Peisheng On Essentials for Northern Wu Style
Translated by Yan Shufan
Zhou: Would you please tell us the requirements
for practicing Taijiquan?
Wang: When practicing, one should keep his or her tongue touching
the upper jaw, the lips and teeth closed, the body upright,
the shoulders and elbows sunk, the chest drawn in and the back
upright, the head hanging upright, the crotch closed and the
but-tocks in, and breathe with the nose naturally. Then, the
upper and lower parts of the body form a straight line.
When stepping, the practitioner should understand which step
is empty and which is solid, try one's best to complete each
action, and make the body quick and smart. The eyes follow the
direction that the fingers point.
The practitioner should breathe naturally, make himself keep
a mental approach of thinking nothing and being peaceful, and
take care of the coherence between the upper and lower and the
right and left. One should always pay special attention to keeping
the qi sunk and the force loose.
If qi is sunk, the breath will be in harmony, and if the force
is loose, clumsy force can be removed. Every posture should
be smooth as seen from the outside, and the inside should be
comfortable instead of tight fitting.
As a result, the chest and diaphragm are opened automatically,
while the blood and qi are in harmony, which is greatly beneficial
to both the body and the mind.
On the contrary, if the postures are done wrong, or far away
from what they should be, qi will stagnate in the chest and
will float. Then the practitioner will get nothing but illnesses.
From the above, we can conclude that anyone who wants to get
the essence of a set of a frame should practice it for at least
half a year. Half a year later, the actions should be carefully
guided and corrected by an experienced teacher, spending enough
time, which will take one year, I am sure.
We can compare boxing practice to Chinese calligraphy; the
more you practice calligraphy with inscriptions, the better
your calligraphy is. Boxing practice is the same. If you practice
many times and each form and posture correctly, surely, your
gongfu will reach a perfect realm.
Therefore, if one wants to get his or her gongfu solid, for
each practice one should practice the same set of boxing three
times. The first is to limber up one's muscles and joints. Then,
more practice(s) can play the role of improving one's gongfu.
For those who take health care as the goal, it is not necessary
to practice as many times. One set, or even half a set, can
When practicing, the practitioner should keep the pace of
the actions even, from the first to the last, no matter whether
they are fast or slow. Being fast at first and then being slow,
or the contrary, is not allowed. More important, there should
not be insufficiency, bumps and holes, or incoherence of actions
during the practice.
The practitioner should keep every form and posture continuous,
the breath natural, and the inside and outside consistent. Then
one can achieve a realm of practicing the routine of boxing
naturally without deliberately thinking of each form.
After being highly skilled, the practitioner can change each
form into left ones (i.e., counter-forms). For example, change
the form of right hand into that of left hand, the left to right
including the actions of the hands and feet turning left to
right, etc. If one can achieve a state in which all of the left
forms (the counter-forms) are as continuous as the right ones,
we can say that his or her gongfu has reached a higher level.
Only when one can achieve the state in which one can practice
both sides equally well can one overcome the malpractice of
having partiality to one side. In addition, the practitioner
will find it more interesting when practicing the right forms
again. The people who want to take more advanced training must
What's more, one can exercise either hand respectively. It
does not matter to practice the right hand first or the left
first, and then do the exercise on the other side, in turn;
that is, the right hand first and then the left one.
The practitioner should exercise them again and again, until
his or her skill is perfect. Perfect skill is the most important.
If one does like what I said above, one set of boxing can be
changed into six sets (i.e., right high, right middle, right
low, left high, left middle and left low frames).
eps to learn push hands. After