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The definitive. guide to this ancient martial art.


The definitive. guide to this ancient martial art. SECRETS OE TEMPLE BOXING Ed it ed by
The definitive. guide to this ancient martial art. SECRETS OE TEMPLE BOXING Ed it ed by
The definitive. guide to this ancient martial art. SECRETS OE TEMPLE BOXING Ed it ed by
The definitive. guide to this ancient martial art. SECRETS OE TEMPLE BOXING Ed it ed by
The definitive. guide to this ancient martial art. SECRETS OE TEMPLE BOXING Ed it ed by
The definitive. guide to this ancient martial art. SECRETS OE TEMPLE BOXING Ed it ed by
The definitive. guide to this ancient martial art. SECRETS OE TEMPLE BOXING Ed it ed by



Ed it ed by

Robert W. Smith

Figm•e I (ftom•'.tpJ«e). Ta Mo. the transtnine r o r Zen from

lndb to

Chtoa : u·ud11iooa l ra the r of Shaolio boxinJI.







Edited 1>r Robrrt W. Smith

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E~ol ~n r!<l'4r"'I!JI~~·Millof:

To Sidr'K'y Tai and Peltr Chen

fol hc:tp in suidins me lhrougb 1hc: mau orCh•nest boxing

I furt~er ExercL~;es . . . .








Table of Contents

Edito r's Foreword . . . , . . . . . . . .
Edito r's Foreword
• .
A BrieO i istory
. •.
Th e
Eigh t ee n ExercL~;es
M uscle ChtUiit ie
furt~er Development
Five Styl<3
North and
South Schools
The Basis
Ch 'i
The Foothold
Hard and Son
Fh-c Prcrcqubites
The Ten Commandments
The Technique
The Foothold
Circli ng H!lnd
Dt Oect in g H•nd
3. S<P'lnllc Short·Long Dragon Hand
SciS¥or Hand


~- Cutting Hand






















6. Upholding Hand



7. Pointing Hand



8. Restraining Hand




General Advn








The Palm

TM Wrist and Elbow······· -· ··- --···· ····












































Advancing and R<tr.ating




L&l~ral Movements



Sight and Sound




• .




Fi na l Word




10 ~-o:m:ns


SC'o~ral th~ e~r




Editor's Foreword

THERE are no good books 011 Shaolin Temple boxjng.

Thete are on ly varyina dearees of


and eve n

these varied lillie from the low kvel of the published work. One of my Sh:.olin teachers, Liao Wu-shang-he of the low 5kill- hearing or my pli&ht. toot me to a colleague. ont Wang . the bo11.ina ' 'boss'' or hi.J area in South Taiwan . Aner SC'o~ral\'isits which protocol dtmanded. the okJ man with th~ QVIS.izcd gnarltd hands 5ha.ted " i th us a shon manusuipt

poor. Ge nera ll y. th ey are

rehashes o f cnrlicr legends. In T aj wan ( 1959-<i2)


was able to co llett many personal ma.nuscripts

on Sbaolin. His teacher from Shantung on the mainland had given it to Wana 40 yean berorc. He bdiC'\·ed that hi5 grand- teacher had wriuc:n it fo r his small ci rcle of students and that few on lht mainland and no one o n Taiwan had e~r

Sttn it.

while it was true

that few on T aiwan had seen th e book. i t had been fair·Jy

widely kn own on th e m11inlllnd. A leading boxing historian

fi ne text bu t that

to ld me th at originally the book had been a

Ch'en T'ieh-shcn,g. 1.\ Cl.\ntonese journalist, had amplified and distorted the wo rk of the auonymous author. Later.

Subsequently, however. 1 lear ned that,


ot her write rs had added so me or the ddku,ou s legends

which abound i n o\her pop ul ar books on Shao lin. By this tim e I had had t he work t ransla ted and was hap-

pily su rprised 10 find

Shaolin . lhe

paru of i t en ligh ten ing. I believed Lhat

th e poin1s it sl r~ssed represented the core of

father of all boxina rorms in 01ina. And as 1 stud ied other

sources in the boxina bibliography I kepi co mins ba.e:C co

this one.

With the curren1 fad or karate in Ihe Wesa t fell that the

grandra1h<r oogh11o bt koo~•u


iLt popultr grtnd-

.son. So I sec about readyinc this book for pubtiauion in English. This invoh"Cd dot"klina e'1raneous. repe-tili\-e. and

legtndary mauer : editonal surgery I perfornttd in an at·

tempt to cut off the later add1110ns sraf'lcd on the on&• by Ch'en and others. I hope: thai as it nO\'• uands It acc:ords in some modcs1 respect >Aith the oriamal Han Ch'ing-l'ang and Kao Fana·hsien. I*O of the lcxlinJ

Shaolin exptns in Taiwan, ~

for the lllu.suationt-thr:

original had none Deus Bone. aoo<f friend and martial-arts c;ohon . also posed for some of the photoeraphs. Another v eter an bo;(er, Lhtng ru ng·l~i. auistc:d me in interp r eting p3rts o f th~ text . Tai Lien, who did rearm or tran.slal ion for

me for thrC't: year s, provided u clear lcx t. Liao Wu ·s hana a nd

Peter C he n c~rly o n s.aid they would set n1c a

real book on Shaolin

th ese men I call friend s. Finally. old W :ang. I ne~·er told th is k ind l y ge ntl eman that his treasu red sec-ret wat not re:tlly very secret. The book had been th e ba sis of his life timt boxing. He wq.J happy think i ng he alo ne had h. and I saw no reaso n to impinge o n o 4() yea r-old dre-um. Th is wn s my tha nks to him.

•and d id . My warmest thanks to al l

his co lleague

R OI11lR I'

W .



Be1h<s<1a, Ma ryl01nd

sl r~ssed





ru ng·l~i.




c~ching pror~itncy FiH~:





A Brief History

TH E term "Ch'uan" means the use of the fist(s). T hough

so mewhat misleading, the art of boxing has been caUed

--ch' uan Fa" for acncralio n.s. Act ually th.e fist makes up bul

a small pan of boxina. For example , in the Sou the rn


tbe fist represents

less tha n 10 pt.roc:nt of the 170 ha nd opera-

tions. Moreover, when we do we the fist it is mort oflen

than not done by means or unclenched fingers (for example.

in the ''Titer's Oaw"). A flat tis1 with the fingers clenched

d occ·nltafues lhe force or a blow and is therefore laughed at

by vmran


Before boxing pror~itncycan M auainM, the FiH~:Styles

handed down from M onk Ta Mo mun be mastered. The

learning of chest sort methods goes to the core of the an:

without h o ne remains forever a novice. Monk Ta Mo lived durina Ihe Liang dy nasty (A.D. 506- 56). In c~ching his Buddhist s wden ts he ·noted tha t the fra il

n ovit.""e.S fc ll a.sleep during hi s lect ure$. Believing that a 5t rong body would not on ly remedy 1his weak noess b ut would also

bring one closer to his soul, h e gave them a set o f 18 act i ons to be d one regularly each morning .•

The Eighteen Exercises

I. Stand upright, yo ur waist stra ight, eyts wide open, and

mind conoenuating. E"ha le the stale air and in ha le the ft'leSh .

2. Stretclr toward the Sky. While holdi ng the rh'J(intrinsic

e n er gy) dow n i n t h e l ower torso yo ur l e O: ha nd goes up . yo ur righ t d own a lte-rnately, your two pal m.s open a nd flat. Two actions.

3. PuJ!ting thl! Mounttlin. Foll owing the- precedin g s t yle,

separate you r fee t about a foo t a nd a lternate ly push yo ur palms directly f-orward. Strength is cente red itl the middle

o f the pa lms a nd your ch'isinks to your navel. fo ur actio ns.

4. Black Tiger Straightens Waist. Stand upright and then

squat in a low horse~riding postu re. Stretch your palms out

as yo u change in to a

high horse-riding posture. The centers

• The uerei:scs given in the text are ambfauoos and der)· clear uOOct·

stan din&. Howe\'«, most a utho tillcs ascnbl: 10 Ta Mo au thorshi p of the I Chin Cllir~t(Muscle Change.Oass.ic), the eJtercist$ ol which art

not distimii;Sr t c) 1hosc: lis.ted . Only 12 of t hese 24 c-J~:ercists, howeve.r,

a re bel~ '«~ t o be t h e ~,~oo.otk otT a Mo . ThC$e arc i n d u ded he re a lo na with the iUusm uio n.s round in the oldest \"ers.)otu of this ~,~o·ork.(ed .)



m ak~





bel~ '«~





heels. T his

a ction will strengthen your waist. Four a ctions. 5. Wild Grx1s~ lkats Wittg.J. Relax and rest a little. Then inhale and lei your th'isink. Keep your hands close to your

of yo ur pal ms a rc li nked for s t rength wi l h you r

legs a nd draw sl.J'ength from under your armpits. Your

a wild goose-.

Your heels rise and fall with the shooti ng out a nd retracting of yo ur arms. O ne ac.tion.

upright and

m ak~ ~ $lep forw~rd w ith e ith e r yo u r r ight o r your left foot. Lower yo ur palms gradually to you r knees. simultaneo usly


s ,trength in . you r elbows. One ac-tion .

your .fingers. Depress your waist a little but keep

shoulders are held fl a t like t he o pened w ings of

6. Lower Elbows a11d 1/0()k Palms. Stand

Draw the Bow and Brace the Diaphragm. Thi.s is similar

t o " D raw in g the Bo w and K illi ng the Wild Goose" in the

·-Eight Boxing Methods ." But i n one the low horse-riding

po st ure and in th e o th er a n uprigh t post u re: is us ed. One

· 1.




Golde11 Leopard Re1--eals Claws.

In the preceding action


he palm was used. In this e.xereise the tingets are hooked


n to a nea r fis t. Use a n1 ediu m horse-rid ing postu r e and a



Figuus ) - 4. ~fusl!le Cl\Ma,e Exercises 1-J.

shout as you attack. The st rength co mes from u nder yo ur armpit. One action.



K icking . K eep the ki ck low. I f too hi gh you lose

effect and can be cou nt ered . o .~ e action.

10. Sweeping Ley . T urn latera lly

an d shoot o ut yo ur leg

in a sweep. After sweeping ret ra ct it qu ick ly. One actlon.

I I. High Kicking. Th is is very dange-rous

and leaves yo u

susceptible to counter. Never use it unless you can d<> so speedily and well. One action.

12. Hooking Leg. Hook your root in a sm all ci rcl e. One


The Muscle Change Classic

Each exercis-e is d iffere nt wit h distinctive meri ts. Open space, good vc nl ilatioo. an d ample t ime morning an d n ight


are aUthat are required

Aftc:-r you Jeam the entire set of 12

d o the who le- th ree times in the morning and three t imes i n

the even in g. If yo u persist in regu lar pract ice, in o ne year you r health w i II imp rove greatly a n d you w ill be. on t h e threshold of' fu:nher physical and spiritual development.

ca lm yo ur mi nd , and conce.1Hrate. Sep·

a rate yo ur feet by o ne foot. T h e tip of yo ur to ngue goes to

I. Sink you r clt' i,


shou ~de rs.


t'IIA.NUt ~





Figua-s 5-'J. Musc le Change Exercises 4- 6 .

thejuncture of your lower and upper teet h. CurYe your anns :slightly and raise «he finge rti ps until yo ur ha nds a re hori -

:zonta ll y fixed . As yo u curve yo ur arm s th e st rength goes .down, pushed, as ii we re. by th e- base of your palms (as if yo u were placing yo ur ha nds o n a ta.ble preparatory to


times, relax ing a nd strain-

fi nge rs. (See Figure 2.)

2. Put your feet closer together than in t he preceding

oexer<:ise. Clench your fi ngers into loose fists but wi th t he

thumbs straight. Bri ng your fists in rron t or your loins, the

t humbs o n a li ne. The n ra ise you r thu m bs up as far as they

·will go.

u mping). Do t his slowly several .ing alternately. T hen lower your

Ho l d a s horLwhile, relax a nd l ower thu mbs . Do 49

tjmes. (See Figure 3.)

3. Agai n sepa rate your

.strength down ward- they

-ove r your thum b s a1 l d r e l ax you r shou ~de rs. T i ghten yo u r

fists. Do severa l times. T his develops th e fists a nd lower

.arms. (See Figure-4.)

Your legs hold


by a


never relax.

fo ld your fi ngers

4. Pu t your fee.t togeth er. Oose your fingers a round your

thumbs and raise your arms rro1Hally un~ilthey parallel your

:shoulders. T his focuses strength frontally. Do up to 39

times. (Sec Figu re 5.)

M U$( : 1.1 : t'IIA.NUt ~ CI


S.'i i C


5. Yo ur rcc t rema in t oge ther. Rai se )'Our fists outward
5. Yo ur rcc t rema in t oge ther. Rai se )'Our fists outward

5. Yo ur rcc t rema in t oge ther. Rai se )'Our fists outward

drcu larly, wi th the pn lms up~ overhead u nti l your lin gers

arc J>arallc l. Ke<1., yo ur Mms c:ur\'cd slight!)' and as you rnisc yo ur ar ms ao up on yo ur I QCS. Afte r yo u raise yo u r arms

clen ch your fi stS t igh tly, the n lowe r. Th is circu lates ch· i th rouahout )OUr body. Do 49 times. (Set Figur'C' 6.)

6 Sc:pgrJtC your reel. Make normal fist.s.thumb$clc:nchcd

over fingers R a1:~ your arms laterally. palms up untiltMy pan11llcl shoulder. Then bring the rorearms up formJftJ- a

trianfiC. )"OUr l!'lms rncing your ShoUidCrl. Cknch fists ti&htly. Do 49 times. This .stKngthcns clbo"'"5,

ch<Sl. (Soc Fi~urt 7.)

1. Bnna yo ur ftt t logtther. Keeping normal fists. rai)C )'Our arms frontally until they parallel shoulders. U1ing Mrcngth. take your arms to the direct side where they are

(Liigned to your s houlders . Your

o n toe!. and alterna tely s tand on the heel of each foot. As

you lower toelt. cxhalr and open your 6st.s. Do 49 times. This i mproves the ill terna l envi ronme nL (See Figure 8.)

palms are down. T he n


8. Yo ur feet re1n a in toge t he r.

You r t humbs arc cc.-~·cred

by your fingers. Raise you r fists fronta ll y to shoutde •· level

~l ms faci ng each other. As yo u raise you r arl'l'ls go

wi t h Ihe








R a1:~


~l ms




R a1:~ Fi~urt ~l ms up~ ri~e cc.-~·cred Ftgurn 11-IJ. 11. Mu scle Cha nge

Ftgurn 11-IJ.

Fi~urt ~l ms up~ ri~e cc.-~·cred Ftgurn 11-IJ. 11. Mu scle Cha nge ExerdS« 10


~l ms up~ ri~e cc.-~·cred Ftgurn 11-IJ. 11. Mu scle Cha nge ExerdS« 10 12

Mu scle Cha nge ExerdS« 10


up o n you r toes. Then clench your fists tightly. Rel ax a nd

lower heels. Oo 49 times. Thi s cxc rtise tra in s the: arms to

draw ~lli. (Sec: Figure 9.)

9. Your reel arc still togtt hcr and yo ur finge rs c-lenched

aro und )'Our thumbs

your elbo!o~~Swhen your n-us reach the level of your abdo- men. Ratse )OUr rists. palms out. to race level forming a triangle. Then cltnch fists and 1urn forearms inward until

palms face your fa«. Do 49 11mes. (See Figure 10.)

10. Your rre~remson closed and )our fing<n dtnch your

thumbs. Ra1~ )'OUr arms frontalty to $houfder he:ight. Thc.n carry your fhu \tftically and hokl 1Mm with your palms facing the fronl. Hold your arms as ifhokJing 1.000 poundi with elbows strainins out and fisu denched lightly. Do 49 times. (Sec Hgurc II.) I I. Your feel trc: clo~ b ut your fists are now made with the th umbs clenched outside your finge rs. Kttping yo ur

clenched fi sts relaxed . rai se them tOyou r navel. Your elbows

R11isc yo ur arms frontally but bend

thu mbs raised up yo ur arm s.

Then lowe r your thu mbs a nd rela x your fists. Do nine timd .


a rc curved. T hen c lench your fists tightly with

the m. Your stre ng th feCI$ as if it c 1·eeps

This exercise leu th e th ' l riu and fa ll. Be sure to inhale

m. Your stre ng th feCI$ as if it c 1·eeps This exerci se leu th
22 thro ugh yo ur nose a nd to exhale just as you relax. (Sec


thro ugh yo ur nose a nd to exhale just as you relax. (Sec Figure 12.) I2. Keep you r feet c lose . You r fi ngers hang down at yo u r sides wit h t he pa lms ou twa rd. Raise you r anns frontaJiy to sho ulder leveL Hold your hands so lha t yo ur thu mbs face outward and your palms face the sky. As you mise your


t h en

Jower your a r ms and heels. Do 12 times. This exercise re·

laxcs your sinews. (Sec Figure 13.)

r ms .

r is e on

toes .

~t old thi s

posture a

s h ort






Further Development


Mo o rigi nated it solely for healt h. Ane r his death his d is-

ciples disperse d and

Yuan dynasty (A.D. 1260-1368). a wealthy young man sur- named Ye n beca 1ne a pr iest and took t he n ame C hu e h Yuan . Interested in b oxing. he revised Ta Mo's 18 methods int o

72 styles a nd promoted t he S haoli n a rt t ill it th ur\ldered

lhroughout China. But Chueh Yuan was not C01Ht1H with that. He traveled th roughout the mainland searching out famous boxe rs to test their methods. In Lanchow of Kansu he came upon a

th e an wa s nea rly lost. Then du ri n g t he

T hus sta rted t he so-ca lled 18- M onk Boxi ng. I niti ally



~t old w h il e ~ 60-year-old peddler being ma nha ndled by a

~t old






60-year-old peddler being ma nha ndled by a big oaf. When

th e brute auemptcd to ki ck I he dodging veteran. t he old ma n touched hi.s foot with two fin gers of h is right ha nd. T he


fell unconscious. Ch ueh Yuan struck up an ac·

quaintance with the veteran. whose name was Li Ch'eng.


d isclaimed any great knowledge ofboxing b ut introduced

h i.n to a friend Pai Yu-feng of Shansi, reputedly matchless

in Shansi, Honan. and Hopei.

SO, o f a med iu m bu ild. a nd radiated wit h spirit.

Pa i was

Li, Pai , and Ch uch Yua n went to the Shaoli n T<mple and

th ere co ns ol ida ted T a Mo's 18 and C'hu ch Yuan•s 72 move ·

men ts in to 170 a ctions w hich a rc t he basis for our Shaolin


The Five Styles

T he 170 actions were embtaced in Five Sty~cs: Dragon.

Tiger. Leopard, Snake. aod Cra ne. Pai taugh t tha t man has

five essences: (a) spirit, (b) bone, (c) st rength. (d) ch'i. a nd (c) s in ew. T hese esse nces must be merg,t:d a nd synchronized

into an dfk ient o neness. lndudcd with in

is the synth esis of

hard a nd soft . internal a niJ ex terna l. and subs tantia l a nd

insubsta nt ia l.

c. ~ F. FijurC~ 1# . <. O :NigO n (Sp i rit) . o.
c. ~ F. FijurC~ 1# . <. O :NigO n (Sp i rit) . o.
c. ~ F. FijurC~ 1# . <. O :NigO n (Sp i rit) . o.




FijurC~ 1# .

c. ~ F. FijurC~ 1# . <. O :NigO n (Sp i rit) . o. The


O :NigO n (Sp i rit) .

c. ~ F. FijurC~ 1# . <. O :NigO n (Sp i rit) . o. The


The D rago :n Style represents the cu lt iva t io n of :spi rit.

Strength is not used. The cll'i is centered in the navel and

your body kep t light and l i vely . Keep your should er' s bal -

a nced and the five-cente rs (heart , two pa lms. a nd two feet

centers) rcspo ~lding 10 one anothe r . Th i s m ove ment r ·csc

bles a dragon floating in the a ir capable of movement in

every dir<.-ct iom. (Sec Figure 14.)

T h e Ti ge r Sty l e represe nt s the ~raining oft he bo m.-s. B r ace








rcspo ~lding




Fi'gur~ 1$.

~ FijurC~ rcspo ~lding ~raining ~ " Fi'gur~ 1$. ~ B f'. T i ger (Done)




T i ger (Done) .


ToG E.!\

( $O I'Ie


1$. ~ B f'. T i ger (Done) . ~ ToG E.!\ ( $O I'Ie )


yourself a nd hold your shoulders and waist lirmly. Let your

body rise and f all as your th'l circu l ate s and your two eyes

a re kept open . T his mO\'ement resemb les an 311gry cigcr

leaping out of the woods. (See Figure I5.)

The Leopard Style rep resents

the development ofstre ngt h.

Though a leopard dOoe$ not look so awesQme as a tiger, it is

able to generate greater strengtb. Because it likes to jump, irts waist and lower ext remities arc .stronger t han those of a



f ,



Ligcr. Uookin.s yo ur fingers i nto a near fist , brace yoursetr

and $ink and

Fiaure 16.)

The Sn:\ke Style represents the cu ltiva tion of ch'i, Do

rhyt hmical inllalat ion and exha lation calmly. The snak e's rll'i pc:nr~ c:a tes. his entire body so that w h en the s n a k e tou c h es anythina it appears spongy and wichout strength. But it can

draw ins tant :strength like that of the strongc:~n man. The

rise wi th a 'ow horse-rid ing posture. (See





pc:nr~ c:a tes.


e .

F .

rope to 1jc

around a pillar" exemplifies this style. Your whole body

moves cndleisly a nd is soft yet strong, flexible yet firm . You I'

old saying: ''The: best steel a m be used as a

•~·<> fingers arc used

like the t o na.ue of a sn ake . (See F i gure


The C rane roo ted in the

Style rep rese nt s sinew training. Th e si nc:w is feet b ut the spiri t Permea tes throughout the

body. Your shoulders arc always kept relaxed, and your




F1s u,.- II .

h;~nds ond

your mtnd



( 6 1N E W)

Crane cS.mcwr. ).



fcc• harmo nize. Your y,j lt mus1 be trunqu i1 ond

fru~rt:lching. (See Figure 18.)

The mustcry of the f'h·c Styles req uires tedi ous ~ffortond

endurnnce . Du t when i1 co mes yo ur body will become sturdy,

you r li mbs fi rm , you r ey~ s harp.

and yo ur co ura ge grea t.

Wh en yo u enco un ler an enemy a finger o r a foo t ca n wi n the fish>.





The Norlh and South Schools

than th ose

of the Sou th. , 1c climllte there is more severe. lhe condi·

tions of life more s1ringcn1. and the food more conducive

10 Stre n g t h. Mo reovt r . lll OS l or t h e great Nort hern boxc r 5

ha''t' wor ked as armed esco rts for goods convoys: an cxet l·

te nt if dang.erous p rot'ession tn v.bich to tes-t their boxing


Generally, t he boxers of the Norch are hardi er

N()tt Ill


50U111 S<lkXJU


oualit~ ~oft



The Basis


There are many schools teachins the


form or lhc'

manial aru. All begin and tnd with tit'/, or in1rin.sic tMf&Y.

To master this energy is to pierce the unknown and to rnch

the state where life •n<l death lo:se their oualit~ of ftar.

When you achieve this a threat doc:s not d inurb nor a temp--

tation caress. You become lruc- of your selr. Many

there are who constantly murmur magic words about dt'/ b ut who te3ct to an emergency with frantic rear. They merely

talk: they have done nothing about th'i. Forth is rruo n our

an is deteriorating. The-re a re two aspects or ch ' i , Yo u must first cu hi valc it and then e.xerd se it. When the energy is cu ltivated it is held in balance inside your body. Thus you r mind is tranq uilized

a nd every movement becomes araeeful and harmonious.

When this is achieved, you may th en talk about how to deal wi th an enemy. Confucius stressed ell' I. In o rder tO defcal

an enemy. th e boxing art ca nno t do lcs.s.

By conscious

b rea t hing it is exerc-ised . Practice dwells o n ex halation and i nh a la tio n. T he initi al p rocess is rrom ~oft to hard but later

Cll'i is c uhi,•ated without conscious effort.

f'i!lliU 19.

Horse. ridina Posturt

F;gurt 20.


H oue-fid i na Posture:

yo u muliot reve rse 1hc process, thus re t urni ng from

soft Succcssrul box ing combines th e sort and the hard . It

is i mpor111 nt I!O be soft wi1h

1hc i nsubstant ial and hard with

hard to

the substantial. Wh ile you arc soft on the right side you

must be hard on the lefl. This may puzzle you. but it will become clear a.s we prog,re:ss. Monk Chueh Yuan sta1c:d:

Strc:nath turns from soft tostrongand ch'ib«oma suO from c:ultivouton. Strength originate$ from ch'l

and acts as r/t'lsink.s. \Viahout ch'i lhuc: is no $1Kfl.llh.


quatk boxer .hoo4s out a h


ferocioUJly, bucchcn:

15 no 1~ s trength in his strike. A real bo.xtr is not so Rambo)ani, but his touch i.$ as heavy as a mountain.

This'' because he possesses cJt'i. Through long pracdoe

all the rlt'l <:an be focused on the a uaC'ki n.g pomt. The

w tll co mmands 1he th'i wh ic:h can be focused

given pOint instantaneously.

on any

I . Thtt Fr>Othold. In exercising the t.h'i you mu$1 fi rst pmc· lice the root ho ld CJ;Crcisc:. You first s tand in the ho rsc·rid in& poslurc, which wi ll permit rapid rising or dropping (Fisu res 19 t1nd 20). This posture: is excelle nt in that it makes t he







loins and legs durable ond the en1ire body s1able. With it

you ca n swnd

11r m1y. C\le n o n a prtcipic:e.

Arter :assumins this pos1ure you should direct the rh'i to your lower torso. Do no1 let h ft~u in the chest. If you do. yo ur upper pan will be heavier and you ca.nno1 root your fe-et to the ground. Many there: arc who wi II fall at Ihe shght·

~~ l)ush. T h1s is btca~ they have not prncticxd the: hold



An old $/ll)'tnJ aocs: ""Otfore you can

kam to defeat

others. you mu>l fimlcam 10 s1and

Af1er rou bale learn«!

hoYo· to stand firmly. your rlt'l is ahr•ays kepi just below the:

na\'tl. enabling you 10 achie\e a $1ron g foothokl a1 any lime

o r place. Then and only then are )OU ready to learn boxing.

foo lhOtd traaning )OU may f«l some ache

i11 lhe loins and leas. It is like riding a horse after a lo ng interva l. You may also feel a wc:tkening of your stn:ng.Lh.

Blllt do not worr)'. This merely mean s a was hou t of the old.

A ll worthless air a nd usele» $l rengt h a

before t rai ni ng hrwe l o be replaced )'O U feel pain init ia ll y. d o not flinch pain and continue practicins.

by t he new. T hus, when bu t. in stead. e nd u re 1hc

novice possesses

At first ln the



In ord er to learn the foothold you must increase the stand·

in g t ime each day . For exa mple. if you p rac1ice IWO hou rs•

t he first ni gh t. add several mi •lut es th e next. Progress m ust come every d ay. If t he leg pa ins a re unbearab le you may rest a short w hil.e, b ut t hen rc1u rn to the posture. You must stand e"ery day until the pain vanishes naturally w ith the sin king o f your <HI to your lo wer n.avcl and the onset o f strength to your legs. Only th en can the hands be trained.

A t fi rs t, yo u s hou ld direct your ch'i from your a rmpits co

your fingertips. L.a~r.yQu. can direc1the entire-body su cng'h

toward a nd t h ro u g:h t h e ha n ds. T he n you wi ll feel t h a t your

en ti re body a nd its ex t ensio ns. the hands an d feet. will act

in co ncert. Yo ur si news will be ac ti va ted and your blood circu latio n promoted. Your body wi ll t hen respond perfect ly to your slightest demand.


BrNithing. T he lungs are reservo irs of ai r, and

air is

the lord o f strength. Whoever .speaks of strength mus!l


air- thi s is a u nive rs:al t ruth. Good lungs equal good

st rtngt h; w~k l ungs, weak st rengt h, Yo u must learn 10

brea the prop erl y. M a ny years ago the boxers o f the Nort h

• The au1hor here re\-cals the rlgoi'()IJSnc:ss or the practice i n those

t imes. Two hou r$ or foothold practice for a besinner

Nowa d ays, 1 5 rninutes wou l d be ~onsidcred more re::.Jkli~. (cd . )

ouJd be k illin,g

34 llA SIS

b~.a th in







pu t brea t hin g fi rst as a pre requisite power. T he achievement they ma de

weak pe rson after te n years o f brt"'

load weigh ing 1,000 po unds ! Breath ing b rings suength to th.e hands. T he boxe rs of the South used to pra c t ice t he foot ho ld cx;ercisc, bu t few of t he m p r ac t i c ed b~.a th in g . T h is was be· ca:usc th e interna l o rga ns could be damaged t hrough im· pr oper brea t hi ng. It was not until Mo nk Hui Meng's a r·

riwal in th e South ( late Ming dyna;ty. A,P. JJ68- 1644) that

tthing practice can lift a

for ga ini ng ph)•sica l is evide nt today. A

the boxe,rs there learned the secrets of brea th ing. After his a n ival they began to couple the foothold exercise with the breathing practice:, thereby making their art more co.nplete. The breat hing taught by Hui Meng had! fou r taboos :

a. h ritially , do 110 t Ol'trdo . A t fitst 49 i nhala ti on-exhala- tio n cyd es are q uite enough for a n exercise period. G ra d· ually increase the number. but on no acoount do over 100 cycles during a single period.


Dusty or dirt)t prem ises must not be used. 11 is most

suitable «o prac tice breat hing in t he morni n.g in some q uiet. we ll-ventilated place. Outdoor pract ice should be done in

the evening.

c. Tile nun•tl1 .Jiroufd not be used for exhalaliofl. To sta rt. c.-:ha lc.: three.:

c. Tile nun•tl1.Jiroufd not be usedfor exhalaliofl. To sta rt. c.-:ha lc.: three.: time~ t hrough t he mou t h. T his will rid the sto mach of stnle air. Thereafte r, every exhala tio n is through

the nostrils.

d . Do not ollo&v ym1r rhouglus ro 10mblt during pronl~.

1( you d o. it will impede th e circulation of your rlr'l and

blood . Your thought must

be focuS«~o n the exercise: o the r·

wise: proJfCSS w1 ll not come.

These four taboos must be avoKied. With progrtu )OUr

$incw• will pin pliabili!y an<l yovr entire body will bcwmt

SII'Oftgtt. Clt'i and blood v.ill Row in perfect harmony .,.,.llh

)0\lt brealhin&. T hen )OU wiD bC' ab~ 10 direct )'Our rll'i to

any pan of )OUr body in a fraaicm or a second. Your "ill

d1rccb )'Our dt'l. which is accompanied by i trength. Thro.

juSI a touch on you r enemy may prove fa tal. Ch'l is l ruly

my sttrio u ~ a nd divine !

Another great teacher. Mo nk Hung Hui. has revealed

t h:u tltl con be a sh ie ld for a lmos t a ny pa rt of the body. A

boxe r ca n d ir« t hi s ch'i to h is hea d, chest.

and cvc:n a b low with a n iron bar a t tha t poi•H will., ot cause


abdorner•. etc

36 •.,,


aga in ~t Progte~$


th r~e

my sttrio u ~





my sttrio u ~ time~ focuS«~ ab~ pronl~. of breathi n g preva il ed i

of breathi n g preva il ed i n t h e

Nort h i n th e t wo sc: hoo ls, the: Hs i c-hia ng and t he Ho nan. A

bas ic secre t of th dr rmc t ice s t ressed lo ng exhala t ion and

sho re inholat io n. E.s:scnti:ally. il coosis ts of, lirst, s tandi ng

up right an d exha l i ng the sta le uir th r~e t i m es t h r ough th e mou th. Then th e student ben<b a t th e wain and extendi his

a rms dirtttly downward Following this. he clasps his hands

a nd l1f'ls them lb thoup he we-re lining a load of l.o:x> pounds. Ourins this movement he dircas his dt"i co his

nnd ond orms

shooas 1M k:O and then 1hc rigtn open hand forv.-.nd. ex· pellinga breath throueh lhe mouth a.s he does so as 10 avoid

any side etrcc:t. Next he: may shoo t his arms upward or o,ut to the sidC"S.

the o bjec:ti vc a lway) being to

ch'i. When he shoot~ his nrms upward. he: feds the: Nt'i go to the arrnpits and then down to the \'ery tipS of the fmgers:

w hen t hey go lO the s id es hi s n:we l is full of ch' i. In bringing h is arms b;tck to h is sides. he closes his hands a nd pulls as i f aga in ~t a h e-avy l oa d. C on s tnncy is th e k ey word h e r e . Progte~$comes gradulllly with patience.

by onhahng. Then. sandi ng upright. he

A s ~tated c. &rli c:r.

th e an

promote: t he circula tion of



Hard and Soft A lthough boxing is j ust a branc h or the combat

Hard and Soft

A lthough boxing is j ust a branch or the combat ans,

mastery can be graded

as can Buddhist acx:omplishmem

lO lhtee levels. The lhrec an-des for boxers art based on

their ability in I he hard and soft The best bour IS neilhcr hard nor son but. al the ~arne moment , both. T he en e my

cannot anticipate his action ; his movements llre beyond

deteclion. li is fingers look son. but whe n they touch lh ey feel like chisels or d r ills . Even when 1he ene my is hun he

cannot tdl ho~· and ,.ht ntt tht au aclc came . I n short tht

grea1es1 boJI:er looks a.nd :acu $01\. but the .sof\oess. when



used, achicves results usually associated wuh prodigious

strengt h or hardness. Th is G rade One: art cun not 1x


in a short period.


Grade Two boxer is consid erably inferior 10 a Grade

One bonr. Of\en a sludent. gaf'ted and t.ActptionaJ in t'-ery way. endsatlhls k'\'el simply for want ofa SOOd teacher. He

canno t harmonilc 1he hard and son. He may be taught

wr o n g l y to u~c d r ugs f o r h is tra i n i ng . H e m[ly develop a par t of his body which. although powe rful, is d isproportionate 10 th e whole. thereby afTtcting o~.-alluSt. I l is e nemies may be frightened by his o utward ly powerfu l appearance. but

38 """"

ho~· u~c ~arne o~.-all wh~n he meets a Crndc One boxer his deadened muscles can.not





wh~n he meets a Crndc One boxer his deadened muscles can.not compete with the soft maneuvering$ or his adversary. Wh :u t hen js chc u sc of the: h.a rdcncd part ? The Grade Two boxer laCikS k.nowlcdgc: of the harrnoniOUJ co mbination or sof t •nd hard. A bo•er stttpcd primarily in the hard takes

arbitrary actions. He knows lin~ or the roothold and lm

or correct brea thi ng, the t win prereq uisites of s u((tsS . He cann ot harm onize th e s ubstantia l and t h e ins ubsl:t nti nl. Si n ce he depe nd s solely on the stre ngth of his arms and legs. his final accomplishment is low. Begin Mrs sho uld not be imprascd by this Jevd o( skill. The Grade Thrtt i:s even WCM'SC . H i s is a deplorabte

case. Even an his habits are

to nh e detriment oft he coordina ted act ion o f his e ntire body. Whereas the Grade Two boxer fails by having 100 much

hard and too link son, the: Grade Tluu boxer kn()',a,'S only

the hard. The followina fou r are excrcilCS typical of this

lower g:rade:

exc-ell ent teacher can do littl e with hi m o nce fi.~t.ed. This boxer is overdeveloped phy!\icttlly

. Plantlngjingtrs lr~.wnd. T his th rus ting practi ce is co m·

mon, the aim being 10 make the fingers a.s strong as iron.

2 X idcing a stakt. By sweeping a sta k e i mbedded deeply


in C<lrth. one's feet are !>Upposed to benefit. T hi s J)fiiC-ticc formerly was J>OI)ulor

in C<lrth. one's feet are !>Upposed to benefit. T hi s J)fiiC-ticc formerly was J>OI)ulor in Kwangt ung.

3. Plurk hiR nhii.J . Us in g o nl y

the fi ngertips. the ~tudent

:Uicn-pls 10 euric:lle nails driven into a board. This too was

popular in Kwangtung

4. Grlndmt polms . Tht s-tudent ·is ta usht to r ub lho rims the: palms a.pi nst t3bfe edges until ca ll uses fonn. Then

he grinds lhe rims on stones until the)' are like iron. Such


a palm appears terribk to laymen but is oothing 10 a 50ft







In conclusion. the Grade: One: art requires harmony bt·



the son and hard : tht- Grade Two art OV«Strc:ssc:$lhc:

hard: and the (iradc Three an knows only the hard.

Five Prer~quisites

To harmonize the hard and sofl. much depc:nds on a cor-

rect beginni ng . fi ve ruies ar e prescribed.

I. Grallunl PrugreJS. The learner must ShJrt !!lowly. If

in iti:~l prncti~ i s c:onduc; 1c: d too \ •igorous l y th e inc:ernol organs moy sulfer and the externals be: subjected to greal

prtin. Ooxing h as a bad repu ta ti on because of the n um ber or

casualt ies resulting rrom doing too much too soon. Many



R ~z ulations



in iti:~l prncti~


Prer~quisites in iti:~l prncti~ ~tudent resulted from exhibitionist displays or mt~scle. Almost all sruc.h defects

resulted from exhibitionist displays or mt~scle. Almost all sruc.h defects l'U M be nttribu led to t he lac k of a g.ood teacher.

is to pro--

As Monk Ting II si ng aptly s.uid ; " long life, not shorten it."

are in te ttSted in

2. ConstanC) ' th~ Kty to Surre~·s. Ma ny

l:>oxing. and not a rew claim so me skiJJ in the art. but only

Why i.s lhis?

Simply bc<:ausc most boAcrs lack. ptiW\'erantt. If a person petsi.s.ts in daily practM:c he can gain 50CilC success in th~ years and possibly become a great box~r in 10 >U"'· Surely it IS ~orth lhe effort. For st ill brings he:tlth, confidence. and


8cfores~aning h is training a mao's

one out of a lhou.Jand really achieves success

3. MqM.ratkHto Mttn.

body is insipid: ane.r- It becomes energized and ac:th't:.

Lustful desire.s and an affinity for alcohol de$troy what has been accomplished. If one likes 1.0 indulge hi m$elf it is better t hat he not begin . Young people e$pec ia.lly must pay heed

to this TC!'(Juirc nlCnt.

4 . A Peaceful Natllfl Sho11/d Be Cr~ld\•ated. An cxpcr l

is: cal m and qu iet , a

boxer is not be lli cose and ego t ist ic. He man of leniency a nd potience.

5 . Customs mul R ~z ulations Mu.u Bf' Obsf'rved. Alt ho u gh





Ta Mo found ed o ur boxing, o t he rs developed i t an

Ta Mo found ed o ur boxing, o t he rs developed i t an d brough t it to fruition. Sy the end of the Ming d )•nast y it had spread


In encountering an o ppo nent you m ust go back three steps and then forword a step and a ha lf. Then you place your right palm over your ten fist. Jf )'Ou r opponent is of the sGmc

the South. Certain custo ms and regulations were devised .

school. a fiaht is thus avoided. Every Sh.aolin boxer obse rves

th is rccoannion custom

The Ten Commandments

These recutauons " "CtC e:uablisbed by Mook Chueh Yuan after abuses began to creep anto Shaofin. They aimed to put an ethteal floor under the system and to improve the dis·


I. A student must praetjoe without interruption.

2. 8oxina m be used only for tegitimate stl f defense .

3. Counesy and

prudence must be shown a ll teach ers :and


4. A s tu den t mus t be forever ki nd, ho nes t , a nd frie n dly

to a ll his collcogt.~es.

S. In travelina. a bOxer sho uld re f rain f rom showina his




collcogt.~es. a rt to the comm011 people even tO the e.xtent of reft.~sing c h.allcngcs. ().

a rt to the comm011 people even tO the e.xtent of reft.~sing c h.allcngcs.


7. Wine a nd meat must nevtr be taned.

SeAua l desirt cannot be permitted .


9 . Boxing should not be

A boxer n1ust neve r be bellicose.

ta ugh t rashly 10 non ·Bud dhists

lest it produce harm . h can only be transmitted to one Y ho

is gentle and merc1ful.

greed. and



bo'(cr must



to one Y ho is gentle and merc1ful. greed. and 10. A bo'(cr must ('5(hcw,·cness.
- bom~ a~ tht'mschr~


bom~ a~





Th e Technique

is not d iffi cul t to lenrn boxing but i t is ex tremely d ifficult

beco me expert. I have prac1iced for "29 years. tra\'cled

ex t e n sive l y. and me t sco r es or grc:1t booxe r s . Jn S h ens i.

Sha ntU11!. Hopei, Shnnsi. Honan, a nd SZ«hwan there a re

many proficient boxers. espcc.iolly in the Shensi 4 Shansi a nd

Shansi-Shantuns borderlands.

Ahhouj.h they teach in ditTertnt w!lys_ one can separate

the an into schools or the Nonh and of the South. Both

Nonb and South ha\'t eAcellent methods-rtathc-r should

be dcprteiau:d . Some bom~ a~ stilled in fing<r wor k . som•

in the q

to breathing. Stdl othcn: are :1dtpt at jumping

like a profu5-ion of ftov.c:n in full bloom. Sometimes one as p-uu.lcd by thtir myi:tcnous and inromprehensib1e ttth·

They look

an. while: Olhcf' devote tht'mschr~al.most solely

niques. One must ha\e a good teache r to lead him through

1his plethora.

When I meet a good boxer I wa l ch cl osel )' and find ou1

1he school l o whi ch he: belonas. I wncea l wha1 I kn ow so as

to elicit

l must obsc ( vc

on certain common pri nciples.

h1forrnntion from him. Afler years o f study.

thot mos t school s tllld tec:hniq ues are bused

figure 21. Ci rcli ng Ha nd The Footihold The posture- of the horse-rid i

figure 21.

Ci rcli ng Ha nd

The Footihold

The posture- of the horse-rid i ng stance was essentia lly the in t he North and South although dilferen t names were used. The foothold is important in that your dr'i is hdd in



your lower torso. If your be heavier, you wi ll pant,

In training f-or the foo thold you m ust hold your body low and your back strnight Do not surrender to t he pai n, sta nd- ing upright o flen to rel ieve yourself. Pe rs-iu and pu ni sh

ch' i fl oats, your upper body w ill

and yo ur feet will be u1mable .


Hold your head and neck straight and look

stroight ahead.

The Hand

Generally. finesse in the hand art .stems from W:trrior Yueh (Sung dynasty 1 A. D. 960- 1280}. In the North the long hand is stressed for great hand stre ngth . and in the South the)' prh~cthe short hand fo r p rotective purposes. In normal t••ai nirig the long ha nd is good for spread ing the ch' i , but in actua l combat the short hand is necessa ry. Th us you should harmonize the two.

are used for circular i ntcr·

cept ion whether f~onta ll )' or l ate r a ll y . F r oma ll y, if an enem)'

I. Circling H(Jnd. Both hands




f~onta ll )'

. !f.' ~~ . ·~ )f" . - ~ ) :~



aU3cks you, retreat directly backward a step to avoid hi.s

att3ck and immcdialcly sicp

ting out. Bec:tuse th is vcr.sion resembles the attack ofa mon-


fo rwa rd w it h your hands hi t -

it i:; ofte n ca ll ed M onkey Ha nd . La tera lly, you r c ircling

arms deflect his d irec.t auack to the side. This method re·

quires dexterit y and speed. (See Figure 21


2 !Rjlectlng Hand. Orle h a nd is used for wa rd ing off a n d

th e othe r for instantaneous attack. (Figure 22). rne chod s of deflection arc ill ustrated in Figu rc.s

Two other

23 and 24.

3. Separate Short-Long Droglln fland. The Nonhero

schoo l likes t h is .st)' le

speedily so tllat once your o pponent's bala nee is b roken he not be a iiOV<Cd to recove r and cou n1er (f igure 25).

4 . ScissQr Hand. Use one palm downward for deflecti ng

ve ry m uc h . H owever !> i t must be done

and the other upward to S(;issor the block ed fist or hand (Fi.gure 26). As you use it, turn you r body slightly sidewise

and keep your chest inward so as to avoid the pressure of the attack and also gi'·c yourself space to mo\'e in c(}unter-

ing. This method is effective in blu nt in g the enemy's attack

in open in g hi m up fo r you r co u nter. Once I met a first scls sol'$ spec.ia list in the Szechwan-K a rea. I hi m cross his ha nd s once and his adve rsary suffered a






F fge rre 1 2. IX "~ in g Hand

F fge rre 1 2. IX "~ in g Hand ' Dellttting Hand : Variatjo n


Dellttting Hand : Variatjo n

Pe "~~ iqg Ha n (~;


"~ in





Figurr l<f , Pe"~~iqg Ha n(~; Varia t io n



Flgure zs. Separate Short-Long Dra g Qil Han<t Figure )6. Scissor Hand 50 fi'.('II NI(J

Flgure zs.

Separate Short-Long Dra g Qil Han<t

Figure )6.

Scissor Hand

II A N I> 51
II A N I> 51
II A N I> 51
r;gur~ 17. Cuning Ha~ broken arm. The scit~r hand may cross at either the elbov.·

r;gur~ 17. Cuning Ha~

broken arm. The scit~rhand may cross at either the elbov.·


r the

" rist

of the opponent.

Varieties o f 1hc technique a re

to uSt


p.~lm sdownward

or upward.

S.'lg Jfnnd. T his is similar to the Scissor Hand. in

which bot h pa l m 11 a r e dow n wa r d. However , t he hands m ay

be e m ployed sii nsly at well as t oget h er. Whe n one h a 11d is

u)C(! it cuts ot the vita l points o f t he e-nemy. As i n the Scissor

I la nd. you cnn mobi lize greater strength ifyou sta nd laterally to your opponent. (See Figure 27.)

6. Upholdl nf1 Nand. U phold ing is do ne wi th the pal m

52 III ' IINkjUI




p.~lm s




p.~lm s scit~r r;gur~ Ha~ Figltrt 18 Upholdina Hand flatly upwtrd as i( )'OU \~.Crt holding

Figltrt 18

Upholdina Hand

flatly upwtrd as i( )'OU \~.Crt holding aplateinfront"hilethe ha11d hook5 the enemy's opposite hatld outward ( Fig·

ure 28). If deli,ertd 5martly. it can injure the enemy while

t he hookina: hand deftecu his subsequen.t attack and un· ba1anccs hjm,

7. Poinang Uoml. 111i s c:~tn be do ne by o ne finger or by

t e x ten sive wo r k

SC' ' c: r a l used cogc: thc:r (F igu r e 29). W itho u

jn cultiva ting ell' I. however, success will no t come. The orle-

flnger th,ust is t he mos t diffic ul t one. and onl y a few boxers

Fi ve years'

e ve r ga ined (ame fo r it. It is the zeni th or the art.



Fig~Jre 19 . Po int ing l~ and p racLice wilt n ot bring it.

Fig~Jre 19 . Po int ing l~ and

p racLice wilt n ot bring it. My teacher onoe to ld me that in th e K uc i c h ow· Y u rtnan area a man su rn a m ed Hu spent SO )'tars perfecting t hi s art . He was a c.onvoy guard for· 50mc opiu m sm ugg lcn and thus was able to trave l widely proving his at1 . J.le was over 70 when hired as a guard a nd was truly Once a score of armed hoodlums attacked him in a teahouK and Hu was able to dcftc:ct their weapons and dcreatlhtm soundly through sole use of the o ne! My teacher th1s h:appc-n and praised Hu's an a:s di'f"inc.

8 . R~strllitlh'g Ho,d. There are various ways of scWna

and •mpriso•un& the OI'J)Onent"s arms(F-.gures JO-JZ). Thcst u)uaUy include or are followed by an untxalanc:!n& xcion and :attack. Such techniques arc useful for bcginnen, but a.pinsl an ex pt.rienced boxer who can paralyze with one blow they avail not. Some there are. however, who have nude a great seience of thi.s. Hsiung Ch'ien·nan, a famous H11ichiang boxer, said before h is death tha t th is tacLi e was

peerless if o ne knew the precise location of the fa tal poi nts on a humon a nd knew the time when the blood passed cer- tain junc1ions. for over~ century this art has languished. aud few if any nrc masters of it today.

9. Gtueral Ad'li~tt. The eight hand met hods enumerated







l~ and

abo,·c are a mere: muoduction. Actually, a good boxer "ill nol be deterred by some of these. notably the Cutting Hand. I f two exce-llent boxers mec1, victory will be determined. by

victory wi ll

the ir ability to c-h.ange. If e<~usl on cha nges

h inge on agilit)•. If eq ual o n agility, victory will be decidtd

on ingenuity. 1r equtt l on Ingenu i ty.

tUle one with greater overa ll So you may rightl y ;ask : is

it necessary to learn the Cutting

Ha nd? Yes. for there nrc times when it i:s useful. It is espc· cia ll y use-fu l again1t u boxer who know s only th e hard a nd

then victory will go t o




Figure 3/. Restrajning Hand: Variation can not dist inguish t he soft. T his type

Figure 3/.

Restrajning Hand: Variation

can not dist inguish t he soft. T his type can be recognized be- cause he:

a. holds his fists too high and exposes the armpit(s).


exposing himself to inj ury.

c. stands without a horse-rid ing posture; in this wise he has as muc h stabil ity as a •om b.

b. withdraws his ann awkwa rd ly after an attack,

d. uses his tempe r and does not cont rol his a cti ons. such a oric the Cuning Hand cannot fail. But against

Figure 32. Re.strai ning Hand : Variation a veteran whose ac t io ns are

Figure 32.

Re.strai ning Hand : Variation

a veteran whose ac t io ns are this aCtion will not work.

too subtle for you to diagnose.

Here are some generol ru les fo r ha nd use .

.a. Deflec t and Upho ld. aga in st an a 11ac k r rom abo ve.

b. Usc a Cutting Hand against a }ow attack.

c . A Restrai ni ng Hand

is bes t used again st a horizo nta l


d. tr a u acked head-on

fiercely. oounter fie rcely b ut la t -

era11y rather than directly forward.

Fig11r~ JJ . W illow· Le af Pa lm e. Use yo ur c.nemy's st

Fig11r~ JJ .

W illow· Le af Pa lm

e. Use yo ur c.nemy's st rengt h to defeat h im. Vet .e.ra ns

say: "A st rtng:th of J.OOO pou nds can be repulsed with fo ur


f. If t he e nemy is strong a ttack la terally; if wea k, strike frontally.

you from behind. make a ho rse·

1'iding posture :"'nd bump your head against his nose. Failing

into hi s groin . Or inh a le, wo rk yo ur a rms

plexus. Bul th ese are fo r ch i'ld ren

be c-a ugh t in t his way . ha s ma ny varieties. At first learn

a little: of all. Laler choose one method as a specialty and

s.1me: you go

from t he ge nera l to t he s pecific . My teacher o ften sa id : ··T he

specia li (:e,

d e\'Otc: yourselr t o it. Academ ic resea rch is t he

g. If a n enemy grabs

this. b ri ng a heel loose. a nd e lbow

his solar

. a vetera n would neve!' In su m, hand operation

simpler the method. the better it is. " After )' O U

s p u rn t h e: ot he r va r ieties . Stick t o th e one

and peri<:ction will come.

with cons~a ncy

The Palm

the pal m. T hey

stressed the close combi natio n of the fo ur fi •lge rs with th e thumb cu rved and attached 10 the pal m edge in the Willow

T he Norther n schoo l made great use of

58 Jl;(' ltNIIJtlh


Fig11r~ cons~a ncy figure 34. Ti ge-r's Claws Pa:lm eaf t Pal m (f igure


cons~a ncy

figure 34.

Ti ge-r's Claws Pa:lm

eaf t

Pal m (f igure 33). Mon k Pa n Hui~s met hod was to

hook th e' fou r fi ngers in Ihe so -ca ll c:(l

34) . Th is was the s tyle wh ich became pOJ"ul ar in the South.

T he two methods mob ili ze strength fi'OI'I'Il t he palm outward.

ad\' ice

of Yueh Wu· mu (Sung dynasly), famed for his two-hand pushing. The ch'i must d ispe rse fro m t he s houl ders and be cc:n l r a lized in the pa lms . The bes.t ta rget is Lh e r ib cage (F igu re 35), but there a re many Qthers (Figures 36 a nd 31).

Tiger's C laws (figure

center of the:

To lea rn how to use t he pal ms we must heed lhe

Flgur' 35. Palm Attack to Rib Cage You can usc either one palm alone or

Flgur' 35.

Palm Attack to Rib Cage

You can usc either one palm alone or both palms conjoined. but yo u m ust attack at the right ti me.

Monk Pan

Hu i learned

the palm method for over 2()

)'ears. Hi s teaching is embod ied in t he fo ll owing verse :

Ch'i goes. from th e St re ngth -cc nlcrs in

In the substantial your strength is found. Ex h :tlc ~i-r w h il e maki n g :l sou nd . Upward p ushing is necessary;

navel part.

the palm heart ;

60 II C'll~ll)l!t





~i-r C'll~ll)l!t Fi~iiYi' 16. Palm AU~ck t o G r o i n Figure JJ. Pllm

Fi~iiYi' 16. Palm AU~ck

to Groin

Figure JJ.

Pllm Attack to Ears

Pressing with

Re me mber A ttacki ng, Push ing, and Bl o wi ng (Ex hali ng) ,

T he bones

a h orse step, p rimary.

nea r yo ur pulses are- forcefully going.

"The palm

usc ofi the fingers. After

s hoo ti ng your fi nge rs to t he e nemy's th roat, p ress the b.1se of your palm d o wn fla t. W hen yo u feel yo ur s trength focused in t he pa lm aga ins t his right spo t. you Jet your palm go w ith

once operatio n first depends o n the

Boxer T 'ich

Cha l-shih

c-om me nted:

fu ll st rengt h as yo u exha le wi th a s hoult . But th is is a da n· gerou$ method. 0 1lly use it in a n emergency.··

The Wrist a nd Elbow

My teac her to ld me: "Exercise wh ich <foes not i m·o lve the e ntire body is ha rmfu l. To ove rexerc ise one part in itia ll y can

be in ju r ious . Therefo re. deal wit h. !h e w ho le body an d the n

specialize. Even when yo u s ccomp lish t'he w hole d on ' t neg· lect it in favo r of ovcrspec-ia liuuio n 0 11 one part.·· The practi ce o n wri:;ts and elbows belo ngs to t he Scissor !-land ( Figures 38 and 39). The stre ngth from u nder you r a rmpits is equally d iv id ed. Keep irl mind t wo t hJngs:



Flgur' 38. Elbow Attack ' ~ ~ I. Usc your elbow S\\fiftly so as to

Flgur' 38.

Elbow Attack




I. Usc your elbow S\\fiftly so as to negate yo ur enemy's defense.

2. Don't go too high wi th your elbow or you will provide

a vi ta l opening. Teac-her Y uch Ch'iu-s hih once said: "W hen you reac-Jt the stage in w hich every bone is d ivine, your blood a nd spi rit

go as freely as a d ragon o r a tiger. The two centel'$ of your

foot soles correspond with

the centers o f the palms. Exha-

lation and strength go together."

62 n! ni NI(JU .





~ •· i ~ ;. Figurt 39. E.lbow Attack : Variation The Foot I n 1hc


i ~


Figurt 39.

E.lbow Attack : Variation

The Foot

I n 1hc usc or t h e fe-et - a n d t h ere a r c hu :ndrcd s or m et h ods

- t h e admonit i ons of t h e C~lrlicst mas t ers h old. T h e feet sllould be employed steahhily and speedily. Counters must

b e anticipated. Though low kicks are the· best, occasionally

a higher kick may be in o rder. Seldotn, h.owever. does it go



high as the head. The fet t sho ul d always be used in

con -


u nc ti on wi th the

ha nds a

nd p referably in a cou nterin s her than a leading ro le. Soc Figures 4~3 for exa mples

o f various foot techniques.

The Posture

The foothold and ha nd and palm excn:ises may take up

SO co 60

body as a unit is the brid ge betwee n t his practice and high

s;kill. First you learn t he proper way to ad vance. re treat . rise .

T he various body pos-

tures are explained in such styles as th e Dragon, Tiger.

Leopard , Snake, and Crane, which )'OU can master through diligent s t ud y an d practi ce-. Id eas co m mon to bo th Nonh

and South are d iscussed briefl y

a nd s i nk. Gradually, agi li ty comes.

percent of your time i ni t ia lly. T he c.orrec t use of the


I. Ad~·andng ond Re1rearlng.

T o ad\•a. nce or retreat is a


Ftgutt JO.



Fw t Anac:k

F;gur, 41.

Foot Anac: k : Varia hon

movement~ th~ \•an~



, ,,~,"""

f(gwf 41.

Varia tton

r oot Aua