36 Rules Of Shi Family
Shi Style Baguazhang Oral Traditions
Shi's 36 Stanzas
1. The head is held up. The chin is tucked in. The body is held straight. Depress the waist. Swell the belly. The steps are empty and full. Sink the shoulders. Hang the elbows. Reach with the front arm. Turn the wrist. Straighten the palm. Pull back the index finger.
2. One arm pushes out straight. One arm is bent. The eyes gaze at the tiger's mouth of the straight arm. The straight arm pushes and seizes. The bent arm pulls the bowstring. This is like using a bow to shoot a big vulture.
3. The tiger's mouth is curved. The palm is hollow. Pull back the fingers. Straighten the palm. The fingers are held upwards. Push and seize. Pull the bow. Defend the chest and lungs. The practice of bent knee stepping trains the leg skills.
4. Bend the knees and bow the legs. The steps are like walking in mud. In walking the circle, the outside foot turns inwards and the inside foot moves straight. Turn the waist. Depress the waist. Raise up the anus. The form is like pushing a grindstone round and round.
5. Turn the waist. Turn the neck. Depress the waist. Swell the belly. The foot grips the ground. The knees bend and the legs bow. The body follows the steps and the turning hands follow the body's movements. Weave together inhaling and exhaling and then transform them to chewing up and spitting out the enemy.
6. In walking, the palm and body should not lean to the sides. Do not lean forwards or backwards. Turn the waist and tighten the lower abdomen to connect the limbs. In stepping, the steps sink and the body has the appearance of being even and steady.
7. Moment is practiced on the left and right sides, Reciprocating without breaks or stopping. Aim for being stable and full. Become level and true. The spirit can tranform and grow from immature to mature.
8. In the piercing palm, the hand goes out under the elbow. Avoid the full and draw near the empty to achieve skill. The foot treads the center gate and searches out the way. The corner become the sides, enter and flow with the person's movements.
9. The hand method of the piercing palm must be remembered well. The rear hand pierces out and the front hand retracts. They must be mutually coordinated and complement each other. Mobility and agility display your talent.
10. In walking the circle, persue three levels in your stepping practice. First practice the upper level frame, which is high. The middle level bends the knees and the posture gradually squats. The lower level stresses getting the thighs level with the knees.
11. The tongue sticks to the upper palate. Inhale and exhale through the nose. The qi sinks to the dantian like being guided. Movement must be coordinated with the breathing. They complement each other and create agility.
12: Skill and talent smoothly follow the waist and leg movement; The stepping method transforms the walking with many turns; Upper and lower coordinate and become one thing; Mobility and agility must be harmonized.
13: The toe-in stepping form makes a triangle. The toe and kneecap are aligned. The toe-out stepping form makes an eight character shape (/ \). The toe and the heel meet together.
14. In the Upper Step (shang bu), the rear foot steps past the front foot. In the Advance Step (jin bu), the front foot moves to the front. In the Withdraw Step (che bu), the front foot steps past the rear foot. In the Retreat Step (tui), the rear foot moves to the rear.
15. Esteem virtue, do not esteem strength. Esteem wisdom, do not esteem courage. If you esteem strength and esteem courage; Sooner or later it must fall into the void.
16. The body is like a swimming dragon, a wild goose leaping into the air. It is like a tiger strikes, a turtle swims, a snake's movement. Vary the postures continuously without stopping. Move to the corners and sides, advance and retreat, talk and laugh in the center.
17. This palm is mysterious in walking the circle. The stepping method causes victory, the foot is strong and skilled. Toe-out, toe-in, arcing and turning, people cannot fathom it. Look to the front and now to the rear. Lerave no fixed trail.
18. The foot treads the central gate and searches out the way. The hands follow the enemy's condition and flow in the opposite direction; Rise and do not fall, occupy the center; The enemy's preparations are in vain and he finds it diffucult to defend himself.
Here is another. This one is a toughie, a bit esoteric. I took some time going over it again and changing some of my original work, but I can't guarentee total accuracy on this one.
19. The outgoing hand must be one, it must not be two. The idea of many overcoming the few must be followed. If you can understand, you can get this central idea. Superiority is commonly had in grasping the center.
20. The outgoing hand techniques follow the man. To seal the enemy requires a lot of skill. The triangle pattern steps are very subtle. The hands in the cross shape form are beneficial to attack
21. The out-going hand flows with the enemy's intention. Rise to defend, attack to the left and right. If the enemy retreats, your front foot advances. If the enemy advances, your rear foot moves.
22. When the enemy advances, I move to evade his attack. I give up my position and cause him to fall into emptiness. I turn back and with one strike invariably cut to his center. To defeat the center and take the victory requires skill.
Here is #23. I must confess that it does not make much sense to me. My confusion revolves around the interplay between two characters zheng (true, upright, correct) and qi (wonderful, suprise). I have seen these two characters used together before and the best that I could guess based on the context was a sense of coming and going. However in this poetry the meaning is much more difficult for me to grasp. If anyone has a clue I'd appreciate some enlightenment.
23. The enemy is true, I am true suprise; The enemy is suprise, I am suprise true. A soft body pulls the rudder. Flowing water drives a light boat.
24. A strike comes to my right and my left responds. A strike comes to my front and my back responds. I coordinate my response with my breathing. If I do this others find it difficult to respond to me.
25. Close and roll, defend to the left and right. Turning back the head in retreat turns into an advance. If pressed close, move farther away. Commit to a strong body form.
26. The flicking palm conceals the body as you advance. Use the hooking palm as you retreat and then advance. Attack the enemy's front side as you advance. The flick and hook, up and down, aid and support each other.
27. An arm stretched out from the side of the body reveals an empty space. The chest exposed to open air induces people to attack. Draw out the enemy to take the advantage and advance. Bind, mix, seal, insert, and strive to master the movement.
28. With the overturning body palm method, defense becomes the attack. Overturn, roll, arc and turn to follow the man's motion. Submit to the objective, ignore the subjective. Pierce, grip, hang, and float, agile functions.
29. The Baguazhang method is not a blocking frame. I wish to choose flowing from my center. The outgoinh hand must choose the way to approach. I issue later but arrive first cannot be successfully defended against.
30. Touch and stick, continuously follow, don't loose the lead. Don't block, don't frame, flow with the enemy's nature. Yeild the position and strive for mastery of motion. Moving supports motion, moving supports stillness
31. The man is hard, I am soft and completely rely on walking; Bring about the condition to deprive him of the first hand; Turning and entering I flow to the man's back; Soft turns to hard and sticking becomes issuing.
32. When hardness is presented first then softness must be concealed inside. When softness is presented first it must be coordinated with hardness. Hardness conceals softness in its center, softness contains hardness. Hardness and softness are transformed in the stepping.
33. The eyes are linked to the hands which are linked to the waist which is linked to the legs. When the whole body is harmonized and coordinated, then when you issue stength it is whole. Regardless of whether your movements are straight or curved, the walking must be stable. When you get the power and get the posture, then you will be able to control the enemy.
34. When jing and shen are connected with qi, the posture will be filled. You will them be calm and composed, not terrified. The eyes detecting the enemy's emotion is the first point. The brain is the master and takes charge of the movement.
35. For the hands to attack the enemy, the waist and legs must be quick. Advance and retreat completely rely on the feet. Understand that walking be transformed by turning has many meanings. The true significance of Bagua is contained within this.
36. Bagua's true significance is not a mystery. Go smoothly, understand transformation, and walk the circle many times. Don't block, don't frame, don't lose the lead. Sacrifice your own interests for the sake of flowing with the enemy's emotion.
Joseph Crandall sent these over a period of time to the Bagua List. The following is a forward by him and some additional information from Jarek Szymanski sent to the Bagua List.
Forward: This is something I translated a long time ago and just dug out of my files. To redo the mandarin would be too much work at this point. If you are really interested I might scan the characters and send them out as a jpeg.
The lineage of Shi Jitong Bagua has a 36 Stanza poem and a 48 Stanza poem similar to the ones promulgated by the Liang and Cheng lineages.
These stanza come to us courtesy of Di Zhaolong, the current (I think) authority on this style. Shi Ji Tong was a nephew of Dong Haichuan.
Shi Jidong (not Shi Jitong) was Dong's adopted daughter's husband. Actually Shi arranged that his wife became Dong's adopted daughter so that she could take good care of the old master. Dong spent last years of his life in Shi's house in Beijing (Shi was one of the wealthiest disciples and owner of Yihe Timber Mill).
Jarek Szymanski Shanghai, China
Epilogue: This song has 36 stanzas. Bagua's true significance is contained herein. Memorize and try to understand them and practice hard. Skill and hard work will not fail the conscientious person. Practice hard and practice harder. Over a long period of time, its value is lasting. You will become stronger and never stop gaining skills. Raise the martial spirit to be cheerful and healthy.