The Understanding of the Thirteen Postures

1. The Xin (mind/heart) motivates the qi, directs it to sink, so that it can be stored and concentrated into the bones.

2. Let the qi motivate the body without hindrance, so that it will effortlessly follow your xin (mind/heart).

3. If the shen (spirit) is raised, there will not be any sluggishness. This is the meaning of the crown being suspended from above.

4. There should be agility in the interaction of the yi (mind intention) and qi, so that it [the qi] will be circular and lively. This is what is meant by, ‘changing substantial and insubstantial’.

5. When executing fajin (releasing the force) the body should relax and sink. Focus on the one direction.

6. When the body is upright, loose and tranquil, the feet will support all eight directions.

7. Direct the qi like threading the ‘nine bend pearls’, by flowing continuously it reaches everywhere unrestricted.

[When the qi flows throughout the body] the jin (relaxed force) is like tempered steel, overcoming all solid defences.

8. Have the appearance of a falcon preying on a hare. Concentrate the shen (spirit) like a cat stalking on a mouse.

9. Be calm like a mountain and move like a river.

10. Store up the jin (relaxed force) like drawing a bow, discharge the jin (relaxed force) like releasing an arrow.

11. Seek the straight in the curve, first store then discharge.

12. Force is released through the back, the steeps change with the body.

13. To receive is to release, if it disconnects then reconnect.

14. In moving forwards and backwards, there should be folding. In advancing and retreating, there should be changes of direction.

15. Extreme softness yields to extreme firmness and tenacity.

16. Only with the ability to inhale and exhale, will there be agility.

17. When qi is cultivated naturally, there is no harm. When jin (relaxed force) is stored, there will be a surplus.

18. The xin (mind/heart) is the commander, the qi is the flag, and the yao (waist) is the banner.

19. First seek exspansion while opening then seek contraction while closing. It will lead to perfect refinement.

20. Its said: “If the other does not move, I do not move. If the other has the slightest movement, I move ahead”.

21. The jin (force) seems song (relaxed), however it is not song (relaxed), it is about to expand, although it has not yet expanded. The jin (relaxed force) might disconnect, but mind must not.

22. It is also said: “First the xin (mind/heart), then the body”.

23. When the abdomen relaxes, the qi sinks into the bones. When the shen (spirit) calms, the body becomes tranquil.

24. Keep this in xin (in your heart). Remember; when you move, every part moves. When you settle every part settles.

25. When moving forwards and backwards, the qi sticks to the back and permeates into the spine.

26. Internally be acutely aware of the shen (spirit), externally appear calm and relaxed.

27. Step like a cat. Transmit the jin (relaxed force) like reeling silk from a cocoon.

28. The yi (intention) should be on the jingshen (spirit), not on the qi, otherwise the qi will stagnate. With qi, extra-ordinary power will develop. Without qi there will only be li (brute strength). Qi is like a cart wheel and the yao (waist) is like the axle.

Reference: Taijiquan Wuwei: A Natural Process translation by Wee Kee Jin 2003
ISBN: 0473097818

p. 104 – 112

Substantiality and Insubstantiality

How can substantiality and insubstantiality be distinguished between left and right or between top and bottom parts of the body?

The muscles, the skeleton and the nerves are parts of the body system. When practicing the movements, the use of consciousness to sink and relax the body is most important. The centre of gravity is moved while preserving the uprightness of the central axis of the body. It is important to focus on steadiness, tranquillity, relaxation and rootedness. The movements propel the external movements in a continuous or uninterrupted fashion. Internal force is generated with turning movements. After a long time, the whole body is in balance. When left and right is distinguished, one is substantial and the other insubstantial along the pattern of “cross alignment”. For instance, together with the distinction between top and bottom parts of the body, when the left upper part of the body is substantial, the left lower part is insubstantial and similarly when the right upper part of the body is substantial, the right lower part is insubstantial. This pattern of cross alignment is used in shifts of the centre of gravity from one leg to the other. This is similar to the “cross-roads” of the nervous system. When moving Qi, therefore, one must separate substantial from insubstantial, move the step without moving the body or moving the body and not the hand. If in moving a step, the body also moves, then it is not separating substantial from insubstantial. If in moving the body, the hand also moves, then the shoulder and the hands are not relaxed. It is important to follow the principles of using consciousness to propel movement. The top and bottom, left and right portions of the body must be coordinated. A rounded grinding stone may move but the centre is not moving. All parts of the body become one system characterized by lightness and agility, roundness and smoothness, even respiration, alternate opening and closing like that of the sea where with movement from one part of the sea, all parts are also moved. The movements are guided by consciousness and are properly regulated like the regular movements of the waves in the sea.

Reference: Interview with Master Huang

Links: Yin Yang

Tsa Pi Shiu Lin Jing – Interpret energy

There are many different forms of jing with shenming or Tsa Pi Shiu Lin Jing as the highest form of jing where you sense the opponents jin and yi (intention) before is visible or manifested and you control and release your opponent with Yi (pure intent) or Shen only. (Thomas compilation from different sources)

At this stage the tingjin (listening) has refined into a kind of intuitive sixth sense, jiejin (recieving energy) has be cultivated, and the fajin (relaxed force) has become almost entirely internal. Like the ultimate in dongjin, when your opponents do not move but intent to, you have already moved ahead.

Finally comes the ability to issue without issuing, which is fajin (releasing the relaxed force) by a subconsious direction of the mind, and with out effort.(Taijiquan Wuwei: A Natural Process (okt 2003) Kee-Jin Wee p. 46)

You are able to sense the opponents chi and are able to pass chi into (fajin) or out of him (drain). Thus shocking his internal organs or disrupting his energy flow in the meridians (Dian Xue – pressure point). Understanding the opponents chi pattern with a light touch or without touching at all.

The passive aspect of this jing is the ability to sense the opponents intention (Yi) and resist his chi attacks. ( Advanced Yang Style Tai Chi Chuan: Tai Chi Theory and Tai Chi Jing: 1 (dec 1986) Jwing-Ming Yang p.104 )

Four Character Secret Transmission

Spread. To spread means that we mobilize our chi spread it over our opponents energy and prevent him from moving.

Cover. To cover means that we use our chi to cover our opponents thrust.

Check. To check means that we use chi to check our opponents thrust, ascertain his aim and evade it.

Swallow. To swallow means that we use chi to swallow everything and neutralize.

These four character transmission represents what has no form and no sound. Without the ability to interpret energy and training to the highest perfection, they cannot be understood. We are speaking here exclusively of chi. Only if one correctly cultivates the chi and does not damage it, can one project it to the limbs. The effect of this on the limbs cannot be described in words.

(attributed to Wu Yü-hsiang)

Master Sam Tam are able to to spread the energy over you and prevent you from moving by “sinking the energy”. (Thomas)

Vlad Gaevskiy

Huang Zhen Huan

Morihei Ueshiba


Li Heshen

Taiji quan Push-hand of Master Zhu Datong 1

Zhu Datong

Ma Yongqing

Ma Jiang Bao

Huang Sheng Shyan





陽 yang 陰 yin

Yin Yang
Yin-yang are opposing
Yin-yang are mutually rooted
Yin-yang mutually transform
Yin-yang mutually wax and wane
Yin and yang are neither substances nor forces


Taiji is born of Wu Chi. It is the origin of dynamic and static states and the mother of yin and yang. If they move, they separate. If the remain static, they combine.



Yin Yang
The Dao of Taijiquan Way to Rejuvenation by Tsung Hwa Jou. Chapter Two
Cheng Tzu’s Thirteen Treatises on T’ai Chi Ch’uan (nov 1985) Cheng Man-Ch’ing, Martin Inn p. 21-23
Taiji Diagram and Yang Style by Mei Ying Sheng

That which shrinks Must first expand

That which shrinks
Must first expand.
That which fails
Must first be strong.
That which is cast down
Must first be raised.
Before receiving
There must be giving.
This is called perception of the nature of things.
Soft and weak overcome hard and strong.

Fish cannot leave deep waters,
And a country’s weapons should not be displayed.

Referece: Lao Tzu Tao Te Ching XXXVI (Trans. Feng & English)