ESSENTIAL FUNDAMENTALS OF TAIJI BOXING
1. Forcelessly press up your head top.
2. Your gaze watches attentively.
3. Contain your chest and pluck up your back.
4. Sink your shoulders and hang your elbows.
5. Settle your wrists and extend your fingers.
6. Your body should be balanced upright.
7. Tuck in your tailbone.
8. Loosen your waist and hips.
9. Your knees should seem to be relaxed but not relaxed.
10. The soles of your feet are to be flush against the ground [except when it is specifically only the tip of the foot or the heel touching down or of course during kicks].
11. Distinguish clearly between empty and full.
12. Upper body and lower coordinate with each other, your whole body a single unit. (“If one part moves, every part moves, and if one part is still, every part is still.”)
13. Inside and outside merge with each other, your breathing natural. (When you need to exhale, exhale, and when you need to inhale, inhale.)
14. Use intention, not exertion.
15. Energy goes everywhere in your body, branching off above and below (sticking to your spine [when going upward] and sinking to your elixir field [when going downward]).
16. Intention and energy are linked together.
17. Posture after posture should flow smoothly into the next, no awkwardness or feeling of things getting jammed up, your whole body comfortable.
18. The movements should be uniform (neither speeding up nor slowing down), and should be continuous without interruption. (Even if the posture seems to halt externally, the intention and internal power should continue without interruption.)
19. The postures should neither go too far nor not far enough. Seek for them to balance.
20. When applying techniques, let them be concealed rather than revealed.
21. Within movement, seek stillness (meaning calmness of mind, free of thoughts or worries). Within stillness, seek movement (meaning the energy moving internally).
22. With lightness there is sensitivity, with sensitivity there is movement, and with movement, there is adaptation.
APPENDIX SECTION from Taiji Compiled: The Boxing, Saber, Sword, Pole, and Sparring
by Chen Yanlin
[published June, 1943]
[Translation by Paul Brennan, March 2013]