Ten Essences of Yang Cheng Fu
Lift head ( Insubstantial Up! ) , Allow Substantial Down!
Sink the shoulders and elbows
Chest loosened, Back Rounded
Loosen waist and hips
Separate substantial and insubstantial
Coordinate upper and lower body
Coordinate internal intent and external frame
Use mind not force
Seek stillness in motion, Motion in stillness
Tai Ji Classics
Treatise by Masters Chang San-feng, Wong Chung-yua & Wu Yu-hsiang
Once you begin to move, the entire body must be light and limber. Each part of your body should be connected to each of the other parts.
The internal energy should be extended, vibrated like a drum. The spirit should be condensed in toward the center of your body.
When performing Tai Ji, it should be perfect. Allow no defect. The form should be smooth with no unevenness and continuous, allowing no interuptions.
The internal energy, Chi, roots at the feet, then transfers through the legs and is controlled from the waist, moving eventually throught the back to the arms and fingertips
When transferring the chi from your feet to your waist, your body must operate as if all the parts were one. This allows you to move forward and backward freely, with control of balance and position. Failure to do this causes loss of control of the entire body system. The only cure for such a problem will be the examination of the stance. Application of these principles promotes the flowing Tai Ji movement in any direction: Forward, Backward, Right Side and Left Side
In all of this, you must emphasize the use of the mind in controlling your movements, rather than the use of mee external muscular force.You should also follow the Tai Ji principle of Opposites:When you move upward, the mind must be aware of downward: When you moving forward, the mind is aware of all things moving back. When shifting to the right side , the mind should simultaneously notice the left side. So, if the mind is going Up, it is also going Down.
Such principles relate to the Tai Ji movement in the same way that uprooting an object
and thereby destroying it’s foundation will make the object fall sooner.
Besides clearly distinguishing the positive and the negative form one another, you should also clearly locate the insubstantial form the substantial. When the body is integrated with all parts connected together, it behaves as a vast connection of positive and negative units. Each positive and negative unit of Energy should be connected to each other unit and permit No interruption between them.
In the long forms, your body should move likethe rythmic flow of water on a river, or like the rolling waves of the ocean.
In the long form, Ward Off, Rollback, Press, Push, Roll-pull ( Pluck), Split, Elbow and Lean Forward(Shouldering) are called the froms of the eight ( Pa- Kua ) Diagram. The movements encompass the eight directions. In stance, Moving FOrward, Moving Backward, Moving to the Right Side, MOving to the Left Side , and Staying to the Center, are called the ” Five Style Steps”. Ward Off, Rollback, Press and Push are called the Four Cardinal Directions. Roll-Pull, Split, Elbowing and Shouldering are called the Four Diagonals. Frontward, Backward, Leftside, Rightside and Center are called Metal, Wood, Water, Fire and Earth respectively.When combined these forms constitute the “Thirteen Original Style of Tai Ji Quan”.
Tai Ji is born out of ther infinity. It is the origin of the positive and the negative. When tai Ji is in motion, the positive and the negative separate. When Tai Ji stops, the positive and the negative integrate.
When practicing Tai Ji , doing too much is the same as doing too little. So when the body is in motion, it should follow the curve to extend the movements.
If your opponent’s side is hard, change your own side to make it soft, this is called “Following”. If your opponent is moving and you adhere to him while following in the same direction , it is called “Sticking”. Then you are attached to your opponent: When he moves faster, you move faster. When he moves slower, you move slower, therby matching his movement.
So, regardless of your opponents’s actions, the principle of your response remains the same. Once this type of movement has become your own, you will understand Internal Power.
After coming to an understanding of the internal power of movement, you can approach the theory of natural awareness. Natural awareness is developed through practice over a long period of time: You cannot reach the understanding of natural awareness, suddenly. It develops with proper practice over an extended length of time.
When you practice Tai Ji you should relax the neck and suspend your head as if from a height above you. Internal power should sink to the lower part of the abdomen. Your posture should keep to the center. Do not lean in any direction. Yuor mvements should be constantly changing from substantial to insubstantial. If your left side is light ,make your right side heavy. If your right side feels heavy ,make your left side disappear.
Make your opponent feel that when he looks upward, you are much taller, and when he looks downward, you are much lower. When he moves forward, he should feel he cannot reach you, and when he retreats, he should feel that he has nowhere to escape. your body’s sensitivity should be such that you are aware of the tinist feather brushing against your skin. Even a mosquito should find no place toland on you without causing you to move. There will be no way for your opponent to detect or control you, but you will be aware of your opponent and control him.
If you achieve this level of sensitivity, there is no force taht will defeat you. There are thousands of methods and techniques in the martial arts. Regardless of the techniques and postures emplpoyed most depend on physical condition( strong desroys weak) and speed ( fast defeats slow). So that the weak must lose to the strong , and the slow must lose to the fast. This , however , is dependent on physical ability and does not relate to the discipline which we now discuss.
Look into the technique of using four ounces of energy to control the force of a thousand pounds. Such techniques do not depend on brute force to succeed.
Observe the ability of an old man who can successfully defend himself against many opponents at once. This proves that speed does not determine victory.
When you practice Tai Ji you should stand with your posture balanced like a scale. When you move, your movements should revolve effortlessly as the turn of the wheel.
Following the changing situation you move as is necessary. If you are unable to respond in this way you will become double weighted. Often martial artists who have practiced for years still cannot move properly and follow the flow of their opponent’s movement. This is because they are hindered by their own mistake of double weightedness.
To avoid double weightedness you should further understand that positive and negative must compliment each other. Then you will understand the flow of internal power and having repeatedly practiced and refined your technique and having explored your awareness, you can then use and control your internal power at will.
Tai Ji principle is as simple as this :Yield yourself and follow external forces. Instead of doing this , most practicioners ignore such obvious and simple principles and search for a more remote and impractical method. This is called the “inches mistake”. That when developed ,unawareness, becomes the variant distance of a thousand miles. All disciples of Tai Ji should be aware of this and study it diligently.
Use your mind to exercise your internal energy. Let the internal energy sink to your body. Eventually the internal energy can be condensed into the bone marrow.
Drive the internal energy to move your entire body. Make certain that hte internal energy circulates smoothly and completely. Eventually, the internal energy can follow the direction of your will.
If essence and spirit can be raised, then there is no need for concern with being slow and awkward. This is called extending and suspending the crown point.
If mind and internal energy can be freely exchanged, then there is much stisfaction in performing smoothly and dynamically. This is called exchanging negative and positive.
When transferring internal power, it should be sunk, attached, relaxed and completed. The power should also be concentrated in one direction. When performing, you should be centered, balanced,stable and comfortable. You should also control the eight directions.
Circulating your internal energy is just like guiding a thread through the “nine channel pearl”, then nothing can block the circulation.
Exercising your internal powere is just like refining metal into the purest steel. Then nothing can not be destroyed.
In performing the froms, you should be like the eagle which glides serenely on the wind, but which can soop instantly to pluck a rabbit from the ground.
Your mind should be centered, like the placid cat-peacefl but able to respond instantly to the scurrying mouse.
When in stillness you should be as the mountain. When in motion you should move like the water of the river.
When condensing the internal power, it should be like the pulling of a bow; when projecting the internal power, it should be like the shooting of an arrow.
In T’ai Chi movement, folow the curve to be aware of the straight line. In internal exercise, reserve the energy for transferring the power.
Transfer of power comes from the spine. Change of position follows the movement of our body.
Therefore, in Tai Chi “drawing in” leads to “projecting out”; “interruption” leads to “connection.”
When you move in and out , your entire body acts like an accordian, folding and unfolding. When you move forward and backward, your stance changes in varied, dynamic manner.
In T’ai Chi, being very soft and pliable leads to being very hard and strong. Command of the proper breathing techniques leads to command of free and flexible movement.
Cultivate internal energy in a direct way only, and you will do yourself no harm. Store internal power in an indirect way ony, and you will build great reserves.
In transferring power, your mind acts like the banner, internal energy acts like the flag, and your waist acts like the pennant. In perfecting your forms, begin with large and extended movements, which with time, will become compact and concentrated.
Also it is said: if there is no motion, you will remain still. If there is even aslight change, you have already moved accordingly.
Bear in mind that once you move, everything should be in motion; when you are still, everything should be in stillness.
When practicing Push Hands, as you move forwars and backward the internal energy should attach to your back and condense into you spinal column.
Your spirit should be controlled internally; externally you should appear calm and comfortable.
When changing position, you should move like a cat. Exercising the internal power is like the delicate reeling of silk.
Your entire body should be controlled by the mind and spirit. Do not attempt to control the body solely by breathing, because this will make your movements slow and plodding. Controlling the body by breathing yields no internal power; it is only by avoiding such error that you can develop the purest and strongest internal power.
Internal power should be likened to the spinning of a wheel. the waist turns the axle of the wheel in motion.