Practice Methods of Yin Yang Bapanzhang

Excerpts from the book "Yin Yang Bapanzhang" by Ren Zhicheng

Text translated from Chinese and edited by Jarek Szymanski. Drawings come from the 1988 reprint of the original book except "Horse Riding Stance" which comes from the book by Zheng Wen and Ren Wenzhu; J.Szymanski 2000


What is called Wuji (Endless, Without Poles)? It is born from void nonbeing; once you stand for a long time in Wuji posture, then Qi becomes smooth, blood in harmony, sinews relaxed, skin healthy, power sufficient and Youji (Polarized, With Poles) is born.The skill of Youji can be examined. In the top it penetrates to Tianxian (top of the head) and tips of fingers, in the middle it smoothens Canopy (Huagai, e.g. chest) and Nine Tails (Jiu Wei, e.g. abdomen), in the bottom it reaches Xuan (e.g. knees), Earth (Di, e.g. Ankles) and toes. One feels sufficient power and smooth Qi in all three basins - Upper, Middle and Lower. Whole body feels uninhibited and at ease and this is Youji, which contains three basins (San Pan). Their practice methods are described (in) next (chapter).

Ren Zhicheng (1878-1967), author of the book "Yin Yang Bapanzhang" published in 1937


After you are able to stand correctly in Youji posture, only then it is called Three Drills Returning to One (San Jiao Gui Yi) and is known as one complete power (of the whole body). (When) the power is complete, only (then practice) can be divided into the method of three basins. Three basins are: Heaven, Earth, Man.

First one should practice the twisting tendons posture of Earth basin. In the method of twisting tendons, one should stand in Horse Riding Stance (Jia Ma Shi), place both hands on the knees and twist (e.g. rotate the knees) to the left and to the right until the knees are (only) one to two inches from the ground.

Then one should twist waist of Man basin. The method of twisting the waist is also divided into practice to the left and to the right. First stand in Horse Riding Stance and insert right hand downwards below left armpit, left hand pushes outside in the same direction as the shoulder until right shoulder is opposite left knee. (Then) left hand should make the same movement to the right until left shoulder is opposite right knee.

After these two basins are mastered, one will naturally have Heaven basin. The Heaven basin is the head. This is because when you stand, the Chaotic Qi (Zhuo Qi) sinks down, Clear Qi (Qing Qi) rises, mind is clear, eyes bright, and even when one twists tendons and waist, rotates and shifts, one will not feel dizzy because of rotating, which means that (one) has Heaven basin.

Horse Riding Stance (Jia Ma Shi) - the most basic posture of Yin Yang Bapanzhang and first of Eight Postures (Ba Shi)


From head to waist one is divided into Three Palaces of Tianxian, Huagai, Jiuwei; arms are divided into Three Palaces of Exiting (Chu), Entering (Ru) and Retreating (Tui); legs are divided into Three Palaces of Earth (Di), Hanging (Xuan) and Void (Kong). (When through practice one) connects these Nine Palaces into one Complete Power (Zheng Jin), then this is called Nine Palaces Become One (Jiu Gong Gui Yi); they later return to the inside, and then (one should) practice until (this power) reaches every Palace. Power of each Palace stresses Yin Power (Yin Jin), Yang Power (Yang Jin), Big Surface Power (Da Mian Jin), Small Surface Power (Xiao Mian Jin), Direct-and-Reverse Power (Fan Zheng Jin). While using power, it (e.g. the power) should penetrate through every Palace and one must couple Hardness with Softness (Gang Rou Xiang Ji); one Palace uses strength but all of them act. This is called "having Nine Palaces". Once Nine Palaces are equally developed, one (is ready) to practice Eight Postures (Ba Shi).


There are three methods:


Place a wooden structure in a suitable place. (The structure) should have the shape of a swing. Choose two baskets for carrying dust. Put (some) soil (clay) in them. Then use two long leather straps and fasten their ends firmly to the baskets.

The other two ends should be tied to two wooden angle-shaped handles, so that they can be hold easily during practice. Then hang both straps over the horizontal pole of the wooden structure. During practice stand in Horse Riding Stance. Sink the Qi of Dantian. Both hands pull the baskets in turns to practice the power of Nine Palaces Becoming One, increase the strength of standing "stable as Mount Tai". At the beginning there should be little soil in the baskets and (you should) increase its amount as you get more skillful. After you practice for a long time, the pulling power will grow. Once the opponent is pulled, he will be thrown outside the circle. This method should not be ignored. See the drawing.

Wooden structure in the shape of swing used for Pulling Power practice



First erect wooden post in two rows. The more the better. There should be at least ten posts or more in each row. The distance between two (neighboring) posts (in one row) should be three feet. The distance between the rows should also be three feet. When you erect the posts, the (positioning of the) posts in two rows should be alternated and in any case they must not be opposite each other. While practicing walking among the posts, turn, twist and overturn at will to develop the fast power of moving like a dragon, twisting the waist and agile footwork. The more you practice the faster you should walk, the faster you walk the more skillful you become. You will be able to pass through the most messy crowd without hindrance and move (around) your opponent not even being spotted. This is a wonder that can not be expressed with words. See the drawing.

Two rows of posts used for body, waist and footwork practice


Hang eight cloth bags in the room at the ceiling (you can also make a wooden square structure). Stuff the bags with iron sand or green beans. At the beginning the bags should not be too heavy - their weight should be about five, six pounds. Then gradually increase the weight as you practice for some time. The bags must be made of a firm and dense cloth.

The height they hang should be chosen according to the height of one's squatting posture. The bags should hang on one level. At the beginning the practitioner should be surrounded by the bags and move around and strike them at will using the body method of a sparrow hawk. Or strike them using single Turning Palm, or Yin - Yang Palms (e.g. one palm turned upward and the other turned downward); using Large Surface (power) of hips, while Small Surface (power) of twisted strikes. Both palms turned downwards can strike downwards (Zhuang Da) or turned upwards strike upwards (Tuo Da). Or one can use elbow strikes or shoulder strikes with body turned (slightly) sideways. Lower body can strike with hips, kick with Yin leg (e.g. forward with the upper part of the foot) or the Yang leg (e.g. backward with the sole). Large Surface (power) of a Hooking Leg (Gou Chuai), Small Surface (Power) of a Sweeping Leg (Gua Chuai).

One should practice this method only after Clean Qi and Chaotic Qi are connected in harmony and the Power of Nine Palaces becomes one. After this method is mastered, although surrounded by multiple opponents, one will be able to handle the situation with ease, without fear or in rush. See the drawing.

Wooden structure with hanging bags used for practice skills of fighting multiple opponents

End of "Practice Methods of Yin Yang Bapanzhang - excerpts from the book 'Yin Yang Bapanzhang' by Ren Zhicheng"; J.Szymanski 2000




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