Tai Chi Classics Classroom
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This is a support classroom for study of the Tai Chi Classics, the verses have been broken up for study of the individual characterstics of each line so that we can all learn to apply them in our practice. Regardless of the style linege or expression of your tai chi you practice, if it is to be developed to a deeper level it should be based on following and understanding the wisdom pointed at by the elders in these classics. If the tai chi you practice does not lead to deep understanding of and closely following these classics then it is headed in the wrong direction.
enjoy, Stephen Procter
Tai Chi-Chaun Ching by Chang San-Feng
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1) Tai chi is infinity, the absolute. It is created from "no limit".
2) It involves the mechanism of dynamic and static movement, the mother of Yin and Yang.
3) In movement it separates, in stillness it combines.
4) It must be neither overdone nor underdone
5) Stretching is found in bending
6) To meet hardness with softness is to "Go along with"
7) When you are in a favourable position and your opponent is in the contrary, you are to "Stick to"
8) Have rapid response for rapid attacking and slow response for slow offensive
9) Although changes and variations are innumerable, the basic principle remains the same
10) Your skill in the mastery of strength will be gradually obtained through practicing the "Zhe" (the measures of martial art)
11) From mastery of strength you may advance, step by step to the miraculous state
12) But unless you pursue the exercise long enough you cannot gain the sudden enlightenment
13) Hui-lin-din-jin (lift the head and straighten the kneck) and Chi-cheng-tan-dian (sink chi to the lower abdomen)
14) There should be no distortion nor deviation, that is, keep at equipoise
15) Your strength seems to be suddenly hiding and suddenly appearing
16) If the left side is weighted, you are ready to change to void in the left
17) If the right side is weighted, you are ready to change to void in the right
18) You should be higher than your opponent when your strength is directed to the top and deeper when your strength is drawn downwards
19) Your strength is longer than your opponent when you advance and closer to your opponent when you retreat
20) A feather cannot be added nor can a fly land (without you noticing the change in balance)
21) Your strength and intensions are not to be detected, while you can anticipate the others
22) This is the reason why the master becomes invincible
23) There are many unorthodox ramifications in this art
24) Although the postures are varied they never rely on strength to beat the weaker person, nor use swiftness to subdue the slower one
25) These are mainly the inherited instincts not related to skills from learning
26) Consider the expression of using four ounces to deflect one thousand pounds; it is evident that the victory is not caused by overwhelming strength
27) And how delightful it is to see that an old man, in his eighties, is able to ward off a crowd
28) When standing it is like a poised scale
29) When acting it is as agile as the running cartwheel
30) Tipping to one side is the cause of falling, double weighting is the cause of stagnancy
31) Those who fail to master the skill will often be subdued by others, this is caused by ignoring the fault of double weighting, to avoid this one must know yin and yang
32) "Sticking to" comprises "going along with" and "going along with" comprises "sticking to"
33) Yin does not leave yang and yang does not leave yin
34) Mastery of strength is based on the mutual complement of yin and yang
35) If mastery of strength is attained, the more you practice, the better will be your skill. At this stage keep on study and keeping a silent mind until you can do anything at your will
36) Instead of following your opponent without your own initiative, one is often mistaken by forgetting what is close at hand and seeking far and wide. By making such a small mistake you may go wrong by 1000 miles. Beginners should bear this in mind
37) Long-chaun, which denotes the serial forms, is like the flow of water in a great river or sea, running without end
38) The thirteen kinetic movements are: pung (warding), lu (diverting), ji (pressing), an (pushing), tsai (plucking), li (twisting), zhou (elbowing), and koa (leaning) which are connected with the eight trigrams and jin (stepping forward), tui (stepping backward), ku (looking to the left), pan (looking to the right) and zhong-din (central equilibrium) which coincide with the five elements, namely, metal, wood, water, fire and earth
39) Pung, lu, ji and an, are called the four straight direction manipulations which move towards south, west, east and north respectively
40) Tsai, li, zhou and koa are the four diagonal manipulations moving towards the four corners of northwest, southeast, northeast and southwest respectively