Peisheng On Essentials for Northern Wu Style
Translated by Yan Shufan
What then are the steps forpracticing Taijiquan?
Wang: The first step is that thepractitioners should practice
standing postures well, such as horse-step standing (a kind
of empty standing posture). After he or she has mastered standing
postures, then they can begin to practice forms.
And every posture, every form, should be practiced diligently.
This should last for several months at least, or until he or
she has practiced each posture and form perfectly. Then, one
can practice the whole set of Taijiquan.
Zhou: Are all the frames the same?
Wang: No. Most people think that the frames of Taijiquan are
They do not know, however, that each frame can be divided into
three kinds: they are high, middle and low ones.
The beginners should learn the high frame, then the middle
frame (called four even frame, i.e., keep the eyes, hands, feet
and crotch even), and learn the low one last. The three kinds
of frames are subdivided into big, middle and small ones.
Zhou: Is anything different between them?
Wang: Of course, there are differences between them! As for
the big frame, the posture should be outspread in accordance
with the demands of the body.
For the middle one, each posture should be exact, neither
overdone nor underdone, and all the postures should be continuous
For the small frame, the postures should be well-knit and the
actions should be quick and smart.
Among the three frames, the small one is the hardest to practice.
When practicing the small frame, the practitioner should use
the right force in each form, keeping the hands in accord with
the torso and legs, and step small steps, whenever going forward
Zhou: How long will be spent practicing the three kinds of
Wang: It needs a rather long time, I think. One can never
get achievement until half a year or one year is spent. At the
beginning, the learner should only learn one or two forms and
not learn too much; otherwise, his or her postures will not
be correct. If they are not diligent, serious and responsible
in their actions, the special healthy atmosphere belonging to
Taijiquan will be lost.
Thus, when you want to practice Taijiquan, you should abstain
from the psychology of wanting to get achievement quickly or
use excessive force that is inadequate, as well.
Therefore, the past famous masters say:“When practicing, one
should not act quickly, as quickness hurts qi; one should not
use force that he or she does
not possess himself (or herself) originally and inadequately.
“Using force with an effort will hurt one's blood. If both
the qi and blood are hurt, an internal injury will be caused,
and diseases will follow.”The practitioner can get benefit from
each form that he or she practices, providing the action is
correct. On the contrary, one cannot get any benefit if he or
she practices the whole set of the boxing incorrectly.