Chan, Lien, T'ieh, Sui: These refer to adherence, the "sticking" aspect of T'ai Chi Ch'uan. Chan and lien are vertical adhering movements, lifting from above and supporting from below, respectively. T'ieh is adherence in horizontal motion, and sui is adherence from the rear.
Ch'i: Breath or breath energy. In an individual's development, the ch'i which one is born with or receives from ones parents is called "former heaven" or pre-natal ch'i. After birth one begins to use up this ch'i, replacing it (incompletely) with ch'i derived from food or air. This is called "latter heaven" or post-natal ch'i. Whenever there is a transformation of energy it is possible to characterize it as ch'i.
Chin: One of the main objectives of T'ai Chi Ch'uan (and of many martial arts) is the development of chin, or internal force. It is contrasted with /i, which refers to muscular contraction and release. Chin is said to develop its power from the muscles and sinews, rather than from binding together and striking with the bones. Chin is developed through circular changes, while the flexations of li describe straight lines.
Chiu Ch'it Chit: A pearl with nine passages. The number nine is a metaphor for a complex maze of channels through which the ch'i must wind to reach every part of the body.
Fa Chin: To release internal force (chin).
Fa Fang: To discharge. :
Hao Jan Chih Ch'i: Great Ch'i. The universal life force inherent in all things. This concept is from the Book of Mencius.
Hsin: The essential mind which produces the ; (idea or will).
I: Mind or idea. / and ch'i are separate concepts but are almost inseparable in function. One of the objectives of T'ai Chi Ch'uan is to make the ch'i or breath energy follow the dictates of the i, or mind. In practice the force of will is replaced by the entertaining of an idea, which gradually becomes more and more sensitive to the opponent's changes.
Kung Fu: Achievement of technique or skill.
Li: Using the muscles to bind the bones together into a rigid framework. This habit, and the subsequent use of this rigid framework to strike or push, is antithetical to the techniques of T'ai Chi Ch'uan.
Liang I: Two primordial Powers, i.e., Heaven and Earth, Yin and Yang, which are the cosmological forces creating all things. The Liang I evolved from T'ai Chi and is symbolized by a broken and unbroken line. From these the Sze
Hsiang evolved and then the eight trigrams. (See: Pa Kua and Sze Hsiang.)
Nien: Adherence or sticking power. When the touch is balanced so that every point of contact with the opponent is equalized, this is called adherence.
Pa Kua: Literally, eight trigrams. The trigrams consist of all the combinations of broken and unbroken lines (binary system) in three positions, as follows:
Shen: Spirit; having almost exactly the same connotations as the English term.
Sung: To relax and sink. A distinction should be made between the relaxation of the whole body and a limp or flaccid condition of the body. When the head is picked up, the joints are thrown open and the relaxation of the body is uniform.
Sze Hsiang: Four Manifestations. Four diagrams denoting the evolution of the cosmos from Yin and Yang to the eight trigrams.
Tan Tien: The physical center of the body. It is located approximately two inches below the navel. In T'ai Chi Ch'uan, it is the center for both movement and meditation.
T'ai Chi: The "Supreme Ultimate," a concept in Chinese philosophy denoting the evolution of the cosmos from the primordial state of void (Wu Chi) into two antithetical forces, Yin and Yang. The T'ai Chi concept is represented by the familiar Yin and Yang circle. (See: Wu Chi.)
T'ai Chi Ch'uan: Literally, Great Ultimate Boxing. Its principles are based on the T'ai Chi T'u or traditional Yin Yang circle, hence the name T'ai Chi Ch'uan. Ch'uan means fist or boxing and generally refers to all forms of exercise based on the martial arts, e.g., Shao-lin Ch'uan (boxing of the Shao-lin Temple), Hsing-i Ch'uan, etc. T'ai Chi Ch'uan was originally known as the "inner school" of boxing or nei chia. It was later changed to T'ai Chi Ch'uan to distinguish it from other pugilistic descendants of the nei chia school. T'ai Chi Ch'uan was also known at one time as Ch'ang Ch'uan, or "long boxing."
T'i Fang: To uproot and discharge ones opponent. It is the culmination of all the other techniques of push hands. The opponent must be moved without distortion and both of his feet must leave the ground and return together.
Wu Chi: A philosophical concept describing the primordial state of the universe that gives birth to the T'ai Chi or Yin Yang polarity. This void or nothingness (Wu Chi) is represented by the empty circle.
Yin Yang: Originally Yin meant the dark shadowed side of a mountain (the northern slope), and Yang meant the bright illuminated side (the southern slope). Out of this developed the correspondences of soft and hard, negative and positive, passive and active, female and male. Yin and Yang are not considered opposing concepts but are really complementary parts of the same whole.
Yung Ch'uan: Bubbling well. The center of the foot where the root lies.