IX. Tai Ji Quan Poems
Preparation Form (Yue Bei Shi)
Inhale the new exhale the old. Qi must circulate, absorb the true Jin and boil in the tripod.
Lift and lead Ding Jin to concentrate Jing-Shen (Essence-Spirit), sink the wrist and sink the shoulder so the posture is natural. (Ding Jin is one of the technical essentials for practicing Tai Ji and refers to the position of the head and a sense of "pushing up" as if against a hat but the neck muscles must be relaxed. This "fills up" the spirit)
Receive Qi uphold the hands, raise from Dantian ascend to the chest.(in this case to "receive Qi" means to inhale and at the same time raise the arms using the Dantian not the shoulder. it will feel like the arms are "filling up")
The abdomen gathers Jing-Qi (Essence-Qi) and raises it fully, the posture is like rising
up to Heaven. (in this posture the back should have a sense of the spine opening vertebrae by vertebrae as if i was lifting inside the body and the Jing-Qi naturally raises up. The abdomen gathers can also be translated as the abdomen lifts or the abdomen contracts.)
When inhalation changes to exhalation, clear qi sinks and turbid qi is expelled.
Relax the abdomen, press the hand returning to the origin, intermixed one breath
becomes void.(the abdomen relaxes and the palms press down, seamlessly the one breath returns to emptiness. Sometimes translated as void, it does not mean a vacuum but a state from which all things are possible.)
Two kinds of qi flows without priority, becoming six small heavenly circles.
[Say] He, Hu, Xu, Si, Xi and Chui, and both the interior and exterior mutually engender a single intention. (the vibration of these words known as the six healing sounds relate to certain seasons and are used at different times of the year. They affect different organs in the body. They are also used in the practice of Tu Na Si Ba)
Rotate Fa Lun Chang Zuan (Wheel of Law) frequently without leisure, to drive out evil and usher in and increase Jing-Qi. (referring to the small Heavenly Circulation, free flowing of qi along the back du mai channel and the ren mai front channel. Driving out the turbid and increasing and refining Jing-Qi
The hard work of following the road will increase the phenomenon, the moon will surely be round at the fifteenth day. (if you train diligently the sensations etc. in the body will get stronger. The second part refers to the Autumn harvest festival when you celebrate a good harvest. In other words, if like a farmer you put in the hard work of cultivating the fields you will reap a bountiful harvest)
 The tripod (Ding: 鼎) is a reference to Daoist inner alchemy. The tripod represent the Qian diagram - composed of all yang lines. This represents the true yang.
 顶劲 Ding Jin: Ding (carry on the head, push up from below); Jin (strength, energy, spirit). ie: “Propping up” Jin - energy and power pushing up from underneath.
 小周天 Xiao Zhou Tian: Small Heavenly Circulation or Microcosmic Orbit
 These are the six word or sounds that vibrate in the five Zang organs and the triple heater.
 法轮常转 Fa Lun Chang Zuan: the Dharmachakra (Fa Lun in Chinese), the “Wheel of Law” or “Dharma Wheel” in Buddhism is also called the “Wheel of Life” and in Daoism is an alternative name for the Xiao Zhou Tian: Small Heavenly Circulation.
掤 劲 含 刚 健，按 劲 是 空 柔。
捋 是 刚 中 柔，挤 是 柔 中 刚。
知 此 四 正 方，不 外 太 极 圈。
1. Grasp the Sparrow's Tail
The hand goes out in ward off (Peng) containing like an enclosing wall, even if you encounter a formidable adversary [you] are not flustered. (like a wall around a garden ward off stands between me and the enemy so I don't need to be nervous)
Change into a circle to draw leftward and rightward, the back standing Jin is the
central beam. (this means to transform into a sphere while keeping the back erect with vigorous internal energy)
Left removes (Ban) and right blocks (Lan also can mean "cuts off") to injure the face, receive (Jie) or roll up (Lu) as you choose.
Lift the hands with Peng to defend all things, avoid prohibit being too firm or tense in the
upper posture. ("Lift the hands" can also be translated as "join the hands" when you join your hands with the enemy you can become aware of all things and you must urgently avoid being too firm or tense or aggressive.)
Change roll up (Lu) into squeezing (Ji) following the intention, contain the chest, raise the back
and avoid leaning. (this means when you are in contact Lu will change into Ji as I follow his intention. The second part means to avoid mistakes or deviations in containing the chest or raising the back. For instance don't puff out the chest, don't collapse the spine or lean forward or backward etc.)
Peng, press (An) and double pushing (Tui) must be skillful, all based on Yao and leg
as the axis.
Roll up (Lu) comes and Squeezing (Ji) goes according to the situation, firmness and yielding mutually assisting without deviation.
Peng (ward off) Upward and press downward (An) following the changes, firmness and yielding mutually assisting too wonderful for words. (this means that Lu and Ji transform and adapt according to the opportunities presented. How firmness and yielding assist each other is wonderful and cannot be described by words.)
The Tai Ji circling method is wondrous and inexhaustible, Sparrow’s tail generates Peng, Lu,
Ji and An.
When one understands the subtleties of the Central Circle, it is possible to move a thousand kilo weight with two ounces. (to understand does not mean to intellectually understand but to understand with the body. A thousand kilo weight is easy to move if it is balanced on a single point. it is very difficult to do this to another resisting human but when your body understands the subtleties of Tai Ji it is possible. In other words: if he uses too much force trying to push me I redirect his force and by only adding a small amount to it he goes into the wall.)
Peng Jin contains firm strength, An Jin is empty and yielding.
Lu is firmness within gentleness (yielding). Ji is gentleness within firmness.
Knowing the four directions, is not outside the
Tai Ji circle. (if you know the four directions nothing is beyond the scope of Tai Ji.) I would add to this that Song Zhiyong would say everything in Tai Ji is in Grasp the Sparrow's Tail just as everything in Xingyi is in Pi Quan and everything in Bagua is in the single and double palm change.
 揽 Lan: pull or take into one’s arms; fasten with rope; grasp.
 See Footnote #8.
 含Han: keep in the mouth before swallowing; contain; harbor.
 挺Ting: stand, endure, standout, bulge outward, firm. Ting Jin: “Upright Jin” or “firm, vigorous Jin.”
 腰 Yao: the waist; more properly, the loins and the small of the back emanating out around the waist.
 机关 Ji Guan: critical juncture; key point; key link; axis; mechanism.
(2) Single Whip
In the Single Whip posture, hold the chest obliquely, the left is like an arrow approaching and the right is like a bow.
Relax the shoulder and sink the elbow to ward off to the four directions, draw the bow, release the arrow left and right together. (the power is equal on both sides)
Close to the body, arriving Jin changes and twists, Tui (push) or An (press) are not slack.
Glance right and left and get close to strike the head, use advancing to retreat, changing and transforming cleverly.
 挡Dang: ward off; block; get in the way of; obstruct, guard, shield
 放松Fang Song: Release and slacken. Relax. In the context of this sentence - “not fang song” – it can mean “with care”.
 This can also mean: “pretend to go forward in order to go back.”
(3) Lift the Hands Upward
Close two hands while difficult to throw down the enemy, and relax the shoulder and drop the elbow downward.
Contract the chest and squat down to gather strength, and whole face is red by lifting with the single hand.
First twist with the left hand in the downward posture, and explore the groin of the enemy directly with the right hand.
While he is ready to defend with the left hand, remove rightward and cut off leftward to finish the posture.
To lift the hand is for sinking the upper body and the lower body, all by rising and falling for making outstanding success.
While qi is released from the heel, the energy can reach the wrist, and nothing will be lost in the left and right constantly.