Taiji Treaties: blueKnows Translation

As I do not completely agree with others' translation and explanation of Master Wang Zongyue's Taiji Treaties, I hereby offering my two cents. Comments and discussions are welcome.

太極拳論 王宗岳
Taiji Treaties by Wang Zongyue
Translated and explained by blueKnows study under Master Chen Yimin
  1. 太極者無極而生,陰陽之母也;
    Taiji was given birth by Wuji. It is the mother of Yin and Yang;

    Wuji is referred to the state that a Taiji form is about to be performed. You have stood tall, ajusted your posture, and regulated your breathing according to the requirement, yet no movent has been made. From this state, comes Taiji. From Taiji, comes Yin and Yang. I would explain what Ying and Yang are really soon.

  2. 動之則分,靜之則合,無過不及,隨曲就伸。
    (Yin and Yang) are seperated in motion, and (re)united in stillness. It is always just. Never excess nor insufficient. No matter in bending or stretching, it always follows.

    In terms of physics, Taiji movements are vectors that constantly change its direction. The arrow tip of the vector is Yang, the other tip Yin. Hence, Yin and Yang is always in perfect balance, no matter whether you are bending or stretching.

  3. 人剛我柔謂之走,我順人背謂之黏;
    When the opponent apply the technique of Gang, and I Rou, this is called Zou; As I follow the the opponent's back as he retreats, this is called Nian.

    Gang is force, Rou is gentleness. Zou in Chinese means "walk away." Retreat as the opponent's force approaching is the the application of Zou technique. The other way around is called Nian. Nian in Chinese is "adhering."

  4. 動急則急應,動緩則緩隨,雖變化萬端,而理為一貫。
    If your opponent moves fast, you response with the same fast movement and vice versa as he moves slow. Although there are tens of thousands of variations, the principal remains the same.

    Syncronize your speed with your opponent.

  5. 由著熟而漸悟懂勁,由懂勁而階及神明;
    From the famility of the form, you gradually understand Jin; Through understanding of Jin, you step on the stairs towards enlightnment.

    Jin is the sum of all forces of entire body in one move. The resulting Jin depends more on coordination of the movement rather than brute force.

  6. 然非用力之久,不能豁然貫通焉。
    However, no one can grasp this concept unless you have practised for a long time.

  7. 虛靈頂勁,氣沈丹田,不偏不倚,忽隱忽現;
    (When facing opponent) tuck in your chin and gentlely lift the top of your head, and sink your energy underneath your belly button. The center of your gravaty should be well centreed. Reveal and hide your Jin from times to times.

  8. 左重則左虛,右重則右杳,仰之則彌深,進之則愈長,退之則愈促,一羽不能加,蠅虫不能落,人不知我,我獨知人,英雄所向無敵,蓋皆由此而及也。
    If you detect your opponent's Jin on your left, you should empty and yield your left side, and vice versa to the right. When he attacks from high, you go low. As he advances, you guide him to stretch even further. When he retreats, you advance. It is impossible to apply the force of the weight of a feather on you. Nor can a fly land on you. Others cannot know my Jin, only I understand others'. This is the path to become invincible.

    Try to use your body to simulate a baloon charged with statics. Play a mime being at the centre of it, and the surface of the baloon is the contact point of your limes and your opponent. This baloon is stucked onto your opponent due to the static charge. Remember to maintain the gentle pressure is to keep the baloon in shape, not to over power the opponent.

  9. 斯技旁門甚多,雖勢有區別,概不外乎壯欺弱、慢讓快耳!
    There are many other systems of martial arts. Although there are many variations in style, most of them cannot get out of the mentality of the strong over powering the weak, the slow giving ways to the quick!

  10. 有力打無力,手慢讓手快,是皆先天自然之能,非關學力而有為也。
    The strong overpowering the weak, and the slow yield to the fast. These senarios are natural instincts, and have nothing to do with learning and training.

  11. 察四兩撥千斤之句,顯非力勝;
    Consider the expression "Four taels parries one thousand pounds", it is obvious that brute force is not the winning factor.

  12. 觀耄耋能禦眾之形,快何能為?
    Observe the situation that one senior can defeat a gang, how possiblely can speed do the job?

  13. 立如平準,活似車輪;
    Stand like a leveling rod, and be agile as a wheel;

    Maintain a well balanced stance. Keep spine straight perpendicular to the ground. Imagine your spine is the axis of a wheel, and arms two of the spokes.


  14. 偏沈則隨,雙重則滯。
    Wherever you feel the weight of a force, let it be. Double-Weight causes inert movements.

    Double-Weight means both parties exert forces. According to Newton's Law, action causes reaction. In other words, if reaction is eliminated, action cannot exist alone. If we always give ways to the force of our opponents, then the power of their strength becomes useless. Your opponent cannot push you over with bare hands from 10 meters away. The trick is to provide your opponent the illusion that he has got you by maintaining the contact, yet yield to his force in time.

  15. 每見數年純功,不能運化者,率自為人制,雙重之病未悟耳。
    Often we see people with years of training cannot deflect their opponents' force, and allow themselves to be controlled. This is the sympton of not understanding Double Weight.

  16. 欲避此病。須知陰陽。粘即是走。走即是粘。
    In order to avoid this fault, one must know Yin and Yang. Respond Nian with Zou, Zou with Nian.

    Please refer to 2. and 3. for definitions for Yin, Yang, Zou, and Nian.
    陰、陽、粘、走請參閱2., 3.及下方圖解。

  17. 陰不離陽。陽不離陰。陰陽相濟方為懂勁。
    Never part your Yin with your opponent's Yang, Yang with Yin. Knowing how to balance Yin and Yang is to understand Jin.

  18. 懂勁後。愈練愈精。默識揣摩。漸至從心所欲。
    After understanding Jin, practice would ensure progress. Meditate and simulate fights in your mind. Eventually, all movements would be excuted to the desire of your heart.

  19. 本是舍己從人。多誤舍近求遠。
    The principle (of Taiji) is to give up one's own way to suit others' desire. However, many make the mistake of giving up this simple principle and look for something far fetch.

  20. 所謂差之毫厘。謬之千里。學者不可不詳辨焉。是為論。
    This is so called "taking the wrong path at a fork, and you would end up thousands of miles away from your target destination." Disciples cannot afford to begin their journey on the wrong path. Such is the treaties.



Double Weight/雙重:



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