Dr Tseng Ju Pai'sTaijiquan Principles And Techniques
Taken from his book 'Primordial Pugilism - Tai Chi Chuan". Dr Tseng was a disciple of the great Master Yang Cheng Fu.

The principles and techniques of Tai Chi Chuan are somewhat unusual. All however are contained in the Golden Maxims handed down by Wu Ho-Ching. For beginners it is necessary to give here a summary.

  1. The vertebral column, especially the neck, should be kept upright, so that the vital fluid (qi) can easily rise to the top and the spirit can constantly rise as well. But in making movements, the chest must be slightly concave and the back slightly convex, so that the breath can sink to the Tan Tien.

  2. The shoulder should be lowered, and the elbow down. If the shoulders are raised they may cause the breath to "float" and the body become feeble. When the elbow rises horizontally, it makes the arm feeble, giving the opponent an opportunity to dislocate it.

  3. The stances and the movements of th ehands should be alternated with Yang (the real or exerted strength) and with Yin (the unreal or lesser strength).

  4. The vital fluid (qi) must always be sinking to the Tan Tien, so that it makes the body not only full of vigour but also tireless.

  5. The whole body, especiallythe abdomen, must be completely relaxed, thus freeing it from nervous tension to ensure smooth flowing of the vital fluid (qi). On this account, the actions in practice must be in accord with respiration, and taken in a relaxed manner, slowly and smoothly. It is advisable to let the body sweat to accelerate the metabolism and to turn out many internal complaints, since sweating is a clensing as well as a cooling process.

  6. The mind must be fixed and calm, then the sense is sober and unafraid. Thus it can freely apply the techniques of the art.

  7. The actions of the body must be co-ordinated with the mind. In emergency the mind works swiftly, and when psychical and physical forces join together they give rise to super-strength (unusual) immediately.

  8. One must keep one's mind on the waist, at all times, loosening it, so that it revolves like a wheel. It must be in harmony with the limbs as an integrated whole, so that the technique is flawless and efficient in application. Do not forget that while putting forth strength the waist must be utilised and keep it unmoved, simply loosen and concentrated only in one direction.

  9. Never use strength against strength. An opponent's force should be yielded to. When the left side is pushed (when force is applied to it) it should become unreal (empty, yielding). Same with the right. The rest can be treated in a similar way. These are negative ways. The positive way is to use the opponent's force, even to throw him, pound or subdue him. The technical term here is "borrowing strength". The techniques of Tai Chi Chuan are the most useful in general to attain this end.

  10. A quick action is received with a quick action. Likewise a slow action with slow. How can one act in response more quickly than the opponent? Attention should be paid to the triangle of his upper body. The top and two shoulders. When the top movess, his leg would be lifted. When his right shoulder moves his right hand would be out. Same with the left. As son as it moves, action should be taken immediately.


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