Lion’s Roar Kuen Ging Theories on Fist Fighting By Ng Siu Jong

Prologue (Self-Exposition)

Confucius taught people with the six arts (rituals, music, archery, chariot-riding, the classics, and mathematics), emphasizing both literary matters and military preparation.  The way of fist-fighting technique is the handed-down techniques of archery and chariot-riding and the like.  In my free time I investigate their meanings.  The shallow, easy ones are not out of the designation of numbers.  The deep ones are in the realization of the Tao.  The designation of numbers seeks changes to the extreme and therefore is laborious on the outside body.  Tao holds out the bases of the pure essence and therefore is conceived from within.  Hence, Tao and designation numbers may have different interests, but the outside and the inside are the same.  When two pieces of wood drill each other, fire will be lit; when metal and fire hold one another, melting will occur.  Things circulating supplement one another, and uses thus come out of it (arise).  In this way how could there be any difference in Tao and the designation of numbers.  The Mind is the foundation of Tao, and measures and propriety are the beginnings of the designation of numbers.  Therefore, although fist-fighting technique stresses the Mind, it cannot take measures and propriety lightly.  The situation of supplementary effect is the natural principle.  The origin and basis is the Mind, together with the sages’ giving instruction in the void, formlessness, the empty, the solid, the wax and the wane, all filling up the space between heaven and earth, linking the past and the present.  The metal attacking it (the basis, the Mind) it becomes even stronger; the fire burning it, it will not change, the so-called learning of Nature and Fate (life), would it not be the same?  In its measures it is like water which is the most yielding.  Throwing things into it, there is nothing that cannot penetrate.  There is nothing stronger than water; it can hold a mountain and contain a mount; the boiling waves and the great wilderness are nothing (not) deeper than water.  The great swamps and the enormous oceans, their depth cannot be estimated.  Fullness cannot be compared to water.  Strike it hard with a sword, it cannot be severed; cut it with a knife, yet it still flows.  Therefore the skillful ones would control the extremely changeable measures by the pure essence – Mind.  This is the meaning of fist-fighting technique.

 

I, by nature, like reading and writing, and I especially like to dabble in the martial arts, observing techniques from the four corners of the world, knowing that each has its own nature(;) methods and applications also differ.  Nature is Tao; methodology is the numbers (i.e., the changeable postures and forms.)  A drifting weed has its basis in water and a tree has its basis (root) in soil.  This is their nature, and also their Tao.  If a crab is employed to catch mice and a toad to catch (a) flea, not only their nature cannot obtain its proper way, but also their number(s) (methods and movements) cannot be used.  Therefore if the number is desired to be employed, it cannot desert the Tao.  With what I had learned before, I sought instruction from master Wong Hai Fung.  Grass must bend when the wind blows (an ordinary man will bow to a better or superior man.)  The master said:  “You have not yet come to know Tao and the designation numbers.  Nature taken as the body, this is the designation number amid Tao.  You use your Mind in manoeuvering the application (of the number); This is the Tao within the designation number.  When the number and the Tao merge, then the skill will be complete.  If you do not keep it up, your skill will be slackened and dispersed.  If you attack a live tiger as though it were dead, and face a dead tiger as if it were alive, then your Mind will be prevented from taking a thing lightly, and your skill will be fully expressed without any remaining hidden (unused or suppressed.)  Here, when there is a shield I talk about a shield, and when there is an arrow I talk about an arrow.  I am not over-emphasizing the important meaning of Tao and the designation number.  However, what cannot be neglected is the full utilization of the principle and its application, though I am not trying to blur the way of educating people and aim at being (teach them to be) fierce and cruel.  One cannot be careless about the thousand gold pieces; a dam can be demolished by ant holes.  Therefore, humbleness, gentleness, and tolerance are the bases.  The true gentleman should take heed about these qualities and (apart from these pieces of advice) there is no other teaching.”

 

When the master passed away I dared not be self-contented.  Again, upon the recommendation of Wu Tzu Chung, a Taoist, I received instruction from master Chu Tzu Yao.  With gratitude (to him) and deep relationship, I was shown the essential gist necessary for mastery.  The master said: “Tao is in the void; when there is no movement, it is quiet.  When there is any slight motion it will turn.  This is called the actualization of the Principle.  The actualization of the Principle has no cause (it just comes into being) and is called the miracle-working power.  When you return, our way (his teaching and instruction) will go south.”

 

With such sincere admonition and advice from my two masters, how could I hide in the famous mountains and store in the high palaces the achievement of my instructions’ lifetime work, letting it submerge in endless time!  (Down through the) generations, if there is a person who will pass on the skill, the skill will not rot through the thousand years.  This is what the masters eagerly expect.

 

Carefully I gathered the way of instruction and advice from my two masters and formed this text of thirty-two chapters, three essays and questions and answers to several items, dividing them into the upper part and the lower part.  The last three essays are texts.  For the two masters, in this way I have the purpose of broadening the school and perpetuating the technique.  For those who are fond of fighting techniques, my work is like a wild vegetable submitted by an uncivilized man.  With the above idea I write this prologue.

 

BOOK  ONE

 

CHAPTER 1                                        INTRODUCTION

 

The Way (Tao) of Heaven and Earth arises out of ‘unattachedness’ (no clinging, no anchorage) which is chaotic (like the state of chaos at the beginning of the Universe), and therefore it is boundless.  Drifting and swinging, it is like (a) void or emptiness.  It seems to be inconceivable but actually it is the beginning of reality, and reality arises out of the Mind.  When reality arises, the Way will be established.  When the Way is established, the form is conceived.  Therefore the Mind cannot be discarded.  When the Mind is discarded, the Tao is destroyed.  Then, although the form (or body) is there, it is like a corpse.

 

The Mind should never be attached to anything and (the) application of actions should never lodge on anything, for the Tao of Heaven and Earth (Nature) is inexhaustible.  (If the Mind is attached, it will be confined.)  Therefore, it is said that a well-defined sentence can never find any criticism and a sentence with very broad meaning can never be pinpointed.  If one could relax and road in between these two extremes, one can rule over any situation.  This is called holding the central power (“controlling the central commanding position” – Mung).

 

CHAPTER 2                                        Mind – 1

 

Lao Tzu said, “After obtaining the One (unity; completeness), Heaven becomes clear.  The Earth obtains the One and becomes peaceful.  The Spirit obtains the One and becomes agile and flexible.  The ten thousand things obtain the One and become alive.”  [Tao The Ching, ch. 39].  Great and complete is this saying.  Guarding the One, the same way can be applied to the ten thousand things; grasping the One, a person can face the ten thousand things (without any trouble or problem.)  This is the root of the Way.  Being and non-being give rise to each other; the difficult and the easy complement each other; the long and the short measure one another; the high and the low overhang (“overcome” – Mung) each other; the front and the back follow one another.  All these are linked by the One.  This is how the Way applies its functioning according to the nature of things.  The so-called One is just the “pure essence” (the state of no-thingness) which is the experience and proof of the state of Mind.  Therefore, the main point is to concentrate on the one “pure essence”.  If the Mind is in such a state, one would not lose his central power, and all relativity of being and non-being, strong and weak, submerged and apparent, will be recognized as one (“When keeping the Oneness, you would not be unable to recognize the strong and the weak, the submerged (unclear) and the clear.” – Mung

 

Mind – 2               “Mind Controls the Technique”

 

The Great Way(Tao) has no physical traces but its virtues always make things anew.  The greatest art has no form, but the method of such art is always there.  How do we know that the method is always there?  Although one the outside there is no form the inside still has the Mind.  If the Mind is there, the technique is there.  When we use the Mind as the form, we know that the method or technique is always there.

 

But how do I know that the heart exists?  The technique is the application of the hundred bodies (i.e., the limbs and different organs) and the Mind is the lord of the hundred bodies.  When the hundred bodies apply the technique, they all listen to the command of the Mind.  Although the hundred bodies have not yet employed the technique in application, the Mind has already solemnly prepared to face the situation and soothingly get into the situation.  Now that the mind is stirred into motion, although the body has not yet applied itself to the matter (thereby manifesting technique) the technique is there (in potential form) ready for use.  The technique and the Mind are (both) there.  Depending on how the situation changes, the Mind will master over it.

 

Mind – 3               “Confidence and Mind

 

When the Tai Mountains collapse in front of you and your countenance does not even change (turn pale), it is because the mastering Mind has acquired full stability (“your Heart [Mind] has confidence” – Mung).  There, if the mastering Mind can secure the One, then you will see the big as small, and receive the small as big; equate the strong with the weak, and face the weak as strong.  Inside (your Mind) – there is nothing to fear, but always be on the alert; outside – you are like not seeing anything, but in fact, very observant.  Do not be negligent because it is easy; do not be timid because you are weak.  One should be wide open like the form of heaven, and boundless like the path of longitudes and latitudes.  In this way, when let go, all dimensions will be encompassed and there is nothing that can be said to be great [greater?].  When rolled up, the smallest and densest will be concealed and there is nothing that can be called small [smaller?].  Nothing big, nothing small – all is contained in the Mind.  Therefore, the sages raise up the Mind for the ten thousand things.

 

(“When the Tai Mountain collapses in front of you and yet you do not turn pale, it is because your Heart has confidence.  Therefore, if your Heart’s confidence can keep its Oneness, you can look at the big and the small in the same light; you can receive the powerful and the weak in the same way; you can behave in the same manner in the weaker position as if you are in the stronger position.  You do not have fear inside, and yet you would always be on the alert.  You would not take something lightly because it appears to be easy; you would not be afraid because you are in the weaker position.  When you expose your art from the Heart, nothing can be greater (stronger) than you; when you wrap up the art in your Heart, nothing can be smaller (weaker) than you.  The art exists in the Heart.” – Mung).

 

Mind – 4               “Mind during Practice”

 

The generative forces of Heaven and Earth fill the atmosphere.  Its turning forms the mother of the ten thousand things.  When it congregates in the human body, filling smoothly every part, the person will be mild and peaceful.  This is the valuable part and is different from those ordinary and superficial things.  However, the hundred uses of everything all depend on the Mind.  We do not value the ‘Air’ (Chi) which is difficult to obtain, but we value the Mind which is easy to lose.  When the Mind is lost, the vital element of a person is lost and the Air in a person will be dissolved.  When the Air is dissolved, the different parts of the body will be slack.  Therefore, the Mind should be held very carefully in the same manner as we would grasp and hold secure a precious pearl in our palm.  The Mind should lie hidden, as in a deep pool, stabilizing the whole body yet itself not moving.  This is called the heavenly lord of inner strength.  (“The Heart with such an endowment of Air should be kept inside our body for the formation of inner power (noi gung).” – Mung).

 

Mind – 5               “Confronting the Enemy”

 

When one’s Mind is wandering about [“galloping” – Mung] or one’s thought is entangled (“floating around without principles” – Mung) or when one’s Mind is inclined to one thing, one will be deceived by false advantageous situation.  This is a result of the distraction of the Mind, and the Mind being snatched away by things.  This is like riding at night blindfolded and consequently losing one’s direction.  It is not the wrong direction that disabled us, but the mind, which robbed us of our sense of direction.  When the Mind robs itself (of the) senses, then Air will be unstable.  The Mind is like the form and the Air is like the shadow (of the form).  If the form is in confusion, the shadow will not be stable.  In terms of the martial arts, there is no worry greater than this.  (“When your heart lacks concentration, you will be in a state of rashness.  This is the greatest danger concerning all forms of the art of fighting.” – Mung).

 

CHAPTER 3                        Spirit – 1

 

There is a thing which is so vast that its Quality is not known.  No matter how it is defined, its physical existence is not revealed.  It is named ‘Spirit’.  A precious sword lying in a case gives out brightness comparable to that of a big candle.  A valuable pearl in a box (radiates light) to the four corners of a room.  The brightness they give out is not tangible but it is attached to the real object.  It is the same with Spirit.  It is intangible, but it is there and functioning.  When the Mind is able to concentrate, Air would automatically fill itself.  When the Mind and Air intermix in a fine state, the hundred bodies will be soothed.  This is the most favorable time for the Spirit to be totally bathed in its natural state (“When the Heart and the Air are in intercourse, they would give rise to the Spirit.” – Mung).  It reveals itself like excellent wine in a jar with its fragrance permeating everywhere.  The fragrance is not the wine, but the wine is there to give out the fragrance.)

 

Spirit­ ­ ‑ 2

 

The spirit sails as if in empty space.  It is solemn and hidden as though covered by snow and frost.  It lies submerged like a resting dragon.  It jumps like a roaring lion.  It can be as (bright and) fierce as fire, and can sink under water.  Therefore, when not in motion, it has no form.  But once in action, it is very vigorous.  It is not necessary to raise the limbs and move the body, but it is more than adequate to deter the

different things (e.g., your opponent) at a distance.  This is likened to the precious pearl of a vigorous dragon[1] and the horn of a unicorn[2] ‑ the most precious thing among the ten thousand.

(“The Spirit when it is submerged is like the resting of a dragon; when it comes up to the surface it is like the roaring of a lion.  It can be as bright and ferocious as fire; it can also be as unobvious as something submerged deep in the water.  When the actions are accompanied by the Spirit, they can be many times more powerful.  If your art is endowed with the Spirit, you can easily defeat ordinary beings without the full functioning of your limbs and body.  Therefore, the Spirit to the Art (of White Crane Kung-Fu) can be compared to the precious pearl of the dragon1 and the horn of the unicorn2.  They are the most precious things among all the beings.” – Mung.

 

CHAPTER 4                        Will  ‑  1

 

The employment [or actual use] of the Mind is called intention or Will.  The enforcement of Will is called awareness (“The exercising of the Will is the action.” – Mung).  The Mind is the Master, Will is the assistant, and awareness is the executor (“The outward exposition of the Heart and the Will is by actions.” – Mung.)  The pure essence of the Way is called intelligence (“The core of the art of lighting is called wisdom (‘Wei’ – it is a certain stage or level one reaches.)” – Mung.)  Therefore the Mind is the root of intelligence, Will is the trunk of intelligence and awareness is the functioning of intelligence (“… and the) action is the channel through which Wei comes out.” – Mung).  The above and the below all comply with the order which is distributed through all the hundred bodies like the postal system (“Each of them carries out its functions inside all the organs.” – Mung.)  Therefore, when it is desired to be hard, it is hard; when it is desired to be soft, it is soft.  The inside and the outside are as if they were one – the same; the bigness and the smallness have no form.  Only that which masters the Will can take control.

 

Will  -  2

 

An insane man is at a loss because his clarity of mind cannot be guarded.  This is called the Mind being robbed by outer things.  When robbed by things, the Mind is inclined to motion (mental turbulence).  At the same time, the Will shares the feelings of the Mind and not being able to see things clearly, it would be at a loss.  Then, accordingly, things would lose their weight (due to the subjective mind).  To lift a heavy weight like a feather, this is not the strength of the body.  It is the Will which has felt and obtained (the) strength from the Mind and Spirit.  Therefore, one who is good at getting strength would consolidate the Air and steady the Will.  This is because strength originates from the Mind; it is the Will that carries it out.  When the Mind is strong, the Will would be sturdy; once sturdy, it (Will? strength?) will then be great.

 

CHAPTER 5                        Air  ‑ 1

 

The blue sky (heaven) is big and round and the Air is like a beam (a means of supporting it).  The earth is like a wheel and it is turned by the Air.  The six dimensions or directions (above, below, right, left, front back) are not in disorder; it is only air that can maintain the (in their proper places).  The hundred organs of the body, what are they filled by?  It is also this Air (the organs are filled by Air).  If you want to fill (your organs) with Air, how do you store (or accumulate) it?  If you are about to store Air, how do you keep (maintain) it or nourish it?  Therefore, one should be good in nourishing Air before one keeps it.  When one is able to keep Air, one will be able to fill oneself with Air.  One must be able to fill oneself with Air before one can make it fit the hundred organs.  When the hundred organs are fit (filled?) then they can (be in) function.  In Ancient times it was said that to accumulate health was to be strong.  If (the quantity of) Air is not adequate, they body cannot be strong (or healthy).  If the body is not healthy, one would not be good enough to be a strong and stately man.  Therefore, there is value in being able to maintain (or accumulate) the Air, especially in good nourishment and upkeeping.  But harm lies in not properly keeping the Air.

 

Air  ‑  2

 

The ancients said that to listen with the ears is less preferable than to listen with the Mind but to listen with the Mind is less preferable than to listen with (the) Air.  This is so because what the ear feels is the real thing (sound waves; [a form which can be sensed]), what the Mind feels is empty [formless], (in contrast to something real, something which can be grasped [by the senses]), and what the Air feels is the Spirit, the aura (of the thing).  Even though the hundred organs may be as tiny and fine as hair on the skin, they are all filled and strengthened by Air.  It is because Air was no space in between itself that it is skillful in feeling and versatile (very sensitive and swift in response).  What it (Air) calls listening is feeling.  Thus Air should be before [precede in importance] the Mind and body.  Therefore Air feels before the Mind, and to ‘listen with Air’ is the utmost part of feeling.

 

CHAPTER 6                        Strength  ‑  1

 

The greatest strength is that which comes all of a sudden and appears to have come from nowhere.  If a person can exert his strength this way, no one can resist him.  A piece of land may be extensive and wide, yet a gust of wind will uproot a tree there.  A great lake may be (calm) like a mirror, but sudden waves can overturn boats.  This is to maneuver sudden strength from the unknown.  This strength enables one to attack his opponent when the latter is unprepared.  In the case of the waves, the strength is proportional to the speed they travel.  Those who know how to let go at the right moment all stress this point, which is called the strength of waves.

 

Strength  ‑  2

 

Kun Lun is the ancestor of all mountains, and the sea is the gathering place of the hundred rivers.  The arising of bodily strength lies in the bones and sinews, and these in turn are drawn together at the waist (i.e., swing out from the waist).  Therefore, the waist should be the mother (of strength).  However, the gathering of strength depends [is a function of] Air.  Therefore, Air should be the father [of strength].  After knowing its [mother and father] Yin and Yang, and where strength arises [form], then ease out your force as strength, and let the strength form a forceful situation.  This in turn becomes a critical point.  A critical point is the tiniest thing in the world.  If one is able to be prepared for the critical point, he has reached the Way in this world.

 

Strength  ‑  3

 

A person is powerful not because he has greater strength than others but because he knows how to use his strength.  The way he releases his strength is towards all sides.  That is why he defeats those who release their strength in a straight line.  The more one releases strength on all sides, the more powerful one becomes.  ‘Being on all sides’ does not mean ‘being crooked’.  It means gathering strength from all sides and attacking the opponent swiftly, taking the most appropriate route, whether it be crooked or not.  There are six ways to issue strength:

 

1)                   to swallow (withdraw strength)

2)                   to spill out (push forward)

3)                   to float up

4)                   to sink down

5)                   to go to the left

6)                   to go to the right

 

If a person can gather strength from more sides and release all simultaneously, this is called turning strength.  This can be compared to driving in a screw.  It is necessary to turn the head round and round [for the screw to go in].  The force will be swung out to [make the screw] cut in.  This is turning strength.

 

CHAPTER 7                        Nature and Naturalness  -  1

 

The exercising of a skill should depend on one’s natural physique.

 

To practice the technique of fist-fighting according to Heaven’s gift is the key.  In the Way, the frame of the person concerned will not be deformed while the essence of fist-fighting is attained.  When a person can do so, he has reached the stage of harmony (i.e., his physique harmonizes well with the art of fist-fighting).  Following that, the other parts of his body will function well.  Orders from the Mind will be carried out smoothly and efficiently.  The Way stops when harmony is reached{???}

 

Nature and Naturalness  ‑  2

 

[One’s} Nature should be taken as the measure of applying the skill.

 

Heaven and Earth turn according to Nature.  The sun and the moon revolve according to Nature.  The ten thousand things come into life according to Nature.  Rules and measures can function according to Nature.  When a person’s posture is contrived it loses its naturalness.  Although strength may have been issued, the work exerted will [be] doubled and the [potential] effect only half achieved.  The talk on Nature is even before the Way of Heaven.  Only the skillful ones can realize its mystery, and [they] attribute it to nothing [no-thing].

 

Nature and Naturalness  -  3

 

Variations in technique should use naturalness as a guideline.

 

The technique which is natural enables a person to move in a suitable way so that, not only is he safe inside and out, he also feels peaceful and calm without worry.  He can distinguish what is advantageous and safe, or disadvantageous and dangerous.  He moves forward, backward, and sideways in an appropriate order.  He has reached the stage of harmony and has power beyond comprehension.  Therefore, being natural means congruency with the way [Way] of Nature and being in harmony with the situation concerned.  This is called motion attaining appropriateness.

 

CHAPTER 8                        The Nature of Things

 

Shields defend, spears attack, fish swim, hawks fly; each has its own nature [or characteristics].  Without their nature they would not have been what they are.  This also applies to the techniques of the martial arts.  A cautious person stresses the technique of defending himself, while the adventurous type is more inclined to attacking.  Those who use long weapons are not skillful in using short ones; those who use short weapons are clumsy in using long ones.  Those who stress attention on the front neglect the back; those who emphasize the back will take the front lightly.  Some take the crooked way to counteract the straight; and the straight does not serve the crooked.  Different schools have different principles, and they all strive to uphold their principles.  Therefore, the principles cannot be lost.  If lost, the measures (of a technique) will be in confusion.  If one is able to lay his foundation on the principles so as to push forward till the end (i.e. persistent all through), then that is the perfect way.  There is a certain principle behind the fact that rulers can be used to draw squares and compasses can be used to draw circles.  This principle also indicates the nature of these drawing instruments.  Being able to understand the basic nature of things is like having a strong natural physical endowment.  Being able to improve upon this nature is like healthy growth after birth.  Therefore, it is the nature of the type of technique concerned, which determines its form.  (By) improving  (upon) this basic form, many patterns can be developed.  This is also the way the sages developed their philosophy.  Therefore, the basic nature of things should never be overlooked and developments must also be made upon [from] it.

 

CHAPTER 9                        Form

 

A ruler or a pair of compasses can make measurements because each of them has its own particular form.  A form possesses its own nature and thus enables the functioning of itself [by means of the form].  The nature of a pair of scissors is to cut; therefore it takes the form of two blades.  The nature of an axe is to chop; consequently it takes the form of a single edge.  All things take their form according to their nature.  A form without its nature is like a ruler without a measurement scale or a weighing machine without its scale, having only their empty forms without [a] functional effect.  A square is to contain, and a circle is to turn, each taking its form according to its nature.  In this way a sail, an oar, and a rudder all have their own particular form which is closely connected to their nature.  The patterns of fist-fighting take their form according to matching the body, hands and steps.  Forms may be different, yet their submission to [their] [N]ature is the same.  The sameness, which within itself has some differences, still does not lose its sameness.  In this way the rule of the form is well understood.

 

CHAPTER 10                      Functioning

 

Everything takes its own particular form before it can function.  The function of a thing is intangible, but the effect produced is there.  Function arises out of form; therefore, the intangible function is the servant of the form, which is concrete.  A wheel one foot in diameter can cover thousands of miles; this is form in function [i.e. the functioning of form].  Those who are skillful in making use of function do not find the effect in form (but in the function itself).  .  The Way is great and extensive, and cannot be traced.  It is like tasting honey which does not have the qualities of the hundred flowers, but has the taste of the hundred flowers.  The difference is that it has undergone the process of change and assimilation.  Although it is from a form (the flowers), it does not take the resemblance of the form that produces it.  This is called taking in the raw basic material and spewing out the refined.

 

CHAPTER 11                      Self-confidence

 

To know others is wise; to know oneself is enlightenment.  To be confident is fruitful and determined.  If one knows oneself, one would feel confident.  Confidence enables one to eliminate worries, fears and overjoyed (i.e. excessive emotions).  Worries will not lead to changes.  Fears will not lead to advancement.  Strong emotions will not lead to consolidation.  These elements all intimidate our Will and deflate our Air.  They are of no use [to the aspiring student].  Therefore, one should have self-confidence.  Feelings of inferiority destroy one’s strength.  Be courageous, and vigor will [be the] result.  Then you will feel strong at heart and have full swing of breath to face any hard fighting.  All parts of one’s body will be functioning to their full capacity.  You will be able to conquer the strength of your opponent because you snatch him with courage.  From this we realize the blessing of self-confidence.

 

BOOK  TWO

 

CHAPTER 12                      Reason (Principle)

 

Method, to the art of fist-fighting, is like the ten thousand things to the great Earth; there is nowhere it would not grow (i.e. method is everywhere applicable).  Principle to the method of fist-fighting is like the primal Air in between Heaven and Earth.  It encloses the biggest and contains the smallest.  It is everywhere – in the great mountains, in the big oceans, in the hair, fungi, and weeds.  Although the ten thousand things keep changing, they cannot go beyond the limit of the primal Air.  Although method changes for ten thousand times, it cannot go beyond the limit of principle.  For principle used as a measure, from the point where strength is being used, combined with the point where strength is issued from, there is a time when breath is to be taken so as to coordinate the movements and obtain a balance.  When the central Mind is at peace, there is no misdeed that cannot be corrected.  Therefore, method is to respond to the inevitable way, and principle is to pick out its inevitability.  In this way, with five inches distance, one can cover all the space under Heaven.

 

CHAPTER 13                      Rules (Method)

 

Method, to the body (physical body?  All specific methods as one body?), is the master, the main principle.  Application of the method is the mother.  Because, what is derived out of oneself is the body.  The way to maneuver the body is the method.  What is directed towards the enemy is [the] application [of the method].  Therefore, the body, the application, the outside, and the inside are all prevailed by method.  Only when one talks (of) method, it is about its body and application.  Float a piece of bamboo on water, but [you] cannot make it sink.  Throw a pearl on a tray, but you cannot stop it from spinning.  The pearl would run left and right like a wheel, being pushed, pulled, let go and drawn.

 

CHAPTER 14                      Attack and Defence  ‑  1

 

In numbers there are odd and even numbers.  In Air, there are elements of Yin and Yang.  The odd and the even interchange a primal image is formed.  The Yin and the Yang intermix in harmony, and the hundred kinds (of everything) are fostered.  In the art of fist-fighting there are odd ways and proper ways.  When the odd and proper ways enhance and produce one another the methods and measures (for such art) would be achieved.  This is the change and harmony of Yin and Yang, the odd and the even (i.e. they can change and intermix).  The proper can be turned into odd and the odd can be changed into the proper.  The proper and the odd interchange accordingly just like the uncertainty of empty and solid (unreal and real).  Therefore, strike on the attacker but do not attack, not letting the other person take the first move, that is the essence of defence.  Guard your defence but do not defend, not taking the move later than the other person, that is the secret essence of defence [attack?}  Taking the appropriate measure, then the meaning and the task of attack and defence would be performed to the utmost.

 

Attack and Defence  -  2  (Attack)

 

Those who are skillful in battle are for certain not avaricious.  They could yield to the easy and lead the enemy to a strategic point.  To attack the strong with the weak, there is nothing better than inviting the enemy to the strategic points.  Consider carefully the circumstances and observe the situation.  Measure the empty and the solid (i.e. find out the unreal and the real possibilities in the situation).  Attack beyond their expectation (i.e. a surprise attack) and take advantage of their ill-preparation.  The technique in subduing the enemy would necessarily be stressed on surprise attack and take advantage of a situation.  If your attack is performed well on your enemy, then you will be more than adequate to defend yourself.  If your attack does not reach well to your enemy then your defence will not be preserved.  Therefore, defence is closely attached to attack.  To attack is what you defend yourself with.  To attack without taking a defence stance but attack on what you are being attacked, this is the method of stabilizing the inner part but having victory on the outside part.  Having many soldiers with hard, strong armour and sharp weapons, when the enemy presses hard on the territory, if one does not lead (or invite) the enemy to strategic points and swiftly attack beyond their expectation, would one (be stupid enough to) wait for a metal (gold) city wall and boiling moat to be built to self-consolidate oneself?  Therefore, in facing an enemy, stress should be on attack.

 

Attack and Defence  -  3  (Defence)

 

Great defence (or the one who is very skillful in defence) would not (always) take the defence line, and therefore there is defence.  Little or small defence (or the one who always takes the defence line) would have to spend much strength to defend, and therefore it is not defence (i.e. being too passive, being attacked all the time).  ‘To defend’ does not lie in defence but in self-consolidating one’s position or stabilizing oneself.  For if one is able to stabilize one’s position, he has reached the utmost possible state of defence.  The snake on Cheng Mountain, when being attacked on the head, its tail would react to respond to come to the head’s rescue; when being attacked on the tail, the head would react to rescue the tail; when attacked in the middle, then both the head and the tail would respond to rescue that part.  Only when one is able to react and respond, then one will be able to stabilize oneself and this is the utmost skill in defence.  Therefore, defence lies in being able to react or respond well.

 

CHAPTER 15                      Ruthlessness  (Chan)

 

In eliminating the weeds, one has to do a conscientious job in fulfilling his duty.  In shooting a tiger one must kill it.  If weeds were not cleared (properly) they would revive.  If a tiger is (only) wounded, it could bite back.  Therefore, (no matter) in fighting an elephant or a hare, a lion would use its full strength.  When the hundred parts (i.e. every part) of the body are extended or stretched (i.e. every part of the body is coordinating in action) the capacity (of a person) would then be operating in full.  That is the meaning of being careful and cautious, and would not let loose (underestimate) the enemy.  One should know that in a loose moment the force (or position) of the enemy can be revived.  Therefore, there is no greater loss than in letting loose the enemy.  Only when one is careful is he not letting loose the enemy.  After not letting loose the enemy, then one can perform any extermination (of the enemy) under Heaven.  In doing so, it is called cruelty or ruthlessness.

 

CHAPTER 16                      To Evade  (Syim)

 

The body being in a balance, proper condition is called full.  The body being narrow and leaning towards one side is called sharp or pointed.  Turning on sides and at the same time interchanging with slanting the body is called “setting into motion”.  When a vessel if filled it would not move; therefore, there are few changes.  Only when it is pointed can it be easily hidden.  Only when it is in motion can it easily escape.  When it can be hidden easily the opponent would not know.  When it can easily escape it cannot be grabbed or gotten hold of.  When it is in cyclic motion like a wheel, its function is not to intrude into the hard or difficult part.  In yielding, do not yield too far; in avoiding, do not do it in excess swiftness.  The ten thousand methods that lead to, or assist in, the achievement (of the operation) lie in turning on sides and slanting the body.  This is called to evade.

 

CHAPTER  17                     To Pierce through  (Chuen)

 

Without motion, then it would be strong or solid.  In motion, then the moving situation would have to be employed and defence forsaken.  The coming into being of cracks lies in between the turning and moving, and that part (i.e. the cracks) is approachable.  Whenever the opponent has extended out and not yet withdrawn, or although he has withdrawn but not yet back to his former stance, that is “in between”.  “In between” is the crack in the world.  If one takes on the non-cracks, he is abandoning advantage.  Only in abandoning advantage could it be (the most) stupid work in the world.  If one approaches the crack (i.e. taking advantage of it) one should take it like shooting.  This is named “to pierce”, showing that it is directly towards the “in between”.

 

CHAPTER  18                     To Stop, Intercept  (Jeet)

 

The basis of force is called strength.  The main body of strength is called ching (the concentration of strength and force stored or directed in a certain part of the body ready to be discharged).  The formation of ching is called force, which is prepared for action.  The beginning of such force is called motive.  Therefore, before the strength of the enemy is issued, then forbid its issuing forth.  When the enemy’s offensive force is over, then take advantage of his (force) fading or losing ground.  To forbid the issuing force would obstruct or block him, and taking advantage of his weak point would trap him.

 

The different positions of above and below, horizontal and vertical are to be likened to the observation of the five elements.  The five elements produce one another and conquer one another.  The hard and the soft take turn in sequence.  Softness should be employed to conquer the hard, and the strong points should be employed to win the weak points.  In doing things, judge on the motive; this is called “to cut in” or “to put a stop to the intended action”.

 

CHAPTER  19                     Changes

 

If one talks of sounds, there are not more than five main categories.  If they are skillfully interchanged, there will be inexhaustible sounds for one to listen to.  As for color, there are not more than five main types.  If they are skillfully interchanged there will be inexhaustible colors for one to see.  As for taste, there are not more than five varieties.  If they are skillfully manipulated, there will be an inexhaustible variety for one to taste.  Therefore, if one could manipulate and change according to the proper changes of things, the changes would be inexhaustible.  If one could change by going along with the normal changes of things, then the changes are uncontainable; it would be like cycles turning without an end, like the instability of the Yin and Yang.  There is nothing in the above that cannot be lowered; there is nothing which has gone but cannot be turned back; there is nothing still that cannot be moved; there is no danger that cannot be crossed; and there are not hill slopes that cannot be flattened.  (Therefore,) one should make oneself in an ungraspable position according to the situation of the enemy.  This is called to understand and to put in practice thoroughly the theory of changes, and make oneself round and smooth.

 

CHAPTER  20                     Upon Facing an Enemy  -  1

 

There is nothing more harmful than to underestimate the enemy.  If one would look down upon the enemy one would be absentminded.  When one is absent-minded, one would have an unsteady attitude (i.e. lose his cool).  When one has an unsteady stand, one would for sure self-weaken oneself.  When weakened, powerless, it is of advantage to the enemy.  Therefore it is necessary to stretch or extend one’s gall (courage).  However, stress should be laid on caution.  (With courage,) one could face a living tiger as though facing a dead tiger, but one should treat a dead tiger as a live tiger (one should place his body outside the mental realm, i.e. do not allow your mind to concentrate on caring for the body).  Then there would be no difference whether the enemy is strong or weak, big or small.  Establish your mind and gall on the whole situation, then your ability would be fully extended and your intention would have its result.  When you do not put your mind on caring for the body then you would not have fear.  When you set your mind on the whole situation then you would not take your enemy lightly.  When you have no fear and do not underestimate your enemy, then a big enemy is like a small enemy.  Therefore, those who are skillful in fighting would not know there is such a thing as (an enemy,) but at the same time they realize that there is no time that the enemy is not present.

 

Upon Facing an Enemy  -  2

 

In facing an enemy, all that matters is the mind.  It is necessary to know that if you intimidate yourself, it is an insult to the enemy; if you are afraid of the enemy, it is an insult to yourself.  You reach your opponent but are not reached by him; that is the essence of watching (waiting patiently but ever alertly) with the mind.  You snatch your opponent without being snatched yourself; that is the mechanics of fighting with the mind.  The body is for carrying out the purpose and the mind should be the master.  The mind is mainly doing the quiet, steady (with alertness and patience) part working from the inside.  The body is mainly doing the active motion part working on the outside.  If you discern what is outside and what is inside, then you would understand what should be stressed and what should be taken lightly (i.e. what is more important and what is less important.)

 

CHAPTER  21                     Opening and Closing

 

Fullness and emptiness cause (or follow) one another.  The Tao always does not have any purposeful action (i.e. the Tao follows a natural course without any deliberate action.)  Therefore, it you want to close (it), it is necessary first to open it); if you intend to take (it), it is necessary first to give; if you desire to endanger (it), it is necessary first to make (things) easy (for it).  Then you will know that to the extreme of Yin, Yang will arise, at the end of the Yang (cycle), Yin will return.  Therefore, in extending or opening, do not extend to the extreme; in closing, do not close all the way.  In so doing, there will be no trace of your opening and closing, and the enemy will not be able to know (your intended movement) easily.  This is the principle of the alternation of broad and narrow, wax and wane.  Knowing this, there will be no trouble and difficulty in carrying (out) the function and use (of your principle and movement.)

 

CHAPTER 22                      Overcoming and Breaking

 

Diamond stone is the hardest of all things, but the horn of an antelope is good enough in breaking it.  In fact, there is no such thing as the hardest things in the world; just as an insect that has a hundred feet and is the most swift, and earthworm is good enough to put it to death.  That is, things have their weak points, which can be overcome by other things.  In fist-fighting technique, there is no fixed form or formulae, for the strength put forth has certain side-moving force.  When it is diverted or going even a bit sideways, it is the sign of going to be defeated.  The same applies to the five elements, which produce and conquer one another.  In conquering they also check or control one another.  The vertical is broken by the horizontal and the horizontal is taken (or grabbed) by the vertical, that is, to snatch its side (to render it diverted).  This is the way the five elements produce and conquer one another, going through cycles without end.  Therefore, even [for] the hardest and strongest in the world, there is no such thing as indestructibility.

 

CHAPTER  23                     Being Mobile and Still

 

After obtaining the most mobile (i.e. highest state of mobility), it is necessary to seek for the most quiet or still in the world.  With the quietest of the quiet to control or manipulate the most mobile of the mobile, then the most mobile in the world would very fittingly follow the command (of the most quiet or, your command since you have attained the state of being the most quiet).  Being mobile enhances intelligence.  Taking things lightly would make a person easily mobile and in temper.  Being still enables a person to master, to be decisive and steady (literally, ‘heave’).  Therefore, heaviness is the root or basis of lightness, and stillness or quietness is the lord of temper or moodiness.  With the root to subdue the tip end would be like the lord mastering the subject.  Therefore, (it is good to) seek quietness in mobility and conceive mobility in quietness.  When quietness and mobility rub and swing (i.e. interact with) one another, and when the outside and the inside are united into one, then in defence one would be like a virgin and in coming out (i.e.. taking a move) one would be like a released hare.  A virgin is the quietest in the world and a released hare is the most mobile in the world.  Knowing this could make one strong.

 

CHAPTER  24                     Hard and Soft

 

In skill, there are hard and soft aspects.  It is not the method that is hard or soft, nor is it the body that is hard or soft, but the way (Tao?) that is hard and soft.  ‘Hard’ is mainly for inside (i.e. inner master) and ‘soft’ is mainly for outside.  Hard mastering the inside would self-strengthen oneself, and soft mastering the outside would make oneself react skillfully.  The hard ad soft exhale and inhale, and the ten thousand bodies (i.e. everything) would all establish themselves.  When the body is established, its function would be induced.  If the inside is hard (or strong) one would be courageous.  When courageous, one would not be timid and afraid.  If the outside [were] soft like being empty, then emptiness would be unable to be grasped, or would not hold fast onto one thing.  The breath or air of the universe is mild, and mild air is proper air.  If there is any side-leaning (i.e. not proper), then one would fall in an angry temperance and therefore would be easily observed, and in being easily observed one’s action would be known (to your opponent) §and the outside becomes soft and inside hard¨ [this last phrase is likely an error by the translator].  If the inside is soft, then one would be timid; if the outside is hard, then one would be temperamental.  When temperamental, one would not be able to achieve one’ [s aim in advancing; then the inner master would be restless and accordingly one’s action would be lost.  That is the path of self-trapping.  Therefore, the way of the hard and soft cannot be neglected (i.e. the way of the hard and soft should be carefully observed).

 

CHAPTER  25                     The Host and the Guest

 

Sun Tzu (a famous military strategist in the Warring States period, c. 500 BC) had a saying:  "“o not be afraid of its coming.  Do not rely on the idea that it will not come, but rely on the idea that there is something to face it [with] when it comes.”  In expecting something to come, the difference between a host and a guest is made.  This is the way of attack and defence.  Therefore, in this way the one who comes first has a form, while the one waiting has no form.  Having a form is the master of an affair, while having no form is the guest of an affair (or thing, or event).  First, be objective so as to observe, (then) snatch the active movement (i.e. playing an active role) so as to put the movement into effective function.  This is the meaning of being skillful in managing affairs or events, and not willing to be the first in the world.  Being not willing to be the first in the world, the situation of a host facing a guest would be formed, and the purpose of reaching the other person but oneself not being reached would be achieved.  Then the way of the hidden and the conspicuous would be distinguished.  When the hidden and the conspicuous are distinguished, the hidden would find it easy to react while the conspicuous would find it easy to snatch at the proper movement.

 

CHAPTER  26                     Yin and Yang

 

In a day there are day time and night time.  When daylight time comes to an end, the night time begins, and when night time comes to an end, day time follows.  Therefore, things, when going to the extreme end, would return in the opposite way.  (The cycle of Yin and Yang is turning unceasingly.)  The art of fist-fighting having the elements of Yin-Yang is just the same.  The above is Yang and below is Yin; exhaling is Yang and swallowing is Yin; the right is Yang and the left is Yin; facing upward is Yang and looking down is Yin; in opening and stretching out, it is Yang; and in closing up it is Yin; mobile and moving is Yang, and quiet and still is Yin.  If one learns from it (the Yin-Yang principle), the method moves, like the Yin-Yang, to the utmost, so as to vary their changes which would be inconceivable (by the other party).  When being inconceivable or unknown (to your opponent), even the wise and intelligent cannot exhausted your changes.  This is called the living method.

 

CHAPTER  27                     Position of Preparation or Reserve

 

When the fierce beasts are about to jump on their object, they would withhold their claws, expose their teeth, turn their eyes, and hunch their back.  Their doing so is to prepare for their position.  Therefore, those that go forward swiftly would for sure hold back first; those that give a tremendous jump would for sure bend their back.  When a bird of prey (hawk) is about to attack, it would lower its flight, hold back its wings; it is also because of this meaning (i.e. the position of preparation).  Therefore, those who know of positions would necessarily know very well what to prepare or reserve (i.e. how to prepare [for] a position).  Be able to prepare well, then would one be able to release (or let go) well (i.e. to let go the reserved position and attack).  Therefore, if one wants to be able to release (a position) well, he would have to return to his origin.  This is because only when a bow is fully drawn that the arrow could be shot away (released) swiftly.

 

CHAPTER  28                     Going along with a Position

 

If a situation is favorable to oneself one should not go against it.  If one does, then one is just suppressing a favourable position and would create a hollow.  A hollow is a crack (i.e. a faulty place which is vulnerable to attack), therefore cracks should not be created.  It is better to go along (with a favorable situation of position).  In going along, then it would be round and smooth.  In being round and smooth, there would be no leaning on one side or placing one’s gravity on a certain part, which may lead one to losses for himself.  One should balance (the forces) by judgement (the power to act decisively) and fit into things and match with things.  If one could maintain a balance (among things) one then could come to the utmost propriety (or properness or balance) of (with??) the world, and there will be no diversion on (??) heaviness and lightness.  Therefore, to seek non-diversion (on one side) would be better to be round and smooth.  In seeking roundness, then it would not be fitting to suppress.  In seeking non-suppression then do not go against it (the favourable position or trend).  This is called the smooth going (or going along) in the world.  If one could go along (a situation smoothly) then the enemy would have nothing to get hold of.  Without anything to get hold of then the enemy would not be able to take advantage of the situation (due to my own fault).  Therefore it is said that if one is able to go along smoothly, then one would be safe and strong.

 

CHAPTER  29                     Making Use of a Situation

 

To sail a boat downstream following the flow of the water is easy to reach a destination.  To drive with our back to the prevailing wind is easy to go afar; this is due to or made possible by the situation.  Therefore if one makes use of the situation of things to turn it into one’s own situation (i.e. favourable to oneself) it is called “a situation in accordance with the surrounding.”  A situation in accordance with the surrounding, being advantageous, directing it for one’s own use would be beneficial to oneself.  Therefore, if one could make use of a situation, then strength would be saved and the attack would be sharp; the body would be at ease and the effect far-reaching.  It is because (you are) using other’s strength, one is like returning to nature, taking the comfort of not going against the Way (Tao) (i.e. nature).

 

CHAPTER  30                     To Set (a Situation or Position) in Motion

 

If one rolls a round stone down a mountain of a thousand yan (yards) high, although the stone is not gigantic, things in its way would be crushed.  It is caused by the force (or the situation that renders it possible) of its downward movement, that is why.  Therefore strength is like the round stone, if not rolled down a yan mountain, although it moves, the force would not be sharp.  The sky and the earth, because they move, they are always new.  The stars and the sun, because they move, they are always bright.  In the same manner, the technique of fist-fighting would always have inner force due to movement.  To roll a stone from a mountain of one thousand yan is to set it in (proper) motion.  To set in motion is to have a forceful situation, and to have a forceful situation is to have inner force (ching).

 

CHAPTER  31                     Dissolving a Situation

 

To go against a situation (or a stance) is not as good as to yield to it.  To make use of a situation is not as good as riding on a situation (i.e. to have control over it is as well as taking advantage of it).  To block a situation or a stance is not as good as dividing or diverting a situation or stance.  However, if the opponent is in a bundled up position, it is better to block him, if his position is extended or stretched out, it is better to divide or divert his position.  To block him, then he would not be able to have his intention achieved (in attacking you); in diverting him, his strength would be dispersed or spread out.  In being dispersed, his strength would be thin; not being able to concentrate, the left cannot take care of the right and the right cannot take care of the left, thus losing communication.  Therefore a dispersed army would not be able to fight.  Hence, those who are skillful in military affairs are able to make the enemy in disorder and dissolve the enemy’s position.  In blocking the enemy’s entrance and outlet, and cutting their communication, their strength would be scattered and its {their] function invalidated.  In doing so, even the fierce beasts would [could] not squat on you and the birds of prey would [could] not attack you.  Also, neither would [could] the vipers nor the wasps and scorpions sting you.  Therefore it is said that to build a strong dyke so as to prevent a (flooding) river is not as good as to deepen the river bed or dig more drainages to release the water, to divert its strength so as to dissolve its forceful position or situation [against you].

 

CHAPTER  32                     Conclusion

 

The true Way (Tao) seems shallow, the true principle seems flat (ordinary).  The Way which seems shallow is impossible to exhaust, just as the sky is easy to see but it is impossible to estimate its depth or extent, and the sea is easy to cross but impossible to measure.  The true principle or reason, although it is flat, it is inexhaustible.  The flatness which is inexhaustible contains all the bending and crookedness in the world.  It is only when truth is extremely shallow and flat that all the myriad things are contained in it or encompassed by it without [??] realizing themselves.  Therefore the true gentleman seeks the perfect Way.

 

PROLOGUE

                Confucius used the six arts (rituals, music, archery, chariot-riding, the classics, and mathematics) to teach people.  In this way he emphasized both literary matters and military preparation.  The established methods of archery, charioteering, and other such arts handed down from ancient times have contributed to the development of empty-hand fighting techniques.  It is the investigation and analysis of these techniques, which has occupied my leisure time over the years.

 

The shallow, simple ones do not go beyond the expression of limited characteristics and abilities, while the deep, profound ones lie in congruence with the limitless Tao.  The ultimate expression of characteristics and abilities is focussed outwardly, and this places great demands on the physical body.  The pure essence of a person s the basis of Tao, but this is conceived from within.

 

Although Tao and the expression of qualities have different perspectives, the inner and the outer are equally important.  When wood drills wood, fire is created (the correct and persistent application of a quality (e.g. of wood) will ultimately generate something extraordinary and wondrous [fire {Tao}]).  When fire embraces gold, melting will occur (unwavering contact of one element [fire] with another [gold] will generate changes [melting] that create new possibilities [melting solid gold into a liquid allows it to be remolded into a more useful shape]).  In the process of creating such supplementary effects, no participating element is less important than the other is.

 

Heart is the foundation of Tao, yet the expression of qualities finds its beginning in measures and correctness.  Therefore, because the method of fist-fighting lies emphasis on the Heart, it cannot take measures and correctness less seriously than the Tao.  Fire creates a state of purity in gold, but the fire itself is not affected.  Through the principles of Naturalness and Supplementary Effect we see that Tao and the expression of qualities are not less important than each other, because the basis is the Heart.  The sages teach about the formless Void, the tangible and the intangible, emptying and replenishing, the fullness of the space between Heaven and Earth, and the connection between past and present.  Yet all this ‘Nature and Fate talk’ would arrive at the same conclusion:  that Heart is the foundation.

 

Heart is similar to water, which is also natural and common.  Water is the most yielding of all things because anything that is thrown into it will penetrate it.  Nothing is more receptive than water, which can hold a hill or a mountain.  The extent of a vast wilderness is not greater than the depth of water, for the great swamps and enormous oceans cannot be fathomed.  The fullness and completeness of water is beyond comparison:  when chopped by a sword, water remains whole and unbroken; when cut with a knife, it continues to flow.  Therefore, (since Heart is so adaptable, like water) ride change (like a horse) with the pure essence of Heart in order to regulate and adjust to all that is extremely changeable.  This is a maxim in the art of fist-fighting, and the way used by all who are skillful in effectively applying attributes in daily life.

 

By nature, I like reading and writing, and I especially enjoy dabbling in the martial arts.  Having seen techniques from the four corners of the world, I know that each has its own nature and qualities as well.  The methods of making these characteristics effective also differ.  Nature is Tao, and methodology is the application of intrinsic qualities.  For example, drifting duckweed is rooted in water, yet a tree is rooted in soil.  In this, they each adhere to their own nature, and also their Tao (although they differ from each).  Conversely, if a crab were used to catch mice, and a toad to catch fleas, their nature would be applied incorrectly, and the application would therefore be ineffective.  If you seek effective application of qualities, you cannot forget Tao.

 

With what I had learned before, I sought instruction from Master Wong, Teacher Lum Hoi.  As grass must bend when the wind blows, so as an ordinary man will bow to a superior man.  The Master said:  “You have not yet come to know Tao and the expression of qualities, (so I will teach you).  The activity of the body can be viewed as Nature within Tao (the activity of the Limited within the realm of the Unlimited); the activity of the Mind can be seen as Tao within Nature (the activity of the Unlimited within the Limited).  When Nature and Tao merge, then the technique will be formed.  If you do not sustain this union, you will slip into a diffused state of slackness and dispersion.  To help prevent the arising of this state where your Mind takes things lightly, attack a live tiger as if it were dead, and treat a dead tiger as if it were alive.  Then your technique will be fully expressed rather than undisciplined and hidden.”

 

“I have been speaking of shields when the subject was shields, and talking about arrows when the topic was arrows, not to over-emphasize only (shields and arrows) Tao and Qualities, for every aspect must be fully utilized, including the application of the principles.  This does not mean, however, that I am so foolish as to teach people to be fierce and cruel (all the time).  Nevertheless, we cannot afford to be careless.  A dam costing one thousand pieces of gold (the most valuable dam) can be destroyed by (tiny) ant holes (i.e. a tiny mistake in not expressing your skill to its fullest extent in fighting can lead to disaster).  (Even so) humbleness, gentleness, and tolerance are seen only in a true gentleman.  Therefore, I cannot encourage you enough to express these qualities.  If you can do all these things, you are already a teacher.”

 

When Master Wong passed away I dared not permit myself to become complacent.  Consequently, after being recommended by Ng Tse Tsing, a Taolist, I began receiving instruction from Master Chu Tse Yiu.  I felt deep gratitude for our close relationship and his gift of the essential teachings necessary for mastery.  The Mater said: “Tao is in the Void.  When movement is suspended, its quietude is profound and complete.  When it is stirred by the slightest motion, changes begin evolving.  This process of generating change is called the actualization of the Principle.  It is a miraculous power.  When you can understand this teaching, and apply it effectively, then you will have arrived (literally, “our way will go south”; there is a myth that when people have it made, they can go south to a beautiful empire that exists there).

 

I have received such excellent teachings and sincere admonitions from my two Masters.  (There is a proverb about) hiding such knowledge deep within the well-known mountains, or storing it away in high-walled palaces.  How could I allow it to be buried in this way while waiting for a thousand years for one worthy person to share it with, when everyone desires it to be otherwise?  Therefore, I carefully recollected the instruction and advice of my two Masters, and formed this text of thirty-two chapters, three essays, and questions and answers which have been divided into upper and lower parts.  For my two Masters this is dedicated to the purpose of broadening the school and perpetuating the technique.  For those who like Kung-Fu, however, my work may be like the stalk of celery offered by the illiterate simpleton (this is from a proverb).  It is with the former idea that I write this prologue.

 

 



[1]    The pearl is the essence that attracts the dragon’s attention.  The dragon follows the pearl, playing with it, sometimes swallowing it, then spewing it forth again.  It is the essence of the dragon, being very rare and difficult to get.  It is very important to the dragon.

[2]    The horn is the most precious thing to the unicorn.  It can be a weapon.  It is very hard and takes a long time to build up.  It is very rare.

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