此。拳成之後。無論何種兵器。均可得心應手。其原理卽將手接長一部份而已。學者以此揣摩。卽可領會。
10. Learning the boxing set is the foundation. The process is similar to learning to write Chinese characters, which first involves using paper that is covered in squares to write the words into so that you will be writing them in a more orderly manner from the start. Once you have grasped the art of calligraphy, you will be able to write as you please in standard script, cursive, scribe script, or seal script.
  It is the same for training with the various weapons. Once you have ingrained the boxing set, you will be able to perform with equal proficiency with any weapon, in accordance with the principle that a weapon is merely an extension of the hand. Contemplate this concept, and then all of the art will become clear.

太極拳源流論
ON THE ORIGINS OF TAIJI BOXING

太極拳之名。始於何時。稽諸史實。未有確論。相傳始祖係宋時張三丰。因偶覩雀蛇相鬥。悟剛柔之理。按太極陰陽變化。創為太極拳。其詳見上張三丰祖師觀雀蛇鬥智圖小記。而宋氏家傳太極功源流支派論。則稱唐代許宣平已有太極功。雖不稱拳而稱功。然所載三十七式。與楊家所傳者。名稱大致相同。想太極拳由來已久。至張三丰而集其大成。至王宗岳而發揚光大。其傳流派系。卷首序文已詳及。太極拳系統表更列而明之。毋庸贅述。考昔之言武技者。多守祕自珍。不妄傳人。有之亦多出於口授。鮮有形諸筆墨。縱有祕笈。亦不易流傳於外。欲引證考據。殊非易易。然張三丰之於太極拳。猶孔子之於儒家。學者宗之。乃尊師重道之義。千百年來。奉敬不渝。後學更無置疑之必要。下文宋氏所記。聊供參考云耳。
It is not yet clear from any historical research when exactly the name “Taiji Boxing” first emerged. According to tradition, Zhang Sanfeng of the Song Dynasty happened to observe a fight between a sparrow and a snake, which caused him to realize the principle of hardness and softness, corresponding to the alternations of yin and yang within the taiji symbol, and thus he created the art of “Taiji” Boxing. This was already explained above in the text accompanying the painting of Zhang watching the fight between sparrow and snake.
  In the record of the Song family transmission, there is mention of a Xu Xuanping of the Tang Dynasty, who passed down a “Taiji Art”. Although it was called “art” rather than “boxing”, it consisted of thirty-seven postures, most of which have the same names as the postures in the Yang family’s boxing set. Taiji Boxing seems to have started a long time ago, going from Zhang Sanfeng creating it to Wang Zongyue carrying it forward. Its transmission after that was already made clear in the lineage list above.
  When we look for martial teachings from the old days, we discover that most of these skills were kept secret, not lightly taught to anyone. Furthermore, what was taught was usually passed down orally rather then written. And the few books that were written meant little to laymen and therefore were not widely distributed. We would like to cite textual evidence, but this is difficult because there is so little.
  Zhang Sanfeng is to Taiji Boxing what Confucius is to Confucianism – the master whom we all revere. It is essential to be faithful to the teacher and the teachings throughout the generations, even more so for future students.
  Below I have supplied some of the Song family record for your reference.

宋氏太極拳源流支派論 宋遠橋記
DISCUSSION OF THE ORIGINS & BRANCHES OF THE SONG FAMILY TRANSMISSION OF TAIJI BOXING – recorded by Song Yuanqiao [the complete text of which is presented in The Taiji Art]

所謂後代學者不失其本也。自余而上溯。始得太極之功者。授自唐代于歡子訏宣平。至余十四代。有斷亦有繼者。
So that later generations of students will not forget their roots, I am tracing back so that you can receive this art of Taiji that was passed down from Master Xu Xuanping, called Yuhuan, of the Tang Dynasty. Through stops and starts, the art reached me after fourteen generations.

[PART ONE: TRANSMISSION FROM XU XUANPING]

訏先師係江南安徽州府歙縣人。隱城陽山。卽本府城南紫陽山。結茅南陽辟穀。身長七尺六寸。髯長至臍。髮長至足。行及奔馬。每負薪入市販賣。獨吟曰。
Xu Xuanping was from She County, Huizhou Prefecture, in the Jiangnan region. He lived as a hermit at Mt. Chengyang, also called Mt. Ziyang, dwelling in a thatched hut on the south-facing slope. He avoided eating grains. He was over seven feet tall. His beard reached his navel and his hair reached his feet. He walked like a galloping horse. He often carried firewood to sell in the marketplace, chanting this to himself:

負薪朝出賣。沽酒日夕歸。借問家何處。穿雲入翠微。
At dawn I carry firewood to sell.
By dusk I have spent all my money on wine.
Pardon me, where do I live?
Through the clouds up the verdant hillside.

李白訪之不遇。題詩仙橋而回。所傳太極功之拳名卅七。因三十七式而名之。又名長拳者。所云滔滔無間也。總名太極拳三十七式。名目書之於後。
Li Bai went to visit Xu but did not meet him, then inscribed a poem [about not meeting him] at Gazing Immortal’s Bridge and went home. The Taiji Boxing that Xu taught was called Thirty-Seven, because it had thirty-seven posture names. It was also called Long Boxing, as in: “It is like a long river flowing into the wide ocean, on and on ceaselessly…” The names of these thirty-seven postures are listed below:

四正四隅
[1 & 2] FOUR CARDINAL DIRECTIONS & FOUR CORNER DIRECTIONS
雲手
[3] CLOUDING HANDS
彎弓射雁
[4] BEND THE BOW TO SHOOT THE GOOSE
揮琵琶
[5] PLAY THE LUTE
進搬欄
[6] ADVANCE, PARRY, BLOCK
箥箕式
[7] WINNOWING BASKET POSTURE
鳳凰展翅
[8] PHOENIX SPREADS ITS WINGS
雀起尾
[9] SPARROW LIFTS ITS TAIL
單鞭
[10] SINGLE WHIP
上提手
[11] STEP FORWARD, RAISE THE HANDS
倒攆猴頭
[12] RETREAT, DRIVING AWAY THE MONKEY’S HEAD
摟膝抝步
[13] BRUSH PAST YOUR KNEE IN A CROSSED STANCE
肘下捶
[14] PUNCH UNDER ELBOW
轉身蹬腳
[15] TURN AROUND, PRESSING KICK
上步栽捶
[16] STEP FORWARD, PLANTING PUNCH
斜飛式
[17] SLANTED WINGS
雙鞭
[18] DOUBLE WHIP
翻身搬攔
[19] TURN AROUND, PARRY, BLOCK
玉女穿梭
[20] MAIDEN SENDS THE SHUTTLE THROUGH
七星八步
[21] SEVEN STARS IN EIGHT STEPS
高探馬
[22] RISING UP AND REACHING OUT TO THE HORSE
單擺蓮
[23] SINGLE-SLAP SWINGING LOTUS KICK
上跨虎
[24] STEP FORWARD, SITTING-TIGER POSTURE
九宮步
[25] NINE-PALACE STEPS
攬雀尾
[26] CATCH THE SPARROW BY THE TAIL
山通背
[27] MOUNTAIN THROUGH THE BACK
海底珍珠
[28] PEARL UNDER THE SEA
彈指擺蓮
[29] FLICKING FINGER, SWINGING LOTUS KICK
轉身指點捶
[30] TURN AROUND, POINT-THE-WAY PUNCH
雙擺蓮
[31] DOUBLE-SLAP SWINGING LOTUS KICK
金鷄獨立
[32] GOLDEN ROOSTER STANDS ON ONE LEG
泰山生氣
[33] MT. TAI PRODUCES MIST
野馬分鬃
[34] WILD HORSE SENDS ITS MANE SIDE TO SIDE
如封似閉
[35] SEALING SHUT
左右分腳
[36 & 37] KICKING TO THE LEFT & RIGHT
掛樹踢腳
[38] TREE-BOWING KICK
推搌
[39] PUSH & FLATTEN
二起腳
[40] DOUBLE KICK
抱虎歸山
[41] CAPTURE THE TIGER AND SEND IT BACK TO ITS MOUNTAIN
十字擺蓮
[42] CROSSED-BODY SWINGING LOTUS KICK

此通共四十三手。四正四隅。九宮步。七星八步。單鞭。雙鞭。雙擺蓮在外。因自己多坐用功夫。其餘三十七數。是先師所傳也。此勢應一勢練成。再練一勢。萬不可心急齊用。三十七勢。亦無論何勢先。何勢後。只要一上。將勢用成。自然三十七勢。皆化為相繼不斷也。故謂之長拳。腳跴五行。懷藏八卦。腳之所在。為中央之土。八門五步。以中央為準。
This totals forty-three [forty-two] techniques. Apart from FOUR CARDINAL DIRECTIONS & FOUR CORNER DIRECTIONS, NINE-PALACE STEPS, SEVEN STARS IN EIGHT STEPS, SINGLE WHIP, DOUBLE WHIP, and DOUBLE-SLAP SWINGING LOTUS KICK, which come from my own experience, the other thirty-seven were what Xu taught.
  These postures should each be trained one at a time until mastered before moving on to the next posture. Never be impatient for more. It does not matter which of the thirty-seven postures precedes or follows, only that they link together naturally, so that the postures all transform from one into another continuously. That is why it is called “Long Boxing”.
  While your feet step according to the five elements, maintain awareness of the eight trigrams. Stand at the central element of earth. No matter what you do with your hands or feet, the center is the standard you operate from.

[PART TWO: TRANSMISSION FROM LI DAOZI]

俞氏太極功。名曰先天拳。亦曰長拳。得唐李道子所傳。李道子係江南安慶人。至明時嘗居武當山南岩觀。不食煙火。第啖麥麩。故人稱之曰麩子李。又稱夫子李。見人不語他。惟曰大造化三字。
The Yu family’s Taiji art is called Innate Nature Boxing, also called Long Boxing. It was passed down by Li Daozi of the Tang Dynasty. Li was from Anqing in Jiangnan. During the present Ming Dynasty, he lived in the Wudang Mountains at the Southern Cliffs Temple. There he did not eat cooked food, he instead snacked on wheat bran, and therefore people called him “Wheat Bran Li” as well as simply Master Li. When he met people, he had nothing to say except “what a blessing”.

然旣云夫子李係唐時人。何以知明時之夫子李。卽是唐代之夫子李。緣予游江南涇縣。訪俞家。方知俞家先天拳。亦如予之三十七式。太極之別名也。俞家太極功。係唐時李道子所傳。俞氏代代相承。每歲必拜李道子之廬。至宋時尚在也。越代不知李道子所在。
[Comment by Song Shuming:] (In order to find out if the Master Li of the Ming Dynasty was Li Daozi of the Tang Dynasty, my ancestor traveled to see the Yu family of Jing County, Jiangnan. He there discovered that their Innate Nature Boxing was also, like our Thirty-Seven Postures, another name for Taiji. It was also confirmed to him that the Yu family’s art had been transmitted from Li Daozi of the Tang Dynasty and was then passed down in the family from generation to generation. Members of the Yu family went every year to Li’s cottage to honor him, continuing to do so into the Song Dynasty, though it is not known if Li was still there by that point.)

嗣後予偕俞蓮舟游湖府襄陽廣均州武當山。見一道人蓬頭垢面。呼俞蓮舟曰。徒再孫焉往。兪蓮舟怒曰。汝係何人。無禮如此。我觀汝一掌必死。道人曰。徒再孫且看汝出手。蓮舟怒極。進步連掤帶捶。但未近身。道人飛起十餘丈。平空落下。矻立無損。蓮舟謂道人曰。汝總用過功夫。不然能敵我者鮮矣。道人曰。汝與兪淸慧兪一誠相識否。蓮舟悚然曰。此皆予上祖之名也。急跪曰。原來是我之祖師。李道子曰。我在此數十寒暑。未曾開口。汝今遇我誠大造化哉。汝來吾再以功夫授汝。自此蓮舟不但無敵。並得全體大用矣。
Yu Lianzhou and I have lately traveled to the Wudang Mountains in Junzhou, Xiangyang Prefecture, Hebei. There we found a shabby-looking Daoist, who called out to Yu Lianzhou: “Hey, grandkid, where are you going?”
  Yu angrily replied: “For such rude words, I’m warning you, with a slap you’ll be dead!”
  The Daoist said: “Sure, grandkid, show me your technique.”
  Yu came forward to deliver a series of punches, but before he connected, he was lifted about a hundred feet into the air and then came down without getting any bones broken. He told the Daoist: “Your skill surpasses everything to be able to throw me like that!”
  The Daoist asked: “Do you not know of Yu Qinghui and Yu Yicheng?”
  When Yu heard this, a shiver went up his spine. “Those are names of my distant ancestors.” Hurriedly kneeling down, he said: “You’re their teacher!”
  The Daoist Li said: “I’ve been here all these years without telling anyone. To see you now – what a blessing indeed. I will teach you my art.”
  Yu henceforth became not just invincible, but incredible.

蓮舟與余常與張松溪、張翠山、殷利亨、莫谷聲相往還。後余七人再往武當山拜李祖師未遇。於太和山玉虛宮見玉虛子張三丰。三丰蓋張松溪張翠山師也。洪武初卽在此山修練。余七人在山拜求請益者月餘而歸。松溪翠山拳名十三式。亦太極功之別名也。李道子所傳蓮舟口訣曰。
There was Yu Lianzhou and myself, along with Yu Daiyan, Zhang Songxi, Zhang Cuishan, Yin Liheng, and Mo Gusheng – we all had contact with each other. We all went together to Wudang to do obeisance to Master Li, but we could not find him there. At the Daoist “Jade Void Palace” on the heights of Mt. Taihe, we instead met Master Zhang Sanfeng, who had already been instructing Zhang Songxi and Zhang Cuishan. In the first year of the reign of Emperor Hongwu [1368], he had practiced asceticism at Mt. Taihe.
  The seven of us did obeisance to him, seeking his instruction for more than a month before returning home. Master Zhang’s boxing art, which had so far been passed down only to Zhang Songxi and Zhang Cuishan, is called Thirteen Dynamics, another name for the Taiji art.

李道子所傳蓮舟口訣曰。
Here is the “Song of Secrets” taught to Yu Lianzhou by Li Daozi:

無形無象 全身透空 應物自然 西山懸磬
虎吼猿鳴 水淸河靜 翻江播海 盡性立命
Be formless and shapeless.
Let your whole body be full of emptiness.
Respond to things naturally.
Be like chimes hung in the western hills [their sound resonating far].
Have the roar of a tiger and the cry of an ape.
The bubbling spring keeps fresh the calm stream.
Divert the river and turn back the sea.
Fulfill your nature and accept your destiny.

王宗岳太極拳論
THE TAIJI BOXING TREATISE OF WANG ZONGYUE

太極者。無極而生。陰陽之母也。動之則分。靜之則合。無過不及。隨曲就伸。人剛我柔謂之走。我順人背謂之黏。動急則急應。動緩則緩隨。雖變化萬端。而理為一貫。由著熟而漸悟懂勁。由懂勁而接及神明。然非用力之久。不能豁然貫通焉。虛靈頂勁。氣沈丹田。不偏不倚。忽隱忽現。左重則左虛。右重則右杳。仰之則彌高。俯之則彌深。進之則愈長。退之則愈促。一羽不能加。蠅蟲不能落。人不知我。我獨知人。英雄所向無敵。蓋由此而致也。斯技旁門甚多。雖勢有區別。槪不外乎壯欺弱。慢讓快耳。有力打無力。手慢讓手快。是皆先天自然之能。非關學力而有也。察四兩能撥千斤。顯非力勝。觀耄耋能禦衆人。快何能為。立如平準。活如車輪。徧沉則隨。雙重則滯。每見數年純功。不能運化者。雙重之病未悟耳。欲避此病。須知陰陽。黏卽是走。走卽是黏。陽不離陰。陰不離陽。陰陽相濟。方為懂勁。懂勁後。愈練愈精。默識揣摩。漸至從心所欲。本是捨己從人。多誤舍近求遠。所謂差之毫釐。謬之千里。學者不可不詳辨焉。是為論。
Taiji is born of wuji, and is the mother of yin and yang. When there is movement, the passive and active aspects become distinct from each other. When there is stillness, they return to being indistinguishable.
  Neither going too far nor not far enough, comply and bend, then engage and extend. He is hard while I am soft – this is yielding. My energy is smooth while his energy is coarse – this is sticking. If he moves fast, I quickly respond, and if his movement is slow, I leisurely follow. Although there is an endless variety of possible scenarios, there is only one theory throughout.
  Once you have ingrained these techniques, you will gradually come to identify energies, and then from there you will work your way toward something miraculous. But unless you practice a lot over a long time, you will never have a breakthrough.
  Forcelessly press up your headtop. Energy sinks to the elixir field. Neither incline nor lean. Suddenly hide and suddenly appear. When there is pressure on the left, the left empties. When there is pressure on the right, the right disappears. When looking up, it is still higher. When looking down, it is still lower. When advancing, it is even farther. When retreating, it is even nearer. A feather cannot be added and a fly cannot land. The opponent does not understand me, only I understand him. A hero is one who encounters no opposition, and it is through this kind of method that such a condition is achieved.
  There are many other schools of boxing arts besides this one. Although the postures are different between them, they generally do not go beyond the strong bullying the weak and the slow yielding to the fast. The strong beating the weak and the slow submitting to the fast are both a matter of inherent natural ability and bear no relation to skill that is learned. Examine the phrase “four ounces can deflect a thousand pounds”, which is obviously nothing to do with abundance of strength. Or consider an old man repelling a group, which could not come from an aggressive speed.
  Stand like a scale. Move like a wheel. If you drop one side, you can move. If you have equal pressure on both sides, you will be stuck. We often see one who has practiced hard for many years and yet is unable to perform any neutralizations, and the issue here is that this error of double pressure has not yet been understood.
  If you want to avoid this error, you must understand passive and active. In sticking there is yielding and in yielding there is sticking. The active does not depart from the passive and the passive does not depart from the active, for the passive and active exchange roles. Once you have this understanding, you will be able to identify energies. Once you are identifying energies, then the more you practice, the more efficient your skill will be, and by absorbing through experience and by constantly contemplating, gradually you will reach the point that you can do whatever you want.
  The basic of basics is to forget about your plans and simply respond to the opponent. We often make the mistake of ignoring what is right in front of us in favor of something that has nothing to do with our immediate circumstances. For such situations it is said: “Miss by an inch, lose by a mile.” You must understand all this clearly. That is why it has been written down for you.

王宗岳太極拳論詳解
Explanations to the text:

太極者。無極而生。陰陽之母也。
Taiji is born of wuji, and is the mother of yin and yang.

【解】不動為無極。已動為太極。無極生太極。太極分陰陽。由陰陽演為變化萬象也。
When there is no movement, there is no [wu] polarity [ji]. Once there is movement, there is a grand [tai] polarity [ji]. Non-polarity generates grand polarity, which then divides into the passive and active aspects [yin / yang]. The interactions of passive and active produce the transformations that make all things.

動之則分。靜之則合。
When there is movement, the passive and active aspects become distinct from each other. When there is stillness, they return to being indistinguishable.

【解】凡練太極。心意一動則分發四肢。太極生兩儀。四象。八卦。九宮。卽掤捋擠按採挒肘靠中定也。靜則反本還元。復歸無極。心神合一。滿身空空洞洞。稍有接觸卽能知覺。
In the practice of Taiji, once your mind moves, it expresses into your limbs. The grand polarity generates the dual aspects, which lead to the four manifestations, the eight trigrams, and the nine palaces. The nine correspond to warding off, rolling back, pressing, pushing, plucking, rending, elbowing, bumping, and staying put in the center. When there is stillness, there is return to the wuji state, in which mind and spirit merge, your entire body becomes an emptiness, and you become sensitive to the smallest contact.

無過不及。隨曲就伸。
Neither going too far nor not far enough, comply and bend, then engage and extend.

【解】不論練拳對敵。毋過毋不及。過與不及皆失重心點。如敵來攻我順化為曲。曲者灣也。如敵來攻不逞欲退。我隨彼退時就伸。伸者出手發勁也。過有頂之弊。不及有丟之弊。不能隨曲謂之抗。不能就伸謂之離。謹記丟頂抗離四病而去之。功到不卽不離。方能隨手湊巧。運用自如。
Be it practicing the solo set or dealing with opponents, neither go too far nor not far enough. In either case, you will become uncentered. If the opponent attacks, bend to go along with it and neutralize it. Bending means curving. If the opponent attacks and does not yet want to retreat, go along with him, and then when he retreats, extend. Extending means to send out a hand and issue power. Going too far is the mistake of crashing in. Not going far enough is the mistake of coming away. If you cannot comply and bend, you are resisting. If you cannot engage and extend, you are disconnecting.
  Sincerely take note of these four errors to avoid: running away, crashing in, resisting, and disconnecting. If in your practice you can keep yourself from reaching or separating, then you will easily become skillful.

人剛我柔謂之走。我順人背謂之黏。
He is hard while I am soft – this is yielding. My energy is smooth while his energy is coarse – this is sticking.

【解】與人對敵。如對方出力剛直。則我用柔軟之手搭上。如皮鞭鞭物。緊緊纏搭在彼勁上。能放能長。對方縱欲摔開甚難。譬如彼出大力。我隨粘其手腕往後坐身。但手仍緊搭不離。往懷收轉半個圈謂之走。走為化。以化其力。向其左方伸手使敵身側不得力。則我為順。人為背。黏之使不能走脫也。
When dealing with an opponent, if his power is hard and determined, make your hand soft and pliant and drape it over his hard attack. It is like a whip striking something, tightly coiling around his energy, enabling you to withdraw and extend as you please, but making it very difficult for him to cast you aside.
  If he applies a lot of force, stick to his [right] wrist and sit to the rear,
and without breaking contact draw him toward your chest and turn a half circle to yield and neutralize, then extend your hand toward his left to turn him sideways and cut off his access to his power. With your energy smooth and his energy now coarse, simply stick to him and he cannot get away.

動急則急應。動緩則緩隨。
If he moves fast, I quickly respond, and if his movement is slow, I leisurely follow.

【解】今者習拳同志多知柔化。不知急應之法。不易與外功對敵。如敵來勢緩則柔化跟隨。此理甚明顯。如敵來勢急則柔化焉能應付哉。須用太極截勁之法。不後不先之理以應之。何謂截勁。如行兵埋伏突出截擊之。何謂不後不先。於敵手已發未到之際。我手於敵膊未直時截入。一發卽去。此為迎頭痛擊法。然欲能動急則急應者。非得眞傳不可。
Practitioners these days often know how to soften and neutralize, but not how to quickly respond, and so they have a hard time dealing with opponents from the external school. If the opponent attacks slowly, then soften, neutralize, and follow him. This principle is obvious. But if he attacks very fast, what good would softening and neutralizing be? Thus I apply Taiji’s intercepting energy and the principle of “neither after nor before” as a response.
  What is the intercepting energy? It is like a hiding army suddenly coming out to strike. What does neither after nor before mean? If his hand is on its way but not yet arrived, intercept his arm before it has straightened, promptly dispelling his attack. This is defeating a frontal assault by way of a frontal assault. “If he moves fast, I quickly respond.” If you do not have the authentic teachings, this cannot be done.

雖變化萬端。而理為一貫。
Although there is an endless variety of possible scenarios, there is only one theory throughout.

【解】與人對敵。推手或散手。無論何著法。有大圈。小圈。半個圈之巧。有陰陽之奧妙。有步法之虛實。有太極陰陽魚不丟頂之理。循環不息。變化雖有千萬。太極之理則一也。
When facing an opponent, be it either pushing hands or sparring, and regardless of the technique, in each case there are these things: large circles, small circles, and half circles; the subtleties of passive and active; emptiness and fullness in the footwork; the passive and active fishes swimming in the taiji symbol; the principle of neither pulling away nor crashing in; and cycling on and on without pause. Though there are countless variations, the Taiji theory is the same.

由著熟而漸悟懂勁。由懂勁而接及神明。
Once you have ingrained these techniques, you will gradually come to identify energies, and then from there you will work your way toward something miraculous.

【解】著者拳式也。先學姿勢正確。次要熟練。方能懂勁。今之練拳者專談懂勁。忽視練拳功夫。捨本逐末。安能懂勁。更何能有發人之勁。古語云。方寸之木。可使高於岑樓。故欲接及神明。必先求懂勁。欲求懂勁。必先求著熟。功夫由下而上。由低而高。不能僭越也。
By “techniques” is meant the postures in the solo set. The first step is to learn how to do the postures correctly, then the next step is to practice them until you are proficient at them, and then you will be capable of identifying energies. Practitioners nowadays are too focused on talking about identifying energies. Neglecting the actual training, they ignore the basics and get lost in pointless details, thereby preventing themselves from becoming capable of identifying energies, much less shooting opponents away.
  There is an ancient saying [from Mengzi, chapter 6b]: “You can convince yourself an inch of wood is taller than a tall building.” If you wish to achieve a miraculous level, you first have to strive to identify energies. In order to identify energies, you first have to master techniques. The training requires you to work your way up to higher levels by starting from the lowest level. You cannot skip ahead.

然非用力之久。不能豁然貫通焉。
But unless you practice a lot over a long time, you will never have a breakthrough.

【解】拳愈練愈精。功夫旣到。則如水到渠成。一旦豁然貫通。然非久練久熟。祇尚空談。不能達此境也。
The more you practice, the more refined your abilities will become, until finally skill is achieved. Like water at last reaching a canal, you will one day have a breakthrough. Unless you train for a long time, developing your proficiency over a long period, these will just be empty words and you will be unable to achieve this condition.

虛靈頂勁。氣沉丹田。
Forcelessly press up your headtop. Energy sinks to your elixir field.

【解】頂者頭頂也。此處道家稱為泥丸宮。素呼天門。頂勁非用力往上頂。乃空虛而頭容正直。精神上提。但不可氣貫於頂。練久眼目光明。無頭痛之病。丹田在臍下寸餘。卽小腹處。一身元氣總聚於此。氣歸丹田。以意行之。通流四肢。氣不能沉於丹田。則滯塞於一處。不能分運於四肢也。
“Headtop” means the top of the head. Daoists call this place the “clay pellet palace”, but it is more commonly called the “divine gate”. The strength at the headtop is not to be pressed up with effort, it should instead be done forcelessly, and this will straighten the head. Spirit will rise up but energy must not be allowed to penetrate to the headtop. After practicing for a long time, your eyes will shine and you will be immune to headaches.
  The “elixir field” is just over an inch below the navel. It is the lower abdomen area. All of the body’s vitality is gathered in this place, from where it is sent to the limbs by way of intention. If energy is not able to sink to the elixir field, it will become stuck somewhere else, incapable of being moved into the limbs.

不偏不倚。忽隱忽現。
Neither incline nor lean. Suddenly hide and suddenly appear.

【解】不偏者守中土也。不論偏向何方。卽易失重心。偏前則易拉倒。偏後則易推倒。偏左偏右。其弊相同。不倚者亦守中土也。例如用手按人。對方突然縮後或閃避。己身卽蹌踉前僕。失去重心。予人以可乘之機。此倚之弊也。行功論云。立身須中正安舒。支撐八面。卽不偏不倚之意。隱者藏也。現者露也。設敵向我身擊來。我身收束為隱。使敵不能施其力。如敵手往後回抽時。我隨之跟進為現。敵不知我式之高低上下。無法擋禦我手。例如河中小艇。人步踐其上。必略低沉為隱。又裹步必隨起為現。又猶龍之變化。能升能降。降則隱而藏形。現則飛昇太虛興雲佈霧。此理言太極能高能低。忽隱忽現。有神機莫測之妙。
To not incline means maintaining a centered position. Whatever direction you incline toward will make you prone to losing your balance. If you incline forward, it is easy to get pulled. If you incline backward, it is easy to get pushed. The same problems arise if you incline to either side.
  To not lean also means maintaining a centered position. An example of the error of leaning against the opponent is if you push on him and he suddenly withdraws or dodges away, causing you to stumble forward, losing your balance, which thereby gives him an opportunity to take advantage of. This is why leaning is a mistake. As it says in How to Practice: “Your posture must be straight and comfortable, bracing in all directions.” This is the meaning of “neither incline nor lean”.
  To “hide” means to conceal. To “appear” means to reveal. If the opponent comes in to strike you, shrink in to suddenly hide, causing the opponent to be unable to make use of his power. If he then withdraws his hand, follow him by advancing, suddenly appearing. Not knowing whether your technique will go up or down, nor how high or how low, there is nothing he can oppose it with.
  It is just like a little boat in a river: when a person takes a step onto it, it will slightly dip, “suddenly hiding”, and once he steps his other foot in, it will then rise, “suddenly appearing”. It is also like the changes of a dragon, which can ascend and descend: when it descends, it hides and conceals its form, and when it appears, it can ascend into the sky, manifesting as clouds. According to this principle, Taiji can be high or low. Suddenly hiding and suddenly appearing gives you the quality of being magically unpredictable.

左重則左虛。右重則右杳。
When there is pressure on the left, the left empties. When there is pressure on the right, the right disappears. [Due to the different contexts of “empty” and “disappear”, this section is referring to facing an opponent with your right side forward and left side back.]

【解】重者不動也。試思與人對敵而不動可乎。用拳必須身體活動。手腳敏捷。方能應敵。敵如擊我左方。我身略偏虛使彼不能逞。如擊我右方。我右肩往後收縮。使其拳來無所著。我體靈活。不可捉摸。卽左重左虛。右重右杳也。
Where there is pressure, there is no movement. When dealing with an opponent, how can you do it without movement? If you apply the boxing, you must be lively with your body and agile with your limbs, and then you will be able to deal with opponents. If an opponent strikes to your left side, slightly turn to create an emptiness so that he cannot succeed. Then when he strikes to your right side, draw back your right shoulder, causing his fist to attack nothing. Your body should be quick and lively, incomprehensible. And so for pressure on your left, empty on your left, and for pressure on your right, disappear on your right.

仰之則彌高。俯之則彌深。
When looking up, it is still higher. When looking down, it is still lower.

【解】仰為上。俯為下。敵欲高攻。我卽因而高之。使不可及。敵欲壓我下。我卽因而降之。使敵失其重心。此守法也。設自己主動進攻。仰之彌高則眼上看。心想將敵人擲上屋頂。俯之彌深。則心想將敵人打入地內。昔班侯老師夏日在村外場(場卽北方收糧場地)內乘涼。突來一人。拱手問班侯老師居處。答曰吾卽楊某也。其人突出大食中三指襲擊。老師見場內有草房高七八尺。招手曰。朋友請上去。遂將其人擊上屋頂。又曰請速下回家覓醫。其人狼狽遁去。鄕人問何能擊之使上。曰仰之彌高也。有洛萬子曾從班侯老師習技數年。欲試師技。班侯老師曰。將汝擲出元寶形好否。萬笑曰且試之。及較手。果如所言。萬手腳朝天。右胯著地如元寶形。將胯摔脫矣。醫療數月方愈。萬功夫甚好。至今尚健在。常曰俯之彌深利害極矣。
[When referring to the opponent, these phrases mean:] “Looking up” means going upward. “Looking down” means going downward. If the opponent wants to attack you high, go higher up and he will not be able to get to you. If he wants to catch you low, go lower down and induce him to fall from his center.
  When referring to yourself, these phrases mean: “Look up still higher” – gaze upward with your eyes and think of sending the opponent up onto a roof. “Look down still lower” – think of sending him down into the ground. Both looking up and looking down in this manner are illustrated by a couple of anecdotes about Yang Banhou:
  [1] One day in July outside a village at a granary in the north, Yang was cooling off on the threshing ground when suddenly a person came up
and saluted, saying: “I am looking for the home of Yang Banhou.”
  Yang said: “That’s me.”
  The man put out his thumb, forefinger, and middle finger in a sudden attack. Yang looked to a thatched roof in the threshing area that was seven feet high and made an inviting gesture with his hand, saying: “Buddy, you go up there.” Having tossed him on top of it, he then said: “Please come down and hurry to a doctor.” Dumbfounded, the man then came down and ran away.
  A villager asked: “How could you throw him up there?”
  Yang said it was by “looking up still higher.”
  [2] Yang had a student named Luo Wanzi who had trained for several years and wanted to test his skill. Yang said: “Do you think I can throw you away to be shaped like a gold ingot?”
  Luo laughed and said, “You can try.”
  They crossed hands and just as Yang had said, Luo, hands and feet pointed up and hips on the ground, ended up in the shape of a gold ingot. His hip was dislocated by the experience and it took several months of medical attention for him to walk properly again.
  Luo’s boxing became excellent. He is still alive and constantly comments that “looking down still lower” is devastating.

進之則愈長。退之則愈促。
When advancing, it is even farther. When retreating, it is even nearer.

【解】向敵進攻或追擊時。我進身跟步。步步逼之。使不能逃脫。故我手能愈進而愈長也。如不跟步。則手短不能及矣。退讓敵人時。或虛身以化之。或退步以避之。隨機應變。以其力不能及為度。故我能退而愈促也。總言之。卽粘連黏隨之妙。去丟頂離抗之病也。
When attacking or chasing the opponent, advance with your body and follow with your step, crowding him with your steps so that he cannot get away. This means that when you advance, he has to get even farther away to escape you. If you do not crowd him with your steps, your arms on their own would be able to reach him.
  When yielding, you can absorb his attack in order to neutralize it or retreat to evade him altogether, acting according to the situation, in either case preventing his full force from reaching you. This means that when you retreat, he has to get even nearer to find you.
  To sum up, the marvels of sticking, connecting, adhering, and following will dispel the errors of coming away, crashing in, separating, and resisting.

一羽不能加。蠅蟲不能落。
A feather cannot be added and a fly cannot land.

【解】練功旣久。感覺靈敏。稍有接觸。卽能感覺而應之。一羽毛之輕。我亦不䭾。蠅蟲之小。亦不能落我身。蠅蟲附我身。如著落琉璃瓶。光滑不能立足。蓋我以微妙之化力將蠅蟲足分蹉也。能如此則太極之功成矣。昔班侯老師於夏日行功時。常臥樹蔭下休息。偶或風吹葉落其身上。隨落隨脫滑落地。不能停留。又常試己功。解襟仰臥榻上。捻金米「卽小米」少許置臍上。但呼一聲。小米猶彈弓射彈丸。飛射屋頂瓦面,班侯老師之功誠不可及。同志宜勉之。
Once you have worked at it for a long time, your sensitivity will be acute. When there is the smallest contact, you will be aware of it. You will not carry something even as light as a feather, and something as small as a fly will not be able to land on you. When a fly lands inside a glass vase, the surface is too smooth for it to gain any footing, and likewise when you use the subtlety of neutralizing energy, making the fly’s feet slip instead of grip. At this stage you can consider your Taiji skill complete. There is an old anecdote about Yang Banhou to illustrate this:
  When practicing in the peak of summer, Yang would often lie down in the shade from a tree to take a rest. One day a breeze took a leaf off and it fell onto his body, but it could not stay on him and slipped off onto the ground.
  [Another anecdote:]
  Yang would often measure his skill by unbuttoning his jacket and lying back on his bed with a handful of yellow grain (i.e. millet) and put a few of the grains on his navel, and then with a shout it seemed the grains had been shot from a pellet bow and flew up to hit the tile-roofed ceiling.
  Yang Banhou’s skill could be considered to be at the summit and you all should emulate him.

人不知我。我獨知人。英雄所向無敵。蓋由此而致也。
The opponent does not understand me, only I understand him. A hero is one who encounters no opposition, and it is through this kind of method that such a condition is achieved.

【解】與人對敵。不用固定方式。如諸葛用兵,或攻或守。敵莫能預測。諺云不知我葫蘆賣什麼藥。此人不知我也。自己能懂勁。則感覺靈敏。敵手稍動。我卽知覺。隨手湊巧應之。如非近身搭手。亦可離遠審察敵之意圖。此我獨知人也。兵法云。知己知彼。百戰百勝。英雄所向無敵。蓋由此而致也。
When dealing with an opponent, do not use predictable techniques. It is like Zhuge Liang’s strategy of “sometimes attacking, sometimes guarding” so that the opponent will be unable to anticipate you. A proverb says: “People don’t know what the medicine in my bottle is when I sell it to them.” This is the principle of “the opponent does not understand me”.
  If you are able to identify energies, you will be sensitive and alert.
When he makes the slightest movement with his hand, you will already know what he is up to, and thus you will be able to go along with his technique to take advantage of it and skillfully respond. Even if you are not yet close enough to connect to him, you can still examine his intention. This is the principle of “only I understand him.”
  Sunzi said [Art of War, chapter 3]: “Knowing both self and opponent, you will win every time.” And so “a hero is one who encounters no opposition, and it is through this kind of method that such a condition is achieved”.

斯技旁門甚多。雖勢有區別。槪不外乎壯欺弱。慢讓快耳。有力打無力。手慢讓手快。是皆先天自然之能。非關學力而有也。
There are many other schools of boxing arts besides this one. Although the postures are different between them, they generally do not go beyond the strong bullying the weak and the slow yielding to the fast. The strong beating the weak and the slow submitting to the fast are both a matter of inherent natural ability and bear no relation to skill that is learned.

【解】拳術種類甚多。各門姿式不同。注重力大手快以取勝則一。然此祇應用天賦之本能。與所學之技藝無關也。太極之理。則精微巧妙。非待恃力大手快取勝。異於凡技也。
Despite the variety of boxing arts and that each school’s postures are different, they are all the same in that they emphasize the strength being great and the hands being fast. This is merely the use of natural ability, nothing to do with any kind of trained skill. The principles of Taiji have a more refined subtlety, altogether different in that it does not rely on strength and speed.

察四兩能撥千斤。顯非力勝。
Examine the phrase “four ounces can deflect a thousand pounds”, which is obviously nothing to do with abundance of strength.

【解】太極功深。有引進落空之妙。千斤無所施用。所謂四兩撥千斤也。昔京西有富翁。莊宅如城。人稱小府張宅。其人好武。家有鏢師三十餘人。慕廣平府楊祿禪之名。托友武祿靑往聘。及至。張見楊太師身軀瘦小。衣服樸素。貌不驚人。心輕之。因執禮不恭。設讌亦不豐。楊太師知其意。遂自酌自飲。略不旁顧。張不悅曰。嘗聞武兄言先生盛名。但不知太極果能打人乎。楊太師曰有三種人不可打。張問為何三種。答曰銅鑄者。鐵打者。木作者。此外無足論。張曰敝舍鏢師卅餘人。為首者劉教師。力能舉五百斤。與戲可乎。答曰無妨。及起試。劉發式猛如虎。拳風有聲。臨近。楊太師以右手引其落空。以左手輕拍之。劉跌出三丈外。張撫掌笑曰。眞神技也。遂使橱人從新換滿漢盛讌。敬奉如師。劉雖力大如牛而不能勝。蓋無巧也。由此可知顯非力勝矣。
When your Taiji skill deepens, you will possess the subtlety of drawing the opponent in to land on nothing, and then even a thousand pounds of force will be useless to him. This is what is meant be “four ounces deflecting a thousand pounds”. To illustrate, here is an old anecdote [about Yang Luchan]:
  In the western part of Beijing, there was a rich man whose mansion was like a whole town and people nicknamed it “the mini-prefecture of Zhang’s house”. He was a huge fan of martial arts, keeping more than thirty bodyguards in his home. So when he heard of the famous practitioner Yang Luchan of Guangping Prefecture, he sent his friend Wu Luching to go invite him to the mansion.
  When the request had brought Yang to him, Zhang saw he was a thin little man wearing the clothes of a commoner, unimpressive in appearance and with a whimsical manner. Zhang thus received him with a discourteous manner and gave him a banquet that was by no means grand. Yang took the hint and correspondingly poured his own wine to drink on his own and ignored everyone.
  This in turn annoyed Zhang, who then said: “Often have I heard my martial brothers here gossiping about your great reputation, but I wonder if Taiji can actually be used in a fight with anyone.”
  Yang responded: “It is useless in a fight against three kinds of people.”
  Zhang asked: “And what are they?”
  Yang answered: “People made of bronze, iron, or wood. They’re hard to fight with. But the rest are easy.”
  Zhang said: “Well, in my house there’s more than thirty. Teacher Liu is the best among them. His strength can lift five hundred pounds. Could you show us with him?”
  Yang replied: “Might as well give it a try.”
  Liu fiercely attacked, bearing down on Yang like a tiger, with his fists whooshing like the wind. As Liu closed in, Yang used his right hand to draw in the attack to land on nothing and with his left hand made a slap. Liu stumbled away more than thirty feet.
  Zhang clapped his hands together, smiling, and said: “You truly have a magical skill.” Then he called for his cooks to start over and give a real banquet, replacing Manchurian dishes for proper Chinese ones, and respected Yang as a master.
  Liu had the strength of an ox, but was not able to win because he lacked skill. The phrase “obviously nothing to do with abundance of strength” will now make sense.

觀耄耋能禦衆人。快何能為。
Or consider the sight of an old man repelling a group, which could not come from an aggressive speed.

【解】七八十歲為耄耋。耄耋能禦衆人。指練拳者言。不練拳。雖在壯年。欲敵一二人難矣。戰定軍山之老黃忠言。人老馬不老。馬老刀不老。其言甚壯。練太極者。筋骨內壯。血氣充足。功夫至老不脫。人老而精神不老。故能禦衆人也。昔建侯老師與八九人較。衆一擁而前圍攻之。但見老師數個轉身。衆人俱已跌出。有八九尺者。亦有遠至丈餘者。老師時年近八十。耄耋禦衆。非妄言也。快何能為之快字。指無著數之快。此忙亂耳。非眞快也。焉能應用。快而不失法度為眞快。斯可應用矣。
Seventy years old, eighty years old – that is an old man. If he can repel a group, this shows he has trained in a boxing art. One who does not train, though he be robust of youth, has a hard time dealing with even one or two opponents. It is like at the battle of Mt. Dingjun, when the old general Huang Zhong said: “Though a man be old, his horse is not old, and even if his horse is old, his saber is not old.”
  These are very potent words, for when you practice Taiji Boxing, your body stays robust inside, your vitality remains abundant, and your skill does not diminish with age. Your body may age but your spirit will not age, and you will be able to match a large number. To illustrate, here is an anecdote about Yang Jianhou:
  Eight or nine people surrounded and swarmed in upon him. They then saw him twist his body a few times and they all went stumbling away eight, nine, ten feet or more. As he was nearly eighty years old then, it makes “an old man repelling a group” no exaggeration.
  “Could not come from an aggressive speed” means an uncalculating kind of speed which would be better termed as haste. When speed is rushed and disordered, it is useless. It is not good to lack speed, but speed needs technique for it to be of any use.

立如平準。活似車輪。
Stand like a scale. Move like a wheel.

【解】立如平準。卽立身中正。支撐四方八面。不偏不倚也。活似車輪。言氣循環不息。環行全身。不消遲滯。如車輪之轉動也。
To “stand like a scale” means that your body stands centered, not leaning in any direction, and thereby able to brace in all directions. To “move like a wheel” means that the energy circles without interruption, circling throughout your entire body without any sluggishness anywhere, as smooth as the turning of a wheel.

偏沉則隨。雙重則滯。
If you drop one side, you can move. If you have equal pressure on both sides, you will be stuck.

【解】何謂偏沉。前說車輪之譬。猶用一腳偏踏車輪。自然隨之而下。何謂雙重。猶右腳踏上右方。左腳踏上左方。兩方力量均衡。則滯而不能轉動。其理甚明。
What is meant by “dropping one side”? Building on the wheel analogy, if you use a foot to press down one side of a wheel, it will automatically move with the wheel and slip down off of it. To “have equal pressure on both sides” is, according to this analogy, like the right foot pressing down on the right side of the wheel while the left foot is pressing down on the left side of the wheel. With equal force on both sides the wheel is jammed up and does not move. This principle is now quite clear.

每見數年純功。不能運化者。雙重之病未悟耳。
We often see one who has practiced hard for many years and yet is unable to perform any neutralizations, and the issue here is that this error of double pressure has not yet been understood.

【解】嘗有數人練太極拳。勤習不懈。用功五六年。與人較。則平日所學。全不能運用。不能制敵。有旁觀者曰。汝用功五六年。可謂純功矣。何以不能勝。請演十三式觀之。見其練法怒目切齒。奮力如牛。筋絡盡露。旁觀者笑曰。此為雙重練法。尊駕未悟雙重之病耳。另一人曰。我不用力練五六年。為何連十歲頑童亦不能打倒。又請演十三式觀之。見其練法毫不著力。如風擺楊柳。飄搖浮蕩。旁觀者笑曰。此為雙浮練法。尊駕為雙浮誤矣。雙重為病。雙浮亦為病也。
There were several students who had been practicing Taiji diligently for five years or so but could not actually use anything they had learned and were unable to control opponents.
  An onlooker commented: “After five years of hard work, you ought to have great skill, so why do you lose? Would you demonstrate the solo set so I can see what you’re doing?” Their performance involved glaring fiercely with their eyes, clenching their teeth, and showing the strength of oxen, their muscles bulging. The onlooker laughed and told them: “The issue is double pressure. You’ve not understood the error of double pressure.”
  Another student then said: “I’ve been working at not using exertion for five years, so why can’t I even defeat a ten-year-old boy?”
  The onlooker then asked him to also demonstrate the boxing set, and saw that he had no strength, floating around in the air like a willow subjected to the wind. The onlooker laughed and told him: “You are making the error of double vacuum. Just as double pressure is an error, so too is double vacuum.”

欲避此病。須知陰陽。
If you want to avoid this error, you have to understand passive and active.

【解】欲避雙重雙浮之病。須明陰陽之理。陰陽卽虛實也。
If you want to avoid the errors of “double pressure” and “double vacuum”, you have to understand the principle of passive and active, meaning emptiness and fullness.

黏卽是走。走卽是黏。陽不離陰。陰不離陽。陰陽相濟。方為懂勁。
In sticking there is yielding and in yielding there is sticking. The active does not depart from the passive and the passive does not depart from the active, for the passive and active exchange roles. Once you have this understanding, you will be able to identify energies.

【解】總言之。黏連走化。懂敵人之勁也。前解甚多。不再贅述。
It all comes down to: stick and connect, yield and neutralize, and identify the opponent’s energies. Each of these concepts have been explained earlier, so it is not necessary to go over them again here.

懂勁後。愈練愈精。默識揣摩。漸至從心所欲。
Once you are identifying energies, then the more you practice, the more efficient your skill will be, and by absorbing through experience and by constantly contemplating, gradually you will reach the point that you can do whatever you want.

【解】能懂敵之來勁後。不斷練習。卽久練久熟。愈練愈精。常默識老師所授用法。揣摩其身手動作。極熟後。則意到手到。心手合一。漸至從心所欲矣。
Once you are able to identify the opponent’s attacking energies, you must not rest in your practice. The process takes a long time. The more you practice, the more refined your skill will become. It is necessary to constantly contemplate the applications that are taught and the movements of your body and hands. Once you are very skilled at the movements and their functions, your hands will go where your intentions goes, mind and hands working in unison, and you will have gradually obtained the ability to do whatever you want.

本是捨己從人。多誤捨近求遠。
The basic of basics is to forget about your plans and simply respond to the opponent. We often make the mistake of ignoring what is right in front of us in favor of something that has nothing to do with our immediate circumstances.

【解】與敵對手。要隨人所動。不可自動。吾師澄甫先生常言。由己則滯。從人則活。能從人便得落空之妙。由己反不能由己。能從人便能由己。理雖奥妙而確切。惟功夫未到。則不易領略其意耳。常人與敵對手。多不用近而用遠。須知以靜待動。機到卽發為近。出手慌忙。上下尋機擊敵為遠。此多誤捨近而求遠也。
When dealing with an opponent, you should act according to his movements and not from yourself. Yang Chengfu often said: “Acting from yourself gets you stuck. Following the opponent keeps you free to move.” If you can follow the opponent, you will then obtain the subtlety of getting his attacks to land on nothing. If you instead try to act from yourself, you will not even be able to act from yourself. You can only act from yourself in the context of following the opponent. This principle is very true but very subtle, and if you do not achieve this condition through your own practice, I fear it will not be easy to understand.
  When dealing with opponents, people often do not make use of what is right in front of them and instead apply techniques that have no relation to what is going on. When you patiently wait for his actions and express power when the moment is right, you are paying close attention to the situation. When your hands are hurrying all over the place up and down in search of a spot to strike him, you are doing something that has nothing to do with the situation.

所謂差之毫釐。謬以千里。學者不可不詳辨焉。是為論。
For such situations it is said: “Miss by an inch, lose by a mile.” You must understand all this clearly. That is why it has been written down for you.

【解】太極拳精微巧妙。分寸毫釐。不可差也。如差毫釐。等隔千里。不能應用矣。學者於此。不可不注意焉。
The area in which Taiji Boxing’s subtle techniques operate is maybe the width of a hair and widens to perhaps no bigger than an inch, and so there is not much of a window for miscalculation. To misjudge by a hair is the same as being off by a thousand miles, the technique rendered totally ineffective. You must always keep this in mind.

王宗岳行功論
WANG ZONGYUE’S TREATISE ON HOW TO PRACTICE

以心行氣。務令沉著。乃能收斂入骨。以氣運身。務令順遂。乃能便利從心。精神能提得起。則無遲重之虞。所謂頂頭懸也。意氣須換得靈。乃有圓活之趣。所謂變化虛實也。發勁須沉著鬆淨。專主一方。立身須中正安舒。支撐八面。行氣如九曲珠。無微不到。運勁如百煉鋼。無堅不摧。形如搏兔之鶻。神如捕鼠之貓。靜如山岳。動若江河。蓄勁如張弓。發勁如放箭。曲中求直。蓄而後發。力由脊發。步隨身換。收卽是放。斷而復連。往復須有摺疊。進退須有轉換。極柔軟然後極堅剛。能呼吸然後能靈活。氣以直養而無害。勁以曲蓄而有餘。心為令。氣為旗。腰為纛。先求開展。後求緊湊。乃可臻於縝密矣。
Use the mind to move energy. You must get your posture to settle. The energy is then able to collect in the bones. Use energy to move the body. You must get your movement to be smooth. The body can then easily obey the mind.
  If you can raise your spirit, then you will be without worry of being slow or weighed down. The Thirteen Dynamics Song calls for the whole body to be nimble and the headtop to be pulled up as if suspended. The mind must perform alternations nimbly, and then you will have the qualities of roundness and liveliness. The Thirteen Dynamics Song says to pay attention to the alternation of empty and full.
  When issuing power, you must sink and relax, concentrating it in one direction. Your posture must be straight and comfortable, bracing in all directions.
  Move energy as though through a winding-path pearl, penetrating even the smallest nook. Wield power like tempered steel, so strong there is nothing tough enough to stand up against it.
  The shape is like a falcon capturing a rabbit. The spirit is like a cat pouncing on a mouse.
  In stillness, be like a mountain, and in movement, be like a river.
  Store power like drawing a bow. Issue power like loosing an arrow.
  Within curving, seek to be straightening. Store and then issue. Power comes from the spine. Step according to the body’s changes. To gather is to release. Disconnect but stay connected.
  In the back and forth [of the arms], there must be folding. In the advance and retreat [of the feet], there must be variation.
  Extreme softness begets extreme hardness. Your ability to be nimble lies in your ability to breathe.
  By nurturing energy with integrity, it will not be corrupted. By storing power in crooked parts, it will be in abundant supply.
  The mind makes the command, the energy is its flag, and the waist is its banner.
  By seeking first the gross movement and then the finer details, you will be able to attain a refined level.

又曰。彼不動。己不動。彼微動。己先動。勁似鬆非鬆。將展未展。勁斷意不斷。
It is also said:
  If he takes no action, I take no action, but once he takes even the slightest action, I have already acted. My power seems to be relaxed but not relaxed, about to extend but not fully extending. Although the power finishes, the intent of it continues.

又曰。先在心。後在身。腹鬆靜氣斂入骨。神舒體靜。刻刻在心。切記一動無有不動。一靜無有不靜。牽動往來。氣貼背。歛入脊骨。內固精神。外示安逸。邁步如貓行。運勁如抽絲。全身意在蓄神不在氣。在氣則滯。有氣者無力。無氣者純剛。氣如車輪。腰若車軸。
It is also said:
  First in the mind, then in the body.
  The abdomen relaxes completely and then energy collects in the bones. The spirit is comfortable and the body is calm.
  At every moment be mindful, always remembering: if one part moves, every part moves, and if one part is still, every part is still.
  As the movement leads back and forth, energy stays near the back and gathers in the spine. Inwardly bolster spirit and outwardly show ease.
  Step like a cat and move energy as if drawing silk.
  Throughout the body, the mind should be on the spirit rather than on the energy, for if you are fixated on the energy, your movement will become sluggish. Whenever the mind is on the energy, there will be no power, whereas if you ignore the energy and let it take care of itself, there will be pure strength.
  The energy is like a wheel and the waist is like an axle.

王宗岳行功論詳解
Explanations to the text:

以心行氣。務令沉著。乃能收歛入骨。
Use the mind to move energy. You must get your posture to settle. The energy is then able to collect in the bones.

【解】平時用功。練十三勢時。用心使氣。緩緩流行於骨肉內外之間。意為響導氣隨行。練拳姿勢要沉舒。心意要貴靜。心不靜不能沉著。不能沉著則氣不收入骨。卽是外勁非內勁矣。練太極拳須能收歛入骨。此眞正太極勁也。
In your daily training of practicing the Thirteen Dynamics solo set, use your mind to get the energy to slowly spread between the bones and muscles. The intent is the guide and the energy follows it. When practicing the solo set, the postures should be settled and comfortable. The mind should have a strong sense of calmness, for if the mind is not calm, there will be no settling. If you cannot have settling, the energy will not collect in the bones, and you will merely have external strength rather than internal power. When practicing Taiji Boxing, the energy has to be able to collect in the bones for it to be genuine Taiji power.

以氣運身。務令順遂。乃能便利從心。
Use energy to move the body. You must get your movement to be smooth. The body can then easily obey the mind.

【解】欲使氣渾身流通。必須將十三勢校正務錯。姿勢上下順遂。勁不逆扭。方能使氣流通。如姿勢順遂。手腳運用從心所欲矣。
If you want to get energy to move through your body, it is crucial that the instruction you obtain as to how to do the solo set be precisely correct. The postures should be smooth in the upper body and lower. There is no forced strength, so the energy can then get through. If the postures are smooth, the mind will command and the hands and feet will obey.

精神能提得起。則無遲重之虞。所謂頂頭懸也。
If you can raise your spirit, then you will be without worry of being slow or weighed down. The Thirteen Dynamics Song calls for the whole body to be nimble and the headtop to be pulled up as if suspended.

【解】精神為一身之主。不但練拳。無論作何事。有精神則迅速。無之則遲慢。故談拳必以提起精神為先。欲要提起精神。須頭容正直頂勁。泥丸宮虛靈勁上昇。此法悟通。卽提起精神之法也。
The spirit is the entire body’s director. Not only is this so in the practice of boxing, but in everything you do. With spirit, there will be quickness, whereas without it, there would be slowness. Therefore when discussing boxing, it is essential that raising the spirit is the first thing to be addressed. If you want to raise your spirit, your head is to be upright and should have an energy of pressing up. This is the natural energy of rising at the “clay-pellet palace” [acupoint at the top of the head]. Once you comprehend this principle, you will have the method of raising the spirit.

意氣須換得靈。乃有圓活之趣。所謂變化虛實也。
The mind must perform alternations nimbly, and then you will have the qualities of roundness and liveliness. The Thirteen Dynamics Song says to pay attention to the alternation of empty and full.

【解】意氣卽骨肉內流動物也。至於練拳打手。欲得莫可名狀之佳趣。須使此種流動物流行全身。意左卽左。意右則右。斯為太極有虛實之變化。意氣之換法。猶如半瓶水。左側則左蕩。右側則右蕩。能如是。不但得圓活之趣。更有手舞足蹈之樂。至此境地。縱有人阻我練拳。恐欲罷不能也。
Intention is something that moves between the bones and muscles. When practicing the solo set or playing hands, the experience feels captivating in a way that words are not quite adequate to explain. You must get intention to course through your whole body. When your intention goes to the left, your body goes to the left, and when your intention goes to the right, your body goes to the right. These are the transformations of empty and full in Taiji.
  The alternations of intention are like a flask half full of water: tip it to the left and it floods the left half, or tip it to the right and it floods the right half. If it can be like this, not only will you have obtained the qualities of roundness and liveliness, there will also be pleasure in the movements of your hands and feet. Once in such a delightful state, nobody could stop you from practicing if they tried.

發勁須沉著鬆淨。專主一方。
When issuing power, you must sink and relax, concentrating it in one direction.

【解】與人敵。先將對方治住。窺其易失重心之方向。發勁打之。發勁無論出何手。肩肘要沉下。心中要鬆淨。我勁不散。專注一方。敵不難跌出丈外矣。
When facing an opponent, first get him under your control, looking for the direction that his balance will be most easily compromised, then issue power. Whatever technique you are using, your shoulders and elbows have to be sinking down and your mind has to be calm and clear. Without letting your power scatter, focus it in a single direction, and then it will not be difficult to send him stumbling away more than ten feet.

立身須中正安舒。支撐八面。
Your posture must be straight and comfortable, bracing in all directions.

【解】頭容正直尾閭中正。身卽不偏。內心要舒展。以靜待動。腰腿如立軸。手膊如臥輪。圓轉如意。方能支撐八面。
When your head is upright and your tailbone is centered, your body will not lean. In your mind, there should be a sense of comfort. Await movement with stillness. Your waist and thighs move like a vertical pivot while your arms and hands move like a horizontal wheel. With these two mechanisms roundly turning as you please, you will then be able to brace in all directions.

行氣如九曲珠。無微不到。
Move energy as though through a winding-path pearl, penetrating even the smallest nook.

【解】九曲珠者。卽一個珠內有九曲灣也。人身譬如珠。四體百骸無不灣也。能行氣達四肢。無處不到者。功成矣。
A “winding-path pearl” is a pearl with a very twisting pathway threaded through it. The human body is like a sphere and the limbs and bones are all laid out along curves. If you can move energy through the limbs without a single place going untouched, you have achieved this principle.

運勁如百練鋼。無堅不摧。
Wield power like tempered steel, so strong there is nothing tough enough to stand up against it.

【解】運勁如百練鋼卽內勁。非一朝一夕之功也。須經若干歲月練習。慢慢磨練而成。猶如荒鐵一塊。慢慢練成純鋼。用作刀劍則其鋒利無比矣。由太極拳練成精細如鋼之功。鐵人亦能打壞。何况對敵者為血肉之軀乎。故曰無堅不摧也。
To “wield power like tempered steel” refers to internal power. It cannot be achieved in a single day. Over the course of many years, gradually work at it until it develops. It is like a lump of iron ore smelted and hammered day after day until gradually it is turned into pure steel, which if you then wished to use to make a sword, its edge would be the sharpest of all. Taiji practice develops a power that is refined like steel. It could break a man made of iron, and therefore what defense would your flesh-and-blood opponents have? Hence: “There is nothing tough enough to can stand up against it.”

形如搏兔之鶻。神如捕鼠之貓。
The shape is like a falcon capturing a rabbit. The spirit is like a cat pouncing on a mouse.

【解】鶻者。鷹類也。冬獵用之。此言與人對敵。我形式如鷹鶻。見物擒來。眼要注視敵人。一搭手就可將敵擒到。如鶻搏兔之狀。貓形肖虎。其捕鼠也。伏身坐後腿以待。全神貫注鼠洞。鼠出則突縱捕之。太極有涵胸拔背之勢。如貓捕鼠之神態。蓄機而發也。
A falcon is a bird of prey, used as part of winter hunts. When facing an opponent, let your bearing be like a bird of prey, which upon seeing an animal, grabs it. Your gaze should attentively be on the opponent. Once you cross hands, you can capture the opponent in the manner of a falcon seizing a rabbit.
  When catching mice, a cat resembles a tiger. Crouching down and lying into its hind legs, it waits for the mouse. Its entire spirit is concentrated on the mouse’s hole. If the mouse comes out, the cat suddenly leaps and the mouse is caught. This describes the energy in Taiji of containing your chest and pulling up your back. It is the attitude of a cat pouncing on a mouse. Wait for opportunity, then issue.

靜如山岳。動若江河。
In stillness, be like a mountain, and in movement, be like a river.

【解】用功日久。腿下有根。站立如山。人力不可動搖也。江河之喩。言各種變化無窮。一手變十手。十手變千百手。滔滔不絕。如長江大河也。
Once you have worked at it every day over a long period, under your legs there will be a feeling of root and you will stand like a mountain that cannot be shaken by any human strength. The river analogy indicates all variety of limitless changes. A single technique changes into ten, which then turns into a hundred as it flows on ceaselessly like the length of a river.

蓄勁如張弓。發勁如放箭。
Store power like drawing a bow. Issue power like loosing an arrow.

【解】蓄者藏也。太極勁不在外而藏於內。與敵對手時。內勁如開弓將射之圓滿。猶皮球有氣充之。敵人伏我膊。雖覺綿軟而不能按下。使敵莫明其妙。敵方狐疑不定。不知我弓已引滿待發矣。我如弓。敵如箭。發勁神速。敵如箭跌出矣。
To store means to conceal. Power in Taiji is not apparent, but rather is stored inside. When facing an opponent, internal power is like fully drawing a bow in readiness to fire an arrow, or like a leather ball filled with air. When he lays hands on your arms, they feel soft and yet he cannot push them down, which baffles him. While he is busy being confused, he does not know that your bow is loaded with an arrow ready to be released. You are like a bow and he is like an arrow, for due to the suddenness of the power that comes out, he stumbles away fast as an arrow.

曲中求直。蓄而後發。力由脊發。步隨身換。收卽是放。斷而復連。
Within curving, seek to be straightening. Store and then issue. Power comes from the spine. Step according to the body’s changes. To gather is to release. Disconnect but stay connected.

【解】曲中求直。卽隨曲就伸之意。蓄而後發。力由脊發。一理也。與神如捕鼠之貓之理同。數語道盡矣。
“Within curving, seek to be straightening.” The idea is that after you bend, you are then to extend. “Store and then issue. Power comes from the spine.” These phrases come from the same principle, namely that again the spirit is like a cat catching a mouse. With just these few words, the method is spelled out.

往復須有摺疊。進退須有轉換。
In the back and forth [of the arms], there must be folding. In the advance and retreat [of the feet], there must be variation.

【解】與人對敵。或來或往。摺疊卽曲肘灣肱之式。此係近身使用法。離遠無用。進退勿泥一式。須有轉換。隨機而變化也。
There are comings and goings when dealing with an opponent. Folding means to make a shape in which you are bending your elbow, rounding your arm. This is applied when close and is useless when separated at a distance. When advancing and retreating, you should not maintain the same stance. There must be variation, adapting in response to circumstances.

極柔軟而後極堅剛。能呼吸然後能靈活。
Extreme softness begets extreme hardness. Your ability to be nimble lies in your ability to breathe.

【解】練十三勢要用柔法。功成後生出柔中含剛內勁。呼吸者。吸能提得人起。使敵足跟離地。呼則從脊內發出全身之勁。放得人遠出。呼吸靈通。身法方能靈活無滯也。
When practicing the solo set, it should be done with softness. After you have worked at it for a long time, you will be generating internal power: hardness hidden within the softness. “Breathe” means that when you inhale you can lift the opponent, making his rear heel come up off the ground, then when you exhale, power comes from the spine, issuing with the power of the whole body, and sends the opponent far away. By mastering breathing, your body’s techniques will then be quick and crisp.

氣以直養而無害。勁以曲蓄而有餘。
By nurturing energy with integrity, it will not be corrupted. By storing power in crooked parts, it will be in abundant supply.

【解】練太極是養氣之法。非運氣之法也。何謂運氣。勉強出力使氣。氣必聚於一處。不能行於四肢。此法違反自然。易傷內臟。何謂養氣。孟子云。我善養吾浩然之氣。不急不燥。先天氣生。靜心養性。練拳使精氣神合一。行氣如九曲珠。縱未獲益。亦無害也。與人對敵。勿使膊伸直。須上下相隨。步隨身換。膊未直而力有餘。敵著擊卽跌出。此卽勁以曲蓄而有餘也。
Practicing Taiji is a method of nurturing energy rather than wielding energy. What is meant by “wielding energy”? If you try to force the energy along, it will inevitably accumulate in one place and be unable to move into your limbs. This is a violation of the principle of naturalness and could damage you internally.
  What is “nurturing energy”? Mengzi said [Mengzi, chapter 2a]: “I am good at nurturing my noble energy.” By being neither anxious nor impetuous, innate energy will manifest. By calming your mind and restraining your temperament, practicing the boxing will cause essence, energy, and spirit to merge together. By moving energy as though through a winding-path pearl, then even if you have not gained the upper hand, you have kept yourself from corrupting your energy.
  When dealing with an opponent, do not let your arms straighten, be able to have coordination between the upper body and lower, and step according to your body’s changes. When your arms are not straightened, there is more power in reserve, and so the opponent will be sent stumbling away as soon as he tries to attack. This is the meaning of “By storing power in crooked parts, it will be in abundant supply.”

心為令。氣為旗。腰為纛。
The mind makes the command, the energy is its flag, and the waist is its banner.

【解】太極之理。猶行軍戰事。必有令旗指揮驅使。練太極亦然。心為令者。以心行氣也。能使氣如旗。意之所至氣卽隨之。是卽心如令氣如旗。腰為纛者。卽軍中大纛旗也。小旗主動。大旗主靜。拳法腰可作車軸之轉。不能倒挒大纛旗也。
Taiji theory is akin to military operations, in which there needs to be command flags to convey orders. Practicing Taiji is the same kind of thing. The mind makes the command, the mind being what moves the energy. If the energy can be equivalent to a flag, then where the intention goes, the energy will follow. Therefore the mind is like a commander and the energy is like a flag. The waist as the banner means the large flag at the center of the army. The small flags direct movement and the large flags direct stillness. In the boxing techniques, the waist turns like an axle and must not drop or snap the banner.

先求開展。後求緊湊。乃可臻於縝密矣。
By seeking first the gross movement and then the finer details, you will be able to attain a refined level.

【解】開展大也。初學練拳。先求姿勢開大。以鬆其筋肉。所謂舒筋活血也。能轉弱為強。強而後。研究外能筋骨肉合一。內有精氣神相聚。謂之緊湊。內外兼修。加以動靜變化。自開展而及緊湊。由健體而及實用。乃臻縝密之境。如說拳有大練小練則誤矣。
The meaning of “gross movement” is to make the posture big. When beginning to learn the solo set, first of all strive for the postures to be opened up quite big, which will loosen the sinews and liven the blood, making it easier to transform weakness into strength.
  Once you have become strengthened, examine your outward ability to integrate sinew, bone, and muscle, while inwardly gathering together essence, energy, and spirit. This phase of the process is the “finer details”. Cultivate the inside and outside simultaneously, adding also the alternations between movement and stillness. Going from gross movement to finer details, strengthening the body and perfecting the applications, you will be able to attain a refined level. If it is suggested the idea of this passage is that the postures of the solo set are to be practiced big and then small, that is incorrect.

彼不動。己不動。彼微動。己先動。
If he takes no action, I take no action, but once he takes even the slightest action, I have already acted.

【解】言與敵搭手。自己不動。精神要注意警戒。待對手欲動之際。我手已動之在先矣。
When crossing hands with an opponent, make no action from yourself, deliberately holding yourself back. Instead wait for the moment when he is about to do something and then send your hands on their way before he gets going.

勁似鬆非鬆。將展未展。勁斷意不斷。
My power seems to be relaxed but not relaxed, about to extend but not fully extending. Although the power finishes, the intent of it continues.

【解】太極拳出手。似鬆實非鬆。伸出以將直未直為度。練拳宜不斷。如一線串成。及乎使用對敵。便無一定之方式。發勁之姿式。外形似斷而意未少懈也。猶如蓮藕折斷而細絲尚連焉。老振師傅嘗言:勁斷意不斷。藕斷絲連。蓋此意也。
When sending out your hands in Taiji Boxing, it seems relaxed and yet not relaxed. As your arms extend, they almost straighten but do not quite straighten. When practicing the solo set, it should be a continuous series of choreographed postures all strung together, but when applying the techniques against an opponent, there is no choreography to shooting him away. Thus although outwardly your posture will seem to have finished, your intention should not even slightly slacken. It is just like when you break a lotus stalk but the tiny fibers in it are still connected. Yang Laozhen once said: “The power finishes but the intent continues. The stalk is snapped but the fibers are still connected.” This is the idea.

先在心。後在身。
First in the mind, then in the body.

【解】初學對敵用心之專。恐不能勝。練成之後。毋須有心之變化。身驅受擊。自能隨機應敵。心中不知而敵已跌出矣。此卽為不知手之舞之。初學在心。成功後在身。猶如初學珠算。心先念歌而後手操之。熟用後心雖不歌。而手亦能運用如意也。是先在心後在手。拳理亦然。
When you start learning to spar, you will think about everything you do and probably lose. After you have completed the training, you will not have to think about how to adapt, your body will deal with attacks by spontaneously responding without your mind being involved. The opponent will stumble away and you will not be aware of how you did it. The training starts in the mind and ends in the body. It is like learning to use an abacus, in which you start by thinking through the steps to get your fingers to go where they need to go, then after you get used to the patterns, your fingers fly around by themselves – i.e. first in the mind, then in the hand. The boxing theory is the same.

腹鬆靜。氣歛入骨。神舒體靜。
The abdomen relaxes completely and then energy collects in the bones. The spirit is comfortable and the body is calm.

【解】腹雖注意猶鬆舒。勿鼓勁。氣歛入骨。則骨肉沉重。外如棉花。內似鋼條。猶棉花裹鐵。外柔而內剛。
Although you must get your abdomen to relax, the concentration to do so should not cause energy to be stimulated there, for the energy needs to be taught to go gather in the spine while the rest of the body sinks heavily. Outwardly be like cotton and inwardly be like steel wires, just like the principle of iron within silk, soft outside, hard within.

刻刻在心。切記一動無有不動。一靜無有不靜。
At every moment be mindful, always remembering: if one part moves, every part moves, and if one part is still, every part is still.

【解】刻刻猶時時也。謹記一動則全身有尺寸跟隨而動。忌全身零碎亂動。猶如火車。車頭動則諸車廂隨焉。太極動時勁要整。雖整而又活。身雖動。心貴靜。心靜則全身皆靜。靜中又寓動焉。
Constantly keep in mind that when one part moves, the whole body moves, every part following along, and there should not be any part moving by itself. It is like the engine car of a train: all the other cars will move along with it. In Taiji, the moving of energy should be arranged in an orderly way. Yet it should also be lively, However, while the body moves, the mind wants stillness. Once the mind has any stillness, the whole body becomes still, and although it is stillness, it contains movement ready to start up again.

牽動往來。氣貼背。歛入脊骨。內固精神。外示安逸。
As the movement leads back and forth, energy stays near the back and gathers in the spine. Inwardly bolster spirit and outwardly show ease.

【解】牽動往來。卽收放之義。氣收入貼藏於脊背。蓄而待發。精力內固。外表文雅安逸。雖練武而猶文也。
The movement leading back and forth has to do with gathering and releasing. Draw back energy to your spine, store it there, and wait for the moment to issue it. While firming up your spirit within, outwardly display a refined ease, and then although what you are practicing is martial, you appear civil.

邁步如貓行。運動如抽絲。
Step like a cat and move energy as if drawing silk.

【解】太極拳行走。大多足跟先著地。如貓行之輕靈。含有蓄神之意。練拳運勁如抽絲。均勻不斷。運內勁時。自下由腿順轉而上。從胳膊順擰而出。如將一把生絲順扭。反放之。卽倒轉由上將勁收回身內。此卽為纏絲勁。
The Taiji Boxing footwork usually touches down first with the heel. It has the lightness and nimbleness of a cat’s steps, having an intention of storing spirit. When practicing the solo set, move the energy like drawing out silk so that the thread does not break. When wielding internal power, it arcs upward from the legs and coils outward through the arms. It is like grabbing a strand of raw silk and spooling it around your fingers. Reversing the direction then sends the energy from above back into your body. This describes what is known as “silk reeling” energy.

全身意在蓄神不在氣。在氣則滯。有氣者無力。無氣者純剛。
Throughout the body, the mind should be on the spirit rather than on the energy, for if you are fixated on the energy, your movement will become sluggish. Whenever the mind is on the energy, there will be no power, whereas if you ignore the energy and let it take care of itself, there will be pure strength.

【解】人身有三寶曰精、氣、神。太極拳以意運動。然非故意運氣。如運氣澎漲。則滯而不靈。有氣者無力。有濁氣者自覺有力。人覺我無力。無氣者純剛。無濁氣者卽生綿力。意到則力至。設用力搭在敵人膊上。如用皮條將彼搭住。我雖未用力。對方則覺我手膊重如泰山。不用直力則巧力生。無濁氣者為純剛。
In the human body there are three treasures: essence, energy, and spirit. The intention in Taiji is upon the movement itself. You should not be thinking about moving energy around. When your mind is fixated on moving energy around, too much will accumulate in one area, which will make you sluggish and prevent you from being nimble. When your mind is on the energy, there will be no power because the energy has been corrupted. If you feel you have no power, the opponent will also sense you have no power. However, when the energy is ignored, there will be pure strength because in the absence of corrupted energy a continuous power is generated.
  Wherever your intention goes, the power will arrive there. When crossing hands with an opponent, it is like leather straps have been hung over his arm. Even though you have not yet applied any force, he feels your hands are as heavy as Mt. Tai. By not applying direct force, a skillful power is generated. Being without corrupted energy is pure strength.

氣如車輪。腰若車軸。
The energy is like a wheel and the waist is like an axle.

【解】全身意氣如車輪流動。腰為一身之主宰。腰如車軸能圓轉。所以變化在腰間也。
The energy throughout the body is like the turning of a wheel. Since the waist controls the whole body, it is like an axle moving. Therefore all adaptation occurs at the waist.

行功口訣
SECRETS OF HOW TO PRACTICE

一舉動周身俱要輕靈。尤須貫串。氣宜皷盪。神宜內歛。無使有缺陷處。無使有凹凸處。無使有斷續處。其根在腳。發於腿。主宰於腰。形於手指。由腳而腿、而腰、總須完整一氣。向前退後。乃能得機得勢。有不得機得勢處。身便散亂。其病必於腰腿求之。上下前後左右皆然。凡此皆是意。不在外面。有上則有下。有前則有後。有左則有右。如意要向上。卽寓下意。若將物掀起,而加以挫之之力。斯其根自斷。乃壞之速而無疑。虛實宜分淸楚。一處有一處虛實。處處總此一虛實。周身節節貫串。無令絲毫間斷耳。
Once there is any movement, the entire body should be nimble and alert. There especially needs to be connection from movement to movement. The energy should be roused and the spirit should be collected within. Do not allow there to be cracks or gaps anywhere, pits or protrusions anywhere, breaks in the flow anywhere.
  Starting from the foot, issue through the leg, directing it at the waist, and expressing it at the fingers. From foot through leg through waist, it must be a fully continuous process, and whether advancing or retreating, you will then catch the opportunity and gain the upper hand. If you miss and your body easily falls into disorder, the problem must be in the waist and legs, so look for it there. This is always so, regardless of the direction of the movement, be it up, down, front, back, left, right. And in all of these cases, the problem is a matter of your intention and does not lie outside of you.
  With an upward comes a downward, with a forward comes a backward, and with a left comes a right. If your intention wants to go upward, then harbor a downward intention, like when you reach down to lift up an object. You thereby add a setback to the opponent’s own intention, thus he cuts his own root and is defeated quickly and certainly.
  Empty and full must be distinguished clearly. In each part, there is a part that is empty and a part that is full. Everywhere it is always like this, an emptiness and a fullness. Throughout the body, as the movement goes from one section to another, there is connection. Do not allow the slightest break in the connection.

〔註〕此乃祿禪師原文。云張三豐祖師所傳。
(Note: This text was written by Yang Luchan, who said it was based on the teachings on Zhang Sanfeng.)

行功口訣詳解
Explanations to the text:

一舉動周身俱要輕靈。尤須貫串。
Once there is any movement, the entire body should be nimble and alert. There especially needs to be connection from movement to movement.

【解】練拳時一舉一動。凡應動之姿式。手足俱要輕靈(卽不用勉強力)身子略有騰空意思。又應含有活潑意思。毫無迂滯而極順熟。一套拳由頭至尾。貫串而不中斷。卽是一氣呵成之謂。在練拳中。身軀任何部份於動作時。應表現輕巧而非浮滑。靈活而非虛渺。夫輕靈者。輕中而含有勁於其間。與浮而無倚之輕者不同。靈者含有機警智慧。與虛渺無根者又不同。然動作旣得輕靈之妙。應注意其貫串。貫串者不斷之謂也。如長江大河。滔滔不絕。綿延之意。
With every movement, your hands and feet should be nimble and alert (i.e. should not put forth exertion). Your body should have a slight sense of floating in the air, as well as an intention of liveliness, completely lacking any sluggishness, all the movements feeling incredibly smooth. Throughout the boxing set, there should be no break in the flow – “a single breath from beginning to end”.
  Every movement should exhibit skillfulness rather than display, interest rather than indifference. Within nimbleness, there is always a power eager to express, not at all the same as airily dancing around without purpose. To be alert means to be vigilant, not at all the same as being carefree and unfocused. To obtain the marvels of being nimble and alert, give special attention to making the movements continuous. For the movement to be continuousness means that it is without any pause, as in “like a long river flowing into the wide ocean, on and on ceaselessly”.

氣宜鼓盪。神宜內歛。
The energy should be roused and the spirit should be collected within.

【解】氣宜鼓盪。呼吸卽氣之表現。鼓盪似湖中之水。隨微氣而鼓盪。一起一伏。輕微而有次序。神宜內歛。靜心凝神。用意思將精神收聚入內。斯為內歛。所謂氣者。對於人體則不外呼吸。太極拳之所謂氣者卽內功。除呼吸之外。尚有一種體內之養氣。該氣混和於血球間之氣。俗稱氣功。太極拳之練此種氣。非徒然或勉強可得。必先練意。從意之修養。而至於自覺自悟。窮神達化之氣功。生理學所謂人體之血球。當其運行時。有一種無體之氣。此卽養氣。常與血球相扣而行。設無此種養氣之存在。則血不能行。此氣乃人體有生具來之純然正氣。凡練拳者。能功致於意氣相生。延年益壽之效寓焉。口鼻之呼吸雖在動之時。倘能保持與安靜時無大差別。則體內之氣用之不竭矣。神者。意之表現。心之徵象。心露於目。故一舉動均自心生。所謂心為令。氣為旗也。在舉動之瞬息間。心之所欲。盡現於神。神露則必為敵所知。故致力於修養時。亦應保藏精神。
“The energy should be roused.” The breath is the physical manifestation of energy. The surgings of the breath are like the waves on a lake, gently rising and falling one after another.
  “The spirit should be collected within.” Calm your mind, focus, and use intention to gather spirit inward. This is what is meant by “collected within”.
  In the context of the human body, the energy refers to nothing more than the breath. But when “energy” is discussed in Taiji Boxing, it actually refers to internal training. Beyond merely breathing, there is also internal cultivation, the energy in the breath mixing with the energy in the blood, exercise which is commonly known as “qigong”. In this kind of energy training, energy cannot be obtained by force. It is necessary to first train intention. The cultivation of intention will lead to self-realization, and ultimately this energy training will then bring about a spiritual transformation.
  Physiology discusses blood cells. During exercise, there is a kind of non-physical energy which is cultivated. Energy and blood have to be merged in order to move together. Without energy cultivation, blood becomes stagnant, but with it, the body will gain true vitality. Practicing the boxing set can cause intention and energy to generate each other, resulting in longevity. Once your breathing is not very different whether you are moving or still, your internal energy will then be inexhaustible.
  Spirit is the manifestation of intention and the indication of the mind behind it, the mind being revealed through the eyes. Movements are generated from the mind, hence: “The mind makes the command. The energy is its flag.” During movement, carry out the orders of the mind with full spiritual expression. When you express spirit, the opponent will know that you possess it. Therefore once you are devoted to self-cultivation, you should also store up spirit.

無使有缺陷處。無使有凹凸處。無有斷續處。
Do not allow there to be cracks or gaps anywhere, pits or protrusions anywhere, breaks in the flow anywhere.

【解】練拳宜求圓滿。不可參差不齊。又不可忽高忽低。宜緩慢平均不停。不使中間有斷。
When practicing the boxing set, you should strive for roundness and fullness. It must not be done unevenly, suddenly rising or suddenly lowering. It should be done slowly and consistently.

其根在腳。發於腿。主宰於腰。形於手指。由腳而腿、而腰、總須完整一氣。向前退後。乃能得機得勢。
Starting from the foot, issue through the leg, directing it at the waist, and expressing it at the fingers. From foot through leg through waist, it must be a fully continuous process, and whether advancing or retreating, you will then catch the opportunity and gain the upper hand.

【解】練法須上下相隨。勁自足跟起。行於腿。達於腰。由脊而膊行於手指。周身一氣。用時進前退後。上至手。下至步。無處不得力。其勁乃不可限量。
「根」者。立身之根基卽馬步。「腰」者。人體上下相接連之部位也。「指」者。卽兩手之指也。
When practicing, it is necessary for the upper body and lower to coordinate with each other. Power initiates from the heel, goes through the leg to the waist, and from the spine then goes through the arms to the fingers. As long as it is a continuous process through your whole body, then when you apply power, whether advancing or retreating, there will be no part of your body it does not fill, extending all the way to your hands above and to your feet below, and thus the power will be immeasurable. Your feet are the basis of the way your body is positioned, or in other words your “stance”. Your waist is the place where your upper body and lower body connect with each other. When power is expressed in any of your fingers, let it reach all of your fingers.

有不得機得勢處。身便散亂。其病必於腰腿求之。上下前後左右皆然。凡此皆是意。不在外面。
If you miss and your body easily falls into disorder, the problem must be in the waist and legs, so look for it there. This is always so, regardless of the direction of the movement, be it up, down, front, back, left, right. And in all of these cases, the problem is a matter of your intention and does not lie outside of you.

【解】病不在外面。全在意內。意不專。則神不聚。步法不得當。卽不能得機得勢。不得勢。手腳亂矣。不論練拳推手或敵對。如馬步不堅固。則不得勢。甚至於手足無措。身勢散亂。其致敗之病。在於腰腿。腰當纛。纛者。兵之司令旗也。腰之運用不靈活。猶兵之失其主宰。鮮有不亂者。腰之重要可知矣。所以求尾閭中正。馬步不大不小。站步適當。兼顧四面八方。如有不得力處。非關外在形式。皆由心不專也。
Problems do not come from outside, they are all the fault of your intention within. If your intention is not concentrated, your spirit will not gather and your steps will be improperly placed, rendering you unable to catch the opportunity and gain the upper hand. If you are not in the right position, your hands and feet will be in disorder. Regardless of whether you are practicing the solo set, pushing hands, or sparring, if your stance is not stable, you will be in the wrong position. Your hands and feet will not know where to go, and thus your body will be in disarray.
  The source of this failure lies in your waist and legs. Your waist should be like an army banner, held upright so the soldiers can see the command it indicates. If the movement of your waist lacks flexibility, it is like an army losing its commanding officer, doomed to then fall into chaos. This expresses the importance of the waist. Therefore center your tailbone and make your stance neither too large nor too small, but just right, and thus you will be able to deal with anything from any direction. If you are then still unable to win, it has nothing to do with your external posture, instead it is entirely due to your mind not focusing.

有上則有下。有前則有後。有左則有右。如意要向上。卽寓下意。若將物掀起。而加以挫之之力。斯其根自斷。乃壞之速而無疑。
With an upward comes a downward, with a forward comes a backward, and with a left comes a right. If your intention wants to go upward, then harbor a downward intention, like when you reach down to lift up an object. You thereby add a setback to the opponent’s own intention, thus he cuts his own root and is defeated quickly and certainly.

【解】凡與人對敵。上部有受敵之虞。則下部亦有防敵之需。進攻之際。亦須作後退之備。或前方不能進迫。可從後方偸襲。左邊須防衛。右邊亦需警戒。「有上則有下」。此卽人攻我上。須防其下。我攻其上。預擊其下。或攻其上者。實欲動其下。而乘虛襲之。「有前則有後」。攻旣向前。須先防中敵之計。故預備後退。亦進可攻退可守之意也。「有左則有右」。左顧右盼也。我向敵正面攻擊。如失中央突破之機。則當謀左右奇兵抄襲。所謂左重則左虛。而由右擊之。當對敵時。敵方之根基。亦猶我之馬步。設其根基穩固。若徒以巨力推之。殊不容易。故欲向上部擊之。當先注意其下部。運用機智。使其下部動搖。或誘敵進步。乘時突然攻其上。則對方之根基旣動。當可迎勁而倒。譬如欲拔起一樹。苟徒抱其幹。可將之掀起乎。必也先鋤其根。令其盤據於混土之根旣鬆且斷。則略微力移其重心。勢必傾倒而無疑矣。此言與人搭手。先將彼動搖。立足不定。猛力一推卽倒。
When sparring, your upper body will receive most of the opponent’s attacks, but your lower body also has to be ready to defend. When attacking forward, you must also prepare to retreat. Sometimes you will not be able to press forward, and so you can make a surprise attack to the rear. When one side has to be defended, your other side still has to guard against attack.
  “With an upward comes a downward.” When the opponent attacks you above, you also have to watch out for an attack from below. When attacking him above, you have to be ready to switch to attacking him below, or you can attack above already planning to attack below, drawing his attention upward and thus creating a gap to take advantage of.
  “With a forward comes a backward.” When attacking forward, you must first prepare against the opponent’s plans. This means getting ready to retreat if necessary, having an intention of being able to both advance and attack or retreat and defend.
  “With a left comes a right.” This has to do with the principle of “looking to the left and gazing to the right”. If you make a direct attack on the opponent but then suddenly lose control of the centerline, you have to switch to making a surprise attack from the side. In response to encountering pressure on your left, empty your left side, and then attack from your right side.
  When sparring, the opponent’s root is similar to my own stance. If his stance is stable, even a strong push will not easily move him. If you want to attack his upper body, you therefore have to give attention to his lower body. Using clever strategy will cause his lower body to shake. For instance, if you lure him into stepping forward and then suddenly attack him above, his root will be affected. In this way you are able to receive his power and then send it back.
  If you wish to uproot a tree, you cannot just embrace it and lift it out. You first have to dig into the dirt to expose the roots and loosen their grip on the ground. Then even a slight push will unbalance it and easily cause it to topple. Apply this idea to your opponent. First get him to wobble, destabilizing his feet, and then a strong push will bring him down.

虛實宜分淸楚。一處有一處虛實。處處總此一虛實。
Empty and full must be distinguished clearly. In each part, there is a part that is empty and a part that is full. Everywhere it is always like this, an emptiness and a fullness.

【解】練拳與對敵。總不離一虛一實。虛能實。實又能虛。人不知我。妙在其中矣。
全部太極拳之精華奥妙。盡在虛實二字之運用。馬步有虛實。肩肘掌指有虛實。身形轉換變化。亦含虛實。處處分淸。自然運用自如。然虛實在練拳時。則易領悟。惟施之於推手或敵對。則非經名師指導。再下苦功。實難領略也。緣練拳之知虛實。乃自我之虛實。推手及敵對之虛實。則須有知彼功夫矣。
在練拳而論。凡動之聚者為實。至對敵之虛實。瞬息萬變。殊非筆墨可能揭橥。
Whether practicing the solo set or sparring, you never depart from emptiness and fullness. Emptiness can become fullness and fullness can become emptiness. This principle is the basis of keeping the opponent from understanding what you are doing. Applying emptiness and fullness is in fact the fundamental secret to all of Taiji Boxing. There is emptiness and fullness in your stance, in the turning of your torso, in your shoulders, elbows, palms, fingers, and so on. As long as distinguish emptiness and fullness clearly everywhere, you will be able to use them as you please.
  Emptiness and fullness are easy to grasp within the solo set, but are difficult to make sense of in the pushing hands and sparring without proper instruction and diligent practice. This is because practicing the solo set involves understanding emptiness and fullness within yourself, whereas practicing the pushing hands and sparring requires you to understand emptiness and fullness within the opponent. Emptiness and fullness in the solo set is easily pointed out, but emptiness and fullness in the sparring switch too rapidly to describe in any detail.

周身節節貫串。無令絲毫間斷耳。
Throughout the body, as the movement goes from one section to another, there is connection. Do not allow the slightest break in the connection.

【解】全身骨節順合連貫。氣須流通。意無間斷。
There has to be a continuous coordination from joint to joint to joint. Energy has to flow and intention must not be interrupted.

十三勢歌
THIRTEEN DYNAMICS SONG

十三勢來莫輕視 命意源頭在腰隙 變轉虛實須留意 氣遍身軀不少滯
靜中觸動動猶靜 因敵變化示神奇 勢勢存心揆用意 得來不覺費功夫
刻刻留心在腰間 腹內鬆靜氣騰然 尾閭中正神貫頂 滿身輕利頂頭懸
仔細留心向推求 屈伸開合聽自由 入門引路須口授 功夫無息法自休
若言體用何為準 意氣君來骨肉臣 想推用意終何在 益壽延年不老春
歌兮歌兮百四十 字字眞切義無遺 若不向此推求去 枉費功夫貽歎息
Do not neglect any of the thirteen dynamics,
their command coming from your lower back.
You must pay attention to the alternation of empty and full,
then energy will flow through your whole body without getting stuck anywhere.
  In stillness, movement stirs, and then once in motion, seem yet to be in stillness,
for the magic lies in making adjustments based on being receptive to the opponent.
Posture by posture, stay mindful, observing intently,
for if something comes at you without your noticing it, you have been wasting your time.
  At every moment, pay attention to your waist,
for if there is complete relaxation within your belly, energy is primed.
Your tailbone is centered and spirit penetrates to your headtop,
thus your whole body will be nimble and your headtop will be pulled up as if suspended.
  Pay careful attention in your practice
that you are letting bending and extending, contracting and expanding, happen as the situation requires.
Beginning the training requires personal instruction,
but mastering the art depends on your own unceasing effort.
  Whether we are discussing in terms of theory or function, what is the constant?
It is that mind is sovereign and body is subject.
If you think about it, what is emphasizing the use of intention going to lead you to?
To a longer life and a longer youth.
  Repeatedly recite the words above,
all of which speak clearly and hence their ideas come through without confusion.
If you pay no heed to those ideas, you will go astray in your training,
and you will find you have wasted your time and be left with only sighs of regret.

八字歌
SONG OF THE EIGHT TECHNIQUES

掤捋擠按世間稀 十個藝人十不知 若能輕靈並堅硬 粘連黏隨俱無疑
採裂肘靠更出奇 行之不用費心思 果能粘連黏隨字 得其寰中不支離
The techniques of warding off, rolling back, pressing, and pushing are so unique
that out of ten skillful people there are ten who do not understand them.
But if you can perform them with both agility and solidity,
the qualities of sticking, connecting, adhering, and following will be sure to manifest.
  The techniques of plucking, rending, elbowing, and bumping are yet more unusual,
and if you execute them unsuccessfully, they will just be wasted ideas.
But if you are capable with the qualities of sticking, adhering, connecting, and following,
you will occupy the central position and not be dislodged from it.

心會歌
ON MENTALLY UNDERSTANDING

腰脊為第一之主宰 喉頭為第二之主宰 地心為第三之主宰
丹田為第一之賓輔 掌指為第二之賓輔 足掌為第三之賓輔
The lower back is first to command, the throat second to command, solar plexus third to command.
The elixir field is first to obey, palms second to obey, the soles of the feet third to obey.

功用歌
SONG OF FUNCTION

輕靈活潑求懂勁 陰陽旣濟無滯病 若得四兩撥千斤 開合鼓盪主宰定
Be nimble and lively, seeking to identify the opponent’s energies.
Passive and active are meant to exchange with each other, so do not make the error of getting stuck in either.
Once you have got the skill of “four ounces moves a thousand pounds”,
it will be determined by your expanding and contracting, and the rousing of your energy.

打手歌
PLAYING HANDS SONG

掤捋擠按須認眞 上下相隨人難進 任他巨力來打我 撁動四兩撥千斤
引進落空合卽出 粘連黏隨不丟頂 被打欲跌須雀躍 巧擠逃時要合身
拔背含胸合太極 裹襠護臂跴五行 學者悟透其中意 一身妙法豁然能
Ward-off, rollback, press, and push must be taken seriously.
With coordination between above and below, the opponent will hardly find a way in.
I will let him attack me with as much power as he likes,
for I will tug with four ounces of force to deflect his of a thousand pounds.
Guiding him in to land on nothing, I then close up and shoot him out.
I stick, connect, adhere, and follow, neither coming away nor crashing in.
  When you are about to fall because of his attack, you should instead jump away.
When escaping from a skillful press, you should close your body.
Pluck up your back and contain your chest, merging with a taiji sphere.
Wrap your crotch and cover your genitals as you step with the five elements.
Once you fully awaken to the concepts within the art,
exquisite skill manifests throughout your body as spontaneous abilities.

【解曰】彼不動 我不動 彼微動 我先動 似鬆非鬆 將展未展 勁斷意不斷 轉動挪移走
It is also said:
  If he takes no action, I take no action, but once he takes even the slightest action, I have already acted.
  I seem to be relaxed but not relaxed, about to extend but not fully extending.
  Although the power finishes, the intent of it continues, even as I turn and move away.

四性歸原歌
SONG OF THE FOUR NATURES RETURNING TO ONE

世人不知己之性 何能得知人之性 物性亦如人之性 至如天地亦此性
我賴天地以存身 天地賴我以致局 若能先求知我性 天地授我偏獨靈
Unless you understand your own nature,
how can you understand human nature?
The nature of things is similar to human nature,
and the nature of the universe is similar in turn to that nature.
  We depend on the universe for existence,
but the universe depends on us for relevance.
If I can first seek to understand my own nature,
the universe will teach me and reveal my own unique talent.

周身大用論
ON FULLY USING THE BODY

一要性心與意靜 自然無處不輕靈 二要遍體氣流行 一定繼續不能停
三要喉頭永不拋 問盡天下衆英豪 如詢大用緣何得 表裏精細無不到
1. When your emotions are stable and your mind is calm, you will naturally be nimble and alert at every point.
2. When energy flows through your whole body, there is a continuousness that cannot be interrupted.
3. When you are never affected by opponents going for your throat, everyone will think of you in heroic terms.
What here is the great achievement? It is that all has been reached, inside and out, in general and in detail.

關要論
THE SIXTEEN KEY POINTS

活潑於腰 靈機於頂 神通於背 不使氣行於頂
行之於腿 蹬之於足 運之於掌 足之於指
歛之於髓 達之於神 凝之於耳 息之於鼻
呼吸往來於口 縱之於膝 渾噩一身 全體發之於毛
[1] Liveliness lies with your waist.
[2] Inspiration penetrates to your headtop.
[3] Spirit courses through your spine.
[4] Energy sinks to your elixir field.
[5] Movement lies with your legs.
[6] Pressing is felt at the foot.
[7] Wielding lies with your palms.
[8] Coiling extends to the fingers.
[9] Gathering is a matter of your marrow.
[10] Arriving is a matter of your spirit.
[11] Concentration depends on your ears.
[12] Breathing occurs through your nose.
[13] Breath is expressed at your mouth.
[14] Springiness lies with your knees.
[15] Simplify things by using your whole body.
[16] The issuing of your whole body reaches to every hair.

[At this point, the text reuses the first twenty-four items from Explaining Taiji Principles.]

〔附註〕以上各篇均先賢原文。辭意顯淺。讀者自可體會。其難解者。再請教老師為善。
(Note: The above pieces are original writings from previous masters. Where the meanings are clear enough, you can figure them out based on your own experience. For parts that are difficult to understand, it is best to ask advice from an actual teacher.)

大小太極解
THE LARGE TAIJI & THE SMALL TAIJI

天地為一大太極。人身為一小太極。人身具太極之體。故人人可以練太極拳。本固有之靈而重修之。人身如機器。久不磨則生銹。生銹則氣血滯。弊病叢生。故欲鍜練身體者。以練太極為最適宜。太極練法。以心行氣。不用濁力。純任自然。筋骨鮮折曲之苦。皮膚無磋磨之勞。不用力何能有力。蓋太極練功。沉肩墜肘。氣沉丹田。丹田為氣之總機關。由此分運四體百骸。週流全身。意到氣至。練到此地位。其力便不可限量。功效昭著矣。
The universe is a grand taiji. A human being is a mini taiji. Since the human body is essentially a taiji, it needs to practice a form of boxing that is a taiji. We are born with a nimbleness which later has to be built up all over again, an inborn talent to make use of. The body is like a piece of machinery which gets rusty after protracted disuse, causing the energy and blood to become stagnant, leading to many destructive effects. Thus if you want to refine your body, you must first practice Taiji to get the best results. The method of training Taiji is to use the mind to move energy and not use awkward effort. Keep it pure and natural, the joints feeling very little contortionist strain and the skin receiving no irritation of friction.
  But without using strength, how can there be strength? By means of this: in the practice of Taiji, sink the shoulders and drop the elbows, sinking energy to the elixir field. If energy can get there, it will be a base of operations and from there move into the limbs and throughout the whole body. With the circulation of energy everywhere, energy arrives wherever it is willed. When your training has reached this condition, your strength will be limitless. In this way, not using awkward effort and only using mental movement, effectiveness will be reached. An earlier teacher said: “Extreme softness becomes extreme hardness.” This is the idea.

太極拳能卻病延年
TAIJI BOXING CAN RID ILLNESS AND LENGTHEN LIFE

肥胖腹大之人。皆因欠缺運動。或純靠服食補品。以致脂肪積聚。肌肉內含水份過多。若每日練三套太極拳。卽能將身上脂肪水份。連帶風濕。由毛管排洩而出。故肥者可以練瘦。瘦弱者或面色萎黃之人。雖食補品而不能肥者。亦因欠缺運動。滋養身體不能吸收。隨腸走出。故雖食補品而無效。若能每日練三次太極拳。可使血脈流通。以心行氣。無微不至。猶如樹木將枯。每日用水滋潤之。卽能漸復靑葱。練拳能悅顏色。助精神。減少疾病。增壽數十載。如此幸福。千金難買也。
人旣運動。肌肉發展。血氣和緩。食品能滋潤身體。故瘦能變肥。肥瘦之功。運動可以左右之。孟夫子云。苗之將枯(卽如人枯瘦)。天油然作雲。沛然而雨。(卽如氣血潤身)苗勃然而興矣。(卽如人瘦將變肥矣)。人之思慮多者。每易患血壓高或失眠症。(卽中醫謂之操勞過度)思想卽是意。血隨意行。時時刻刻。思想用腦。血隨意存留在頭上。卽興頭痛頭暈。猶如膠管裝水過多。卽生危險。血旣偏聚頭上而心血少。心卽跳動不安。遂致晚上失眠。患此症者。宜用輕鬆方法練習。氣沉丹田。意注下行。將頭上存留過多之血。踈散於四肢。下行於心。心得血養。頭上輕鬆。謂之輕淸上浮為天。重濁下降為地。陰陽旣分。全身無偏。各得其養。身體康泰矣。故每日練三套太極拳。所有失眠,血壓高,肺弱,胃病,腰病,腎病,貧血等。一掃而空。駝背彎腰。手足不靈。腰腿不隨諸般症候。皆有特效。人人皆可練太極拳。獲不可思議之益處。
Fat people are fat because they lack exercise. People who rely solely on medicinal tonics in order to be healthy will only end up layering on more fat and putting excessive water content in their muscle tissue. If you practice the Taiji boxing set three times a day, this will induce your body to drain away and excrete excess fat and moisture. In this way, fat people can become thin.
  On the other hand, there are also thin and anemic people who likewise rely on tonics to gain weight but are unable to do so, and the reason is again a lack of exercise. Without exercise, the body cannot fully absorb nourishment, which then gets flushed through the intestines incompletely processed, rendering medicinal tonics ineffective. But if you can practice Taiji three times a day, it will boost your blood circulation and your mind will be able to guide energy to flow into every nook and cranny of your body.
  For an analogy, plants will dry up if they are not watered every day, but if watered, this will gradually restore them to a state of flourishing with a rich green. Practicing a boxing art can bring color back to the face, bolster the spirit, reduce the incidence of illness, and add decades to one’s life. With such blessings, exercise is surely dearer than gold.
  Exercise can develop the muscles, bring harmony to the blood and energy, improve digestion of nourishment, and can give you control over your weight, either to increase it in the case of skinny people or decrease it in the case of fat people. Mengzi said [Mengzi, chapter 1a]: “Once the plants dry out in late summer, clouds finally form and pour down rain, and the plants rise up in vigorous growth.” This is like a skinny person whose energy and blood gets invigorated, causing him to at last gain weight.
  People who worry too much (what Chinese medicine calls “overcaring”) are easily prone to high blood pressure and insomnia. Thinking involves intention. Blood follows intention. Therefore thinking all the time causes there to be too much blood in the brain, producing headaches and dizziness. It is like a blocked rubber tube with too much water filling it: ready to burst. It feels like there is more blood in the head than in the heart, causing the heart to beat uneasily, leading to insomnia at night.
  To deal with this issue requires practicing methods of relaxation. Get your energy to sink to your lower abdomen, intention moving downward. This disperses the extra blood in your head into your limbs, flowing through and nourishing your heart on the way. With your head now relaxed, you will be in a state described as [from Romance of the Three Kingdoms, chapter 86] “energy that is light and clean floating up to the sky, energy that is heavy and murky descending into the ground”, the passive and active aspects separating, your body becoming more upright, every part getting nourished, your whole body at ease.
  Practicing Taiji Boxing three times a day will cure insomnia, anemia, high blood pressure, stomach illness, kidney illness, weak lungs, lower back pain, and so on. It is also particularly effective for fixing physical problems such as hunched back, stooped waist, clumsy limbs, and stiff hips. Absolutely everyone can practice Taiji Boxing, and they will all gain unbelievable benefit from it.

談太極拳養身
A DISCUSSION OF HOW TAIJI BOXING NURTURES THE BODY

人為動物。必須運動。太極拳運動。順自然。合生理。最宜於養身。太極拳架子之首。有預備式。此式垂手自然直立。全身放鬆。將思慮狂想丟開。將工作勞碌忘卻。如將千觔重擔放下。心中安靜。腦部亦獲休息。其益為何如耶。及乎提手舉足。開始練拳。則一動無有不動。全身骨節無有不舒暢者。全身筋絡無有運動不到者。首式攬雀尾。內包含掤捋擠按四法。轉身上右步。伸右手至前方時。為攬雀尾。不離鬆肩墜肘。氣沉丹田。尾閭中正。虛靈頂勁。上數句字面易懂。功夫實難。同志中不鮮能將字面解說明白。惟其功夫未必能與字面相符。尤恐拘泥不化。致以辭害意也。若言實地功夫。譬如站定攬雀尾式。上步時間。腿分虛實。步法為丁八步。鬆肩墜肘。鬆肩肩處不用力。墜肘非向下用力壓。祗肘尖處略轉下而已。氣沉丹田。非小腹鼓勁呼吸。惟於腹臍下稍加注意而已。又恐不明白涵胸拔背之眞理。作成彎腰駝背之形。故又有尾閭中正原則以校正之。本來涵胸卽是胸部微微鬆動。後背自然稍為拔起。胸中不但微鬆。更寓有開合之意。練太極拳能醫療肺病胃病者。要領在此而已。練拳本來須慢須勻。恐因此無精彩。故又有虛靈頂勁。提起精神以輔助之。使練太極拳者。樣樣完善。全無缺點。張三峯祖師為人類身體健康謀幸福。可謂盡心竭力。蔑以復加矣。
Human beings are animals [the Chinese word for animals meaning “moving things”], and thus they have to move. The movement in Taiji Boxing is smooth and natural, conforming to physiological principles, and thus it is the best way of nurturing the body.
  The starting position for the boxing set is the PREPARATION POSTURE. Your arms are hanging down naturally, your whole body loosened. Discard all distracting thoughts and forget about any other tasks that you have to attend to. It is like putting down a heavy load. Your mind becomes calm, your head feeling an ease of tension. Therefore right from the start, the practice is beneficial.
  Then once you lift your hands and step out your left foot to begin the boxing set, adhere to the principle of “when one part moves, every part moves”. Every joint will feel comfortable because every muscle will be involved in the movement.
  The first technique is CATCH THE SPARROW BY THE TAIL, comprised of the four actions of ward-off, rollback, press, and push. Next you turn your torso to the right, step out your right foot, and extend your right hand forward. This is the action of “catching a sparrow”.
  Maintain these principles throughout: loosen your shoulders and hang your elbows, sink energy to your elixir field, center your tailbone, and forcelessly press up your headtop. These concepts are relatively easy to understand, but they are hard to train.
  Practitioners often claim to understand these ideas and yet cannot really perform in accordance with them. The problem is that they tend to interpret them too literally and then become dogmatic about their interpretation, which only ends up making these basic concepts counterproductive for their training.
  Something more concrete in the training is the stance you are in at any given moment. In CATCH THE SPARROW, when your right foot steps and the weight shifts onto your right foot – your right leg filling, left leg emptying – your feet together are making an obvious T shape, hence a “T stance”.
  To “loosen your shoulders and hang your elbows” means that your shoulders put forth no exertion and your elbows merely point downward rather than pressing down forcefully.
  To “sink energy to your elixir field” does not mean that you are doing deep breathing that swells your lower abdomen, simply that you are placing slightly more attention at the area below your navel.
  Some people do not properly grasp the principle of “hollow your chest and round your back” and end up looking hunchbacked and stooping at the waist. The principle of “center your tailbone” helps to correct this. The meaning of “hollow your chest” is simply to slightly loosen it, and then your upper back will automatically have a slight roundness. The chest not only slightly loosens, it also contains an intention of opening and closing, which is the reason that Taiji practice can help treat lung illness and stomach illness.
  The movements of the boxing set should be slow and even, which unfortunately can make it very uninteresting to watch. However, the principle of “forcelessly press up your headtop” can compensate for this by raising your spirit and thus imbuing your performance with presence. This one principle thereby enables practitioners to correct all shortcomings and make the whole thing perfect.
  Zhang Sanfeng wished people the bliss of physical health. Practice this art wholeheartedly, for there is no better means of achieving such joy.

學太極拳初步
THE FIRST STEPS OF LEARNING TAIJI BOXING

太極拳本係武當內功。欲鍛鍊身體者。無論老少皆可學習。小兒八歲以上。老者六十以外。與乎體弱者皆可學習。習之數月。卽漸覺強壯矣。小孩正當發育期間。練拳宜開展。(卽伸手與蹬腳以伸展較長為善)。惟二十歲以下靑年。練拳不必涵胸。因二十歲前。骨格尚未長成。正當變遷時候。以直身為宜。過二十歲以後。方可再加涵胸。
十三式架子。三個月可學會。一年習熟。三年練好。日後愈練愈精。但非眞傳不可。太極拳不得眞傳。祇是身體略壯耳。練拳十年。終是糊塗。焉能知精微奥妙及知覺運用。若得眞傳。如法練去。金剛羅漢體不難得矣。不但體壯。自衛防身之能力寓焉。早晚練拳最宜。飯後休息半小時或一小時。方可運動。如體質弱者。量力練之。服食中西藥品或打針後。皆不可卽時運動。必須休息。至復元方可繼續練習。練拳每早晚兩次或三次均可。夏天練拳。正燥熱之候千萬不可以冷水沐浴。恐致閉熱。稍息無妨。冬天練畢。速穿衣服。否則恐易受涼。練畢勿立卽就坐。可步行五分鐘。使血脈調和。用功時須澄心息慮。心無所思。意無所感。專心練拳。太極對敵法甚妙。非不能用。祇緣今之同志。大多單練皮毛。不肯深究。不求高師訪益友。但說太極不能實用。如此豈能怪授者不授耶。此拳由道而生。初學每日可學一兩式。不可擔率。初學略難。一月後拳式入門後則易學矣。同志常有於初學一兩月。覺拳甚好。再學三四個月後。反覺不如從前。遂感煩燥。須知此正是進步境象。蓋如無進步。不能自知拳式好壞也。初習拳者必經此階段。切勿因此懈志。
Taiji Boxing is related to the internal training of the Wudang school. If you wish to exercise your body, all can practice, whether young or old, from ages eight and up, to sixty and beyond. It can be practiced by people with weak bodies. Practice for a few months and you will gradually feel stronger.
  Once a boy reaches adolescence, he should practice boxing arts in order to open up his body, reaching out with his hands and feet as far as he can. Below the age of twenty, there is no need to practice the principle of “hollowing the chest”. This is because at such an age, the skeleton has not yet fully developed, and so for the sake of facilitating such development, the torso should be extended straight. After passing twenty, you can add hollowing the chest.
  The boxing set can be learned within three months, thoroughly ingrained in a year, and will produce skill in three years. From then on, the more you practice, the deeper your skill will get. However, without the authentic transmission of the art, you will get nothing out of it but a slight boost to your health. You could practice for ten years and still be confused about you are doing, ignorant of the art’s subtleties and failing to develop superior sensitivity. But if you obtain the real stuff and practice it with devotion, it will not difficult for you to become as tough as an arhat warrior. It will then not only strengthen your body, it will also give you the ability to defend yourself.
  You should practice the set in the morning and evening. After eating a meal, wait a half hour or an hour, and then you may exercise. If your body is weak, be aware of your current limits while you practice so as not to overdo it. After taking Western medicines, do not exercise right away, instead you must rest until you are fully recovered, and then you may practice again.
  Practice the set two or three times every morning and evening. After practicing during the heat of summer, never bathe in cold water or you may induce a fever. After practicing during winter, quickly put on another layer to keep yourself from catching a cold. After finishing a practice, do not sit down right away. Walk around for a good five minutes, causing your blood circulation to find a harmonious balance. When practicing, you must calm your mind and still your thoughts. A mind without thoughts, intention without emotion – that is focused practice.
  Taiji’s self-defense methods are ingenious, but if you cannot apply them, you are no better than most modern practitioners, who have only a superficial understanding of the solo practice. Uninterested in making a deeper study, they do not seek improvement from skilled teachers or experienced colleagues, they simply dismiss Taiji as something that cannot be used in a fight. It is unsurprising then that so many teachers do not even bother to teach the art as a martial art anymore.
  In the spirit of this art’s Daoist origins, do not try to do too much. Learn no more than one or two postures a day, that will be difficult enough as it is. After about a month, you will have the basic postures and the fundamentals of the art, and then things will get easier. After the first couple months, beginners usually feel like they are learning the art very well. Then after another couple months, they instead feel that they are not progressing as quickly as before and gradually become frustrated. You have to understand that this is exactly what progress is like. Without progressing in this way, you will be incapable of judging whether your postures are good or bad. This stage is something beginners simply have to go through, so do not give up on account of it.

習太極拳程序
THE PROCESS OF LEARNING TAIJI BOXING

初學拳時。少理論。但聽先生所教。首須不用力。全身放鬆軟。每日學一兩式。不可過多。三個月後。可以學完全套。再三個月。練習與校正姿勢。姿勢正確八九成時。可作為個人健身運動。如懷健身之寶。如願再進一步。再學三個月。學轉動路線及太極之意義。再三個月。學太極拳之勁氣。開始窺視太極拳門徑。期約一年。然非高明老師教授。不能達到目的。學拳六個月後就可學推手初步練習。第一個月亦是不用力。先學兩人粘黏打圈。第二個月。學掤捋擠按四個方法。第三個月學化勁。先學肘化。次學腰化。再學兩肩化。更要有柔軟圓滑。然後學隨機應變全身化。後再三個月。學掤捋擠按之用法。然後再學連化勁帶打法。以上為期一年。以後有暇可幷學太極劍。如肯用功。再加半年。共為期年半。拳劍推手三樣皆熟。略有本領。身體健康矣。此算一小乘。再續用功一年半。在此期內。可學太極槍。學推手以外各種手法。此期間內。加緊實地練習。為期共約三年。拳劍槍各用法皆熟。健身防身自衛皆可。有大本領。本身有拳。兵刃短有劍。長有槍。其功夫足供一生練習矣。此可稱為中乘。三年後。練拳法又不同。要聚精會神。苦心求高明老師傳授。煉精化氣。煉氣化神。煉神還虛。陞入上乘門徑。太極拳分三乘。推手大圈為初乘。學化小圈為中乘。連化帶打無圈為上乘。無圈之中有圈。專打不化。打中又有化。就是大圈套小圈。小圈變無圈。此卽無極生太極。陰陽八卦五行。千變萬化而歸一。得上乘之功。天下無敵矣。為期若干年。則不能預定。須視個人天份聰明與用功程度矣。本來學藝無止境。然肯下功夫者。無論如何。必一日技精一日。學者須耐心練拳。達到神化境界。非難事也。
In the beginning of the training, there is little emphasis on studying theory. Just pay attention to what the teacher is teaching. First of all, you must not put forth undue exertion. Your whole body should be relaxed and supple. Learn no more than one or two postures each day, not overdoing it. In this way, the entire set can be learned in about three months. It will take another three months to correct your postures.
  Once your postures are eighty or ninety percent correct, you have yourself a health-producing exercise, a precious tonic. If you want to progress further, put in three more months, in which you will switch your focus to contemplating the taiji concept – the grand polarity that balances the two polarities of passiveness and activeness. Another three months, you will study the different energies. After just a year, you are beginning to see into the ways of the art. However, without a knowledgeable teacher, you would be unable to go any further.
  After the first six months, you can also begin to learn basic pushing hands. In the first month of pushing hands training, again do not put forth undue exertion, starting by learning the two-person exercise of sticking and attacking within a circular motion. During the second month, learn the method for the four basic techniques: ward-off, rollback, press, and push. In the third month, learn how to neutralize, first learning how to neutralize at the elbow, then at the waist, then at the shoulders. You need to develop suppleness and smoothness in order to then learn to neutralize with your entire body and be able to respond according to the situation. Over the next three months, work on learning how to ward-off, rollback, press, and push in order to learn how to flow from neutralizing into counterattacking.
  After the year described above, you can add the sword training. If you are willing work hard at it, this will take six months, which makes a year and a half so far. Equipped with a solid grounding in the boxing set, sword set, and pushing hands, you will have some basic skill and your body will be very healthy. This can be considered the beginning level.
  During the next year and a half, you can add the spear training, the rest of the pushing hands exercises, and give more attention to practicing the fighting applications. That now makes three years. With a deeper understanding of the boxing methods and sword, as well as the addition of the spear training, you will have even greater skill, giving you not only superior health, but also the ability to defend yourself, having all the required components of a complete fighting art: training for unarmed fighting, training for short weapons, and training for long weapons. This can be considered the intermediate level.
  After three years, the training changes from learning more material to refining what you have learned. You will need to be even more concentrated in your practice and do your utmost to seek out instruction from the most knowledgeable teachers. “Train essence and transform it into energy. Train energy and transform it into spirit. Train spirit and return to emptiness.” This is the path into the advanced level.
  Pushing hands skill divides into three phases: in the beginning level, do pushing hands with large circles; during the intermediate level, neutralize with small circles; at the advanced level, continue from neutralization right into counterattack without even making a circle. Within no circle, there is still a circle. When emphasizing attack rather than neutralization, there is still neutralization within the attack.
  Large circles lead to small circles, and then small circles lead to no circle. Nonpolarity gives rise to grand polarity. Grand polarity generates the dual aspects, five elements, and eight trigrams. Countless permutations of the two, five, and eight then return where they came from, to grand polarity, then to nonpolarity. This is the same idea as growing large circles which shrink back to small circles and then no circle. In this way, you can reach the highest level and be unbeatable.
  When it comes to mastering art, there is no schedule for it. It depends entirely on the extent of your talent, intelligence, and effort. There is really no limit to the skill you can achieve. The only thing that can hold you back is a lack of commitment to the practice. You need to understand that one day of practice brings one day’s worth of benefit. It is a cumulative process, requiring a great many days. If you practice with great patience, attaining an almost magical skill will not be so difficult after all.

太極虛實之解釋
AN EXPLANATION OF EMPTINESS & FULLNESS

常人皆知練拳時。左腿實右腿變虛。如若右腿實。左腿變虛。固為虛實。再言弓腿為實。後腿為虛則錯矣。不信者可以試驗。譬如打人一拳。推人一掌。弓實前腿。後腿變虛。自己考慮。自己站立穩否與得力否。有推人之效力否。細思當自知之。近習拳同志。每視拳為運動而忽略為拳術。此固是運動。惟每方式皆根據用法而作。故習拳要學姿式正確。根據用法目標練習。方能得太極拳之眞功效。
虛實二字。按前人指示其意義。非如字面之簡單。兹再闡釋之。如欲上右腳。則用意將身軀重心微移至左腿立實。右腿重力旣移去後變為虛。卽能輕便活動。提起邁步。步之大小隨各人而定。如兩腳站穩。則兩腳皆為實。若左足想上步。右足尖向外轉移。將身重心移至右腿。此時始分虛實。右腿立實。左足輕便。總而言之。如站定方式後。足不可虛。須分虛實時。多數前足可虛。後足為實。蓋力從根起。(卽足後跟也)如運用進步變步。兩腿虛實變換。比穿梭更快。兩足可虛可實。虛者為五分力。亦有二三分者。實者為八九分力。如絲毫不著力。足部卽不聽自己指揮。如實十分用力。則轉動不靈矣。
Everyone thinks that the sum of “emptiness” and “fullness” is that if the left leg fills, the right leg becomes empty, and if the right leg fills, the left leg becomes empty. It would be more accurate to say that the bending leg fills and the rear leg empties. For example, if you strike an opponent with a fist, or push him with a palm, your front leg bends and fills, your rear leg emptying.
  Carefully assess yourself. Are you standing stably? Does your position give you strength? Do you have the power to push someone away? Practitioners nowadays tend to look upon it as a form of exercise and neglect it as a fighting art. It is assuredly a form of exercise, but every posture is based on a fighting technique. Therefore doing the postures correctly means doing them according to their fighting application. This is the way to get the best results from practicing Taiji Boxing.
  When the early masters used the terms “empty” and “full”, they of course did not mean them literally. Let us go into more detail. If you want to step forward with your right foot, use intention to slightly shift your weight onto your left leg. Once the weight has moved off of your right leg, it becomes empty and can now move easily, the size of your step depending on what is natural for yourself. However, if both feet are standing firm, then both feet are full. If you want to step forward with your left foot, you first have to turn your right toes outward and shift your weight onto your right leg. This initiates the division of empty and full. Then once your right leg stands firm, your left foot can move easily.
  In other words, if both legs are full, neither can be empty. It is necessary to divide them into one empty and one full. In order for the front foot to become empty, the rear foot will become full, strength now coming from its heel. If you advance with alternating steps, emptiness and fullness will switch from leg to leg, shifting as quick as a weaver’s shuttle being thrown through.
  The empty leg uses fifty percent of its strength, or maybe just twenty-five percent, while the full leg uses eighty or ninety percent of its strength. If there is no strength at all in the empty leg, you will have no control over it. If the full leg is using a hundred percent of its strength, you will not be able to nimbly turn in any direction.

太極弓腿坐腿之解釋
AN EXPLANATION OF TAIJI’S BOW STANCE & SITTING STANCE

(弓腿)卽前腿向前彎。
Bow stance: the front leg bends forward.

(坐腿)卽是後腿往後坐。後腿曲膝坐低是也。
Sitting stance: the rear leg sits back, the knee bending and the hips lowering.

弓腿坐腿之運用。猶如北方農夫之澆園式(卽灌田)或普通之拉鋸式。或如南方船夫之摇船形。總言之。皆是運用上下相隨之揉動力。
These two stances used together look like the positions that farmers in the north get into while they irrigate their fields, like people working a two-man saw, or like the southern method of rowing a boat while standing. It is basically like a friction created by the upper body and lower body working in unison.

身法
BODY PRINCIPLES

提起精神
Raise your spirit.
虛靈頂勁
Forcelessly press up your headtop.
涵胸拔脊
Hollow your chest and round your back.
鬆肩墜肘
Sink your shoulders and drop your elbows.
氣沉丹田
Energy sinks to your elixir field.
手與肩平
Your hands are at shoulder level.
胯鬆膝平
Your knees loosen and your thighs flatten.
尻道上提
Tuck in your tailbone.
尾閭中正
Your tailbone should be centered.
內外相合
Inside and outside are joined together.

練法
TRAINING PRINCIPLES

不強用力
Avoid using exertion.
以心行氣
Use mind to move energy.
步如貓行
Step like a cat.
上下相隨
Above and below coordinate with each other.
呼吸自然
Breathe naturally.
一線串成
Move in a continuous flow.
變換在腰
Changes occur primarily at the waist.
氣行四肢
Energy flows into the limbs.
分淸虛實
Clearly distinguish between emptiness and fullness.
圓轉如意
Rounded postures mean effortless techniques.

習拳箴言
MAXIMS FOR PRACTICE

依規矩。熟規矩。化規矩。神規矩。不離規矩。初習要慢。逐漸要勻。極熟後。從心所欲。動靜虛實。陰陽開合。各種神氣姿態要表現出。圓中有方。方中有圓。勁若斷而意實未斷也。靈動神妙。造極登峯。習拳至此。不可思議矣。
Follow the rules, master the rules, adapt the rules, transcend the rules, and never depart from the rules.
  First focus on slowness, then gradually focus more on evenness, and then once you have become very skillful at the techniques, you can do whatever you want.
  Whether movement or stillness, emptiness or fullness, passive or active, opening or closing, in all things show poise.
  There is squareness within roundness, roundness within squareness.
  Power may seem to finish, but intention continues.
  Being alert and subtle will bring your abilities to the highest level. Practice in this way and your skill will be beyond imagination.

經驗談
SOME LESSONS FROM EXPERIENCE

(一)太極拳係內家拳。力出於骨。勁蓄於筋。不求皮堅肉厚。而求氣沉骨堅。故無張筋錯骨之苦。無跳躍奮力之勞。順其自然。求先天之本能。為返本歸原之功夫。
1. Taiji Boxing is related to “internal” styles of boxing, meaning that strength comes from the bones and power is stored in the sinews. It does not strive for tight skin and thick muscles, but for energy to sink and bones to be solid. Therefore it is free of the arduousness of straining the muscles and torturing the bones, and also the laboriousness of leaping around and expending great amounts of effort. It follows what is natural, seeking to make use of our inherent abilities. It is the work of restoring one’s primordial state.

(二)練太極拳有三到。神到,意到,形到。如身法正確。神意俱到。則進步甚速。每日有不同之感覺。學者宜細心體味之。
2. When practicing Taiji Boxing, there are three things that have to come together: spirit, intention, and shape. As long as your postures are correct, spirit and intention will automatically fall into place. You will then progress quickly, each day experiencing new sensations. Pay close attention and savor it all.

(三)如身法不合。神意不到。如火煮空鐺。到老無成。有十年太極拳不如三年外家拳之譏。故第一須勤。第二須悟。功夫如何。視智慧如何。但勤能補拙。須自勉之。
3. If your postures are not correct, spirit and intention will not manifest. It would be just like cooking with an empty pot: the result in the end will be no result at all. It is said scornfully that ten years of practicing Taiji Boxing is not as good as three years of training in external boxing arts. Therefore you must first of all work very hard, and then you must let yourself awaken to the art. The height of your skill will be measured by the depth of your insight. Hard work will rid you of your clumsiness, but hard work means that you do indeed have to work hard.

(四)練習時呼吸。要自然呼吸。勿勉強行深呼吸。功夫純熟。自然呼吸調勻。否則有害無利。
4. When practicing, breathe naturally. Do not force yourself to breathe deeply. Once you have trained to the point of skillfulness, your breathing will naturally be even. Forcing it would only be counterproductive.

(五)太極十三勢。本為導引功夫。導引者。導引氣血也。故功夫純熟。氣血調勻。百病消除。千萬不可自作聰明。如舌頂上腭。氣沉丹田之類。功夫到後。自然氣沉丹田而行百脈。此乃自然之理。不可以人力強求。
5. The movements in the Taiji boxing set are based on Daoyin exercises. Daoyin (“guiding”) means to guide your energy and blood. Once you have become skillful at the exercises, energy and blood will be moving more evenly, thereby preventing all sorts of illness. Do not get caught up in pretentious statements such as “the tongue touches the upper palate” or “energy sinks to the elixir field”. After going through the training, energy will sink to your elixir field by itself and from there move into the energy channels. Allow naturalness to do most of the work instead of trying to force things to happen.

(六)鬆肩垂肘。乃言力不可聚於肩背。要將力移至臂部肘前一節。此乃意會而不能言傳者。學者要細心體味。不可泥而行之。不得滯重力沉。致難於輕靈。
6. Loosen your shoulders and drop your elbows. This will keep strength from getting stuck in your upper back. Strength should instead be shifted to your forearms. This sensation cannot really be explained in words, and so you have to pay careful attention in your own experience. You must not bog yourself down and then try to move. Forcing yourself to be sinking heavily will only make it difficult for you to move lightly and nimbly.

(七)提頂吊襠。提頂要天柱頭容正直。吊襠則氣由尾閭向上提也。收勁時胸要稍稍含虛。發勁時要天柱微直。切不可含胸駝背。
7. Lift your headtop and suspend your crotch. To “lift your headtop”, you must make the back of your neck more upright. To “suspend your crotch”, you must tuck in your tailbone. When withdrawing energy, slightly hollow your chest. When issuing power, slightly straighten the back of your head. Be sure not to hollow your chest so much that you look like a hunchback.

(八)練拳一次至少三䠀。第一䠀開展筋脈。第二䠀較正姿勢。第三䠀再加意形。純熟之後。一出手便有意形。則進步更速。
8. When practicing the boxing set, go through it at least three times. The first time is for stretching the sinews and blood vessels. The second is for making corrections to your postures. The third is for adding more intention in your actions. After you have thoroughly ingrained the set, every movement will be imbued with intention, and then you will progress even faster.

(九)知覺懂勁。要多推手。自得黏連黏隨之妙。如無對手。勤練架子。及時時以兩臂摸勁。假想敵人進攻。我以何法制之。日久亦能懂勁。
9. To detect and identify energies requires a lot of pushing hands practice. Through such practice, you will naturally obtain the subtleties of sticking, connecting, adhering, and following. If you do not have a partner to practice with, you have to instead put more work into practicing the solo set, constantly using your arms to feel the different energies. Imagine with every posture that an opponent is attacking you. Scrutinize the method you are using to gain control over him. Practicing in this way over a long period of time will also give you the ability to identify energies.

(十)推手時要細心揣摩。不可將對方推出以為笑樂。務要使我之重心。對方不能捉摸。對方之重心。時時在我手中。
10. When pushing hands, you should be carefully contemplating the experience rather than trying to push the opponent away so that you can laugh triumphantly. The point of the exercise is to make your center of balance incomprehensible to the opponent while putting his center of balance always under your control.

(十一)太極拳行住坐臥。皆可行功。其法以心行氣而求知覺。譬如無意之間。取一茶杯。用力持之。如何感覺。不用力持之如何感覺。行路之時。舉步之輕重。立定之時。屈腿而立。直腿而立。一足著力。雙足著力。均可體驗之。
11. Taiji Boxing can be practiced when walking, standing, sitting, or lying down. The method is to use your mind to move energy and to explore sensation. For example, try something as mundane as picking up a teacup. Notice the difference between doing it with strength and doing it without strength. When walking, notice whether your footsteps are light or heavy. When standing, notice whether your legs are bent or straight, and whether the weight is more on one leg or on both. Every little thing is an experience to learn from.

(十二)初步練拳時。覺身軀痠痛。此乃換力。不必驚恐。亦不可灰心。半月之後,卽覺腰腿輕快。神滿氣足。
12. In the beginning of the training, your body may ache. This is just your body getting stronger. You do not need to be afraid because of this and you must not become discouraged. After just a couple weeks, you will feel that your waist and legs have become livelier, and you be full of spirit and energy.

(十三)架子練熟。推手入門。乃講功勁。太極拳有粘動勁。跟隨勁。輕靈勁。沉勁。內勁。提勁。搓勁。揉勁。貼勁。扶勁。摸勁。按勁。入骨勁。摔動勁。掛勁。搖動勁。發勁。寸勁。脆勁。抖勁。去勁。冷不防勁。分寸勁。蓄勁。放箭勁。等勁。等等以上諸勁。僅述大槪。領略各種勁。在知覺運動中求之。一人求之較難。二人求之較易。因人是活物。發勁之外。尚有靈感作用。務在人身上求之。如無對象。在空氣中求之。如打沙包轉鋼球。俱無用也。
13. After learning the boxing set, begin practicing pushing hands in order to train energies. There are many energies in the art, such as: sticking, following, nimbleness, sinking, internal power, lifting, twisting, rubbing, gluing, supporting, feeling, pushing, penetrating bone, throwing, hanging, rocking, issuing, inch force, crispness, shaking, expelling, suddenness, tenth-of-an-inch force, storing, “loosing arrows”, and so on. These are but the briefest mentionings of various energies. Understanding the various energies depends on having a strong awareness while practicing. It is difficult to do alone, but easy with a partner, because people are living things and will therefore teach you by way of their physical responses.
  Beyond just shooting people away, there is also the spontaneous discovery of new applications. Take advantage of the human body as a means to reveal the energies. If there is no one to aim at, use your imagination upon the empty air. To instead spend your time striking sandbags or rotating heavy steel spheres would be of no help at all for learning energies.

(十四)太極拳論云。其根於腳。發於腿。主宰於腰。形於手指。此發勁之原理也。再有禁忌如膝不可過足尖。伸手不得過鼻尖。上舉不得過眉。下壓不得過心窩。此古之遺訓也。如違此禁忌。力卸矣。變化之妙。主宰於腰。如以右手斜左推人。已過鼻尖矣。力已卸矣。但左胸往後稍含。腰部稍稍左轉。力又足矣。此變化在胸。主宰在腰也。形於手指者。渾身鬆靈。剛堅之勁。在於手指。則如純鋼鬆軟之條。上有鉄鎚。向前一彈。所向披靡。無法禦之。學者細心推敲。不久可得內家眞勁。手法特別者。不在此禁。
14. It says in the classics: “Starting from the foot, issue through the leg, directing it at the waist, and expressing it at the fingers.” This is the key to issuing power. There are additionally some things to avoid when issuing: your knee must not go beyond your toes, your hand must not pass in front of your nose [i.e. cross the centerline], nor rise up higher than your eyebrows, nor press down lower beyond your solar plexus. These are teachings from the old masters. Break these rules and you will diminish your power.
  The secret to making changes is to direct them from the waist. If your right hand pushes diagonally to the left, it is crossing the centerline, thereby diminishing your power. However, this can be compensated for by pulling back the left side of your chest, your waist slightly turning to the left. This is a change happening at your chest, but still is directed by the waist.
  To express at your fingers, loosen your whole body, then hard power will manifest at the fingers like a steel chain with an iron hammer on the end, whipping out forward unstoppably.
  By meticulously examining these ideas, it will not take long for you to obtain authentic internal power. (Among the techniques, there are a few special cases that the prohibitions above do not apply to.)

(十五)人乃動物。並具靈感。譬如我以拳擊一人。彼當以手推開或身子閃開。決不能靜立待打。抵抗乃人之本能也。靜物則不然。如懸一沙包。垂懸不動。拳擊之後。當前後鼓盪。然其鼓盪之路線。乃一定之路線。向左擊之。向右盪回。此乃物之反應也。人則不然。一拳擊去。對方能抗能空。變化無定。此人之反應也。拳術家有穩,準,狠三字。等求我不發勁。發則所向披靡。然何以求穩準狠。須先求靈感。如何求靈感。讀者應在前篇王宗岳先生之行功論內求之。卽彼不動。己不動。彼微動。己先動。須在似動未動之時。意未起形未動之間。爭此先著。所向披靡矣。
15. Human beings are animals and are therefore responsive. If you send out a fist to strike an opponent, he will use a hand to block it away or dodge with his body, not just stand there and wait to get hit. It is instinctive for us to resist such a situation. Inanimate objects do not behave in this way. If you hang a sandbag, it just hangs there unmoving until you punch it, and then it merely sways back and forth along the same path. Strike it to the left, then it sways back to the right, and vice versa. This is the way objects respond. A person will instead oppose an attack or evade it, adapting unpredictably. This is the way people respond.
  Boxing arts masters have three qualities: stability, precision, ruthlessness. If you lack these qualities, issuing power will be useless, but if you have them, your power will be invincible. How to gain them, you must first achieve the quality of responsiveness. The approach to this is found in Wang Zongyue’s Treatise on How to Practice: “If he takes no action, I take no action, but once he takes even the slightest action, I have already acted.” In that moment when is about to act but has not yet acted, when his intention is not yet fully committed and his technique has not yet fully taken shape, get there ahead of him, and thus you will be sure to win.

(十六)或云練太極拳後。不可舉重物。不可用蠻力。此則未必盡然。未學太極拳。一身笨力。全體緊張。旣學太極拳。全體鬆軟。筋暢氣通。務必練去全身緊張。仍須保持原來之笨力。因鬆軟之後。笨力變為眞勁矣。昔人謂笨力稱之曰膂力。其力在肩膂之間也。不能主宰於腰形於手指也。故笨力為本錢。鬆軟是用法。得用其法。小本錢可做大事業。不得其法。本錢雖大。事業無成也。故得太極拳眞理以後。舉重摔角。拍球賽跑。隨意可也。不必禁忌。但依編者愚見。各種運動。不如多打幾䠀拳。
16. Some people say that after practicing Taiji Boxing, one should not lift weights or engage in any other exercise that requires brute strength. Not true. Before learning Taiji Boxing, the body is tense and clumsy. After learning it, the body is relaxed and efficient. You have to train away your tension, but still preserve your untrained strength. This is because once are in a relaxed state, your untrained strength will get transformed into genuine power.
  Previous generations described the untrained clumsy strength as “shoulder strength”, for it relies on only the strength of the shoulders and upper back, and therefore rendered one incapable of “directing it at the waist and expressing it at the fingers” [i.e. it interrupts and nullifies issued power, inducing one to try to compensate by falling back on employing upper arm strength]. Think of it this way: untrained strength is like a small amount of money and relaxation is the proper spending of it. Spending wisely, a small amount can go a long way. Spending unwisely, even a large amount would not get the stuff you actually need.
  Therefore once you have grasped the authentic Taiji principles, you can engage in any other kind of exercise, be it weightlifting or wrestling, volleyball, or running, and it will not be counterproductive toward your training. Though in my opinion, boxing arts are better than any other form of exercise anyway.

(十七)道經云。一陰一陽謂之道。太極卽陰陽也。在此原子時代。何物非陰陽。故行功論有云。偏沉則隨。雙重則滯。偏沉雙重。陰陽不勻也。故讀者於舉手投足。務須注意。一陰一陽。一虛一實。老子曰。吾善藏其餘。祈揣摩之。
17. It says in Daoist literature [commentary to the Book of Changes]: “Half passive, half active – this is the Way.” This is exactly what “taiji” means, the passive and active aspects together. Now that we are in this atomic age, indeed all matter seems to be made of passive and active aspects. It says in How to Practice: “If you drop one side, you can move. If you have equal pressure on both sides, you will be stuck.” If you get into a situation of having equal pressure on both sides, you will end up in a state of being entirely passive or active rather than half and half of each. In every action, be mindful so that it is half passive and half active, i.e. half empty and half full. Laozi [Xunzi] said [Xunzi, chapter 10]: “Be good at conserving a surplus.” Ponder this.

(十八)太極文武解。文武二字。文以養身武以禦敵。
18. About the “civil” and “martial” of “Taiji’s Civil & Martial Qualities”, its “civil” aspect has to do with cultivating the body and its “martial” aspect has to do with defending against opponents.

(十九)以上寫出各條。均經驗也。理論也。眞實功夫。尚須在十三式中求之。功夫純然。自得得心應手之妙。練功時最好少求理論。多做功夫。余曾曰。功夫昔人好。理論今人好。實在理論一多。功夫不專。進境反少矣。拳術界中人多講義氣。學者當尊師重道。厚敬師傅。感動師傅。則為師者必盡心教導。此雖世俗之理。但中國人情如此。不可不注意。愛學眞功夫者。更當注意也。
19. All of these items have to do with both my own experience and the principles of the art. To find authentic skill, you have to seek it from the thirteen dynamics. As you master them, you will naturally develop the marvel of incredible efficiency.
  While practicing, it is better not to obsess over principles, just practice. I used to say: “Previous generations had better skill, whereas modern practitioners have a better understanding of the principles.” However, if you are always thinking about the principles, you are not really experiencing the training, and this will hinder your progress.
  Boxing arts practitioners tend to talk about loyalty, meaning: respect the teacher and the teachings. Respecting the teacher in turn earns you his respect, and then he will teach you all he knows. Although this is actually a universal principle, it is especially a part of the Chinese temperament and worthy of attention, and if you truly want the authentic art, it should be given even greater attention.

(二十)孟子曰。盡其心者。知其性也。知其性。則知天矣。火之炎上。性也。水之潤下。性也。此物之性也。春茂秋殺。天之性也。惡勞好逸。懼死貪生。此人之性也。然火遇風可吹之使下。水之遇火。能蒸之使上。松柏心堅。秋冬不凋。人知禮義。見義勇為。此乃易後天之性返入先天也。人未練拳之時。百脈滯塞。筋緊縮而短。故力聚於肩膂。旣練之後。百脈暢通。筋長力舒。由肩而臂。由臂而腕。由腕而形於手指。漸漸棄後天而轉入先天。如得先天本能。則神妙不可思議。學者得此勁後。當知余言之非謬也。
20. Mengzi said [Mengzi, chapter 7a]: “One who thinks deeply discovers his own nature. To know one’s own nature is to be in touch with Nature itself.” Fire rises, water sinks – the nature of matter. Life advances in spring, retreats in fall – the nature of the seasons. To hate work and love leisure, to fear death and cling to life – human nature.
  However, fire can be made to sink when wind blows it out, and water can be made to rise when fire underneath turns it to steam. Pine trees are determined and refuse to wither in winter. People know what is right and will fight for it [despite the effort involved and the risk of death]. These things indicate that one’s acquired nature can be changed back to one’s innate nature.
  Before learning this boxing art, one’s energy pathways have blockages and the sinews are tight, causing strength to be gathered at the shoulders. After training in the art, one’s energy pathways are clear, the sinews are lengthened, and strength is comfortably spread out all over the body. Gradually working your way from shoulder to forearm, from forearm to wrist, and from wrist to fingers, discard your acquired bad habits and switch back to your innate nature. If you can restore the potential of your innate ability, your skill will be unbelievable. Once you have obtained internal power, you will know that I am not exaggerating.

太極拳架子名目
TAIJI BOXING SOLO SET POSTURE NAMES

1 預備式
PREPARATION POSTURE
2 太極起式
TAIJI BEGINNING POSTURE
3 攬雀尾
CATCH THE SPARROW BY THE TAIL
4 單鞭
SINGLE WHIP
5 提手上式(上下提均可)
RAISED HANDS (raised either higher or lower)
6 白鶴亮翅
WHITE CRANE SHOWS ITS WINGS
7 摟膝抝步
BRUSH PAST YOUR LEFT KNEE IN A CROSSED STANCE
8 手揮琵琶
PLAY THE LUTE
9 左右摟膝抝步(三步)
BRUSH PAST YOUR KNEE IN A CROSSED STANCE – LEFT & RIGHT (three steps)
10 手揮琵琶
PLAY THE LUTE
11 左摟膝抝步
BRUSH PAST YOUR LEFT KNEE IN A CROSSED STANCE
12 進步搬攬捶
ADVANCE, PARRYING CATCH, PUNCH
13 如封似閉
SEALING SHUT
14 十字手
CROSSED HANDS
15 抱虎歸山
CAPTURE THE TIGER AND SEND IT BACK TO ITS MOUNTAIN
16 肘底看捶
BEWARE THE PUNCH UNDER ELBOW
17 左右倒輦猴
RETREATING LIKE A MONKEY – LEFT & RIGHT
18 斜飛式
SLANTED WINGS
19 提手
RAISED HANDS
20 白鶴亮翅
WHITE CRANE SHOWS ITS WINGS
21 左摟膝抝步
BRUSH PAST YOUR LEFT KNEE IN A CROSSED STANCE
22 海底針
NEEDLE UNDER THE SEA
23 山通臂
MOUNTAIN THROUGH THE ARMS
24 撇身捶
TORSO-FLUNG PUNCH
25 上步搬攬捶
STEP FORWARD, PARRYING CATCH, PUNCH
26 上步攬雀尾
STEP FORWARD, CATCH THE SPARROW BY THE TAIL
27 單鞭
SINGLE WHIP
28 左右雲手
CLOUDING HANDS – LEFT & RIGHT
29 單鞭
SINGLE WHIP
30 高探馬
RISING UP AND REACHING OUT TO THE HORSE
31 左右分腳
KICK TO THE SIDE – LEFT & RIGHT
32 轉身蹬腳
TURN AROUND, PRESSING KICK
33 摟膝抝步
BRUSH PAST YOUR KNEE IN A CROSSED STANCE
34 進步栽捶
ADVANCE, PLANTING PUNCH
35 撇身捶
TORSO-FLUNG PUNCH
36 上步搬攬捶
STEP FORWARD, PARRYING CATCH, PUNCH
37 斜身右蹬腳
DIAGONAL BODY, RIGHT PRESSING KICK
38 左右打虎式
FIGHTING TIGER POSTURE – LEFT & RIGHT
39 回身右蹬腳
WITHDRAW, RIGHT PRESSING KICK
40 雙風貫耳
DOUBLE WINDS THROUGH THE EARS
41 左蹬腳
LEFT PRESSING KICK
42 轉身右蹬腳
SPIN AROUND, RIGHT PRESSING KICK
43 上步搬攬捶
STEP FORWARD, PARRYING CATCH, PUNCH
44 如封似閉
SEALING SHUT
45 十字手
CROSSED HANDS
46 抱虎歸山
CAPTURE THE TIGER AND SEND IT BACK TO ITS MOUNTAIN
47 斜單鞭
DIAGONAL SINGLE WHIP
48 左右野馬分鬃
WILD HORSE SENDS ITS MANE SIDE TO SIDE – LEFT & RIGHT
49 上步攬雀尾
STEP FORWARD, CATCH THE SPARROW BY THE TAIL
50 單鞭
SINGLE WHIP
51 玉女穿梭
MAIDEN SENDS THE SHUTTLE THROUGH
52 攬雀尾
CATCH THE SPARROW BY THE TAIL
53 單鞭
SINGLE WHIP
54 雲手
CLOUDING HANDS
55 單鞭下勢
SINGLE WHIP, LOW POSTURE
56 金鷄獨立
GOLDEN ROOSTER STANDS ON ONE LEG
57 左右倒輦猴
RETREATING LIKE A MONKEY – LEFT & RIGHT
58 斜飛式
SLANTED WINGS
59 提手
RAISED HANDS
60 白鶴亮翅
WHITE CRANE SHOWS ITS WINGS
61 摟膝抝步
BRUSH PAST YOUR LEFT KNEE IN A CROSSED STANCE
62 海底針
NEEDLE UNDER THE SEA
63 山通臂
MOUNTAIN THROUGH THE ARMS
64 白蛇吐信
WHITE SNAKE FLICKS OUT ITS TONGUE
65 上步搬攬捶
STEP FORWARD, PARRYING CATCH, PUNCH
66 上步攬雀尾
STEP FORWARD, CATCH THE SPARROW BY THE TAIL
67 單鞭
SINGLE WHIP
68 雲手
CLOUDING HANDS
69 單鞭
SINGLE WHIP
70 高探馬代穿掌
RISING UP AND REACHING OUT TO THE HORSE, SWITCH TO THREADING PALM
71 轉身十字腿
TURN AROUND, CROSS-SHAPED KICK
72 進步指襠捶
ADVANCE, PUNCH TO THE CROTCH
73 上步攬雀尾(帶跟步)
STEP FORWARD, CATCH THE SPARROW BY THE TAIL (going into a follow step)
74 單鞭下勢
SINGLE WHIP, LOW POSTURE
75 上步七星捶
STEP FORWARD, BIG-DIPPER PUNCH
76 退步跨虎
RETREAT TO SITTING-TIGER POSTURE
77 轉身雙擺蓮
SPIN AROUND, DOUBLE-SLAP SWINGING LOTUS KICK
78 彎弓射虎
BEND THE BOW TO SHOOT THE TIGER
79 轉步搬攬捶
TWISTING STEP, PARRYING CATCH, PUNCH
80 如封似閉
SEALING SHUT
81 十字手合太極
CROSSED HANDS, CLOSING POSTURE

預備式
[1] PREPARATION POSTURE

練拳之初。心中先擬定一個位置。左腳先上一步。右腳隨跟上一步。兩腳分開立齊與雙肩一樣寬。身子立直。眼平視。全身鬆靜。平穩站定。將自己日思夜慮事情丢開。專心練拳。
Before commencing the movements, settle into a position of stillness. First your left foot steps forward into place, then your right foot. Your feet spread apart to shoulder width, your body standing straight, your gaze forward. Your entire body is relaxed and calm, standing stably. Put all everyday concerns out of your mind and focus entirely on what you are practicing. See photo 1:

董英傑《太極拳釋義》(1948) - photo 1

太極起式
[2] TAIJI BEGINNING POSTURE

兩手不可用力。由下慢慢往前向上提起。與肩下平。兩膊肘處微向下彎如圖
Without using any exertion, your hands slowly lift forward and upward until at shoulder level, your elbows slightly bending downward. See photo 2:

董英傑《太極拳釋義》(1948) - photo 2

由上式鬆肩墜肘。兩膊與氣一齊向下沉。雙掌落至胯前。氣已沉至丹田。再鬆胯。氣由腿後部。直落至足跟。此時站立。自然穩固。宜頭容正直。眼平視。卽是虛靈頂勁。
Your shoulders loosen and your elbows droop, your forearms and your energy sinking down. Your palms lower until in front of your hips, energy sinking to your elixir field. Then your hips loosen and energy flows down the backs of your legs to your heels. You are now standing naturally and stably. Your head should be upright and your gaze level, fulfilling the principle of “forcelessly press up your headtop”. See photo 3:

董英傑《太極拳釋義》(1948) - photo 3

【益處】
Benefits:
全身放鬆。氣致中和。平心靜氣。筋肉鬆弛休息。氣亦調勻舒服。全身筋肉腹內五臟各部恢復適當部位。各得其所而休息。能培養精神。
Your whole body will relax, your energy becoming balanced and harmonious. Your mind will be stable and your energy calm, your muscles will be relaxed and at ease, and your breath will be even and comfortable. Every organ will be restored to its proper position and optimized function, and thus perform its task without strain, and this makes the exercise capable of cultivating spirit.

【注意】
Points for attention:
練拳不可閉口藏舌。又不可時時涵胸拔背。此法是有時間性者。到收回方式才可涵胸。有涵胸自然有拔背。千萬不可自作拔背駝形為要。
You should not close your mouth tightly and pull back your tongue. You should also not be constantly hollowing your chest and rounding your back, instead performing such an action only during postures of withdrawing. Furthermore, hollowing your chest will automatically cause rounding of your back anyway, and so deliberately rounding your back in addition to hollowing your chest would be going too far and make you look hunchbacked.

攬雀尾
[3.1] CATCH THE SPARROW BY THE TAIL

開始練拳。右手微上提。右腿向下彎曲。右腿不動原位。與右身手眼神心意一齊向右轉。
To commence the boxing set, your right hand slightly lifts, as your right leg bends and your torso turns to the right, your right foot staying where it but turning outward to the right, all parts, including your eyes and mind, acting in unison. See photo 4:

董英傑《太極拳釋義》(1948) - photo 4

手圓轉向右斜下方。左手等右手轉落時。右足坐實。左足向左橫邁一步。用足跟先著地。同時左手由下自內微彎向上提至左方。與胸平。如弓式。(等勁不必作掤字解。眼微注左臂。手寓下轉看右手意。此時右手右足在右。左手左足在左。此謂太極動之則分。左右足平形如圖站穩。
Your right hand arcs diagonally downward to the right as the weight shifts fully onto your right leg, then your left foot steps out to the left, touching down first with the heel, as your left hand arcs upward to the left until at chest level, the arm slightly bent to make the arm rounded, though not quite making a ward-off position. Your gaze is toward your left arm, but is ready to shift toward your right hand. Your right hand and right foot are on the right side. Your left hand and left foot are on the left side. With your feet both flat on the ground, stand stably. This posture embodies the principle of “when the grand polarity moves, the passive and active aspects become distinct from each other”. See photo 5:

董英傑《太極拳釋義》(1948) - photo 5

【益處】
Benefits:
此式謂之開。將全身筋絡肺部胃部舒展開。凡人運動非得到伸縮不為功。伸卽開。縮卽合。所以練拳不能離開合之法。
This posture works the action of “opening”, stretching every sinew, as well as stimulating the lungs and stomach. Without incorporating expanding and contracting into the movements, there will be no skill. Expanding is “opening”. Contracting is “closing”. Throughout the boxing set, you must never depart from opening and closing.

由上式左手由上向內。右手自下向內。轉雙手如抱球狀。此時重心移至左腿。右足輕輕提收至左足近處。
Your left hand moves inward above and your right hand moves inward below, your hands now positioned as though holding a ball, as the weight shifts onto your left leg, your right foot gently lifting up and drawing in near your left foot. See photo 6:

董英傑《太極拳釋義》(1948) - photo 6

攬雀尾掤式
[3.2] CATCH THE SPARROW BY THE TAIL (WARDING OFF)

向前邁步。足跟先著地。右手自下圓轉伸至前方。與肩平。右手在前為掤式。左手在後相對。眼神隨右手隨送。眼卽心之苗。眼之行動。卽以心行氣之謂。
Your right foot steps forward, touching down with the heel, as your right hand arcs forward and upward until at shoulder level, making a “warding off” position, your left hand in line with it behind. Your gaze follows the movement of your right hand, the gaze being the outward sprouting of the mind. The movement of your eyes is thus an example of the principle of “use mind to move energy”. See photo 7:

董英傑《太極拳釋義》(1948) - photo 7

(掤者)卽捧上架高使對方手膊不易落下也。平掤如第一道防線。敵不能推進也。
The technique of “warding off” means propping up high so that the opponent cannot easily bring his arm down. Warding off is your first line of defense, rendering the opponent incapable of advancing in the first place.

攬雀尾捋式
[3.3] CATCH THE SPARROW BY THE TAIL (ROLLING BACK)

由上式兩手微往右擰轉寸許。擰至右手心向下。左手心向上。兩掌距離尺許。向左涵胸拉回。(卽是捋)身向左微偏。同時左腿坐。右腿變為虛。(虛者不用大力)(此式為捋)(功能練實左腿)。
Your hands arc about an inch to the right, turning over so that your right palm is facing downward, your left palm facing upward, your hands about a foot apart, and then “roll back”, i.e. pull back to the left, your chest hollowing, your body slightly turning to the left, as you sit onto your left leg, the leg filling, your right leg emptying, the emptying needing no great exertion. See photo 8:

董英傑《太極拳釋義》(1948) - photo 8

【用處】
Application:
(捋字卽作拉回也)設對方雙手按我左膊前節。或者我左手著住他左手隨沾貼他。或抓他左腕。同時用我右腕搭上他左肘上。兩手一齊往左將他拉斜。(拳法為捋)
The technique of “rolling back” means to pull back. If the opponent is pushing on your left forearm, use your left hand to stick to his left hand, or grab his left wrist, as your right hand connects at his left elbow, then use both hands in unison to pull across diagonally to the left.

攬雀尾擠式
[3.4] CATCH THE SPARROW BY THE TAIL (PRESSING)

由捋式兩手返轉。右手向內。左手微往後圓轉一小圈。左掌心對右腕處隨跟上右腕扶貼。兩腳原位。弓右腿。蹬左腿。雙手往前擠。身法眼神一齊進攻。(右膝不可過足尖)(左腿形微彎)如圖。
Your hands turn over so that your right palm is facing inward, your left hand slightly arcing to the rear and drawing a small circle that brings your left palm to your right wrist. Your hands press forward in this position, as your right leg bends, the knee not going past the toes, and your left leg straightens, staying slightly bent, your body and gaze also advancing. See photo 9:

董英傑《太極拳釋義》(1948) - photo 9

【用法】
Application:
(擠者卽逼對方不能逃也。擠住不易動也)設用捋法。將他拉斜使失重心。此時速用左手扶自己右腕。雙手合力擠他上膊處。我擠到他身。雙手一齊發勁。他必跌數尺遠或丈餘。視自己功夫如何而定。
The technique of “pressing” means closing in on the opponent so that he cannot get away, crowding him so much that he can barely move. First execute the rollback technique, pulling him diagonally across, which causes him to lose his balance, then quickly put your left hand onto your own right wrist and use the combined power of both hands to press on his upper arm. Once your pressing action reaches his body, your hands issuing in unison, he is sure to fall more than ten feet away, thereby demonstrating to him that he has no clue as to the real extent of your skill.

攬雀尾按式
[3.5] CATCH THE SPARROW BY THE TAIL (PUSHING)

由上式左腿與雙手同時慢慢收回。身法含蓄勢。將雙手收至胸前。掌心向前向下形。左腿已往後坐實。右腿力移至左腿:故右腿為虛如圖。
Slowly sit back onto your left leg, your body storing energy, as your hands withdraw in front of your chest, the palms facing forward and downward. Strength shifts from your right leg to your left leg, your left leg becoming the full leg, your right leg the empty leg. See photo 10:

董英傑《太極拳釋義》(1948) - photo 10

【功能】
Function:
舒通胃氣。練脊背力。
This will improve the energy of the stomach and develop strength in the back.

【用法】
Application:
設有人推來或攻擊我。我收蓄氣。空身法。敵人撲空。而他自不得力。
The opponent pushes or strikes at you, so you withdraw, emptying the space where your body was and causing him to fall into emptiness with no way to stop himself.

由上式雙手向前按出時。左足不動原位。用微蹬力:同時右腿慢慢往前弓出。膝蓋不可過足尖。手腳一齊。兩掌向前往外推出。手指與肩平。眼平遠看。(如圖)
Your hands push out forward as your left leg slightly straightens and your right leg slowly bends, the knee not going past the toes. Your fingers are at shoulder level, your gaze forward and reaching far away. See photo 11:

董英傑《太極拳釋義》(1948) - photo 11

【功能】
Function:
運動腰腿力全身力。能發放胃氣。舒通肺氣。練掌力眼力。
This builds strength in the hips, as well as the whole body, can soothe the energy of the stomach and lungs, develops power in the palms, and improves vision.

【用法】
Application:
(按字卽用雙手按對方。使其不得動也。向下按向前按均可)。用雙手推敵胸前。或按住他手膊。用吸沾力按實。用自己全身力由下而上。從脊背而發于掌。其勁不可限量。
The technique of “pushing” means using both hands to push on the opponent so that he cannot squirm away. This push can be more of a downward push or more of a forward push. Your hands can push on his chest or on his arm. Use an energy of soaking in for your push to penetrate, then employ the power of your whole body to uproot him. By issuing from your spine to your palms, the power will be limitless.

單鞭
[4] SINGLE WHIP

由上式雙手微上提。(手形看圖)。用右足跟同身手一齊向左前平轉至(四十五度。)全身重心移至左腿。(如一圖)
Your hands slightly lift up and arc across to the left, your torso turning to the left, your right foot pivoting inward on the heel, the weight shifting onto your left leg. See photo 12:

董英傑《太極拳釋義》(1948) - photo 12

雙手不停。往左向下平轉。自身轉回右方時。全身重心移回右腿。曲膝站實。右手拇食中三指攝住。五指合攏。指尖下垂。此形為刁手。平伸至右方。左手左腿同時收回。左掌向內平收至右胸前。左腿提起。足尖向下。眼看右手。(如二圖)
Your hands continue to arc across to the left, then downward, and then withdraw to the right as the weight shifts onto your right leg, the knee bending, the fingers of your right hand gathering together to form a hook hand, the fingertips hanging down. Once your right hand is extended to the right, your left hand and left leg draw in, your left palm gathering inward until in front of the right side of your chest, your left leg lifting, the toes hanging down. Your gaze is toward your right hand. See photo 13:

董英傑《太極拳釋義》(1948) - photo 13

上式似停未停。左足往左前方邁一大步。(足跟先著地)。左掌向外向左方轉伸。眼神隨掌轉視。轉掌向外。指仰上。左膊微曲。此時兩手分左右。弓左腿。右腿微彎。(如三圖)
Your left foot takes a large step out to the forward left, touching down with the heel, and your left palm arcs outward and extends to the left, the palm turning to be facing outward, the fingers pointing upward, the arm slightly bent, as your left leg bends, your right leg straightening but staying slightly bent. Your gaze follows the movement of your left hand. See photo 14:

董英傑《太極拳釋義》(1948) - photo 14

【功能】
Function:
單鞭為開勁。將肺部胃部微微開放。雙手至腿全身筋肉拉開。
SINGLE WHIP is an example of opening. It slightly activates the lungs and stomach, and also gently stretches the arms and legs, and indeed every sinew in the body.

【用法】
Application:
寫拳鍊法帶用皆係假想。由上式接連而寫。單鞭之用法。由上雙手作按式而言。雙手按出。設有人前進打我。我速涵胸。右手自上落下。用手指將他拳微向右摟開。再有人自左後方打來。我轉身避過他拳。上左腳用左掌推他前胸。
Putting boxing techniques into words requires using one’s imagination. After pushing the opponent away, he advances again to strike you, so you quickly hollow your chest, bringing down your right hand over his attacking arm, and use your hanging fingers to brush his fist away to the right. Then an opponent attacks from behind you to your left, so you turn around to deal with it by stepping forward with your left foot and using your left palm to push his chest.

提手上式
[5] RAISED HANDS

由上式左足跟站實。先用足尖向內微轉。全身重心移至左腿。合手提右足。同時合提至右前方。手足皆作微曲形路線。兩手是平線合攏的。掌為前後相向形。右足是由右提起。用足跟踏在前。左腿為實。右足為虛如圖。
Your left toes turn inward and the weight shifts onto your left leg, then your right foot and hands move toward the forward right, your right foot lifting and coming down with the heel, your hands coming together in front of you with your right hand farther forward and your left hand behind it, all of your limbs slightly bent. Your left leg is full, right leg empty. See photo 15:

董英傑《太極拳釋義》(1948) - photo 15

【功能】
Function:
全身之勁合聚一處。提手練法。雙手由上平合為合提手。如若雙手自單鞭式往下合勁。不作提手形寓提上意。為提手寓上式。
The power of your whole body is concentrated toward a single direction. Your hands move inward from above to finish in a raised position, meaning that they actually come together with a lowering energy, and therefore the movement does not involve an intention of raising and is merely raised in terms of the appearance of the completed posture.

白鶴亮翅
[6] WHITE CRANE SHOWS ITS WINGS

由上式雙手往下。由身前向左轉右手。至胯前微停。左手不停自下由左往上圓轉。此時右腿收回。足尖向下。懸起左掌。立起摸至右膊內。(如一圖)
Your hands lower to the left, your right hand arcing downward to the left until in front of your left hip, and your left hand arcs upward to the left toward the inside of your right arm, the palm upright, as your right foot withdraws, touching down with the toes. See photo 16:

董英傑《太極拳釋義》(1948) - photo 16

接上式。右足向右前方邁出一步。全身重心慢移。右腿立實。右手膊自下由右上提。左掌由右。向左斜方按落。此時左足尖提至右足前虛立。此時身向左轉。右手提高至右額外。左手落至身左邊。手足形看圖。(白鶴亮翅圖一寓提意。圖二提右手往上謂提手上式。作成式後謂白鶴亮翅。)
Your right hand lifts up until to the outside of the right side of your forehead and your left hand lowers diagonally to the left side, the palm pushing down, as your right foot steps out to the forward right, the weight shifting onto it, your torso turning to the left, and your left foot lifts up and goes forward in front of your right foot, touching down with the toes, the foot empty. (The action in the first photo contains a lifting intention with the left hand, then the action in the second photo involves lifting with the right hand. The “white crane” is exhibited with the completed posture.) See photo 17:

董英傑《太極拳釋義》(1948) - photo 17

【功能】
Function:
斜開身形。練尾閭中正虛靈頂勁。
Spreading your arms open diagonally in this way will induce you to center your tailbone and forcelessly press up your headtop.

【用法】
Application:
設用左掌摸住敵右肘。自己隨用右腕或前膊往上提。抬至敵右膊跟處。右足站實。右膊向上往外反猛抖勁。可將他打起離地。此神意謂仰之彌高。
Your left palm connects to the opponent’s right elbow, then your right wrist rises, suddenly shaking away his forearm upward, which can send him up off the ground, the technique expressing this principle: “When looking up, it is still higher.”

摟膝抝步
[7] BRUSH PAST YOUR LEFT KNEE IN A CROSSED STANCE

由上式右手背右肘轉向下同右腰腿坐落。左手由下自外轉至前上方。兩足不動。原位。(預備摟膝如圖)
Your right forearm arcs downward, the hand turning over, and your left hand arcs upward and inward until in front of you as you sit lower on your right leg, your feet staying where they are. See photo 18:

董英傑《太極拳釋義》(1948) - photo 18

接上式不停。右手掌向後圓轉至右耳邊。左手自上向左斜下方摟開敵拳。左腳隨進步。足跟先著地。已經摟拳過膝。右手預備推掌。(如二圖)
With your right palm arcing to the rear and upward until beside your right ear, your left hand goes diagonally downward to the left, brushing aside the opponent’s fist, as your left foot advances, touching down with the heel. Once your left hand is brushing past your left knee, your right palm is ready to push out. See photo 19:

董英傑《太極拳釋義》(1948) - photo 19

接上式不停。左足放平。右掌由耳邊向敵胸前推出。左腿弓式。膝不過腳尖。右腿在後微彎。作蹬助力。兩腿皆實。(此三圖練法用法齊說明)
Your left foot comes down fully as your right palm pushes out forward from beside your ear toward the opponent’s chest, your left leg bending, the knee not going beyond the toes, your right leg straightening but staying slightly bent so that there is some fullness in both legs. See photo 20:

董英傑《太極拳釋義》(1948) - photo 20

手揮琵琶
[8] PLAY THE LUTE

由上式收回右手。伸起左手。全身退回。坐於右腿。左足尖同時翹起。收退半步。足跟踏地。(用分四力)右腿坐穩。左手在前。右手在後。手心相對。矩離尺許。抱托琵琶式。(看圖)
Your right hand withdraws and your left hand extends and rises, as your body sits back onto your right leg, your left foot withdrawing a half step, touching down with the heel, the toes rising, your four limbs each bracing away in its own direction. Now sitting stably on your right leg, your left hand is forward, right hand behind it, the palms aligned with each other diagonally about a foot apart. See photo 21:

董英傑《太極拳釋義》(1948) - photo 21

(說明)
Note:
右手右膊微向內擰轉拉回。左手左膊由下向內擰轉托上。伸出兩兩手。是搓勁。
Your right palm rotates inward as it pulls back, your left palm also rotating inward as it props up. Employing this twisting energy, both hands finish in a position of pointing forward.

【用法】
Application:
設自己右手著住敵右腕。向下微按拉直他。速伸左掌由下托住他肘節。使他不能彎曲。
Grab the opponent’s right wrist with your right hand and slightly push down and pull back to straighten his arm, then quickly prop up his elbow with your left palm to keep him from being able to bend his arm.

左摟膝抝步
[9.1] BRUSH PAST YOUR LEFT KNEE IN A CROSSED STANCE

由上式右手平轉。抽回往後
Your right hand turns over so that the palm is facing upward and pulls back. See photo 22:

董英傑《太極拳釋義》(1948) - photo 22

小圈轉上。由右耳邊向前平推出。同時左足往前偏左方上一大步。左手隨卽自前落下由膝處摟過左腿外。坐掌。同時弓左腿。右腿蹬伸微彎。(如上兩圖)
Your right hand arcs in a small circle to the rear, upward, and then pushes out forward from beside your right ear as your left foot takes a large step out to the forward left and the leg bends, your left hand brushing downward past your left knee, your right leg straightening but staying slightly bent. See photo 23:

董英傑《太極拳釋義》(1948) - photo 23

右摟膝抝步
[9.2] BRUSH PAST YOUR RIGHT KNEE IN A CROSSED STANCE

接上式。左足尖微向左外移小許。全身重心移於左腿立實。左手隨身左偏後。抽轉掌心向上往後圓轉。而上手掌至耳邊。右手自前往左向下摟形。同時左腿坐實。右腳邁出。
Your left toes turn slightly outward and the weight shifts fully onto your left leg, your torso turning to the left, as your left hand arcs to the rear and upward until beside your left ear, your right hand lowering to the left, your right foot stepping out forward. See photo 24:

董英傑《太極拳釋義》(1948) - photo 24

不停接二式。右足跟踏地。右手自膝蓋處摟過。弓右腿。隨卽左掌由耳邊向前推出。後腿蹬勁微灣。此時左掌向前。右掌向下。(如二圖)
Your left foot comes down, touching down first with the heel, and the leg bends as your right hand brushes outward past your right knee, the palm facing downward, and your left hand pushes out forward, your left leg straightening but staying slightly bent. See photo 25:

董英傑《太極拳釋義》(1948) - photo 25

左摟膝抝步
[9.3] BRUSH PAST YOUR LEFT KNEE IN A CROSSED STANCE

接上式。右腳尖微向右外移動少許。全身重心。慢移於右腿坐實。右手隨抽轉往後向上圓轉至右耳邊。左手自前向左往下摟。左腿自後起往前邁步。
Your right toes turn slightly outward and the weight slowly shifts fully onto your right leg, your torso turning to the right, as your right hand arcs to the rear and upward until beside your right ear, your left hand lowering to the right, your left foot stepping out forward. See photo 26:

董英傑《太極拳釋義》(1948) - photo 26

足跟踏地。弓腿。左手自膝處摟過腿外。右掌向下。右掌由耳邊向前平方推出。掌向前。右腿蹬勁微彎。(如二圖)
Your left foot comes down, touching down first with the heel, and the leg bends as your left hand brushes outward past your left knee, the palm facing downward, and your right hand pushes out forward, your right leg straightening but staying slightly bent. See photo 27:

董英傑《太極拳釋義》(1948) - photo 27

手揮琵琶
[10] PLAY THE LUTE

由上式收回右手。左手伸長提起。全身退回重心坐於右腿。左足尖同時翹起。收退半步。足跟踏地。(用四分力)左手在前。右手在後。手心斜向相對。矩離尺許。如抱琵琶狀。(姿式看圖)
Your right hand withdraws, and your left hand extends and rises, as your body sits back onto your right leg, your left foot withdrawing a half step, touching down with the heel, the toes rising, your four limbs each bracing away in its own direction. Now sitting stably on your right leg, your left hand is forward, right hand behind it, the palms aligned with each other diagonally about a foot apart. See photo 28:

董英傑《太極拳釋義》(1948) - photo 28

(解釋說明)
Note:
有一圖有兩三圖不等。因為姿式過渡。多少不同。路線分圖說明。初學者。易於明白。至練習時。全圖接連不停。練法前文已詳明。
Whether there is one photo or several makes no difference. The postures are transitional anyway. When practicing, the movements in all the photos are to be linked together without pause. In order for everything to be fully clear, rely on the explanatory text more than the photos.

左摟膝抝步
[11] BRUSH PAST YOUR LEFT KNEE IN A CROSSED STANCE

由上式右手平轉抽回。
Your right hand turns over so that the palm is facing upward and pulls back. See photo 29:

董英傑《太極拳釋義》(1948) - photo 29

往後小圈轉上。由右耳邊向前平推出。同時左足往前偏左方上一大步。左手隨卽自前往下由膝蓋處摟過左腿外。坐掌。同時弓左腿。右腿在後。
略有蹬勁。以助前右掌已經推到對方胸前之掌力。(如二圖)
Your right hand arcs in a small circle to the rear, upward, and then pushes out forward from beside your right ear as your left foot takes a large step out to the forward left and the leg bends, your left hand brushing downward past your left knee, your right leg straightening but staying slightly bent. Assist your right hand by adding strength at the palm, pushing the opponent’s chest. See photo 30:

董英傑《太極拳釋義》(1948) - photo 30

進步搬攬錘
[12] ADVANCE, PARRYING CATCH, PUNCH

由上式左足尖微向左外移。身腰向左微轉。鬆胯。坐左腿。右手握拳。
Your left toes turn slightly outward, your torso turning slightly to the left, your hips loosening, the weight going further onto your left leg, as your right hand grasps into a fist. See photo 31:

董英傑《太極拳釋義》(1948) - photo 31

由身左前方自下向上後方與左手同往上繞圈。此時右腳自後提往前。經左腿前。與右拳同轉至右方。右腳落前。斜半步。右拳平沈放內脅邊。此時左手由耳邊伸前。指斜立。同時上左足。(如二圖)
Your right fist arcs downward and upward to the left rear as your right foot lifts, passing in front of your left leg. Your right foot then comes down diagonally forward a half step as your right fist continues in its arc to the right and settles into place beside your right ribs, and then your left hand extends forward from beside your left ear, the fingers diagonally upright, as your left foot steps forward. See photo 32:

董英傑《太極拳釋義》(1948) - photo 32

上圖譬如用左手攬住對方右握拳之前膊。微向外搬。使之斜偏。
The action above represents using the left hand to catch a punch coming from the opponent by intercepting it at his forearm and slightly parrying it outward, causing him to lean to the side.

此圖是左足落平。弓腿。隨勢右拳向前打出。右腿在後助攻。拳立形。左手隨同時收回。扶於右腕近處。立掌。
Your left foot then comes down fully and the leg bends as your right fist strikes out, the fist upright, your right leg assisting the power by pressing away the ground, your left hand withdrawing to a position of giving support near your right wrist, the palm upright. See photo 33:

董英傑《太極拳釋義》(1948) - photo 33

【用法】
Application:
眞實單用。左手搬住他。右拳發力打出。左手不一定要收回。隨機變通。不可泥於圖式。
When used as an isolated technique, your left hand parries the opponent’s attack and your right fist strikes out, but your left hand does not necessarily need to withdraw. Adapt the technique to the actual situation rather than being stubborn about how a posture should look when its finished.

如封似閉
[13] SEALING SHUT

由上式右拳微往左轉。將拳放開。左掌下轉。自右胳膊下往右伸兩手。作交叉式。右腿與身形同時縮回。有涵胸意。雙手向內肘下微曲。眼神注前。此謂神如捕鼠之貓。蓄神待機。兩胯裏根收縮。重心坐右腿為實。前足用二三分力如圖。
Your right fist slightly arcs to the left, the hand opening, and your left hand arcs under your right forearm, extending to the right, your hands now in a crossed position, as your torso withdraws, sitting back onto your right leg, your chest hollowing. Your palms are facing inward, your elbows slightly bent and hanging down. Your gaze is forward. This posture embodies the principle of “spirit like a cat catching a mouse”, having an intention of storing and awaiting an opportunity. Your hips are drawn back, the weight mostly on your right foot, only about a quarter of the weight on your front foot. See photo 34:

董英傑《太極拳釋義》(1948) - photo 34

上式為蓄神待機。此時我左手已著上他左腕。我隨反掌按曲他左膊。速用我手反掌伸出按他左肘處。成一平形。全身之力。一齊往前坐掌發出。卽推出。左腿微弓形。後足不可離地。恐失自己重心前覆。
Now positioned in such a way that your left hand is connecting with the opponent’s left wrist, your hand turns over, pushes on his left forearm, and your right hand promptly turns over and pushes at his left elbow, both hands pushing forward together using the power of your whole body, the palms sitting, fingers upright, your left leg slightly bending. Your rear foot must not leave the ground, keeping you from toppling over forward. See photo 35:

董英傑《太極拳釋義》(1948) - photo 35

【解說】
Note:
練習時動作慢。要平均運行。
When practicing, the movement should be slow and even.

十字手
[14] CROSSED HANDS

由上式全身重心移至左足著地。身足向右擰轉。(四十五度)兩手同時如捋長竿。向左右分開。右腿變虛。
Your torso turns to the right, your feet turning to the right forty-five degrees, the weight going fully onto your left foot, your right leg emptying, as your hands spread apart as though sliding along a long pole. See photo 36:

董英傑《太極拳釋義》(1948) - photo 36

雙手不停。向下合抱胸前。右手在外。兩掌心向內。右腳與手合抱。同時收半步。兩腿彎曲平立。(如二圖)
Your hands lower and then come together in front of your chest, your right hand on the outside, the palms facing inward, as your right foot draws in a half step to stand alongside your left foot, your legs bent. See photo 37:

董英傑《太極拳釋義》(1948) - photo 37

抱虎歸山
[15] CAPTURE THE TIGER AND SEND IT BACK TO ITS MOUNTAIN

由上式左足尖向裏向右略轉移。身腰均隨左足尖轉動。向右後方轉(約四十五度)。坐左腿。左手向左後方向下繞右手反掌向下。隨身轉向右向下繞摟膝。右足亦隨身轉略。提右足尖著地。
Your left toes turn inward and you sit onto your left leg, your torso turning forty-five degrees to the right rear, as your left hand arcs downward to the left rear and your right hand lowers toward your right knee, the palm turning over to be facing downward, your right foot slightly lifting, touching down with the toes. See photo 38:

董英傑《太極拳釋義》(1948) - photo 38

上式不停。右足向右後斜方踏出一步。腰向右轉。左手隨腰勢向左後方繞圈。上轉至左耳邊。向前推出。坐掌鬆肩。右手亦順勢向右往下繞過右膝在先。右腿為弓式。眼視左手。左腿在後。微直如圖。
Your right foot steps out to the right rear corner as your left hand arcs to the rear and upward until beside your left ear, then pushes out forward with the palm upright, the shoulder loosening, your torso turning to the right, your right hand brushing downward past your right knee, as your right leg bends and your left leg slightly straightens. Your gaze is toward your left hand. See photo 39:

董英傑《太極拳釋義》(1948) - photo 39

接上式右手向後繞圈。從右耳傍伸出。掌心向前斜下方。左手轉掌心向上。變作捋式。重心仍在右腿。眼視右手如圖。
Your right hand arcs to the rear, upward beside your right ear, and reaches out forward, the palm facing forward and diagonally downward, as your left hand turns over so that the palm is facing upward, your hands now forming the rollback position, the weight still on your right leg. Your gaze is toward your right hand. See photo 40:

董英傑《太極拳釋義》(1948) - photo 40

不停。身腰向左略轉。兩手向左作捋式。坐實左腿。右腿變虛。眼視右手。
Your torso turns slightly to the left as your hands perform the rollback technique to the left, the weigh going onto your left leg, your right leg emptying. Your gaze is toward your right hand. See photo 41:

董英傑《太極拳釋義》(1948) - photo 41

以上四圖。為整個抱虎歸山。說明與擠同。
The actions in photos 38–41 comprise the technique of CAPTURE THE TIGER. Then perform the press position, same as in the CATCH THE SPARROW. See photo 42:

董英傑《太極拳釋義》(1948) - photo 42

說明與按式一圖同。
Perform the preparation for the push position, same as in the CATCH THE SPARROW. See photo 43:

董英傑《太極拳釋義》(1948) - photo 43

說明與按式二圖同。
Perform the completed push position, same as in the CATCH THE SPARROW. See photo 44:

董英傑《太極拳釋義》(1948) - photo 44

此三圖為抱虎歸山。連帶尾雀攬在內。擠按式。
Although the actions in photos 42–44 are grouped under the name CAPTURE THE TIGER, they are really the press and push techniques from CATCH THE SPARROW.

肘底看錘
[16] BEWARE THE PUNCH UNDER ELBOW

由上式鬆肩沈肘。掌心微用點力平摸。右足尖向內轉移。身腰隨向左方轉。兩手亦向左方平繞如摸物狀。左掌到左胸前。右手在右。眼視左手。左腿坐實。右腳變虛。(如圖)
Loosening your shoulders and sinking your elbows, apply a slight degree of force to send your palms arcing across to the left as though wiping something, your left hand in front of the left side of your chest, your right hand to the right, as your right toes turn inward, the weight going onto your left leg, your right foot emptying, your torso turning to left. Your gaze is toward your right hand. See photo 45:

董英傑《太極拳釋義》(1948) - photo 45

上式不停由內往右平繞一小圈。右前左後。雙手平伸右斜方。隨將右腿彎曲。坐實立穩。左腿提起。足尖向下。寓向左轉意。(如圖)
Your hands draw a small counterclockwise circle and arc across to the right, extending to the right corner, your right hand farther forward, left hand behind, as your right leg bends, the weight shifts fully onto it, and your left foot lifts, the toes hanging down. This position contains an intention of being about to turn to the left. See photo 46:

董英傑《太極拳釋義》(1948) - photo 46

不停。左足與身手同向左外後方轉。左足尖向左後返轉落地。雙手平轉不停。
Your left foot and torso turn to the left rear, your left foot coming down with the toes pointing to the left rear, as your hands arc across to the left. See photo 47:

董英傑《太極拳釋義》(1948) - photo 47

右腳隨往右橫方踏出一步。與左足心平衡。重心慢移。右腿為實。
Your right steps out sideways to the right and the weight slowly shifts onto your right leg. See photo 48:

董英傑《太極拳釋義》(1948) - photo 48

此時左手往左往下繞圈轉上。如撈物形。至面前。手指直立。此時左腳提至右足跟前半步。用左足跟虛立。足尖翹起。右手自右收至左肘下抓拳。
(此三式過渡不停故作一次說明)
Your left hand arcs to the left, downward, and upward in front of your face as though scooping something up, the fingers pointing upward, your right hand withdrawing below your left elbow, grasping into a fist, as your left foot lifts and goes forward a half step in front of your right heel, touching down with the heel, the toes lifted, the foot empty. (These several actions are performed continuously, without any pauses between them.) See photo 49:

董英傑《太極拳釋義》(1948) - photo 49

左倒輦猴
[17.1] RETREATING LIKE A MONKEY – LEFT

由上式右拳鬆開。由肘下往後自右身側邊向後轉上至右耳邊。掌心向前。左手背轉向下。將肘膊沈平。腰間與左腳自前提起。退後一步坐實。右掌自耳邊推出。伸至將直未直。右腿裏根縮收形。右腳轉正為虛。眼神看前手。(如二圖)右手初動時身與意向右。左手退時看左。伸右手看右。卽為左顧右盼。
Your right fist opens, lowers, arcs to the right rear and upward until beside your right ear, the palm facing forward, then pushes out from beside your right ear, your left hand turning over so that the back of the hand is facing downward, the forearm pulling back to your waist, as your left foot lifts, retreats a step, and the weight goes onto it, your right hip shrinking back, your right foot becoming empty. Your gaze is toward your right hand. (When your right hand withdraws to the right rear, your torso, intention, and gaze all follow it to the right. The same is true for the left hand. This is the meaning of “looking to the left” and “looking to the right”.) See photos 50 & 51:

董英傑《太極拳釋義》(1948) - photo 50

董英傑《太極拳釋義》(1948) - photo 51

右倒輦猴
[17.2] RETREATING LIKE A MONKEY – RIGHT

接上式不停。左手自下往後轉上至左耳邊。向前坐掌伸出。右手背向下。右足自前提起向右後方退步。右膊沉著抽回腰間。掌心向上。右腿落地坐實。左足轉正變虛。右掌伸前坐掌。眼注視。
Your left hand lowers, arcs to the left rear and upward until beside your left ear, then extends forward with the palm upright, the back of your right hand turning over to be facing downward, the palm facing upward, the forearm pulling back to your waist, as your right foot lifts retreats a step, and the weight goes onto it, your left foot emptying. Your gaze is toward your left hand. See photos 52 & 53:

董英傑《太極拳釋義》(1948) - photo 52

董英傑《太極拳釋義》(1948) - photo 53

左倒輦猴
[17.3] RETREATING LIKE A MONKEY – LEFT

左右倒輦猴。伸手懸腳皆是經過不停。圖式坐穩為正式。習者熟思之。前後過渡式。皆作不停論。此二圖同前說明練法三五七步均可。惟退五步最適合。以退至右手在前。接轉斜飛式為適合。
The technique does not pause on either side, but instead flows through to be performed on the other side, over and over. In the position shown in the second photo above, you are indeed to be sitting stably, and yet it is just as transitional, just as pauseless, as the position in the photo before it. This point is something to ponder over. Then perform the technique again on the right side. You can retreat three, five, or seven times, five being the most appropriate. It has to be an odd number of steps because you have to finish with your right hand forward in order to transition into SLANTED WINGS. See photos 54 & 55:

董英傑《太極拳釋義》(1948) - photo 54

董英傑《太極拳釋義》(1948) - photo 55

【用法】
Application:
設有人自前打來。速側身退步。用左手摟開右掌打他。左右均同意思。如眞使用。不必按圖。他用拳打來。我速側身退半步。如猴形。用四手指作向下形。自上往下。向後斜方摟開他拳。退步避之。或進打亦可。變通許多。筆難盡述。
The opponent strikes forward at you, so you quickly turn your body sideways and step back as you use your left hand to brush away his attack and your right hand to strike out at him. Then on the other side you will use your right hand to brush away and your left hand to strike. In actual application, you do not need to look exactly like the photos. All that matters is that when you retreat with your body turning sideways, your fingers swatting downward as you brush away diagonally to the rear, the overall movement resembles a monkey [especially the monkey technique in Xingyi]. The technique can also be performed advancing [as in Hao Style and Sun Style]. There are many other variations of it as well.

斜飛式
[18] SLANTED WINGS

由上式右掌向右下方向裏繞圈。繞至左脅前。左手則從左圓轉向上轉。掌心向下。仍往右至胸前。雙手上下如合抱。右腳尖收回半步著地。眼注右。(如一圖)
Your right hand arcs to the right, downward, and inward until in front of your left ribs as your left hand arcs to the left, upward, and inward, the palm facing downward in front of your chest, your hands coming toward each other as though holding something, your right foot pulling back a half step, touching down with the toes. See photo 56:

董英傑《太極拳釋義》(1948) - photo 56

右腳向右後斜方踏出一步。右手向斜上方。左手自胸前向左斜下方。雙手同分左右展開。身向右斜。眼視右方。弓右腿。左腿在後。斜伸如鳥展翅斜飛。
Your right foot steps out to the right rear corner and the leg bends as your hands spread apart to the left and right, your right hand rising up toward the right corner, your left hand lowering toward the left corner, your body and gaze turning to the right. The posture resembles a bird flying with its wings slanted. See photo 57:

董英傑《太極拳釋義》(1948) - photo 57

提手
[19] RAISED HANDS

由上式右手右腳提起。同時收回半步踏地。左腿變坐實。左手同時自後由下向前伸出。如前提手式。
Your right foot lifts up and withdraws a half step, the weight going onto your left leg, as your left hand goes downward and extends forward, your hands lifting into place to produce the same position as in Posture 5. See photo 58:

董英傑《太極拳釋義》(1948) - photo 58

白鶴亮翅
[20] WHITE CRANE SHOWS ITS WINGS

練法同前。
Same as in Posture 6. See photos 59 & 60:

董英傑《太極拳釋義》(1948) - photo 59

董英傑《太極拳釋義》(1948) - photo 60

左摟膝抝步
[21] BRUSH PAST YOUR LEFT KNEE IN A CROSSED STANCE

二圖練法同前。
Same as in Posture 7. See photos 61–63:

董英傑《太極拳釋義》(1948) - photo 61

董英傑《太極拳釋義》(1948) - photo 62

董英傑《太極拳釋義》(1948) - photo 63

海底針
[22] NEEDLE UNDER THE SEA

由上摟膝抝步式。右掌慢向內轉。手指向下垂。肘向下。左腳同時收回。足尖點地為虛。全身重心移右腿立穩算實。左掌微提高。眼視右手。(如一圖)
Your right palm slowly turns downward to be facing inward, the fingers hanging downward, the elbow pointing downward, as your left foot withdraws, touching down with the toes, the weight shifting fully onto your right leg, your left palm slightly rising. Your gaze is toward your right hand. See photo 64:

董英傑《太極拳釋義》(1948) - photo 64

右手指尖微用力往下插。變身彎腿。兩腿裏根處用縮收力。更要鬆肩。氣由脊背逆送至丹田。方為妥善。右手伸至左膝下五寸許。眼視前下方。頭頂更要虛靈淸楚為要。
Your right fingers poke downward with a slight degree of strength as your body bends over and your legs squat down, your hips withdrawing. Keep your shoulders loose. For the posture to be correct, energy should rise up your spine and descend to your lower abdomen. Your right hand extends about half a foot below your right knee. Your gaze is forward and downward, but your head should remain naturally upright. See photo 65:

董英傑《太極拳釋義》(1948) - photo 65

【功能】
Function:
練脊骨壯腰腎
This exercises your spine and strengthens your lower back.

山通臂
[23] MOUNTAIN THROUGH THE ARMS

由海底針式。右手自下向外反掌由下往上。畫一弧線如扇面形。畫至頭頂。掌反向上。五指張開。如托物狀。眼隨右手。左掌由下向前。
Your right hand rises up, turning over to face outward, and draws a line like the curve of a fan, arriving over your head, whereupon the palm is now facing upward with the fingers spread, the hand appearing to be propping something up, as your left hand rises in front of you. Your gaze follows the movement of your right hand. See photo 66:

董英傑《太極拳釋義》(1948) - photo 66

同時左腳上步推出。五指張開。此時弓左腿。眼注左手。
Your left foot steps forward and the leg bends as your left hand pushes out with the fingers spread. Your gaze is toward your left hand. See photo 67:

董英傑《太極拳釋義》(1948) - photo 67

【功能】
Function:
練膀臂力
This develops arm strength.

【用法】
Application:
如有機會。用右手由下托對方右膊。左腳上步。左掌推他右脇側。
Once the opportunity arises, use your right hand to prop up the opponent’s right arm, then your left foot steps forward and your left palm pushes to his right ribs.

撇身錘
[24] TORSO-FLUNG PUNCH

右上式右手彎形不變。自上向右。由身前轉落至心口前抓拳。左手上膊彎回至左額外。掌心向外。身形眼神同左足跟向裏轉(四十五度)。重心仍在左腿坐實。右腳為虛。眼回視右前方如圖。
Your right hand arcs to the right and downward until in front of your solar plexus, becoming a fist, and your left arm bends, the hand withdrawing until next to the left side of your forehead, the palm facing outward, as your left foot turns inward and your torso and head turn to the right, the weight still on your left leg, your right foot empty. Your gaze is forward to the right. See photo 68:

董英傑《太極拳釋義》(1948) - photo 68

接前式右拳自胸前向上。返撇轉一圈。右腳提起轉正。再向右前方踏出。同右拳一齊落下。弓腿。右拳平沈放右腰間。左手與右手時分開。向左往後下圓轉至左胸前。向前方伸出。手指斜立。掌心向右。眼視左手。左腿微伸如圖。
Your right foot lifts and comes down to the forward right, the foot now turned to be pointing straight, the leg bending, your left leg slightly straightening, as your right fist rises, flings out in an arc, lowers, and draws straight back to the right side of your waist, your left hand at the same time arcing away to the left, rear, and downward until in front of your chest, and then reaches out forward, the fingers pointing diagonally upward, the palm facing to the right. Your gaze is toward your left hand. See photo 69:

董英傑《太極拳釋義》(1948) - photo 69

上步搬攬錘
[25] STEP FORWARD, PARRYING CATCH, PUNCH

由上式身手腰右腳提起。一齊向左轉作搬攬錘。與前練法同。
Your hands and torso turn to the left, your right foot lifting. See photo 70:

董英傑《太極拳釋義》(1948) - photo 70

以上四式。是整個搬攬錘。
The rest is the same as in Posture 12. See photos 71–73:

董英傑《太極拳釋義》(1948) - photo 71

董英傑《太極拳釋義》(1948) - photo 72

董英傑《太極拳釋義》(1948) - photo 73

攬雀尾
[26] CATCH THE SPARROW BY THE TAIL

由搬攬錘變攬雀尾。應當如此多圖。第一圖謂轉意與神。
To transition from the previous posture, first switch your intention and spirit. See photo 74:

董英傑《太極拳釋義》(1948) - photo 74

第二圖是預備好。
Then get ready. See photo 75:

董英傑《太極拳釋義》(1948) - photo 75

將上第三圖謂接手。由掤手進入攬雀尾。
Then reach out to connect with the opponent’s attack. Getting into the ward-off position, same as in photo 7, you are now performing the actions of CATCH THE SPARROW. See photo 76:

董英傑《太極拳釋義》(1948) - photo 76

同前法至七圖完。
The rest is the same as in Posture 3. See photos 77–80:

董英傑《太極拳釋義》(1948) - photo 77

董英傑《太極拳釋義》(1948) - photo 78

董英傑《太極拳釋義》(1948) - photo 79

董英傑《太極拳釋義》(1948) - photo 80

單鞭
[27] SINGLE WHIP

三圖練法同前單鞭。
Same as in Posture 4. See photos 81–83:

董英傑《太極拳釋義》(1948) - photo 81

董英傑《太極拳釋義》(1948) - photo 82

董英傑《太極拳釋義》(1948) - photo 83

預備雲手
[28.1] PREPARATION FOR CLOUDING HANDS

由單鞭左弓腿式。用左足跟向右內前轉橫腳尖。左手不動原位。右轉斜向下沈。全身重心慢移。左腿坐實。右足變虛。眼視右手。(如一圖)
Your left foot turns inward, the weight going further onto your left leg, your left foot filling, right foot emptying, as your right hand arcs downward, your left hand not moving. Your gaze is toward your right hand. See photo 84:

董英傑《太極拳釋義》(1948) - photo 84

雲手
[28.2] CLOUDING HANDS

右手不停由下向內轉至小腹前。右足提起。收回半步。與左足並立。(約離五寸)
Your right hand continues to arc downward and inward until in front of your belly as your right foot lifts and draws in a half step to be about half a foot away from your left foot. See photo 85:

董英傑《太極拳釋義》(1948) - photo 85

右手由身前轉向上圓轉。此時左手慢慢下落。右手不停。經面前離尺許。向右外方反掌。此時右足實。左足虛。左手不停落轉至小腹前。雙手似未停。(如上二圖三圖為右雲手)
Your right hand continues to arc upward, passes in front of your face at a distance of about a foot, and goes to the right, where the palm will turn over to be facing outward, your left hand slowly lowering and arcing downward until in front of your lower abdomen, as your right foot fills and your left foot empties. See photo 86:

董英傑《太極拳釋義》(1948) - photo 86

雙手似停未停。左足橫形提起。往左橫出一大步。眼看左手。左掌心轉向內。由下往上。經身前面前圓轉。同身法。慢慢移左腿。上左掌反掌向外。與肩平。為左雲手。初動時右腿實。轉動至如式時左腳實。(卽四圖)
Your left foot lifts and takes a large step sideways to the left, then the weight slowly shifts onto your left leg as your left palm turns over to be facing inward and arcs upward, passing in front of your torso, face, and down to shoulder level, whereupon it will turn over to be facing outward. Your gaze follows the movement of your left hand. See photo 87:

董英傑《太極拳釋義》(1948) - photo 87

(五圖)右雲手與上同。兩手是循環不停。單數五七九步均可。第一次以九步為善。
Repeat the movement on the right side. Your hands then continue to recycle these movements as you step across for a total of five, seven, or nine steps, nine being the best choice for this first instance of clouding. See photo 88:

董英傑《太極拳釋義》(1948) - photo 88

單鞭
[29] SINGLE WHIP

由上式右腕向下擰轉。大食中三指合攏下垂為刁手。左掌向內由下往上。經胸前圓轉。左腿提起懸立。
Your right wrist bends downward, your fingers pinching together to make a hooking hand, and your left palms arcs upward, passing in front of your chest, as your left leg lifts up. See photo 89:

董英傑《太極拳釋義》(1948) - photo 89

似停未停。左手左腿同向左方。上步伸掌。左腿上步弓腿。左手自胸轉掌伸至左方。反掌向外。指向上。雙手平形。左右足伸開。(如二圖)
Your left foot steps forward to the left and the leg bends as your left hand extends to the left, the palm turning over to be facing outward, the fingers pointing upward. Your arms are level with each other, your legs stretching. See photo 90:

董英傑《太極拳釋義》(1948) - photo 90

高探馬
[30] RISING UP AND REACHING OUT TO THE HORSE

由上式右手曲回至耳邊。左腿收回。足尖著地。
Your right arm bends and brings the hand beside your right ear as your left leg withdraws, toes touching down. See photo 91:

董英傑《太極拳釋義》(1948) - photo 91

右手由耳邊伸至前方。左手掌心向上收回。(如二圖)
Your right hand reaches out forward as your left hand withdraws with the palm facing upward. See photo 92:

董英傑《太極拳釋義》(1948) - photo 92

右分腳
[31.1] KICK TO THE RIGHT SIDE

由上式左腳向左斜上半步。弓腿。雙手向右斜方圓轉。
Your left foot steps forward a half step toward the left corner and the leg bends as your hands arc across toward the right corner. See photo 93:

董英傑《太極拳釋義》(1948) - photo 93

右手由下轉上。雙手作交叉式。
Your right hand arcs downward, inward, and upward until your hands are crossed. See photo 94:

董英傑《太極拳釋義》(1948) - photo 94

右腳向前右斜方踢出。變手同時向左右分開。左腿微曲站定。(如三圖)
Your right foot kicks out forward toward the right corner as your hands spread apart to the left and right, your left leg slightly bent and standing stably. See photo 95:

董英傑《太極拳釋義》(1948) - photo 95

左分腳
[31.2] KICK TO THE LEFT SIDE

由上式右腳向右斜方落下。弓腿。雙手向左方合與肩平。左手在上。右手在下。左右手距離約尺餘。眼望左手。
Your right foot comes down toward the right corner and the leg bends as your hands arc across toward the left corner at shoulder level, your left hand slightly higher, right hand slightly lower, your hands just over a foot apart. Your gaze is toward your left hand. See photo 96:

董英傑《太極拳釋義》(1948) - photo 96

左手向下轉至與右手作交叉式。
Your left hand arcs downward, inward, and upward until your hands are crossed. See photo 97:

董英傑《太極拳釋義》(1948) - photo 97

左腳向前左斜方踢出。同時雙手分開。右腿微曲站定。(如三圖)
Your left foot kicks out forward toward the left corner as your hands spread apart, your right leg slightly bent and standing stably. See photo 98:

董英傑《太極拳釋義》(1948) - photo 98

轉身蹬腳
[32] TURN AROUND, PRESSING KICK

由上式左腿收回。身與手向左轉。雙手作交叉式。左腿懸起。腳尖向下。
Your left leg withdraws and your body turns to the left, your hands crossing, your left leg still lifted, the toes hanging down. See photo 99:

董英傑《太極拳釋義》(1948) - photo 99

右腿微曲站定。蹬左腳。雙手左右分開。(如二圖)
While standing stably on your right leg, the leg slightly bent, your left foot presses out as your hands spread apart to the left and right. See photo 100:

董英傑《太極拳釋義》(1948) - photo 100

左摟膝抝步
[33.1] BRUSH PAST YOUR LEFT KNEE IN A CROSSED STANCE

由上式左腳落下。弓腿。左手同時由上向下摟至左膝外。掌向下。右手由耳邊同時推出。坐掌。(如二圖)
Your left foot comes down and the leg bends as your left hand lowers and brushes outward past your left knee, the palm facing downward, and your right hand pushes out from beside your right ear, the palm upright. See photos 101 & 102:

董英傑《太極拳釋義》(1948) - photo 101

董英傑《太極拳釋義》(1948) - photo 102

右摟膝抝步
[33.2] BRUSH PAST YOUR RIGHT KNEE IN A CROSSED STANCE

由上式左足步與左手同時向外圓轉。右腳上步弓腿。右手自上向下由左而右。摟至右膝外。左手由後上。由耳邊向前推出。(如圖)
Your left foot turns outward as your left hand arcs outward, to the rear, and upward, then your right foot steps forward and the leg bends as your right hand lowers and brushes outward past your right knee, your left hand pushing out forward from beside your left ear. See photo 103:

董英傑《太極拳釋義》(1948) - photo 103

進步栽錘
[34] ADVANCE, PLANTING PUNCH

由上式右足尖向外轉。右肘曲起拿拳。上左腳弓腿。左手自上而下。由右摟至左膝外。右手向下伸拳。(如圖)
Your right toes turn outward as your right arm bends, the hand rising and becoming a fist, then your left foot steps forward and the leg bends as your left hand lowers, brushing across to the outside of your left knee, and your right fist extends downward. See photo 104:

董英傑《太極拳釋義》(1948) - photo 104

撇身錘
[35] TORSO-FLUNG PUNCH

由上式轉左腳。左手由下而上。轉至右額外。右拳曲至胸前不動。
Your left foot turns inward as your left hand rises in an arc until past the right side of your forehead, your right arm bending to bring the fist in front of your chest. See photo 105:

董英傑《太極拳釋義》(1948) - photo 105

雙手同時向左右分開。右拳落至右腰間。左手由上轉後。自下伸至前方。右腿同時上步弓腿。(如二圖)
Your hands spread apart to the left and right, your right fist going forward, your left hand going to the rear, then your right fist lowers to the right side of your waist and your left hand extends forward from below as your right foot steps forward and the leg bends. See photo 106:

董英傑《太極拳釋義》(1948) - photo 106

上步搬攬錘
[36] STEP FORWARD, PARRYING CATCH, PUNCH

練法與用法同前。
Same as in Posture 25. See photos 107–109:

董英傑《太極拳釋義》(1948) - photo 107

董英傑《太極拳釋義》(1948) - photo 108

董英傑《太極拳釋義》(1948) - photo 109

斜身蹬腳
[37] DIAGONAL BODY, RIGHT PRESSING KICK

由前式雙手向左右分開轉下。左足尖與身體同時向左轉。
Your hands spread apart to the left and right as your left toes turn outward and your torso turns to the left. See photo 110:

董英傑《太極拳釋義》(1948) - photo 110

雙手由下而上。作交叉式。
Your hands arc downward and rise up from below, crossing in front of you. See photo 111:

董英傑《太極拳釋義》(1948) - photo 111

左腳站定。蹬右腳。雙手同時左右分開。(如三圖)
Your left leg stands stably and your right foot presses out as your hands spread apart to the left and right. See photo 112:

董英傑《太極拳釋義》(1948) - photo 112

打虎式
[38] FIGHTING TIGER POSTURE – LEFT & RIGHT

由上式右腳收回。與左足平立。右手不動。左手由上轉至右肘處。雙手抓拳。
Your right foot withdraws, coming down next to your left foot, as your left hand arcs upward and down by your right elbow, your right hand staying where it is, your hands grasping into fists. See photo 113:

董英傑《太極拳釋義》(1948) - photo 113

左腳向左斜方上步弓腿。雙手向下由右轉至左方額上。右拳轉至胸前不動。(如二圖)
Your left foot steps forward to the left corner and the leg bends as your fists arc downward, your left fist continuing until above your left temple, your right fist finishing in front of your chest. See photo 114:

董英傑《太極拳釋義》(1948) - photo 114

由上式。左手由上向左方落下。同時左腳向內轉左。反身上右步。雙手同時自下轉至右額上。右拳舉起。左拳曲至胸前。右腳弓腿。(如圖)
Your left foot turns inward, your body turning around, and your right foot steps forward to the right corner, the leg bending, as your fists arc downward, your right fist continuing until above your right temple, your left fist finishing in front of your chest. See photo 115:

董英傑《太極拳釋義》(1948) - photo 115

回身右蹬腳
[39] WITHDRAW, RIGHT PRESSING KICK

由上式雙拳變掌。左右分開。右腳收回。左足尖微向外轉。雙手合攏作交叉式。
Your fists become palms and spread apart to the sides as your left toes turn slightly outward and you sit back, then your right foot withdraws and your hands come together, crossing in front of you. See photo 116:

董英傑《太極拳釋義》(1948) - photo 116

左腳站定。蹬右腳。雙手同時向左右分開。(如二圖)
With your left leg standing stably, your right foot presses out as your hands spread apart to the left and right. See photo 117:

董英傑《太極拳釋義》(1948) - photo 117

雙風貫耳
[40] DOUBLE WINDS THROUGH THE EARS

由上式右膝曲起。身體與雙手轉至右斜方。掌心向上。
Your right knee bends, staying lifted, as your body and hands turn toward the right corner, the palms facing upward. See photo 118:

董英傑《太極拳釋義》(1948) - photo 118

左腿微曲站定。雙手下落。
Your left leg bends as your hands lower. See photo 119:

董英傑《太極拳釋義》(1948) - photo 119

右腿放下作弓式。雙手自下分左右。轉上抓拳。拳頂雙對。(如三圖)
Your right foot comes down and the leg bends as your hands spread apart to the sides and arc upward, becoming fists with the knuckles pointing toward each other. See photo 120:

董英傑《太極拳釋義》(1948) - photo 120

左蹬腳
[41] LEFT PRESSING KICK

由上式雙拳放掌分開。向下圓轉而上。作交叉式。
Your fists open and arc outward, downward, inward, and upward, your hands crossing. See photo 121:

董英傑《太極拳釋義》(1948) - photo 121

蹬左腳。雙手同時分開。(如二圖)
Your left foot presses out as your hands spread apart. See photo 122:

董英傑《太極拳釋義》(1948) - photo 122

轉身右蹬腳
[42] SPIN AROUND, RIGHT PRESSING KICK

由上式左足微落。向左圓轉。右足尖作螺絲轉。(轉大半圈)左足著地。雙手合攏作交叉式。
Your left foot slightly lowers and you spin all the way around to the right, your right foot pivoting on the ball of the foot, and you finish with the weight on your left foot, your right foot touching down with the toes, your hands coming together to be crossed in front of you. See photo 123:

董英傑《太極拳釋義》(1948) - photo 123

左腿微曲站定。蹬右腳。雙手同時分開。(如二圖)
Your left leg bends, standing stably, and your right foot presses out as your hands spread apart to the left and right. See photo 124:

董英傑《太極拳釋義》(1948) - photo 124

上步搬攬錘
[43] STEP FORWARD, PARRYING CATCH, PUNCH

由上式右手反掌拿拳曲肘。同時與右腳橫轉微曲。落下左足。與左手同時上步。
Your right hand becomes a fist and withdraws, the arm bending, as your right foot comes down with the foot turned sideways, the leg bending, and your left foot steps forward, your left hand reaching forward. See photo 125:

董英傑《太極拳釋義》(1948) - photo 125

伸手弓左腿。打右拳。左手同時收回。扶至右手腕。(如二圖)
Your left leg bends as your right fist strikes out, your left hand withdrawing to support your right wrist. See photo 126:

董英傑《太極拳釋義》(1948) - photo 126

如封似閉
[44] SEALING SHUT (photos 127 & 128)

董英傑《太極拳釋義》(1948) - photo 127

董英傑《太極拳釋義》(1948) - photo 128

十字手
[45] CROSSED HANDS (photos 129 & 130)

董英傑《太極拳釋義》(1948) - photo 129

董英傑《太極拳釋義》(1948) - photo 130

抱虎歸山
[46] CAPTURE THE TIGER AND SEND IT BACK TO ITS MOUNTAIN (photos 131–137)

董英傑《太極拳釋義》(1948) - photo 131

董英傑《太極拳釋義》(1948) - photo 132

董英傑《太極拳釋義》(1948) - photo 133

董英傑《太極拳釋義》(1948) - photo 134

董英傑《太極拳釋義》(1948) - photo 135

董英傑《太極拳釋義》(1948) - photo 136

董英傑《太極拳釋義》(1948) - photo 137

斜單鞭
[47] DIAGONAL SINGLE WHIP

姿式與前單鞭同。惟方向為斜方。
Same as in Posture 4, except turned forty-five degrees to the right of that position. See photos 138–140:

董英傑《太極拳釋義》(1948) - photo 138

董英傑《太極拳釋義》(1948) - photo 139

董英傑《太極拳釋義》(1948) - photo 140

右野馬分鬃
[48.1] WILD HORSE SENDS ITS MANE TO THE RIGHT SIDE

由上式右掌放開。右手轉下。左手轉上。雙手轉至身前作抱球狀。右足同時收至左足前。
Your right hand opens and arcs downward, your left hand arcing inward, your hands arcing until in front of your body and looking as though they are holding a ball, as your right foot withdraws in front of your left foot. See photo 141:

董英傑《太極拳釋義》(1948) - photo 141

右足再向右前斜方上步弓腿。雙手同時左右分開。右掌心向上。左掌心向下。(如二圖)
Your right foot steps forward to the right corner and the leg bends as your hands spread apart to the front and rear, your right palm facing upward, left palm facing downward. See photo 142:

董英傑《太極拳釋義》(1948) - photo 142

左野馬分鬃
[48.2] WILD HORSE SENDS ITS MANE TO THE LEFT SIDE

由上式右手上。左手下。雙手轉至面前。如抱球狀。右足尖與身體同時向右斜轉。
Your right hand arcs inward above, your left hand arcing inward below, your hands arcing until in front of your body and looking as though they are holding a ball, as your right toes turn outward toward the right corner. See photo 143:

董英傑《太極拳釋義》(1948) - photo 143

左足向前斜方上步弓腿。雙手則向前後分開。左掌心向上。右掌心向下。(如二圖)
Your left foot steps forward to the left corner and the leg bends as your hands spread apart to the front and rear, your left palm facing upward, right palm facing downward. See photo 144:

董英傑《太極拳釋義》(1948) - photo 144

右野馬分鬃
[48.3] WILD HORSE SENDS ITS MANE TO THE RIGHT SIDE (photos 145 & 146)

董英傑《太極拳釋義》(1948) - photo 145

董英傑《太極拳釋義》(1948) - photo 146

攬雀尾
[49] CATCH THE SPARROW BY THE TAIL

由上式右掌向內轉下落。同時右足橫上一步。左手則同時向左方抬起。掌心向內。肘處微彎。(如圖)
Your right palm arcs inward and downward as your left foot steps forward to the left side, your left hand rising up to the left with the palm facing inward, the elbow bent. See photo 147:

董英傑《太極拳釋義》(1948) - photo 147

以下六圖同前。
The rest is the same as in Posture 3. See photos 148–155:

董英傑《太極拳釋義》(1948) - photo 148

董英傑《太極拳釋義》(1948) - photo 149

董英傑《太極拳釋義》(1948) - photo 150

董英傑《太極拳釋義》(1948) - photo 151

董英傑《太極拳釋義》(1948) - photo 152

單鞭
[50] SINGLE WHIP (photos 153–155)

董英傑《太極拳釋義》(1948) - photo 153

董英傑《太極拳釋義》(1948) - photo 154

董英傑《太極拳釋義》(1948) - photo 155

玉女穿梭
[51] MAIDEN SENDS THE SHUTTLE THROUGH

由上式左手與左足同時向內轉。左手轉至腰間。同時坐左腿。右足收回半步。右手不動(如一圖)
Your left foot turns inward, the weight going onto your left leg, and your right foot draws in a half step as your left hand arcs inward to your waist, your right hand not changing its position. See photo 156:

董英傑《太極拳釋義》(1948) - photo 156

右足抬起橫轉落實。左掌由右肘下穿出。右手收回放掌(如二圖)
Your right foot lifts and comes down turned sideways as your left hand threads out from under your right elbow, your right hand withdrawing and becoming a palm. See photo 157:

董英傑《太極拳釋義》(1948) - photo 157

左腿向左斜方上步弓腿。式手轉上至左額外。右掌同時向左斜方推出。坐掌。(如三圖)
Your left foot steps forward to the left corner and the leg bends as your left hand arcs upward to the outside of your left temple, the palm facing outward, and your right hand pushes out to the left corner, the palm upright. See photo 158:

董英傑《太極拳釋義》(1948) - photo 158

由上式左足與身體同時向右轉。右手反掌在下。(如四圖)
Your left foot turns inward and your body turns to the right as your right hand lowers, the palm turning over. See photo 159:

董英傑《太極拳釋義》(1948) - photo 159

翻轉右身。右足向右斜方上步。弓腿。同時右手自下轉上。至右額上。掌心向外。左掌則向右斜方推出。(如五圖)
With your body continuing to turn around to the right, your right foot steps forward to the right corner and the leg bends as your right hand arcs upward to the outside of your right temple, the palm facing outward, and your left hand pushes out to the right corner, the palm upright. See photo 160:

董英傑《太極拳釋義》(1948) - photo 160

由上式右手自面前下落。與左肘平。左足提前如上步狀。(如六圖)
Your right hand lowers until level with your left elbow as your left foot lifts up, about to step forward. See photo 161:

董英傑《太極拳釋義》(1948) - photo 161

左腳向左斜方上步。弓腿。左手抬至左額上。右掌自下向左斜方推出。(如七圖)
Your left foot comes down forward to the left corner and the leg bends as your left hand arcs upward to the outside of your left temple, the palm facing outward, and your right hand pushes out to the left corner, the palm upright. See photo 162:

董英傑《太極拳釋義》(1948) - photo 162

由上式左足與身體同時向右轉。右手在下。掌心向上。(如八圖)
Your left foot turns inward and your body turns to the right as your right hand lowers, the palm turning over. See photo 163:

董英傑《太極拳釋義》(1948) - photo 163

右足向右斜方上步。弓腿。右手自下轉至右額外。掌心向外。左手同時則推至右斜方。坐掌。(如玖圖)
Your right foot steps forward to the right corner and the leg bends as your right hand arcs upward to the outside of your right temple, the palm facing outward, and your left hand pushes out to the right corner, the palm upright. See photo 164:

董英傑《太極拳釋義》(1948) - photo 164

以上玖式。皆為玉女穿梭式。此式所謂四隅玉女穿梭。
This series of nine movements is also known as MAIDEN SENDS THE SHUTTLE THROUGH TO THE FOUR CORNERS.

攬雀尾
[52] CATCH THE SPARROW BY THE TAIL

由上式左手與左足同時向左橫上半步。弓腿。灣肘。右手同時下落。至右膝前。(如圖以下五圖同前)
Your left foot goes forward a half step to the left side and the leg bends as your left hand rises to the left with the arm bent, your right hand lowering until in front of your right knee. See photo 165:

董英傑《太極拳釋義》(1948) - photo 165

The rest is the same as in Posture 3. See photos 166–170:

董英傑《太極拳釋義》(1948) - photo 166

董英傑《太極拳釋義》(1948) - photo 167

董英傑《太極拳釋義》(1948) - photo 168

董英傑《太極拳釋義》(1948) - photo 169

董英傑《太極拳釋義》(1948) - photo 170

單鞭
[53] SINGLE WHIP (photos 171–173)

董英傑《太極拳釋義》(1948) - photo 171

董英傑《太極拳釋義》(1948) - photo 172

董英傑《太極拳釋義》(1948) - photo 173

雲手
[54] CLOUDING HANDS (photos 174 –178)

董英傑《太極拳釋義》(1948) - photo 174

董英傑《太極拳釋義》(1948) - photo 175

董英傑《太極拳釋義》(1948) - photo 176

董英傑《太極拳釋義》(1948) - photo 177

董英傑《太極拳釋義》(1948) - photo 178

單邊
[55.1] SINGLE WHIP (photos 179 & 180)

董英傑《太極拳釋義》(1948) - photo 179

董英傑《太極拳釋義》(1948) - photo 180

下勢
[55.2] LOW POSTURE

由上式全身向後徐徐坐下。左手落至下方。(如圖)
Continuing from the previous posture, your body slowly sits back and squats down, your left hand lowering. See photo 181:

董英傑《太極拳釋義》(1948) - photo 181

金鷄獨立
[56] GOLDEN ROOSTER STANDS ON ONE LEG

由上式左手由下徐徐向上抬起。右手由後方向下。同時弓左腿。右足與右手同時抬起。曲膝。右掌與眼眉齊。左掌落至身邊。(如圖)
Your left hand slowly rises up, your right hand lowering, as your left leg bends. Then your right hand and right foot rise up, the knee bending, your right palm at eyebrow height, your left palm lowering beside your body. See photo 182:

董英傑《太極拳釋義》(1948) - photo 182

由上式右足與右手同時退後。落下坐實。
Your right hand and right foot come down, your right foot retreating, the weight going onto your right leg. See photo 183:

董英傑《太極拳釋義》(1948) - photo 183

左足與左手同時抬起。曲膝。手指與眉齊。右掌落至身邊。(如二三圖)
Then your left hand and left foot rise up, the knee bending, your left palm at eyebrow height, your right palm lowering beside your body. See photo 184:

董英傑《太極拳釋義》(1948) - photo 184

倒輦猴
[57] RETREATING LIKE A MONKEY (photos 185–190)

董英傑《太極拳釋義》(1948) - photo 185

董英傑《太極拳釋義》(1948) - photo 186

董英傑《太極拳釋義》(1948) - photo 187

董英傑《太極拳釋義》(1948) - photo 188

董英傑《太極拳釋義》(1948) - photo 189

董英傑《太極拳釋義》(1948) - photo 190

斜飛式
[58] SLANTED WINGS (photos 191 & 192)

董英傑《太極拳釋義》(1948) - photo 191

董英傑《太極拳釋義》(1948) - photo 192

提手
[59] RAISED HANDS (photo 193)

董英傑《太極拳釋義》(1948) - photo 193

白鶴亮翅
[60] WHITE CRANE SHOWS ITS WINGS (photos 194 & 195)

董英傑《太極拳釋義》(1948) - photo 194

董英傑《太極拳釋義》(1948) - photo 195

摟膝抝步
[61] BRUSH PAST YOUR LEFT KNEE IN A CROSSED STANCE (photos 196–198)

董英傑《太極拳釋義》(1948) - photo 196

董英傑《太極拳釋義》(1948) - photo 197

董英傑《太極拳釋義》(1948) - photo 198

海底針
[62] NEEDLE UNDER THE SEA (photos 199 & 200)

董英傑《太極拳釋義》(1948) - photo 199

董英傑《太極拳釋義》(1948) - photo 200

山通臂
[63] MOUNTAIN THROUGH THE ARMS (photos 201 & 202)

董英傑《太極拳釋義》(1948) - photo 201

董英傑《太極拳釋義》(1948) - photo 202

白蛇吐信
[64] WHITE SNAKE FLICKS OUT ITS TONGUE [a TORSO-FLUNG PUNCH using an open hand instead of a fist] (photos 203 & 204)

董英傑《太極拳釋義》(1948) - photo 203

董英傑《太極拳釋義》(1948) - photo 204

上步搬攬錘
[65] STEP FORWARD, PARRYING CATCH, PUNCH (photos 205–207)

董英傑《太極拳釋義》(1948) - photo 205

董英傑《太極拳釋義》(1948) - photo 206

董英傑《太極拳釋義》(1948) - photo 207

攬雀尾
[66] CATCH THE SPARROW BY THE TAIL (photos 208–214)

董英傑《太極拳釋義》(1948) - photo 208

董英傑《太極拳釋義》(1948) - photo 209

董英傑《太極拳釋義》(1948) - photo 210

董英傑《太極拳釋義》(1948) - photo 211

董英傑《太極拳釋義》(1948) - photo 212

董英傑《太極拳釋義》(1948) - photo 213

董英傑《太極拳釋義》(1948) - photo 214

單鞭
[67] SINGLE WHIP (photos 215–217)

董英傑《太極拳釋義》(1948) - photo 215

董英傑《太極拳釋義》(1948) - photo 216

董英傑《太極拳釋義》(1948) - photo 217

雲手
[68] CLOUDING HANDS (photos 218–222)

董英傑《太極拳釋義》(1948) - photo 218

董英傑《太極拳釋義》(1948) - photo 219

董英傑《太極拳釋義》(1948) - photo 220

董英傑《太極拳釋義》(1948) - photo 221

董英傑《太極拳釋義》(1948) - photo 222

單鞭
[69] SINGLE WHIP (photos 223 & 224)

董英傑《太極拳釋義》(1948) - photo 223

董英傑《太極拳釋義》(1948) - photo 224

高探馬
[70.1] RISING UP AND REACHING OUT TO THE HORSE (photo 225)

董英傑《太極拳釋義》(1948) - photo 225

代掌穿
[70.2] SWITCH TO THREADING PALM

由上式右手按下。左手由右掌上穿出。同時左腿上步。弓腿。(如圖)
Your right hand pushes down and your left hand threads out over your right hand as your left foot steps forward and the knee bends. See photo 226:

董英傑《太極拳釋義》(1948) - photo 226

轉身十字腿
[71] TURN AROUND, CROSS-SHAPED KICK

由上式轉左掌左足。與身體同時向右轉。左腿坐式。左手轉至左耳邊。右掌心向下。
Your body turns around to the right, your left foot turning inward, the weight going onto your left leg, as your left hand arcs to the right until beside your left ear, your right palm facing downward. See photo 227:

董英傑《太極拳釋義》(1948) - photo 227

蹬右腳。雙手同時分開。左腿微曲。(如圖)
Your right foot presses out, your left leg slightly bent, as your hands spread apart. See photo 228:

董英傑《太極拳釋義》(1948) - photo 228

進步指擋錘
[72] ADVANCE, PUNCH TO THE CROTCH

由上式右手轉下拿拳。與右足同時落下坐實。右拳落至腰間。左手由上向右方落下。
Your right foot comes down, the weight going onto it fully, and your left foot goes forward as your right hand grasps into a fist and arcs downward to your waist, your left hand lowering to the right. See photo 229:

董英傑《太極拳釋義》(1948) - photo 229

轉至左膝外。左足於左手落下時上步弓腿。右拳向前下方打出。(如圖)
Your left foot comes down forward and the leg bends as your left hand arcs to the outside of your left knee and your right fist strikes out forward and downward. See photo 230:

董英傑《太極拳釋義》(1948) - photo 230

上步攬雀尾
[73] STEP FORWARD, CATCH THE SPARROW BY THE TAIL (photos 231–236)

董英傑《太極拳釋義》(1948) - photo 231

董英傑《太極拳釋義》(1948) - photo 232

董英傑《太極拳釋義》(1948) - photo 233

董英傑《太極拳釋義》(1948) - photo 234

董英傑《太極拳釋義》(1948) - photo 235

董英傑《太極拳釋義》(1948) - photo 236

單鞭
[74.1] SINGLE WHIP (photos 237–239)

董英傑《太極拳釋義》(1948) - photo 237

董英傑《太極拳釋義》(1948) - photo 238

董英傑《太極拳釋義》(1948) - photo 239

下勢
[74.2] LOW POSTURE (photo 240)

董英傑《太極拳釋義》(1948) - photo 240

上步七星錘
[75] STEP FORWARD, BIG-DIPPER PUNCH

由上式左手抬起。左足微向外轉。同時弓腿。右手向下彎曲。與右足同時伸至前方。雙手拿拳。作交叉式。左足坐實。右足虛上半步。(如圖)
Your left hand lifts as your left foot turns slightly outward, the leg bending, your right hand lowering, the arm bending, then your right foot extends forward a half step, as both hands grasp into fists and cross, right hand on the outside. Your left foot is full, right foot empty. See photo 241:

董英傑《太極拳釋義》(1948) - photo 241

退步跨虎
[76] RETREAT TO SITTING-TIGER POSTURE

由上式雙拳放掌。微向下落。右足向後抬起。
Your fists open and slightly lower as your right foot lifts and moves to the rear. See photo 242:

董英傑《太極拳釋義》(1948) - photo 242

坐落後方。同時雙手向左右分開。右手微高。左足同時虛收半步。足尖著地。(如圖)
Your right foot comes down behind you and your left foot pulls back a half step, touching down with the toes, as your hands spread apart, your right hand slightly higher. See photo 243:

董英傑《太極拳釋義》(1948) - photo 243

轉身雙擺蓮
[77] SPIN AROUND, DOUBLE-SLAP SWINGING LOTUS KICK

由上式左手向上轉。右手向下轉。雙手轉合至身前。
Your left hand arcs upward and inward as your right hand arcs downward and inward, your hands moving toward each other in front of you. See photo 244:

董英傑《太極拳釋義》(1948) - photo 244

左足提起。向右方轉至後方。
Your left foot lifts and your body turns around to the rear. See photo 245:

董英傑《太極拳釋義》(1948) - photo 245

左腿坐實。身手同時圓轉一圈。左手在上。右手在下。右足虛站半步。
Your left foot comes down and the weight goes onto the leg, your body turning the rest of the way around, your right foot emptying, as your left hand moves upward, your right hand downward. See photo 246:

董英傑《太極拳釋義》(1948) - photo 246

右足提高。左右雙手同時向足面一拍。(如四圖)
Your right foot lifts high and your hands slap the top of the foot. See photo 247:

董英傑《太極拳釋義》(1948) - photo 247

彎弓射虎
[78] BEND THE BOW TO SHOOT THE TIGER

由上式右足向右斜方落下。弓腿。雙手拿拳向上。曲至右斜方。
Your right foot comes down to the right corner and the leg bends as your hands grasp into fists and arc upward to the right corner. See photo 248:

董英傑《太極拳釋義》(1948) - photo 248

雙手由右斜方向左斜方打出。(如三圖)
Your hands then strike out to the left corner. See photos 249 & 250:

董英傑《太極拳釋義》(1948) - photo 249

董英傑《太極拳釋義》(1948) - photo 250

轉步搬攬錘
[79] TWISTING STEP, PARRYING CATCH, PUNCH

由上式手鬆拳反掌。雙手向下轉。(同前如三圖)
Your fists become palms and arc downward to the left as your left foot steps forward diagonally. See photo 251:

董英傑《太極拳釋義》(1948) - photo 251

The rest is the same as in Posture 12. See photos 252 & 253:

董英傑《太極拳釋義》(1948) - photo 252

董英傑《太極拳釋義》(1948) - photo 253

如封似閉
[80] SEALING SHUT (photos 254 & 255)

董英傑《太極拳釋義》(1948) - photo 254

董英傑《太極拳釋義》(1948) - photo 255

十字手
[81.1] CROSSED HANDS (photos 256 & 257)

董英傑《太極拳釋義》(1948) - photo 256

董英傑《太極拳釋義》(1948) - photo 257

合太極
[81.2] CLOSING POSTURE (photo 258)

董英傑《太極拳釋義》(1948) - photo 258

四正推手法
PUSHING HANDS METHOD FOR THE FOUR PRIMARY TECHNIQUES

四正推手。卽二人推手。掤,捋,擠,按四法也。
This exercise involves two people using the four techniques of ward-off, rollback, press, and push.


Ward-off:
卽捧上架高使對方手膊不易落下也。平掤如第一道防線。使對方不能進也。
This means to prop up high, making it difficult for the opponent to lower his forearm. Or you can brace away directly ahead, making it difficult for him to advance.


Rollback:
卽拉也。將對方拉斜。使其立足不穩。我卽有可乘之機。
This means to pull, drawing the opponent in diagonally, which makes his feet unstable, giving you an opportunity to take advantage of.


Press:
卽逼對方不能逃也。擠住不易動也。
This means to close in on the opponent so much that he cannot get away. It also makes it difficult for him to move.


Push:
卽用雙手按住對方。使對方不得動也。向下按向前按均可。
This means to use both hands to push on the opponent, rendering him unable to move. It can be done as either a downward or forward push.

練時你捋我擠。我擠你將按。你按我預掤。我掤你再按。我同時又斜捋。此四手法。上下左右前後。週而復始。圓轉自如。二人常常練習。功久自熟。熟能生巧。久之手膊漸有知覺。卽能懂勁。懂勁後。愈練愈精。初學非師傅指導不可。學識方式後卽能自行練習。
The method: Person A rolls back, so Person B presses. Because B presses, A pushes. When A pushes, B gets ready to ward off. As B wards off, A continues to push, and then B rolls back diagonally. These four actions, which arc up and down, left and right, forward and back, are recycled over and over, moving with a smooth roundness.
  Frequent practice over a long period will bring skill. Your hands and forearms will develop greater sensitivity, giving you the ability to distinguish the different energies that the opponent is applying on you just by feeling them. Once you are identifying energies, then the more you practice, the more skillful you will become. In the beginning, you will need the guidance of a teacher, but once you have ingrained the exercise, you and any partner can practice it on your own.

四正推手圖
The method for the four primary techniques in photos:

(搭手圖)
Person A [on the right in the photo] and Person B [on the left] reach out and connect hands:

董英傑《太極拳釋義》(1948) - push 1

甲(掤)
A wards off:

董英傑《太極拳釋義》(1948) - push 2

甲(捋)
A rolls back [the photo confusingly showing him rolling back to the right instead of to the left]:

董英傑《太極拳釋義》(1948) - push 3

乙(擠)
B presses:

董英傑《太極拳釋義》(1948) - push 4

甲(按)
A pushes:

董英傑《太極拳釋義》(1948) - push 5

四隅推手法(卽大捋)
PUSHING HANDS METHOD FOR THE FOUR SECONDARY TECHNIQUES (aka. LARGE ROLLBACK)

作此動作時兩人南北對立。作雙搭手右式。上圖東西南北為四正方。東南西南東北及西北為四隅方。甲及乙乃練習推手之兩人。在未推手之前。兩人分立於中央。南北相對。推手時
To perform this exercise, Person A and Person B stand facing each other along a north-south line, each reaching out and connecting with his right hand. The performers in the photos are positioned according to the compass directions. Both people start in the center and will move off toward the corners.

四隅推手圖
The method for the four secondary techniques in photos:

(搭手圖)
Person A [on the right (south) in the photo] and Person B [on the left (north)] reach out and connect hands:

董英傑《太極拳釋義》(1948) - push 6

(一)甲退西南。
Photo 1 shows A stepping back toward the southwest:

董英傑《太極拳釋義》(1948) - push 7

(二)乙退東南。
Photo 2 shows B stepping back toward the southeast:

董英傑《太極拳釋義》(1948) - push 8

(三)甲退東北。
Photo 3 shows A stepping back toward the northeast:

董英傑《太極拳釋義》(1948) - push 9

(四)乙退西北合為一週。
Photo 4 shows B stepping back toward the northwest:

董英傑《太極拳釋義》(1948) - push 10

四隅推手卽大捋卽採裂肘靠四斜方甲乙可能互相運用
This exercise, though known as “large rollback”, trains the four techniques of pluck, rend, elbow, and bump. Persons A & B will constantly take turns pulling each other around.

四隅推手者。一各大捋。大捋者。大步長手將對方拉之旋轉也。亦卽兩人推手時用採裂肘靠四法。向四斜方週而復始。互相推手運動。以濟四正之所窮。
The pushing hands exercise for the four secondary techniques is also called “large rollback”. To do a large rollback means that you take a large step and turn your body to perform a much longer pulling action. It is an exercise involving two people using the four techniques of pluck, rend, elbow, and bump, while moving toward the four corners over and over again, switching roles throughout. This exercise helps to supplement the inadequacies of the four primary techniques.


Pluck:
卽雙手抓住對方手腕。由高向下猛烈巨力一拉。(用寸勁)
This means to use either hand to grab an opponent’s wrist and forcefully yank downward (using inch force).


Rend:
卽將對方姿式或勁力分裂開。使其力量不能集中。(用撁動勁)
This means to spread open the opponent’s posture or power (using draw-in force), causing him to be unable to concentrate his strength.


Elbow:
卽用肘直打橫打。旋轉打掇打。(用內勁)
This means to use your elbow to attack straight ahead, across, in an arc, or upward (using internal power).


Bump:
卽用肩背靠近對方上身踫抖。(用內勁)
This means to use your shoulder and upper back area to close in on and smash against the opponent’s upper body (using internal power).

白衣者為甲。黑衣者為乙。甲立於南方面北。乙立於北方面南。作右雙搭手。卽兩人之右手在前。雙方腕背黏粘。各以左掌撫對方之右肘尖處。雙方注神前視。作準備及進攻之勢。
The exercise in more detail:
  The one dressed in white is Person A. The one dressed in black is Person B. A stands in the south part of the practice space facing toward the north. B stands in the north part of the practice space facing toward the south. Each reach out his right hand to connect at the back of the wrist, then sends out his left hand to touch the opponent’s left elbow. Both are gazing forward, positioned in preparation to attack.

董英傑《太極拳釋義》(1948) - push 6

甲左足尖向右轉。右足則向後向西南斜方退一步。作騎馬式。(丁八步)右臂平屈。右手掌撫乙之右腕(採)左臂屈肘。用左前臂按於乙之右臂。手心斜向上。向內作採捋之勢。
A, your left foot pivots inward and your right foot retreats a step diagonally toward the southwest to make a horse-riding stance (with your feet splayed out to make a ninety-degree angle) as your right arm bends inward, your right hand grabbing B’s right wrist and performing “plucking”, your left arm bending upward to put the forearm on his right arm and do a rollback to the arm, your left palm facing diagonally upward.

乙隨甲之退步採捋之勢。卽將左足向前橫進一步。提起右足。直向甲之襠中踏進。同時伸舒右臂。順勢向下。肩則隨甲之採捋之勁。向甲之胸前靠去。左手則繞一小圈。撫於右臂內輔助之。時甲乙兩面相對
B, go along with A’s pluck & rollback by advancing sideways with your left foot and advancing under his crotch with your right foot, making a bow stance, as your right arm extends forward and downward, following A’s energy, your right shoulder going along with the force of his pluck & rollback by going forward toward his chest to send him away with “bumping”, your left hand drawing a small circle toward the rear and forward again to assist at the inside of your right arm, which so positions it that it could now also perform the pressing technique. Both of you at this moment are facing each other.

董英傑《太極拳釋義》(1948) - push 7

甲左手按乙之左腕。右手按其左肘尖(謂之裂)。此時是一個用法。如左足自外轉向內襠中踏上一步。就可換步。換式以後仿此。此圖是單面。如行右單面。練習右手。不必按他右手。用閃法向他面用掌。
A, your left hand pushes on the outside of B’s left wrist and your right hand pushes on his left elbow, performing the “push” position. (Only one side is demonstrated here, but one way to switch sides is to withdraw your left foot from the outside of your opponent’s right leg and then advance it under his crotch. [He will then pull on your left arm instead of your right arm and step back with his left foot instead of his right.] Also, only one technique is demonstrated here, the push, but you could instead use your right hand to do a palm strike to your opponent’s face while your left hand is pushing on his left wrist, thus performing “rending”.) As you perform the push, your right foot advances to stand next to your left foot.

乙右手隨甲右手不離跟上去。甲上右足。乙退左足。兩人並立不停。
B, go along with the energy of A’s push by retreating your right foot to stand next to your left. Do not let your right hand disconnect from his right hand as you do so. A is now facing east, B facing west. Both of you, do not pause with your feet together, instead continue immediately into the next movement.

乙隨卽將右足向後東南斜方退一步。作騎馬式。乙右手將甲之右腕平屈。右臂將甲之手向後向下採。左臂以肘前節捋甲之右臂。
B, your left foot pivots inward and your right foot retreats a step diagonally toward the southeast to make a horse-riding stance as your right arm bends inward, your right hand grabbing and plucking A’s right wrist downward to the rear, your left arm bending upward to put the forearm on his right arm and do a rollback to the arm.

甲承乙之退步。採捋時。左足向前橫上一步。卽提右足直向乙之襠中踏進。作騎馬式弓步。同時右臂彎肘。順勢先可用肘肩。則隨乙之採捋之勁。向乙之胸部前靠。左手則繞小圈。撫於右臂內輔助之。亦可作擠勢。
A, go along with B’s pluck & rollback by advancing sideways with your left foot and advancing under his crotch with your right foot, making a bow stance, as your right arm extends forward and downward, following A’s energy, your right shoulder going along with the force of his pluck & rollback by going forward toward his chest to bump him away, your left hand drawing a small circle toward the rear and forward again to assist at the inside of your right arm, which so positions it that it could now also perform the pressing technique.

董英傑《太極拳釋義》(1948) - push 8

乙左手尖撫甲之左腕外部。右手掌撫肘尖。作按勢。同時提右足約與左足並立。甲亦同時收右足與左足並立。隨卽承乙之按勁。
B, your left hand pushes on the outside of A’s left wrist and your right hand pushes on his left elbow, performing the push position, as your right foot advances to stand next to your left foot. A, go along with the energy of B’s push by retreating your right foot to stand next to your left. A is now facing south, B facing north.

移右足向後東北斜方退一步。而以右手撫乙之右腕。平屈右臂。向後採之。同時屈左肘以左前臂按乙之右臂。作捋勢。
A, your left foot pivots inward and your right foot retreats a step diagonally toward the northeast to make a horse-riding stance as your right arm bends inward, your right hand grabbing and plucking B’s right wrist downward to the rear, your left arm bending upward to put the forearm on his right arm and do a rollback to the arm.

乙亦隨甲之採捋之勁。移左足向前橫上一步。起右足向甲之襠中踏進。伸左臂斜向下以順其採捋之勁。同時用肩向甲之胸部前靠。左手向後小圈。撫於右臂內輔助之。亦作擠勢。
B, go along with A’s pluck & rollback by advancing sideways with your left foot and advancing under his crotch with your right foot, making a bow stance, as your right arm extends forward and downward, following A’s energy, your right shoulder going along with the force of his pluck & rollback by going forward toward his chest to bump him away, your left hand drawing a small circle toward the rear and forward again to assist at the inside of your right arm, which so positions it that it could now also perform the pressing technique.

董英傑《太極拳釋義》(1948) - push 9

甲卽以左手撫乙之左腕外部。右手掌則撫其肘尖。作按勢。並收右足約與左足平立。乙隨甲之按勢。亦收回右足。與左足平立。
A, your left hand pushes on the outside of B’s left wrist and your right hand pushes on his left elbow performing the push position, as your right foot advances to stand next to your left foot. B, go along with the energy of A’s push by retreating your right foot to stand next to your left. A is now facing west, B facing east.

乙同時移右足向後方西北隅斜退一步。作騎馬式。右手撫甲之右腕。平屈右臂。將甲之右手向後斜下採。左臂平屈左肘。用左前臂將甲之右臂作捋勢。
B, your left foot pivots inward and your right foot retreats a step diagonally toward the northwest to make a horse-riding stance as your right arm bends inward, your right hand grabbing and plucking A’s right wrist downward to the rear, your left arm bending upward to put the forearm on his right arm and do a rollback to the arm.

甲承乙之退步。及採捋時左足向前橫出一步。及起右足直向乙之襠中踏進。作騎馬式。右步。伸舒右臂。順勢向下。而右肩則隨乙之採捋之勁。向其胸前靠去。左手則向後繞小圈。撫於右臂內輔助之。亦作擠勢。
A, go along with B’s pluck & rollback by advancing sideways with your left foot and advancing under his crotch with your right foot, making a bow stance, as your right arm extends forward and downward, following A’s energy, your right shoulder going along with the force of his pluck & rollback by going forward toward his chest to bump him away, your left hand drawing a small circle toward the rear and forward again to assist at the inside of your right arm, which so positions it that it could now also perform the pressing technique.

董英傑《太極拳釋義》(1948) - push 10

乙左手撫甲之左腕。右手掌撫其左肘尖。同時收右足向前與左足並立。作按勢。而甲亦同時收右足退至與左足並立。回復南北對立之式。
B, your left hand pushes on the outside of A’s left wrist and your right hand pushes on his left elbow, performing the push position, as your right foot advances to stand next to your left foot. A, go along with the energy of B’s push by retreating your right foot to stand next to your left. You have both now restored your original orientation of A facing north, B again facing south.

董英傑《太極拳釋義》(1948) - push 6

是為一週。可繼續循環練習。至連續若于週。則適隨練者之氣力所及也。
You have now completed an entire circle [moving clockwise around the floor]. Continue circling in this way until you develop a nice flow. [To perform the exercise on the other side, pulling with the left hand and circling around the floor counterclockwise, no explanation is given here, but it is easily demonstrated if we simply flip the photos horizontally.]

董英傑《太極拳釋義》(1948) - push 6 flipped

董英傑《太極拳釋義》(1948) - push 7 flipped

董英傑《太極拳釋義》(1948) - push 8 flipped

董英傑《太極拳釋義》(1948) - push 9 flipped

董英傑《太極拳釋義》(1948) - push 10 flipped

五行步法
FIVE ELEMENTS FOOTWORK

五行步法。卽金木水火土五行方位變化為此五步。進步屬火退步屬水左顧屬木右盼屬金站定卽中土
The five elements are: metal, wood, water, fire, earth. The steps move according the positions of the elements, hence: advancing corresponds to fire, retreating corresponds to water, stepping to the left corresponds to wood, stepping to the right corresponds to metal, and standing stably corresponds to earth.

董英傑《太極拳釋義》(1948) - diagram 6

前進一步半
advance a step and a half
左顧(向左偏身)
go to the left (with your body inclining diagonally to the left)
站定
staying in the center
右盼(向右斜)
go to the right (with your body inclining diagonally to the right)
後退一步半
retreat a step and a half

此為太極拳術基本步法。推手散手均適用。中定站穩。左右能換步。進退自如。
These are the basic steps in Taiji Boxing. Whether you are practicing pushing hands or sparring, you can stand centered and stable, step to the left or right, and advance or retreat as you please.

太極劍式(共五十一式)
TAIJI SWORD POSTURES

三環套月
[1] THREE LOOPS AROUND THE MOON
魁星式
[2] KUIXING POSTURE
燕子抄水
[3] SWALLOW TAKES UP WATER
左右攔掃
[4] LEFT & RIGHT BLOCKING SWEEPS
小魁星
[5] SMALL KUIXING POSTURE
燕子歸巢
[6] SWALLOW RETURNS TO ITS NEST
靈貓捕鼠
[7] QUICK CAT CATCHES THE MOUSE
鳳凰抬頭
[8] PHOENIX LIFTS ITS HEAD
黃蜂入洞
[9] WASP ENTERS THE HIVE
鳳凰右展翅
[10] PHOENIX UNFURLS ITS RIGHT WING
小奎星
[11] SMALL KUIXING POSTURE
鳳凰左展翅
[12] PHOENIX UNFURLS ITS LEFT WING
等魚式
[13] WAITING FOR A FISH
左右龍行
[14] LEFT & RIGHT DRAGON STEPS
宿鳥投林
[15] BIRD GOES INTO THE FOREST TO ROOST
烏龍擺尾
[16] BLACK DRAGON SWINGS ITS TAIL
靑龍出海
[17] BLUE DRAGON LEAVES THE WATER
風捲荷葉
[18] WIND ROLLS UP THE LOTUS LEAVES
左右獅子搖頭
[19] LION SHAKES ITS HEAD LEFT & RIGHT
虎抱頭
[20] TIGER HIDES ITS HEAD
野馬跳澗
[21] WILD HORSE JUMPS THE STREAM
勒馬式
[22] REINING IN THE HORSE
指南鍼
[23] POINT LIKE A COMPASS NEEDLE
左右迎風撣塵
[24] BRUSHING OFF DUST AGAINST THE WIND LEFT & RIGHT
順水推舟
[25] GOING WITH THE CURRENT TO PUSH THE BOAT
流星趕月
[26] METEOR CHASES THE MOON
天馬行空
[27] SPIRIT HORSE FLIES THROUGH THE SKY
挑簾式
[28] RAISING THE CURTAIN
左右車輪
[29] LEFT & RIGHT WHEELING
燕子啣泥
[30] SWALLOW TAKES UP MUD
大鵬展翅
[31] RUKH UNFURLS A WING
海底撈月
[32] TRYING TO SCOOP THE MOON’S REFLECTION FROM THE WATER
懷中抱月
[33] EMBRACE THE MOON
哪叱探海
[34] NEZHA SEARCHES THE SEA
犀牛望月
[35] RHINO GAZES AT THE MOON
射雁式
[36] SHOOT THE GOOSE
靑龍探爪
[37] BLUE DRAGON EXTENDS A CLAW
鳳凰雙展翅
[38] PHOENIX UNFURLS ITS WINGS
左右挎攔
[39] LEFT & RIGHT STRIDING BLOCKS
射雁式
[40] SHOOT THE GOOSE
白猿獻菓
[41] WHITE APE OFFERS FRUIT
左右落花
[42] LEFT & RIGHT FALLING PETALS
玉女穿梭
[43] MAIDEN SENDS THE SHUTTLE THROUGH
白虎攪尾
[44] WHITE TIGER TWITCHES ITS TAIL
魚躍龍門
[45] FISH LEAPS THE DRAGON GATE
左右烏龍絞柱
[46] BLACK DRAGON COILS AROUND THE PILLAR
仙人指路
[47] IMMORTAL POINTS THE WAY
朝天一指香
[48] HOLD UP A STICK OF INCENSE
風掃梅花
[49] WIND SWEEPS THE PLUM FLOWERS
牙笏式
[50] CARRYING THE IVORY TABLET
合太極
[51] CLOSING POSTURE

太極刀歌訣
TAIJI SABER SONG

七星跨虎交刀勢
騰挪閃展意氣揚
左顧右盼兩分張
白鶴展翅五行掌
風捲荷花葉內藏
玉女穿梭八方勢
三星開合自主張
二起腳來打虎式
披身斜掛鴛鴦腳
順手推舟鞭作篙
下勢三合自由招
左右分水龍門跳
卞和攜石鳳還巢
吾師留下四刀讚
口傳心授不妄教
BIG DIPPER and SITTING TIGER are followed by EXCHANGING THE SABER.
ALWAYS AT THE READY, SUDDENLY EXPAND, rousing mind and energy.
LOOK LEFT & RIGHT, then SPREAD APART TO BOTH SIDES.
WHITE CRANE SPREADS ITS WINGS with a five-element palm.
  WIND ROLLS UP THE LOTUS LEAVES, then store inward.
MAIDEN WORKS THE SHUTTLE deals with all directions.
THREE STARS POSTURE, then open and close, and TAKE CHARGE OF THE SITUATION.
DOUBLE KICK, then perform FIGHTING TIGER POSTURE.
  DRAPE THE BODY, hanging at an angle, then perform MANDARIN DUCK KICK.
GOING WITH THE CURRENT TO PUSH THE BOAT, use your iron staff like a punting-pole.
LOWERING, ENGAGE THREE TIMES, moving with fluency.
SWIM TO THE LEFT & RIGHT, then LEAP THE DRAGON GATE.
  BIAN HE CARRIES THE STONE, then the PHOENIX RETURNS TO ITS NEST.
What my teacher has bequeathed us is the praiseworthy four saber techniques.
It is to be taught by way of personal instruction, but it is not to be rashly passed down.

【附四刀用法】
The four saber techniques:
䂨刴
[1] cleaving & hacking

[2] scratching
截割
[3] checking & shaving
撩腕
[4] raising to the wrist

太極槍
TAIJI SPEAR

第一槍刺心
1. Stab to the solar plexus.
第二槍刺腿
2. Stab to the leg.
第三槍刺膊
3. Stab to the arm.
第四槍刺喉
4. Stab to the throat.
〔以上為粘黏四槍〕
(These four techniques form the sticking spear exercise.)

第一槍刺心
1. Stab to the solar plexus.
第二槍刺膀
2. Stab to the arm.
第三槍刺足
3. Stab to the foot.
第四槍刺面
4. Stab to the face.
〔以上為四散槍。
(These four techniques form the sparring spear exercise.)
總上八槍為體〕
(The eight techniques above constitute the substance of the spear training.)

第一槍採槍
1. Plucking
第二槍挒槍
2. Rending
第三槍扔槍
3. Flinging
第四槍鏟槍
4. Shoveling
〔以上四槍為用〕
(These four techniques supply the function in the spear training.)

第十三槍為纏槍(卽如司令。萬法可用)
The thirteenth exercise is the coiling spear, which forms the basis for all the other techniques to be applied.

劍刀槍各式均錄於前。因身法複雜無法製圖。總之太極拳成功。各項兵器隨心所欲。持兵器接長兩手而已。其挑撥刺砍削拖之勁。完全以打拳所得之內勁用之。其招架之靈感。亦在拳內求之。功夫純熟。可生千百眼。千百手。此非言大而誇也。讀者貫通後。當知所言非虛。
Above are the postures lists for the sword, saber, and spear. Due to the complexity of the movements, photos are not really an adequate means of demonstrating them, and so none are supplied here. You may learn weapons after you have learned the boxing set. The spear in particular is interesting because it is held with both hands. Energies for the weapons, such as carrying, deflecting, stabbing, chopping, slicing, or dragging, are all based upon energies trained in the boxing set. All defensive actions of blocking are likewise based upon habits built from practicing the boxing set. When you are skillful with the weapons, it will be as though you have countless eyes and countless hands. Once you have a thorough experience of these things, you will realize that these words are not exaggerations.

太極快拳(又名英傑快拳)
TAIJI FAST SET (ALSO CALLED “DONG YINGJIE FAST SET”)

自古拳術名稱本無一定。多數以形取名。以名取義。以義收其功效。太極拳亦然。快拳也不外如是。
In ancient times, boxing techniques did not usually have specific names.
Most of the time, the shape of a posture would eventually gain a commonly used description [i.e. “Suit the word to the action.”], then the name that describes that posture would lead to an intention for how to perform the posture [“Suit the action to the word.”], and that intention would then clarify how the technique is to be applied. The same goes for Taiji Boxing, and the fast set is no exception.

〔預備式〕
[1 – PREPARATION POSTURE]
〔太極起式〕
[2 – TAIJI BEGINNING POSTURE]
攬切衣(快)
[3] WIPING THE SHIRT (quick)
單鞭(快)
[4] SINGLE WHIP (quick)
合勁(慢)
[5] CLOSING INWARD (slow)
仙鶴張翅(微停)
[6] IMMORTAL CRANE SPREADS ITS WINGS (slight pause)
托琵琶(慢)
[7] HOLDING THE LUTE (slow)
轉琵琶(慢)
[8] TURN THE LUTE OVER (slow)
裂掌(快)
[9] RENDING PALM (quick)
〔挫裂掌(慢)〕
[10 – RUBBING & RENDING PALM (slow)]
跳步搬攬捶(快)
[11] HOPPING STEP, PARRY, BLOCK, PUNCH (quick)
連環圓封閉(快)
[12] CONTINUOUSLY CIRCLING & SEALING SHUT (quick)
豹虎回山洞(快)
[13] TIGER RETURNS TO ITS CAVE (quick)
挫掌簸箕式(慢)
[14] RUBBING PALM, WINNOWING POSTURE (slow)
進退閃戰(圓轉)
[15] ADVANCING & RETREATING, DODGING & ATTACKING (using circling arms)
大鵬騰空(凌空)
[16] RUKH FLIES INTO THE SKY (moving in emptiness)
撞肋捶(慢)
[17] SMASHING PUNCH TO THE RIBS (slow)
白猿閃身(退慢)
[18] WHITE APE DODGES AWAY (retreating slowly)
鳳凰斜展翅(微停)
[19] PHOENIX SPREADS ITS WINGS DIAGONALLY (slight pause)
〔搬攬捶(快)〕
[20 – PARRY, BLOCK, PUNCH (quick)]
返身搬按捶(微停)
[21] TURN AROUND, PARRY, PUSH DOWN, PUNCH (slight pause)
進步攬挫衣(快)
[22] ADVANCE, WIPING THE SHIRT (quick)
連環式(快)
[23] CONTINUOUS FLOW (quick)
刁手(快)
[24] HOOKING HAND (quick)
左閃右避(慢)
[25 & 26] DODGING SIDE TO SIDE (slow)
探馬式(慢)
[27] REACHING OUT TO THE HORSE (slow)
英雄獨立(快)
[28] HERO STANDS ON ONE LEG (quick)
騰身法(快)
[29] HOPPING AWAY (quick)
撩掌(慢)
[30] RAISING PALMS (slow)
鳳還巢(快)
[31] PHOENIX RETURNS TO ITS NEST (quick)
太極還元(立穩)
[32] TAIJI CLOSING POSTURE (stand stably)

快拳是由上乘功夫。經實用而發明。有慢有快。慢是以靜待動。快是發勁神速。有陰陽。有虛實。有精神。有蓄神。身法巧妙。姿式精彩。然非有三年以上功夫。不易領略也。妙法甚多。待出專書詳論之。
The fast set is the product of training at a high level, built upon a great of deal of experience with applications. It contains both slowness and quickness. The slowness is a matter of using stillness to await the opponent’s movement. The quickness is a matter issuing power with amazing suddenness. There is passive and active, emptiness and fullness. There is concentration of spirit as well as storing of spirit. The techniques are clever and the postures are beautiful. However, unless you have had at least three years of training, it will not be easy to properly appreciate it. Because there are so many wonderful things about it, it will be presented in detail in a future book.

董派太極快拳緣起
ON THE CREATION OF THE DONG FAMILY TAIJI FAST SET

太極拳非不可以新發明。非人人可以能發明。有董老師高深功夫。能文能武。文武兼全而後可。英傑先生為太極拳術界老前輩。南中國第一名師也。以練拳三十年之經驗。發明出來一套太極快拳。此拳令人精神奮發。人人悅意學習。特長有三。(一)精彩(二)實用(三)神速。是董老師發明。所以可稱為董派太極快拳。誠令人。後世。學太極拳同志之福音也
黎仙裁
In Taiji Boxing, it is not that new things cannot be invented, it is that not everyone has the ability to do so. Master Dong Yingjie has this ability, not only because his skill is at a very high level, but also because he is equally capable as a scholar and as a martial artist. Within the Taiji Boxing community, he is now one of the senior masters, and is considered to be the very top master in southern China. Based on his experience from practicing the art for thirty years, he has invented a boxing set: the Taiji Fast Set. This set rouses the spirit and is delightful to learn. It has three special characteristics: 1. it is beautiful; 2. it emphasizes application; 3. it develops the ability to issue power suddenly. Because it was invented by Dong Yingjie, it can be called “Dong Family Taiji Fast Set”. It is sure to be a blessing for future generations of Taiji Boxing students.
  - written by Li Xiancai

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