Tai Chi Chuan Theory
HARD - SOFT - CHANGE - EACH OTHER
Gang - Rou - Xiang - Ji
Tai Chi comes from Wu Chi and is the mother of yin and yang.
In motion it separates; in stillness they fuse.
It is not excessive or deficient; accordingly when it bends, it then straightens.
When the opponent is hard and I am soft, it is called tsou (yielding).
When I foloow the opponent and he becomes backed up, it is called nien (adherence).
If the opponent's movement is quick, then quickly respond; if his movement is slow, then
Although the changes are numerous, the principle that pervades them is only one.
From familiarity with the correct touch, one gradually comprehends chin (internal force);
from the comprehension of chin one can reach wisdom.
Without long practice one cannont suddenly understand it.
Effortlessly the ch'i reaches the headtop.
Let the chi (breath) sink to the tan t'ien.
Don't lean in any direction; suddenly appear, suddenly disappear.
Empty the left wherever a pressure appears, and similarly the right.
If the opponent raises up I seem taller; if he sinks down, then I seem lower;
advancing, the distance seems incredibly longer; retreating the distance seems exasperatingly short.
(So light an object as) a feather cannot be placed, and (so small an insect as)
a fly cannot alight on any part of the body.
The opponent doesn't know me; I alone know him.
To become a peerless boxer results from this.
There are many boxing arts.
Although they use different forms, for the most part they don't go beyond the strong
oppressing the weak, and the slow resigning to the swift.
The strong defeating the weak and the slow hands ceding to swift hands are all results
of the physical instinctive capacity and not of well trained techniques.
From the sentence "A force of four ounces deflects a thousand pounds," wek know that
the technique is not accomplished with strength.
The spectacle of an old person defeating a group of young people, how can it be due to
Stand like a balance and rotate actively like a wheel.
Sinking to one side is responsive; being double-weighted is sluggish (stagnant). Anyone
who has spent years of practice and still cannot neutralize, and is always controlled by
his opponent, has not apprehended the fault of double-weightedness.
To avoid this fault one must know yin and yang.
Yin and yang mutually aid and change each other.
Then you can say you understand chin (internal strength). After you understand
chin, the more practice, the more skill.
Silently treasure up knowledge and turn it over in the mind. Gradually you can do as you
Originally it is giving up yourself to follow others. Most people mistakenly give up the
near to seek the far. It is said, "Missing it by a little will lead to many miles astray."
The practitioner must carefully study. This is the "Lun" (theory).
Translated by Benjamin Pang Jeng Lo, Martin Inn, Robert Amacker, and Susan Foe