The Taijiquan Classics
In Li I Yu's Handwritten Manuals

The Taijiquan Classics are a collection of early writings on the art that are regarded by Taijiquan practitioners as containing the essence of the art. The majority of listings of these classical works contain the writings recorded in Li I Yu's handwritten manuals. The contents of these manuals are regarded as the core writings in the Classics and hold a special place in literary tradition of Taijiquan. They are also probably the oldest writings available on the art of Taijiquan.

In addition to the translation into English for these classic works, I will be adding my own commentaries to them to further expand upon the meanings contained in them and their context and historicity. Some of the translations are taken from earlier translations, I have felt that there was no need to redo their fine work, others which have never been translated before have been translated by myself. Where the translations are not my own, they have been credited to the original translators.

Translator's Note

Some might regard the the translations I have done as being overly literal. There is a reason for this literal translation, I have tried not to paraphrase or rephrase as far as possible so as to prevent an unintentional insertion of my own meaning into the text rather than let the text speak for itself. The result is not likely to be very idiomatic but it does bring out the original flavour of the text as well as its most probable meaning in the context of the art of Taijiquan.

There is a specific place for my own interpretations and they are to be found in the commentaries which I have written on the individual classic works. Some of these interpretations have been handed down to me by my teachers and seniors, others have come from my own experience and research into the art. They should be read on their own merit and not regarded as anything beyond one practitioner's interpretation. The definitive interpretation being possible only by the authors of the original works.

The Li I Yu Collection Of Taijiquan Classics

Wang Tsung Yueh's Taijiquan Classic

The Eight Body Methods By Wu Yu Xiang

The Thirteen Posture Form

The Thirteen Posture Saber Form

The Thirteen Posture Spear Form

The Four Saber Methods

The Four Spear Methods

Short Explanation For Weapons Practice

Plain Sayings On Each Posture Song By Li I Yu

Thirteen Posture Long Boxing

Song Of The Thirteen Postures

Hitting Hands Essential Sayings

Sparring Releasing Secret Formula

Hitting Hands Song

Sparring Hands And Walking Frame Essentials By Li I Yu

Five Word Formula By Li I Yu

Four Word Secret Formula By Wu Yu Xiang

Hitting Hands Sparring Releasing By Wu Yu Xiang

Wang Tsung Yueh's Taijiquan Classic
Translation taken from Robert W. Smith and Cheng Man Ching's book "T'ai Ch'i"

Taiji comes from infinity; from it spring yin and yang. In movement the two act independently; in stillness they fuse into one. There should be no excess and no insufficiency.

You yield at your opponent's slightest pressure and adhere to him at his slightest retreat. To conquer the strong by yielding is termed "withdraw" (tsou). To improve your position to the detriment of your opponent is called "adherence" (chan). You respond quickly to a fast action, slowly to a slow action. Although the changes are numerous, the principle remains the same. Dilligent practice brings the skill of "interpreting strength". Beyond this achievement lies the ultimate goal: complete mastery of an opponent without recourse to detecting his energy. This, however, requires ardous practice.

The spirit of vitality reaches to the top of the head and the qi sinks to the navel. The body is held erect without leaning in any direction. Your opponent should not be able to detect your change from substantial to insubstantial or vice versa, because of your speed in effecting this change. When your opponent brings pressure on your left side, that side should be empty. The same holds for the right side. When he pushes upward or downward against you, he feels as if there is no end to the emptiness he encounters. When he advances against you, he feels the distance incredibly long; when he retreats, he feels it exasperatingly short.

The entire body is so light that a feather will be felt and so pliable that a fly cannot alight on it without setting it in motion. Your opponent cannot detect your moves but you can anticipate his. If you can master all these techniques you will become a peerless boxer.

In boxing there are myriad schools. Although they differ in form and scale, they can never go beyond reliance on the strong defeating the weak or the swift conquering the slow. Yet these are the result of physical endowments and not practical application and experience. The strong and the quick, however, cannot explain and have no part in the deflection of a thousand pound momentum with a trigger force of four ounces or of an old man defeating a great number of men.

Stand like a balance and move actively like a cart wheel. Keep your weight sunk on one side. If it is spread on two feet you will be pushed over easily. Coordinating the substantial is the key here. If that is achieved, then you can interpret strength. After this, by practicing vigorously, studying and remembering, one can reach the stage of total reliance on the mind. Forget yourself and yield to others. Go gradually, according to the right method. Above all, learn these techniques correctly; the slightest divergence will take you far off the path.

The Eight Body Methods
Translated by Peter Lim Tian Tek

1. Hollow The Chest

2. Raise The Back

3. Bind/Wrap The Lower Abdomen

4. Protect The Abdomen

5. Lift and Prop Up (head)

6. Lift Lower Abdomen (tail bone)

7. Loosen Shoulders

8. Sink Elbows

The Thirteen Posture Form
Translated by Peter Lim Tian Tek

1. Grasp Sparrow's Tail

2. Single Whip

3. Lift Hands Upwards Posture

4. White Crane Reveals Wings

5. Brush Knee Bend Step

6. Hand Play The Lute Posture

7. Brush Knee Bend Step

8. Hand Play The Lute Posture

9. Deflect, Parry And Punch

10. Apparent Closure

11. Embrace Tiger Push Mountain

12. Single Whip

13. Under Elbow See Fist

14. Repulse Monkey

15. White Crane Reveals Wings

16. Brush Knee Bend Step

17. Three Through Back

18. Single Whip

19. View Hands (Yun Shou - same pronounciation as Cloud Hands)

20. High Pat Horse

21. Left Right Lift Legs

22. Turn Body And Kick With Leg

23. Treading Step Hit With Fist

24. Turn Over Body Double Lift (Double Lift Legs)

25. Drape Body (Chop With Fist)

26. Kick With Leg

27. Kick With Sole

28. Step Forward, Deflect, Parry And Punch

29. Apparent Closure

30. Embrace Tiger Push Mountain

31. Slanting Single Whip

32. Part Wild Horse's Mane

33. Single Whip

34. Fair Lady Threads Shuttle

35. Single Whip

36. View Hands

37. Downward Posture

38. Change Chicken Standing On One Leg

39. Repulse Monkey

40. White Crane Reveals Wings

41. Brush Knee Bend Step

42. Three Through Back

43. Single Whip

44. View Hands

45. High Pat Horse

46. Cross Sweep Lotus (Cross Figure Single Sweep Lotus)

47. Step Forward Point Fist At Pubic

48. Step Forward Grasp Sparrow's Tail

49. Single Whip

50. Downward Posture

51. Step Forward Seven Stars

52. Step Down Ride Tiger

53. Turn Leg Sweep Lotus

54. Bend Bow Shoot Tiger

55. Double Draping Fist

The Thirteen Posture Saber Form
Translated by Peter Lim Tian Tek

1. Press Saber

2. Green Dragon Emerging From Water

3. Reeling Wind Damages The Blossoms

4. White Clouds Cover The Moutain Top

5. Back Saber

6. Go Cemetary Ghost Puzzle

7. Brace Leg Lift Saber

8. Open Clouds And View The Sun

9. Evade Saber

10. Fuedal Lord Raises Urn

11. Single Incense To The Sky

12. Pull Saber Defeating Posture

13. Hand Playing Lute Posture

The Thirteen Posture Spear Form
Translated by Peter Lim Tian Tek

1. Single Ward-Off Staff/Spear

2. Green Dragon Emerges From Water

3. Child Praying To the Goddess Of Mercy

4. Hungry Tiger Pounces On Prey

5. Blocking Road Tiger

6. Bend Step

7. Diagonal Posture

8. Wind Sweeps The Plum Blossoms

9. Centre Soldiers Send Troops

10. Veteren Bird Returns To Nest

11. Pull Staff Defeating Posture

12. Agile Cat Catching Mouse

13. Hand Playing Lute Posture.

The Four Saber Methods
Translated by Peter Lim Tian Tek

1. Inner Wrist Cut

2. Outer Wrist Cut

3. Press Down Wrist

4. Hold Up Wrist

The Four Spear Methods
Translated by Peter Lim Tian Tek

1. Level Pierce The Heart

2. Slanting Pierce The Shoulder

3. Downward Pierce The Instep

4. Upward Pierce The Throat

Short Explanation For Weapons Practice
Translated by Peter Lim Tian Tek

For the above saber methods and spear methods, the body methods must be in place, with emphasis on following jing.

Plain Sayings On Each Posture Song by Li I Yu
Translated by Peter Lim Tian Tek

Raise and prop (the head), lift the pubic, conceive in the mind,
Loosen the shoulders, sink elbows, qi at the tan tien;
Wrap the pubic,protect the abdomen must downward posture,
Hollow chest, raise back, return to natural.
First posture left right Lazily Arranging Clothes,
Two hands pushing out pulling single whip.
Lift Hands Up Posture looking towards space,
White Crane Reveals Wing fly up to the sky.
Brush Knee Bend Step hit to the front,
Hand Playing The Lute hides and draws close to the side.
Brush Knee Bend Step repeat the Downward Posture,
Hand Playing The Lute again once more.
Step forward first hit with Palm To The Face,
Deflect, Parry, Punch hits the front of the chest.
Apparent Closure pushes to the front,
Draw Body Embrace Tiger go push the mountain.
Return body pull to form Single Whip,
Fist Under Elbow hits the centre of the waist.
Repulse Monkey repeats the posture 4 times,
White Crane Reveals Wings until the cloud top.
Brush Knee Bend Step must Downward Posture,
Withdraw Body Lute at front of chest.
Press Posture overturn body Three Through Back,
Twist neck turn the head back pull Single Whip.
View Hands three times then High Pat Horse,
Left Right Lift Legs who dares stand in the way.
Turn Body One Leg (kick) Then Plant Fist,
Overturn Body Double Lift kick to break the sky.
Hold hody retreat step Subdue Tiger Posture,
Kick With Leg Turn Body is tightly continuous.
Kick With Sole step forward deflect, parry, hit,
Apparent Closure hands face the front.
Embrace Tiger Push Mountain repeat Downward Posture,
Turn head back and again pull Single Whip.
Part Wild Horse's Mane advances towards the front,
Lazily Arranging Clothes is indeed fresh.
Turn Body again pull Single Whip,
Fair Lady Threads Shuttles complete the four corners.
Change pull Single Whip is really ingenious,
View Hands Downward Posture probes the pure spring.
Change Chicken Stands On One Leg is divided into left and right,
Repulse Monkey is again repeated.
White Crane Reveals Wing extends the body,
Brush Knee forward hand is down at the side.
Press Posture Green Dragon again emerges from the water,
Turn body again and again pull Single Whip.
View Hands High Pat palm against heart,
Cross Figure Sweep Lotus overturns to the back.
Point Fist To Pubic hits downwards,
Lazily Arranging Clothes in tight continuity.
Again pull Single Whip again Downward Posture,
Step up begin dischage Seven Star Fist.
Withdraw body step backwards pull Riding Tiger,
Turn leg out hit Double Sweep Lotus.
Scoop Up The Moon At The Sea Bottom must have Downward Posture,
Bend Bow Shoot Tiger neck faces forward.
Embrace Twin Fists who dares advance,
Walk the whole earth no one dares stand in the way.
This song this song 60 verses,
If don't meet an intimate friend don't transmit lightly.

Thirteen Posture Long Boxing
Translated by Zee Wen from the book by Mah Yueh Liang and Wu Ying Hwa "Wu Style Taichichuan - Forms, Concepts and Application of the Original Style"

Long Boxing, which deonotes the serial forms, is like the flow of water in a great river or sea, running without end. The thirteen kinetic movements are: peng (warding), lu (diverting), ji (pressing), an (pushing), tsai (plucking), lieh (twisting), chou (elbowing) and Kao (leaning) which are connected with the eight trigrams, and jin (stepping forward), tui (stepping backward), ku (look to the left), pan (look to the right), and zhong ding (central equilibrium) which coincide with the five elements, namely, metal, wood, water, fire and earth. Peng, lu, ji and an are called the four straight direction manipulations which are toward the south, west, east and north respectively. Tsai, lieh, chou and kao are the four diagonal manipulations toward the four corners of northwest, southeast, northeast and southwest respectively.

(Original annotation: This is the work of the late Chang San-feng of Mt. Wu-Dang, who wanted the "heros" in the world to prolong life and not solely for martial arts).

Song Of The Thirteen Postures
Translated by Ben Lo et al, from their book "The Essence Of T'ai Chi Chuan"

The thirteen postures should not be taken lightly;
The source of the postures lies in the waist.
Be mindful of the insubstantial and substantial changes;
The qi (breath) spreads throughout without hinderance.
Being still, when attacked by the opponent, be tranquil and move in stillness;
(My) changes caused by the opponent fill him with wonder.
Study the function of each posture carefully and with deliberation;
To achieve the goal is very easy.
Pay attention to the waist at all times;
Completely relax the abdomen and the qi (breath) will raise up.
When the coccyx is straight,
The shen (spirit) goes through the headtop.
To make the whole body light and agile suspend the headtop.
Carefully study.
Extension and contraction, opening and closing, should be natural.
To enter the door and be shown the way, you must be orally taught.
The practice is uninterrupted, and the technique (achieved) by self study.
Speaking of the boduy and its function, what is the standard?
The i (mind) and qi (breath) are king, and the bones and muscles are the court.
Think over carefully what the final purpose is: to lengthen life and maintain youth.
The Song consists of 140 characters; each character is true and the meaning is complete.
If you do not study in this manner, then you will waste your time and sigh.

Hitting Hands Essential Sayings
Translated by Peter Lim Tian Tek (first 2 parts), part 3 translated by Robert W. Smith and Cheng Man Qing from their book "T'ai Ch'i"


Use the mind to move the qi, exerting sunk one, then can the qi gather in the bones, that is what is called 'the source of the postures lies in the waist'. The intent and qi should change actively, it should be round and lively, that is what is called 'be mindful of the insubstantial and substantial changes'. The upright body is erect, peaceful and comfortable, able to support 8 sides; move qi like 9 curved pearls, there is nowhere it does not reach, that is what is called 'the qi spreads throughout without hindrance'.

Emitting strength (fajing) should be sunk, relaxed and quite, in one direction only, this is what is called 'be still, when attacked by the opponent, be tranquil and move in stillness'. In moving back and forth one must fold repeatedly, advancing and retreating must have turns and changes, this is what is called '(my) changes caused by the opponent fill him with wonder'. In curves seek the straight, store then emit, this is what is called 'study the function of each posture carefully and with deliberation, pay attention to the waist at all times'. Lift the conciousness, then can one be without worry about being slow and heavy, this is what is called 'completely relax the abdomen and the qi will raise up'. Empty the neck and prop up (the head) with strength, sink the qi to the Tan Tien, not slanting not leaning, this is what is called 'when the coccyx is straight, the shen (spirit) goes to the headtop, to make the whole body light agile suspend the headtop'. Move the body using qi, exert on this to succeed, then can one facilitate the mind, this is what is called 'extention and contraction, opening and closing, should be natural'. The mind is the command, the qi the flag, the conciousness the commander and the body the one ordered about, this is what is called 'the i (mind) and ch'i (breath) are king, and the bones and muscles are the court.


Though the body moves, the mind holds preciously to quietness, qi must accumulate, the conciousness comfortable. The mind is the command, qi is the flag, the conciousnes the commander and the body the one ordered about. Always keep this in mind, the method will yield benefits. The mind is the first, the body comes after. The body only does not know the hand and its movements, the foot and its stepping. This is what is called a single breath completion, abandoning onself and following others, attracting into emptiness, four ounces drawing out a thousand catties. You must know that in moving, everything moves, when quiet everything is quite, see movement but still quiet, see quiet but still moving, inside is resolute conciousness, outside when seen is easy and comfortable. One must follow along with others, going along with others is lively, following self is stagnating. Those that esteem breath have no strength, those that cultivate the qi have pure hardness. If the other does not move, I do not move; the other moves slightly, I then move first. Labour to know yourself, only then can you turn and recieve at will; for oneself to stick to others, one must know others, only then can one be not too late or too early. One must be able to raise the conciousness, then you don't have the worry about being slow and heavy; sticking and following gives agility, then one can see the ingeniousness of 'into emptiness'. One must divide Yin and Yang when moving back and forth, advancing and retreating has turning and closing. Opportunity comes from oneself, strength is borrowed from others. In emitting strength (fajing), the upper and lower must be coordinated, then in going one is invincible; the erect body must be upright without leaning, able to support 8 sides. Quiet like a mountain, moving like a river. Stepping forward like standing on the edge of a pond, move strength (jing) like drawing silk, store strength (jing) like stretching a bow, emit strength (fajing) like shooting an arrow. Move qi like 9 curved pearls, there is nowhere it does not reach; propel qi like steel refined a hundred times over, there is nothing hard that it cannot destroy. Form like targeting when catching a mouse, the conciousness like a cat catching a mouse. Seek the straight in the curved, store then emit. To take in is the same as to emit, joining without breaks. From extreme softness then can it be extremely strong and hard; can stick and follow then can be agile. Qi is cultivated directly without harm, strength (jing) is stored in the curved and with surplus. Compliance comes gradually, only knowing can one achive it.

Also said:

In any action the entire body should be light and agile and all of its parts connected like pearls on a thread. The qi should be cultivated; the spirit of vitality should be retained internally and not exposed externally.

Sound boxing is rooted in the feet, develops in the legs, is directed by the waist, and functions through the fingers. The feet, legs, and waist must act as one. There should be no hollows and projections and no severance, so that when advancing and retreating you can use both your opponent's defects and your own superior position. If you fail to gain these advantages, your body will be disordered and confused. To correct this fault you must adjust your legs and waist. The same principle applies irrespective of direction or attitude.

Taiji hinges entirely upon the player's conciousness (i) rather than upon his external muscular force (li). When attacking above, you must not forget below; when striking left, you must pay attention to the right; and when advancing, you must have regard for retreating. This principle applies for both the attacker and defender. If you wan to pull something upward, you must first push it down, causing the root to be severed and the object to be immediately toppled. The substantial and the insubstantial must be clearly differentiated. Every part of the body has both a substantial and an insubstantial aspect at any given time. The entire body also has this feature if considered as one unit. All parts of the body must be threaded together, not allowing the slightest severance.

Sparring Releasing Secret Formula
Translation taken from T.Y. Pang's book "On Tai Chi Chuan"

Lift his body, using his power--
be flexible;
Draw his body, storing your
strength--be able to gather;
Relax, don't lock your strength--
be tranquil;
Release, pay attention to your
waist and legs--be integrated.

Hitting Hands Song
Translation by Robert W. Smith and Cheng Man Qing from their book "T'ai Ch'i"

In Ward-off, Rollback, Press and Push,
You must find the real technique-
If he goes up, you follow;
If he goes down, you follow;
Then he cannot attack.
Let him attack you with great force,
And use four ounces to deflect a thousand pounds,
Neutralizing him until he becomes powerless,
And then use withdraw-attack.
Also adhere and lift, support from below,
Stick horizontally, and attach from the rear-
Without letting go and with no resistance.

Sparring Hands And Walking Frame Essentials By Li I Yu
Translated by Ben Lo Et Al in the book "The Essence Of T'ai Chi Ch'uan"

Formerly people said: being able to attract into emptiness, you can use four ounces to deflect a thousand pounds. Not being able to attract into emptiness, you cannot deflect a thousand pounds. The words are simple, but the meaning complete. The beginner cannot understand it. Here I add some words to explain it. If someone is ambitious to learn this art, he can find some way to enter it and every day he will have improvement.

Desiring to attract into emptiness and use four ounces to deflect a thousand pounds, first you must have the correct timing and position. To obtain the correct timing and position, you must first make the body one unit. Desiring to make the body one unit, you must first eliminate hollows and protruberances. To make the whole body without hbreaks or holes, you must first have the shen (spirit) and qi (breath) excited and expanded. If youwant the shen and qi activated and expanded, you must first raise the spirit (pay attention) and the shen should not be unfocussed. To have your shen not unfocussed, you must first have the shen and qi gather and penetrate the bones. Desiring the shen and qi to penetrate the bones, you must first strengthen the two thighs and loosen the two shoulders and let the qi sink down.

The jing (internal force) raises from the feet, changes into the legs, is stored in the chest, moved in the shoulders and commanded in the waist. The upper part connects to the two arms and the lower part follows the legs. It changes inside. To gather is to close and to release is to open. If it is quiet, it is completely still. Still means to close. In closing there is opening. If it is moving, everything moves. Moving is open. In opening there is closing. When the body is touched it revolves freely. Thre is nowhere that does not obtain power. Then you can attract to emptiness and use four ounces to deflect a thousand pounds.

Practicing the form every day is the kung fu (way of practicing) of knowing yourself. When you start to practice, first ask yourself, "Did my whole body follow the previous principles or not?" If one little place didn't follow (them), then correct it immediately. Therefore, in practicing the form we want slowness not speed.

Push hands is the kung fu of knowing others. As for movement and stillness, although it is to know others, you must still ask yourself. If you arrange yourself well, when others touch you, you don't move a hair. Follow the opportunity and meet his jing (internal force) and let him naturally fall outward. If you feel someplace (in your body) is powerless, it is double weighted and unchanging. You must first seek (the defect) in yin and yang, opening and closing. Know yourself and know others: in one hundred battles you will win one hundred times.

Five Word Formula By Li I Yu
Translated by Ben Lo Et Al in the book "The Essence Of T'ai Chi Ch'uan


The mind should be calm. If it is not, one cannot concentrate, and when the arm is raised, (whether) forward or back, left or right, it is completely without certain direction. Therefore it is necessary to maintain a calm mind. In beginning to move, you cannot control (it) by yourself. The entire mind must (also) experience and comprehend the movements of the opponent. Accordingly, when (the movement) bends, it then straightens, without disconnecting or resisting. Do not extend or retreat by yourself. If my opponent has li (strength), I also have li, but my li is previous (in exact anticipation of his). If the opponent does not have li, I am also without it (li), but my mind is still previous. It is necessary to be continually mindful; to whatever part (of the body) is touched the mind should go. You must discover the information by non-discrimination and non-resistance. Follow this method, and in one year, or a half-year, you will instinctively find it in your body. All of this means use i (mind), not jing (internal force). After a long time the opponent wilI be controlled by me and I will not be controlled by him.


If the body is clumsy, then in advancing or retreating it cannot be free; therefore it must be agile. Once you raise your arm, you cannot appear clumsy. The moment the force of the opponent touches my skin and hair, my mind is already penetrating his bones. When holding up the arms the qi (breath) is threaded together continuously. When the left side is heavy, it then empties, and the right side is already countering. When the right is heavy, it empties, and the left is already countering. The qi is like a wheel, and the whole body must mutually coordinate. If there is any uncoordinated place, the body becomes disordered and weak. The defect is to be found in the waist and legs. First the mind is used to order the body. Follow the opponent and not yourself (your own inclination). Later your body can follow your mind, and you can control yourself and still follow the opponent. When you only follow yourself, you are clumsy, but when you follow (coordinate with) the opponent, you are lively. When you can follow your opponent, then your hands can distinguish and weigh accurately the amount of his force, and measure the distance of his approach with no mistake. Advancing and retreating everywhere (the coordination) is perfect. After studying for a long time, your technique will become skillful.

To Gather the Qi

If the qi is dispersed, then it is not stored (accumulated) and is easy to scatter. Let the qi penetrate the spine and the inhalation and exhalation be smooth and unimpeded throughout the entire body. The inhalation closes and gathers, the exhalation opens and discharges. Because the inhalation can naturally raise and also uproot the opponent, the exhalation can naturally sink down and also discharge (fa fang) him. This is by means of the i (mind), not the li (strength) mobilizing the qi (breath).

The Complete Jing

The jing of the (whole) body, through practice becomes one unit. Distinguish clearly between substantial and insubstantial. To fa jing (discharge) it is necessary to have root. The jing starts from the foot, is commanded by the waist, and manifested in the fingers, and discharge through the spine and back. One must completely raise the spirit (pay attention) at the moment when the opponent's jing is just about to manifest, but has not yet been released. My jing has then already met his (jing), not late not early. It is like using a leather (tinder) to start a fire, or like a fountain gushing forth. (In) going forward or stepping back, there is not even the slightest disorder. In the curve seek the straight, store, then discharge; then you are able to follow your hands and achieve a beneficial result. This is called borrowing force to strike the opponent or using four ounces to deflect thousand pounds.

Shen Concentrated

Having the above four, then you can return to concentrated spirit: if the spirit is concentrated, then it is (continuous and) uninterrupted, and the practice of qi (breath) returns to the shen (spirit). The manifestation of qi moves with agility. (When) the spirit is concentrated opening and closing occur appropriately and the differentiation of substantial and insubstantial is clear. If left is insubstantial, the right is substantial, and vice versa. Insubstantial does not mean completely without strength. The manifestation of the qi must be agile Substantial does not mean completely limited. The spirit must be completely concentrated. It is important to be completely in the mind (heart) and waist, and not outside.

Not being outside or separated, force is borrowed from the opponent, and the ch'i is released from the spine. How can the qi discharge from the spine? It sinks downward from the two shoulders, gathers to the spine, and pours to the waist. This is qi from up to down and is called "closed". From the waist the qi mobilizes the spine, spreads to the two arms and flows to fingers. This is qi from down to up and is called "opened". Closed is gathering, and opened is discharging When you know opening and closing, then you know ,yin and ~ang. Reaching this level your skill will progress with the days and you can do as you wish.

Four Word Secret Formula By Wu Yu Xiang
Translation taken from T.Y. Pang's book "On Tai Chi Chaun"

To Spread is to circulate the Qi in my body, to spread it upon his strength so he cannot move freely.

To Cover is to use my Qi to cover the point of his attack.

To Confront is to use my Qi to match his approach precisely.

To Swallow is to use my Qi to receive and transform his power completely.

These four words are formless and soundless. Only one who understands strength and achieves the finest stages can know the meaning of what has been said here about Qi. Only one who cultivates his Qi correctly so that it spreads to the body's four limbs will be able to respond to the soundlessness and formlessness of these four words.

Hitting Hands Sparring Releasing
Translated by Peter Lim Tian Tek

Peng - Upper Flat

Ye - Entering Sound

Yi - Upper Sound

Hai - Entering Sound

Hu - Upper Sound




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