San Shou (Sparring Hands)
By Cheng Man Qing
Translated by Ben Lo and Martin Inn in "Cheng Tzu's Thirteen Treatises On T'ai Chi Chuan"

San Shou means free fighting. There is no definite method to it. Both T'ui shou [Push Hands] and Ta Lu issue from familiarity with the correct touch. From familiarity with the correct touch you will learn to t'ing jing [listen to strength]. After learning t'ing jing, you will gradually comprehend tung jing [understanding trength]. After comprehending tung jing, nothing any longer seems touched or not touched, scattered or not scattered, adhered to or not adhered to, followed or not followed. All are unnecessary explanations. They do not touch on the main point. The way of San Shou is located in the Five Elements and called chin, t'ui, ku, pan, ding. If you can tung jing and know the technique, then the application is complete. I followed Professor Yang for seven years and only one jing was difficult to learn. It was chieh jing [receiving jing]. If your achievement reaches this level then you do not have to worry about the other kinds of jing. The explanation of chieh jing found through the analogy of someone throwing a ball to hit me. If I resist the ball or hit it, it will bounce out. This is the jing of colliding and is not chieh jing. If the ball is light, it will be easy to bounce it out. However, if the ball's weight is several hundred pounds, how can I bounce it out? Hence, colliding is not correct. You must attract it and then toss it out. This is chieh jing. If the ball is moving slow or fast, or is light or heavy it is still he same. Chan [adhere], t'ing [listen], t'i [raise], fang [discharge] are all in it. Combine attraction and discharge almost simultaneously. The power is intensified in a very small space. This almost attains the highest wisdom in which San Shou becomes meaningless. Therefore, I say nothing can replace T'ai Chi Ch'uan. It is the supreme. Besides chieh jing there is nothing else.

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