TAIJI SPEAR METHODS ACCORDING TO CHEN YANLIN

Brennan Translation

太極拳刀劍桿散手合〔卷九〕
PART NINE of Taiji Compiled: The Boxing, Saber, Sword, Pole, and Sparring
陳炎林
by Chen Yanlin
[published June, 1943]

[translation by Paul Brennan, June, 2013]

太極扎桿
TAIJI THRUSTING POLE

太極拳中之扎桿。亦稱沾黏桿。或曰十三勢桿。有十三字訣。開、合、崩、劈、點、扎、撥、撩、纏、帶、滑、截。為太極拳中重要功夫之一。其沾、黏、化、拿、引、發、諸勁。與徒手拳式相同。亦異常奧妙。練法分單人雙人兩種。功至深造時。桿卽如手。週身之勁。可直達桿頭。猶如水銀裝於管中。發可至首。收可至尾。斯種扎桿。練法用法。含有畫戟與大槍二種。近人若以之全為大槍者實誤。蓋其未明太極拳中扎桿之效用耳。楊氏扎桿。甚為著名。而楊露禪以之救火。誠奇聞也。(見卷一楊家小傳章內)其與人對桿時。無論拿人發人。皆如用手。人遇其桿。卽失自主。被擊出一如手發。往往不知其所以然。惜此種深奧功夫。今已失傳。考桿之練習方法。計分單人扎桿法。雙人平圓沾黏扎桿法。雙人立體圓形沾黏扎桿法。及雙人動步刺心、刺腿、刺肩、刺喉、四桿法等數種。茲分述於後。俾大好國術餘粹。得以保存。不致復失傳矣。
桿、一稱蠟桿。係籐類。產於河南山東等地。性韌而堅實。不易斷裂。昔時用作槍戟等之把柄。有青白兩種。以白而有皮者為佳。其中尤以長過丈三外。兩根成對。下部三尺各無節。三尺以上所有苞節。均陰陽相對者為最佳。稱之謂成品。如用藏得法。經年愈久。其色愈鮮紅。愛此者每作為古玩。惜此種成品桿子。今已罕見。
[While in Yang Chengfu’s 1931 manual such exercises are explicitly termed as “spear” (鎗) techniques, the word chosen in this book (桿) instead represents the unbladed spear-shaft, and as it is also a different character from the usual word for “staff” (棍), hence “pole”.]
     Taiji Boxing’s “Thrusting Pole” is also known as “Stick & Adhere Pole”, or “Thirteen Dynamics Pole”, the thirteen being spreading, covering, flicking, chopping, tapping, thrusting, deflecting, raising, coiling, leading, sliding, and severing [although there are only twelve in this list]. As one of the major practices in Taiji Boxing, its energies of sticking, adhering, neutralizing, seizing, drawing in, and issuing are the same as with the bare-handed postures, it…

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