A Brief History of Xíng Yì Quán 形意拳
The origin of 形意拳 Xíng Yì Quán (or Hsing I Chuan) is unknown, but it is most often attributed to General 岳飞 Yuè Fēi. Yuè Fēi was a general for the Chinese military in the Song Dynasty and died around AD 1130. Most historians and scholars agree he did not invent the system of Xíng Yì, but it is attributed to him for his promotion of Xíng Yì in the military. Although the general has been accredited to founding several different styles including Eagle Claw and the health exercise known as the "Eight Pieces of Brocade". Some scholars have traced it back as far as the Liang Dynasty AD 550. Although this still does not prove that it started at that time. Xíng Yì is an “internal” martial art. Although it is difficult to master, it is considered to be the simplest of the three major internal systems (Tài Jí Quán , Bā Guà Zhǎng , and Xíng Yì).
The only recorded record of Yuè Fēi’s teacher proclaims him as a wandering Taoist with no name actually mentioned. Xíng Yì is a predominant subject of many stories, songs, and poems throughout Chinese history. Several theories have been made by well known martial artists including General Yuè Fēi with his “Ten Important Thesis”.
As with any system without origin and claim to ancestry heritage, Xíng Yì has some variations. When a family adopted a system or style they usually critiqued its contents to either make it their own or improve it. Today Xíng Yì is practiced within all over the world by not only Chinese schools, but others who have incorporated it’s theories into their own system. The first five forms learned are a representation of the “Five Elements”; water, wood, earth, metal, and fire. Then the system of Xíng Yì’s twelve animals is practiced; tiger, bear, eagle, ostrich, turtle, snake, dragon, monkey, swallow, pheaquefo (bird), horse, and chicken. These are the most well known aspects of Xíng Yì Quán. Combined together form and meditation have made this one of the hardest hitting systems known.
Ten Important Theses on Hsing I Chuan (Xíng Yì Quán)
By General Yueh Fuei (using Wade-Giles format)
Thesis of Integrity
From the beginning, that which is discrete must have its unification. The divided must be combined. Therefore, between heaven and earth, all that is disordered has its abode, all the thousand branches and the confusion of then thousand endings, all have their origin. This is because one root divides into ten thousand branches, and ten thousand branches all belong to one root. These events are natural.
This theory is applied to the martial arts. It is also numerous. The important point is the thousands of changes and the ten thousand variations. Nothing but postures and nothing but Chi. Although the postures cannot be classified, the Chi, however is, one.
About what one means; from top to the bottom of the feet, internally there are viscera, bowels, tendons, and bones. Externally, there are muscles, skin, the five sensing organs, and hundreds of bones of the skeleton, mutually combined and become one. When struck will not open, when hit will not decompose. The top wishes to move, the bottom automatically follows. The bottom wishes to move the top will automatically lead. The center section moves, the top and the bottom will coordinate. Internal and external are combined, the front and the rear mutually required. This is what is called threading into one.
This cannot be reached through force or done from imitating. When it is time to be calm, it is quiet and transparent. In this position, you are steady like a mountain. When it is time to move, move like thunder and collapse. The speed of emitting is like lighting. In addition, when calm, there is nothing that is not calm. The surface and the internal, the top and the bottom, all without disorder and the meaning of inhibiting each other. When moving, there is nothing that does not move. The left and the right, the front and the rear, all without antagonizing, and the shape of swiftly moving around. It is just like water flowing downward. It is so powerful that nothing is able to stop it. It is fired internally. When shot, not fast enough to cover your ears. Without considering thinking, without bothering to plan, simply reach the goal without expectation. This is reached without intention, then isn’t it the natural way?
Because the Chi must be accumulated daily to gain benefit, Kung is trained for long term success. In contemplating the way, one passes through the holy door. One must wait until one has listened repeatedly and gained sufficient knowledge and has reached the stage where he suddenly comprehends, and has not ignored achieving through thorough training, then he knows that these things are not difficult nor easy. The achievement can be reached as an end by itself; cannot be through waiting and cannot be speeded up. Follow the steps and catch the pace, advancing according to the order. Only then will the organs, skeleton bones, limbs, and joints connect automatically, and the top and bottom, the external and internal not have difficulty communicating. Then those randomized will be gathered and those divided will be unified. The four limbs and hundreds of skeleton bones will all belong to one Chi.
Thesis of Yin and Yang
It is seldom heard that he who discusses striking, also discussed Chi. About the Chi, it is mastered as one but can be divided into two. What are these two? They are inhaling and exhaling. The inhalation and exhalation are the Yin and Yang. The striking cannot occur without moving and calmness. The Chi cannot exist without inhaling and exhaling. Inhalation is Yin and exhalation is Yang. The one, which is calm, is Yin and the one, which is moving, is Yang. Raising up is Yang and sinking downward is Yin. When Yang Chi is rising up it becomes Yang, and when Yang Chi is being transported downward it becomes Yin. When Yin Chi is being transported downward it becomes Yin, and when Yin Chi is being transported upward it becomes Yang. This is the discrimination of Yin and Yang.
What are clean and muddy? The one that rises up to the top is clean and the one descending downward is muddy. The clean Chi rises upward and the dirty Chi sinks downward. The clean one is Yang and the dirty one is Yin. It is important that Yang should be used to nourish Yin. Generally speaking, they are united as one Chi. If divided; they are distinguished as Yin and Yang. Chi cannot be without Yin and Yang, and it is just like man cannot live without having movement and calmness. The nose cannot be without inhalation and exhalation, and the mouth cannot be without exiting and entering. This is the unchangeable theory of natural cycling. However, though Chi can be divided into two, in fact, it is one. Those who like to study this should be careful not to restrict this.
Thesis of the Three Sections
Well, Chi is the root of the entire body, and the sections of the body should not have definite places/positions. What are called the "three sections" are the top, middle, and bottom. For the body, the head is the top section, the body is the middle section, and the legs are the bottom section. If talking about the top section, then the crown is the top section, the nose is the middle section, and the tongue is the bottom section. If talking about the middle section, then the chest is the top section, the abdomen is the middle section, and the Dan Tien is the bottom section. If talking about the bottom section, the feet are the ending section, the knees are the middle section, and the hips are the root section. If talking about the arms, the hands are the ending section, the elbows are the middle section, and the shoulders are the root section. If talking about the hands, the fingers are the ending section, the palms are the middle section, and the roots of the palms are the root section. From this, there is no need to talk more about feet.
However from the head to the feet, all have three sections. Most important is that if there is not a distinguishing into three sections, then the meaning cannot be clear. If the top section is not clear, there is no dependence and no origin. If the middle section is not clear, then the entire body is void. If the bottom section is not clear, then you will fall by yourself. How can we ignore them? As to how the Chi starts to move, there is nothing but the end section must move, the middle section follows, and the root section urges. However, all of these discussions are but dividing into sections to talk about them. If we talk about when they are all combined, then form the top of the head to the bottom of the feet, the four limbs and hundreds of bones, all in one section, how can they be divided into three sections? Furthermore, how can we again divide each section of these three sections into another three sections?
Thesis of the Four Extremities
Try, in addition, to discussing the body and the Chi, to discuss the extremities. The extremities are the surplus ends of the body. Those who talk about the body have never mentioned these since the beginning, and those who talk about the Chi have also seldom discussed them. Striking is from the internal and emitted to the outside, and thus the Chi is from the body and reaches to the extremities. If the application of Chi does not originate from the body, this is void and not solid. If it does not manifest in every extremity, though solid it is still void. How is it possible to not talk about the extremities? However, these are only the extremities of the physical body and not the extremities of the Chi.
What are the four extremities? The hair is one. Because the hair does not belong to one of the Five Phases and is not related to the four limbs, it seems this is not worth discussing. However, the hair is the ending of the blood and the blood is the ocean of Chi. Even though we do not use the hair to discuss Chi, we cannot ignore the blood in the generation of Chi. If we cannot ignore the blood, then we cannot but also be concerned with the hair. When the hair is strong enough to shoot up the hat, the blood ending is sufficient. Others such as the tongue is the ending of the muscles and the muscles are the Chi bag (capable of storing Chi). If the Chi cannot be manifested in the ending of the muscles, then there is not enough quantity of Chi to fill up the muscles. Therefore, the tongue should urge (push against) the teeth, then the Chi in the meat ending will be enough.
As to the ending of the bones, it is the teeth. The ending of the tendons is the nails. Chi is generated form the bones, which are connected to the tendons. If the Chi cannot reach the teeth, it means the Chi cannot reach the ending of the tendons. If you desire to have plenty, then it cannot be done unless the teeth are able to break the tendons and the nails are able to penetrate the bones. If able to do this, the Chi of the four extremities is sufficient. When the Chi of the four extremities is sufficient, the Chi will be plenty automatically. In this case, how can it be still void and not solid, or though solid still void?
Thesis of the Five Phases
When talking about striking, discuss the posture. When talking about the postures, discuss Chi. Man has five viscera, which therefore form the shape. From the five viscera, the Chi is born. The five viscera are really the original bearers of human nature and the source of growing Chi. They are named heart, liver, spleen, lungs, and kidneys. The heart is Fire and has the appearance of flaming upward. The liver is Wood and has the shape of curved and straight. The spleen is Earth and has the feeling of solid and sincere. The lungs are Metal and have the capability of initiating changes. The kidneys are Water and have the talent of moistening the lower body. This is the meaning of the five viscera, and they must be coordinated accurately with the Chi so that they are able to cooperate with each other.
This is why those who talk about martial affairs must not separate from them. The chest and diaphragm is the position of the lung primary Chi channels and cover all other viscera. Therefore, when the lung primary channel moves, all other viscera cannot be calm. The heart is between the two nipples and enwrapped and protected by the lungs. Underneath the lungs and above the stomach is the location of the heart primary Chi channel. The heart is the king of Fire, and once it moves all other primary ministerial Fires will naturally follow. Between the two flanks, left is the liver and right is the spleen. On the fourteenth section of the spine are the kidneys. These are the positions of the five viscera. However, all these five viscera are linked with the back spine and connected with the kidneys’ Essence. As to the waist, it is the home position of the two kidneys. They are the first among the pre-heaven, and especially are the origin and root of all other viscera. Therefore, when the kidney Water is sufficient, then Metal, Wood, Water, Fire, and Earth will have the opportunity to create. These are the positions of the five viscera.
In addition, the five viscera existing internally have their definite positions. Manifested on the body, they also have their special positions. They are the neck, the top of the head, the brain, the bones, the back, and the waist. The two ears are the kidneys, the two lips and two cheeks are the spleen. The two hairs (head hair and body hair) are the lungs. The forehead is the leader of the six Yang organs and gathers the Essence of the five viscera (Yin organs) and actually is the main master of the head and face and is the governor of the entire body.
The Yintang, is the key place of the Stomach Chi of Yang Brightness. When the human nature starts at the Tianting, its functioning is approached from here. The Chi generated and developed is able to reach the six Yangs from the kidneys and it is really the main key place of the Tianting. Two eyes are both the liver. Studied in more detail, the tip (of the eyes) is the spleen and the bottom is the stomach. The big corner is for the heart channel and the small corner is for the small intestines. The white (of the eyes) means the lungs and the black is the liver. The pupil is the kidneys and is actually the Essence gathering of the five viscera. So, they (the eyes) are not only especially related to the liver.
The nose is the lungs, the two cheeks are the kidneys, the front of the ear doors are the Gall Bladder, and the high bones behind the ears are also the kidneys. The nose is the Earth Center and is the source of the birth and nourishment of the million objects. It is actually the master of the center Chi. The Renzhong is the meeting of blood and Chi, thrusting upward into the Yintang and reaching to the Tianting; it is also the most important place. Under the two lips is the Chengjiang and underneath the Chengjiang is the Dihe, correspond to the Tianting and also relate to the kidney channel.
The head and neck are the pathway to the five viscera and the main gathering place of blood and Chi. The front is the entering and exiting path of food and air and the rear is the ascending and descending way of kidney Chi. The liver Chi is thus spinning to the left and the spleen Chi is spinning to the right. Their relations are most important and are the key points in the entire body. The two nipples are the liver and the two shoulders are the lungs. The two elbows are the kidneys. The two shoulders on the back is the spleen. The ten fingers are the heart, liver, spleen, lungs, and kidneys. The knees and the calves are both the kidneys. The bottoms of the two feet are the important places of the kidneys and the Yongquan are the cavities of the kidneys.
Generally, how the body is related is as follows. Those places which are convex are the heart. Those concave are the lungs. Those places where the bone is exposed are the kidneys. The tendons junction places are the liver. And where the flesh is thick are the spleen. Looking at them from the Yi, the heart is like a fiery tiger, the liver is like an arrow, the spleen with the unlimited strength of the Chi and Li. The distribution of the liver channel is the most variable spiritually, the movement of the kidneys; Chi is fast like the wind. When applied to the body such as the application of Chi channels, the places in the entire body which are related to these channels, ultimately they cannot be without having the meaning. Therefore, people studying should comprehend by themselves. This cannot be done through pen and ink. As to the production, conquest, and derivation, though there is some other discussion already, studying their key points, there is a total comprehension automatically. The Five Phases and the hundreds of parts of the body, after all, are one unit. The four bodies and the three centers are combined into one. Why do we have to pay attention to every channel and every branch or section of the body?
Thesis of the Six Combinations
Hsin combines with Yi, Yi combines with Chi, and Chi combines with Li are the three internal combinations. Hands combine with feet, elbows combine with knees, and shoulders combines with hips are the three external combinations. These are called Liou He (the six combinations). The left hand combines with the right foot, the left elbow combines with the right knee, the left shoulder combines with the right hip. The same holds true for the other side. Then, the head combines with the hands, the hands combine with the body, and the body combines with the stepping. These cannot be thought not to be the external combinations. The heart combines with the eyes, the liver combines with the tendons, the spleen combines with the meat, the lungs combine with the body, and the kidneys combine with the bones. These cannot be thought not to be the internal combinations. How can there be only six combinations? They are divided only for discussion. In all, one place moves, everywhere moves; one place combines, every place is combined. The five shapes and hundreds of bones will all be useful.
Thesis of the Seven Advancings
The head is the leader of the six Yangs and is also the master of the entire body. The five sensing organs and hundreds of bones do not but rely on it. Therefore, the head cannot but advance. The hands move first, and their foundation and root are in the shoulders. If the shoulders do not advance, then the hands will hesitate and not advance. Therefore, it is important that the shoulders must advance. Chi is gathered in the Zhongwan cavity and the key is in the waist: when the waist does not advance, then the Chi is weak and not solid. Therefore, it is important that the waist must advance.
Yi is threaded throughout the entire body, and the movements depend on the stepping. If the stepping is not forward, then the Yi is in vain and cannot do anything. Therefore, the stepping is important in advancing. Then, when attacking the left, the right must be advanced, and when attacking the right, the left must be advanced. These are the seven advancings. They are not what are called the advancing in touching the ground. To conclude their importance, before advancing, the entire body may not have the Yi connection and be related to each other. Once talking about advancing, then the entire body does not have the appearance of delaying and hesitation.
Thesis of the Body's Maneuvers
What are the body’s maneuvers? Simply; Tzong (straight forward), Hern (sideways), Gau (moving high), Di (moving low), Jinn (advancing), Tuey (retreating), Faan (reversing), and Tseh (beware of the flank). Tzong is releasing the posture forward and not returning. Hern is to enwrap the Li, opening up the way, which cannot be resisted. Gau is to extend the body, and the body has the tendency to rise. Di is to press down the body and make the body have the shape of drilling and seizing. When is should be forward, then forward. Bounce the body and straight forward bravely. When you should retreat, then retreat. Lead the Chi back and convert the posture into yielding.
As to turning the body and beware of the rear, the rear is the front. When I beware of the left and right, nobody dare to resist me from the left or the right. You should not be inhibited. First, you must inspect the opponent’s strong and weak, skillfully apply key tricks (strategy), sometimes suddenly forward and suddenly sideways. Forward and sideways are changeable following the situation and there is no general rule to follow. There is suddenly high and suddenly low, they can be switched anytime. Do not be stubborn in the rules and do not deliberate. When it is time to advance, then do not retreat. If retreating, then the Chi strength is weakened. When it is time to retreat, then retreat to prepare for an advance.
Advance is for advancing, and even retreating relies on advance. If you turn the body to beware of the rear, beware of the rear still never feel it is the rear. When you beware of the left and right, the left and right are never felt to be left and right. In all, the key is in the eyes, and the change is from the heart, then when the key is held, it is applied to the body. When the body is moving forward, it does not need an order, the four limbs are forward. When the body is retreating, then hundreds of skeleton bones are all in their positions scientifically. How can we not talk about the body’s maneuvers?
Thesis of Stepping
When the five sensing organs and hundred skeleton bones decide to move, in fact, the stepping transports them. The stepping is the foundation of the entire body and the governing key to movement. Therefore, engaging in battle and matching the opponent relies on the body. Actually the main support of this is nothing but stepping. The changes that correspond to the situation and opportunity are in the hands. However, that which enables the hands to switch and move around is also in the stepping. Advancing, retreating, turning around, and beware of he sides; if not for the stepping, how to catch the opportunity to stimulate and also to rise, extend, and withdraw? If not for the stepping, how to demonstrate the marvelous variations? What is called the tricky keys are in the eyes, the variations are in the heart. Then it is possible to turn around and change angles, thousand variations and ten thousand derivations which prevent being forced into urgency. If not from the actions of stepping, how could it be done? Goals cannot be reached by force.
The movements originate from no heart and the excitement is generated from no feeling. When the body wishes to move, the stepping will also move around. When the hands are going to move, stepping has already progressed to the urgent position. This happens without expectation, progresses without being pushed. Isn’t this what is called the top wishes to move the bottom naturally follows? Furthermore, stepping is divided into front and rear. The one with definite positions is stepping. Also the one without definite positions is also stepping. Such as the front leg steps forward, the rear leg will follow. The front and the rear all have a definite position. If the earlier stepping steps later, and the later stepping steps first, also if the earlier stepping is used as the first stepping for the later, or the later stepping is used as the following stepping for the first, then the earlier and the later stepping will naturally not have definite positions. In all, when talking about the situation of the fist (style), the important point should be considered to be stepping. Lively or not is also decided by stepping. Agile or not also depends on stepping how great are the applications of stepping!
The fist (this style) is named Hsin Yi (heart-mind). In Hsin-Yi, the Yi (intention) originates from the Hsin (heart) and the fists are emitted according to the Yi. You must know yourself and the opponent, following the opportunity and responding with variations. The Chi in the heart is emitted. The four limbs all move. While the feet are raised, they are grounded. While the knees are lifted, they have number (specific techniques). While turning, there are positions. Combine with the shoulders and coordinate with the hips, three tips are matching, and the Hsin, Yi, and chi internal three are combined. The fist is combined with the feet, the elbows are combined with the knees, and the shoulders are combined with the hips, external three are combined. The palm centers, the sole center, and the Hsin, three centers and one Chi are mutually combined. When far, the hands are not emitted. The fists are used to strike within five feet and beyond three feet, no matter whether moving forward, retreating, moving to the left or to the right, every step corresponds with each fist (strike). The concept is marvelous if able to reach. The opponent cannot see your shape.
When the hands are emitted, they are fast like the wind and the arrow. The sound is like thunder. Appear and disappear like a rabbit. It is like a lively bird entering the woods. Encountering an enemy, like a giant cannon whose power can destroy a wall like a thin one. The eyes are sharp and the hands are fast. When you jump forward, it is straightforward for swallowing. Before exchanging hands, the Chi is already forward. Once the hands have entered, the agile movements are most marvelous. When you see an opening, do not strike. See the Hern, then strike. See the opening, do not stand firm. See the Hern, then stand firm. Top, middle, and bottom, hold the Chi steady. The body, feet, and hands are all following orders. They are not raised because of the opening and they do not fall because of the opening. The wisdom and skillful tricks all depend on the aliveness, ability to go, ability to fit in, ability to be soft, and ability to be hard, ability to advance, and ability to retreat. Not moving, steady as a mountain. As difficult to figure out as Yin and Yang. Unlimited like the heavens and the earth. Full like a huge granary. Extensive and abundant as the four seas. Bright and shining like the three lights. Inspect the opportunity of the opponent’s attack and determine the advantages and disadvantages. There are advanced techniques to be calm and wait for the movement. There are borrowing techniques, moving to deal with the calmness. The borrowing techniques are easy and the advanced techniques are hare. The advances techniques should still be considered first.
Those who are exchanging bravery should not think about mistakes. Those who think about the mistakes find it hard to move even an inch step. Rise like a penetrating arrow and fall like the wind. The hands grasp the hands, attack forward. Every movement automatically combines secretly. Speedy like lightning in the sky and beware of the two sides, left and right. Turning to the rear is just like a tiger searching the mountain. Chop and strike are used, intrepid and indefensible. Chop the endings (limbs) and attack the face, aiming for the Jongtang. Thrusting upward and downward, it is like a tiger, also like an eagle swooping downward to a chicken coop. Do not be hurried in turning over the rivers and reversing the ocean. A single phoenix that dares to fly toward the sun can be said to be brave. The clouds are covering the heavens and the moon. The heavens and the earth interact; when martial arts are competed the winner and the loser can be seen.
When stepping, an inch apart and a step a foot. Chop forward to the face and step the right leg and advance with the left steps, following this method to move forward. Approaching the opponent, advance your body. The body and the hands arrive together, then can be real. Within the emitting, how to understand the secret application? When the meaning has been explained, its marvelous nature can seem to be supernatural. When a bird of prey enters the woods, it must not catch its wings. While an eagle is seizing a small bird, its postures are balanced in four directions. To win the victory, the four extremities must be gathered neatly. First, still need the hand to protect the heart. Plan the strategies and apply them skillfully, a spirit of thunder and a venomous heart is the best policy. The hands and the eyes are able to defeat the opponent.
What is dodging? What is advancing? To advance is to dodge and to dodge is to advance. Do not look for the distant answer. What is called a strike? What is called beware? To beware is to strike and to strike is to beware. The hands are just simply emitted. The heart is like gunpowder and the fist is like a canon ball. When the trigger is moved, it is hard for the bird to fly. The body is like a bow and bowstring and the hands are like the arrows. When the string is aimed ant the bird, the marvelous results will be seen. When the hands move, like lightning; lightning is so fast that there is not enough time to close the eyes. The striking is like thunder and it is so fast that there is no time to cover your ears. The five paths are actually the five entrances. Nobody protects them but you. When the left hand passes the cheek, the right hand will go. When the right cheek’s hand is going, the left cheek’s hand is coming. The two hands are bound fists and released to the face. The doors of the five gates are tightly closed. The fists are emitted from the heart and fall onto the nose. The feet are from underneath the ground. When a foot is raised fast, the heat Fire is flaming. The Five Phases are Metal, Wood, Water, Fire, and Earth. The Fire is flaming upward and the Water is flowing downward. I have the heart, liver, spleen, lungs, and kidneys. The Five Phases can mutually cooperate without mistake.
Thesis of Fighting
Grab the right; enter the left. Grab the left; enter the right. When stepping forward, the heels touch the ground first. The tip of the foot uses the toes to grab the ground. The stepping must be steady and the body must be solemn. The strike must be firm, solid, and have Li from the bones. While going, the hands are relaxed and when they reach the opponent they become fists. When fists are used, curl in tightly. When you grab, the grabbing must have chi. From the top to the bottom, the Chi must be uniform. Exiting and entering use the heart as master. The eyes, hands, and feet then follow. Do not be greedy and do not be deficient. The elbows should fall into the cave of the elbows and the hands should fall into the hands’ cave. The right leg moves first and the tip of the shoulder moves forward. This is exchanging steps.
The fist is emitted from the heart, and the body urges the hand. The hand is grabbing with the heart and the heart is grabbing with the hand. The man moves and steps forward, every step and every fist, one branch moves, hundreds of branches all follow. There is a secret in emitting Jing, when one is grabbing, the entire body is all grabbing. When one is extending, the entire body is all extending. Extending must extend enough to enter; the grabbing must grab to the root. Like wrapping the cannon, wrap tightly, and restrained with Li. It does not matter whether lift striking, press striking, ward off striking, rotating striking, chopping striking, thrusting striking, drilling striking, elbow striking, shoulder striking, palm striking, head striking, forward step striking, backward step striking, smooth step striking, sideways step striking, and front, rear, left, right, top, and bottom; all hundreds of striking methods, all must mutually follow. Releasing hands first occupy the front door. This is called cunning.
The bone sections must be matched. If not matched, no Li. The hand grabbing must be agile. If not agile, then changes can occur. The emitting hand must be fast. If not fast, then too late. The rising hand must be alive. If not alive, then not fast. Striking must have follow-up. If no follow-up, then not effective. The scheming heart must be venomous. If not venomous, then not accurate. Feet and hands must be alive. If not alive, then they carry danger. The scheming heart must be refined. If not refined, then it will be fooled. When attacking, must be brave and fierce like an eagle’s stoop. Be calm externally and audacious, and use the opportunity skillfully. Must not be afraid, hesitant, and suspicious. The heart is small and the bladder is big (brave). The face looks nice; the mind is venomous. Be calm like a scholar and move like the thunder striking.
The opponent’s approaching posture must also be carefully inspected, such as the feet’s kicks, the head’s bump, the fist’s strikes and the shoulder’s action, narrowing the body to advance, relying on the body to raise and emit, walking diagonally and exchanging stepping, intercepting strikes and retreating the body, and lifting and extending the leg for emitting. When wary of feet to the east, must prevent being killed from the west. The top is void, the bottom must be solid. So many tricks that the fingers are not enough for bending (counting). You must figure out the clever tricks and opportunities. The fast hand strikes the slow hand. The traditional sayings should not be ignored. Indeed have their knowledgeable opinion.
Rising, expect falling. Falling, expect rising. The rising and falling mutually follow each other. The body and the hands all arrive at the same time is the real method. The thighs form a scissors, and chop toward the eyebrows. In addition, turning around is like a tiger searching the mountain. The hands rise like lightning and fall like speedy thunder, the wind blowing the rain, the eagle seizing the swallow, the sparrowhawk entering the woods, and the lion catching a rabbit. When the hands are raised, the three centers match each other. Not moving, like a scholar. And moving, like a dragon and a tiger. If too far, the hands should not be emitted for striking. Two hands protect the sides of the heart. When an attack is from the right, intercept with the right and when and attack is form the left, intercept with the left. This is a short cut in intercepting. If too far, then move forward with my hand and when it is close, add the elbow. If it is far, then use the leg to kick and if it is close, add the knee. Far or close must be known properly. The fist’s strike and the foot’s kick, from the head to the postures; inspecting the opponent can cause you to think of advancing. When there is an Yi, do not have shape (external appearance). When there is a shape, you will not win.
The method of defeating the opponent: inspect and be aware of the shape of the ground. When a fist is in an advantageous position, the hands must be speedy. The feet must be light (agile) and when the postures are moving, they are like a cat’s walk. The heart must be neutral and centered, the eyes are gathering essence, the hands and feet all arrive, must win. If the hands arrive but the feet are not arriving, then cannot obtain the marvelous trick. The hands arrive and the feet also arrive, striking the opponent is just like pulling up grass. The top strikes the throat and the bottom strikes the groin. The left or the right flank remains in the center. It is not far to strike ten feet away. It is close, it can be within only an inch.
When the body moves, like a wall collapsing. When the feet are falling, like a tree is growing roots. When the hands are rising, like a fired cannonball, thrusting straightforward. The body should be like a living snake, when the head is attacked, the tail will respond, when the tail is attacked, the head will respond, and when the middle section is attacked, then the head and the tail both respond. When striking forward, must be aware of the rear. Knowing forward, you should also know backward. The heart moves like a horse, the shoulders move with the speed of wind. When training, it seems there is someone in front of you and when you are exchanging the hands, even though there is an opponent, it is like fighting nobody. When the front hand rises, the rear hand urges closely. When the front leg rises, the rear leg follows closely. There are hands in front of you. Do not see the hands. And there are elbows in front of the chest. Do not see the elbows.
If you see an opening, do not strike, and if you see the opening, do not advance. The fist should not strike the false rising and also not strike the false lowering. When the hands rise, the feet must fall. When the feet fall, the hands must rise. The heart must move first and the Yi must defeat the opponent. The body will attack the opponent, and the stepping must be better than the opponent’s. The front leg is like crossing and the rear leg is like sticking. The head must stick up and the chest must be exposed. The waist must grow and rise, and the Dan Tien must transport the Chi. From the top to the feet, the one Chi must thread through. Holding fear in the battle and the heart is cold, then surely not able to win. Unable to inspect the talking and view the color, surely not able to prevent the opponent’s intention and surely not able to move first. He who moves first is the master, and he who moves second is the follower. Be able to think only of advancing and do not keep thinking of retreating.
The three sections must be clear, the three tips must match, and the four extremities must be gathered. Understanding the three centers will increase by one more power, comprehending the three sections will add one more technique, understanding the four extremities will increase one essence, understanding the Five Phases will increase the one Chi. Understanding the three sections, not greedy and not deficient, rise, fall, advance, and retreat will have more variations. Three rounds and nine turns are one posture (in each posture). The one heart must master all. Using the two Chi to govern the Five Phases, practice all the time, do not be delayed morning and evening. Crossing the legs (meditation) and striking (form practice) must often be forced. After the Kung (Kung Fu: energy and time) has passed, it will be natural. This is sincere language and not empty talk.