Pages

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Qi Magazine - Free for Download!




Michael Tse has uploaded all of the issues of Qi Magazine for free download. It was a great resource of information about Chinese Martial Arts, Chinese Culture and Qi Gong in the days before the internet! Thank you Michael Tse!

Friday, August 22, 2014

XINGYI BOXING - THE XINGYI MANUAL OF LI JIANQIU


形意拳術
THE ART OF XINGYI BOXING
李劍秋
by Li Jianqiu
[1920]

[translation by Paul Brennan, Feb, 2013]

發刊形意拳初步宣言
INTRODUCTORY DECLARATION TO THIS PUBLICATION

人生最可惜最痛苦的莫過于身體柔弱精神萎靡,而最幸福的莫過于身體健全,而健全身體之法,有動靜二種,或專從事于筋肉之發達,或專為精神上之修養,如靜坐法,可謂靜功之一種,而各種器械體操及中國之棍劍石鎖雙石杠于等運動則均屬動的,然二者均有流弊,常有因靜坐妄思,而得精神病,因運動過度,而至減少聰明者,皆因不明體育原理之故也。近時代東而各文明國,均注重體育,已視為一種科學,體育家研究結果,均為精神與肉體應同時鍛煉,所為平均發育,身心合一修養人格等主張是也,新創制柔軟體操,即諸此理,但其體育之理論固是,而其術尚未盡善,頑軀孱弱多病,友人勤習拳,不久而漸覺轉健,如是恍然以中國之拳術,精神體魄,同時鍛煉,實合于體育原理,聚以好勇武者,多推魯不文,不能研究奥理,以道后學,而文人又不肯學習,愁焉憂之,乃于民國五年,與體育同學吳志青,創立武術會,號召四方同志,晨夕研究,聲譽日隆,又經全國教育會議决,請教部將吾國固有武術,實行加入學校正科,并立國技專修學校,廣造武士,初則在北四川路,宜樂里,租屋數楹,來學者亦甚寥落,今則購地自建新屋,會員數千人,日習不懈,平日又派教師至男女各中小學校實施傳授,即纏足年老女者,習之稍久亦無困難,由此可知武術施于學校之有利無弊,而身體之健康,尤有特殊之效益也,設會之始,同人早知形意拳優點,南方無人提倡,深為惜之,特函托奉天拳家陳子正先生,物色教師二位慨然允許介紹劉歧祥陳金閣,當時又在商務印書館俱樂部,發起國技研究會,一時加入晨習者數十人,五年以來幸無流弊,而綿薄之力,終不能使之發展,甚自愧也,今與會內外同志立願,以強一身者強吾同胞,強同胞者強吾國家,古入雲:穹則獨善其身,達則甫善天下,予謂人生如欲保守率真天性,淡泊態度,當不取功名利祿,掌生殺之權,擅作威福,以自悦者,則必學崇尚俠德之風,普度衆生,方不虛度一世,吾將以此册風行宇內,而以武術同聲之求,束鹿李劍秋先生,世傳妙術,常應清華學校之请任教授,對形意拳術頗有心得,特聯合宣言,原與好武之士共勉。
上海國術研究會:李劍秋 黃方剛 吳志青 黃警顧 代表全體會員聯合宣言
In a human life, there is no suffering worse than for the body to become weakened and dispirited, and no happiness greater than for the body to made healthy and whole. Methods of making the body healthy divide into two categories: movement, focusing on muscular development, and stillness, focusing on cultivation of spirit. Seated meditation can be categorized as a form of stillness practice, but gymnastics as well as Chinese weapons and weightlifting exercises are all forms of movement practice. However, both of them have their abuses, usually due to absurd ideas about sitting meditation, leading to insanity, or due to the exceeding of limits in movement exercises, resulting in stupidity, all because of ignorance of the principles of physical training.
     In modern times, every nation gives attention to physical education, and it is now considered a field of science. The conclusion of researchers is that body and spirit should be simultaneously trained and thereby evenly developed. By blending them together, the cultivation of moral character is promoted as well. The newly instituted calisthenics follows this principle, but while its physical education theory is solid, as an art it has not yet been perfected.
     Our own bodies were frail and often ill, but we encouraged each other to practice boxing arts, and after not very long we gradually experienced a shift toward health. In this way, we suddenly realized that Chinese martial arts train body and spirit at the same time, and that they conform well to the principles of physical education.
     Upon gathering ardent admirers of martial arts, we found that many were illiterate, unable to study the deeper theory and thereby use it to guide students. Scholars were still not willing to learn these things, which saddened us. Then in 1916, with our fellow student Wu Zhiqing we founded the Martial Arts Society, calling upon our comrades everywhere to research day and night. Its prestige increased with each day, and it came to pass that the nationwide educational system requested there be a department of instruction to make martial arts an intrinsic part of our nation. It was then added to school curriculums, and was also established as a specialist field in educational institutions, producing many martial scholars.
     Beginning on the North Sichuan Road in the Yile neighborhood, we rented a large space, but attracted few students. Having now purchased some land and built a new space ourselves, membership is in the thousands, and they practice every day without slackening. It is now common practice for teachers of these systems to instruct boys and girls in both elementary and high schools. Even the older generation of foot-bound women can practice for quite long periods without discomfort. From this it can be known that having martial arts in schools is a case of nothing but advantages, being particularly beneficial for bodily health.
     When the Society was founded, our colleagues primarily knew the advantages of Xingyi Boxing and that in the south it was not being promoted by anyone. Deeply regretting this situation, we sent a letter to Chen Zizheng of the Fengtian Boxing School, seeking instructors to fill two positions, and he generously recommended Liu Qixiang and Chen Jin’ge. Also at that time, through the social club of the Merchants’ Publishing House we started the Martial Arts Research Association, which soon led to a morning practice session for dozens of people. In the five years since, all goes well with it, but our meager effort has been unable to cause it to grow, for which we are ashamed. Alongside comrades within and beyond the Society, we hereby establish our declaration: “We will strengthen ourselves to strengthen our countrymen, strengthening our countrymen to strengthen our country.”
     An ancient man said [Mengzi, chapter 7a]: “When poor, take care of yourself. When successful, share it with the world.” And so we say that if you want to preserve your true nature and its tranquil bearing, do not seek wealth and fame, or to have power over life and death, authority over punishment and reward. For the sake of self-contentment, we must learn to venerate traditions of chivalry, caring for everyone, and then we are not wasting our lives. We send this book out into the world for those who also seek of martial arts. Li Jianqiu of Shulu [in Hebei] is passing down a wonderful art, and is constantly in demand to instruct at Qinghua University, having a great deal of experience in the Xingyi boxing art. We make this joint declaration with the aim of encouraging those who appreciate martial arts.
     – Making this joint declaration on behalf of the entire Shanghai Martial Arts Research Association are Li Jianqiu, Huang Fanggang, Wu Zhiqing, and Huang Jinggu.

-

形意拳術敍一
1st PREFACE

我國拳術傳之最古,自重文輕武之習俗成,而士夫置之不講,致習者多推魯無文之入,不能有所發揮,遂使固有國粹,日久湮沒,良可痛惜,近數十年,經學校之提倡,喚起國人研究之心,始則隨意練習,繼而采入正科,南北兩派分道并馳,各就所師,以相授受,間有著書立説者,法門務求其廣,形式務求其繁,未能從基本下手,欲學者之獲益,難矣,夫失肢體之動作,苟不與精神并運,則流于器械作用,貌合神離,以之飾觀瞻則可,以言實用則未也,今之拳術,求所謂肢體動作與精神并運者,其莫如形意拳乎,相傳此法創自岳武穆,流傳于大河南北,其法在以意使形,聚氣于小腹,一動一作,形與意無不聯絡,且練習時又無騰躍跌打之姿勢,但求實用,不尚觀瞻,學者不感困難,然及其習至深奧,則非其他各種拳術所可及且得以却病延年,通乎妙道,實合內功外功而一之,宜乎風行于各學校也,束鹿李君劍秋精此術,教授于清華學校既有年,就經驗所得編成此册,黃生方剛請序于余,余門外漢也,未便重違其請,受述數語以遺之。
民國八年十一月蔣維喬敍于京師之宜園。
Our nation’s boxing arts were the earliest to be passed down, but ever since the custom of solemnizing the intellectual and trivializing the martial came to be, scholars have considered it to be something that is beneath them to discuss. Because practitioners were often illiterate, they were unable to give it its full expression and thereby securely fulfill it as the quintessence of our national culture, and so over the course of time it has fallen into oblivion, which we ought to deeply regret.
     For the last several decades, the advocating of it in educational institutions has roused our fellow countrymen to study it. They begin by practicing whatever they are curious about, then select the style that is right for them. The northern and southern systems divide into Daoist and speed-oriented. The teachers of each style are sharing with each other, presenting their theories in books, and seek to show the full range of methodologies and the full variety of postures. But if the basics are neglected, those who want to learn will have a hard time making any progress. You betray the actions of your limbs if you do not train your spirit at the same time, for it would merely be a robotic action, which may look right but actually be missing its vital ingredient. This works for making a decorative visual impression, but is inadequate when talking of practical function.
     In boxing arts nowadays, for those who seek to exercise both body and spirit, nothing compares to Xingyi Boxing. Tradition has it this method was created by Yue Fei, from whom it spread north and south of the Yellow River. Its method lies in using intent to make the posture and gathering energy into the lower abdomen, so that with each movement, the posture and intention are always linked. Furthermore, during the practice of it there are no occasions of leaping up or rolling around, for it seeks only for practical function and has no interest in being eye candy, and so students will not feel it to be difficult. Yet once it has been trained to a deep level, none of the other various boxing arts can live up to it. It obtains for you the preventing of disease and the prolonging of life. It penetrates to the wondrous Way, truly blending internal and external skills into one. It should be a popular feature in every school.
     Li Jianqiu of Shulu [in Hebei] is an expert at this art. He has been teaching it at Qinghua University for years, and has compiled his experience into this book. Huang Fanggang requested a preface of me. Though I am a layman, it would not be right to refuse his request, and so I have bestowed a few words upon you.
     – written by Jiang Weiqiao in Beijing’s Pleasant Park, Nov, 1919

-

形意拳術敍二
2nd PREFACE

人民體質強弱,關乎國家之盛衰,西人以體育為三大要素之一,國人莫不講求,是以舉國體育,無不強者,我國奧古以來,崇尚文風,不事武備,武術一道,久弃弗用,以致人民體質日羸,思之良好浩嘆,王君俊臣,張君遠齋,李君劍秋,均為形意中之巨擘,怵國粹之沉淪,憫體育之不振,屢思提倡形意拳術者久矣,今李君將以數十年經驗所得之奧秘,更悉心研究,集句成書,欲使武術發展,普及全國,庶養成人民勇武之體魄,革除文弱之頹風,得與列強相頡頏,苦心孤詣,欽佩實深,敝人等則身戎行,每于白刃相交,柔弱者輒為強健者所刺傷,即曠日持久,使壯人率能忍勞耐苦,終獲勝利,斯實體質強弱利害之明證,今劍秋君具此苦心,拯救柔弱,功德誠無涯量,書成,囑序于余,余按章披覽,覺語語入微言言中肯,觀畢,竟有按劍起舞之摡,洵近世體育書中杰作也,爰濡筆而為之序焉。
時在巳未猛冬保楊李海泉同序 安平張雪岩。
The strength or weakness of the people’s physique is the key to the rise or fall of a nation. Westerners consider physical education to be one of the most important factors, all of their countrymen giving attention to it, and therefore the entire nation is physically trained and everyone is strengthened. Since time immemorial, our nation has venerated the civil above attending to the martial. The path of martial arts has thus for a long time gone abandoned and unused, with the result that the physical constitution of the people weakens by the day, and the thought of it makes me want to mightily sigh.
     Wang Junchen, Zhang Yuanzhai, and Li Jianqiu are all stars within Xingyi. They fear the essence of our culture is sinking away and bemoan the lethargy of our physical education. They have for a long time been frequently minded to promote the Xingyi boxing art.
     Li now presents his several decades of profound experience and careful study, gathering it all into a book, desiring to cause martial arts to grow and spread to the whole nation. This will do much to cultivate a heroic bearing in the people, ridding us of our complacent degeneracy, and make us equally matched with the world’s great powers. He has made great personal effort, for which we deeply admire him.
     We [Zhang Xueyan and I] were in the army ranks, and we all sparred with swords. When the weak stabbed at the strong for a prolonged period, they were made to toughen and able to endure, and finally, to become victorious. This is dramatic proof of how it strengthens the weak.
     Li has undertaken this hard work to rescue the weak, and the merit of his deed is truly boundless. When he completed the manuscript, he urged me to write a preface. We perused its chapters and found its language to be profound and its words to the point. When we finished reading it, we then grabbed our swords and began practicing enthusiastically. It is truly a masterpiece of physical education literature for our times. Hence I wet my brush to write this preface.
     – written by Li Haiquan of Baoyang, with Zhang Xueyan of Anping, Dec, 1919

-

自序
AUTHOR’S PREFACE

形意拳術,傳自北魏達摩禪師,至宋岳武穆王得其傳,常以槍與拳合立一法,以教將佐,名曰形意,形意之名自此始,歷金元明數代,此術之傳不可考,至明未清初,蒲東諸馮人有姬公際可字隆風者,訪名師于終南山,得武穆王拳譜,以授曹繼武先生,曹以授姬壽先生,姬先生序武穆拳譜而行之于世,即今通行之形意拳譜也,同時洛陽有馬學離者,亦得其傳。咸豐年間祁縣戴龍邦與其弟陵邦俱習藝于馬公家,盡得其術,名震山右,同治末,深洲李洛能先生游晉,聞戴名訪之,好其術學之九年而技成,及東歸,設學授徒,從其游者頗衆,直隸之有形意拳術,自李先生始,先生既歿,繼其傳者,博陵劉奇蘭先生外,郭雲深,車永鴻,宋世榮,白西園等先生,皆得形意之要,劉奇蘭先生傳諸其子錦堂、殿琛、榮堂,三先生,及其弟子李存義,周明泰,張占魁,趙振標,耿繼善,諸先生。郭雲深先生傳諸劉勇奇,李魁元諸先生。李存義先生傳諸尚雲祥,郝恩光,諸先生,及其子彬堂先生,張占魁先生傳諸韓慕俠,王俊臣,劉錦卿,劉潮海,李存副諸先生,及其子遠齋先生,李魁元先生傳諸孫祿堂諸先生,余叔祖文豹,父雲山,皆從學于李存義周明泰二先生,余因得家傳,回念幼時多病,中外醫士俱無術為治,遂專習形意拳術,不特病愈,且增健焉,形意之為大用誠無疑也,屢思公諸大家,民國元年,劉殿琛,李存義,張占魁,韓慕俠,王俊臣諸先生先后發起武士會于天津,及倡尚武學社于北京,其后孫祿堂先生又有形意拳學之著,余猶以為此術之發達,僅偏于北部,而孫先生所著,流傳亦未為甚廣,因不揣谫陋,而勉為是書焉。
民國八年十二月十九日束鹿李劍秋序
The Xingyi boxing art comes from the Zen master Damo of the Northern Wei Dynasty [386-534]. The teachings were obtained by Yue Fei of the Song Dynasty [960-1279], who often merged spear and boxing techniques, establishing a method of teaching his officers called Xingyi [“shape & intent”]. While its fame began at that time, its transmission through the Jin, Yuan, and Ming dynasties cannot be verified.
     At the end of the Ming Dynasty and beginning of Qing [1644], there was a Ji Jike, called Longfeng, of Zhuping village in Pudong. He visited a famous teacher in the Zhongnan mountains and obtained Yue Fei’s boxing manual, from which he taught Cao Jiwu, who then taught Ji Shou. Ji then arranged the contents of Yue Fei’s boxing manual into the version that was spread to the world and is the Xingyi Boxing Manual we have today [see appendix].
     At the same time, there was a Ma Xueli of Luoyang, who also obtained the transmission. During the reign of Emperor Xianfeng [1831-1861], Dai Longbang of Qi county [in Shanxi], along with his younger brother, Lingbang, trained in Ma’s art, thoroughly obtaining his skills, and their fame spread through Shanxi. At the end of the Emperor Tongzhi’s reign [1875], Li Luoneng of Shenzhou [in Hebei] travelled to Shanxi, for having heard of the Dai brother’s fame, he went to visit them. He adored his martial studies with them for nine years, and then having completed the skills, he returned east and began teaching students, many of whom travelled to learn from him.
     The Xingyi boxing art in Hebei began with Li, and when he died, its transmission continued. Beyond Liu Qilan of Boling, it was taught by Guo Yushen, Che Yonghong [Yizhai], Song Shirong, Bai Xiyuan, etc, all who obtained the essentials of Xingyi. Liu Qilan taught all of his sons – Jintang, Dianchen, and Rongtang – as well as Li Cunyi, Zhou Mingtai, Zhang Zhankui, Zhao Zhenbiao, and Geng Jishan [Chengxin]. Guo Yunshen taught Liu Yongqi and Li Kuiyuan. Li Cunyi taught Shang Yunxiang and Hao Enguang, as well as his own son, Lintang. Zhang Zhankui taught Han Muxia, Wang Junchen, Liu Jinqing, Liu Chaohai, and Li Cunfu, as well as his own son, Yuanzhai. Li Kuiyuan taught Sun Lutang, my granduncle, Li Wenbao, and my father, Li Yunshan, both of whom also learned from Li Cunyi and Zhou Mingtai. I received it because it was handed down in my family.
     Recalling my youth, I was very ill, and both Chinese and foreign doctors had no method of curing me, so I focused on practicing the Xingyi boxing art. Not only did I recover from my illness, I became quite robust. That Xingyi is therefore of great use is without doubt, and I am preoccupied with sharing it with everyone.
     In 1912, Liu Dianchen, Li Cunyi, Zhang Zhankui, Han Muxia, and Wang Junchen launched the Warriors’ Association in Tianjin and then the Esteeming-the-Martial Society in Beijing. Later, Sun Lutang wrote A Study of Xingyi Boxing [1915]. It still seems to me that the spread of this art is confined to the north, and that Sun Lutang’s writings have not yet spread very far, and so I, despite my ignorance and shallow level of ability, have endeavored to make this book.
     – written by Li Jianqiu of Shulu, Dec 19, 1919

-

形意拳術初步凡例
PRELIMINARY REMARKS

一、形意拳術本有五行拳十二形拳及各種套拳,如連環拳,雜式捶,及對拳,如五行生克拳,安身炮,茲但述五行拳連環拳,良以五行拳為一切形意拳之根本,余皆自五行拳變化而出,昔郭雲深先生專習形意,善以崩拳擊人,彼意謂普通拳術之所以不如形意拳者,蓋華而鮮用耳,然按之創作時,豈不可用哉,而竟至不可用者,以始而簡捷,繼而增繁,終至失其本意耳,故惟恐形意拳術之繼趨漸華,而亦蹈此弊,不能使學者務其基本以自發其有,爰編之為此,其增以連環拳者,欲使學者于單習一種之暇,更作五種連合之操練,于此即可知拳術之為何變化耳,不列對拳者,以交手之時,既不可拘拘于一定之對法,且其對法亦不易筆述也,學者誠能于五行拳稍有根基之后,結伴互相操練手法,種種妙法可自得之,本不必籍乎書焉。
1. The fundamentals of the Xingyi boxing art are the techniques of the five elements and twelve animals. There are various boxing sets, such as Continuous Boxing and Mixed Posture Striking, and two-person sets such as Five Elements Generating & Overcoming and Fixed Body Cannon. This book addresses only the five elements techniques and the Continuous Boxing set. Since the five elements techniques are the foundation of everything in Xingyi Boxing, the rest all start from them.
     In former times, Guo Yunshen specialized in Xingyi, and his specialty was striking opponents with the “crashing” technique, which indicates that what makes ordinary boxing arts inferior to Xingyi Boxing is that they are flowery and are hardly useful. When they were created, they must have been useful, but they have ended up useless. They started out simple and direct, but then became overly complicated, until finally they have lost touch with their original intention.
     I fear that the Xingyi boxing art will end up gradually progressing toward the flowery and follow in the footsteps of these frauds. When students cannot be induced to work at the fundamentals and discover what is there, these kinds of editings end up getting made. Those who have added to the Continuous Boxing set are trying to get the students to practice more in their spare time by making adjustments to the training of how the five elements transition to each other [and thereby supposedly making it more interesting]. From this we can understand how boxing arts alter.
     For those who do not engage in the two-person sets, you must when sparring, not be restricted to a fixed fighting method, although the fighting methods are written down in fixed texts. Once you are truly capable with the five elements and have something of a foundation, drill the techniques with a partner. All sorts of wonderful things can be obtained in this way, which are not necessary to record in this book.
二、五行拳中,各拳理一貫而勢不同,勢不同,易為也,理既一貫,則初學時專習一種,習一年或半年后,對于此一種已有心得,然后偏習他種,則不數日而他種之勢皆得,同時理勢相合,雖數日之功,而實不減于一年半年習一種之功,何也?初習一種至一年半年之久者,非其勢之難,實會其理之難也,一種之理會,即他種之理會,故于他種但習其勢,使前已會得之理與后所習之勢相合耳,其功故較易也,此經濟之道,學者誠能專習一種,依此而行,獲益必多,最好先習劈拳,因每拳起首必作劈拳式,不先習劈拳,即無以習他拳。
2. Within the five elements techniques, the theory is the same for each though the postures are different, and the differences between the postures are easy to deal with because the theory is the same. In the beginning of the training, focus on one technique. After practicing it for six months to a year, it should be a part of you, and then you may move on to practicing the rest. It will not then take many days to obtain the rest, for theory and posture are blended together.
     Despite working at it for only a few days, it does not at all diminish the six months to a year of training in that first technique. Why is this so? In the beginning, you are to practice a single technique for such a long period not because the posture is difficult, but because grasping the theory is so hard. Once you understand the theory for one of these techniques, you will understand the theory for the rest, and therefore for the rest you need only practice the posture. The theory you have already grasped will merge with the postures you subsequently practice, and the work from that point will be relatively easy.
     With this method of transitioning, if you can sincerely focus on one technique, all will proceed smoothly and your gains will be countless. It is best to start by practicing the chopping technique, because all the rest begin by making the chopping posture. If you do not start by practicing the chopping technique, there will be no use in practicing the rest.
三、本篇于正述之先,作數語為引言,總論及第一二兩章是也。
3. Preceding the main body of text in this book are several prefaces, a general introduction, and the first two chapters. [This means the meat of the book was considered to be chapters 3-7, which follow eight sections of introduction and are followed by a ten-section appendix with its own preface and postscript. Therefore the twenty-five parts of this book are mainly supplemental to a mere five, thus making this a book based upon a surprisingly succinct selection of material.]
四、本篇第六章形意拳術之要點及其研究,其中但舉一二為例而研究之,其余未經筆述者甚多,希學者能于精省后,以科學研究方法一一發明之。
4. In Chapter Six – “A Look at Xingyi Boxing’s Main Points” – only a few examples are examined, leaving many still unwritten. I hope students will be able to delve into what is left unsaid and use rational methods to investigate one new facet after another.
五、后附形意拳譜中之要論及交手法,中多要語,并有不可解之字句,蓋久而漸异乎原本也,學者不可不細體察之。
5. Within the Xingyi Boxing Manual in the appendix are “Discourses on Essentials” [parts 1-9] and “Fighting Tactics” [part 10]. Contained within are many important sayings as well as many inexplicable phrases. Over time it has gradually drifted away from the original text. Students must personally examine it with meticulous attention.

-

形意拳術目次
CONTENTS

總論
Introduction
第一章 拳術之功用
Chapter One: The Use of Boxing Arts
第二章 形意拳術之功用
Chapter Two: The Use of the Xingyi Boxing Art
第三章 形意拳術之基本五行拳
Chaper Three: On the Xingyi Boxing Art’s Fundamental Five Elements Techniques
 第一節 劈拳
 1. Chopping
 第二節 崩拳
 2. Crashing
 第三節 攢拳
 3. Squeezing
 第四節 炮拳
 4. Blasting
 第五節 橫拳
 5. Crossing
第四章 進退連環拳
Chapter Four: Advance & Retreat Continuous Boxing
第五章 形意玄義
Chapter Five: The Deeper Meaning of Xingyi
第六章 形意拳術之要點及其研究
Chapter Six: A Look at Xingyi Boxing’s Main Points [The Four Constant Essentials]
第七章 形意拳術之特長處
Chapter Seven: Xingyi Boxing’s Strong Points [Three Comparisons Between Xingyi and Ordinary Boxing Arts]
附岳武穆形意拳術要論
Appendix: The Essentials of Yue Fei’s Xingyi Boxing Art
 第一章 一 要論
 1st Discourse on Essentials [Unification]
 第二章 二 要論
 2nd Discourse on Essentials [Duality]
 第三章 三 要論
 3rd Discourse on Essentials [Triple Sectioning]
 第四章 四 要論
 4th Discourse on Essentials [The Four Antennas]
 第五章 五 要論
 5th Discourse on Essentials [The Five Organs & Their Associations]
 第六章 六 要論
 6th Discourse on Essentials [The Six & More Unions]
 第七章 七 要論
 7th Discourse on Essentials [Seven Advancing as One]
 第八章 八 要論
 8th Discourse on Essentials [The Body’s Methods]
 第九章 九 要論
 9th Discourse on Essentials [Stepping Principles]
 第十章 十 交手法
 Part 10: Fighting Principles

-

形意拳術
THE ART OF XINGYI BOXING

總論
INTRODUCTION

夫拳術為用大矣,強健身體,防御外侮,其大綱也,實即為我國國粹,然我國人能之者絕少,在昔士子,多汲汲從事科舉之道,攛取功名,其余工藝之徒,商賈之輩,知識學問,更屬缺乏,以是強身之道,幾無有顧而問之者,區區拳術之傳,又何往普及哉,外人病夫之譏,良有以也,自列強武器之輪人,競以槍炮為利器,而拳術益替矣,然外人之僑居我國者,每觀我國拳術而不勝贊嘆驚訝焉,每有從而學之者,侈然以示其國人,衆咸奇之,以我國人所鄙夷而不屑學者,外人見之,而反願得其傳,説者謂此皆凡人好奇之心性使然,然拳術之未嘗無價值,即此已可見一斑矣,我國人欲定其價值者,當先知所取舍,知所研究,即得之矣。
The uses of boxing arts are grand: strengthening the health of the body and defending against foreign aggression are its major aspects. Truly it is the quintessence of our national culture, yet those of our countrymen who are capable with it are very few. Scholars in the old days were obsessed with preparing for the imperial examinations, in a hurry to grasp meritorious fame. For the rest of the populace, such as apprentice artisans or those in the merchant class, they were lacking in knowledge and education. Therefore there were not many who thought about methods of strengthening the body. Martial arts teachings were trivialized and there was felt to be no reason to popularize them. The “sick men” slanders of foreigners have apparently been pretty fitting.
     Since the time the great powers brought their weapons, gaining superiority through their firearms, the advantage of boxing arts has declined. However, as for foreigners who live in our country, whenever they see our nation’s boxing arts, they cannot help but exclaim their admiration and amazement. Whenever students of these arts extravagantly exhibit it to foreigners, they all marvel at it. Our countrymen look down upon it and consider it not worth learning, but when foreigners see it, they wish to learn it. It is said this is just because they are curious, but boxing arts will never be without value, and this is just one piece of evidence to prove it.
     For those of our countrymen who wish to cement the worth of these things, we must first sort through to know what is best and what is to be researched, then we will achieve.

-

第一章 拳術之功用
CHAPTER ONE: THE USE OF BOXING ARTS

長跑、短跑、跳遠、跳高、跳欄、撑杆跳、擲鐵球、鐵餅、標槍、足球、籃球、網球、游泳、鐵杠、木馬、諸種運動,除游泳、足球、籃球外,用力之處皆有所偏,如跑跳,則下身用力大于上身,擲鐵球鐵餅,則臂與肩用力大于腿與足,若習此種運動,則其肌肉之發達,氣力之增加,必局于某部位,而他部若未經練習者也,必欲盡其類而皆習之以偏獲其益,則于時間既不經濟,而此種運動器具與地場,則學校內亦未必完備若在它處,則更難于遂願。若習拳則必全身齊力,凝神集氣,目欲其明捷,肢欲其活潑,頸欲其靈旋,腹欲其堅實,體既如是,而精神團結,意志果決,剛毅之氣,忍耐之力,于是乎生矣,且不變無所擇,不待于廣,徒手而操,不待于器,其利便為何如哉,論其應用,不特保護一身,更可保護他人,扶弱抑強,俠義之風,即于此基之,習拳術之利益,非較習各種運動而有特別優點乎。
Various exercises such as long-distance running, sprinting, training in the long jump or high jump, hurdle racing, pole vaulting, training at the shot put or discus or javelin, soccer, basketball, tennis, swimming, weightlifting, and training with the vaulting horse, all – apart from swimming, soccer, and basketball – use effort in some areas more than others. In the case of running and jumping, the lower body uses more effort than the upper body, and with shot putting and discus throwing, the arm and shoulder use more effort than the leg or foot. If you practice these kinds of exercises:
     – Your muscular development and strength enhancement will be confined to specific areas, leaving others areas comparatively unworked.
     – To get any benefit from it, you must fully desire it and constantly practice it, which does not use your time economically.
     – The environment and equipment for each of these exercises does not necessarily provide for any of the others, making it harder to work on the one you have chosen [if you are in a training space designed for a different one].
     If however you are training in a boxing art, then your whole body must make an equal effort, and you must concentrate your spirit and gather your energy. Your eyes will want to be alert, your limbs will want to be lively, your neck will want to turn smoothly, and your abdomen will want to feel solid. When your body is like this, then a unified spirit, a resolute will, an indomitable energy, and a patient strength will arise.
     Furthermore, you can do it anywhere, as it does not require a special space, and your hands are all your need, as it does not require special equipment. Is anything more convenient than this? As for its practical application, with it you can not only protect yourself but can also protect others, defending the weak against the bullying, displaying chivalry. Because of this aspect at its foundation, the benefits of training in a boxing art are superior to those of practicing various other exercises, for it has special merits that are all its own.

-

第二章 形意拳術之功用
CHAPTER TWO: THE USE OF THE XINGYI BOXING ART

拳術之功用,既于前章言之矣,形意拳術功用亦不外是,形意拳術者,應用既勝于普通諸拳術,而習之尤利便,無論男女老少苟志于是,則皆無所困難也,何以知之?曰無騰躍,無打滾,但求實用,不求可觀以是知其無難也,若習之而達于深奧,則雖力勝于己者,亦不難擊之于丈外,制敵之命,易如反掌焉,顧形意之效用,不盡在是,尤能使精神充足,做事敏捷,前者可却病延年,后者可有為于世,此即其功用之最大者也。
The use of boxing arts in general has already been described in the previous chapter, and the use of the Xingyi boxing art specifically is no different. The Xingyi boxing art in application is victorious over ordinary boxing arts and is convenient to practice.
     Regardless of man or woman, young or old, as long as they have a mind to it, then all will have no difficulty. How do I know this to be so? It is said: “It has no leaping or rolling around on the ground, but seeks for practical function rather than showing off.” Therefore I know it to be without difficulty.
     If you practice it to a deep level, then you will defeat opponents stronger than yourself, nor will it be difficult to attack from more than ten feet away. When you decide to subdue your opponent, it is as easy as turning your hand.
     As for the effects of Xingyi, they are endless. It is very good at boosting your spirit, thereby preventing disease and prolonging life, and causes you to carry out tasks with agility, thereby enabling you to succeed in the world. These are its most general uses.

-

第三章 形意拳術之基本五行拳
CHAPTER THREE: ON THE XINGYI BOXING ART’S FUNDAMENTAL FIVE ELEMENTS TECHNIQUES

五行拳者,劈拳、崩拳、攢拳、炮拳、橫拳也,分五節以演之。
The five elements techniques are: chopping, crashing, squeezing, blasting, and crossing. I will explain them individually. [The explanations below assume the reader is already familiar with these five techniques, either by way of other teachers or other books, and so no basic explanations or illustrations were included in this book. Supplied below are not actually explanations of how to perform them, simply additional points to improve their performance.]

第一節 劈拳
1. CHOPPING

拳名劈者,以其掌之下,如斧之劈也,練時眼看平,或看前手,頭向上頂,胸任開展,小腹鼓氣,臀向前挺,兩膝稍屈,而兩胯相夾甚緊,足隨手前推前進,其前進之形如箭,蓋其進也直而速,及其著地,則如箭之中物,足趾緊扣住地,固而不易拔矣,步之大小,隨身之長短,前腿雖有前進意,而亦含后扣意,在后之腿雖屹立不前,而頗有前催意,前后相夾,不亦穩手,其余各部,其用力始終依前所雲,收回手時,收法在用力拳屈各指如拉重物然,收至心口,掌復變為拳矣,于是更自心口發,出須留意者,凡后拉而變掌為拳時,其掌皆含有下壓之力,凡拳前伸時,皆含有上挑之力,其故維何?蓋以其掌在前所止之處,較心口稍高也,進大步時后足即上墊,使兩足距離有定,以免不穩之患,劈拳中凡隨拳而出之步,皆屬墊步,在劈拳內手足皆相隨而為一者也。余從略。
The technique known as “chopping” goes downward with the palm like the chopping of an axe.
     When practicing it, your eyes look level or to your front hand, your head presses up, your chest opens, your lower abdomen rouses its energy, your buttocks tuck in, your knees slightly bend, and your thighs squeeze toward each other. Your foot advances along with the urging forward of your hand, advancing like an arrow, straight and fast, and when it touches down, it is like an arrow hitting a target. The toes clamp down over the ground solidly and are not easily pulled up. The size of the step depends on your height.
     Although your front leg has an intention of advancing, it maintains an intention of covering the rear. Although your rear leg does not stand in front, it has a strong intention of hastening forward. Forward and rear squeeze toward each other to be that much more stable. As for the other parts of your body, they constantly exert forward as described.
     When the hand withdraws, it exerts to bend into a fist, the fingers seeming to be pulling something heavy, and gathers in until reaching your solar plexus, the palm now changed to a fist. It then lingers a moment before issuing from your solar plexus. When the hand pulls back, changing from palm to fist, it contains a downward pushing strength, and when your fist extends forward, it contains an upward propping strength. The reason for this is that when the palm is forward, its position is slightly higher than your solar plexus.
     When you advance a large step, your rear foot comes forward a small step, causing the distance between the feet to remain consistent, preventing feelings of instability. During the chopping technique, when the step comes out along with the hand, it always involves a small step. The hands and feet go along with each other, moving in unison. For the remaining four, this is left undescribed.

第二節 崩拳
2. CRASHING

崩之為義山垮也,山之垮其勢必甚猛,而此拳之性似之,故名,須注意者,右肘終須里裹,與劈拳同,庶幾肘穴向上,微見下彎,則全肢不覺僵直矣,此中妙處久習自得(見第六章)足尖平直前射,右足竟可與左足根接觸,壯其勢也,同時身須直挺,頭上頂,切勿下垂,腿勢必微彎,以步過小。
The idea of “crashing” is of a mountain collapsing [as in a landslide or avalanche], a very fearsome dynamic which the personality of this technique resembles – hence the name. Points for attention:
     Your right elbow must end up wrapped inward, same as in the chopping technique, so that the hollow of the elbow is almost facing upward. By manifesting a slight downward bend, all of your limbs will be kept from feeling stiff, a wonderful characteristic which is obtained through long practice. (See Chapter Six.)
    The toes [of your front foot] aim straight forward. Your right foot may touch your left heel due to the vigor of the technique.
    At the same time, your body must be erect. Your head is to be pressing upward and must not hang down. Your legs must be slightly bent. Use a shorter step than before.

第三節 攢拳
3. SQUEEZING

攢之為義聚也,此拳之動作有似手攢,故名,步法多與劈拳同從略。
The idea of “squeezing” is to gather in. The movement of this technique is like the hand is “squeezing” [as if clamping around a handful of some valuable substance] – hence the name.
     The footwork is mostly the same as in the chopping technique, and so it is not described here.

第四節 炮拳
4. BLASTING

炮之取義與崩略同,謂其拳之作用似炮也,此拳系破敵從高擊下之拳也,蓋形意妙處,每發拳攻人,同時可自護,及人攻我而我自護時,我亦能即此攻人,故人每不及自御也,兩腿微彎,右腿有前催之力,而在前之左腿,則雖前向,亦頗含有穩立意,同時將全身之氣收聚于小腹,暗運于四肢,則其二臂之力本不多者,至此終須增加數倍矣,以其數倍其力,故雖壯夫,莫之能當也。
The idea of “blasting” is somewhat similar to crashing. It is said that the action of the technique is like a cannon firing. It deals with deflecting an opponent’s attack high while striking beneath it. The marvelous feature of Xingyi is that whenever I am attacking an opponent, I am simultaneously able to protect myself, which means that during the moment the opponent is attacking and I am defending, I am also able to attack him, rendering him too late to defend against it.
     Your legs are slightly bent as your right leg hastens forward toward your left leg which is in front. In this way, although you are moving forward, you are maintaining a strong awareness of your stability. At the same time, take the energy of your whole body, which is gathered into your lower abdomen, and invisibly send it into your limbs. Thus the power of your arms, which is not much in itself, will with this addition be multiplied many times. With this multiplied power, even if you are facing strong opponents, none will be able to stand up against it.

第五節 橫拳
5. CROSSING

此拳用法,不直而橫,故名橫拳,練時肘要緊裹,后拳自前臂肘下發出,切記。
The function of this technique is not to go straight forward but to go across, hence it is called “crossing”.
     When practicing it, the elbow should be tightly wrapped in and the rear fist comes out from under the elbow of the front arm. Remember this.

-

第四章 進退連環拳
CHAPTER FOUR: ADVANCE & RETREAT CONTINUOUS BOXING

進退連環拳者,連五拳而成者也,凡十一著:一、劈拳,二、崩拳,三、退步崩拳,四、順步崩拳,五、雙橫拳,六、炮拳,七、退步劈拳,八、劈拳,九、攢拳,十、劈拳,十一、崩拳,十二、作崩拳轉身,轉后次序仍如前,至再作退步崩拳時止,即以退步崩拳收式。
This is the linking of the five techniques into a series of eleven movements:
1. Chopping.
2. Crashing [with opposite fist and foot forward].
3. Retreat, crashing [with opposite fist and foot forward].
4. Crashing with same fist and foot forward.
5. Double crossing.
6. Blasting.
7. Retreat, chopping.
8. Chopping.
9. Squeezing.
10. Chopping.
11. Crashing [with opposite fist and foot forward].
12. After you have performed the crashing technique, turn around, repeat the sequence as before until you are again performing 3, then finish.

-

第五章 形意玄義
CHAPTER FIVE: THE DEEPER MEANING OF XINGYI

形者式也,式在外人得而見之,意者志之所在也,意非形,人莫得而見之,意主手形,形不能自動,凡形之動,多意使之,難心肺等無意而終不息其運動,然心肺實未嘗自動也,此近世生理學家所公認者,凡形之動,其機在筋肉,筋肉強壯,而意不鋭敏,則力雖大而其動遲,筋肉既強壯而意又鋭敏,庶乎善矣,雖然,猶未也,設令其驟遇強敵,倉卒之間,欲其處以常態,應以妙手,上難矣哉,是猶令未學之孩童,初試其手工也,鮮克心手相應,然久習形意拳者,則以不難為之矣,夫今之新教育家,每竭力提倡工藝,工藝之要,惟在心手相應耳,然則設有精通形意之術,以習工藝者,其習之也,當較易矣,由是觀之,形意之功用,册僅限于強身自衛哉,抑又有進于是者,聚氣于胸,則喘而不久,聚氣于小腹,則久而不礙呼吸,漸積漸充,而此氣浩然,更可以意導之,若當拳擊出時,則導之于拳,是不啻以全身之力,運而聚于拳之一點,其勢之猛,寧可當耶,若偶犯不適,則導氣于病處,血來貫注,其中白血輪,實能殺微生物而去其病,且剛直之氣,充塞兩間,精明強干,神色粲然,孟子所言豈欺吾哉,必如此,始可以膺重任其為社會,為一己,謀事均無遺憾矣,今但舉其大概如此,若夫神而明之,尤在于善悟者。
The shape [xing] means the posture. Posture is external and is what people get to see. The intent [yi] means the will. Intent is not a shape, for no one gets to see it. Intent controls the hand’s shape. Shape cannot act by itself. The movement of the shape is always caused by the intent. An exception to this is the cardiopulmonary system – your heart and lungs are endlessly moving without your intent and also without volition of their own, as universally acknowledged by modern physiologists.
     The movement of your shape is always a matter of your muscles. If your muscles are strong, yet your intention is not sensitive, then even if your power is great, your movement is slow. But when your muscles are strong and your intention is sensitive, it is still not quite perfect. Suppose you are compelled to deal with a powerful opponent, but you are in hurry. It will be difficult to respond as skillfully as you would under normal circumstances. This is a similar situation to teaching children who have not yet learned anything, which begins by testing their manual dexterity, and it is hard at first to get mind and hand to coordinate with each other. But for someone who has practiced Xingyi Boxing for a long time, it should not be difficult to manage such coordination.
     Modern educators all do their utmost to promote handicrafts. The essential in artwork is that mind and hand coordinate. That being the case, if you have proficiency in the art of Xingyi and then apply it to artwork, it should make it easier. Looking at it from this point of view, there is more to Xingyi’s function than just strengthening your body and defending yourself.
     If you gather energy into your chest, you will gasp and it will not stay for long. If you gather energy into your lower abdomen, it will stay long and not hinder your breathing. It will accumulate gradually until it is abundant. This kind of energy is vast, and is more readily led by the intent.
     When punching, guide it to your fist. It is nothing less than the power of your whole body. When you wield it, it will gather at the tip of your fist, and the power will be fierce and unstoppable.
     If you happen to become ill, then guide energy to the sick area and blood will flow there, its white blood cells very capable at eradicating germs and casting off disease.
     Furthermore, the energy is indomitable and direct, filling every space, giving you strength of poise and a shining face. It is just like this phrase from Mengzi [chapter 3a]: “How could he deceive me?” [In other words, when you are healthy, it is clearly apparent.] You will start to be able to bear responsibilities for others as well as yourself, and will attend to each task without doubting that you are up to it.
     I have here only put forth the general ideas. For you to be further enlightened depends mainly on your own capacity for realization.

-

第六章 形意拳術之要點及其研究 形意拳術之要點凡四
CHAPTER SIX: A LOOK AT XINGYI BOXING’S MAIN POINTS – THE FOUR CONSTANT ESSENTIALS

一、閉口,舌舐上腭,津生則咽下,閉口者,所以保氣之不外泄,而防空氣中之穢物入口也,不但習拳時宜如此,凡不用口時皆宜如此,舌舐上腭者,所以生津液,使口不干燥也,津生下咽,則更使喉間亦滋潤也。
1. Your mouth is closed, tongue touching the upper palate, saliva is generated, and is then swallowed.
     When your mouth is closed, it keeps your energy from leaking out, and dirty air is prevented from entering your mouth. This should not only be the case when practicing the boxing, but should be so whenever you are not using your mouth.
     When your tongue is touching the upper palate, saliva is generated, which keeps your mouth from drying out. Swallowing it then keeps your throat moist.
二、裹肘,垂肩,鼓腹,展胸,裹肘則臂必彎曲,微彎則肩之力可由此而運至于手,此一要點,凡形意門中拳數皆不能脱離于此,試論劈拳,必如此而全身之力始能運五指之端,故人每以為五指力弱,安能擊人而僕之于丈外,而不知五指之力果弱,今得全身之力皆聚于此,則亦何難為哉,若不裹肘,則臂僵,僵則力止于臂而不能外發,學者盍一一試之,即可知矣,垂肩者使氣不浮,而下聚于小腹也,若不垂肩,其能久持者幾希矣,鼓腹者,聚氣于小腹也,人身有二大藏氣處,一為肺,一為臍下小腹,藏氣于肺,則不久必放,呼吸使之然也,今藏氣于小腹,則肺之呼吸既不能引之外泄,而積氣于此,亦無礙于呼吸,如是氣當舒足,必能持久,不然,甫交手而喘聲大作,面紅耳赤,心跳勃勃,脈張力竭,殆矣,展胸者,所以使積氣不礙呼吸也,每有欲聚氣于小腹,而強迫肺中之氣于小腹者,其迫之也,必抑胸使平,其結果必至于肺部不發達,而呼吸多阻礙,傷身最甚矣,故今雖鼓氣于小腹,而于肺則一任其自展,庶即可無害矣。
2. Wrap your elbows, hang your shoulders, swell your belly, and open your chest.
     By wrapping in your elbows, your arms will be kept bent, and by being slightly bent, power from your shoulders can be transmitted to your hands. This is a key point which is indispensible in the Xingyi school of boxing. For example, in the chopping technique it must be so for the power of your whole body to able to get to your fingertips. For a person with weak finger strength, how can he strike an opponent and send him sprawling over ten feet away? Ignoring the weakness of your fingers, if you instead use the strength of your whole body in this way, what then will be the difficulty? But if you do not wrap your elbows, your arms will be stiff, and being stiff, the power will go no farther than your arms and be unable to express outwardly. By testing each of these points one after another, you will understand.
     Hanging your shoulders keeps energy sinking down and gathering in your lower abdomen rather than floating. If you do not hang your shoulders, it will be hard to hold onto it for long.
     Swelling your belly means gathering energy into your lower abdomen. The human body has two places for storing energy, one being the lungs, the other being the lower abdomen below the navel. When energy is stored in the lungs, then after not very long it must be released. Such is the case with breathing. However, when energy is stored in the lower abdomen, the breathing of the lungs will not be able to drain it away, and by accumulating energy in this way, it will in turn not hinder your breathing. If the energy is sufficiently relaxed, you will be able to hold onto it for a long time. If not, then when fighting you will pant and gasp, your face and ears will turn red, your heartbeat will pound, and your veins will pop out alarmingly.
     Opening your chest means keeping the accumulating of energy from interfering with your breathing. You should always gather energy into your lower abdomen, but if you are forcing the energy in your lungs down to your lower abdomen, you are overdoing it, inhibiting your chest to make it flat. [Although your chest should not stick out, it should also not be crushed in.] This will result in your lungs not being able to expand, hindering your breathing, which is very injurious to your body. Even though you rouse energy in your lower abdomen, your lungs have to be allowed to freely expand, and then you will be free from harming yourself.
三、兩腿相夾足趾抓地,兩腿相夾者,即所以免身之前后傾倒也,嘗見壯漢斗一較弱而活潑者,以壯漢之力而論,宜足以勝敵也,而每有戰敗者,用力偏也,蓋當其進步時,或全身前傾,毫無后持之力,故其敵得藉其力乘其勢以僕之,足趾抓地,即所以使身更穩故也。
3. Your legs squeeze toward each other and your toes grab the ground.
     Your legs squeezing together keeps your body from leaning in any direction. It is always seen that when a burly man fights someone who is weaker but more active, his strength and strategy should be sufficient to defeat such an opponent, but will always lose if in the use of his strength he leans. When you advance with your body leaning forward, you will be completely without strength to the rear, the opponent will take advantage of your power and go along with your momentum to topple you.
     Your toes grabbing the ground then makes your body that much more stable.
四、目欲其明,欲其敏,更欲其與心手相應,交手之時,原全恃乎心手之作用,而據其最重要之地位者,目是也,目而不明不敏,不能與心手相應,而能勝入者,亦鮮矣,此理入皆知之,然用目于交手之時當若何,此則所宜研究者也。一、交手之時,高則視敵之目,以其之所視,必其手之所向也,二、中則視敵之心,以其手之出入必在心前也,三、下則視敵之足,以其足之所向,即其身之所在也。
4. Your eyes should be bright and alert.
     The more they are so, the more your mind and hands will coordinate with each other. Fighting is entirely a matter of this mind/hand connection, which depends most of all on your eyes. If your eyes are not bright and alert, your mind and hands will not be able to coordinate with each other, and you will rarely have the ability to win. This is a principle everyone will understand, but just how are the eyes to be used during fighting? These are the points to be studied:
     i. Observe the opponent’s eyes above, (The direction his eyes are looking is where his hands will go.)
     ii. his chest in the middle, (The area in front of his chest is where his hands will leave from and return to.)
     iii. and his feet below. (The direction his feet are pointing is where his body will go.)

-

第七章 形意拳術之特長處 形意拳術之較長于普通拳術者凡三端
CHAPTER SEVEN: XINGYI BOXING’S STRONG POINTS – THREE COMPARISONS BETWEEN XINGYI AND ORDINARY BOXING ARTS

一、身穩氣平,每見習普通拳術者,輾轉騰躍,時用足踢人,非不美觀也,非不可謂為一種運動也,然不足以交手,何也,我勞人逸,我危人安也,夫兩相交手時,兩足猶恐不能穩立,寧有暇分其一足以踢人乎,苟踢而不中,其敗也必矣,且二目瞿瞿靜觀敵之動以應可也,何為而騰躍以自勞乎,形意則無如此無益之舉動。
1. It stabilizes your body and balances your energy.
     We often see practitioners of ordinary boxing arts spinning and leaping, and whenever they kick at opponents, it is nothing more than pretty. This cannot be considered as anything more than a kind of exercise and is not adequate for fighting. I would be exhausting myself while the opponent takes his ease, endangering myself while the opponent rests in a position of safety. During a fight, if you feel you are already incapable of being stable, why would you then take away one of your feet to kick at an opponent? If you kick but are not balanced, you are sure to lose. It is enough to quietly observe the opponent’s actions and gauge how to respond. Why jump around and wear yourself out? Xingyi is without these kinds of useless actions.
二、拳法簡捷,普通之拳術,其臂之動也,守為一着,攻為一着,若人攻我,則必先御之,而后得攻之,形意則不然,攻即守,守即攻,一着而備,二用,何以言之,曰試論劈拳之拳式,設人以左拳攻我心口,無論其拳之高低如何,我但進步向其右旁,以右劈作劈拳之拳式,架住其臂,是我已自防矣,同時我但如此前進,我臂即斜制擦其臂而前,苟其手不敏,必中我拳矣,此守即攻之謂也,苟其手而敏,則必將我拳撩起,外推,然我于是即乘其撩推之勢而抽回我拳,同時將拳漸向下沉,沉后變拳為掌,驟成劈拳,前推其身,彼欲防備不及矣,何也,彼之撩而推也,必用大力,勢難一時收回,我則本藉其力,而急欲攻之者也,我但作一圓圈,而彼已中我拳矣,我一臂攻之,而使其不暇自防,更無暇攻我,是不啻攻即守矣,形意拳術不誠靈便乎,或曰崩拳甚直,恐無如此妙用,應之曰崩拳已有二用,苟敵攻我之拳而高也,則我拳自其拳下斜入,作上挑之力,當我拳斜入時,我身必進至敵之旁,則彼之拳我已躲過,我今在其拳下作上挑之力,同時又不廢前擊,則彼拳即欲下壓我拳,必已不及,好及,亦不能竟壓我拳,以我已預防也,而同時彼身已中我拳矣,苟敵攻我之拳而低也,則我拳自其拳上斜擊,作下壓之力,彼拳被我壓下,則其臂之長,不能及我身,而我拳自彼拳上擦過,已中其身矣,孰謂崩拳無二用乎。
2. Its boxing method is simple and direct.
     As to the actions of the arms in ordinary boxing arts, defending is one action and attacking is another. This means that if an opponent attacks me, I must first defend in order to counter. Xingyi is not like this. Attack is defense and defense is attack. A single technique contains both functions.
     How shall we discuss this? Let us take as an example the chopping technique and suppose an opponent uses his left fist to attack my solar plexus. Regardless of whether his fist is high or low, I simply advance to the right side, performing a right chopping technique using a fist [instead of a palm] to parry his arm, thereby guarding myself, and at the same time I merely advance, my arm doing a slanting scrape along his arm and going forward. If his hand is not quick, he will be struck by my fist. This is a case of defense as attack.
     If his hand is quick, then he will surely lift up my fist and push outward, so I will go along with the momentum of his lifting and pushing by drawing back my fist, while gradually lowering it, then changing it into a palm, and then suddenly perform the chopping technique, pushing forward to his body. If he wants to defend, he will be too late. Why is this so? His lifting and pushing requires so much effort that his momentum stalls and he pulls back because I am smothering his power. When he then urgently seeks to attack, I merely make a circle and he has been struck. My attack with a single arm causes him to be too busy defending himself to have time to attack me, an example of attack as defense. Is not the Xingyi boxing art crafty?
     Someone said to me: “As for the crashing technique, it may very direct, but I don’t think it’s as subtle as this.” To which I replied: “It is both.”
     If an opponent attacks me with a high punch, I insert a fist diagonally from below it with an energy of carrying upward. While my fist enters at a slant, my body will advance to his side, and thereby I have already evaded his punch. I am now propping his fist upward while at the same time wasting no time in striking forward. If he wishes to press down my [carrying] fist, he will not be able to, and even if does, he will not be able to press it down far enough because I have prepared against it by having at the same time already struck his body with my [other] fist. [Although this paragraph actually depicts the blasting technique, it emphasizes the crashing aspect within it. The paragraph below depicts the crashing technique more purely.]
     If an opponent attacks me with a low punch, then my fist attacks diagonally from above his fist, making an energy of pressing down. Once his fist has been pressed down, then the length of his arm is unable to reach my body, while my fist, scraping over his fist, has already struck his body. Who says the crashing technique does not have both functions?
三、養氣壯志,此長處惟作內功者始能得之,形意則內外功兼有之,廣如第五章所説。
3. It nourishes your energy and strengthens your will.
     Through these major characteristics, you can begin to obtain internal skills. Xingyi thus has both internal and external skills, as elaborated in Chapter Five.

-

附岳武穆形意拳術要論
APPENDIX: THE ESSENTIALS OF YUE FEI’S XINGYI BOXING ART

民國四年夏,余南歸,過吾鄉原公作杰家,取其所藏武穆拳譜讀之,中有要論九篇,交手法一篇,雖字句間不無差誤,然其行文瑰瑋雄暢,洵為武穆之作,而論理精透,尤非武穆不能道,余曰此形意舊譜也,得此靈光,形意武術,其將日久而彌彰乎,急錄之,攜入京師,公諸同好天下習武之士,與凡素慕武穆其人者,其守此勿失也可,濟源后學,鄭濂浦謹識。
In the summer of 1915, I returned south, and as I passed my hometown, people praised me as a prominent expert for making a study of the contents of Yue Fei’s boxing manual. Within it are nine chapters of essential principles and one chapter on fighting. Although the content of the writing is not without its flaws, the style of the writing is marvelous, powerful, and smooth, and as suits the work of Yue Fei, the theory is refined and thorough. It is certainly not the case that Yue Fei was unable to communicate. I say that equipped with this old Xingyi manual, you too will obtain such a level of clarity.
     The Xingyi martial art has over time become much more prominent, and it is urgent for us to now make records of it and take them to Beijing so that connoisseurs and ordinary practitioners alike, as well as ordinary people, can admire Yue Fei. It we protect this material and do not let it slip away, we can help later students to the source.
     – written respectfully by Zheng Lianpu

第一章 一、要論
1st DISCOURSE ON ESSENTIALS [UNIFICATION]

從來散之必有其統也,分之必有其合也,以故天壤間四面八方,紛紛者各有所屬,千頭萬緒,攘攘者自有其源,蓋一本散為萬殊,而萬殊成歸于一本,事有必然者,且武事之論,亦甚繁矣,而要之千變萬化,無往非勢,即無往非氣,勢雖不類,而氣歸于一,夫所謂一者,從上至足底,內而有臟腑筋骨,外而有肌肉皮膚五官之百骸,相連而一貫也,破之而不開,撞之而不散,上欲動而下自隨之,下欲動而上自領之,上下動而中節攻之,中節動而上下和之,內外相連,前后相需,所謂一貫者,其斯之謂歟,而要非勉強以致之,襲為之也,當時而靜,寂然湛然,居其所而穩如山岳,當時而動,如雷如塌,出乎爾而疾如閃電,且靜無不靜,表里上下,全無參差牽挂之意,動無不動左右前后,并無抽扯游移之形,洵乎若水之就下,沛然而莫之能御,若火之內攻,發之而不及掩耳,不假思索,不煩疑義,誠不期然而然,莫之致而至,是豈無所自而雲然乎,蓋氣以日積而有益,功以久練而始成,觀聖門一貫之傳,必俟多聞強識之后,豁然之境,不廢格物致知之功,是知事無難易,功惟自盡,不可躥等,不可急遽,按步就步,循次而進,夫而后官骸肢節,自有通貫,上下表里,不難聯絡,庶乎散者統之,分者合之,四體百骸,終歸于一氣而已矣。
It is always the case that what disperses will have its way of reintegrating, what separates will have its way of rejoining.
     So it is in the world. There are four compass directions, then eight, then too many to keep track of, but each has its place [meaning every specific angle of direction can be more conveniently generalized into the area it belongs within the basic compass points]. Things are numerous, then innumerable, then a haze of meaningless detail, but all things have their basic sources [by which they can be more understandably grouped and classified under].
     Everything is distributed from a single source to which everything ultimately and inevitably returns. The content of martial arts is very complex, but really the endless variations consolidate into matters of merely posture and energy, and even though there is a variety of postures, there is only one energy.
     This single energy goes from head to foot, inwardly filling your organs and tissues, outwardly covering your muscles and skin, and from your five senses to your many bones, all are joined together to link into one [“a single thread”]. If smashed against, it does not leave a gap. If crashed into, it does not break apart.
     When your upper body is about to move, your lower body naturally goes along with the movement. When your lower body is about to move, your upper body naturally takes charge of the movement. Once your upper body and lower body are in motion, your middle section attacks. When your middle moves, your upper body and lower work in harmony.
     Inside and out are linked together. Front and back are relying on each other. When we talk of linking into one, this is what is meant. But it is crucial that you do not force it to happen or try to sneak up on it, for that will not make it work.
     When the moment comes for stillness, be silent and calm, staying put as stable as a mountain. When the moment comes for movement, be like thunder or an avalanche, expressing as fast as lightning. When still, all parts are still, inside and out, above and below, and without any part feeling out of place. When moving, all parts are moving, left or right, forward or back, and without any part pulling the posture off course. Truly it is like water as it fills in downward, too much to be resisted, or like a cannon going off, too fast for you to cover your ears.
     There is no contrivance of pondering, nor any worrying over doubts, for truly it will happen in its own time, achieved without your attaining. Yet how could such an effect happen without a cause? To get any benefit means the energy has to be built up day after day, and that means working at it for a long time for that to begin to happen. As for the wise teaching of the “single thread” [Lun Yu, 4.15 & 15.3], you must be patient and hear it many times until it is deeply ingrained, and then you will finally realize. Do not abandon the work of “broadening your knowledge to gain understanding” [Da Xue], and therefore be aware it is not a matter of difficulty or ease, just a process of doing your best.
     You must not skip steps or rush through it, but go step by step and in the right order. That being the case, your senses, bones, limbs, and sections will link up naturally, above and below, inside and out, smoothly connecting. Thereby the dispersed are reintegrated, the separated rejoined, and all your limbs and bones returned to being a single energy.

第二章 二、要論
2nd DISCOURSE ON ESSENTIALS [DUALITY]

嘗有世之論捶者,而兼論氣者矣,夫氣主于一,可分為二,所謂二者,即呼吸也,呼吸即陰陽也,捶不能無動靜,氣不能無呼吸,吸則為陰,呼則為陽,主呼靜者為陰,主乎動者為陽,上升為陽,下降為陰,陽氣上升而為陽,陽氣下行而為陰,陰氣下行而為陰,陰氣上行而為陽,此陰陽之分也,何為清濁,升而上者為所清,降而下者為濁,清氣上升,濁氣下降,清者為陽,濁者為陰,而要之陽以滋陰,渾而言之,統為氣,分而言之為陰陽,氣不能無陰陽,即所謂人不能無動靜,鼻不能無呼吸,口不能無出入,此即對待循環不易之理也,然則氣分為二,而實在于一,有志于斯途者,慎勿以是為拘拘焉。
Based on experience, a discussion of boxing is simultaneously a discussion of energy. Energy is one thing, but it can be divided into two parts, such as the two parts of breathing. Breathing breaks down into passive and active aspects [yin & yang]. As punching cannot happen without its states of movement [punching] and stillness [not yet punching / having punched], so too energy cannot be without its exhaling and inhaling: inhaling is passive and exhaling is active.
     Stillness is passive and movement is active. Rising is active and lowering is passive. Active energy rising is active, but active energy lowering is passive. Passive energy lowering is passive, but passive energy rising is active.
     These are distinguishings between passive and active. What about “clear” and “murky”? What rises is clear and what lowers is murky. The clear energy rises and the murky energy lowers. The clear is active and the murky is passive.
     The key is that the active nourishes the passive. When mixed together, they are described as a single energy. When separated, they are described as the passive and active aspects. Energy cannot be without its passive and active aspects. Along the same lines, the body cannot be without its movement and stillness, the nose cannot be without its inhalations and exhalations, and the mouth cannot be without what comes out from it [as in talking] and what goes into it [as in eating].
     This is the concept of the eternal cycling of opposites. Although energy divides into two, the two are actually one, and so if you are intent upon this path of theorizing, be careful not to get lost in being overly literal. [i.e. Change is, yet the reality that there is change is changeless. To move forward, you must accept this paradox rather than defy it for the sake of sophomoric semantics.]

第三章 三、要論
3rd DISCOURSE ON ESSENTIALS [TRIPLE SECTIONING]

夫氣本諸身,而身之節無定處,三節上中下也,以身言之,頭為上節,身為中節,腿為下節,以上節言之,天庭為上節,鼻為中節,海底為下節,以中節言之,胸為上節,腹為中節,丹田為下節,以下節言之,足為梢節,膝為中節,胯為根節,以肱言之,手為梢節,肘為中節,肩為根節,以手言之,指為梢節,掌為中節,掌根為根節,觀于是,而足不必論矣,然則自頂至足,莫不各有三節,要之,若無三節之分,即無着意之處,蓋上節不明,無依無宗,中節不明,渾身是空,下節不明,自家吃跌,顧可忽乎哉,至于氣之發動,要皆梢節動,中節隨,根節催之而已,然此猶是節節而分言之者也,若夫合言之,則上自頭頂,下至足底,四體百骸統為一節,夫何三節之有哉,又何三節中之各有三節雲乎哉。
Because energy is the basis of the whole body, the sectioning of the body is not a matter of specific landmarks, but of dividing into the three sections of an upper section, a middle section, and a lower section [as well as a root section, a middle section, and a tip section for the limbs].
     For instance, in the body, the head is the upper section, the torso is the middle section, and the legs are the lower section.
     In the upper section [the head], the forehead is the upper section, the nose is the middle section, and the lower jaw is the lower section.
     In the middle section [the torso], the chest is the upper section, the belly is the middle section, and the elixir field is the lower section.
     In the lower section [the legs], the foot is the tip section, the knee is the middle section, and the hip is the root section.
     Correspondingly in the arm, the hand is the tip section, the elbow is the middle section, and the shoulder is the root section.
     In the hand, the fingers are the tip section, the palm is the middle section, and the heel of the palm is the root section.
     Based on the previous example, it is then obvious enough how the foot is to be sectioned [toes, sole, heel].
     Thus from your headtop to your feet, every part has three sections. The point is that if there is no dividing into three sections, there will be no areas of awareness. If the upper section is not understood, there will be no decisiveness. If the middle section is not understood, your whole body will be as though it is hollow. If the lower section is not understood, you will end up throwing yourself down. Can we afford to overlook them?
     When expressing energy, it has to be the case that all the tips move, the middle sections follow, and the root sections hasten to keep up with them. This describes how the sections are divided.
     To describe how they join, then from headtop above to foot below, all the limbs and bones are united into a single section, in which case it cannot be said there are three, and certainly not three within three. [The final message of this discussion of division is to return to the first principle of unification.]

第四章 四、要論
4th DISCOURSE ON ESSENTIALS [THE FOUR ANTENNAS]

試于論身論氣之外,而進論乎梢者焉,夫梢者身之余緒也,言身者初不及此,言氣者亦所罕論,捶以內而發外,氣由身而達梢,故氣之用不本諸身,則虛而不實,不形諸梢,則實而仍虛,梢亦焉可不講,然此特身之梢耳,而猶未及乎氣之梢也,四梢維何,發其一也,夫發之所系,不列于五行,無關于四體,似不足論矣,然發為血之梢,血為氣之海,縱不必本諸發以論氣,要不能離乎血而生氣,不離乎血,即得不兼及乎發,發欲冲冠,血梢足矣,抑舌為肉梢,而肉為氣囊,氣不能形諸肉之梢,即無以充其氣之量,故必舌欲催齒,而后肉梢足矣,至于骨梢者齒也,筋梢者指甲也,氣生于骨而聯于筋,不及乎齒,即未及乎筋之梢,而欲足手爾者,要非齒欲斷筋,甲欲透骨,不能也,果能如此則四梢足矣,四梢足而氣亦自足矣,豈復有虛而不實,實而仍虛者乎。
Examining beyond the body and the energy, there are then the “antennas”. The antennas are the leftover parts of the body. They are not addressed initially when discussing the body, and hardly dealt with at all when discussing the energy. A punch expresses outward from inside, and energy goes from the body into the antennas. Thus if the use of energy does not come from the whole body, it is empty rather than authentic, and if it does not reveal itself in the antennas, then even if it is there, it is still empty. The antennas must be given attention, although they are specifically antennas of the body, not purely antennas of energy.
     What are the four antennas? [1] Firstly, there is the head hair. It has nothing to do with the organs or limbs, and thus would appear to be irrelevant, but the hair is the antenna for the blood, and the blood is the sea which the energy swims in. Although it is not necessary to consider the hair when talking about the energy, we cannot talk about the energy without considering the blood. Since we have to consider the blood, how can we not at the same time consider the hair? The hair should be pricking up under the cap, which indicates the blood is in a state of sufficiency.
     [2] The tongue is then the antenna for the muscles. The muscles are a sack for holding the energy. If the energy is not able to reveal itself in the tongue, then the energy is not at full capacity. Therefore the tongue should be pressing up behind the teeth, indicating the muscles are in a state of sufficiency.
     [3] The teeth are the antenna for the bones, and [4] the nails are the antenna for the sinews. Energy is born in the bones and unites with the sinews, and so if it is not apparent in the teeth, it will also not show up in the nails. For it to display sufficiency in this way, the key is that the teeth will determine the state of the sinews and the nails will disclose the condition of the bones.
     Once they are thus, the four antennas are in a state of sufficiency, and that being so, naturally the energy is too. It is now not the case that it is empty rather than authentic, or that even if it is there, it is still empty.

第五章 五、要論
5th DISCOURSE ON ESSENTIALS [THE FIVE ORGANS & THEIR ASSOCIATIONS]

今夫捶以言勢,勢以言氣,人得五臟以成形,即由五臟而生氣,五臟實為生性之源,生氣之本,而名為心、肝、脾、肺、腎是也,心為火,而有炎上之象,肝為木,而有曲直之形,脾為土,而有敦厚之勢,肺為金,而有縱革之能,腎為水,而有潤下之功,此乃五臟之義,而必準之于氣者,以其各有所配合焉,此所以論武事者,要不能離乎斯也,胸膈為肺經之位,而為諸臟之華蓋,故肺經動而諸臟不能靜,兩乳之中為心,而肺包護之,肺之下,胃之上,心經之位也,心為君火,動而相火無不奉合也,而兩肋之間,左為肝,右為脾,背脊十四骨節,皆為腎,此固五臟之位,然五臟之系,皆系于背脊,通于腎髓,故為腎,至于腰,則兩腎之本位,而為先天之第一,尤為諸臟之根源,故腐水足而金木水火土咸有生機,此乃五臟之位也,且五臟之存于內者,各有其定位,而具于身者,亦自有所專屬,領頂腦骨背腎是也,兩耳亦為腎,兩唇,兩腮皆脾也,兩發則為肺,天庭為六陽之首,而萃五臟之精華,實為頭面之主腦,不啻一身之座督矣,印堂者,陽明胃氣之衝,天庭性起,機由此達,生發之氣,由腎而達于六陽,實為天庭之樞機也,兩目皆為肝,而究之上包,為脾,下包為胃,大角為心經,小角為小腸,白則為肺,黑則為肝,瞳則為腎,實為五臟之精華所聚,而不得專謂之肝也,鼻孔為肺,兩頤為腎,耳門之前為膽經,耳后之高骨,亦腎也,鼻為中央之土,萬物資生之源,實中氣之主也,入中為血氣之會,上衝印堂,達于天庭,亦為至要之所,兩唇之下為承漿,承漿之下為地閣,上與天庭相應,亦腎經位也,領頂頸項者,五臟之道途氣血之總會,前為食氣出入之道,后為腎氣升降之途,肝氣由之而左旋,脾氣由之而右旋,其系更重,而為周身之要領,兩乳為肝,兩肩為肺,兩肘為腎,四肢為脾,兩肩背膊皆為脾,而十指則為心、肝、脾、肺、腎是也,膝與脛皆腎也,兩脚根為腎之要,涌泉為腎穴,大約身之所系,心者為心,窩者為肺,骨之露處皆為腎,筋之聯處皆為肝,肉之厚處皆為脾,象其意,心如猛虎,肝如箭,脾氣力大甚無窮,肝經之位最靈變,腎氣之動快如風,其為用也,用其經,舉凡身之所屬于某經者,終不能無意焉,是在當局者自為體認,而非筆墨所能為者也,至于生克制化,雖別有論,而究其要領,自有統會,五行百體,總為一元,四體三心合為一氣,奚必昭昭于某一經絡節節而為之哉。
In boxing arts, we discuss postures, and to do that, we discuss energy. The posture is made by the five organs in the body, for the energy is generated from the five organs. The five organs are truly the source of our life force and the basis of generating energy. They are the heart, liver, spleen, lungs, and kidneys.
     The heart relates to the element of fire, which blazes upward. The liver relates to the element of wood, which bends and straightens. The spleen relates to the element of earth, which supplies abundance. The lungs relate to the element of metal, which obeys and overthrows. The kidneys relate to the element of water, which soaks downward. These are the relationships for the five organs. Their energies must be maintained at the right level, for they each play their role within a cooperative whole. A discussion of martial matters cannot avoid this.
     The diaphragm is where the lung energy is positioned. It is the canopy for the other organs. When the lungs move, the other organs are unavoidably affected. At the center of the chest is the heart. The lungs are wrapped over it and protect it. Under the lungs and above the stomach is where the heart energy is positioned. The heart is ruler over [the other body parts associated with] the element of fire. When it moves, all the other fire correspondences [such as the vessels, the blood, and the tongue] accord with it. Behind the ribs on the left [right] side is the liver, and on the right [left] side is the spleen. To the sides of the lumbar vertebrae are the kidneys.
     This is how the five organs are positioned, but as for their relationship, they are all connected through the spine to the essential fluid of the kidneys. Positioned in the waist, the kidneys are the first stage in the processing of innate energy and are the basis for the other organs. When the kidney fluid is sufficient, all of the five elements have vitality. This is why the five organs are positioned as they are.
     The five organs have their fixed positions within, but also have special areas of association throughout the body, for instance the neck, headtop, brain, bones, and back are related to the kidneys. The ears are also related to the kidneys. The lips and cheeks are related to the spleen. The hair is related to the lungs. Tianting [the acupoint at the center of the forehead] is the source of the six active meridians, the gathering place of the essence of the five organs. Truly it is the leader of the face, and is no less than the supervisor over the whole body.
     Yintang [the acupoint between the eyebrows] is the major spot on the stomach meridian. When vitality awakens at Tianting, it is because of activity at Yintang, and when energy is generated from the kidneys and reaches to the six active meridians, it is indeed because of the activity at Tianting.
     The eyes as a whole are related to the liver, but as for the specific parts of the eye: the inner corner is related to the heart energy, the outer corner is related to the small intestine, the sclera is related to the lungs, the iris is related to the liver, and the pupil is related to the kidneys. Truly this is the place where the essence of the five organs is gathered, and is not just related to the liver.
     The nostrils are related to the lungs. The cheeks are related to the kidneys. The forward flap of the ear is related to the energy of the gallbladder. The area of skull rising up from behind the ear is also related to the kidneys. The nose is related to the center, the source of sustenance for all parts [seeing as air is the most basic fuel we take in], and is truly lord over the central energy.
     Renzhong [the acupoint between nose and upper lip] is where blood and energy meet and then push through up to Yintang and reach Tianting, and so it is another crucial spot. Tianting interrelates with two more acupoints, Chengjiang, below the lower lip, and below that, Dige, both of which are also related to the energy of the kidneys.
     The collar, headtop, neck, and nape of the neck form the paths through which energy and blood congregate. In the front are the paths through which food comes in [mouth] and air goes in and out [nose]. Behind is the path along which kidney energy rises and lowers. From it the liver energy turns off to the left [right] and the spleen energy turns off to the right [left]. These relationships are particularly important, being essential to the whole body.
     The breasts are related to the liver. The shoulders are related to the lungs. The elbows are related to the kidneys. The limbs are related to the spleen, as are the arm muscles that are attached to the back. The fingers are related to all five organs [in this way: forefinger – heart, middle finger – liver, thumb – spleen, little finger – lungs, ring finger – kidneys]. The knees and shins are related to the kidneys, as are the soles of the feet, the Yongquan [“Bubbling Spring”] being the major kidney acupoint.
     More general relationships in the body are: central areas are related to the heart, hollowed areas are related to the lungs, boney areas are related to the kidneys, sinewy areas are related to the liver, and muscular areas are related to the spleen.
     To analogize their intentions, the heart is like a fierce tiger, the liver like an arrow, the spleen energy is great and inexhaustible, the liver [lung] energy is the most aware of change, and the kidney energy moves fast as the wind. These are examples of making use of the energies, but in order to do so, wherever in the body a specific energy is to be activated, it can never be done without the [specific] intention. The right practitioner will naturally intuit this, whereas words are not adequate to get the message across. As for the process of how they [the five] generate and inhibit each other, that is for another discussion, but by studying the essentials, it will all come together naturally.
     The five organs and the many bones all form a single unit. The four limbs and the three centers [palm, sole, solar plexus] unite into a single energy. And so it is not necessary to go into detail about the particular energy channels one by one.

第六章 六、要論
6th DISCOURSE ON ESSENTIALS [THE SIX & MORE UNIONS]

心與意合,意與氣合,氣與力合,內三合也,手與足合,肘與膝合,肩與胯合,外三合也,此為六合,左手與右足相合,左肘與右膝相合,左肩與右胯相合,右之與左以然,以及頭與手合,手與身合,身與步合,孰非外合,心與眼合,肝與筋合,脾與肉合,肺與身合,腎與骨合,孰非內合,豈但六合而已哉,然此特分而言之也,總之一運而無不動,一合而無不合,五形百骸,悉用其中矣。
Mind is united with intent, intent united with energy, energy united with power – these are the three internal unions. Hand is united with foot, elbow united with knee, shoulder united with hip – these are the three external unions. These together are the six unions.
     Left hand is united with right foot, left elbow united with right knee, left shoulder united with right hip – likewise with left and right reversed. In addition, head is united with hand, hand united with torso, torso united with step. Are these not external unions? Heart is united with eye, liver united with sinew, spleen united with muscle, lungs united with torso, kidneys united with bones. Are these not internal unions? We cannot say there are only six unions, for these particular distinctions are also talked of.
     It is always the case that when one part moves, all parts move, and when one part unites, all parts unite. Therein lies the complete functioning of the whole body in all of its parts.

第七章 七、要論
7th DISCOURSE ON ESSENTIALS [SEVEN ADVANCING AS ONE]

頭為六陽之首,而為周身之主,五官百骸,莫不惟此是賴,故頭不可不進也,手為先行,根基在膊,膊不進而手則却而不前矣,此所以膊貴于進也,氣聚中腕,機關在腰,腰不進,而氣則餒而不實矣,此所以腰貴于進也,意貫周身,運動在步,步不進而意則堂然無能為矣,此所以步必取其進也,以及上左必須進右,上右必須進左,其為七進,孰非所以著力之地歟,而要之未及其進,合周身而毫無關動之意,一言其進,統全體而俱無抽扯游移之形。
[1 – head] Your head is the source of the six active meridians and is the commander of your whole body, from senses to bones. There is no part that does not rely on it, therefore the head must advance.
     [2&3 – hand & forearm] The hand is the first to go forth, but it is rooted in the forearm. If the forearm does not advance, the hand cannot go forward. This is why it is important for the forearm to advance.
     [4&5 – energy & waist] Energy gathers in the wrist, but its engine lies in the waist. If the waist does not advance, the energy will not have enough energy to manifest. This is why it is important for the waist to advance.
     [6&7 – intent & step] Intent courses through the whole body, but movement lies in the stepping. If the step does not advance, the intent is unable to proceed. This is why it is essential for the step to advance. Further, when going forward with your left, you must advance your right, and when going forward with your right, you must advance your left.
     These are the seven parts that advance. Which of them is not therefore involved in the effort? The key is that before you advance, you unify your whole body so there is not the slightest notion of any isolated action. When you then decide to advance, no part is truantly doing its own thing.

第八章 八、要論
8th DISCOURSE ON ESSENTIALS [THE BODY’S METHODS]

身法維何,縱橫高低,進退反側而已,縱則放其勢,一往而不返,橫則裹其力,開拓而莫阻,高則揚其身,而身若有增長之勢,低則抑其身,而身若有攢捉之形,當進則進,殫其身而勇往直冲,當退則退,領其氣而回轉伏勢,至于反身顧后,后即前也,側顧左右,使左右無敢當我,而要非拘拘焉為之也,必先察人之強弱,運我之機關,有忽縱而忽橫,縱橫因勢而變遷,不可一概而推,有忽高而忽低,高低隨時以轉移,不可執格而論,時而宜進,故不可退而餒其氣,時而宜退,即當以退,而鼓其進,是進固進也,即退而亦實以賴其進,若返身顧后,顧其后而以不覺其為后,側顧左右,而左右以不覺其為左右矣,總之機關在眼,變通在心,而握其要者,則本諸身,身而前,則四體不令而行矣,身而却,則百骸莫不冥然而處矣,身法顧可置而不論乎。
What are the methods for the body? To release and rein in, to go high and low, to advance and retreat, to turn and incline.
     To release is to express power, sending it all in one direction so it does not get turned back. To rein in is to bind up power, building it up so no one will be able to resist it.
     To go high is to raise the body up so it seems to be lengthened. To go low is to bow the body down so it seems to be squeezed in.
     When it is time to advance, I advance, springing with my body, valiantly charging straight in. When it is time to retreat, I retreat, leading my energy so that it reverses me into a crouched posture [i.e. prepared to spring forward again].
     When turning around to face behind, what is behind becomes what is in front. When facing to the left and right, I ensure no one dare attack me from the side.
     It is important that these points not be turned into a restrictive formula.
     I must first observe an opponent’s strengths and weaknesses, which will give me my strategy. I suddenly release and suddenly rein in, adjusting according to the situation, for I must not be stubborn about when to use one or the other. I go suddenly high or suddenly low, adapting as circumstances demand, for I must not hold to a preconceived pattern.
     When it is appropriate to advance, I must not retreat and thereby make myself timid. When it is appropriate to retreat, I should retreat, and yet with a readiness to advance. Therefore, advancing is a matter of advancing whole-heartedly, and retreating is also actually a matter of advancing.
     When I turn around to face behind me, I have no notion of it as being behind. When I face to either side, I have no notion of them as being a left or a right. To sum up, operations are in your sight and adaptations are in your mind. [To clarify the summing up, your view of the situation is always forward and your sense of your changing surroundings is always inside you.]
     Once the essentials have been grasped, they become the basis for the whole body. When going forward, every limb moves uncommanded, and when withdrawing, every bone arrives without a thought. However, these things cannot be considered without being described.

第九章 九、要論
9th DISCOURSE ON ESSENTIALS [STEPPING PRINCIPLES]

今夫五官百骸,主于動,而實運以步,步乃一身之根基,運動之樞紐也,以故應戰對敵,皆本諸身,而實所以為身之砥柱者,莫非步,隨機應變在于手,而所以為手之轉移者,以在步,進退反側,非步何以作鼓蕩之機抑揚伸縮,非步何以示變化之妙,所謂機關者在眼,變化者在心,而所以轉彎抹角,千變萬化,而不至于窘迫者,何莫非步為之司令歟,而要非勉強以致之也,動作出于無心,鼓舞出于不覺,身欲動而步以為之周旋,手將動而步以早為之催逼,不期然而然,莫之軀而軀,所謂上欲動而下自隨之者,其斯之謂歟,且步分前后,有定位者步也,然而無定位者以為步,如前步進焉,后步隨焉,前后自有定位,若以前步作后,后步作前,更以前步作后之前步,后步作前之后步,則前后以自然無定位矣,總之,拳以論勢,而握要者為步,活與不活,以在于步,靈與不靈,以在于步,步之為用大矣哉,捶名心意,心意者,意自心生,拳隨意發,總要知己知人,隨機應變,心氣一發,四肢皆動,足起有地,膝起有數,動轉有位,合膊望胯,三尖對照,心意氣內三相合,拳與足合,肘與膝合,肩與胯合,外三相合,手心足心本心三心一氣相合,遠不發手,捶打五尺以內,三尺以外,不論前后左右,一步一捶,發手以得人為準,以不見形為妙,發手快似風箭,響如雷崩,出沒遇象園,如生鳥入群籠之狀,單敵似巨炮推薄壁之勢,骨節帶勢,踴躍直吞,未曾交手,一氣當先,既人其手,靈動為妙,見孔不打,見橫打,見孔不立,見橫立,上中下總氣把定,身足手規矩繩束,既不望空起,亦不望空落,精明靈巧,全在于活,能去能就,能柔能剛,能進能退,不動如山岳,難知如陽陰,無窮如天地,充實如太倉,浩渺如四海,炫曜如三光,察來勢之機會,揣敵人之短長,靜以待動有法,動以處靜借法容易上法難,還是上法最為先,交勇者不可思誤,思誤者寸步難行,起如箭攢落如風隈催烹絕手摟手,皆合暗迷中,由路如閃電,兩邊撾防左右,反背如虎搜山,斬捶勇猛不可當,斬梢迎面取中堂,搶上搶下勢如虎,好似鷹下鷄場,翻江倒海不須忙,丹鳳朝陽才為強,雲背日月天地變,武藝相爭見短長,步路寸開把尺,劈面就去,上右腿,進左步此法前行,進人要進身,身手齊至是為真,發中有絕何從用,解明其意妙如神,鹞之鑽林麻著翅,鷹捉四平足存身,取勝四梢要聚齊,不勝必因合射心,計謀施運化,霹靂走精神,心毒稱上策,手眼方勝人,何謂閃,何謂進,進即閃,閃即進,不必遠求,何為打,何謂顧,顧即打,打即顧,發手便是,心如火藥,拳如子,靈機一動鳥難飛,身似弓弦手似箭,弦向鳥落見神奇,起手如閃電,閃電不及合眸,打人如迅雷,迅雷不及掩耳,五道本是五道關,無人把守自遮欄,左腮手過,右腮手去,右腮手過去,左腮手來,兩手束拳迎面出,五關之門關得嚴,拳從心內發,向鼻尖落,從足下起,足起快向心火作,五行金木水火土,火炎上而水就下,我有心肝脾肺腎,五行相推無錯誤。
From your five senses to your many bones, your movement is presided over by your stepping. Your step provides the base for your body and the crux for its movement. When fighting with an opponent, it is always the case that you are to use your whole body. But without your step, your body really has nothing to stand on. Adapting according to the situation lies with your hands, but the capacity for your hands to maneuver lies with your stepping.
     When advancing or retreating, turning around or to the sides, you will create no opportunity for power generation unless you step. When raising or lowering, expanding or contracting, you will show no ingenuity of adaptation unless you step. We say that operations are in your sight and adaptations are in your mind, and therefore you are to twist and turn in endless variations to stay out of danger, but this cannot happen without the step being in charge. However, it is crucial that you do not try to force this.
     The movement begins mindlessly, its motivation arising unconsciously. When your body is about to move, your step [with the front foot] turns outward [to prepare]. When your hand is about to move, your step [with the rear foot] hastens to get ahead of it. This quality will happen in its own time, arriving without your driving it. When we talk of the upper body being about to move and the lower body naturally going along with the movement, this is what is meant.
     Stepping divides into front and rear, fixed and unfixed. When the front foot advances and the rear foot follows, they are fixed [i.e. front foot remaining forward, rear foot remaining in the rear]. When the front foot becomes the rear foot or the rear foot becomes the front foot, whether it be because of the front foot becoming the rear foot by way of the rear foot stepping forward, or because of the rear foot becoming the front foot by way of the front foot stepping back, they are unfixed [i.e. front foot and rear foot switching roles].
     It is always the case in boxing theory that the crucial thing to grasp is the stepping. Whether you are lively or not is a matter of stepping. Whether you are nimble or not is a matter of stepping. The function of stepping is a huge factor. [The specific theme of stepping now fades from the spotlight. The text from this point on was likely originally intended as part of the 10th section.]
     This kind of boxing is called Mind & Intent [Xinyi – an older name for Xingyi]. It is called this because intent is generated by mind and the fist then expresses as dictated by the intent. You should always know both yourself and your opponent, and respond according to the situation. Mind and energy express as one. Your limbs act together. In lifting your foot, there is direction. In lifting your knee, there is degree. In turning around, there is position. Unify your forearms and aim with your hips. The three points are to align with each other. Mind [is united with intent], intent [united with energy], energy [united with power] – these are the three internal unions. Fist is united with foot, elbow united with knee, shoulder united with hip – these are the three external unions. The three centers – palm, sole, solar plexus – are united as a single energy.
     Do not shoot your hands out from a distance. When the striking range is between three and five feet, whether going forward or back, left or right, step with each strike in order to strike the opponent with precision and to keep your technique wonderfully invisible to him.
     Your hand shoots out fast as wind or an arrow, the sound like thunder or an avalanche. Come and go like a rabbit darting here and there, attacking like a hungry bird entering a crowded coop. When fighting an opponent, be like a huge cannon reducing a wall to rubble. With your joints readied to spring, leap straight in to consume him. Before there is contact, energy should go forth, but once your hands have connected, the ingenuity lies in quick action.
     Do not attack just because you notice a gap, look for a way to deflect him aside and then attack. Do not seize the position just because you notice a gap, look for a way to deflect him aside and then seize the position. Above, middle, below, always the energy between them is kept consistent. Body, feet, and hands are bound by discipline. Do not seek to lift and drop meaninglessly.
     Proficient skill is entirely a matter of fluency. Be able to both strike and stick, to be both hard and soft, to both advance and retreat.
     When not moving, be like a mountain. Be as mysterious as duality, as limitless as the universe, as filled as a warehouse, as vast as the ocean, as dazzling as the sun, moon, and stars. While watching for the moment in which the opponent may attack, estimate his strong points and shortcomings. The superior method is to use stillness to await his movement. The baiting method is to use movement to occupy his stillness. The baiting method is easier and the waiting method more difficult, nevertheless start with the waiting method.
     When fighting a courageous opponent, you must not worry about doing anything wrong, for if you do, you will seize up and not be able to do anything right. Lift like an arrow releasing, then drop like the wind. When pressed to frustration, stop his hand and draw it aside. Cloak everything you are doing, then emerge like lightning. Deflect to your sides, guarding both, and when you turn around, it is like a tiger searching a hillside. Swipe aside and strike fiercely, and he will not be able to withstand you. Swipe aside his limbs and go directly forward, and you will seize his center. Striking above or below, move like a tiger. Seem like an eagle descending on chickens in a coop. Having “diverted the river and turned back the sea” [signifying a stupendous achievement], you do not need to be in a rush. Because “the phoenix has landed on the sunny slope” [signifying the arrival of talent], your ability has become potent. When sun and moon go behind clouds, the world is changed. When martial artists clash, inferior and superior become apparent.
     Step in this way: between your feet is an inch in width and a foot in length.
     When chopping to his face, step forward with your right leg and follow with your left foot. Here is the method of moving forward: when advancing on an opponent, you must advance with your body. When body and hand act in unison, it is right.
     There is a trick to issuing, and when you get the idea, it will seem miraculous. A hawk slips through the trees without a touch to its wings. A eagle catches prey without unbalancing its body.
     To win, your limbs must act in unison. If you lose, it must be because you brought his aim to your center. Carry out your strategy adaptively, send out your spirit thunderously, consider viciousness to be the best plan, and your hands and eyes will then defeat him.
     What are evading and advancing? Advancing is an evasion. Evading is an advance. It is not necessary to think about this too hard. What are attacking and defending? Defending is an attack. Attacking is a defense. Just shoot out your hand. Mind like gunpowder, fist like a bullet – just a nudge of the trigger [i.e. with the merest thought], and the bird cannot escape. Body like a bow, hand like an arrow – aim, and the bird falls like magic. Lift your hand like lightning flashing. When lightning flashes, there is no chance to close your eyes. Strike the opponent like thunder clapping. When thunder claps, there is no chance to cover your ears.
     The five methods [the five elements techniques] are basically five ways of closing off an opponent. There is no one there to guard against because the blocking is an intrinsic part of it. As your left hand covers your left side, your right hand attacks from your right side, and then as your right hand covers your right side, it is your left hand’s turn. Each hand is wrapped into a fist and punches directly forward while the doorways of the five closings close tight. Your fist shoots from your center and lands upon his nose, while your foot lifts and steps quickly through his center like fire surging. Of the five elements of metal, wood, water, fire, and earth, fire blazes upward and water floods downward. We each possess a heart, a liver, a spleen, lungs, and kidneys. Our five elements urge each other on without error.

第十章 十、交手法
PART 10: FIGHTING PRINCIPLES

占右進左,占左進右,發步時足根先著地,脚以十趾抓地,步要穩當,身要莊重,捶沉實而有骨力,去是撤手,著人成拳,用拳要卷緊,用把把有氣,上下氣要均停,出入以心為主宰,眼手足隨之去,不貪不歉,不即不離,肘落肘窩,手落手窩,右足當先,膊尖向前,此是換步,拳從心發,以身力催手,手以心把,心以手把,進人進步,一步一捶,一支動,百支俱隨,發中有絕,一握渾身皆握,一伸渾身皆伸,伸要伸得進,握要握得根,如卷炮,卷得緊,崩得有力,不拘提打,按打、烘打、旋打、斬打、冲打、錛打、肘打、膊打、胯掌打、頭打、進步打、退步打、順步打、橫步打,以及前后左右上下百般打法,皆要一氣相隨,出手先占正門,此之謂巧,骨節要對,不對則無力,手把要靈,不靈則生變,發手要快,不快則遲誤,舉手要活,不活則不快,打手要跟,不跟則不濟,存心要毒,不毒則不準,脚手要活,不活則擔險,存心要精,不精則受愚,發作要鷹捉勇猛,外皮膽大,機要熟運,還勿畏懼運疑,心小膽大,面善心惡,靜似書生,動如雷發,人之來勢,以當審察,脚踢頭歪,拳打膊體,窄身進步,仗身起發,斜行換步,攔打倒身,抬腿伸發,脚指東顧,須防西殺,上虛下必實著,跪敲指不勝屈,靈機自揣摩,手急打手慢,俗言即是其真的確,起望落,落望起,起落要相隨,身手齊到是為真,翦子股望眉斬,加上反背如虎搜山,三尺羅衣挂在無影樹上,起手如閃電,打下如迅雷,雨行風,鷹捉兔,鷂鑽林,鷄摸鵝,摸塌地,起手時,三心相對,不動如書生,動之如龍虎,遠不發手打,雙手雙心打,右來右迎,此為捷取,遠了便上手,近了便加肘,遠了便脚踢,近了便加膝,遠近宜知,拳打踢膀,頭歪把勢,審人能叫一思進,有意莫帶形,帶形必不贏,捷取人法,審顧地形,拳打上風,手要急,足要輕,把勢走動如貓行,心要正,目聚精,手足齊到定要贏,若是手到步不到,打人不得妙,手到步也到,打人如拔草,上打咽喉下打陰,左右兩肋在中心,前打一丈不為遠,近者只在一寸間,身動時如崩牆倒,脚落時如樹栽根,手起如炮直冲,身要如活蛇,擊首則尾應,擊尾則首應,擊中節而首尾皆相應,打前要顧后,知進須知退,心動快似馬,腎動速如風,操演時面前如有人,交手時有人如無人,起前手,后手緊催,起前脚,后脚緊跟,面前有手不見手,胸前有肘不見肘,如見空不打,見空不上,拳不打空起,亦不打空落,手起足要落,足落手要起,心要占先,意要勝人,身要攻人,步要過人,前腿似跏,后腿似鎮,首要仰起,胸要現起,腰要長起,丹田要運氣,自頂至足,要一氣相貫,膽戰心寒,必不能取勝,未能察言觀色者,必不能防人,必不能先動,先動為師,后動為弟,能叫一思進,莫教一思退,三節要停,三尖要照,四梢要齊,明了三心多一力,明了三節多一方,明了四梢多一精,明了五行多一氣,明了三節,不貪不歉,起落進退多變,三回九轉是一勢,總要一心為主宰,總乎五行,運乎二氣,時時操演,勿誤朝夕,盤打時而勉強,工用久而自然,誠哉是言,豈虛語哉。
Stand on your right foot to advance with your left, then stand on your left foot to advance with your right.
     When stepping, first the heel comes down, then the toes grip the ground. The step should be steady. The body should stand sturdy.
     A punch is heavy and vigorous, leaving with the hand loose, then contacting with a completed fist. When making the fist, it should roll up tight to grasp with energy.
     Above and below, the energy should be even. Going out and coming back is dictated by your mind. Your eyes, hands, and feet go along with the movement, no part overemphasizing nor underemphasizing, nothing acting independently.
     The elbow lowers and covers, then the hand lowers and covers.
     Your right foot begins, the elbow going forward. This is the exchanging of steps.
     Punch from the center, putting the power of your whole body into the hand. Your hand acts through your mind and your mind acts through your hand. Advance with body and step so that in each step and punch, when one part moves, all parts move along with it. The key to issuing power is that when one part grasps in, the whole body grasps in, and when one part reaches out, the whole body reaches out. Grasp in all the way to your root, and reach out all the way with an advance. It is like a cannon tightly wrapped, which shoots that much more powerfully.
     Regardless of what kind of attack, be it lifting up, pressing down, scraping, spinning, slashing, thrusting, hatcheting, elbowing, using the forearm, hip-slapping, headbutting, or whether it is advancing, retreating, the front hand and foot the same, the front hand and foot opposite, or whether it be forward or back, left or right, up or down, the various means of attack should all flow continuously one after the other.
     When your hands go forth and are the first to occupy the “main entrance”, this is called skill.
     Your joints should be coordinated. If they are not coordinated, there will be no power. When grabbing, the hand should be nimble. If it is not nimble, there will be randomness. When attacking, the hand should be quick. If it is not quick, it will be too late. When lifting, the hand should be lively. If it is not lively, it will not be quick. When striking, the hand should be followed upon. If it is not followed, there will be no reinforcements. Your intent should be poisonous. If there is no poison, there will be no precision. Feet and hands should be lively. If they are not lively, it will be risky. Your mind should be shrewd. If it is not shrewd, you will get tricked.
     When attacking, you should have the fierceness of a seizing eagle. All that is seen outside is your skin, but within there is boldness. When the moment comes, act with skill. Never fear nor hesitate. Be both careful and courageous. Show a kind face to mask your vicious intent. In stillness, be like a scholar. In movement, be like a thunderclap.
     The opponent’s incoming attack should be carefully observed. Is he tilting his head when he kicks? Is he lifting his arm when he punches? Is he twisting his torso when he steps forward? Is he leaning his torso when he strikes? Is he stepping out at an angle when he switches his feet? Is he pushing himself away when blocking and striking? Is he over-straightening his leg in order to get to you?
     When guarding to the east, you must prepare against danger to the west. When there is emptiness above, there will be solidity below. The fast technique defeats the slow technique. There are countless cunning ways to attack, but the best will come from your own contemplations.
     The real stuff is to be found in the common sayings.
     Lifting seeks to drop. Dropping seeks to lift. Lifting and dropping should follow each other.
     When torso and hands arrive at the same time, it is correct.
     Using your thighs like scissors [i.e. your thighs squeezing together as your rear foot follows your front foot], target [with your hand] the opponent’s brow.
     When you turn around, it is like a tiger searching a hillside, then like a delicate robe hanging from a tree that gives no shade [i.e. Decisively look behind you, but then wait in ghostly stillness for the moment to act.].
     Lift your hand like a flash of lighting. Drop your hand like a crash of thunder. It is also like wind pushing aside rain, an eagle catching a rabbit, a hawk slipping through the forest, a rooster pecking away a goose, and like you are trying to [go through the opponent to] touch the ground.
     When your hand lifts, the three centers are to be aligned with each other.
     When you are still, be like one reading a book, and when you are in motion, be like a dragon or tiger.
     When out of range to strike with your hands, both hands are to be guarding your ribs.
     When attacked to your right side, meet it with your right side [and likewise for the left]. This will deal with an opponent quicker.
     At a distance, strike with hand or foot. When close in, strike with elbow or knee. The two ranges should be understood when punching and kicking.
     The direction of your head will compel the direction of your posture, but examine the opponent to be able to decide when to advance.
     Do not outwardly reveal your intention, for if you do you are sure to fail.
     To deal with an opponent quickly, consider the surrounding environment so as to strike from a superior position.
     Your hands should be quick. Your feet should be nimble. The movements of the postures are like the steps of a cat. Your mind should be decisive. Your eyes should be focused. When your hands and feet act in unison, you are sure to win.
     If your hand arrives but your step does not, your attack on an opponent will not have its full effect, but if hand and step arrive at the same time, the attack on the opponent will be like spreading grass aside.
     When attacking above, go for the throat. When below, go for the groin. When to the side, go for the ribs. When to the middle, go for the solar plexus. When attacking forward, the range can be more than ten feet. When close in, it all happens within an inch.
     When your body moves, it is like a wrecking ball going through a wall. When your foot comes down, it is like a tree planting roots.
     Your hand lifts like a cannon shooting straight ahead. Your body should be like a writhing snake. “Attack its head, its tail counters. Attack its tail, its head counters. Attack its middle, head and tail counter together.” [Art of War, chapter 11]
     When attacking forward, you must consider behind. To know how to advance, you must know how to retreat.
     Your mind moves fast as a horse. Your spirit moves fast as the wind.
     When you practice, there seems to be an opponent in front of you, yet when you fight an opponent, it is as though no one is there.
     When your front hand lifts, your rear hand hastens after it, and when your front foot lifts, your rear foot closely follows.
     You do not perceive your hands in front of you as hands, nor your elbows in front of your chest as elbows [because the key is the whole sum that they are merely parts of].
     Neither attack nor advance just because you see a gap. [Control the opponent first, preventing him from covering his center when you attack, then go in.] Your fist is not to strike when you are lifting and dropping without purpose.
     Once your hand lifts, your foot should come down. Once your foot comes down, your hand should lift.
     Your mind should be ahead of the opponent’s, your intent should defeat him, your body should attack him, and your step should walk through him. What your front leg seems to add, your rear leg seems to further increase.
     Your head should go up, your chest should go forward, your waist should lengthen, and your elixir field should wield energy. From headtop to foot, there should be a single energy running between them.
     If you are afraid, you will lose. If you are unable to interpret his words or manner,
you will be unable to guard against him, and you will certainly be unable to beat him to the punch.
     The one who moves first becomes the teacher. The one who moves after becomes the student. The more you can give thought to advancing, the less you are being trained to retreat.
     The three sections should be settled into place. The three points should align with each other. The four tips should be equal.
     Understanding the three centers means more power. Understanding triple sectioning means more focus. Understanding the four antennas means more essence. Understanding the five elements means more energy. Understanding that none of the three sections are to be excessive or deficient means greater adaptability in lifting and dropping, advancing and retreating.
     A posture is made by the “three turnings in nine revolutions” [the process of essence turning into energy, energy turning into spirit, spirit returning to void, exercised over and over again], and the mind should always be in charge. The cooperation of the five elements moves the two energies [passive and active – metal and water being passive, wood and fire being active, earth being a balance of both]. Practice constantly, never missing a day. When in a fight, there is struggle. But if you have been working at it for a long time, there will instead be naturalness.
     These are words of conviction, not empty platitudes.

按燕薊形意,傳自山右,而山右形意,傳自中州,是則形意拳譜之散見于大河南北者,亦勢使然也,惟是年久代遠,漫無統系,而筆墨傳抄,尤多訛錯,原家十篇,亦不足盡形意武術之全豹,然譜害全部既不可得,則此篇羽只鱗者,洵足寶已,余不敏,敢執此以為吾道賀。
束鹿 李劍秋
Note: The Xingyi of Hebei was transmitted from Shanxi, and the Xingyi of Shanxi was transmitted from Henan. Thus the various contents of this Xingyi Boxing manual are found mostly in Henan and Hebei because the circumstances led it to be the case. But over the many generations, the writings overflowed unsystematized, and through the process of retranscription, many errors were made. The original ten chapters are not sufficient to give us a whole picture of the Xingyi martial art, and thus we cannot obtain it fully through the manual. Its chapters are therefore reduced in stature from wings to mere fish scales, and yet they are indeed worthy of being treasured.
     I am no intellectual, so if you deign to so much as even hold this thing in your hands, I would look upon that as a great compliment.
     – Li Jianqiu of Shulu

-[translation by Paul Brennan, Feb, 2013]

-