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Chen Family Taijiquan 25 Key Disciplines

(陳氏太極拳十五練拳要訣)

Chen Bing Taiji Academy USA

Headmaster Bosco Seung-Chul

Baek
(美國陳炳太極院白承哲館長)
Conte

nts (目次) List of 25 Key

Disciplines in Chinese - p.4

About the author and

profile — p.6 Preface by

Chen Bing - p.8 Preface by

Bosco Baek — p. 12

Introduction to Annotation of Chen

Family Taijiquan 25 Key Disciplines p.1

5 What is 6Fang Song,- p. 18

The Law of Body: 1 .Xu Ling Ding Jin 2.

Song Jian Chen Zhou 3.Han Xiong Ta Yao,

Wei Lu Zhong Zheng 4.Qu Xi Song Kua

5.Chui Tun Yuan Dang 6.Xia Pan Wen Gu

7 丄 i Shen Zhong Zheng


8 Shang Xu Xia Shi, Xu Shi Fen Ming

9.Ba Mian Zhi Cheng ( p.22 - p.42)


The Law of Mind: lO.Quan Shen Fang
Song 11 .Xin Qi Xia Jiang 12. Yi
Shou Dan Tian,Qi Chen Dan Tian 13
Gan Shou Hu Xi 14.Qi Guan Zhou
Shen 15.Bu Diu B
uDing (p.43 p. 61)

The Law of Reeling Silk: 16.Yi Yao Wei Zhu 17.Xiong

Yao Zhe Die 18.Dan Tian Yun Zhuan

19.Jie Jie Guan Chuan 20.Yi Dao Qi Dao, Qi Dao Xing

Dao

21.Nei Wai Xiang He, Zhou Shen Yi Jia (p.62 p.77)

4 Major Characteristics. 22.Gang Rou Bing (Xiang) Ji,

Kuai Man Xiang Jian 23. Chu Fa Xiang Bian

24.Song Huo Tan Dou 25 Wai Xing Zhou Hu Xian, Nei Jin

Zhou Luo Xian (p.78 - p.88)

Additional writing by Bosco Baek: p.89

1
Pictures. p.90-p.93 陳氏太極拳
二+五練拳要訣
身法 Shen 1. 虛領頂勁
Fa 2. 鬆肩沈肘 3
含胸塌腰
尾閭中正 4.
屈膝鬆胯 5 垂
臀圓襠
6. 下盘稳固
7. 立身中正
8. 上虚下
實 虛實分明
9 八面支撑
Xu Lmg Ding Jin
Song Jian Chen
Zhou Han Xiong
Ta Yao, Wei Lti
Zhong Zheng Qu
XT Song Kua Chui
Tun Yuan Dang
Xia Pan Wen Gu
Li Shen Zhong
Zheng Shang Xu
Xia Shi, Xu Shi
Fen Ming Ba Mian
ZhT Chen
g
心法 Xln 10. 全身 放鬆 11
Fa 心氣 下降 12. 意
守丹田 氣沈丹田
13 感受呼吸 14.
氣 貫 周 身 15 不
丢不頂
Quan Shen Fang
Song XTn Qi Xia
Jiang Yi Shou
Dan Tian, Qi
Chen Dan Tian
Gan Shou Hu XT
Qi Guan Zhou
Shen Bu Diu Bu
Din
g 纏絲法 CMnSlFS
16.以腰爲軸 Yi Yao Wei Zhou

17 胸腰折疊 Xi5ng Yao Zhe Die

18.丹田運轉 Dan Tian Yun


Zhuan
19 節節貫串 JiS J 记 Gu^n
Chu&n
20.意到氣到 Yi Dao Qi Dao,

氣到形到 Qi Dao Xing Dao

21 內外相合 Ndi Wai Xiang He,

周身一家 Zh6u Shen Yi Jia

四大特點 SiD 众 T^DiSn


22.剛柔幷(相)濟 Gang Rou
Bing (Xiang) Ji,

快慢相間 KuM Man Xiang


Jian

23 蓄發相變 XiFaXmngBi^i
24.鬆活彈抖 Sdng Huo Tan Dou

25 外形走弧線 W&i Xfag Z6u


Hii Xi^i,
內勁走螺旋 Nd Jin Zou Luo
Xua

nAbout the author* Bosco

Baek is the only United

States- based disciple (弟

子)of Master Chen Bing

(陳炳 Chen Bing), a 20th

generation representative and

eldest direct descendant (嫡

傳人)in the Chen Family

Taijiquan lineage. Mr. Baek

has been training under

Master Chen Bing since 200

0. He currently runs the

Chen Bing Taiji Academy


USA (陳炳太極院美國)in

Los Angeles.

Profile of Bosco Baek

1992 Chinese Hygine

Qigong ( 中 華 養 生 益 智

功)Practice 1996 Raja Yoga

and Hatha Yoga from

Himalaya Meditation Center

and Korea Yoga Academy

1999 Learning Chen

Taijiquan from Korea Chen

Style Taijiquan Federation

2000 Learning from

Grandmaster Chen Bing


2002 Gold medalist of a 6th

Korea National Taijiquan

Tournament

2004 1st Place at the Chicago

International Gong-Fu

Tournament _ Taijiquan

2005 Became a disciple of

Chen Bing and participated

in the Bai Shi ceremony (拜

師之/禮)on December 25th

in Chen Village (Birth place

of Taijiquan —陳家溝 Chen

Jia Gou)
2008 2009 1st place at the

Illinois Open Martial Arts

Championship
21st Generation
Successor of Chen Family
Taijiquan Successor of
Raja Yoga (Sva Sam
Vidya Dyana Kendra) and
Hatha Yoga (Ekatala) B.S.
in Biology (Loyola
University Chicago
)Preface by Chen Bing (序)

太极拳是 17 世纪人类的一项重大发明,是中国武术发展 的又

一次飞跃,是东方太极哲学思想的有形表现。它不 仅使人在

身体、武术技能上得到发展,更会在精神、生 命力以及人类

智慧上得以修炼,他是 21 世纪最完美的身 心和谐运动。

Taijiquan is an important 17 th century creation which is a leap

development in Chinese martial arts once again and a

manifestation of Asian Taiji philosophy Taijiquan makes us not

only train the body or develop the martial arts skills, but also

gain the spirit, vital force and wisdom of humankind, which is

the perfect sport of harmony (完美) to unite body and mind to

its peak in the 21st century

白承哲曾多次到太极拳的发源地--

中国陈家沟学习太极拳,考察它的历史脉络,研究它的
内在机理,是太极拳运动的痴迷者和践行者。同时又拥有多年

医学和瑜伽方面的知识和经验,在美国开展太极 拳专业教学

也已经有十多年的时间了,积累了大量的专 业知识和实践经

验,是我比较欣赏和认可的徒弟之一。

Bosco Baek has practiced at the birth place of Taijiquan, Chen

Village in China. He learned the history of Taijiquan, studied its

internal principles, and became an enthusiast and practitioner of

Taijiquan. He also possesses the knowledge of medicine and

yoga thanks to many years of practice. Furthermore, he has

taught and practiced Taijiquan professionally for well over ten

years, and has accumulated vast practical knowledge and

teaching experience. He is a disciple of mine whom I appreciate

and recognize.

将复杂的太极拳运动提炼凝结,形成简单易学,同时保 留太

极拳的真义,并能使学者短时间内收获到太极拳的 益処,直

是我们的心愿,这也是太极拳未来发展的 个趋势。
To c\li;icl (lie complicated disciplines of Taijiquan practices, to

simplify them, to learn easily with clarification, but to have the

essence (真义)of Taijiquan at the same time, and to allow

practitioners to benefit in a short period of time is our long-

time wish for the future and the future development of

Taijiquan.

因此,在白承哲的努力下,经过我们的不断实践和研究 ,

终于编写出了这部陈氏太极拳教程,我相信,这将是 太极

拳爱好者的福音,也是陈氏太极拳发展史上的又一 次美好

历程。

Therefore, with the effort of Bosco Baek's and our continuous

practice and research, itis possible to finally publish the

disciplines of Chen Family Taijiquan. I believe that this is the

good gospel for Taijiquan enthusiasts and another wonderful

development in Taijiquan history. 在此,我向广大的读者、

太极拳爱好者祝福,向徒弟白

11
承哲祝贺。也为陈氏太极拳能更多地造福人类而感到骄 傲。

Hereby, I send the blessings to the readers and the enthusiasts

of Taijiquan and celebration to my disciple, Bosco Baek. Also,

I am proud that Chen Family Taijiquan can benefit mankind.

陈炳 Chen

Bing

Preface by Bosco Baek (序文)

Nowadays, there are many people who practice Taijiquan (太

極拳 Tai Ji Quan), but most of them believe that simply

practicing slow motion is Taijiquan, without the essence of

Taijiquan study. The original and classical Taijiquan is not

about mastering external forms. It is to physically learn (體

得)and consciously realize (心得)the key disciplines (要

訣 Yao Jue) of Taijiquan.

It is no small feat to put these principles to paper, and I know

that some are so subtle, that it will be difficult to clearly

express. This is because it is simply better to physically

realize and experience these key disciplines directly from a

teacher. Just a few years ago, I thought only the chosen ones

could learn these secrets. Frankly, I never wanted to open up

or share them with anyone. However, my mind was changed

12
by the tumultuous nature of this world and storms of my life.

So in these days, rather than being a lonely master (高手)of

Taijiquan, I want to share the quintessence (眞髓)of

Taijiquan with many people. With the permission of my shifu

(師父),Chen Bing, it will be the first Chen Family Taijiquan 2

5 key disciplines from the descendent of Taijiquan's creator

(嫡傳統 Di Chuan T6ng), who hails from the birth place (發

源地)of Taijiquan, Chen Village, Wenxian County, Henan

Province, China (中國河南省溫縣陳家溝)• I did my utmost

to keep it simple and clear.

Chen Family Taijiquan, as transmitted by my shifu, is the

harmony (調禾口)and the essence (融禾口)of Chinese

medicine (中醫學),internal power (內功),and martial arts (武

術)which is marvelous (示申妙)for well-being (健身)

and self defense.(護身)•

Do make a concerted effort to find a certified Chen Family

Taijiquan instructor, should this article spawn any interest.

I sincerely hope that practitioners gain the true essence of

Taijiquan.

Furthermore, this annotation of key disciplines (要訣註解)

could become a text book not only for Chen Family Taijiquan

practitioners, but also practitioners of other Taijiquan styles. I

13
wish to develop all practitioners' understanding, and to improve

the quality and depth of their practice. Regards,

14
January 5 2014 Chen Bing Taiji Academy USA Headmster

Bosco Baek (拜上) Introduction to Annotation (要訣註

解)of Chen Family Taijiquan 25 Key Disciplines

The Yang Family Taijiquan's founder, Yang Lu Chan (楊露禪

Yang Lu Chan), learned his Taijiquan from a 14 th generation

representative of the Chen family, Chen Chang Xing (陳長興

Chen Chang Xing), for over 20 years and later he created his

own style (一家)of Taijiquan. Although the external forms

changed, the Taijiquan (功夫 Gong Fu) he studied and realized

is now the most popular style of Taijiquan, known as the big

frame (大架式)of Yang Family Taijiquan.

Afterwards, Wu Jian Quan (吳鑑泉 Wu Jian Quan)'s Wu Family

Taijiquan (吳氏太極拳),Wu Yu Xiang (武禹襄 Wu Yu

Xiang)'s Wu Family Taijiquan (武氏太極拳),Sun Lu Tang (孫

綠堂 Sun Lu Tang)'s Sun Family Taijiquan (孫氏太極

拳)followed. Even if their external forms are different, it is still

called Taijiquan. It is because the internal disciplines are the

same in all styles of Taijiquan, despite the variations in form.

In order to make the 25 key disciplines accessible, I made 4

sections with the help of my teachers. The first section is the law

15
of body (身法),the second section is the law of mind (心、法),

the third section is the law of reeling silk (纏絲法),and the

fourth section is the 4 major characteristics (四大特黑占

The heritage of Chen Family Taijiquan started from the first

ancestor (始祖)of the Chen family, Chen Bu (陳卜 Ch6n Bu

the pioneer who settled down in Chen Village in 1372), and

Taijiquan was completed by a 9th generation Chen Wang Ting

(陳王廷 Ch&i Wang Ting: 1600 - 1680). It has been transmitted

and developed by the Chen family

since then. Each of the key disciplines manifest differently,

depending on a practitioner's level of study Practitioners are

able to measure and understand their current levels based on

the standards of the key disciplines. Without the key

disciplines of Taijiquan, practice will be meaningless motions.

What is “Fang Song 放鬆,?

Before I explain the key disciplines, it is crucial to understand the

meaning of the word '放鬆 Fang Song' The dictionary's

definition is ‘to put 放 Fang' and ‘pine tree 鬆 Song' The direct

translation is ‘to put a pine tree' Before discussing Fang Song, it is

necessary to savor the taste and meaning of the pine tree ‘鬆

Song' ‘Song’ is now used as pine tree 'Song 松,in the simplified

Chinese (簡體).But in traditional Chinese (繁體),it is used


with 'Biao 髟,which means a pine tree or a mop of hair (bushy

hair) ‘Song 鬆,It describes a shape like the top of a pine tree.

When looking at a pine tree, we see there is a root that exists

underneath the ground, a trunk that exists above the ground, with

branches and leaves that sprout from the stem. This is the true

meaning of 'Song' In other words, when practicing 'Fang Song' in

Taijiquan, legs

should be solid as the root, the body should be upright as the

stem, while the arms neck and head should be loose like the

branches and leaves on a pine tree. In general, it is often said

‘efface power or remove force' instead of using the term 'Fang

Song'. But this is a misunderstanding (曲解)• It is better to

use an expression 'be soft or loosen up the stiffness (硬

直)of the body' It more accurately describes Fang Song than

‘efface power or remove force'. How could one grab an object

or even stand without some force? Being soft and loosening

up means to softly relax while allowing minimal force by

unknotting tension.

For instance, when practicing Taijiquan straight sword, the

sword would fly out of one's hands if there was no force

utilized. Minimal force is required to grab the sword, however

17
the body must remain loose to attain softness and expand

when practicing this weapon with correct ‘Fang

SiHif WIk-ii ivik liinjj, (he Iruc status of ‘鬆 Song', every

single joint, muscle, bone experiences a feeling of great

expansion and extension. This is the true concept and meaning of

‘Song'

Also, a pine tree is one of the ten traditional symbols of

longevity and implies youth and unyielding spirit. This

meaning is similarly used in Chen Family Taijiquan. It

should not change at all times and must have a detached

temper (氣像)•

The true meaning of ‘Fang Song' is 'Fang' indicates to ‘fully put

down' So it is liberally translated, ‘fully put down a pine tree' In

liberal and practical translation, deeply relax the mind and body

as if dropping the pine tree to the ground. The message is to lay

down the body and mind, be soft and open, loosen up and

expand, in order to attain a state of deep relaxation (弛緩)•

Metaphorically speaking, ‘Fang Song' in Chen Family

Taijiquan refers to the body and mind; the whole body

resembles the external form of a pine tree. The legs, like the

solid root of the tree, the torso like the trunk, and the arms like

the widely spread-open branches. The mind should be like a

shadow beneath the pine tree, covering it in silence and


calmness. The pine tree with superior 'Fang Song’ would have

a large frame with a big shadow, but the pine tree with inferior

‘Fang Song' would have a small frame with a small shadow.

In approaching the ultimate zenith (極致)of 'Song', it is

possible to learn deeply the foundation of the salient power

(勁力)which is ‘Peng jin (彌勁 Pgng Jin),Without the

understanding of ‘Fang Song,,it is impossible to start or

complete Taijiquan practice.


The Law of Body (身法 Shen FS)

Through the law of body the principle of ying and yang


(陰陽原理)is understood and actualized in the body.

1 虛領頂勁 Xfi Ling Ding Jin

Meaning (意味).Xu. be empty, Ling: neck, Ding: crown of the

head, Jin: energy or be solid Direct translation (直言睪)Make

the neck empty and be solid in the crown of the head.

Practical translation (意譯)Deeply relax the neck so it is very

soft. Lift up the crown of the head toward the sky solidly

Annotation. It is to open the center of the crown of the head, Bai

Hui Xue (百會穴),and make the neck (Cervical) very soft. Its

purpose is to deeply relax (Fang Song) the neck and head. Tuck

in the chin slightly in order to stretch

19
out the back of the neck upwards. The whole head should feel

like it is dangling in the air. This spontaneously opens the

cranium and cervical 1 (Atlas), and suspended feeling from

the crown is experienced. A practitioner who suffers from

stiffness and/or herniated disks of the neck can benefit greatly

by practicing this 'Yao Jue (要訣 Discipline)'. By practicing

'Xu Ling Ding Jin', both the meridian point ‘Bai Hui' and the

Atlas cervical open and get supple. It is a very important key

unlocking the first gate that leads to the 25 key disciplines of

Chen Family Taijiquan.

2.鬆肩沈肘 S6ng Jian Chen Zhou

Meaning: Song: loosen up, decompress tension or relax,

Jian. shoulder, Chen, sink or immerge, Zhou, elbow

Direct translation: loosen up the shoulder and immerge the

elbow.
Practical translation, softly open the shoulder joint (if fp)to
relax and sink down the elbow in order to to relax the wrist

and fingertips.

Annotation: Compared to other key disciplines, this key

discipline is relatively easier to learn than others. However, it

is not possible to deepen the meaning of it if a previous

discipline, ‘Xu ling Ding Jin’,is not preceded. If the

shoulders are relaxed, they feel as if they're lengthening the

shoulder joint horizontally, and the entire arm becomes very

heavy when the elbow is lowered, followed by the wrist. The

palm should be naturally opened; it possesses the meridian

point ‘勞宮穴 Lao Gong Xue' All ten fingers should be

spaced naturally, unclosed and without tension. If ‘Song Jian

Chen Zhou' is complete, the shoulder joint opens wide, the

elbow gets heavy and the palm and fingers experience a

sensation of swelling. If a practitioner has an injury, or is

unable to raise their arms, it is acceptable to practice without

raising the arms, or, to slightly raise them under the

instruction of qualified teachers. Generally, it tends to bring

physical discomfort or stiffness of arms when opening a rigid

arms'joint by 'Song' to get relaxation. Through the key

discipline of ‘Song Jian Chen Zhou', the thoracic will have

better conditions to relax and expand more deeply. With both

、21
arms raised, it is called the standing post (站庄 Zhan

Zhuang), without raising the arms, it is called calm mind

practice (靜心、功 Jing XTn Gong).

3 含胸塌腰 HdnXi6ngTaY5o

Meaning: Han: incubate, Xiong: chest, Ta: suspend, Yao:

lower back

Direct translation, incubate the chest and suspend the lower

back

Practical translation, make the chest hollow like incubating

carefully an infant baby something and make the lower

back soft and relax downwards without any tension. 尾閭

中正 WSi Lti Zhong Zheng

Meaning: Wei: tail, Lu: town or door in the corner of town,

Zhong: center or important, Zheng: upright Direct translation:

The door of tail is centered and upright. Practical translation:

Position the tailbone in the center and lower it down uprightly

Annotation. The key principle of ‘Han Xiong Ta Yao' and ‘Wei

Lu Zhong Zheng' are the most important key disciplines in Chen

Family Taijiquan because they are hard to learn and require the

delicate, hands-on corrections of a teacher. In general, most

instructors and practitioners overdo it, by overtly caving in the

upper chest, which actually creates stiffness in the body The true
‘Han Xiong' is not visible because it is sensed internally The

reason is that the complete relaxation state is not seen through

the eyes, but rather practitioners learn physically and must

experience it deeply in a state of internal observation

(內觀).

The area of chest in Chinese medicine (中醫學),is

considered the three chests (二焦)that is the upper chest (上

焦),the middle chest (中焦),and the lower chest (下焦).

The upper chest is located above the diaphragm (heart and

lung), the middle chest is located from the diaphragm to the

navel (spleen, stomach and liver), and the lower chest is

located below the navel (kidney, large intestine, small intestine

and bladder).

‘Han Xiong' is to control ‘the upper chest' As the heart is the

motor of blood circulation, which is directly related to

emotions, it should be treated carefully - like caring for a baby.

Therefore, relax the chest as carefully as cradling and soothing

an infant.

In addition, if the previous keys ‘Xu Ling Ding Jin ,and ‘

Song Jian Chen Zhou' are executed properly, a student is able

to genuinely understand Han Xiong' and reach ‘Ta Yao,, a state

in which the erector spinae (脊椎起立筋)of the lower back

23
possesses no curve (concave or convex) and is free of any

tension. When reaching ‘Ta Yao', the tailbone (coccyx) relaxes

spontaneously, is suspended and dangles downward. It feels

like a plum dangling or dropping. With this key, secret

discipline, Chen Family Taijiquan practitioners can fully

intumesce and expand (擴張 Kuo Zhang) the thoracic (upper

back and middle back), lumbar (lower back), and coccyx

(tailbone). Many of the descendants in the Chen Family

Taijiquan lineage do not suffer from lower back pain, or

herniated disc as a result of mastering this ‘top secret,(極市

必)discipline. ‘脊背鬆合 Ji Bei Song He' which is one of

the Fang Song practices (Chen Bing's lineage), and is the most

effective way to grasp the secret to this one.

If 'Han Xiong Ta Yao' and ‘Wei Lu Zhong Zheng' are fully

realized, 'Dan Tian 丹田,and ‘Ming Men 命門,will

horizontally face one another. This is the opening condition of

the girdle penetration vessel; one of ‘eight extraordinary

vessels (奇經八脈),With ‘Xu Ling Ding Jin', ‘Bai Hui

(center of crown)' and 'Perineum 會陰穴, Hui Yin Xue'

interpenetrates energy (Qi) vertically throughout the spine.

In other words, ‘Dai Mai (the girdle penetration vessel)' and

'Chong Mai (interpenetration vessel through the spine) will

flow through naturally. Mastering ‘Han Xiong Ta Yao’ and


‘Wei Lu Zhong Zheng' is the start of authentic Taijiquan

practice.

* After becoming very proficient in 'Xu Ling Ding Jin ,,

‘Song Jian Chen Zhou’,'Han Xiong Ta Yao,and 'Wei Lu

Zhong Zheng’,expanding and relaxing the entire spine is

achievable. ‘Xu Ling Ding Jin' deals with the cranium (head)

and the cervical (neck), 'Song Jian Chen Zhou' deals

25
w

with the shoulder and arm, ‘Han Xiong Ta Yao' deals with the

thoracic (back) and lumbar (lower back), and 'Wei Lu Zhong

Zheng' deals with the sacrum and coccyx (tailbone) (to relax

and to expand). If they are all well executed, it is as if one

thread is stretched up and down ( 上 下 ) , from the neck to

tailbone. It feels like the top of one's head is rising up to the

sky, while the back, lower back and tailbone drop/sink

downwards.

This is the crowning gem (白眉)of Chen Family Taijiquan,

which is 'expansion of the spine 脊椎擴張,When it is mastered,

every joint in the spine is maximized to expand and get

refreshed. (I created a definition for this one; Spine Refreshment

脊椎回復生氣 Ji Zhui Hui Fu Sheng Qi - Spine Refreshment).

While avoiding spinal injuries, the direct descendants of the

oldest lineage, genuine Chen Family Taijiquan practitioners,

have found the secret to anti-aging by mastering these key

disciplines.

ML
4.屈膝鬆胯 QU XT Song Kua

Meaning: Qu. bend,Xi. knee, Song: relax, Kua: hip or groin

Direct translation. Bend the knee and relax the hip. Practical

translation: Make the hip relax by bending the knees.

27
Annotation: If the previous disciplines aim to take control of the

whole spine in the upper body, this key discipline coordinates to

govern the hips and legs in the lower body. When bending both

knees lightly, one is able to fold the hips backwards in to the

body creating a space to relax the hip joint (胯 Kua). In order

to trigger the 4 extraordinary vessels (Yang Heel, Yang Linking,

Yin Heel and Yin Linking) of the 8 extraordinary vessels in the

lower body naturally, the weight of the body should be on the

heel of the foot instead of the toes; and the knee can't go over

beyond the toe lines. By the side view, the ankle, hip,shoulder

and ear must maintain a vertical alignment to achieve a correct

posture.

By ‘ Qu Xi Song Kua', the upper body becomes the emptiness of

yin ‘陰虛 YTn Xu' and, at the same time, the lower body

becomes the fullness of yang ‘陽實 Yang Shi' Due to a

characteristic of yin (the negative) and yang (the positive), the

yin energy ‘陰氣,in the upper body is lowered (下降)down

and the yang energy ‘陽氣,in the lower body is raised (上昇).

That is to say the energies of the upper body and the lower body

will be combined in ‘Dan Tian 丹田'which is the connector

between the upper body and lower body by the principle of ‘Qu

Xi Song Kua' This is called the formation of Dan Tian ‘丹田形


成 Dan Tian Xing Cheng' It can't be called Taijiquan if one of

the knees is straightened/not bent because it violates this

principle.
5 垂臀圓襠 ChuiTiinYudnDSng

Meaning: Cui. hang or dangle, Tun: buttocks, Yun: round or

circle, Dang: groin or crutch

Direct translation: hang the buttocks and circle the groin

Practical translation: Relax the buttock muscle, dangle the

tailbone and make a circle in the crotch Annotation: The

buttocks should be relaxed and loosened to hang down. Its

shape should be round. The groin (inner thigh) should be

circular. The meaning of 'Chui Tun' signifies that the tailbone is

dropped down by relaxing the buttocks muscle. In human

anatomy, the tailbone (coccyx) itself is already rolled-up.

Therefore, it can't reach the status of 'Fang Song' due to tension

around the lower back and abdomen if there is an artificial

effort to make it roll-up or tuck-in in a constrained manner.

The concept of ‘Yun Dang,is not just about making an arch

shape with the legs. It involves the arch of foot and knee to

face vertically, while the groin opens in to an ellipse (楕圓).

If the buttocks remains relaxed, the tailbone will gently dangle

down, allowing the thigh to open unaffectedly This is true 'Yun

Dang'.

29
Any exaggerated effort to open the thigh, knee, or attempt to

make a full circle with the legs does not mean ‘Yun Dang, has

been achieved. If 'Chui Tun Yun Dang' is realized, it will create

elasticity in the entire lower body. It is called the root of legs

‘脚根 Jiao Gen' or the root of Dan Tian ‘丹田根 DSn Tian

Gen'

* 'Wei Lu Zhong Zheng (尾閭中正 WSi Lu Zhong Zheng)

should be kept deservingly as a basic foundation (根本)

from ‘Han Xiong Ta Yao,, 'Chui Tun Yun Dang', and ‘Li Shen

Zhong Zheng'
6.下盘稳固 Pan Wen Gu

Meaning: Xia. under, Pan: tray or base,Wen: comfortable, Gu.

solid

Direct translation: Be comfortable and solid under a tray.

Practical translation: The whole legs (the lower body) become

comfortable and solid as a root. Annotation: When training

Taijiquan, the lower body should be rooted into the ground,

which is sturdy and solid. As a tree with a week root can't

sprout a healthy stem or leaf, the lower body should be like a

solid root while the thigh and knee should be fixed absolutely

Practitioners are able to build up a strong lower body through

a lot of time and practice. The stronger the lower body gets in

30
the Taijiquan way, the stronger the torso and arms will get as

well. As jumping depends on how much one bends their legs,

an elasticity(彈'1 生 Tan Xing) like spring will be produced

when ‘Xia Pan Wen Gu' is enabled.

If a senior citizen or physically challenged individual practices,

it is recommended to run a parallel course combining ‘Fang

Song Gong (Taiji Relaxation Practice)' and 'Reeling Silk

Practice' to increase practice time, not to over train however. A

practitioner is able to manage the time and amount of practice

based on their skill level.

7.立身中正 Li Shen Zhong Zheng

Meaning: Li. stand up, Shen: body, Zhong: center or

important, Zheng: correct or accurate

Direct translation. The body stands up in the center

correctly

Practical translation. The body's posture and positioning should

be visibly upright and straight in all directions. Annotation:

Positioning the body in the center line means there is an

upright (no leaning) posture when looking at one's self from the

front, side and back, no matter the angle.

In fact, ‘Li Shen Zhong Zheng' is not feasible without the

preparation provided by the six key disciplines that precede it.

31
This rule should be maintained at all times, not only when

stationary position, but also when moving the body

(advancing, retreating, and stepping sideways). If the body

leans a little bit forward, backward, or sideways, it is not 'Li

Shen Zhong Zheng'

The most effective way to learn ‘Li Shen Zhong Zheng is to

practice the ‘Calm mind practice (Jing Xin Gong)' and

'Standing Post (Zhan Zhuang)'. In terms of self-correction for

‘Li Shen Zhong Zheng,, align vertically the ear, shoulder, hip,

and ankle bone by your side profile.

* ‘Li Shen Zhong Zheng's ‘Zhong, means the center, but it

means 'important' as well. This is the double entendre of

Chinese literature (中文)•


8.上虛下實 SMng Xu Xia Shi

Meaning: Shang: upper, Xu: empty or not be, Xia: lower, Shi.

(fully) fill

Direct translation. The upper is empty and the lower is full.

Practical translation: The upper body becomes the negative

and the lower body becomes the positive. 虛實分明 Xn Shi

Fen Ming

Meaning: Xu. empty, Shi: fully fill, Fen. split, Ming: clear

Direct translation: The empty and the full is clearly split

Practical translation. The negative (emptiness and lightness)

32
and the positive (fullness and heaviness) should be split and

separated clearly

33
Annotation: The human body could be divided in two which is

the upper and the lower body ‘Shang Xu Xia Shi' is when the

upper body becomes as light as emptiness while the lower body

becomes very solid as fullness. In the theory of yin and yang,

being empty is ‘yin 陰(thenegative)' and being full is ‘yang 陽

(the positive),When the upper body reaches a negative state,

energy will be sunk downwards. And, when the lower body

attains a positive state, energy will rise upwards. ‘Xu Shi Fen

Ming’ implies the condition that one side of the leg becomes

'Xu 虛 the negative' while the other leg becomes ‘Shi 實 the

positive' - just as one side of the arm becomes ‘the positive'

while the other arm becomes 'the negative'.

For instance, while executing the posture of Lan Zha Yi (懶

札衣 Lazy about tying the coat), the right leg becomes the

positive (fullness) as the left leg becomes the negative

(emptiness); the right arm becomes the positive as the left

arm becomes the negative.

Another meaning of ‘Xu Shi Fen Ming' is 'Sheng Jiang Kai

He 昇降開合,‘Jiang He, means ‘Lower and Close,,and

'Sheng Kai' means 'Rise and Open' 'Lower and Close' is


39

a characteristic of yin which is the negative 'Xu' and 'Rise and

Open' is a characteristic of yang which is the positive ‘Shi ,.


At all times, 'Xu Shi' must be separated clearly when

practicing Taijiquan.

9.八面支撑 Mian Zhi Cheng

Meaning: Ba: eight, Mian: direction or side, Zhi. support or

sustain, Cheng: endure or hold up Direct translation: Support

in eight sides. Practical translation: There is an elasticity to

support from all directions.

Annotation. The eight sides are east, west, south and north as 4

main directions (四正黑占-Cardinal), and east-north, east-

south, west-south and west-north as 4 supportive directions

(四隅黑占-Intercardinal). In the practices of Chen Family

Taijiquan, all postures should be adapted and “smart-lively”

(靈活)to change in all eight directions. It does not just mean

directions, but actually, it is required to understand what is

called ‘Peng Jin' through the postures. There are two meanings

of ‘Peng Jin (硼勁 Peng Jin).' The first one is inner elasticity,

like a bowstring, and the second one is an application to

extrude (commonly use as 'ward- off') an opponent away from,

or off the body If the previous 8 disciplines are fulfilled, the

front, back, and side of the foot produces natural elasticity and

resilience from the bottom. Whereas the upper body is relaxed,

it experiences a state of softness and being fully expanded.

35
This is true ‘Ba Mian Zhi Cheng' It should be kept at all times

while practicing, especially when ‘Reeling Silk (纏絲功 CMn

ST Gong)' ‘Forms (套路 TAo Lu)' and 5 kinds of push-hands

* When practicing standing post, the 9 key disciplines must be

gently in place,with all of one's heart. The same key

disciplines should be applied in the practice of reeling silk or

forms as the basic requirements.


Law of Mind (心法 XTn FS)

If the law of body is previously fulfilled (先行),it is

possible to practice the law of mind. The law of mind is the

core of how Chen Family Taijquan becomes an internal

practice (內家拳)•

10. Quan Shen Fang Song

Meaning: Quan. whole, Shen. body, Fang: put, Song: Relax

Direct translation: Relax the whole body deeply Practical

translation: Relax the whole body evenly so it is loosened and

very soft in every part. Annotation: It is easy to say ‘relax’ in

words, but it is not easy in practice. In order to relax the entire

body, there is a specific order to undergo, from head to toe.

First of all, envision a white board. Draw every body part on

the board and try to sense it.

36
Basic ‘Fang Song' (whole body relaxation) order Head - neck -

shoulder arm - chest waist - leg - foot With eyes closed,


一 一

slowly feel and be aware of the body to relax. After getting

familiar with the basic Fang Song order, practice the Fang Song

order in detail. Detailed ‘Fang Song' order: Top of head (bai hui)

foreKead — eye brow the center of eye brow (3rd eye, upper

dantian 上丹田)nose - tip of nose - lips - teeth - back of neck -

front of neck — left of neck right of neck - shoulder 一 elbow —

wrist - palm - finger — fingertip - upper chest (middle dantian

中丹田),upper back - solar plexus, middle of the back - lower

abdomen (dantian 丹田),lower back — hip, buttocks — thigh,

back of thigh (hamstring)- knee — shin , calf - ankle — heel —

arch of foot - sole - toe end of toe

Use intention (thought 意念)and follow slowly in this

order. Then the mind (心、)becomes comfortable and

reaches a state of deep relaxation.

The law of intention and the law of mind are different. The

mind is a master of intention (thought, meaning). Tasting the

word of intention (意 Yi) in Chinese, intention is a sound

(音)made by mind (心、).In general, it is often said as

‘empty mind' But this is not correct. The mind cannot be empty

For instance, we dream while sleeping. Dreaming is an action

of mind stemming from various stimulation and emotions that

37
move the mind while living. So 'dream' is a medium influenced

by such factors. The mind is an active thing which works

briskly, 24 hours a day. In other words, it can't be empty.

Even if the mind can't be empty, it is possible to make the mind

rest by using intention (意 Yi). If there are distracting or

worldly thoughts (雜念)while practicing 'Quan Shen Fang

Song,,then just watch them. Those distracting


thoughts are part of the mind's action. They only multiply

and intensify when we try to block them out. Acquaint

yourself slowly with the orders of 'Quan Shen Fang Song' and

practice. One may attain a very deep sense of relaxation rather

easily For example, it is already a great achievement if a

practitioner gets easily bored with the calm mind practice, or

the standing post. They could feel th^t the 25 minute standing

post or calm mind practice goes by too fast, feeling like a 5-

mintue practice after a few months. It is clear evidence that

this type of practitioner is able to give a rest to the mind by

practicing the intention to attain true relaxation and the

condition of ‘Fang Song' The order of ‘Fang Song' is flexible

and can change under a teacher's instruction afterwards. For

example, internal organs (the five viscera and the six entrails)

or at the practitioner's discretion depending on their level of

38
study For instance, it is feasible to perform it in the following

sequences.

The bladder liver - heart — stomach — lung - kidney, or from

the left to the right,or from the right to the left, or even from

the bottom to the top. The discipline of ‘Quan Shen Fang

Song' is the most important thing in the law of mind.

Regardless of physical strength, capability or age, one can

practice this by lying down on the floor.

The flesh of human is limited (有限),but the mind is

unlimited (無限)• The word of 'Fang Song' is not the limited

meaning, but it is the unlimited meaning in Taijiquan.

11 心氣下降 XTnQiX 这 Jibing

Meaning: Xin. mind, Qi. energy, Xia. down or low, Jiang: go

down
Direct translation. Go down the energy of mind to
the low. Practical translation. Stabilize the mind
and make it comfortable to harness 'fire of mind
心、火, Annotation: In 'Xin Qi Xia Jiang’,there
are five intendments. The first is not to be anxious
(不急躁),the second is to be stable (安静),the
third is to ease the heart (放心、),the fourth is to
feel easy (舒心、),and the fifth is to be tranquil
(平心、).With the combination of these five the ,

fire of mind (心火)spontaneously goes down (下


降)to vitalize the water energy of kidney (醫水)•
If one understands ‘Yin and Yang', then the five
elements are understood as well. A characteristic
of ‘Yin (the negative), is part of being cold so it is
‘water’ And a characteristic of ‘Yang (the positive)'
is part of being hot so it is ‘fire’ Water always falls

39
from the top to the bottom and fire always rises
from the bottom to the top. Therefore, the heart,
which is independently located from other internal
organs is considered to have the characteristic of
‘fire,,while the kidneys, which are the internal
organs located lower than the rest, are considered
to be of 'water'. In the yin-yang and five
elements, the heart ('已、臟)is fire (火),the
kidney (賢臟)is water (水),the liver is tree (木),
the lung is metal or stone (金),and the spleen is
ground (土)• The five elements always change
for coexistence (木目生)and incompatibility (相
勉)• The coexistence is to help and produce
harmony. A tree grows if there is plenty of water
(water produces tree 水生木),fire works well if
there are plenty of trees (tree produces fire 木生
火),ground is made because fire turns everything
to ash (fire produces ground 火生土),ground
produces stone after becoming rigid (ground
produces stone 土生金),stone gets morning dew
after a night or hot metal from a smithy is fond of
water (stone or metal produces water 金生水)

40
•On the contrary, the incompatibility is to contradict each other. Fire

can't burn off stone (fire conflicts stone 火勉金 a tree can't grow in

stone and metal (metal and stone conflicts tree 金勉木),ground

space is lacking if there are too many trees (tree conflicts ground 木

勉土), water is insufficient if there is a lot of ground (ground

conflicts water 土勉 7X),and water extinguishes fire (water

conflicts fire 7jC 勉火;).

In the five elements, fire should be lowered because the heart is thought

fire (火).Sinking the energy (氣運)down to the bottom helps

maximize the water (水)energy of kidney Then, the rest of tree, metal

and ground energy is also maximized for the coexistence and

incompatibility As a result, the change of the yin and yang could

equilibrate with its polarization at maximum. Changing, balancing and

conflicting mutually of the yin and yang is defined ‘Tai Ji

太極’.

Therefore, it is to behoove that fire must be lowered down and a

practitioner is able to be auspicious (祥瑞)and tranquil.

A precondition of ‘Xin Qi Xia Jiang' is 'Quan Shen Fang Song'. The

mind can truly relax if the body is completely relaxed and in a deep
state of rest. The reason is that the body and mind always interact

together. If the body is uncomfortable, then the mind is uncomfortable.

If the mind is uncomfortable, then the body is uncomfortable. As a

deep and sweet slumber can refresh the body and mind, the body will

always feel more comfortable; provided the mind gets a chance to relax

deeply

12.意守丹田 Yi Shou Dan Tian

Meaning: Yi: intention, Shou. protect, Dan. red, immortal.

Tian: field

Direct translation. Protect dantian with intention Practical translation.

Focus on dantian with intention and observe internally. 氣沈丹田 Qi

Chen Dan Tian

Meaning: Qi. energy, Chen, sink, Dan: red or immortal, Tian: field

Direct translation. Sink energy into dantian Practical translation: All

energy of the upper body and lower body is focused and kept in the

lower abdomen. Annotation. In the direct translation, ‘Dan Tian' is

interpreted as a ‘red field' because, with the exception of the heart, all

of the internal organs are densely concentrated in the lower abdomen.

The lower abdomen not only houses the reproductive organs, but many

42
other organs, in which blood circulates through. From ancient times, it

has been said, 'Shen Yao (示申藥-Medicine of Immortal)' for the

practice of the lower abdomen area. Afterwards, it is developed a term

of 'Dan Tian 丹田-Elixir Field)' If one could purify (淨化)the toxins

of the place where a lot of blood is condensed, it would be like the

immortal (帘申{山)cure. So it is referred to by that term. In traditional

Chinese and Korean medicine, the dantian is called ‘Qi Hai (氣海-the

ocean of sea)'

If one lost an arm or leg, one could survive. However one could not

live without the internal organs (the five viscera and the six entrails).

Developing the lower abdomen is to nourish our vital force and give a

rest to all organs. 'Yi Shou Dan Tian' is simple. Breathe by directly

using the navel. The navel expands with inhalation and retracts with

exhalation. Thoughts sink naturally to the lower abdomen which is the

‘Dan Tian' area. This is the 'Yi Shou Dan Tian' It is feasible to sense

this area since the lower abdominal muscle is used directly while

breathing.

Novices are recommended to think that the dantian is the entire lower

abdomen in order to grasp a preliminary understanding of the concept.

43
If ‘ Yi Shou Dan Tian's is complete, ‘Qi Chen Dan Tian' should

manifest naturally as the mind is followed by combining the meaning

and thought once they are fulfilled. The meaning and thought is

defined ‘Yi Nian (意念— intention), ‘ Yi Nian’ fluctuates

always, but the mind does not. By training the meaning and thought,

the mind becomes practicable.

Dan Tian in Chen Family Taijiquan is not simply something to

imagine or feel by the mind only, in fact it involves a very precise

execution that practitioners develop to discover a location and the

physical presence of dan tian. By ‘Qi Chen Dan Tian', there are three

physical sensations to experience. It is 'heavy (重 Zhong)', 'full (滿

Man)' and ‘open (開 Kai)' at the same time. If a practitioner can find

these 3 sensations, the dan tian required by Chen Family Taijiquan is

formed (形成)•

By deepening the practice, practitioners are able to discover their own

experiences of dan tian clearly, and the feelings might vary However, it

should not get out of the three sensations. This is the correct ‘dan tian'

in Chen Family Taijiquan. The dan tian is located three finger joints

downwards from the navel.

44
*The Chen family created Taijiquan, and my teacher's lineage calls this

‘sink down (下沈-Xia Chen)' - an abridged word from ‘Xin Qi Xia

Jiang' and ‘Qi Chen Dan Tian'

13 感受呼吸 GSnSh6uHnXT

Meaning: Gan. feel, Shou: take, Hu. exhale, Xi. inhale

Direct translation. Feel and take exhalation and inhalation.

Practical Ininslalion. I;cel deeply the natural breathing made from the

inside and keep it.

Annotation. Try to sense the breathing and gather it when practicing

Taijiquan. It should never be unnatural or laborious. It is very natural

while sleeping or walking. Therefore, be aware of breathing and

concentrate it naturally, feel your breathing and observe it internally as

it is.

For example, most practitioners focus too much on other key

disciplines while forgetting to breathe in standing post. If there is no

breathing, there is no internal energy ( 內 氣 ). When finding and

feeling breathing, concentration comes spontaneously and it is possible

to execute 'Fans Song' Please keep in mind that breathing should be

effortless and done around the lower abdomen area at all times.

45
* Please watch carefully while people sleep on the floor.Healthy

people have deep breaths from the belly. Due to the lower abdominal

breathing while sleeping, we refresh energy and recover from

sickness. However, nobody is conscious of breathing while fast

asleep. So breathing is always natural and done from the lower

abdomen all the time.

14.氣貫周身 Qi Guan Zhou Shen

Meaning: Qi: energy, Guan. penetrate, Zhou: far, Shen:

body

Direct translation. Penetrate energy far through the body. Practical

translation: Energy interpenetrates throughout the whole body

extensively in every part and moves the body by energy

Annotatation: ‘Qi Guan Zhou Shen’ is liberally translated ‘ ‘ 氣貫 通

Yi Qi Guan T6ng ,以氣運身 Yi Qi Yun Shen' In other words, energy

interpenetrates as one from the

beginning to the end and it means that the entire body is led to move by

energy.
There will always be three phenomenons when energy interpenetrates

through the body. The first one is the heat the second one is sweat, and

the third is trembling (vibration). These are the clear indicators that

one's Taijiquan practice is progressing smoothly If one does not

experience heat or sweating, it means that there is a problem with the

key disciplines in one's Taijiquan practice. The physical vibration will

disappear naturally when the lower body and power of the body (力量

Li Liang) increases.

The feeling can be likened to that of a worm crawling on the surface of

one's skin, along with swelling or numbing around the palm, and a

sensation as if the body expands far and wide is the sign of a revelation

(發顯)of 'Qi Guan Zhou Shen'

As it will overflow when a bowl is full of water, and a baby will walk

without being taught when it is ready, energy circulation in the

meridian pathways will be realized very naturally when the time is

ripe. For instance, the four meridians of the upper body (Girdle,

Conception, Governing and Penetration vessels) are effortlessly full

and overflow with energy; and when the four meridians of the lower

body (Yang heel, Yang linking, Yin heel and Yin linking) stimulated by

47
‘Qu Xi Song Kua' in the eight extraordinary channels are full of energy

from practice. It is not necessary to obstinately practice or drudgingly

gain the microcosmic (小周天)or macrocosmic orbit (大周天)• A

practitioner will self-realize when they are ready through a in depth

training.

15.不丟不頂 Bi Diu Bu Ding

Meaning: Bu. not, Diu. lost, Bu. not, Ding: crown of head or greatly

Direct translation: Not to be lost and greatly Practical translation:

The intention and the law of mind cannot be overused to become

lost in direction of concentration or too congested (停滯)due to

too much focus on such things.

Annotation: The Yao Jue of 'Bu Diu Bu Ding' is the law of intention

(意念、法)and at the same time it is the law of mind (心、、法)•

This is the law of intention in the law of body (身法的意念法)as well

as it is the law of mind itself. For example, it should be maintained

when practicing the law of body and the law of mind all the time. As

aforementioned, the mind is the master of intention. When using

intention or the law of mind, it can't lose its meaning or be

48
concentrated on too much. Originally, a meaning of ‘Ding 頂,was

generally used as ‘the crown of head' or ‘top of head', but here in this

sentence it is more appropriate to interpret as ‘greatly’ While training

the law of intention and the law of mind ,its meaning should be

maintained, but not be excessive or overdone at all times. Under the

right guidance from a qualified teacher, ‘Bu Diu Bu Ding' will be

mastered. For push-hands (推手)practice, it should be applied in the

same way

*When practicing the standing post, an effort is required to find out the

9 keys of the law of body, and the 6 keys of the law of mind, which are

the total 15 key disciplines. The standing post is like ‘the best kind of

wine 銘酒’ so it becomes more mature and tasty as time goes by As

the standing post practice deepens, the reeling silk and forms will also

deepen - the "profound study” (5&夫

The Law of Reeling Silk 纏絲法 Chdn Si Fa - the way of coiling

and spiraling a thread (the exercise discipline of Chen Family

Taijiquan 陳氏太極拳運動法則 Yfm Dong Fa Ze)

49
With the law of body and mind, the upper and lower body

constantly moves through the dantian like coiling and spiralling a

thread. The thread (絲)becomes silk

(緋緞).

16.以腰爲軸 Yi Y§o Wei Zhou

Meaning: Yi. according to, Yao* waist, Wei. do, Zhou, axis Direct

translation. According to the waist as an axis Practical translation. All

movements are initiated by the waist and body trunk becoming an

axle and the hands are followed by the body

Annotation. When law of body and mind are maturing, eventually it is

very suitable to practice the law of reeling silk in Chen Family

Taijiquan. The idea that the waist becomes an axis means to use the

lower abdomen, the Dan Tian, as the center of movement. The lower

belly and lower back becomes a spindle and the center to move.

While the front of the lower belly (dan tian) and the back of the lower

back (ming men) play a key role to move, the movement is initiated

through the hip, knee, heel in the lower body - delivered through the

lower back, chest, shoulder, arm and hand in the upper body evenly

50
and in order. This is named ‘the law of reeling silk 纏絲法 Chan ST

Fa'

When becoming skillful at silk reeling, it is possible to produce the

required force of Chen Family Taijiquan, which is called the force of

reeling silk ‘纏糸糸勁 Chan ST Jin'. It is not Taijiquan if there is no

law of reeling silk. If there is no force from reeling silk in Taijiquan, it

is not the ‘Power 勁,in Taijiquan.

In other words, it is not Taijiquan's hardness, softness, fastness and

slowness without possessing the law and force of reeling silk. This is

the major difference between Taijiquan and other practices. Without

proper study of the laws of body and mind, silk reeling practice might

harm one's physical condition, or there will be no significant effect.

* To understand ‘ Yi Yao Wei Zhou' in the easiest way, grab a rope.

Take the center of the rope and lift it up. The rope will wilt in half, in

to two parts, both dangling downwards. Slowly roll it between your

thumb and fingers, to the left then to the right.

By rotating the center, the rope, in two parts, coils and spirals

simultaneously This is the easiest understanding of ‘ Yi Yao Wei Zhou'

Next, take the bottom and top of the rope and rotate each

51
end in opposite directions. As it continues to rotate, the rope will

become increasingly coiled and spiral in to a helix. And it will be

thicker and denser after even more rotations. In the beginning, it starts

as a supple rope, but it twists in to a rigid and solid rope in the end. In

the same discipline above, while the silk reeling practice opens

constantly and closes continuously the upper and the lower body

through ‘Yi Yao Wei Zhou ,, the body will gradually become more

solid and stronger by the force of reeling silk. This is the discipline of

how the power of hardness (岡 U 勁) is produced by the power of

softness (柔勁)•

17 胸腰折疊 Xi6ngYaoZh6Di6

Meaning: Xiong: chest, Yao: waist, Zhe: incurvate, Die:

fold

Direct translation. The chest and waist incurvates and folds Practical

translation. The chest and waist folds and unfolds

continuously with a connection like the ocean wave. Annotation: ‘Xiong

Yao Zhe Die' is a unique discipline of Chen Family Taijiquan and it

52
explains how the chest and waist open/close constantly while in motion

and when practicing Taijiquan.

The entire spine moves like an ocean wave from the neck (cervical) to

the tailbone (coccyx) so that the thoracic and lumbar can repeat opening

and closing via certain movements. ‘Xiong Yao Zhe Die' is feasible

from the top to the bottom, from the bottom to the top, from right to left,

or from left to right through physical movements and energy circulation

(運身運勁).By deepening this principle, a motion will become more

subtle and small. The spine will become like an elastic bamboo tree and

soft as a baby's skin.

18.丹田運轉 Dan Tian Yun Zhuan

Meaning: Dan: red or immortal, Tian: field, Yun: move, Zhuan.

rotate

Direct translation: Dan Tian rotates and moves Practical translation:

Dan Tian rotates and moves directly in the internal and the external (內
夕 Annotation: As described in ‘Qi Chen Dan Tian,, the Dan Tian in

Chen Family Taijiquan is not imagined, but indeed it is actually felt.

The entire lower ab area moves wholly with feelings of heaviness,

53
fullness and openness within. The meridian point of ‘Dan Tian Xue' in

the lower belly is used directly to actively move the dan tian area.

When practicing silk reeling exercise, ‘Dan Tian Yun Zhuan' must

always appear. The movement and rotation of the dan tian area can't be

easily seen when practice deepens and skill level increases. So it is also

called ‘Dan Tian Internal Rotation 丹田內轉 D5n Tian Nei Zhuan'

Suppose there is a coin on your palm. In order to move the

coin, one can do so rather naturally if the entire palm is moving. Let's

say the coin represents dan tian and the palm is the lower abs,

metaphorically speaking. Then, the same rule could be applied. Using

only thoughts and mind is not enough to move the dan tian. We must

directly initiate and physically move the entire lower abdomen while

implementing the key disciplines of Taijiquan. If done correctly, the dan

tian itself is moved by the entire lower abdomen.

There are three types of dan tian rotation. Dan tian moves externally and

internally at the same time as the aforementioned example. The first

technique is a horizontal rotation which causes dan tian to move to the

left and the right. The second technique is a vertical rotation which

makes dan tian move to the front and back. The third technique

combines the horizontal and vertical dan tian rotations at once.

54
Everyone possesses a dan tian, but not everyone knows how to use it.

The key disciplines of Chen Family Taijiquan help immensely to

optimize and maximize one's dan tian. It is possible to develop ‘Dan

Tian' more and more by using it often and there are no limitations for its

capacity

19 節節貫串 JiS Jie Guan Chuan

Meaning: Jie: joint, Jie: joint, Guan: pass, Chuan. penetrate Direct

translation. Pass and penetrate through joint by joint Practical

translation. Make interpenetrate as one through each muscle and each

joint by moving successively in order. Annotation. 'Jie Jie Guan Quan'

talks about the exercise of the whole body in Taijiquan. By having ‘Dan

Tian Yun Zhuan,, it will bring the 'Yi Yao Wei Zhu' and 'Xiong Yao Zhe

Die' together with the force of reeling silk (power of coiling and

spiraling a thread) which in turn interpenetrates the heel - ankle - knee

— hip — waist — chest — shoulder — arm - hand, one by one and in

order. More specifically, it is highly recommended to have awareness in

three joints (parts) in the body For instance, the arms have three joints

which are the wrist, elbow and shoulder. The torso (upper body) also

has three parts which are the chest, upper abdomen and lower abdomen

55
(dan tian area). The leg also has three parts which include the hip, knee

and ankle. While practicing Reeling Silk exercises, a practitioner

should sense and feel those three parts to acquire this discipline. After

cultivating sensitivity in each joint's motion, it is feasible to initiate

every single joint and body part at once. This is the true meaning of ‘Jie

Jie Guan Chuan'

Depending on a posture, it is possible to produce spiraling energy from

the hand to the heel, from the heel to the crown of the head, or from

the left to the right, through a different form of reeling silk in which

the law of silk reeling's order changes. The person who knows ‘Jie Jie

Guan Chuan’ is the practitioner who knows the essence (精髓)of

Taijiquan.

20.意到氣到 Yi Dao Qi Dao

Meaning: Yi. intention, Dao: reach, Qi. energy, Dao. reach Direct

translation: Intention reaches and then energy reaches.

Practical translation. Energy will flow where intention goes. 氣到形到

Qi Dao Xing Dao

56
Meaning: Qi. energy, Dao: reach,Xing: shape, Dao: reach Direct

translation: Energy reaches and then shape reaches. Practical

translation: A form is made where energy goes. Annotation. This

discipline has a lot of in depth meanings and it will be used differently

given the level and quality of one's practice.Qi Gong (氣功法),

meditation (冥想),and Yoga practices share a common thread (一脈

相通)between them and do not swerve off of this key principle.

Intention (thought and meaning) is free and unlimited, but changes

severely Training intention is to train mental strength (精 f 申力)•

Deep concentration can render amazing effects. However there will be

various drawbacks in practicing intention if there is insufficient physical

preparation. Downfalls in Qi Gong and meditation occur when intention

is focused on without developing the body in a specific way first. It is

because the formed ‘mind’ which controls intention itself is an invisible

and powerful energy Without great physical preparation of the body, the

overuse of mind would be easily driven without control.

For example, let us think of a car. A good, old fashioned automobile

with a rusted body. How about installing an oversized and high

performance engine in there? The


rusted body can't handle the power (or weight) of the engine.

Everyone's intention is able to develop and grow like the oversized,

high performance engine. It is because there is no limitation to the use

of intention and mind. The body and frame of that car will break unless

its external body (身力)is already developed by specific standards to

accommodate the engine. Therefore we cannot enjoy the internal mind

power (心力)through marvelous intention due to an underdeveloped

external body. This is the downfall of overdoing mental power and it

will be useless (無用之物)without developing the external body first.

The true meaning of Taijiquan's ‘balance of ying and yang' connotes to

equally develop and harmonize the body and mind. Overtraining the

body is not right and overtraining the mind is not good either. The body

and mind should be practiced in a well-balanced, harmonious way

There is no significant meaning of training the law of mind if there is

no study or preparation of studying the law of mind. This rule should

be applied not only in Taijiquan, but also in Yoga, Qi Gong and other

practices. ‘ Yi Dao Qi Dao, Qi Dao Xing Dao' is the discipline that

combines the law of body and the law of mind. If using intention

correctly, energy is controllable - forms and shapes are completed.

58
Forms of Taijiquan will change external appearances and internal

energy changes by virtue of the depth of a practitioner's study Through

the discipline of 'Yi Dao Qi Dao, Qi Dao Xing Dao ’,it is practicable

to execute energy circulation in the meridian channels (經絡運

氣)and to enjoy a great benefit that directly sends or stores energy

where practitioners want. For instance it is possible to use the meridian


pathways with the key discipline of ‘Jie Jie Guan Chuan ,,which is

‘Small Hand Pericardium (pinky finger) Great Foot

Spleen (ribs) - Conception (front of body) - Governing (back of body) -

Small Intestine (back of shoulder)' when practicing silk reeling. Or,

when practicing two hand silk reeling, it is possible to use the meridians

of 'Conception - Governing, Governing - Conception' to intend with a

movement of reeling silk naturally “Yi Dao Qi Dao, Qi Dao Xing Dao'

is not just of using the mind. But indeed it is to actually and very

directly use the body and mind with other key disciplines of Chen

Family Taijiquan. If correctly trained in this principle, it will trigger

spontaneous internal concentration and external motion, creating

powerful energy circulation (運氣)•

59
21.內外相合 Wai Xiang He Meaning: Nei. in, Wai. out, Xiang: mutual,

He: combine Direct translation. Combine in and out mutually Practical

translation. Harmonize the internal and external

mutually to help. 周身一家

Zh6uShgnYiJm

Meaning: Zhou, evenly, Shen: body, Yi: one, Jia: house Direct

translation: The body becomes evenly a one house. Practical

translation: Move in harmony such as the whole body is one form.

Annotation: When practicing Chen Family Taijiquan, the mind (the

internal) and the body (the external) are combined by 'Fang Song'

Movements of the whole body are led by the central motion of 'Dan

Tian Yun Zhuan' In reinterpretation, the body and mind (心身)should

be harmonized while the arms and legs should be led as one by the

center of dan tian's rotation when training in Taijiquan. This discipline

requires all of the previous ones; law of body, law of mind and the law

of reeling silk. It requires constant work and practice. By initiating the

body, the mind moves with it. All ceases

60
when stopped and stationary Only a practitioner who has reached an

advanced level of study knows the secret (奧義) of this

discipline.The Four Major Characteristics (四大特點)- T h e 4

significant features (特徵)of Chen Family Taijiquan always

appear when the law of body mind and reeling silk are

harmonized. They are very important guidelines (指針)of

Taijiquan practice.

22.剛柔幷(相)濟 G5ng Rou BTng (Xiang) Ji

Meaning: Gang: hard, Rou. soft, Bing (Xiang). mutual, Ji.

help

Direct translation. Harmonize and help the hard and soft mutually

Practical translation. The hardness and softness mutually help and

harmonize. 快慢相間 Ki^i Man Xiang Jian

Meaning: Kuai. fast Man. slow, Xiang: mutual, Jian. mix Direct

translation. The fast and slow are mixed mutually Practical translation.

The fastness and slowness mutually


mix and exist.

Annotation. The original Chen Family Taijiquan requires hardness,

softness, fastness and slowness to mutually cross and blend together.


The slowness and softness are the negative ‘Yin 陰,and the fastness

and hardness are the positive 'Yang 陽,.This discipline implies the

balance and change of Ying and Yang in Chen Family Taijiquan. As

aforementioned, the meaning of ‘Taiji’ is the harmony (造 4 匕),change

(變 ^[匕)and balance (平衡)of the negative (yin) and the positive

(yang). If these are not maintained, it will violate the rule of Taijiquan.

This key, ‘Gang Rou Bing (Xiang) Ji, Kuai Man Xiang Jian' must

appear when training Chen Family Taijiquan forms. Just practicing

slowly or softly is only half of Taijiquan and it cannot seize (掌握)the

balance of ying and yang (陰陽變化)which Taijiquan strives to seek.


As there are inconsistencies in human emotion, energy

shares the same inconsistencies. Even if implementing the key

disciplines of Taijiquan, the internal energy will always be slow

following the slowness of the internal energy. With possessing the key

principles , the internal energy will change to fast and strong if the

external changes to fast and strong.

Let us contemplate of how Yang Lu Chan, the founder of Yang Family

Taijiquan, earned the title of ‘the Yang invincible 楊無敵’ How

could he defeat many different styles of martial artists by just utilizing

the slow motions for self defense? Before becoming the founder of

62
Yang Family Taiijquan, Yang himself was a master of Chen Family

Taijiquan in the eldest (嫡統)and direct descent lineage in the Chen

family In other words, he already reached a level of superhuman (入

神)and exquisite art of Taijiquan for the discipline of 'Gang Rou Bing

(Xiang) Ji, Kuai Man Xiang Jian'. He was able to change fluidly and

fight freely using his read ion aiul enci |.' v ;i|.',;iims! In•, opponent's

motion and speed llnough T;iijic|u;in. Taijiquan is not always slow. I

f a n opponent is last, then one should move fast or slow depending on

a situation by using reeling silk force. Even in the concept of

Taijiquan's combat, the hardness, softness, fastness and slowness

change freely or apply by its best timing and characteristics of force.

Taijiquan's most famous practical methods are 'slowness and softness

(慢柔),.They are the tools to maximize and increase one's sensitivity

(感覺)so that they can take control of their body and realize energy

circulation - building up a healthy body for well-being (健身)•

Therefore, Taijiquan has a nick name (別稱)of 'the sensitivity fist 感

覺拳,

63
After mastering ‘slowness and softness ,, one must enter the door to

'fastness and hardness 岡[Jt 夬,The practice of ‘fastness and hardness'

should retain the key points that render the same energy flow and body

control from mastering the sensations in ‘slowness and softness' In

fact, it is feasible to maintain the same conditions by the reeling silk

force, through fast and hard motions, if the skill that modulates the

entire body and the circulation of energy in slowness and softness is

achieved. The ultimate goal of Taijiquan practice is to combine and

unite the negative (yin) and the positive (yang) which implies endless

change in the yin and yang if a practitioner wants to change. Please just

keep in mind that hardness, softness, fastness and slowness ( 岡隱快慢

X without the force and the law of reeling silk , are not Taijiquan.

Without the key disciplines of Chen Family Taijiquan, 'Gang Rou Kuai

Man,, will just be another empty practice. The meaning of existence

‘Yao Jue' makes a clear distinction between Taijiquan and other

practices.Taijiquan is the delicate and syslcnulic pi.u iu i l 丨丨 ” .

I I being and self defense; however Uki( doc :, nol mkmii 丨丨 r‘

i•丨 be practiced strictly in slow motion. However, there are very few

succesors (傳人)wlu> k'.uiu'd from the birth place of Taijiquan. As a


result, it is comnioti to see the simplified and modern styles of

Taijiquan, wlik.li are not authentic.

23 蓄發相變 XiFaXiangBi^i

Meaning: Xu. cultivate, Fa: discharge, Xiang: mutual,

Bian: change

Direct translation. Cultivating and discharging mutually change.

Practical translation. Saving energy to the inside and shooting

energy to the outside mutually changing. Annotation: Saving

energy is called ‘Xu Qi 蓄氣,and shooting energy is called ‘Fa Qi

發氣,Saving force is

called ‘Xu Jin 蓄 勁 , and shooting force is called ‘Fa Jin 發 勁 ,

Energy (qi) itself is very weak and can be easily altered by internal

change and stimulation. For instance, energy will be active if the

body and mind is comfortable or when feeling happiness. But

energy will be inactive if the body and mind is uncomfortable or

when feeling melancholy

If the focus of the law of mind (精),energy of the breathing (氣)from

dan tian, posture of the law of body (身)are united, energy (qi

65
氣)will be developed in to force (jin 勁). 'Jin' is the condensed and

concentrated energy (qi) which is not easily shattered.

By the theory of yin and yang, saving energy is 'yin' and shooting

energy is 'yang' While practicing Taijiquan, this ‘Xu Fa Xiang Bian'

always changes and complements (補完)each other.


24.鬆活彈抖 S6ng Huo Tan D6u

Meaning: Song: relax, Huo: alive ,Tan. elasticity,Dou.

vibrate

Direct translation: Be relaxed, alive, elastic and vibrating Practical

translation. It requires reaching a state of relaxation, being alive, having

elasticity and vibrating when practicing.

Annotation. This key discipline has all requirements of Taijiquan

practice. 'Song Huo' means the 'Fang Song' of the body and mind (心

身)and vital energy (活氣)• 'Tan Dou' means the elasticity of body

during the moment of ‘Fa Jin (shooting energy)' and the natural

vibration of the body after ‘Fa Jin'

66
‘Song Huo Tan Dou' draws a distinction between Chen Family

Taijiquan and other styles of Taijiquan. It is not hard to achieve ‘Song

Huo,,but 'Tan Dou' requires a lot of practice. ‘Tan Dou (elasticity

and vibration)' is a very clearand pure (純粹)mark of excellence

(精華)in Chen Family Taijiquan.

25.外形走弧線 W 射 Xing Zou Hu Xian

Meaning: Wai: external, Xing: form, Zhou: go, Hu: circle,

Xian: line

Direct translation. It goes a circular line in an external form. Practical

translation: The external form of the body always draws a circular line

and circular movements (圓運動). 內勁走螺旋 N 射 Jin Zou Luo

Xuan Meanin. Nei. internal, Jin. force, Zhou, go, Luo: spiral Xuan.

rotate

Direct translation. The internal force rotates in a spiral line. Practical

translation: The internal force of reeling silk movement is a route that

always runs a helix shape and rotates in a circle.

Annotation: During practice of Taijiquan, the external


body's appearance should have a round look about it (or sometimes an

ellipse) and circular motion in exercise. The internal pathway of

reeling silk orbit is a spiral and coiling shape which is a helix and

makes infinitive orbit to move. The power and principles of circular

motions are found in life. It is the tornado (殿風)and wheels of cars.

The tornado powerfully rotates and swirls. Its whirlpool rampages and

passes through everything. Wheels of cars are round. The rotation of

wheels absorbs the power of the engine and delivers motion to the

body of car. All of these come from principles of circular motion. The

principles of spiral and coiling are also interesting. The DNA's

structure in the human body is a double-helix (一重螺線)which

stabilizes the balances of body So, the helix is the order of nature.

There will never be straight motions (直線),only circular

movements. The reeling of silk has no certain angle to

abstrusely (奥妙)make spiral and coiling movements which

constantly rotate and move inside the body The reeling silk practice of

a novice is insignificant, but later it will appear like the power of a

tornado that swirls and sweeps through the entire body.

68
All copyrights (著作權) belong to Bosco Baek of Chen Bing Taiji

Academy If illegaly plagiarized, it will apply legal limitations.

Special thanks to my Shidi (师弟)Daniel Iorio who runs Chen Bing

Taiji Academy Canada in Montreal.

www. ChenB ing. org

Additional W r i t i n g I’、Hose o I I . h L

Baek , Bosco. (2009). Finding I :m|•’. S(”i|■丨 ///、/"•八/"/•• I ”

Vol. 37,No.2. 70-73.

Baek, Bosco. (2009). Chen Family 5 Kinds ol' Push I l.ind . Inside

Kung-Fu. Vol. 37, No.8. 52-55 Baek, Bosco. (2010). Refreshing the

Spine. Kung Fu Tai Chi. March/April. 10-13.

Baek, Bosco. (2011). Three Dantian Rotation Techniques in Chen

Taiji. The Journal of Asian Martial Arts Volume 20 Number 3. 62-85.

69
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