Tai Ji Quan Treatise by Wang ZongYue

太極拳論 – 王宗岳
Translated by Chao-Sun Pang

太極者,無極而生,動靜之機,陰陽之母也。 
Tai Ji, arises from Wu Ji. It is the essence of stillness and motion, 
Mother of Yin and Yang. 

動之則分,靜之則合。 
In motion it separates (opens). In stillness it converges.

無過不及,隨曲就伸。
Do not overreach. When restrained, seek to extend.

人剛我柔謂之,我順人背謂之
Others are hard. I become pliable. It is called “moving away.”
When I am in comfort, others are constricted. It is called “sticking.” 

動急則急應,動緩則緩隨。雖變化萬端,而理唯一貫。 
Encountering fast, I move quickly. Encountering slow, I follow in kind.
No matter the change, the response is the same. 

由著熟而漸悟懂勁,由懂勁而階及神明。然非用力之久,不能豁然貫通焉!
Practice to gain familiarity. Familiarity gradually becomes understanding. 
Understanding becomes knowing. This is the Jin of Understanding. 
Understanding comes by practicing diligently over time! 

虛領頂勁,氣沉丹田,不偏不倚,忽隱忽現。 
Energy rising. Qi sinking to Dan Tian. 
Stay centered. Suddenly appearing, suddenly disappearing. 

左重則左虛,右重則右杳。仰之則彌高,俯之則愈深。進之則愈長,退之則愈促。
When left is heavy, left becomes insubstantial.  
When right is heavy, right becomes light. 
Going up, I am higher.
Going down, I am deeper.
Going forward, I am farther away.
Retreating, I am beyond reach.

一羽不能加,蠅蟲不能落。人不知我,我獨知人。
Not a feather can be added. Not even a fly can land. 
No one knows me, but I know others.

英雄所向無敵,蓋皆由此而及也!
This is why heroes and heroines are successful and cannot be defeated! 

斯技旁門甚多,雖勢有區別,概不外壯欺弱、快欺慢 
There are many practices, although the methods are different. 
Mostly it is the strong bullying the weak, the fast overcoming the slow!

有力打無力,手慢讓手快,是皆先天自然之能,非關學力而有為也! 
Using strength to defeat the weak, slow yields to fast.
All is based on what is given to us by nature,
But it has nothing to do with the study of true power.

察’四兩撥千斤’之句,顯非力勝;觀耄耋能禦眾之形,快何能為?
Observe “four ounces redirect a thousand pounds”. 
It is not based on strength.
Watch an old man defend himself against others.
What does speed have to do with it?  

立如平準,活似車輪。 偏沉則隨,雙重則滯。 
Stand like a balance, lively as a wheel. 
Unbalanced when off-center. Double weighting causes stagnation.

每見數年純功,不能運化者,率皆自為人制,雙重之病未悟耳!
If after many years of practice, one cannot transform, and
Instead, is controlled by others,
The problem of double weighting has not been resolved. 

欲避此病,須知陰陽;粘即是走,走即是粘;
To avoid this problem, understand Yin and Yang:
Sticking is moving away; moving away is sticking.

陰不離陽,陽不離陰;陰陽相濟,方為懂勁。 
Yin does not separate from Yang; Yang does not leave Yin.
Yin and Yang must mutually support each other. 
This is the Jin of Understanding.

懂勁後愈練愈精,默識揣摩,漸至從心所欲。
Once Jin is understood, skill will be gained by practice.
Continue to explore and experiment until it becomes intuitive and natural.

本是捨己從人,多誤捨近求遠 所謂差之毫釐,謬之千里​​’
學者不可不詳辨焉! 
This practice is based on letting go of self and following others. 
Many make the mistake of not using what is close and looking far away.
The saying goes: “Miss by an inch, miss by a mile”.
The practitioner must fully understand those points! 

是為論。
This is the Treatise.