Yang's Ten Important Points
- The head should be upright so that the spirit can reach the
head top. Do not use strength, or the neck will be stiff and the breath and
blood cannot flow through. It is necessary to have a natural and lively
feeling. If the spirit cannot reach the head top, it cannot raise.
- Sink the chest and pluck up the back. The chest is depressed
naturally inward so that the breath can sink to the tan tien. Do not project
the chest. The chi gets stuck there and the body becomes top heavy. The heel
will be too light and can be uprooted. Pluck up the back and the chi sticks to
the back. Depress the chest and you can pluck up the back. Then you can
discharge force through the spine. You will be a peerless boxer.
- Relax the waist. The waist is the commander of the whole body. If
you can relax the waist, then the two legs will have power and the lower part
will be firm and stable. Substantial and insubstantial change, and this is
based on the turning of the waist. It is said that the source of the postures
lies in the waist. If you cannot get power, seek the defect in the legs and
- Differentiate insubstantial and substantial. This is the first
thing of all in Tai Chi Chuan. If the weight of the whole body is resting on
the right leg, then the right leg is substantial and the left leg is
insubstantial, and vice versa. When you can separate substantial and
insubstantial, you can turn lightly without using strength. If you cannot
separate them, the step is heavy and slow. The stance is not firm and can be
easily thrown off balance.
- Sink the shoulders and elbows. The shoulders will be completely
relaxed and open. If you cannot relax and sink, the two shoulders will be
uptight. The chi will flow them up and the whole body cannot get power. "Sink
the elbows" means the elbows go down and relax. If the elbows raise, the
shoulders are not able to sink and you cannot discharge people far. The
discharge is close to the broken force of the external schools.
- Use the mind and not force. The Tai Chi Chuan classics say, "all of
this means use of mind and not force." In practicing Tai Chi Chuan the whole
body relaxes. Do not let one ounce of force remain in the blood
vessels, bones, and ligaments to tie yourself up. Then you can be agile and able
to change. You will be able to turn freely and easily. Doubting this, how can
you increase yourself?
The body has meridians like the ground has ditches
and trenches. If not obstructed, the water can flow. If the meridian is not
closed, the chi goes through. If the whole body has hard force and it fills up
the meridians, the chi and blood stop and the turning is not smooth and agile.
Just pull one hair and the whole body is off balance. If you use mind not
force, then the mind goes to a place and the chi follows it. The chi and the
blood circulate. If you do this every day and never stop, after a long time
you will have real internal force. The Tai Chi Chuan classics said that when
you are extremely soft, then you become extremely good in Tai Chi Chuan skill
and has arms like iron wrapped with cotton and weight is very heavy. As for
those who practice the external schools, when they use force, they reveal
force. When they do not use force, they are too light and floating. Their
internal force is external and locked together. The force of the external
schools is easily led and moved and not to be esteemed.
- Upper and lower mutually follow. The Tai Chi Chuan classics said
that the motion should be rooted in the feet, released through the legs,
controlled by the waist and manifested through the fingers. Everything is the
same. When the hands, waist and feet move together, the eyes follow. If one
part does not move, the whole body is disordered.
- Inside and outside coordinate. In the practice of Tai Chi Chuan the
main thing is the spirit. Therefore, it is said that the spirit is the
commander and the body is subordinate. If you can raise the spirit, then the
movements will be naturally agile. The postures are not beyond insubstantial
and substantial, opening and closing. That which is called open means not only
the hands and feet are open, but the mind is also open. That which is called
closed means not only the hands and feet are closed, but the mind is also
closed. When you can make the inside and outside become one, then it becomes complete.
- It is mutually joined and unbroken. As to the external schools,
their internal force is the latter heaven brute internal force. Therefore, it
is finite. There are connects and breaks. During the breaks, the old force is
exhausted and the new force has not yet been born. At these moments, it is
very easy for others to take advantage. The Tai Chi Chuan use mind and not
force. From beginning to end it is continuous and not broken. It is circular
and again resumes. It revolves and has no limits. The original classic said
that it is like a great river rolling on unceasingly and the circulation of
internal force is like pulling silk. They all talk about being connected
- Seek stillness in movement. The external schools assume jumping
about is good and they use all their energy. That is why after practice
everyone tire. Tai Chi Chuan uses stillness to control movement. Although one
moves, there is also stillness. Therefore, in practicing the form, slower is
better. If it is slow, the inhalation and exhalation are long and deep and the
chi sinks to tan tien. Naturally there is no injuries practice such as
engorgement of the blood vessels. The learner should be careful to comprehend
it. Then you will get the real meaning.
Copyright © V. Chu. All rights reserved.