三體勢/San Ti Shi is the foundation of Xingyiquan, the basis of all exercises & techniques. Here, you can learn some of the theoretical approaches to teaching & training this most vital pattern. Plant the seed, cultivate it well, & your kung fu is sure to blossom. Enjoy!

 

形意拳九歌/Xingyiquan Jiu Ge – Xingyiquan’s Nine Songs

一, 身: 前俯後仰, 其勢不勁。左側右斜, 皆身之病。正而似斜, 斜而似正。

1. Body: Bowing Forward or leaning backward, such patterns aren’t strong. Left slanting & right tilting, all are the body’s illnesses. Upright & yet it seems Inclined, Inclined & yet it seems Upright.

二, 肩: 頭宜上頂, 肩宜下垂。左肩成拗, 右肩自隨。身力到手, 肩之所為。

2. Shoulders: The head should press upward, the shoulders should hang downward. When the left shoulder bends, the right shoulder should follow. When the body’s strength arrives in the hands, it is the shoulders’ doing.

三, 臂: 左臂前伸, 右臂在肋。似曲不曲, 似直不直。過曲不遠, 過直力少。

3. Arms: The left arm extends forward, the right arm is near the ribs. It seems bent, yet not bent, it seems straight, yet not straight. If too bent then there isn’t enough distance, if too straight the power will be inadequate.

四, 手: 右手在脅, 左手齊胸。後者微拓, 前者力伸。兩手皆覆, 用力宜勻。

4. Hands: The right hand is near the ribs, the left hand is even with the chest. The rear hand slightly supports, the lead hand strongly expands. In all cases, both hands cover, the use of strength should be evenly distributed.

五, 指: 五指各分, 其形似鉤。虎口圓滿, 似剛似柔。力須到指, 不可強求。

5. Fingers: All five fingers are separated, they’re similar in appearance to hooks. The Tiger’s Mouth is round & full, seeming both hard & soft. Power must reach the fingers, but it cannot be forced.

六, 股: 左股在前, 右股在後。似直不直, 似弓不弓。雖有直曲, 每見雞形。

6. Thighs: The left thigh is in front, the right thigh is behind. It seems straight but not straight, it seems bowed but not bowed. Although there is straight & bent, they all look Chicken Shape.

七, 足: 左足直前, 斜則皆病。右足勢斜, 前踵對脛。隨人距離, 足趾扣定。

7. Feet: The left foot is straight forward, slanted is illness every time. The right foot is in a slanting pattern, the lead heel is opposite the lower leg.

八, 舌: 舌為肉稍, 卷則氣降。目张髮聳, 丹田愈沉。肌容如鐵, 內堅五臟。

8. Tongue: The tongue is the Meat Tip, when it’s curled up then Qi descends. Eyes open & hair on end, the Dantian sinks ever lower. The muscles look like iron, the Five Viscera are solid within.

九, 臀: 提起臀部, 氣貫四稍。兩眼繚繞, 臀部肉交。低則勢散, 故宜稍高。

9. Buttocks: Lift the buttocks, & Qi will thread the Four Tips. Both holes curl up, the buttock muscles cross. If low then the power is disbursed, therefore it’s appropriate to raise the tip of the tailbone.

 

形意拳八字訣/Xingyiquan Ba Zi Jue – Xingyiquan’s Eight Character Secret

八字者,頂扣圓敏抱垂曲挺是也。樁法拳式站定時,此八字須具備焉,所以蓄力養氣,使敵我者無所措使。而八字者,又各有三種焉,分述之如左:

The Eight Characters are Thrust, Arc, Round, Agile, Embrace, Hang, Bend, & Straight. The Stake Method type of Boxing is standing for fixed periods of time. These Eight Characters are must have, therefore, so as to store up Li & nourish Qi, causing me to have no handles for the enemy to use. And so the Eight Characters each have three types, divided to to relate it’s differences:

一曰三頂/the 1st is Three Thrusts

三頂者何,頭向上頂,有衝天之雄,頭為週身之主,上頂則後三關易通,臂氣因之上達泥丸以養性。手掌外頂,有推山之功,則氣貫週身,力達四肢。舌上頂,有吼獅吞象之容,能導上升之腎氣,下行歸丹田以固命,是謂之三頂。

What are the Three Thrusts? The Head Thrusts Upward, with vigor as imposing as Heaven, the Head is the whole body’s master, & the upward Thrusting eases the opening of the Back’s Three Gates, the arm Qi causes it reach the Niwam when used for Spiritual Cultivation. The Palms Thrust outward, having Pushing the Mountain Skill, with the Qi threading through the whole body, & Li reaching the Four Limbs. The Toungue Thrusts upward, this is to have the appearance of a Roaring Lion Swallowing an Elephant, it is able to lead the Kidney Qi to ascend & descend returning to the Dantian to be used to solidify life. This is the meaning of the Three Thrusts.

二曰三扣/The 2nd is Three Arcs

三扣者何,兩肩要扣,則前胸空闊,氣力到肘。手背足要扣,則氣力到手,樁步力厚。牙齒要扣,則筋骨緊縮,是謂之三扣。

What are the Three Arcs? Both shoulders must Arc, then the chest can be empty & broad, & the Qi & Li can reach the elbow. The back of the hand must Arc, then the Qi & Li can reach the hand, & the Stake Step Li will will rich. The teeth must Arc, then the physique will tighten, this is the meaning of the Three Arcs.

三曰三圓/The third is Three Rounds

三圓者何,背骨要圓,其力催身,則尾閭中正,精神貫頂。前胸要圓,兩肘力全,心窩微收,呼吸通順。虎口要圓,勇猛外宣,則手有裹抱力,是謂之三圓。

What are the Three Rounds? The spine must be Round, it’s strength urges the body, then the tailbone is centered & upright, & the Essential Spirit threads through the crown. The chest must be round, then the Li of both elbows will be complete, the Xin’s nest will be slightly collected, & the breathing will be smooth. The Tiger’s Mouth must be round, so that bravery & fierceness are on display, then the hands will have wrapping holding Li, this is the meaning of the Three Rounds.

四曰三敏/The fourth is Three Agiles

三敏者何,心要敏,如怒狸攫鼠,則能隨機應變。眼要敏,如饑鷹之捉兔,能預視察機宜。手要敏,如捕羊之餓虎,能先發制人,是謂之三敏。

What are the Three Agiles? The Xin must be Agile, like an angry fox catching a mouse, then it’s able to change according to the situation. The eyes must be agile, like a hungry eagle clutching a rabbit, then it’s able to prepare by inspecting the circumstances in advance. The hands must be agile, like a hungry tiger seizing a sheep, then it’s able to gain the initiative by striking first, this is the meaning of the Three Agiles.

五曰三抱/The fifth is Three Embraces

三抱者何,丹田要抱,氣不外散,擊敵必準。心氣要抱,遇敵有主,臨變不變。兩肱要抱,出入不亂,遇敵無險,是謂之三抱。

What are the Three Embraces? The Dantian must be Embraced so that the Qi does not disperse, & striking the enemy will be accurate. The state of mind must be embraced so that in encountering an enemy there is a “master,” & you face change without changing. Both upper arms must embrace so that Coming & Going are without confusion, & the enemy may be received without danger, this is the meaning of the Three Embraces.

六曰三垂/The sixth is Three Hangs

三垂者何,氣垂,則氣降丹田,身穩如山。兩肩下垂,則臂長而活,肩催肘前。兩肘下垂,則兩肱自圓,能固兩肋,是謂之三垂。

What are the Three Hangs? The Qi hangs & so the Qi falls to the Dantian, the body is as stable as a mountain. Both shoulders hang down, then the arms are long & lively, with the shoulder urging the elbow forward. Both elbows hang down naturally rounding out both of the upper arms, & it’s able to solidify the ribs, this is the meaning of the Three Hangs.

七曰三曲/The Seventh is Three Bends

三曲者何,兩肱宜曲,弓如半月,則力富。兩膝宜曲,彎如半月,則力厚。手腕宜曲,曲如半月,則力湊。皆取其伸縮自如,用勁不斷之意,是謂之三曲。

What are the Three Bends? Both of the upper arms should Bend, arcing like half-moons, then the Li will be abundant. Both knees should bend, bent like half-moons, then the Libwill be thick. The wrist should bend, bent like a half-moon, then the Li will be collected. In all cases adjust the amount of extension or contraction accordingly, he idea is to use Jin continuously, this is the meaning of the Three Bends.

八曰三挺/The Eighth is Three Straights

三挺者何,頸項挺,則頭部正直,精氣貫頂。脊骨腰挺,則力達四稍,氣貫全身。膝蓋挺,則氣恬神怡,如樹生根,是謂之三挺。

What are the Three Straights? The neck is straight then the head upright, & the Jing Qi threads to the crown. The spine & waist are straight, then the Li can reach the Four Tips, & the Qi threads through the whole body. The knees are straight, then the Qi is calm & the Shen is harmonized, like a tree growing roots, this is the meaning of the Three Straights.