The Song of Substance and Function

  1. Tàijíquán, – the thirteen postures.
    The marvel lies in the nature of qì; yin and yáng.
  2. It changes into infinity and returns to the one.
    Returns to the one, tàijíquán.
  3. The two primary principles (yin and yáng)
    and four manifestations are without boundary.
    To ride the wind, the head is suspended at the crown, from above.
  4. I have words for those who can understand:
    “If the yongquan (bubbling well) has no root, or the yao (waist) has no control, lifelong
    practice will be in vain”.
  5. There is no secret about the substance and function, they interrelate.
    The only way is to let the wide and flowing qì extend into the fingers.
  6. Always remain in central equilibrium during péng (ward-off), lu (roll-back), ji (press),
    àn (push), (pluck), liè (split), zhou (elbow-strike) and kào (lean-on), and also when
    stepping forward, sitting backward, looking left, looking right, and staying centred.
  7. Neutralising without neutralising, yielding without yielding.
    Sit back before you move forward.
  8. When the body is like a cloud, the whole body functions as the hands.
    The hands are not the [only] hands.
  9. The mind must always remain aware.