Peng Jing FAQ Cross Reference
By Peter Lim Tian Tek

The Peng Jing FAQ was first compiled by the Neijia Mailing List as a collection of information which proported supports their unique definition and ideas about Peng Jing as the core of Taijiquan. The Peng Jing FAQ is ecclectic in nature in its contents and the cross reference does not intimate that what is quoted from the original posters is their personal opinion. It is simply a commentary to the FAQ and not its contributors who may have simply reported information that has come their way.

> ========================================================
>from Tai Chi Boxing Chronicle
>by Kuo Lien-Ying

We are not certain that this book is actually from Kuo's work since the Author does not identify himself clearly and the Peng Jing material is not in Mdm Kuo's book or Kuo's book in Chinese published in the 60s. It post dates Gu's book.

>From: Jesse Marandino
>Jingyu Gu, third generation student of Wu Jian-Quan lineage, practitioner
>of taiji for +20 years:
>Jingyu "Don't even talk about any of the other jings if you do not
>understand peng-jing."

We have no documentary evidence for this one. It is certain that other books by Wu Jian Quan's students do not emphasize this. That the learning sequence for the Jing follows the order Peng Lu Ji An Chai Lieh Chou Kao, it is not surprising that the statement is such, but the sequence is not in order of importance. We note that Wu Jian Quan's own material does not have this emphasis. We also note that this does not mean that the other jings are not more important or can be ignored.

>[[in discussion about written commentary in re 'peng jing']]
>I wouldn't say as recent as Feng ZhiQiang...I would push it back as far as
>Chen FaKe, who was reported to have said that there are two types of peng,
>one being the technique, one being *the* basic taiji jing, and *is* the
>silk reeling jing. That would be from the period that he was in beijing
>(1930's to late 50's). In Shen JiaZhen's Chen style taijiquan book
>(1963), he clearly and unmistakablly identified peng jing as the basic
>internal strength of taijiquan. Since Shen JiaZhen's book was viewed as

Shen Jia Zhen's book was co-authored with Gu. That is the one we are referring to, the 1963 book. Gu was the primary author and was in charge of producing a series of books on the different styles of TCC for the government to disseminate. We note that both had studied Yang style before and so would have been familiar with the Eight Gates Jing (the 8 basic Jings of the Yang related lineages). Early Chen references and even some later ones, including those from the mentioned Feng Zhi Qiang and also Chen Xiao Wang maintain the same emphasis as Chen Xin's seminal work in stating the Chan Ssu Jing is the basic Taijiquan Jing. This relating only took place in 1963 when the book was published. Since both Feng and Chen Xiao Wang derive their arts from Chen Fa Ke, one being a relative and the other his disciple, one would expect that they share the same emphasis as Chen Fa Ke on this matter which seems to be the case. This would dispell as myth Chen Fa Ke's reported emphasis above.

>the definitive work representing Chen FaKe's teaching in his later years
>(the book had inputs from many of FaKe's students, and was edited by Chen
>ZhouKui), and was considered as the official Chen style book, I believe
>this is when *it* started (he even said taijiquan is peng jing quan).
>Heck, most of Chen style stuff and silk reeling stuff in Jou Tsung Hwa's
>book were "copied" from this book. So he has this half-cooked idea about
>peng as the basic jing, but then he mixed it up with the peng technique
>from Yang style, added in the description of peng from Shen JiaZhen's
>book, and some of his ideas, and you have this strange section in the
>chapter (heck the entire chapter) where you don't really know exactly
>he got his sources. I used the same trick writing thesis report in my
>undergrad years. :)
>As I said, Shen's book crystalized the concept and made it public.
>However Chen FaKe did metion it earlier (as reported in Hung JunShen's
>book). Before that there doesn't seem to have any record describing peng
>jing as *the* basic jing. So I'd say no earlier than 1930's and no later
>than 1963.

He's right here, there was no references earlier than this one describing Peng Jing as the basic Jing. We note that Hung Jun Shen's book should be taken in context, a mere mention of the words Peng Jing does not mean that he held it pre-eminant. We note that Chen's disciple, Li Jing Wu, whose material formed the basis of Gu and Shen's book on Taijiquan does not have such emphasis and Li's own writings and system of Internal Strength stresses the training of Jing (essence), Qi (vital energy) and Shen (Conciousness/Spirit).

>Fu Sheng Yuan has not written on this, however, we certainly have had some
>good discussion on it. Fu S.Y. has repeatedly told me that without peng jin
>there is no tai chi. Those who say otherwise clearly do not understand the
>art. The fault, he believes, is of poor or incomplete understanding by
>"teachers" not the students.
>LeRoy Clark
> >[Note: Fu Shen Yuan is Fu Zong Wen's son. Fu Zong Wen was Yang Chengfu's
> nephew. TWC]

But of course, missing any one of the 8 jings would make the art incomplete. But this emphasis on Peng jing is missing from Fu S.Y.'s book and the book he coauthored with his father Fu Zhong Wen on Taijiquan and its proper transmission and teaching.

>From: Jack Rowley
>> Thought a quote from Ling ZhiAn article in "T'ai Chi"'s latest
>> would amuse and beguile:
>> "Generally, we separate jing into eight kinds of jing. But altogether
>> is only one jing. That is called
>> peng jing, or ward off energy. Peng jing means that your limbs and
>> extend and issue the energy like
>> a spring."
>> He said that when you issue peng jing, you must combine it with
>> mind and qi. But if you
>> extend your limbs and body and overdo it, then you become rigid.

This is a late reference. Issuing energy is fa-jing not peng jing. Peng Jing is used to Ward Off upwardly and outwardly, like water on a boat on its surface. Fa-jing can be effected in any posture but it is distinct from the primary jing that is the foundation of the posture. Peng jing is already one of the 8 jings which relate to the 8 trigrams. All 8 are given equal emphasis in material that predates the 1963 book.

>From: wooi
>This is a quote Gu Luixin attributed to Hong Junsheng and used in his
>book Pao Chui (published by Hai Feng I believe in 1983 or so):
>'Taiji is peng jing, movements are done in spirals'

This is also a late reference by the same man that wrote the 1963 book that first posited it. This is not the only view on the structure of Taijiquan, it is not in line with the early material where we find no equivalent. We note that in Gu's last book in 1985 'Taijiquan shu', he no longer equates Peng Jing with Internal strength nor does he repeat that statement. In fact, Peng Jing in that book is no longer stressed as being pre-eminant.

>[[researched by Forrest Chang]]
> Quoted from an interview with Yang Zhen Duo (son of Yang Cheng
>Fu) in T'ai Chi Magazine, vol 19. No. 5.:
> "Normally, when we talk about peng( ward off)," Yang said, "we
>are not talking about the ward off in the the form .. the left ward
>off and right ward off. Peng is to intentionally let go and make the
>body loose so the body is connected. The inner feeling is that it is
>like there is a metal spring in the body. This is ward off"..............
> < Yang goes off and describes qualities of
> roll back, ji, an, tsai, lieh, kao >
> .............
> He said that these energies should not be confused with
>specific postures and cited the example of the ward off postures.
>energy). And this is done continuously. As soon as you stay loose,
>you have ward off energy. So EVERY FRAME HAS WARD OFF ENERGY. But in
>some postures it is more apparent".

This is not reflected in Yang Zhen Duo's material in his two books, one in Chinese, the other in English. It is also missing from his older brothers, Yang Zhen Ji's book and Yang Shou Chung's book. One would expect that something that he feels is as important as this would be recorded in his signature works. We note similar attributions to Chen Xiao Wang but we have material from him that contradicts this which makes such reporting suspect. (Forest is simply repeating the material, he is not the source nor does it imply that it is his opinion)

>Allen Chen:
> > I tend to agree that such a reference is rare outside of the Chen FaKe
> > line. Although Ma YueLiang did have a similar reference in his push hand
> > book. But really, I don't see the problem. It doesn't really matter
> > which term you use to describe the basic internal strength.
> >
> > I think the whole point is about "doing", and not about names.
>Jim Keenan:
> >>The point is not accuracy in translation. The point is use of the
> >>term.
>Allen Chen:
> > The point is about accuracy in "concept". Who cares if you call it
> > "neijing", "pengjing", "chansijing", "zhengjing", "huenyuenjing",
> > "zhengtijing", or ahgo ahmao jing?

Change the meaning of the terms of reference and you change the concept and hence the art.

>from a post by Terry Chan:
>These are all good points. People have already mentioned
>Ma Yueliang's and Kuo Lien-ying's references. Forrest
>posted the recent interview with Yang Zhenduo of the Yang
>family and if you look back at several of the featured
>interviews in _T'ai Chi_ (famous and not so famous guys
>and from different styles), there has already been a clear
>and fair amount of usage to convey the importance and
>usefulness of this concept.
>Peter Lim, in his salad days, once wrote a post translating
>excerpts of a book by Zhang Yijun, who compiled the the
>teachings of his teacher, Li Yaxuan (aka Li Chunnian), a
>noted disciple of Yang Chengfu (the book is _Taijiquan Li
>Chuan Chen_, published in 1986).
>After a general discussion on jing, Li discusses peng jing
>and noted:
> "Peng Jing is after long periods of sincere practice of Taijiquan and
> push hands, resulting in a type of sung (no tension) yet not sung, soft
> but carring in it hard, active but sunk and heavy, elastic and pliable
> type of jing, which includes sticking (nien), neutralising (hua),
> bouyant (fu), trapping (kun) usage type of jing, also called internal
> jing (neijing)". Also we have from from myrid schools and students who
> hold "Taiji is peng jing, movement goes spiraling (luo xuan)" as the
> central maxim.
>Again this comment (esp. the last sentence) is relayed by a
>disciple of Yang Chengfu, not through the Chen Fake line. If
>he saw things that way, it certainly sounds like the idea of
>peng jing being a central basis of Taijiquan is probably more
>widespread than what [some people] seem to believe.

If you look carefully at the article, the author says that that last line is inaccurate. To read it out of context like this would be tantamount to an attempt at misinformation. The whole article which speaks against regarding Peng Jing as the core jing or pre-eminant jing can be found on this website. This would recommend that we examine the context in the information contained in the Peng Jing FAQ and whether they have been taken in context and in the original meaning of the sources.

>Why and how does this idea of looking at peng jing (esp. on
>this list) come about? Of Taijiquan's traditional eight
>powers (peng, li, ji, an, cai, lie, zhou, kao), the most
>straightward is peng. An old method of training is to train
>in one posture until you get the body mechanics (internal and
>external) correct (a method not generally used much these days).
>When you have this initial understanding or foot in the door,
>it is much easier to understand the others instead of trying to
>do all eight (much less couple them with the five elements).
>Perhaps that's why Ma Yueliang calls the understanding of peng
>is when the beginner crosses the threshold into real learning.

Note that the chapter quoted from the book deals with the 13 kinetic movements, i.e. the 13 postures of TCC not jings. Peng is the first to be taught and one should get that right first before he goes into real learning of the 13 techniques.

>When you approach the training of the neijia with this practical
>orientation, it's easy to see why people do say "peng jing" or
>Taiji is all peng-based. Of course, if we take this discussion
>out of the abstract and the academic, it's not going to be
>exactly accurate because really, if you examine the form, none
>of the eight postures stand on their own. They're present in
>different combinations (depending on the application) but that's
>too complex. [It's] For exposition and understanding of how to
>develop Taiji skill that they're broken out and discussed this way.

From a practical orientation, all 8 jings are needed. If there was only Peng Jing then wouldn't it be clearly stated in the Classics and the works of early noted masters? This emphasis is a late phenomena not in line with the earlier material from all schools of Taijiquan.

>Of course, if one is only interested in the academic sphere of
>things and not in what it takes to help people reach a level
>of skill, then the practical approach is going to drive you crazy.
>Even if it were only Feng Zhiqiang, Ma Yueliang, and Yang Zhenduo
>saying this, it would be useful enough for me. I'm not into the
>theory and writings of past masters for the semantic and linguistic
>pleasures but for the practical insights that their writings and
>approach can give.

Actually Feng Zhi Qiang's material focuses more on silk reeling jing. In the books I have read by him, he does not mention that Peng Jing is the central Jing. We note that the reference to Mah Yueh Liang is inaccurate and that for Yang Zhen Duo is most probably so as well since we have material from him on the whole content of the art without a single mention of such an emphasis.

>The other point is, I don't know of any outstanding writer who's
>also of any high skill at Taijiquan. If great linguistic facility
>(or mathematics) was what it takes to "really understand" Taijiquan
>(or whatever), then the highest levels of accomplishment would be
>dominated by those sorts of people. Somehow, that doesn't seem to
>work out.
>Terry Chan
>From: Mike Sigman
>Although there is some cavilling about the term "peng (jing)", I think
>that the relationship of "peng" as in "wardoff" and "peng" as the core
>jing (which powers wardoff and most of the internal movements, when its
>sophistication is understood).. is obvious to someone who really has and
>understands the skills. I have never run into an argument about "peng"
>except from people who don't really understand the use of the jing (and I
>mean in more than just letting someone test your "root").
>As a background, let me quote from a Wu-style book by Ma Yueh Liang and
>Zee Wen about peng:
>"Peng. It is the concealed strength because it is created mainly by
>feeling and crafty and it can be barely discerned in the surface of the
>forms. It ranks first in the Thirteen Kinetic Movements, which
>indicates its importance. In tuishou practice, the learner is said to
>have crossed the threshold only when he has learned the meaning and
>method of warding. Beginners often take years to accomplish this.....
>While practicing, not only the hands and arms, but any part of the body
>get into contact with the other side should one makes use of the warding

Please see above point on how this is quoted out of context. What is referred to is Peng the technique/posture. M.Sigman's definition of Peng Jing is different from Mah's since Mah does not refer to it as a jing path or body alignment. We note here that the definition used by the Chinese masters differs from the one used for the term in this FAQ and so references to the material of Chinese masters should take this into account.

>It has been described as an audible force, because you can detect the
>fine motions of your opponent as if through the sense of hearing, and you
>can thus make a repid response for rapid attack and a slow response for
>slow offensive. It is also a force of support and attack."

That is ting jing (listening to strength) which is a component of all TCC techniques. It is a constituant part of Peng the posture/technique. This is a result of nian jing or sticking jing which maintains contact with the opponent and so enables the exponent to 'listen' for the opponent's structure and centre.

>(from Wu Style "Taichichuan Tuishou" by Ma Y.L. and Zee Wen)
>In the above quote, there is a mirroring of the common idea that peng
>jing is the core, without which one is not doing "real" (tm) Taiji. :^)
>However, there is also the comment about peng's use as an "audible" force
>for listening to the opponent's body and motions.

Since the above quote is talking about Peng the posture/technique, the subsequent conclusion is therefore inaccurate.

>"Listening" and "Sensitivity" have been interpretted (as has just about
>everyother term related to the neijia) to mean whatever a particular
>teacher chooses to mean (all the while believing that his/her intuition
>is infallible, etc.). Almost everyone who has some experience in not
>only static, but moving jing has had the experience of feeling another
>person and being able to locate tensions, off-balance areas, beginnings
>movements, etc.

What they mean is quite clearly stated in the Classics actually. For more elaboration, please see the articles on this website.

>On the other hand, there are many "sensitivities" that someone can
>develop that have nothing to do with peng jing. For instance, it doesn't
>take much practice to rest a wrist against another's arm and lightly
>maintain contact while the other person moves their arm about. Yet this
>is not "Listening" in the neijia sense.

Its nian jing (sticking jing) and its from that contact that you can 'listen'. How you use the information gathered from this 'listening' is the function of the 13 postures, each of which are comprised of several jings.

>The point I was slowly getting to was to express an opinion (i.e., I
>could be wrong and I'm interested in others' opinions) about
>"listening". In my experience, I think that establishing a good peng
>path to your hands (or other body areas) allows a constant base from
>which to judge things. In other words, it is like a comparator circuit
>or any sensing device which has a known "base" to use as a comparison.

What he is talking about is jing path which is related to rooting, Peng is a jing, its not a path. There is relates to Li I Yu's Five Character Classic in which there is a section on Zheng Jing which describes the generation of jing. The path of that jing takes does not denote its name in Taiji normanclature, its usage and characteristics does.

>When I touch someone, I am trying to feel the ground through them.
>Anything that hinders a "pure" ground signal is obvious, whether it is a
>tense shoulder, tense back, unbalanced posture, etc. When someone moves
>their arms using local arm and shoulder musculature (as opposed to
>manipulationg the ground strength with the waist and back), it is
>immediately apparent, no matter what their spiel is. :^)

Feel his centre of mass which may or may not be supported by the ground. Some techniques from other styles don't always have their feet on the ground. Also, from related material from Chen Wei Ming, etc, we are given knowledge that the body should be separated into parts when neutralising, it prevents one's opponent from getting to the centre of mass or the root thus upsetting it.

>So the question is, what is the exact mechanism of using the peng jing as
>a "detector" of another persons posture and moves?

Detection comes from nian jing which maintains contact and ting jing which exerts a correct pressure to 'listen'. With this information then the 8 jings can be used appropriately. As Yang Zhen Ji puts it, 'bu nian bu nen da' or cannot stick then cannot fight.

>>From Mon Jul 22 14:06:35 1996
>Hong JunSheng is one of the very senior and still surviving student of
>Chen FaKe. His skill is so high the Japanese call him "wizard hand". He
>also tries to preserve the authenticity of Chen FaKe's teaching, and I
>think it's quite safe to say that he can represent Chen FaKe's ideas with
>great accuracy. Below are some (unauthorized) translations from his
>Any mistake in the translation is probably, well most likely, mine.:
>"There are two aspects of Peng. One is referred to the 'jing' aspect,
>which is the 'silk reeling jing'. This jing is obtained naturally through
>prolonged training in the interchanging of opposing helical motion. My
>teacher Chen FaKe called this 'peng jing', which is what is commonly known
>as "neijing" [internal strength]. Applying this jing through various
>techniques we have the eight techniques of taijiquan. The second aspect
>is the Peng Technique from the eight techniques. This is a technique for
>meeting the incoming hand of the opponent.............The emphasis of the
>Peng Technique is on the leading and neutralizing of the incoming force."

This terminology and emphasis is missing from the works of his classmates Chen Ji Pu, Feng Zhi Chiang, Li Jing Wu, etc. So this cannot be said to be representative of Chen Fa Ke's views. We also note that what he may be speaking about is probably not the same 'Peng Jing' that this FAQ refers to since its definition of the term is different from that of the Chinese masters. This is also a late reference.

>"Chen Xin said: 'Taijiquan is Chan Fa [the technique of reeling and
>winding].' He also said: "if you don't understand this, you don't
>understand taijiquan." It is clear that the fundamentals of taijiquan is
>the reeling technique. The appearance of the motion in Chen style
>taijiquan is helical. This form of spiral movement not only appears on
>the surface of the skin, but also appears inside through the whole body.
>It causes every joint, muscle bundle, and even every cell to experience
>motion. Through repeated stretching and twining in the training for a
>prolonged period of time, the body will naturally attain a resilient and
>elastic strength that is loose and yet not loose at the same time. This
>is the silk reeling jing. In the Chen style this is also known as "peng
>jing",or the "neijing" commonly known in taijiquan literature. ChanFa,
>the 'technique of reeling', then, is the various application of this

Silk reeling jing is from Chen style, the other styles refer to using jing like reeling silk which is another matter altogether. Peng Jing and neijing are two different things actually, whilst peng jing is a kind of neijing, so are the other jings in TCC and neijing is present in other arts and is different from Chen style's silk reeling jing. We note that Chen Xin did emphasis Chan Ssu Jing but not Peng jing in his book so the above which attempts to link Peng Jing to Chan Ssu Jing is inaccurate.

>"We must understand how to apply hardness and softness, what is softness,
>what is hardness, and how hardness and softness can interchange and
>compliment each other. People who do not study Chen style taijiquan, or
>study it but don't understand the technique of reeling, when they apply
>hardness and softness their motion are usually linear. Or maybe they

Actually all styles of TCC stress circularity in motion and in jing usage.

>understand how to move in large orbital curves, but they don't have the
>spin coupling with the orbital motion. The result is that when they use
>hardness they feel they are resisting, when they use softness they would
>feel they are letting go. All motion in Chen style taijiquan, whether it
>is large or small, are spinning. If you turn half a circle, you have 180
>degrees of arc composed of points. At the contact point with your
>opponent, if you meet the motion head on (meeting the point), then you
>feel hardness; if you meet the motion from the side (meeting the arc),
>then you feel softness. If your point meets the opponent's arc it will

One of the core principles in TCC is not to resist and not to lose contact, the curves can be both large and small and spin coupling is present in other TCC styles as well. Chen style does not have a monopoly on these.

>slide over and becomes softness. Only if you meet point with point will
>the hardness appear. If both sides meet each other head on, however, it
>becomes resisting force with force. At this point, whoever has bigger
>strength and faster motion will bounce out the weaker and slower. In Chen
>style, although you need to use your point to attack the opponent's point,
>you should use the point in the arc from the spinning motion, so during
>fajing there is no feeling of resistance."

If you lead it into emptiness there is no need to fajing even since it uses the opponent's strength to defeat himself. Following his posture and using his strength is another principle in TCC.

>"We can use the motion of the screw as an example. Whether you are
>driving in or taking out the screw, you cannot use pulling or pushing
>motion because of the thread. It feels sticky and yet it can easily move
>in both directions if you just turn the screw. This is what the Classics
>mean when it says 'Nien is Zou, Zou is Nien'........Taijiquan is a whole
>body exercise. The requirement of the body being centered without

Nian means 'to stick' which aptly describes bu tiu bu ding or not letting go, not resisting. It can be done without the spiral emphasis as well and should be applied according to the situation.

>leaning is a vertical thread; the two legs are two threads going down;
>the two arms are threads that can change in any direction depending on the
>situation. When everything is coupled together, the directions can change
>in a million ways, and the opening/closing, substantial/insubstantial, and
>hardness/softness of the jing is very difficult to predict. Although

Not if it finds no purchase and you can detect the jing path and centre of mass. Find its origin and you can influence it directly, that comes from nian jing which permits ting jing which leads to dong jing (understanding jing).

>every part of the body are like the gears in the clock and can have it's
>own motion, the most important part is still the motion of the torso. So
>the Classics says "it is governed at the waist". The turning of the waist
>is what moves the arms and the legs, and the compliment motion of the
>arms and the legs also can not be ignored."

Actually the turning of the Kwa is the primary component of moving the waist, not twisting it and relying solely on torso power. This view is that of many masters including Master Zhu Tian Chai of the Chen Villiage (One of the Four Strong Men of the Chen Village).

All comments are most welcome.

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