Professor Cheng Man-ching's words
Extraction from "The Tao of Taijiquan"
Published in 1985 by Sheng-lun Culture & Publishing Co., Taipei, Taiwan
Translated by David Chen, 1999
Professor always said to us:
" Taijiquan is a melting pot of Taoism, Buddhism and Confucius.
It is a practical philosophy --the direction for our lives.
It is a way for reaching the highest state of truth, kindness and beauty.
It is a standard for all mankind."
On Fair Lady's Hand:
" You need to loosen the whole body, totally loosen it, and to loosen
your wrist is the first step among all."
A student asked about the meaning of relaxation.
Professor said: " A relaxed body is a body that does not hold(onto things).
A relaxed mind is a mind that does not hold.
We're carrying loaded backpacks on our shoulders while we sit, while we walk, and while we sleep; just put
down the load, we are free."
On the quality of Fajin:
"Taijiquan as martial art must not contain a slice of brute energy.
When discharging your opponent, you must express a natural expression and not
hurt him; if he is hurt, your Fajin is not pure."
" Still(mind) within the stillness(body) is not true stillness.
Still within movement is true stillness."
"Only when you are not using force, you'll know how much your opponent is
"To win over your opponent's body is a lower kungfu.
To win over his mind is higher."
" Taijiquan Kongfu is in the transitional moves."
On Swing & Move:
"The entire solo form is about momentum---move & swing, then swing & move,
On 70-30 stance:
"The 30% in your back leg is not just your weight, it is with your mind, too."
On the insubstantial foot:
"Do not raise your heel too much off the floor, or your Qi will raise too;
if so, even if you are in a single-weighted stance, you are
A student asked Professor about comprehension of the art, Professor replied:
" You think you know it, but it is not yours, it is someone else's Kongfu.
You think you understand it, but it is not your Kongfu, yet.
You think you can execute it well, that still is not yours.
Only when you practice it so diligently that it becomes your natural
instinct, then that's your own Kongfu."
Professor wrote a poem to his students:
"One's life only reaches 100 years,
the body begins to deteriorate when you pass 40.
How good is it to fight for both fame and money if the body can not take?
Just enrich your knowledge by reading and
improve your skill by diligently practicing this art.
Be an orchid in an empty valley, its fragrance will attract admirers."
Professor talks about CHANGE:
"Under 3 situations one can not make change:
1) If your ability does not reach a certain level, you cannot make change.
2) If your knowledge is not deep enough, you cannot make change.
3) If your skill is not polished well, you cannot make change.
Under 3 situations one must make change:
1) If you have learned everything from your teacher, you must change.
2) If you have comprehended the ancient philosophy, you must change.
3) If you have run out of the passion in your teaching, you must change.
A greater talent has greater changes; A lesser talent has fewer changes.
For those who don't know how to change, it is because their talent and
knowledge are not capable.
I have never heard of a talented person who did not make change;
I have never seen a person succeed who insisted on changing the
" If I give people money, they will spend it all.
If I give people fame, they will attract enemies.
Only if I give them a healthy body, self-defense skill, and cultivated mind,
will they live happily ever after."
On observing the opponent's Qi:
"If the face turns red, his Qi rises. If turns white, his Qi is chilled.
If the eye spirit is focused, his Qi is settled. If the eyes are
flickering, his Qi is floating.
If the knees are straight, his Qi is old. If Qi is old, his body will not
If the body is rocking, his Qi is disorder.
If the fingers are trembling, his Qi is gone."
Professor once complained to few of his senior students:
"Some people came to visit me on the holidays, brought me presents and called
me "teacher", then I'd never see them again, but they told others they are
Some people came to visit me called me "teacher' and asked me to teach them
a posture or two so they can go home with longevity.
My door is always open, if they come here everyday to learn, I will not kick
but if they don't come, I will not go to their places and beg them to
On the quality of Fajin:
"To throw an opponent to the ground is easy.
To hit an opponent to injure is not hard either.
But to bounce him off without hurting him, is very difficult."
On selecting worthy students:
"If a teacher took a talented student but hid away the real art, this
teacher has no virtue.
If a teacher released the real art to a bad-hearted student, he is throwing
the treasure into water."
"There's no such thing that I can transmit my 40 years Kongfu into your head in minutes."
A student complained about other students pushed him too hard.
" Taijiquan is about self-evaluation.
Never blame others for being too strong, or too rough, or not following the principles;
if you could sense and follow their actions, how could you feel the pushes were
A student asked about the meaning of 4 oz.
" Indeed, 4 oz. can not deflect one thousand pounds.
But there is a key word--leading. ( Chinese word: Chan-1)
If a cow weighs one thousand pounds and a rope on the cow's nose weighs 4
oz., a boy can walk the cow with the rope.
But if the rope is on cow's leg, do you think the cow will go with the boy?
In practicing push-hands, it is for us to find out where is the cow's leg
and where is the nose."