The Five Word Song
By GrandMaster John Chung Li
Empty the mind.
If one thinks there is a method, that thought is in vain.
By making the mind void of thoughts, one can gain a natural meditative state.
With a calm mind, one is free from hesitation.
A quiet mind opens the pathway to harmony within and without.
Fill the sky and earth within as well as without.
This is like the Buddhist idea conveyed by the circle.
The Taoists say it is not one's will, but the will of nature.
At first while doing the exercise, one reveals each feature of the movement, but with practice the features flow into one.
This fluidness of movement cannot be anticipated; through practice it comes naturally.
If one wishes to learn this internal exercise, then one must first learn the eight methods.
This exercise maintains one's broadminded spirit.
The entire body is elastic.
The beginning of the internal force can be recognized by the opponent, but not its end.
When the exercise is mastered, ones feature and intent are unrecognizable.
Movement to and fro is not revealed.
Relaxing and flexing of movement are self-determined.
One must seek attack by being calm.
The body should be straight in stance.
The opponent sees no resistance in your stance, but this is false for you are concealed.
If one does not practice regularly, then do not face the enemy.
When in motion, one is still rooted.
Do not over-extend yourself to the opponent.
Judge the chance and take the opportunity.
One strikes with internal force before the opponent advances with strength.
When the opponent is hard, then one is soft.
Although the opponent is busy, one stays calm awaiting him.
To attack or protect is according to ones decision.
Take the first opportunity and be quicker than the opponent.
Always concentrate upon the situation.
Conceal ones force like the bow; round and ready to spring.
Attack as the arrow : quick and straight.
One should throughly understand the principle of yin & yang.
Both yin & yang flow in & out, hard and soft, and are of mutual use.
Breathing is regular from the bottom of the adomen to the heart.
This cyclic up & down motion smooths the chi.
Be calm as the resting Buddhist.
Move as a dragon rising from hibernation.
This calmness appears empty, but there is something within.
The internal force is wonderfully rewarding.
The internal force can be suddenly concealed and suddenly expressed.
All breathing shall be natural.
Yield to heavy attack.
Every action is self-initiated.
Distribution of weight between one leg and the other is clearly distinguished.
The body is of both yin & yang, both empty and solid.
By emptying oneself, the opponent's force is led to a void.
If the enemy retreats, stick with quick advance.
The legs should be curved like a bow.
Advancing & retreating use force derived from the kidney.
The arms and back should be round as if hugging.
Circulate the chi from inside to outside.
Stop trivial thoughts and concentrate on your movement, as if facing a difficult enemy.
Your eyes move about like lightening.
Your spirit watches in all four directions (front, back, left, right).
Your footing should be 40% to the front, and 60% to the rear.
The hands are 30% to the front, and 70% to the rear.
The feature of the movement is like swimming in water.
Movement is light like a faerie in the clouds.
The idea is very great, but there is nothing; it is a great void.
The idea of movement is like a fierce tiger.
The calmness of chi is very gentle.
Once the enemy is offensive, the enemy is defeated.
The inner strength controls the five terminals, and the nine joints.
If one wants to learn, then one must practice frequently.
In this way deeper progress can be made; from the door to the hall to temple with the master.
When this exercise is mastered, ones inner force can be concealed or expressed at will.
Focus your spirit to discover the truth.
This harmonious exercise combines all movement.
The quietness and emptiness of this exercise separates one from worldly things.
Remember that all progress towards the truth of this exercise is very delicate.
The idea of movement is to seem not to move, achieving fluidness.
Ones calmness combines with the idea.
Cease all thoughts and your chi will become naturally calm.
Quietly maintain the Great Emptiness.
Ones basic foundation is bult through this exercise.
In this exercise all valuable points are concealed.
If you ask, "Is it hard to learn?", the answer is, "No it is not."
It looks easy at first, but it is not easy.
If ones mind is made up to learn, then there will be success.
In this world there is nothing of real difficulty.
To learn, one must be sincere and determined.
This depends upon long frequent practice and wisdom.
This exercise was invented by Ch'sn Hsi-I of Hwa Yu.
The student of Hwa Yu should practice everyday; this is most important.
There must be concentration of spirit and idea (will).
All joints of the body move together.
When contact is made, the inner force comes forth at once.
This gives no opportunity for the opponent to escape.
The opponent thinks you are relaxed, but you are not relaxed (inner strength).
The opponent thinks you are tight, but there is no strength.
All movement is balanced in a circular fashion.
The chi should be controled to flow in & out in a spiraling circle.
Do not be afraid of the opponent.
Open & close oneself, and be able to yield & stick.
Watch for the enemy's weak point, and once discovered, attack without delay.
The wrist, elbow, shoulder, hip, & knee are all combined.
Movement of legs and hands all work together.
All the joints work in combination with the inner force.
If this is achieved, there is no chance for the enemy to attack.
Ones breathing is like the falling of fine cotton.
Therefore, your breathing can be up or down, slow or fast.
When this method is mastered, any attack can be met.
Strive for knowledge of the method, but also the wisdom (craft) of its usage.
Method and wisdom are joined into one.
Both concepts are important; there cannot be one without the other.
Both hands raise up lightly.
Bend and stretch fluidly.
All turning and bending is curved.
The form is like a swimming dragon in play.
Therefore, all sides move up or down, left or right.
This type of exercise follows the way of yin & yang.
The idea is formed and the chi follows.
The inner force is concealed within the joints.
Relax your muscles and activate your blood vessels.
This is good for ones health.
When inhaling, the chi rises.
When exhaling, the chi sinks to the tan tien.
As soon as the chi rises, it is swallowed and sinks down.
In the flow of chi, fire from below and water from above meet harmoniously.
Carefully study this inside & outside Kung Fu.
The mind (heart) should be empty; the abdomen should be solid.
At the moment of opportunity; attack at once.
The beginning & end of hardness & softness are inseparable.
The outside & inside forces are mutually interchangable.
Activity & inactivity follow ones will.
Those who set out to learn the exercise, do not misjudge the value of the five word song.
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