Five Characters secrets – part 2 (from Taiji Classics)
The Complete Qi
The Qi of the whole body, through practice becomes one unit.
Distinguish clearly between substantial and insubstantial.
To fa-jing it is necessary to have root. The Qi starts from the foot,
is commanded by the waist, and manifested in the fingers,
and discharged through the spine and back.
One must completely raise the shen [spirit of vitality]
at the moment when the opponent’s Qi is about to manifest,
but has not yet been released. My Qi has then already met his,
not late, not early. It is like using a leather (tinder) to start a fire,
or like a fountain gushing forth.
In going forward or stepping back, there is not even the slightest disorder.
In the curve seek the straight, store, then discharge;
then you are able to follow your hands and achieve a beautiful result.
This is called borrowing force to strike the opponent or using four ounces
to deflect a thousand pounds.
Having the above four, then you can return to concentrated spirit:
if the spirit is concentrated, then it is continuous and uninterrupted,
and the practice of Qi returns to the shen [spirit of vitality].
The manifestation of Qi moves with agility. When the shen is concentrated,
opening and closing occur appropriately,
and the differentiation of substantial and insubstantial is clear.
If the left is insubstantial, the right is substantial, and vice-versa.
Insubstantial does not mean completely without strength.
The manifestation of Qi must be agile.
Substantial does not mean completely limited.
The spirit must be completely concentrated.
It is important to be completely in the mind [Yi] and the waist, and not outside.
Not being outside or separated, force is borrowed from the opponent,
and the Qi is released from the spine. How can it discharge from the spine?
It sinks downward from the two shoulders, gathers to the spine,
and pours to the waist. This is Qi from up to down and is called closed.
From the waist the Qi mobilizes to the spine, spreads to the two arms
and flows to the fingers. This is Qi from down to up and is called opened.
Closed is gathering, and opened is discharging.
When you know opening and closing, then you know yin and yang.
Reaching this level your skill will progress with the days and you can do as you wish.