On the Hour
Pizza walker speeding
With eyes that don't look good
Caught between butterscotch and sundae...
Walking up the slide
And sliding down.
Choco-free and vanilla latte
For sandman exercise.
Ever searching Freedom is.
Are you sure what socks are saying?
Magic soaked in endless Enzyme combat,
Lamp, Bedside bright, Careful.
Closing closet clothing shoehorn.
Salad dropping, Topping. Alive.
Seven sevenths slowly sifting, Careful.
Polish baba did, Drift, Drift.
Dancing ice in enamel chowder, Did.
Toaster, Toothbrush, Comb.
I wanna go home.
Warm hugs Straighten earmuffs
And got me through Metal detector mornings.
And if never to be seen again,
You're in my air.
I, DUCKMAN ----------
Bernice - You were suppose to get your dog neutered, I caught him looking looking funny at the hamster again!
Ajax - Yeast cakes! Every bite a nutritional pot-pourri.
Duckman - I brake for animals,..if they're big enough to dent my car.
Duckman - What the hell are YOU starin' at!?!
Fluffy - Hello Mr. Duckman. Being aware of your little digestive problem we made you a bran muffin and a mug of steaming liquid grit. Uranus - Be good to your bowels, and they will be good to you.
Cornfed - I'd dream I fell & hurt my head my head on a fishbowl, hurt myself just bad enough to work graveyard shift at a convience store. A group of Hari Krishnas always came in at 4am and bought 16 gallons of Mr. Slushi and a package of banana flavored Ding Dongs, then the Swedish Bikini Team jumped out of a magazine and read Moby Dick to me inside a giant carton of cottage cheese. Why? I'd ask myself, what could it mean? Am I mad or is the world just a mystery to complex to understand?
Ajax - Is it possible to love a sandwich so much you don't want to eat it, cause then it'll be gone?
Duckman - Play with tigers, you get covered in yellow hair.
Cornfed - No one else could have created the family you did... I mean that in a good way.
TV OR NOT TO BE ---------------
Ajax - oh oh Yet again I have loaded Aunt Bernices' priceless Ming Dynasy china in the trash compactor.
Miracle - I had fleas and ticks but I bathed in low fat milk boy and now I only have ticks.
Duckman - Sure, when my butt starts singing show tunes.
Ajax - Dod's a detective?
Cornfed - Interesting how the need for substance in an unexamined life often times leads to gulibility.
Duckman - Forget Mother Mirabelle. This crowd needs father Thorazine.
Duckman - She's a bigger ripoff than those talk to a nympho in prison hotlines that double charge you on your phone bill when they know you can't do a thing about it cause you can't tell anyone you called them in the first place.... So I heard.
Mother Mirabelle - Make a move & your dead meat. Duckman - Does wetting myself count as moving?
Duckman - Miracle Schmiracle, I bet those mindless pod people who believe in that thing still wait up for the tooth fairy. Fluffy - Why shouldn't they? Duckman - Because he's rotting in a Turkish jail!
Duckman - Hmm boy! Just smell that art. Yessiry this is just the break I needed after a long day of making art & being insane.
Duckman - I don't know art but I know what I like..... BREATHING!!
Duckman - Wait! Could you stamp my hand so I could get back in?
GRIPES OF WRATH ---------------
Mombo - Does a high ranking religious figure evecuate his bowels in a wooded area?
Ajax - I thought we were going out for Flan?
Prof. Provenheim - I am here to introduce you to the greatest advance in civilization in this century. Ajax - CONDOMS! They held a vote at school.
Duckman - I got a question. How come they can put a man on the moon, but they can't make a deoderant that works past lunch?
Duckman - Hummana Hummana Howwa Cornfed - Either you're babbling, or you just told me in Cherokee that my scrotum was many colored.
Duckman - Its like a dream..... Not the naked contortionist on the glass table top kind of dream.... but not bad.
Ajax - DOD, AUNT BERNICE, Good news. I made the honor role. Bernice - Splendid. Duckman - WHAT? You're barely multi-celled.
Duckman - Hummana Hummana Howwa Bernice - I didn't know you spoke Cherokee.
Duckman - Maybe it is a perfect world.... but why are my butt feathers standing on end?
Cornfed - Easy Duckman, I know over two hundered ways to kill a man. Sherry - You could glue an open jar of rats to his face, then blow torch the other side of the jar so the rats have to eat their way out through his face. Cornfed - Two hundered one
Bernice - You spent the last six days watchin that video tape where she learns what all her vacuum attachments are for. Sherry - You said you erased that! Cornfed - Erased, ran off thousands of copies... it's such a fine line.
Duckman - Stay away from my kids Chock-n-full-of-nutsen. Provenheim -PROVENHEIM!
Duckman - Once again I've outwitted a pitfully inadequate opponent by staying one step ahead of em. How exactly did I do that?
Cornfed - The look promises a night of comparing hard to find birth- marks in a hot bubble bath, but all you get is a slap in the face & a cold shower. Duckman - How hard a slap?
Duckman - I've seen plenty of guys with smaller bills than me.... not that I look at other guys bills.
Duckman - Cornfed, do you think I'm attractive? Cornfed - Sorry Duckman, I don't date people I work with.
Cornfed - I need to learn how to awaken the sexual beast that lies dormant in every womans soul waiting to transform her into a lusting creature of unbridled passion. Pulling at me. Tugging at me. Yelling TAKE ME CORNFED MAKE ME YOUR LOVE SLAVE!!!
Cornfed - Mini golf put me through Dental school.
Cornfed - We went back to their house. Duckman - Their HOUSE! Details gimme details! Cornfed - A frame, two & a half baths, exposed brick fireplace...
Duckman - I'm very sexually active. Mistress Nina - With another person? Duckman - Oh.... No.
Mistress Nina - Confidence is the third door on the left.
GLAND OF OPPORTUNITY --------------------
Bernice - Ohh... That man makes my elbows sweat.
Duckman - Wait a minute! Hold it! I gotta think about operations ever since that little appendectomy mishap. Good thing I already had kids.
Duckman - I'm starting to get the strangest urges. Bernice - You said you'd see a therapist if those ever came back!!! Duckman - Not THOSE urges.
Duckman - I've got thrills to seek, deaths to defy, matress tags to tear off.
Duckman - Can it and sell it to someone else Bacon Boy. If I were interested in science I wouldn't have spent all that classroom time at the porno arcade.
Duckman - ZOIK. If you ask me she's something of an eyesore.
Ajax - We're not even ashamed to be sitting with you when you're picking at your underwear in public.
Principle - Duckman! You're a half an hour late. Duckman - And I should be feeling what exactly?
Cornfed - In fifteen minutes he & his kids are going to attempt an incredibly dangerous stunt where he'll probably plummet to his death on national television if I don't stop him. Attendant - Got time for a quicky? Cornfed - Sure, those things never start on time anyway.
RIDE THE HIGH SCHOOL --------------------
Ajax - Hey! Someone!... The esclator stopped! I'm Stuck!... Somebody?
Duckman - The boy is fifteen years old. He still hasn't mastered the four slice toaster.
Duckman - I was attacked, beaten, left for dead. Bernice - I told you not to join a record and tape club.
Duckman - Goodnight Ber.... Bernice - AHHHH!!!!! Duckman - BRRRR! YUCK! It'll be a long time before I eat Broccoli again.
Duckman - Duckman. Duckman with a D. In fact PHD. Loveology. Perhaps you'd care to stay after class while I grade on your curves?
Duckman - Alright lets go. These candies melt, I can't use them as slugs in the toll basket.
Cornfed - Norman Rockwell on acid.
Cornfed - Sometimes after an electrical storm I see in five dimensions. why are the sixty of you looking at me like that?
King Chicken - The students, professors, all animatrons, robots. Duckman - Even Deanna, that lovely coed? King Chicken - Nope! I've never been able to make breasts. She's a muppet. Duckman - Ohh! To be Frank Oz for a day!
Duckman - Come here chicken & prepare to meet your colonel!
A CIVIL WAR -----------
Duckman - Thin-skinned no-humor pansies! You tell em an ice breaker or two about women-libbers, gays, environmentalists, several minorities, the homeless, a couple of religions, anorexics, obese people, the handicapped, old-farts, baldness & people who walk real goofy cause they just had a vasectomy and suddenly they get all sensitive! Like I offended one of them or something?
Cornfed - Any ex-wandering troubadour slash hostage negotiator could've done it"
Cornfed - I was once kidnapped by a cabal of kick-boxing Ninja who forced me nightly to play a deadly game of steel cage basketball where the losers where beheaded. Duckman - Yea... well... I bet there wasn't a shot clock.
Duckman - Sorry, I didn't hear you, I was staring at your breasts.
Cornfed - Could I use the restroom first? Bob - Sure you can't miss it. Make a right at the cow bone grinding and marrow extraction room, a quick left at the chicken squeezing ovum cracking pit & then a sharp circle round the gobstopper & gizzard suction chamber. Cornfed - I'll hold it in.
Bob - Your job is just to sort the mail. If you can hold on to it, Cornfed - Got any napkins? Bob - NAPKINS! That's brilliant.
Bob - I didn't count on an undercover pig being on me like pee on a bum's shoes.
NOT-SO-EASY RIDERS ------------------
Cornfed - You're aware that whil it affords one the momentary illusion of satisfaction, the spewing of bile is never a permanent solution.
Duckman - If I wanted a lecture about money I coulda waited till Sunday and stolen from the collection plate again.
(open door) thump Ajax - OW (open door) thump Ajax - OW (open door) thump Ajax - OW Duckman - Step away from the door, then pull.
Agent Dennehy - Hands to the sky duckbreath. There's a cavity search with your name on it.
Cornfed - Duckman, maybe you should try distracting them by doing what Pee Wee Herman did in that movie. Duckman - First of all I don't think it's appropriate, second I'm not really in the mood.
Duckman - I ever tell you my dads last words to me? Cornfed - Careful son, I don't think the saftey is on. Duckman - Before that!
Duckman - I can't believe they shared their girlfriends withus Corny! I just spent the night with the sexiest, most insatiable, voluptious, adventureous, least inhibited women I've ever met! If she didn't suddenly get a headache.. Woo Hoo! there's no telling what wild and taudry escapades we might have experienced. How was your night? Cornfed - Like yours... minus the headache.
Agent Dennehy spreads his arms wide Bernice - My God! How do you get your pants on? Agent Dennehy - I mean stretch out the phone call.
Ajax - Mmm ... a gumball... how fortutious
IT'S THE THING OF THE PRINCIPLE -------------------------------
knock knock knock Bernice - Who is it? Ajax - Ajax Bernice - You don't have to knock here, You can just come in here. Ajax - I knew there was one house I could do that at.
Cornfed - I moisturize
Ajax - Hey everyone, it's Farmer Brown of Farmer Brown's Sausage Sticks. His meat like products are gristlicious.
Duckman - It looks a lot worse than it actually is. Cornfed - Not unlike nipple clamps.
Duckman - Hummana Hummana Howwa Vanessa - Very impressive Mr. Duckman, but why are you telling me in Cherokee that you have racoons in your pants?
Duckman - OK, Final Offer! 500 Bucks to do a couple of jumping jacks and I don't even have to be in the room... just phone me & tell me when you do em!
Duckman - Actually my biggest fantasy involves you, liver loaf and a pack of starving rotwillers!
Ajax - I'd hoped for your blessing dod, but I'm old enough to make decisions on my own. Aren't I??
Bernice - Little bubbly? Duckman - I know it's the water jets plus that dam digestive problem of mine. I..mm.. you didn't mean the water did ya?
AMERICAN DICKS --------------
Fluffy - Mr. Duckman your carton of Itch-away Rectal Cream just arrived and your test results are here. The doctor hasn't identified your lesions but he's ruled out cold sores!
Cornfed - Before I met Duckman I was at a crossroads, soul searching, looking for my place in this endless puzzel we call life. .. You ever wake up in a Cambodian gaming parlour and realize you were living in a dark dank abyss of emptyness & loneliness, then wander the mountains of Asia for two years until you became the chef in a Tibetian monestary? Cameraman - I just asked what kind of detective Duckman is. Cornfed - ... oh...
Duckman - Don't respect you? ... I brought you the hand towel didn't I?
Duckman - Mayor Whitman!! The man who brought honesty & fairness to municiple politics, the man who clensed city hall of corruption, the man I voted for SIX times in the last election?
Duckman - If there's the fetted funk of crime within a mile of here I'll smell it out.
Duckman - What do ya think of that Corny? You're workin for the Biggest American Dick ever!
Ajax - ew look a choclate bar. . . . EW this isn't a choclate bar.
CELLAR BEWARE -------------
Ajax - By the hand of Zeus what manner of deviltry is this? I mean... what gives?
Duckman - What the hell are YOU starin at?!!
Duckman - Flaming this, blend & brew that, What ever happened to the manly drinks? The kind that made you go blind, puke till you drop, then wake up three days later married to the daughter of some overly protective father who would pay you to get it annuled.
Duckman - We've never been robbed because I'm the king of my castle, I've got the dangling modifiers in this English class.
Ajax - Robbed?! Then that would mean the T isn't there. I thought it was stuck on one of those cable access shows where nothing ever happens.
Ajax - They left the dustballs??
Duckman - Watch it Bernice, you're stepping on my head. Bernice - Like I can do any more damage.
Interlopen Furher 2000 - Intruder detected in basement. Explosive device will detonate in ten minutes reducing intruders to lifeless piles of smouldering ash. Ajax - Bad news for those intruders huh?
Duckman - I want to say something I've never said before.... Ajax - Stinky pinky bottle of inky.... What? He has said it before?
ABOUT FACE ----------
Duckman - An angel Cornfed, one phone call and I was swept away. She is everything I ever hoped for in a woman. Cornfed - Low standards? Duckman - I'm keeping my fingers crossed.
Cornfed - So, you going to spend the rest of your life waxing your own board or are you going to call her back?
Ajax - Hi dod, what ya doing? Duckman (lighting a cigarette) - Throwing my life away on an overpriced marketing phenomena tha will leave me bed ridden, tumorous and politically incorrect. Ajax - Oh... I wish I had a hobby.
Cornfed - Your dating an ugly women, aren't you? Duckman - How did you know? Cornfed - I've fished out of that pond myself.
Duckman - She's hideous! She's got a face that would scatter a leper colony. You gotta look at her through a box with a little hole in it.
Duckman - I finally found a woman I can love and respect. Look her eyes point in the same direction.
Duckman - Let it ring.
JOKING THE CHICKEN ------------------
Duckman - Life is cheap. Cornfed - Tell me about it, justt las week I was in a bar talking to a white slaver.
Duckman - Beats the heck outt of some quack charging me through the bill, just to grope a bunch of places I don't even touch.... Hardly ever.
Duckman - You! The son of poor Okey Mountain pigs. How'd you afford med school? Cornfed - Two words... Vivisection volunteer. Sure it hurt, but I'm told as a result of banging me on the head with a large hammer & then slicing open my stomach & digging around in my insides they were able to rule out two theories on why fat people perspire. Duckman - Oh.. a worthy cause, so shall we get on with it. Cornfed - Bend over, grab the desk & grit your teeth.
Duckman - Oh Right! Like I was the only guy to laugh at the joke about the gay midget with the cleft pallet.
Duckman - Funny is a wiffle ball bat in the gazongas, or a little super glue on a tooth brush..
King Chicken - Relax, you got the best seat in the house. Duckman - I appreciate the compliment, but I don't swing that way.
Duckman's Rant from the Bellevue Hospital Episode
DUCKMAN: And when you think about it, isn't that exactly the point?
(they stare at him, he looks back at them uncomfortably, back and forth)
Parking. (they nod, understanding)
And driving. And shopping. And eating. And working. Somewhere, somehow, they're different now, none of 'am are the same, they all got chewed up and spit back out, and they don't taste like living anymore! Don't you see what it's like in this deranged Waring Blender of a world?! Every day is an agonizing ordeal, like balancing a pot of scalding water on your head while people whip your legs and butt... (smiles) You never forget your senior prom... (back to anger) YOU think I'm "sick"? Well the only disease I've got is "Modern Life," a schnutbusting gauntlet of inefficiency and misery that's one long parade of let-downs, put-downs, trickle downs, shutouts, freezeouts, sell-outs, numnuts, nincompoops and nimrods, all making every day as much fun as waxing a flaming Pontiac with your tongue, where even if you do luck into the possibility of some fleeting pleasure, like, say, if some nymphomaniac telephone operators with the muscle control of Rumanian mat-slappers agree to a little Strip Air Hockey, it'll be over before it starts 'cuz some vowel-lacking, feta-reeking cab-jockey slams his Checker up your hatchback and the cab is owned by some pinata spanker from a Santeria cult in Xoacalpa who starts shaking chicken bones at you and gives you a boil on your neck so big all it needs is Michael Jordan's autograph to make it complete, and even with all this, with ALL THIS, I still drag my sorry butt off the Sealy every morning and stick my face in the reaping machine for one more day, knowing when it's time to flash the cosmic card key at those Pearly Gates, I won't be in the coffin anyway 'cuz some underhanded undertaker sold my heart, pancreas and other assorted Good 'N' Plenty to that same Santeria cult so does anybody really wonder why anybody is hanging onto sanity by the atoms on the tips of their fingernails while Life dirty-dances on their digits, and is it really any wonder that I seem DERANGED???!!"
(off their stunned looks) But...heh-heb... that's probably nothing you haven't heard a hundred times before...
^ From the Top ^
Mr. E. L. Wisty - World Domination League
If there's one thing I can't bear, it's when hundreds of old men come creeping in through the window in the middle of the night and throw all manner of garbage all over me. I can't bear that. I think that's unbearable. Ghastly old men, with great pails of garbage, throwing it all over me. I don't think it should be allowed, I think there should be a place for those people to go. And I don't think it should be my room. I'd vote for any party that would say, "I won't allow people to throw garbage all over me". But none of the parties seem to be particularly interested.
That's why I formed the World Domination League. It's a wonderful league, the World Domination League. The aims, as published in the manifesto, are total domination of the world by 1958. That's what we're planning to do. We've had to revise it - we're hoping to bring a new manifesto out with a more realistic target. How we aim to go about it is as follows: we shall move about into people's rooms and say, "Excuse me, we are the World Domination League - may we dominate you?" Then, if they say "Get out", of course we give up. ...
There's been some wonderful dominators in history, you know. Attila was one. He was a wonderful dominator. Attila the Nun. He had a Gothic Horde, you know. A wonderful Gothic Horde, and he used to move about entire countries and strangle people completely to death. And then, when everybody woke up, they'd see a little note pinned to their chest, saying: "You've been dominated. Ha, ha. Attila the Nun." ...
Hitler was a very peculiar person, wasn't he. He was another dominator, you know, Hitler. And he was a wonderful ballroom dancer. Not many people know that, he was a wonderful little dancer, he used to waltz around with a number "8" on his back. The only trouble was, he was very short, and people used to shout out to him when he was dancing, and say, "Wie kurz du bist - how short you are!" And this of course enraged Hitler. He flew into a tantrum, and he gave up ballroom dancing, and took up wholesale raping and pillaging instead. ...
Of course, Mrs Hitler was a charming woman, wasn't she - Mrs Hitler, a lovely woman - she's still alive, you know. I saw her down the Edgware Road only the other day. She'd just popped into the chemist's to buy something, and I saw her sign the cheque, "Mrs Hitler". So I knew it was she. I tried to go up and talk to her, but she slipped away into the crowd. I was hoping she'd be able to come to the next meeting of the World Domination League.
^ From the Top ^
ANNOUNCER: [With messianic backing jingle] ON THE HOUR! RICH PICKINGS AT THE MEDIA-EVENTS INTERFACE!
CHRIS: And the travel unit have been making some noise this morning: There are major problems for commuters on the London Underground. Apparently, careless workmen have failed to tighten up some of the bolts and several stations on the Circle Line have slipped round. Paddington is now at Great Portland Street - passengers for Monument should dismount at Barbican. And the situation has been further complication by Mansion House, which has overtaken Blackfriars, Temple and Embankment, and is now just before Westminster, which is at Bayswater.
CHRIS: An American treasury report says the United States will now impose sanctions to prevent further destabilisation in the Eurodollar trade-war. On the line now from Washington is our embargo correspondent, Peter O'Hanraohranrahan. Peter, what exactly is going to be done?
PETER: Good evening Chris. Well, what exactly is going to be done is exactly the right question that we've all been asking all day and now we've finally got the answer: and the answer is, the Americans have come down very, very - very hard indeed on the European community.
CHRIS: What are they going to be doing?
PETER: They're going to be imposing all manner of trade sanctions and embargoes on a sliding scale of percentage points, and this could prove very costly in Brussels.
CHRIS: [very slight accusatory edge] So what are the exact numbers in the report?
PETER: It's.. It's hard to say because at various different times in the report they change the.. uh..
CHRIS: At what page in the report ..
PETER: .. it's a slid..
CHRIS: .. at what page in the report do they mention the numbers?
PETER: [nervous tapping] W..well, all the pages obv..obviously tacitly refer to the numbers but it's a sliding scale that's what you have to..
CHRIS: What.. wha
PETER: .. to understand, it slides, the scale, and therefore it's very difficult to ascertain exactly what the Americans·
CHRIS: Alright - peter Peter.. PETER. .. The report THAT YOU'VE READ·.
PETER: [pause] yes·
CHRIS: Have you READ the report?
PETER: [pause] It has certainly been read.
CHRIS: Who's read it?
PETER: Many people have read it.
CHRIS: HAVE *YOU*?!
PETER: [pause] u.. the question is not one that I consider.. worth..
CHRIS: *WHEN* DID YOU READ IT?
PETER: At the press conference it was handed to me·
CHRIS: At the press conf..
PETER: And I ..
CHRIS: At the press conference you were given ..
PETER: I was given the document at the press conference and I.. I certainly read some . er .. parts of it there.
CHRIS: [briskly] What I want to know is WHAT the Americans are going to impose - CAN you tell me NOW or are you about to LEAVE?
PETER: [pause] No I can't tell you, yes I'm - leaving.
CHRIS: Peter, thank you very much.
PETER: And you, Chris.
ANNOUNCER: [to cheery jungle] On the Hour - In news terms, it has an *enormous* packet.
CHRIS: [shuffles papers and swallows] And more on that train stuff has just been coming in - Commuter chaos continues in the Capital today. Station slippage has been exacerbated by vandals who are attaching loose stations to the backs of the trains. This means that several stations have run into each other, apparently; some of them have fused and the pressure wave has blown Turnpike Lane right out of London altogether - it's now somewhere in the middle of Bedford. Many lines _are_ still working, though most of them on one rail only, and passengers wishing to use escalators are advised to bring their own.
Time for thought for the day now with Monsignor Trebe Lopes.
CHURCH MONSIGNOR: [said in pious, Episcopal tone throughout] Last night I attended a rave at a warehouse in Hereford. There were many young people dressed in cycling shorts and loose-fitting long-sleeved T-Shirts. I felt somewhat displaced, until a young man took me into a toilet cubicle and sold me a tab of E.
Thenceforth, I bopped till day-break in single-minded pursuit of the groove. Jesus didn't dance, but his beat goes on.
^ From the Top ^
The unique features of the Kou style T'ai Chi Ch'uan are as follows: it belongs to one of the big posture branches, and each posture is designed and based on the fundamental principles of Chinese martial arts. The hands, eyes, body and legs agree in harmony. The steps are brisk and the body is agile. Inner energy runs smoothly throughout the body. The movements are circular, smooth, gentle, and continuous. All of the postures are closely related to each other, but emptiness and reality are always kept distinct. The postures manifest a unique style of being lively, rhythmic, gentle, relaxed and natural. The postures look elegant and graceful. It is a comparatively onerous style of T'ai Chi Ch'uan, requiring greater physical effort.
When practicing T'ai Chi Ch'uan, I find it different from other forms of martial arts. For the external branch, the strength released is distinct and segmented, but T'ai Chi Ch'uan requires continuity of the strength directed by the mind. That is why I always remind students of the Confucian saying, which follows: "the way I follow is an unyielding effort of concentration." In every posture 'emptiness' and 'reality' should be distinct, just like a ring of beads, each bead being independent yet connected to each other by a thread passing through all of them. The thread represents the continuity of strength and mind.
It is said that T'ai Chi Ch'uan was invented by grand master Zhang San Feng. One day when studying Taoism in the temple, he incidentally saw a fight between a snake and a bird, which inspired him to create a new style of martial arts "T'ai Chi Ch'uan". The beginners usually cannot understand its essence and nature. However after practicing several years, with improved skills, our postures then become smooth and well controlled. During practice, we may feel responsive, as a snake is responsive. For example, if attacked on the left side, the right side strikes back simultaneously. The postures are never static and keep changing continuously. We attack and defend effectively by shifting the postures, but still we must learn to keep our minds concentrated and the inner energy circulating throughout our body. The philosopher Menius once said: "We learn to maintain the natural spirit, which can turn out to be extremely strong and boundless." The method of maintaining the natural spirit is similar to that in T'ai Chi Ch'uan, that is, during practice, we must keep our mind highly concentrated, with the inner energy sinking to the Dan-tian, shoulders relaxed, and the elbows dipping. For each posture, our mind should never be distracted. The movements and the mind must be integrated, the inner energy must move throughout the body. There should be no flaw (no caving in or out) in any parts of the body.
The classical boxing theory says: "Inner energy must be nourished by the concentration and no harm can be done on us." The nature of T'ai Chi Ch'uan agrees with the above mentioned expositions. Now let me mention some essential points for its training:
(1) Relaxed:It is the most important principle in practicing T'ai Chi Ch'uan. We should not take this as equivalent to "disintegration". Take sand as an example: each particle is separated from others without any linkage. Relaxation implies the idea of continuity. Just like a string of 108 beads, each bead is independent of the others but all of the beads are linked together by the thread, so none of them are detached. Therefore, when practicing T'ai Chi Ch'uan, we must first keep the shoulders, elbows and wrists relaxed. Then all of the parts will follow the same.
(2) Open:To open wide is just like pulling a bow in archery. T'ai Chi Ch'uan embraces skills such as "opening" and "closing", "emptiness" and "reality". The Boxing theory says: "At the first stage of training, aim at opening wide". During practice we should open as widely as possible, with the idea of stretching the limbs endlessly. By this, our tendons will be lengthened and our strength increased. Regarding postures such as spread hands diagonally (diagonal flying), bow and hands outward (push), hooked and hand and stretched palm (single whip), it is obvious that we need to keep the postures wide. However the postures should be well-balanced and we should avoid overdoing them. If we just pay attention to a certain part, neglecting others, we have committed a great error.
(3) Stretch: It is the natural outcome of "open". It means stretching out from a "closed" bending state like unfolding a manuscript. T'ai Chi Ch'uan postures such as step back and whirl the arms, pat the high horse etc. all carry this idea.
(4) Dense: It does not carry the meaning of tenseness. The classic of T'ai Chi Ch'uan theory says "As regarding Kung Fu training, open first, then the postures should be dense." For practicing all forms of martial arts, not just T'ai Chi Ch'uan, we must first learn to keep the postures open and stretched out to train the bones and tendons. After all, we will increase the density in our movements so that the opponent will not be able to penetrate the line of our defense.
(5) Distracted:We must avoid this at all costs in practicing T'ai Chi Ch'uan. If distracted, we cannot heighten our spirit and concentrate our mind, and then our movements will become sluggish and clumsy. If our concentration lapses, the practice will be a wasted effort. Moreover if we practice for just a short time, or just a half set of the postures and do not continue, how can we improve our skills ? Therefore, if we start practicing T'ai Chi Ch'uan then we must concentrate with our mind the whole time. Only with perseverance can we attain success.
(6) Slowness:We must avoid hasty movements. The movements should be slow and steady. There must be no pause, and no discontinuity. When practicing the T'ai Chi Ch'uan postures, which are the foundation of the training, we are learning to "understand ourselves". For the push-hands exercise, which is the application of the postures, we are alternatively learning to "understand others". It is not easy for beginners to keep their hand movements slow and steady, let alone keeping their leg movement the same. The classical theory reminds us: "Step as light as a cat." We must keep our steps light and brisk, not making any sound. If we can comply with this, all of our body parts will be in unison, and the upper part will coordinate well with the lower part, and the inner energy can accumulate well at the vital point Dan-tian.
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