Cheng Tzu’s Thirteen Treatises

cheng tgzu's thirteen teratises

Cheng Tzu’s Thirteen Treatises

A very good book written by a well known taiji master.

Cheng Man Ch’ing

Strength and Physics

page 44

A chapter that one will read, and read again as time goes on and ones skill deepens.


One the most important concepts it covers The sphere.

With out being able to form this using ones mind / body  much if not all of taiji will be closed off to ones self.

The Idea of  the sphere fist starts with understanding and developing an axis.

” Like a circle, which geometrically is a two-dimensional object, a sphere is defined mathematically as the set of points that are all at the same distance r from a given point, but in three-dimensional space. This distance r is the radius of the ball, and the given point is the center of the mathematical ball.

The longest straight line through the ball, connecting two points of the sphere, passes through the center and its length is thus twice the radius; it is a diameter of the ball.”

The shape we make with the mind/body forms the sphere.  The practice should answer:

  1. how to do develop it
  2. how to test it
  3. how to use it

A direct student of Cheng, Man-ch’ing,   Robert Chuckrow,


” A Clarification of “Secret” Teachings Revealed by Cheng Man-ch’ing

“For quite a few years, I have been reading and re-reading Cheng Tzu’s Thirteen Treatises,1 written by my first T’ai-Chi teacher, Cheng Man-ch’ing (1900–1975). I consider most of this book to be very clear and filled with valuable information. However, even though my Ph.D. is in physics, I found Treatise 7, entitled “Strength and Physics,” very hard to understand.

This essay ends with Prof. Cheng saying,

“This treatise reveals the secret of many generations of T’ai Chi Ch’uan masters. I hope the practitioner will pay special attention to this!”

He evidently considered this essay, which deals in part with neutralization, to be very important and chose to use physics as the main expository tool.”

Its not often that people with such a deep background in an applied science takes the time to write from this back ground explaining their art.

A comment often used to discredit things shown by taiji masters:

“its against physics”

Most not really understanding the physics they seem to feel its against. 

In this day and age, many of the skills shown on the net by different masters of taiji  can be explained and examined using “physics”

Its not often that someone with taiji skill who happens to be a PHD level physicist takes the time to write a ” A Clarification of “Secret” Teachings Revealed by Cheng Man-ch’ing”

Mr, Chuckrow, has both making his explanations and examples quite clear and precise. Historically, some taiji masters were described as being illiterate. Most traditions where passed down orally.  This served a couple of functions.

to be continued

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