13 Principles Practice Sonnet*

十三勢行功歌訣
Translated by Chao-Sun Pang

十三總勢莫輕識,命意源頭在腰隙;變轉虛實須留意,氣遍身軀不梢滯。
Do not treat the 13 principles lightly. 
Intention originates at the waist.
Regardless the movement, Qi flows freely though the body.

靜中觸動動猶靜,因敵變化是神奇;勢勢存心揆用意,得來不覺費工夫。
In stillness there is movement. In movement there is stillness. 
Energy seems to shift magically and changes with the opponent. 
Study diligently by using mind and heart. Once understood, it will seem simple. 

刻刻留意在腰間,腹內鬆靜氣騰然;尾閭中正神貫頂,滿身輕利頂頭懸。
Put the awareness around the waist. Belly at ease, let the Qi come alive. 
Center the tailbone, Spirit rises. 
The body suspends, becoming light and energetic.

仔細留心向推求,屈伸開合聽自由;入門引路須口授,功夫無息法自休。
Carefully observe how freely energy curves, extends, opens and connects.
To enter this door of learning, personal transmission is required.
Understanding will come naturally from practicing diligently. 

若言體用何為準,意氣君來骨肉臣;詳推用意終何在,益壽延年不老春。
What standards are used to measure this? 
Mind-intention and Qi are the master, and bone and muscles are their subjects.
What is the ultimate meaning of this practice? Longevity and health.

歌兮歌兮百四十,字字真切義無疑;若不向此推求去,枉費工夫遺歎惜。
This sonnet has only 140 characters.
Every word speaks the truth. Do not doubt it.
Stay on this path, or all efforts will be in vain. 

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*13 Principles Practice Sonnet original writer is unknown can be either Wang ZongYue or Wu YuXiang.