九、太极拳歌诀

 

预备式

 

纳新吐故气须圆,摄得真劲鼎内煎。

提领顶劲精神注,坐腕沉肩势自然。

纳气两手托上行,提自丹田升在胸。

腹收精气全提住,势若腾空上苍穹。

待得吸尽变成吐,清气沉来浊气除。

腹松手按归元候,浑然一息还太虚。

二气循环无先后,演成六个小周天。

呵呼嘘嘶嘻与吹,内外相生一念专。

法轮常转莫体闲,激浊扬清精气添。

漫道用功与添象,月轮十五自传圆。

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.[1]

Lift and lead Ding Jin[2] 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.[3]

[Say] He, Hu, Xu, Si, Xi and Chui,[4] 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)[5] 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)

 

[1] 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. 

[2] 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.

[3] 小周天 Xiao Zhou Tian: Small Heavenly Circulation or Microcosmic Orbit

[4] These are the six word or sounds that vibrate in the five Zang organs and the triple heater.

[5] 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.

(一)揽雀尾

 

出手含掤似围墙,虽逢劲敌莫慌张。

变个圆儿左右画,后部挺劲作中梁。

左搬右拦伤人面,或接或捋自思量。

搭手双掤守万物,紧忌上势太刚强。

变捋变挤从君意,含胸拔背最忌偏。

掤按双推须熟练,全凭腰腿作机关。

捋来挤去象虚实,刚柔相济势莫偏。

上掤下按随时变,刚柔相济妙难言。

太极圈法妙无穷,掤捋挤按雀尾生。

世人识得圈中妙,才能四两拨千斤。

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[1] the Sparrow's Tail

 

The hand goes out in ward off (Peng)[2] containing[3] 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[4] 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[5] and leg

as the axis.[6]

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.

 

[1] 揽 Lan: pull or take into one’s arms; fasten with rope; grasp.

[2] See Footnote #8.

[3] 含Han: keep in the mouth before swallowing; contain; harbor.

[4] 挺Ting: stand, endure, standout, bulge outward, firm. Ting Jin: “Upright Jin”  or “firm, vigorous Jin.”

[5] 腰 Yao: the waist; more properly, the loins and the small of the back emanating out around the waist.

[6] 机关 Ji Guan: critical juncture; key point; key link; axis; mechanism.

二)单鞭

                单鞭一势斜占胸,左象箭来右象弓。

                松肩沉肘挡四面,开弓放箭左右同。

                近得身来劲变’ž,或推或按不放松。

                左顾右盼近头打,以进为退变化灵。

 

(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[1] 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.[2]

Glance right and left and get close to strike the head, use advancing to retreat,[3] changing and                  transforming cleverly.

 

 

[1] 挡Dang: ward off; block; get in the way of; obstruct, guard, shield

[2] 放松Fang Song: Release and slacken. Relax. In the context of this sentence - “not fang song” – it can mean “with care”.

[3] This can also mean: “pretend to go forward in order to go back.”

三)提手上势

遇敌难扑双手合,松肩垂肘往下沉。

含胸蹲腿能蓄势,单手一提满面红。

下势先从左手掤, 右手直探敌裆中

待他左手来提防,右搬左拦势完成。

提手源沉上下身,全凭起伏建奇功。

气发足跟劲达腕,左右连环落不空。

 

 

(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.