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Commentary on Tai Chi Chuan

When the energy is set in motion it is like steel tempered a hundred times. You should appear like a falcon seizing a hare, with the spirit of a cat catching a rat. In stillness be like a great mountain; in movement like a mighty river. Store energy like drawing a bow; release it like shooting an arrow. Seek the straight in the curved, store first and then issue. Power issues from the back; our steps must follow the body.

To withdraw is to attack and to attack is to withdraw. After withdrawing, reconnect again. In moving to and fro, use “Fold-up” when an opponent comes near you to absorb all his energy. In advancing and retreating, use turns and changes. From the greatest softness comes the greatest hardness. From proper breathing comes sensitivity and liveliness.

The Ch’i should be properly cultivated and not damaged. Energy should be stored by rounding and there will always be a surplus. The mind is the commander, the Ch’I (soldiers) is a flag and the waist is a banner. First seek expansion and later contraction. Then you will arrive at an impeccable technique.

It is said that things are first in the mind and later in the body. The body should be relaxed and the Ch’i will permeate the bones.The spirit should be open and the body calm. At all times, bear in mind and consciously remember that as soon as one part of the body moves, the whole body moves. As soon as one part is still then the whole body is still. Pushing and pulling back and forth, the Ch’i adheres to the back and permeates the spirit, inwardly strengthening your vital spirit and outwardly giving the appearance of calm and ease. Step like a cat; move the energy like reeling silk from a cocoon. The attention of the whole being should be on the spirit and not on the Ch’i. If it’s on the Ch’i, there will be blocks. Those whose attention is on the Ch’i achieve essential hardness. Ch’i is like a wheel and the waist like an Axletree.

It is also believed that if the opponent does move, you should not move. When the opponent makes the slightest move, you move first. Your energy must seem relaxed but is not relaxed, about to expand but not yet expanded. Even when energy is released, mental continuity is maintained.

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