The 10 Essentials of Taijiquan Theory
太極十要 楊澄甫 Yang Chengfu
|1. An intangible and lively energy lifts the crown of the head.
2. Contain the chest and raise the back.
3. Relax the waist.
4. Distinguish insubstantial and substantial.
5. Sink the shoulders and drop the elbows.
6. Use consciuosness, not strength.
7. Upper and lower follow one another.
8. Internal and external are united.
9. Linked without breaks.
10. Seek stillness in motion.
The descriptions of the movements
(Peng) 棚 warding off – parer
(Lu) 捋 rolling back – tirer en arrière
(Ji) 擠 pressing – presser en avant
(An) 按 pushing – repousser
(Cai) 採 plucking – tirer vers le bas
(Lie) 挒 rending – étendre et courber vers le bas
(Zhuo) 肘 elbowing – coup léger du coude
(Kao) 靠 bumping – coup léger de l’épaule
(Nian) 粘 stick means to lift up high – adhérer à quelque chose
(nian) 黏 adhere means stay and be attached – coller
(Lian) 連 connect means to let go of yourself and not separate from the opponent – relier et rattacher
(Shun) 隨 follow means to follow him where he goes – suivre et se conformer
The Taijiquan Classic by Wu Yuxiang
Once in motion, the entire body should be light and agile. and even more importantly, must be threaded together(guan chuan).
The qi should be roused and made vibrant. the spirit(shen) should be collected within. Do not allow there to be any protuberances or hollows. Do not allow there to be any intermittence. it is rooted in the feet. Issued bu the legs,governed by the waist, and expressed in the fingers. From the feet, to the legs, then to the waist, always there must be complete integration into one qi. In advancing forward and retreating back, you will then be able to seize the opportunity and the strategic advantage(de ji de shi). In a case of not gaining the opportunity and strategic advantage, your body will become scattered and confused. The flaw in this case must certainly be sought in the waist and legs. This is so whether up or down, for ward or backward, let or right. These cases are all of mind intent (ji) and do not refer to the external. When there is up, then there is down. when there is forward, then there is backward. when there is left, then there is right. if the intent is go upward, then direct the mind intent downward,just as, if one is going to lift an object, then one in addition applies to it the force of a downward push. Thus, its root will be served, and it will be collapsed quickly and decisively. Insubstantial and substantial must be clearly distinguished. Each point has its point of insubstantial/substantial. Everywhere there is always this one insubstantial/substantial. The entire body is threaded together joint by joint (Jie Jie guan chuan).
Do not allow the slightest interruption.
ㄧ舉動周身俱要輕靈。尤須貫串。氣宜鼓盪。神宜內斂。無使有缺陷處。無使有凸凹處。無使有斷續處。其根在腳,發於腿,主宰於腰。形於手指; 由腳而腿而腰,縂須完整ㄧ氣,向前退後,乃能得機得勢。有不得機得勢處,身便散亂。其病必於腰腿求之。上下前後左右皆然。凡此皆是意。不在外面,有上即有下。有前則有後。有左則有右。如意要向上。即寓下意。若將物掀起而加以挫之之力。斯其根自斷。乃壞之速而無疑。虛實宜分清楚, ㄧ處有ㄧ處虛實。處處縂此ㄧ虛實。周身節節貫串, 無令絲毫間斷耳。
“Early every morning, parks all around China fill with people practicing a silent sequence of slow, elegant movements. On the other side of the world, we gather to practice those same movements when the morning arrives in Brussels.
Taijiquan is an internal Chinese martial art and a method for health and well-being, proven over centuries. Its roots reach deep into ancient history and connect practitioners today to Chinese culture, philosophy, and traditional medicine.
At the same time, modern science has started to discover the many benefits Tai Ji offers. These range from improved functioning of the mind and body to overall well-being. But Tai Ji is so much more than therapy or gymnastics. It is also a highly sophisticated system of use of the self for you to discover, explore, and master – physically, intellectually, and as a whole person. People at every age will find an appropriate challenge, from teenagers to seniors. At higher levels, Taijiquan also becomes an effective system of self-defense unlike any other.
The Yang Style of Taijiquan is today the most popular style, not just in China, but around the world. It is characterized by large movements stripped of decorative flourishes or forced movements. The most well-known part of Yang Style Taijiquan is the solo hand form. In our school we practice the Traditional 85 Form, a particularly pure version of what the founders have transmitted. Advanced students also study weapons – Sabre, Sword, and Staff – and, later, two person push hands.
Lineage, in particular in the Chinese Internal Martial Arts, is of great importance. The direct line from the founder to today’s master vouches for authenticity and completeness of the transmission.
Our teacher, Master Dong, is 6th Generation Yang Style. His teacher, Master Zha Xi, is today one of China’s most respected Tai Ji Masters. She was taught by Master Zhou Bin. Master Zhou Bin studied directly with Master Yang Cheng Fu, who shaped the Form as we know it today. Master Yang Cheng Fu learned from his father, Master Jian Hou who had been a direct student of his father, the founder of the Yang Style, Master Yang Lu Shan.”