Friday, September 14, 2018

Xingyi Quan - Sun Lu Tang - Bradford Tyrey

鬆鶴三體式 Song He San-t’i Shi 
"The attached drawing comes from Sun Lu-T’ang’s earliest version (1912) of his published book 形意拳學 Xingyiquan Xue (The Study of Form-Intent Boxing) which was later revised and republished in (1915) using photos of Sun Lu-T’ang. 

Pine & Crane Three Embodiments Posture

The Chinese character 體 (t’i), according to period dictionaries during the time of masters Guo Yun-Shen
and Sun Lu-T’ang, means: the whole body; a frame consisting of many parts; substance; essentials; to
embody; a solid; a partition; completeness. The character (體) is composed of two radicals: bone [the human skeleton] and sacrificial vessel. These meanings will help you to understand Madam Sun’s response. As she of fine painting methods, she explained this written character according to its two
radical parts, and to the teachings of her father and Master Guo. Therefore, 三體式 San-t’i Shi can, in part, be translated as: Three Embodiments Posture; Three Substances Posture; or Three Essentials Posture. It is safe to say that collectively, these three translations of 三體式 will bring you closer to understanding its inclusive meaning. I have chosen to use ‘embodiment’ as the fore fronting translation based upon clarifications presented by both Madam Sun and Wang Xi-Kui (Sun Lu-T’ang’s disciple). The meaning of Pine and Crane as part of this posture is explained below as passed down and taught within the Sun family by Sun Lu-T’ang’s teacher, Guo Yun-Shen.

‘三體式 San-t’i Shi (Three Embodiments Posture) embraces more than the tip of the nose, tip of a finger, and tip of a toe, the 三 san (three) which form a ‘single alignment.’ These are not the only three tips that are aligned, there exist both the upper and lower and front and back, each containing three tips that are to be aligned during xingyi boxing postures and sets. Beyond such tips exist further teachings essential to San-t’i Shi as well as all postures. To begin, one must understand 伸展 shenzhan (to stretch). 伸展 Shenzhan is the unity of both 伸 shen (to extend) and 展 zhan (to spread outwardly) in a manner that evokes forward extension with sideward spreading like the wings of a 鶴 he’r (crane). Both physical actions are slight, yet their intent is great. When these two actions unify 伸展 shenzhan becomes the ability to ‘stretch’ in a manner strictly adhering to ‘extending’ and ‘spreading.’ However, 不用力 buyongli (no physical exertion) must be followed. The practice of xingyi boxing must be done so in a relaxed manner physically. Internal softness with only the appearance of external strength is essential. Once attained then the skill of 撞擊 zhuangji (ramming strikes) fuse within all hand and foot attacks. This is one’s ability to have each hit contain the force of a battering-ram, each possessing 擊力 jili (striking power) able to collapse a wall built of stone. Such must be coupled with 突擊 tuji (to suddenly attack) without warning and with great ferocity that must not be seen upon one’s face.

三體式 San-t’i Shi (Three Embodiments Posture) must also 收縮 shousuo (receive-withdraw). This is beyond the simplicity of contracting the body at times, it is the ability to 收 shou (receive/collect) one’s Spirit, gathering it inward so that purity of thought can attend only to 體 t’i (the embodiments) being practiced. Among such embodiment skills to attend to is the internal manifestation of 盤繞 panrao (to coil around [to coil around a thing]). 盤繞 Panrao, though externally applied like a dragon or snake coiling and wrapping upon its prey, it is the original essences of 盤 pan (coiling [to coil around/entwine a thing]) and 繞 rao (winding [to wind through or around a thing]) that must be separately understood, practiced, enhanced, then unified within one’s being. When they are unified their harmonious force resembles the churning of the Cosmos, having no equal. To practice in this manner one’s essential 氣力 qili (vigor) shall be enhanced and 長壽 changshou (longevity) shall be without hindrance. Hence it is said such practice of 三體式 San-t’i Shi (Three Embodiments Posture) shall produce 鬆鶴遐齡 Song He Xialing (Pine & Crane Long-lasting Age). These are but part of 三體式 San-t’i Shi practices.’

Note from Bradford: The character 鬆 song means to loosen and relax. However, it also refers to a Pine tree which is symbolic of long-life and often the wisdom that comes with a long lifespan. 鶴 He is the character for Crane, also symbolic, in this case, for longevity. Paired, 鬆鶴 Song He refers to a person who will live as long as the Pine and Crane nestled among the Tao.

Further information on 三體式 San-t’i Shi and related teachings by masters Guo and Sun are found in my books under Bradford Tyrey."

Found: HERE

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