Pugilism Explained In Tai Chi Chuan -1b

By on 08/04/2015
tai chi yin yang


From the book: Tai Chi Chuan –

It’s Effects And Practical Applications

Grand Terminus – Introduction Cont.

by Yearning K. Chen

What is meant by Pugilism?


To move hands, shoulders, elbows, fists, Paul, and fingers; feet, legs, knees, toes, sides of feet, insoles; or hands and feet together, so as to form various postures systematically following one another – this is called pugilism.  It is employed as a physical exercise to regulate the circulation of blood, stretch the ligaments, develop the bones, and deepen their breathing.  The postures can also be employed in giving in resisting attacks.



Taichichuan is a branch of pugilism with an outer form of sparring but based upon the theories of the grand terminus.  It’s form invitations follow the principles of the grand terminus diagram to which they adhere as regards Yin and Yang, insubstantiality and substantiality, firmness and softness, activity and inactivity.  During its practice one has ease of mind and absorption in one intention, with neither motives nor pre-sentiments but an outer look of emptiness.  This is the negative terminus.  The outer formations display Yin and Yang, insubstantiality and substantiality.  This is the grand terminus.  This embodiment of Yin and Yang, firmness and softness, advance and retreat, is the mother of all matters.  In this pugilism, firmness is concealed in softness, and inactivity included in activity, each being the cause of the other.


For instance, in a circling formation, the first semi circle neutralizes the coming attack in the other semi circle applies the opponents forced back to himself.  Half of the formation is in, and half is gone, just as half in the figure is black and half is white.


I take softness is my opponent takes firmness, and I take pursuing is he takes retreating.  The pugilism is divisible in activity, and combinable in inactivity.  There is no overdoing and no insufficiency; it benders and stretches as intended. It withstands promptly when attacks are quick, and it follows leisurely when attacks are slow.  The movements are exact in position, and are invisible at times and visible at others. Too much weight on the left makes the left week, and too much on the right weakens the right.  It is lofty when it rises, and it is deep when it falls.  It is far ahead when it advances, and prompt when it retreats.  A feather cannot be added, and the fly cannot be placed.  My opponent can by no means tell my intended movements, but I can foresee his actions.  It is weighted as a balance, and active as a wheel.  All these are principles of taichichuan.  Besides, to follow the opponent instead of oneself is the characteristic of taichichuan and to move 1000 catties with four taels is its efficiency.


Read Previous section part 1


Tai Chi Chuan-Its Effects and Practical Applications

by Yearning K. Chen; Millington LTD, Shanghai,  1947


I welcome your thoughts, insights or questions

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