Estilo Yang, Antiguo Manual Familiar: Secretos orales de los Ocho Métodos

楊氏老譜秘傳八法秘訣
Yang‐style Old Family Manual: 8 Methods Oral Secrets
Estilo Yang, Antiguo Manual Familiar: Secretos orales de los Ocho Métodos

Dedicated to Helen Tartar
Grateful for your inspiration
Sorry you didn’t get to see the final result
Translation copyright (c) 2014 2016 Lee Fife
A New Translation, Summer 2016 by Lee Fife

Licencia de Creative Commons
Este obra está bajo una licencia de Creative Commons Reconocimiento 4.0 Internacional

 

This “manual” has short verses for each of the 8 core jins of taijiquan: wardoff, rollback, etc. Each verse begins with the same question: <name of jin>: how to explain its meaning? And then proceeds to answer the question in the following seven lines. The poems all follow the wulu form of Classical Chinese poetry.

Wulu poems are rigorously structured: they must have 8 lines, each of 5 characters, and follow specific rhyming and tonal patterns. (There are other forms in the same family with different numbers of characters, e.g., 8 lines of 6 characters or 8 lines of 7 characters.) Educated people were expected to be able to compose wulu poems and Confucian exams included questions that had to be answered in a variety of Classical Chinese poetry forms. Some of the most famous poems in Chinese culture are in wulu form. Here’s one by the famous Tang dynasty poet Li Bai called Seeing Off A Friend.

李白
送友人
青山橫北郭
白水遶東城
此地一為別
孤蓬萬里征
浮雲游子意
揮手自茲去
蕭蕭班馬鳴

Li Bai
Seeing Off A Friend

Green hills across the northern walls
Pure water spirals east about the town
This ground is the place of our departing
A dandelion ... thousands of miles ... your journey
Drifting as the clouds ... a wandering child I feel
The sun is setting and I think of my old friend
Waving hands as now you go
Dejected, dejected your
team of horses cries
(translation by Frank Watson , (c) 2013)

Este "manual" consiste de un conjunto de versos cortos para cada una de las 8 energías (jins) principales del taijiquan: rechazo, retroceso, etc. Cada verso comienza con la misma pregunta: <nombre de jin>: ¿cómo explicar su significado? Y entonces procede a contestar la pregunta en las siguientes siete líneas. Todos los poemas siguen la forma wulu de la poesía clásica china.

Los poemas wulu son rigurosamente estructurados: deben tener 8 líneas, cada una de 5 caracteres, y seguir rimas específicas y patrones tonales. (Hay otras formas en la misma familia con diferentes números de caracteres, por ejemplo, 8
líneas de 6 caracteres u 8 líneas de 7 caracteres.) Se esperaba que las personas educadas pudieran componer poemas wulu y los exámenes de Confucio incluyeron preguntas que debían ser respondidas en una variedad de formas clásicas de la poesía china. Algunos de los poemas más famosos de la cultura china están en forma wulu. Aquí tenemos uno del famoso poeta de la dinastía Tang, Li Bai, titulado "Despidiendo a un amigo".

Li Bai
Despidiendo a un amigo

Verdes colinas a través de los muros norte
Espirales de agua pura al este sobre la ciudad.
Esta tierra es de donde partimos.
Un diente de león ... miles de millas ... tu viaje
A la deriva como las nubes ... un niño errante que siento
El sol se está poniendo y pienso en mi viejo amigo.
Saludando con las manos y te vas
Abatido, abatida tu
yeguada llora

The form itself is challenging: it requires real skill to convey meaning in parallel phrases each of five characters that follow the rhyme and tone rules. Many of the original taijiquan family teachings were probably in simpler forms: something that could be easily memorized, chanted in groups, and didn’t require particular literary sophistication to create. The creation of these “oral secrets” in wulu form is, beyond the content itself, a political and cultural statement. Yang Lucan, first generation founder, was born poor and lived as an indentured servant. Even as he achieved fame later in life, martial arts were still considered a lower class activity. The creation of these verses, even apart from details of the content, was intrinsically a statement conferring status and legitimacy, putting the oral traditions into a context reserved for high art and profound spiritual and philosophical teaching.

La redacción en sí es desafiante: requiere una habilidad real para transmitir el significado en frases paralelas, cada una de los cinco ideogramas que siguen las reglas de la rima y el tono. Muchas de las enseñanzas originales del taijiquan de la familia probablemente estaban en formas más simples: algo que podría ser fácilmente memorizado, cantado en grupos, y no requiere una sofisticación literaria particular para darles vida. La creación de estos "secretos orales" en forma de wulu son, más allá del contenido mismo, una declaración política y cultural. Yang Lucan, fundador de la primera generación, nació pobre y vivió como un sirviente contratado. Incluso a medida que alcanzó la fama más adelante en su vida, las artes marciales todavía se consideraban una actividad de clase baja. La creación de estos versos, incluso aparte de los detalles del contenido, fue intrínsecamente una declaración que otorga estatus y legitimidad, colocando las tradiciones orales en un contexto reservado para el arte refinado, las enseñanzas espirituales y filosófica profunda.

Beyond the implied politics of these verses, the form itself poses challenges for understanding and translation. Much of the meaning has to be left implied beyond the five characters of each line. And there’s the question of how to break up the verse: which lines go together? Clearly the first line stands by itself since each verse begins by asking what is the meaning of the relevant jin. But, the subsequent lines could be broken up various ways: e.g, the 2nd line might provide a summary answer and then the subsequent lines grouped in three sets of two giving additional detail. As I’ve worked thru these verses, I’ve chosen to break each verse into a 3+2+2 structure since that works well across all the verses.

Más allá de la política implícita de estos versos, la redacción misma plantea desafíos para la comprensión y la traducción. Gran parte del significado debe dejarse implícito más allá de los cinco caracteres de cada línea. Y está la cuestión de cómo dividir el versículo: ¿qué líneas van juntas? Claramente, la primera línea se mantiene por sí misma ya que cada verso comienza preguntando cuál es el significado del jin relevante. Sin embargo, las líneas subsiguientes se podrían dividir de varias maneras: por ejemplo, la segunda línea podría proporcionar una respuesta resumida y luego las líneas subsiguientes agrupadas en tres conjuntos de dos que brindan detalles adicionales. Como he trabajado a través de estos versículos, he elegido dividir cada verso en una estructura 3 + 2 + 2, ya que funciona bien en todos los versículos.

As a result, the verses require considerable interpretation to render them intelligible in English. So, I haven’t followed my normal, very literal and almost telegraphic style of translation. Instead, I’ve tried to render them all in a reasonably clear and readable format and then provided additional notes on each verse. There’s always discussion in taijiquan circles about the relationship of the 8 jins to the specific postures in the form. Particularly for the first four, there are corresponding postures in the form with the same names (wardoff, rollback, press, and push). I think of the postures as preeminent examples where we can apply the jins, but the postures are far from the only places where these jin appear. The verses help us understand the nature of the jins so we can find and apply them more broadly.

Como resultado, los versos requieren una interpretación considerable para hacerlos inteligibles en inglés. Por lo tanto, no he seguido mi estilo de traducción normal, muy literal y casi telegráfico. En su lugar, he intentado traducirlos a todos en un formato razonablemente claro y legible y luego proporcioné notas adicionales en cada verso. Siempre se discute en los círculos de taijiquan sobre la relación de los 8 jins con las posturas específicas en la forma de mano vacía. Particularmente para los primeros cuatro, hay posturas correspondientes en la forma con los mismos nombres (matener la distancia, girar hacia atrás, presionar / reunir y empujar). Pienso en las posturas como ejemplos preeminentes donde podemos aplicar los jins, pero las posturas están lejos de los únicos lugares donde aparecen estos jin. Los versículos nos ayudan a comprender la naturaleza de los jins para que podamos encontrarlos y aplicarlos de manera más amplia.

I’m not aware of many english translations of these verses: Douglas Wile has one rather idiosyncratic version in his Tai Chi Touchstones. Most of the other english translations I’ve seen are clearly derivative of Wile’s version, unfortunately usually without credit. It’s hard to figure out exactly who created these verses. Wile attributes the verses to “T’an Menghsien”.

No tengo conocimiento de muchas traducciones al inglés de estos versos: Douglas Wile tiene una versión bastante idiosincrásica en sus "Piedras de toque del taichí.transmisiones secretas de la familia yang". La mayoría de las otras traducciones al inglés que he visto son claramente derivadas de la versión de Wile, desafortunadamente generalmente con poco crédito. Es difícil averiguar exactamente quién creó estos versículos. Wile atribuye los versos a "T’an Menghsien".

I’ve only been able to find a little out about 譚夢賢 ( 谭梦贤 in simplified characters) or Tan Mengxian as his name would be written in pinyin. He was apparently a student of Yang Shouhou (eldest son of Jianhou), and was a martial arts advisor in the Chinese military in the 1930s. Here’s a picture from the 1930s of him (far right, front row) together with other martial artists serving in the military in various martials arts related advisory roles.

(picture from Huang Yuanxiu, Skills and Essentials of Yang Style Taijiquan, via Paul Brennan)

Poco he podido encontrar sobre 譚夢賢 (谭梦贤 en caracteres simplificados) o Tan Mengxian, ya que su nombre se escribiría en pinyin. Aparentemente, fue alumno de Yang Shouhou (el hijo mayor de Jianhou), y fue asesor de artes marciales en el ejército chino en la década de 1930. Aquí hay una foto de la década de 1930 de él (extrema derecha, primera fila) junto con otros artistas marciales que sirven en el ejército en varios roles de asesoría relacionados con las artes marciales.

(foto de Huang Yuanxiu, Habilidades y elementos esenciales del Taijiquan al estilo Yang, a través de Paul Brennan)

Tan also wrote a preface for Huang’s book from which this picture was taken, including key points about practice purportedly from his teacher Yang Shouhou. Per personal communication, the verses themselves are part of the indoor manuals still handed down in one of the Yang Jianhou lines. Shouhou, despite being Jianhou’s elder son, studied primarily with Banhou the story is that he was “given” to Banhou since Banhou was the elder of two brothers and lacked a male heir. Tan Mengxian’s publishing of the verses shows that they were present in both the Banhou and Jianhuo lines. Tan’s publishing may have been a result of the national resurgence of interest in Chinese martial arts that took place in the 1920s as part of an effort to find and rely on inherently Chinese skills in the face of increasing western domination. He may have composed the verses himself then, or he may have simply recorded and published them, possibly with some cleanup, based on a version passed down in the indoor manuals.

Tan también escribió un prefacio para el libro de Huang del cual se tomó esta foto, que incluye puntos clave sobre la práctica supuestamente de su maestro Yang Shouhou. Según la comunicación personal, los versos en sí mismos son parte de los manuales de uso interno que aún se transmiten en una de las líneas de Yang Jianhou. Shouhou, a pesar de ser el hijo mayor de Jianhou, estudió principalmente con Banhou. La historia es que él fue "entregado" a Banhou ya que Banhou era el mayor de los dos hermanos y carecía de un heredero varón. La publicación de Tan Mengxian de los versos muestra que estaban presentes tanto en la línea de Banhou como en la de Jianhuo. La publicación de Tan puede haber sido el resultado del resurgimiento nacional del interés en las artes marciales chinas que tuvo lugar en la década de 1920 como parte de un esfuerzo por encontrar y confiar en las habilidades chinas inherentes a la creciente dominación occidental. Es posible que él mismo haya compuesto los versos en ese momento, o que simplemente los haya recogido y publicado, posiblemente con alguna limpieza, basándose en alguna de las versiones que se transmitían en los manuales de uso interno.

If Tan himself composed them, it’s unlikely they would also be present in manuals passed down in the Jianhou line. Further, the verses, being in wulu form, use a classical Chinese form. Writing such verses in the 1920s or 1930s could have been an explicit reference back to old “authentic” Chinese thought, although it would be somewhat surprising for someone with a military position in the modern Chinese republic to do so. If the verses had already been composed and were passed down in the family, then the original creation would probably have been during the second generation of the Yangs (Banhou and Jianhou). By all accounts, only Jianhou would have had the educational attainment necessary to do such a composition. It’s rather a mystery. Tan Mengxian like any good student attributes everything he produced to his teacher Yang Shouhou. These verses appear in manuals passed down by both the Banhou and Jianhou lines, suggesting an origin in the later part of the 1800s. This is also consistent with the use of the wulu form. They contain some phrasing, e.g. zhongxin , which could be modern in origin (referring a mechanical center of gravity) or could just reflect premodern usage. They have some departures from pure wulu form (e.g. the rhyming scheme isn’t perfect) which also suggests either a more modern date or creation by a less than perfectly educated person, e.g. Jianhou, in the 1800s. In any case, I’ve found these verses useful to contemplate over the years and so am sharing them here.

Si el mismo Tan los compuso, es poco probable que también estén presentes en los manuales que se transmiten en la línea de Jianhou. Además, los versos, al estar en forma wulu, usan una forma clásica china. Escribir tales versos en la década de 1920 o 1930 podría haber sido una referencia explícita al antiguo pensamiento chino "auténtico", aunque sería sorprendente que alguien con una posición militar en la república china moderna lo hiciera. Si los versos ya se hubieran compuesto y se hubieran transmitido a la familia, la creación original probablemente habría sido durante la segunda generación de los Yangs (Banhou y Jianhou). Al decir de todo el mundo, solo Jianhou habría tenido el nivel educativo necesario para hacer tal composición. Es más bien un misterio. Tan Mengxian como cualquier buen estudiante atribuye todo lo que produjo a su maestro Yang Shouhou. Estos versos aparecen en manuales transmitidos por las líneas de Banhou y Jianhou, lo que sugiere un origen en la última parte del siglo XIX. Esto también es consistente con el uso de la forma wulu. Contienen algunas frases, por ejemplo zhongxin, que podría ser de origen moderno (refiriéndose a un centro de gravedad mecánico) o simplemente podría reflejar un uso premoderno. Tienen algunas desviaciones de la forma wulu pura (por ejemplo, el esquema de rima no es perfecto) que también sugiere una fecha o creación más moderna por parte de una persona que no está perfectamente educada, por ejemplo, Jianhou, en el siglo XIX. En cualquier caso, he encontrado estos versículos útiles para contemplarlos a través de los años y por eso los comparto aquí.

Mantener la distancia / Protegerse ( Wardoff, Peng )

掤勁:義何解
Peng jin : how to explain its meaning?
Peng jin: ¿cómo explicar su significado?

如水負行舟
先實丹田氣
次要頂頭懸
It is like water supporting a moving boat.
First, make the qi substantial in the dantian,
next, you must suspend the headtop.
Es como el agua que soporta un bote en movimiento.
En primer lugar, hacer el qi sustancial en el dantian,
A continuación, debe mantener lo alto de la cabeza suspendida.

全體彈簧力
開合一定間
The whole body has spring power.
Opening and closing are separated by one stable point.
Todo el cuerpo tiene el poder de un muelle.
Apertura y cierre están separados por un punto estable.

任有千斤重
飄浮亦不難
Even with a thousand pounds of weight
floating is still not difficult.
Incluso con mil libras de peso.
Mantenerlo flotando no es tan difícil .

Debate (Discussion)

Peng is not a word in normal Chinese usage: you won’t find it in standard dictionaries. Instead, it’s a specific term of art: taijiquan jargon, as it were. The character 掤 shows a hand holding a quiver of arrows or a woven cover made of reeds. It’s not clear that we can draw many inferences from the picture. In my understanding, wardoff represents an expansive use of force caused by sinking and relaxing and resulting in floating the opponent. We often say that wardoff represents “the skin of your qi balloon”: it marks the boundary of your space. Used defensively, wardoff meets an incoming force and floats it so that you are not impacted by the force. Used offensively, wardoff expands into and takes over the opponent’s space.

Peng no es una palabra de uso normal en chino: no la encontrarás en los diccionarios estándar. En cambio, es un término específico del arte: la jerga del taijiquan, por así decirlo. El carácter 掤 muestra una mano que sostiene un carcaj de flechas o una cubierta tejida hecha de cañas. No está claro que podamos sacar muchas inferencias de la imagen. A mi entender, el uso de la "mantener la distancia" representa un uso expansivo de la energía debida a hundirse y relajarse, y que hace que el oponente flote. A menudo decimos que "mantener la distancia" representa "la superficie de tu globo qi": marca el límite de tu espacio. Cuando se usa defensivamente, el efecto de sala se encuentra con una fuerza entrante y la flota para que no te afecte la fuerza. Usado de manera ofensiva, "mantener la distancia" se expande dentro del espacio del oponente.

Make qi substantial in dantian : Xu and Shi, insubstantial and substantial, are one of the famous polarities in taijiquan. At a basic level, Xu and Shi refer to the weighting in the feet and legs: the weighted leg is substantial and the unweighted leg insubstantial. Beyond the weighting, they also have philosophical and metaphorical meanings: Xu / Shi can be insubstantial or intangible vs. substantial or solid; fake or unreal vs. true or real; vacuous vs. replete; insufficient vs. in excess; potential vs. manifest. In some Daoist teachings, Xu represents the highest level of transformation, as we refine raw vitality ( jing) into internal energy (qi ) into spirit (shen ) and then spirit is refined into emptiness or the void ( xu ).

Hacer el qi sustancial en el dantian: Xu y Shi, insustancial y sustancial, son una de las polaridades famosas en taijiquan. En un nivel básico, Xu y Shi se refieren a los pesos en pies y piernas: la pierna co peso es sustancial y la pierna sin peso es insustancial. Más allá del reparto de peso, también tienen significados filosóficos y metafóricos: Xu / Shi puede ser insustancial o intangible vs. sustancial o sólido; falso o irreal vs. cierto o real; vacío vs. lleno; insuficiente vs. excesivo; potencial vs. . manifestado. En algunas enseñanzas taoístas, Xu representa el nivel más alto de transformación, ya que refinamos la vitalidad bruta (jing) en energía interna (qi) en espíritu (shen) y luego el espíritu se refina en vacío (xu).

In any case, this instruction is telling us that the qi in the dantian must be real and solid: you can’t just imagine that your qi is gathered in the dantian . This must be something real! Whole body has spring power: Body here is 體 , ti , a central concept in Chinese thought and part of the core analytical framework of tiyong, 體 用, form and function, substance and application, essence and manifestation, system and use. I chose to use “body” in this translation to emphasize that spring power should be throughout the body. But, I could have said “the entire essence (of peng jin) is spring power”. Any of these formulations should lead the reader to consider the implied followup question: if the body or substance of peng jin is spring power, what’s the application or usage? What is the yong that goes with the ti of spring power? Floating is not difficult : Presumably this phrase refers to floating the opponent rather than yourself. Float is fu and is often contrasted to qing or lightness in taiji theory. Qing is a desirable quality, fu floating is an error. The result of correct peng jin is that the opponent floats and thus is unable to manifest force.

En cualquier caso, esta instrucción nos dice que el qi en el dantian debe ser real y sólido: no puedes solo imaginar mentalmente que tu qi está reunido en el dantian. ¡Esto debe convertirse en algo tangible! Todo el cuerpo tiene poder de muelle o resorte: aquí el cuerpo es 體, ti, un concepto central en el pensamiento chino y parte del marco analítico central de tiyong, 用 用, forma y función, sustancia y aplicación, esencia y manifestación, sistema y uso. Elegí usar "cuerpo" en esta traducción para enfatizar que el poder del resorte debería estar en todo el cuerpo. Pero, podría haber dicho "toda la esencia (de peng jin) es como el poder de un resorte". Cualquiera de estas formulaciones debería llevar al lector a considerar la pregunta de seguimiento implícita: si el cuerpo o la sustancia de peng jin es el poder a modo de resorte, ¿cuál es la aplicación o el uso? ¿Cuál es el yong que va con el ti de esta energía? Flotar no es difícil: esta frase se refiere a hacer flotar al oponente en lugar de a ti mismo. Flotar es fu y a menudo se contrasta con qing o ligereza en la teoría taiji. Qing es una calidad deseable, fu flotante es un error. El resultado del peng jin correcto es que el oponente flota y, por lo tanto, es incapaz de manifestar fuerza.

Girar hacia atrás ( Rollback, Lu )

捋勁:義何解
Lǚ jìn : how to explain its meaning?
Lǚ jìn: ¿cómo explicar su significado?

引導使之前
順其來勢力
輕靈不丟頂
Apply leading just in advance,
going along with the opponent’s incoming force.
Remain qing ling (light and nimble) while not disconnecting or butting.
Guiar anticipandose,
siguiendo la fuerza entrante del oponente.
Permanezca qing ling (ligero y ágil) sin desconectar ni embestir.

力盡自然空
丟擊任自然
The opponent’s force is exhausted, while you are naturally empty.
When the opponent disconnects, you naturally respond and strike
La fuerza del oponente se agota, mientras permaneces naturalmente vacío.
Cuando el oponente desconecta, naturalmente respondes y atacas.

重心自維持
莫為他人乘
Your weight maintains itself in your center
Thus no other can take advantage of you.
Mantienes el peso en tu centro.
Por lo tanto, nadie puede aprovecharse de ti.

Debate (Discussion)

Lu , typically translated as rollback, literally means to smooth or arrange something with the fingers, and to stroke or rub something. In taijiquan, lu is used to divert incoming energy away from you, not allowing it to impact you while also not causing a sudden change in the direction of the incoming energy. Ideally, the opponent does not even notice that the attack was diverted until the attack is spent. Remain qingling and while not disconnecting or butting: This line references a number of core taijiquan concepts described in the various classics. Qingling is a pair of concepts referenced in the Yang Family Eight Words : qing refers to physical lightness.

Lu, traducido típicamente como "girar hacia atrás", significa literalmente suavizar o arreglar algo con los dedos, y acariciar o frotar algo. En el taijiquan, lu se usa para desviar de tu centro la energía entrante, no permitiendo que entre e impacte, a la vez que no se causa un cambio repentino en la dirección de la energía entrante. Idealmente, el oponente ni siquiera se da cuenta de que el ataque se desvió hasta que el ataque está completamente anulado. "Permanezca qing ling (ligero y ágil) sin desconectar ni embestir": esta línea hace referencia a una serie de conceptos básicos del taijiquan descritos en los diversos clásicos. "Qing ling" es un par de conceptos a los que se hace referencia en las "Las 8 palabras de la familia Yang. Transmisión oral": qing se refiere a la ligereza o agilidad física.

Unlike fu or floating, qing is a goal and pairs positively with weightedness and connection to the ground. Ling refers to mental nimbleness and vitality. In Daoism, ling describes the numinous: spiritual light and illumination. Not disconnecting or butting is bu diu ding and directs us to avoid the core errors of “disconnection” and “butting”. This admonition appears as the last line of the Song of Pushing Hands: 沾连粘随不丢顶, zhan nian zhan sui bu diu ding , Stick, Connect, Adhere, Follow, Not Disconnecting or Butting. The first four words ( zhan nian zhan sui ) are qualities of the touch; the last two ( diu ding ) identify errors that prevent the correct touch. Diu is to disconnect: this can show up either in retreating when you run away or in advancing when you fall short as your opponent withdraws. Ding is to butt or resist. Literally, ding refers to the head top, so it can mean leading with your head: butting forward towards the opponent beyond what’s appropriate. It also refers to resisting and bracing when moving back. Both diu and ding are core errors in taijiquan.

A diferencia de fu o flotante, qing es un objetivo y se combina positivamente con el peso hundido y la conexión al suelo. Ling se refiere a la agilidad mental y la vitalidad. En el taoísmo, ling describe lo numinoso: luz espiritual e iluminación. "No desconectar o embestir" es "bu diu ding", nos dirige a evitar los errores principales de "desconexión" y "embestir". Esta advertencia aparece como la última línea de Song of Pushing Hands: 沾连粘随不丢顶, zhan nian zhan sui bu di ding, pegarse, conectar, adherirse, seguir, sin desconecte ni embestir. Las primeras cuatro palabras (zhan nian zhan sui) son cualidades del toque, las dos últimas (diu ding) identifican errores que impiden el toque correcto. Diu es desconectar: ​​esto puede aparecer ya sea retirándose huyendo o avanzando cuando te quedas corto mientras tu oponente se retiraba. Ding es toparse o resistir. Literalmente, ding se refiere a la parte superior de la cabeza, por lo que puede significar liderar con la cabeza: avanzar hacia el oponente más allá de lo que es apropiado. También se refiere a resistirse vigosoramente cuando retrocede. Tanto el "diu" como el "ding" son errores fundamentales en el taijiquan.

"Going along with the opponent’s force" : Going along is 順, shun and is part of yet another polarity: shun and ni . Shun is to go with something, ni is to oppose. These terms also appear in other arts such as calligraphy: a brushstroke where the brush moves in the direction of the stroke is shun ; one where the stroke goes against the brush to create a dot or stop is ni. The opponent’s force is exhausted, you are naturally empty ... naturally respond and strike: These lines are very telegraphic and open to multiple interpretation. Literally, they say:

"Siguiendo la fuerza entrante del oponente": Seguirlo es 順, shun y es parte de otra polaridad: shun y ni. Shun es ir con algo, ni es oponerse. Estos términos también aparecen en otras artes, como la caligrafía: una pincelada donde el pincel se mueve en la dirección en que se deriva el trazo es shun, una donde el trazo va contra el pincel para crear un punto o un tope es ni. La fuerza del oponente está agotada, uno se mantinene vacío y neutro... responde y ataca naturalmente: estas líneas son muy telegráficas y están abiertas a múltiples interpretaciones. Literalmente, dice:

力盡自然空
丟擊任自然
Lì jìn zìrán kōng
Diū jí rèn zìrán
Force exhausted/finished natural empty
Disconnect strike let naturally/natural order
La fuerza del oponente se agota, mientras permaneces naturalmente vacío.
Cuando el oponente desconecta, naturalmente respondes y atacas.

Whether these are actions taken by you, your opponent, or both is left unspecified, which allows for multiple possible interpretations. For example, I’ve translated the first line as ( The opponent’s) force is exhausted, (while you are) naturally empty. You could also read this line as (When my) force is exhausted, (I become) empty as a result of naturalorder. Similarly, the 2nd line could be read as (If I) disconnect, (my) natural recovery is attack; or (If I) disconnect, (the other will) naturally launch an attack. I prefer the translation I chose because it conveys the interaction between you and the other person and it serves as a positive instruction rather than a warning, e.g., about the consequences of disconnecting or becoming exhausted.

Si estas son acciones tomadas por uno, su oponente o ambos, no se especifican, lo que permite múltiples interpretaciones posibles. Por ejemplo, he traducido la primera línea como (la fuerza del oponente) está agotada, (mientras estás) naturalmente vacío. También puede leer esta línea como (Cuando mi fuerza se agota), (Me quedo) vacío como resultado de un orden natural. De manera similar, la 2ª línea podría leerse como (Si yo) desconecto, (mi) recuperación natural es un ataque, o (Si yo) desconecto, (el otro) naturalmente lanzará un ataque. Prefiero la traducción que elegí porque transmite la interacción entre uno y la otra persona y sirve como una instrucción positiva en lugar de una advertencia, por ejemplo, sobre las consecuencias de desconectarse o agotarse.

Ziran 自然 is a Daoist term of art related to wuwei or nonaction. We naturally allow things to happen, doing nothing, and nothing is left undone. Kong 空 empty or void is not the same empty / insubstantial in xu / shi , although in some Daoist traditions they are treated almost as synonyms. In other traditions, Kong is treated as representing a higher level of void. So, these lines are telling us to align with the natural order, easily letting things unfold. As we do that, the opponent’s attack exhausts itself while we maintain a core of emptiness and if the opponent disconnects, we naturally flow into an attack.

Ziran 自然 es un término taoísta relacionado con wuwei o el arte de la no acción. Permitimos que las cosas sucedan con naturalidad, sin hacer nada, y nada queda sin hacer. Kong 空 vacío o vacuo no es lo mismo que el vacío / insustancial en xu / shi, aunque en algunas tradiciones taoístas se tratan casi como sinónimos. En otras tradiciones, se considera que Kong representa un nivel superior de vacío. Entonces, estas líneas nos dicen que nos alineemos con el orden natural, permitiendo que las cosas se desarrollen. Si hacemos esto, el ataque del oponente se agota mientras mantenemos un núcleo de vacío y si el oponente se desconecta, naturalmente fluimos a un ataque.

Your weight maintains itself in your center : This line could also be read as to refer to your physical center of gravity, saying something like “Your center of gravity maintains itself”. Zhong xin 重心 is literally weight+heart . As a compound, in modern usage, it references the center of gravity. In Buddhist texts , it’s used to mean respectful attitude or reverential mind . I’ve chosen to interpret the characters separately rather than as a compound, resulting in “weight heart/center self maintains/preserves” or “your weight maintains itself in your center”.

"Mantienes el peso en tu centro": esta línea también puede leerse para referirse a su centro de gravedad físico, diciendo algo como "Su centro de gravedad se mantiene a sí mismo". Zhong Xin 重心 es literalmente peso + corazón. Como compuesto, en uso moderno, hace referencia al centro de gravedad. En los textos budistas, se utiliza para referirse a una actitud respetuosa o mente reverencial. He elegido interpretar los ideogramas por separado en lugar de como un compuesto, lo que resulta en "mantener / preservar el propio corazón / centro de peso" o "mantienes el peso en tu centro".

Reunir / Presionar ( Press, Ji )

擠勁:義何解
Ji jin : how to explain its meaning?
Ji jin: ¿Cómo explicar su significado?

用時有兩方
直接單純意
迎合一動中
At the moment of use, there are two directions of motion
each of which continues straight, while they connect under a single pure yi,
meeting and combining into one movement to hit the target.
En el momento de usarlo, hay dos direcciones de movimiento
cada uno de los cuales continúa recta, conectandose  en solo yi puro
reunido y combinado en un solo movimiento para impactar en el objetivo

間接反應力
如球撞壁還
The power comes from an indirect reaction
like the rebound of a ball thrown against a wall
El poder proviene de una reacción indirecta
como el rebote de una pelota lanzada contra un muro

又如錢投鼓
躍然擊鏗鏘
It is also like tossing a coin at a drum
so it bounces up and makes a sound like hitting a gong
[as opposed to casually dropping it on the drum with a muffled thud].
También es como lanzar una moneda a un tambor,
rebota y hace un sonido como golpear un gong
[en lugar de dejarlo caer por casualidad en el tambor con un ruido sordo].

Debate (Discussion)

Ji is typically translated as press, but equally means squeeze and push or force your way in. For example, ji describes squeezing a seed out of an orange segment, squeezing or forcing your way into a crowded subway car, pushing ( ji ) against someone when everyone is crammed (also ji ) together. In my understanding, ji is present when I generate two vectors of force that are aimed towards each other and converge (this is the squeeze portion of ji). Ji is also present when two vectors of force meet and generate a single indirect outgoing force. The indirect reaction or response that characterizes ji is illustrated in two ways in this verse: a ball bouncing off a wall, coin bouncing off a drumhead with a sharp sound. Note that in each case, there’s inflation and elasticity: an uninflated ball won’t bounce off the wall, a coin won’t bounce and make a gonglike sound off a slack drumhead. And the doing (throwing ball towards wall, tossing coin) is separate from the (indirect) result.

Por lo general, Ji se traduce como presión, pero también significa estrujar y empujar o forzar la entrada. Por ejemplo, ji describe sacar una semilla de un gajo de naranja, apretando o forzar yu entrada en un vagón de metro lleno de gente, empujando (ji) contra alguien cuando está abarrotado (también ji) y están todos juntos y apretados. En mi entendimiento, ji está presente cuando genero dos vectores de fuerza que se dirigen uno hacia el otro y convergen (esta es la parte de compresión de ji). Ji también está presente cuando dos vectores de fuerza se encuentran y generan una sola fuerza saliente indirecta. La reacción o respuesta indirecta que caracteriza al ji se ilustra de dos maneras en este verso: una pelota que rebota en la pared, una moneda que rebota en un tambor con un sonido agudo. Tenga en cuenta que en cada caso, hay inflación y elasticidad: una bola desinflada no rebota en la pared, una moneda no rebota y hace un sonido tipo gong en un tambor flojo. Y el hacer (lanzar la bola hacia la pared, lanzar la moneda) está separado del (indirecto) resultado.

Push ( An )
按勁:義何解
An jin : how to explain its meaning?
運用如水行
柔中寓剛強
急流勢難當
Apply it like flowing water.
Soft with firmness contained in the center.
The irresistible power of a rushing current.
遇高則膨滿
逢窪向下潛
Meeting the high, expand and fill.
Coming upon the low, face downwards and submerge.
波浪有起伏
有孔無不入
Waves have the nature of rising and falling,
thus wherever there is an opening, you can enter

Discussion

An means to press something (e.g., pressing a button), to push down or into (e.g., a thumbtack into a bulletin board), restrain or control something, or keep a grip on something (e.g. your hand on a control lever). In my understanding, An represents the use of jin to generate an outgoing force in single unified direction. Aimed down, an can deflect an opponent’s force. Aimed up, an can break an opponent’s connection to ground (“uprooting”). Aimed out, an can discharge and throw an opponent.

Some theories associate each of the four initial jins with a specific direction: wardoff is up, push is down, rollback is back, press is forward. The verses for an jin describe a different understanding and aren’t really consistent with the fourdirections view. For example, as the verses describe an , it is not limited to just pushing down but instead has both rising and falling characteristics, expanding up and plunging down. Apply it like flowing water, soft with firm in the center: Soft is rou , a characteristic associated with yang taijiquan and often paired with song , or relax. Firm is gangqiang . Gang and rou represent a polarity. This verse describes the trigram Kan (☵) whose image is water. In Daoist thought, Kan represents the pure or true yang (the solid line in the middle) that has been hidden in the world (by the two yin lines surrounding it). The path of age and decay takes pure yang and muddles it creating hidden yang. The path of rejuvenation refines the essence of yang in the middle of Kan to once again return to pure yang.

Pluck ( Cai )
採勁:義何解
Cǎi jin: how to explain its meaning?
如權之引衡
任爾力巨細
權後知輕重
It is like using a balance scale to weigh something: you slide the scale’s balanceweight
along
the arm to match the item you’re weighing.
You measure the opponent’s li , whether big or small.
After weighing it, you will know its lightness and heaviness.
轉移只四兩
千斤亦可平
Turn and change using only 4 ounces
In this way, you can be equal to 1000 lbs.
若問理何在
杠杆之作用
To know cai, ask what its intrinsic nature is:
It is the function of the lever.

Discussion

Cai means to pick, pluck, or gather. It’s used in phrases such as picking tea, plucking fruit off a branch, gathering herbs. Cai has often been translated as “pull down”, but while you might pluck a fruit using a downward pull, pulldown doesn’t convey the sharpness or suddenness of the pluck. It is interesting that this verse does not focus on the plucking aspect of cai , instead emphasizing the role of a lever or the balance arm in a scale. Measuring the opponent’s li, big or small, light or heavy: Lightness and heaviness are qing and zhong; qing as in the famous pair qingling and zhong as in center of gravity or weightedness in the your center. And notice the parallelism in the phrases with big or small followed by light or heavy. Turn and change using only 4 ounces ... equal to 1000 lbs: Comparing four ounces ( liang a measure slightly more than an ounce) to 1000 pounds ( jin approximately half a kilogram) is a common trope in taijiquan theory. It appears in the Song of Pushing Hands: 牵动四两拨千斤, apply a leading force of 4 ounces to move 1000 pounds. Cheng Manching has a lengthy discussion of this idea in his 13 Treatises. In this verse, the idea is presented in a different light: the 4 ounces is used to match the 1000 pounds, similar to how a small weight can balance a larger weight in a balance scale. Ping (平) which I translated as “equal to” means level, be equal to, be on a par with. Balance scales are ping when the two sides match each other the weights don’t have to be the same, but they balance by being different distances from the fulcrum point. Similarly, using cai , one can balance 1000 lbs with 4 oz.

The intrinsic nature of cai is the lever: Intrinsic nature is 理 li . Li is the pattern, texture or grain of existence; it represents natural order, the laws of reality, and intrinsic nature. Li is that we which we perceive and align ourselves with in order to follow the Dao. In this case, it represents the essence of cai as the application of a lever.

Split ( Lie )
挒勁:義何解
Liè jin: how to explain its meaning?
旋轉若飛輪
投物於其上
脫然擲丈尋
Rotating like a flywheel,
if you fling an object at it,
the wheel effortlessly throws the object far away.
君不見漩渦
卷浪若螺紋
Don’t you see the whirlpool?
Rolling up the waves in a spiral.
落葉墮其上
倏爾便沉淪
Autumn leaves fall on the whirlpool’s surface.
In just an instant, the whirlpool easily makes them sink into oblivion.

Discussion

Lie is another word that’s specific taijiquan jargon and isn’t in common usage. The character 挒 consists of the hand radical 手 plus 列, lie meaning arrange in order, classify, or line up. As a term of art, it’s translated as splay, split, or rend, and often described as a shearing force: deforming something by applying contradictory or offset forces to it, like twisting a piece of rubber or ripping cloth. The imagery in this verse emphasize the use of rotational energy. In my understanding, lie represents situations where my rotational energy enables me to generate two different directions of force, e.g. in White Crane Spreads Wings where the rotation of the body sends the two hands in different directions, or when I apply rotational energy to an opponent to shear across the opponent.

Elbow ( Zhou )
肘勁:義何解
Zhǒu jin : how to explain its meaning?
方法有五行
陰陽分上下
虛實須辨清
The method contains the five phases.
Yin and yang are separated above and below.
Empty and full must be clearly distinguished.
連環勢莫當
開花捶更凶
The power of linking the rings has no equal.
Blossoming like a flower, the strike appears suddenly, even more fiercely.
六勁融通後
運用始無窮
Once you have the six previous jin circulating,
the unlimited uses of zhou begin.

Discussion

Zhou literally means “elbow” and references a sudden, powerful strike with the elbow. These strikes usually appear in the middle of a transition between two other positions. The method contains the five phases: the five phases are the Wu Xing : translated as Five phases, five agents, five elements. Wu Xing represents five fundamental modes of being and transformation, called earth, metal, wood, water, and fire. The five phases and yinyang polarity are the fundamental organizing principles of the universe in Chinese thought. In taijiquan, the eight jin are correlated to the eight trigrams and the five steps are correlated to the five phases. So, this line could reference the way that zhou appears in motion and transitions as the five steps move the body. The power of linking the rings has no equal : Power here is 勢, shi . Shi is one of the beautifully complex terms that really illustrates the challenges of translation since it represents a whole cluster of related concepts.

Frequently, when translating, we encounter the idea that a given word in Chinese represents multiple different meanings in English and the job of translation is to choose the “correct” meaning in the given context. So, Shi is taken to mean power, advantage, influence, or posture. And the translator’s job is to figure out which of those meanings was intended in the specific circumstance. This way of thinking fundamentally assumes that our concepts and terms that break up the universe are the “correct” ones and that for some reason, the Chinese were confused about the underlying nature of reality and somehow mixed up basically different ideas and gave those ideas a single label. Instead, I think we should accept the Chinese terms on their own. Shi is telling us that there is a way of seeing the world that unifies what we see as a whole cluster of similar concepts into one.

Roger Ames, in discussing shi , says The key idea, shi , is as complex as shen , “spirituality/divinity,” and, fortunately for our grasp of the tradition, as revealing of the underlying sense of order. We must [consider] how shi can combine in one idea the following cluster of meanings:

  1. “aspect,” “situation,” “circumstances,” “conditions”
  2. “disposition,” “configuration,” “outward shape”
  3. “force,” “influence,” “momentum,” “authority”
  4. “strategic advantage,” “purchase”

...
If we allow that there are several different ways in which we can look at shi , it enables us to bring its cluster of meanings together. When looked at spatially from outside of one’s own “skin,” shi is that set of conditions that is defining of one’s situation. It is one’s context in relationship to oneself. When looked at from an internal perspective, shi is one’s own place and posture relative to one’s context. When looked at temporally, taking into account the full calculus of dispositions, shi is the tension of forces and the momentum that brings one position in immediate contact with another.

In Sunzi’s Art of War , shi or strategic advantage is the key goal of a commander. Shi appears out of the exact circumstances of the moment and relies on the commander’s skill in perceiving the moment and aligning with the Dao. Describing shi and connecting it to the use of a ring, Sunzi says (Sunzi 5.3)

For gaining strategic advantage ( shi ) in battle, there is nothing more than “surprising” (奇 qi , odd, strange, unorthodox) and “straightforward” (正 zheng, upright as in body upright, orthodox, standard) operations, yet in combination they produce inexhaustible possibilities. “Surprise” and “straightforward” operations give rise to each other endlessly just like a ring without beginning or end. (translation after Ames with minor edits)

The “linked rings” could be a single ring whose end and beginning are linked, as in the Sunzi reference above. (Chinese does not distinguish singular nouns from plural, so lianhuan could be a single linked ring or multiple linked rings.) In taijiquan theory, the torso and surrounding energy field are described as being made up of three rings : one around the hip / waist area, another midtorso, and a third at the level of the shoulders. Power can be generated by the interplay of these rings against each other: as the rings move differentially, tautness is developed between them that can then be released to issue power. Given this image, I’ve translated the term for a linked ring or set of rings to refer to the three linked rings.

Blossoming like a flower, the strike appears suddenly: The text here contains 開花捶 kaihua chui . This phrase can be read multiple ways. Chui is to punch (with a fist) or beat (e.g. with a stick or mallet). Here, it would be the elbow that is doing the beating. Kaihua is an opening flower, a blossom or bloom. It also means something that bursts open or rises up suddenly. I’ve used both meanings here since part of zhou is its sudden appearance in the midst of other techniques and movements. Kaihua chui is sometimes used to name a particular type of punch in southern Chinese martial arts, but I’m not aware of any specific technique in taijiquan with that name. As a result, I believe the phrase here describes the way an elbow strike can appear suddenly and fiercely rather than to name a specific technique not involving the elbow.

Once you have the six previous jin circulating : The reference to six jin seems strange in a document about the eight core jin. However, other yang family writings give primary position to the first six jin ( peng, lu, ji, an, cai , and lie ): zhou and kao are treated as transitional jin, used by less skilled practitioners. So, I believe the six jin are those already described in the verses and this phrase describes the way that zhou appears suddenly from within one or more of the other techniques. In the form, zhou always appears in transitions, not as a final posture.

Shoulder ( Kao )
靠勁:義何解
Kào jin : how to explain its meaning?
其法分肩背
斜飛勢用肩
肩中還有背
Its method separates the use of the shoulder and the back.
Slant Flying Posture uses the shoulder.
The shoulder hits the target, but in addition kao also uses the back.
一旦得機勢
轟然如搗碓
In one instant, you must catch the opportunity and thus gain the advantage.
In that moment, crash in like pounding a pestle into a mortar.
仔細維重心
失中徒無功
Be very careful to preserve the weightedness at your center.
If you lose the center, all is in vain and without any success

Discussion:

Kao doesn’t really mean shoulder at all, despite being consistently translated that way in English versions of taijiquan literature. Rather kao means leaning or bumping and implies a short, shocking hit with the body rather than with one of the extremities (hand, elbow, foot, knee). Kao can be delivered with the shoulder, upper arm, back, chest, side, hips, etc. Similar to zhou , kao most often appears in transitions and not in the final postures. Note that posture we know as Shoulderstrike or kao in Cheng Manching’s rendition of the form appears in the same place (between Lift Hands and White Crane Spreads Wings) in the standardized yang long form, but is treated there as a transition rather than a final posture. Slant Flying Posture uses the shoulder: Slant Flying is also sometimes called Diagonal Flying. Note that kao appears in the transition into Slant Flying. In one instant, catch the opportunity and gain the advantage: “catch the opportunity, gain the advantage” is 得機得勢 de ji de shi . In this verse, the 2nd de is omitted in order to fit the five character scheme. Shi is advantage or power as discussed above. Ji means opportunity, chance, occasion, pivot point, and crucial point. De means to achieve something, to gain, to embody.

The taijiquan “classic” attributed to Zhang Sanfeng includes this phrase, de ji de shi, in the passage on achieving advantage ( shi ) via correct timing and integration: “ The foot, leg, and yao must always be integrated by one qi Then stepping forward or back you catch the opportunity and gain the advantage ( de ji de shi ). Failing to catch the opportunity and gain the advantage, the body becomes scattered and disordered Seek the error in the yao and legs. “ (my translation) Cheng Manching reports oral instruction from his teacher emphasizing the role of achieving timing and advantage ( de ji de shi ) in issuing energy. ( http://www.rockymountaintaichi.com/zmq13139)

Preserve weightedness at your center : weightedness at center is zhong xin , center of gravity, weight at the heart, and reverential mind as discussed above. All is vain and without any success : success is gong as in gongfu. Gong means merit, achievement, result, success, skill.

The Eight Methods
八法為 掤勁、捋勁、擠勁、按勁、採勁、挒勁、肘勁、靠勁
These are the methods for using the eight jin:
peng jin, lu jin, ji jin, an jin, cai jin, lie jin, zhou jin, and kao jin.
等四正四隅八種勁。
The eight types of jin divide into the four sides and the four corners.
勁是太極拳術語,
不是八種勁力
These jin are taijiquan terms of art for using force,
not eight fundamentally different kinds of force.

Discussion

Eight jin divide into four sides and four corners : The jin are typically broken up into two sets, known as the four sides hands or techniques and the four corners hands or techniques. The four sides are peng, lu, ji , and an. The four corners are cai, lie, zhou , and kao. The four sides techniques are typically applied facing directly towards the opponent, and the four corners techniques applied at an oblique angle. This division is described in the document sometimes called “the 40 chapters” (formally 太極法說, The Explanation of the Taiji Method / Theory) and attributed to Yang Banhou. Chapter 23 says, in part (my translation)
初不知方能使圓方圓復
始之理無已焉能出隅之手矣
Initially, the practitioner does not know that the square can create the round and in turn,
the round (can create) the square.
Because of this, the natural order requires developing skill in the corner hands.
緣人外之肢軆內之神氣
弗缉輕靈方圓四正之功
始出輕重浮沉之病則有隅矣
The problem is in the practitioner’s outer limbs and body and inner shen and qi
He does not have sufficient skill to preserve qingling
and squareness and roundness in
the four sides.

Thus, the practitioner develops errors (disease) in lightness and heaviness, floating and
sinking. As a result, the four corners hands appear.

病多之手不得已以隅手
扶之而歸圓中方正之手
With an excess of error in the four hands techniques, the practitioner has no choice but
to use the corner hands.
And use them (corner hands) to return to centered roundness and upright squareness
雖然至底者肘靠亦及此以補其所以云爾
春後功夫能致上乘者亦須獲採挒而仍歸大中至正矣
是四隅之所用者因失軆而補缺云云
One with lower achievement needs zhou and kao to make up for errors.
However, even one who has developed high level skills will frequently apply cai and lie
to return to uprightness (the 4 sides hands).
Because you lose the essence and need to correct for a deficiency, you become one
who applies the four corners hands.
Not eight fundamentally different kinds of force: I think this is one of the most interesting ideas in
these verses. We’ve just worked through detailed descriptions of each of the jin and their unique
characteristics. And now we’re invited to see that they all form a unity and that any real
interaction must use elements of multiple jins.

References

The source Chinese version of this manual was retrieved from a dodgy Chinese website. It is in circulation on multiple sites, all without copyright or attribution. The text does appear to be pretty stable.
Douglas Wile, trans. T’aichi
Touchstones: Yang Family Secret Transmissions . Sweet Ch’i
Press. 1983
Andrea Mary Falk, compiled and translated. A Comprehensive Chinese to English Dictionary of
China’s Martial Arts . selfpublished.
2012.
A.C. Muller, ed. Digital Dictionary of Buddhism 電子佛教辭典. 1995 2016.
Online at:
http://www.buddhismdict.
net/ddb/
Roger T. Ames, translated with commentary. SunTzu:
The Art of Warfare. Kindle edition.
Random House. 1993.
Paul Brennan, trans. Huang Yuanxiu: Skills and Essentials of Yang Style Taiji Boxing . 2014.
Online at:
https://brennantranslation.wordpress.com...
u/

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