七疾者, 眼要疾, 手要疾, 腳要疾, 意要疾, 出勢要疾, 進退要疾, 身法要疾也。習拳者具此七疾, 方能完全制勝。所謂縱橫往來, 目不及瞬, 有如生龍活虎, 令人不可捉模者, 唯持此耳。

The Seven Quicks are The Eyes must be Quick, The Hands must be Quick, The Feet must be Quick, The Yi must be Quick, The Outgoing Pattern must be Quick, Advance & Retreat must be Quick, & The Body Method must be Quick. Those who train Boxing must have these Seven Quicks, only then can one gain totally overpowering victory. What is called “Vertical & Horizontal Going & Coming, the eyes blink too late,” is like a lively dragon & animated tiger, causing people to miss the pattern, only grasping the handle.

一. 眼要疾。眼為心之苗, 目察敵情, 達之於心, 然後能應敵變化, 取勝成功。譜云: “心為元帥, 眼為先鋒。” 蓋言心之主宰, 均恃眼之遲疾而轉移也。

1. The Eyes must be Quick. The Eyes are the Xin’s sprouts, they examine the enemy’s positional situation. When they reach to the Xin, then you’re able to face the variations in the enemy’s attacks, successfully attaining victory. The Manual says: “The Xin is the Commander, the Eyes are the Vanguard.” This says that the Xin is the master, but it also relies on the Eyes’ speed & changes.

二. 手要疾。手者, 人之羽翼也。凡捍蔽進攻, 無不賴之。但交手之道, 全恃遲速, 遲者負, 速者勝, 理之自然。故俗云: “眼明手快, 有勝無敗。” 譜云: “手起如箭落如風, 追風赶月不放鬆。” 亦謂手法敏疾, 趁其無備而攻之, 出其不意而取之, 不怕敵之身大力猛, 我能出手如風, 即能勝之也。

2. The Hands must be Quick. The Hands are a person’s wings. All defending, protecting, advancing, or attacking rely on them. However, the Dao of Crossing Hands is completely dependent on their slow or fast. The slower one loses, the faster one wins. This is a natural principle. Therefore, it is commonly said: “If the Eyes are Bright & the Hands are Fast, there is victory without fail.” The Manual says: “The Hands Rise like an Arrow & Fall like the Wind, Chase the Wind to Catch the Moon without slack.” It is also said the Hand Method is nimble & quick, taking advantage of his unpreparedness so as to attack him, catch him off guard & take him. Even if the enemy has a big body & ferocious Li, I’m able to Extend my Hand like the Wind, & defeat him at once.

三. 腳要疾。腳者, 身體之基也。腳立穩則身穩, 腳前進則身隨之。形意拳中渾身運力乎均, 無一處偏重, 腳進身進, 直搶敵人之位, 則彼自仆。譜云: “腳打跴意莫容情, 消息全憑後足蹬, 腳踏中門搶他位, 就是神手也難防。” 又曰: “腳打七分手打三。” 由是觀之, 腳之疾更當疾於手之疾也。

3. The Feet must be Quick. The Feet are the body’s foundation. When the Feet are set stably the body is stable, when the Feet advance the body follows them. In Xingyiquan the whole body’s Li should be used evenly, without any one place unduly emphasized. When the Feet advance the body advances, directly stealing the enemy’s position, then he’ll naturally fall. The Manual says: “When the Feet strike with a Stamping intent you can not allow emotion, the idea completely relies on the rear Foot’s treading, when the Foot Treads the Center Gate to steal his position, even a ‘God Hand’ has difficulty defending.” It is also said: “The Feet issue seven & the Hands issue three.” From this point of view, the speed of the Feet must be greater than the speed of the Hands.

四. 意要疾。意者, 體之帥也。既言眼有監察之精, 手有撥轉之能, 腳有行逞之功, 然其遲速緊慢, 均惟意之適從。所謂立意一疾, 眼與手腳均得其要領。故眼之明察秋毫, 意使之也; 手出不空回, 意使之也; 腳之捷, 亦意使之捷也。觀乎此, 則意之不可不疾可知矣。

4. The Yi must be Quick. The Yi is the body’s Commander. Since we have already said the Eyes are proficient at directing & examining, the Hands are able to move & shift, & the Feet are accomplished at moving successfully. Thus their slow or fast, urgent or sluggish, all follow the Yi’s directive. This is what is called “When the Yi is established quickly, the Eyes, Hands, & Feet all obtain their main aspect.” Therefore, if the Eyes are sensitive to the finest detail it is because of the Yi; if the Hands go out & do not return empty it is because of the Yi; if the Feet are nimble it is because of the, too. Observing this, the principle that the Yi must be Quick is evident.

五. 出勢要疾。夫存乎內者為意, 現乎外者為勢。意旣疾矣, 出勢更不可不疾也。事變當前, 必勢隨意生, 隨機應變, 令敵人迅雷不及掩耳, 張皇失錯, 無對待之策, 方能制勝。若意變甚速, 而勢疾不足以隨之, 則應對乖張, 其敗必矣。故意勢相合, 成功可决, 意疾勢緩, 必負無疑。習技者可不加之意乎。

5. The Outgoing Pattern must be Quick. What is stored inside is Yi, what appears outside is the Pattern. Since the Yi is quick, the Outgoing Pattern is still more quick. When faced with unforeseen events, the Patterns must follow the generation of Yi to change according to the situation, causing the enemy to be unable to react quickly (“too late to cover his ears after a thunderclap”). When he is flustered & making mistakes, unable to handle your schemes, you can then control victory. If the Yi changes very rapidly, but the Patterns aren’t quick enough to follow it, then response will be difficult & defeat is certain. Therefore, if the Yi & the Patterns are mutually combined success is possible. If the Yi is quick & the Patterns slow, you will undoubtedly be defeated. Practitioners must pay more attention to this.

六. 進退要疾。此節所論, 乃縱橫往來進退反側之法也。當進則進, 竭其力而直前。當退則退, 領其氣而回轉。至進退之宜, 則須察乎敵人之強弱, 強則避之, 宜以智取。弱則攻之, 可以力敵。要在速進速退, 不使敵人得乘其隙。所謂 “高低隨時; 縱橫因勢” 者是也。

6. Advance & Retreat must be Quick. This section discusses the Methods of Vertical & Horizontal, Going & Coming, Advancing & Retreating, Reversing & Flanking. When you should Advance then Advance, exert your Li straight ahead. When you should Retreat then Retreat, lead your Qi to turn around. In order to Advance & Retreat properly, you must examine the enemy’s strength or weakness. If he’s strong then avoid him, you should use deception to take him. If he’s weak then attack him, you can use Li to resist him. Advance & Retreat must be fast, do not allow the enemy to take advantage of any gaps. This is what is called “High & Low Follow the Timing, Vertical & Horizontal are caused by Momentum.”

七. 身法要疾。形意武術中凡五行, 六合, 七疾, 八要, 等法, 皆以身法為本。譜云: “身如弩弓拳如箭;” 又云: “上法須要先上身, 手腳齊到方為真。” 故身法者, 形意拳術之本也。搖膀活胯, 週身輾轉, 側身而進, 不可前俯後仰, 左歪右斜。進則直出, 退則直落, 尤必顧到內外相合, 務使其週身團結, 上下如一, 雖進退不能破散, 則庶幾不可捉摸, 而敵不得逞, 此所以於眼疾, 手疾等外, 而尤貴乎其身疾也。

7. The Body Method must be Quick. In Xingyi’s Martial Arts outline the Five Phases, Six Harmonies, Seven Quicks, Eight Essentials types of Methods all use the Body Method as the foundation. The Manual says: “The Body is like a crossbow, the Fist is like an arrow”; it is also said: “The Superior Method requires first raising the Body, then when the Hands & Feet simultaneously arrive is the technique real.” Therefore, the Body Method is the Xingyi Boxing Art’s foundation. With loose shoulders & lively hips the whole body can roll, turn, & move sideways as well as Advance. You shouldn’t bow forward or lean backward, slant left or tilt right. If Advancing then go straight out, if Retreating then fall straight back. You must especially pay attention to the mutual unification of the Inside & Outside, which will cause the whole body to unite, Upper & Lower as One. But if Advance & Retreat cannot be broken or dispersed, then the various opportunities cannot be grasped, & the enemy won’t be able to succeed. This is why, in addition to the Eye’s Quickness, Hand’s Quickness, etc, you must consider the Body’s Quickness especially valuable

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