Essential knowledge for the practise of marital arts (Dai Long Bang, 1750)
Solo and partner practise - For those practising martial arts, eighty percent of the time is spent in solo practise, twenty percent of the time is spent with others. Therefore, it is said, "The time strengthening the body is long, the time defeating opponents is short."
Daily practise - One must practise every day, barring illness, without break.
Humility - One must not show off or bully others.
Quality vs Quantity - One who practises too great a variety will become panicked and distraught, if one does not train the body with a realistic foundation, in combat there will be no mature technique to fall back on, one will have neither a well trained body nor a solid technique.
Perseverance - There are those who have no perseverance, who study a little and think they know it all, they are quite satisfied with themselves and rarely practise, they think they are a great success, until they have to use the art and find themselves useless.
Before practise - the stomach should be neither too full or too empty, the mind should not be preoccupied with other affairs, do not practise when angry. When hungry one has no energy, too full and the stomach will be injured. Extraneous thoughts harm the brain. Anger harms the spirit.
During practise - Do not fool around. Do not spit. Do not be disrespectful. If one is not serious in practise the spirit is dispersed, spitting inflames the throat, disrespect weakens the practise.
After practise - Do not eat or drink, do not relieve yourself, do not lay down. Food and drink will not digest well, elimination causes qi to scatter, laying down causes the qi to rise causing discomfort.
The Three Harms - Those who practise martial arts must avoid the three harms.
1 - Inappropriate use of strength
2 - Forcing of breath
3 - Sticking out the chest and pulling up the belly
If one uses strength inappropriately, the qi will not flow smoothly, the meridians will be obstructed and the body will become bogged down. If one forces the breath, one will become stiff and easy to break, with the chest full of air the lungs will be squeezed and will suffer harm. If one sticks out the chest and sucks in the belly, the qi will move the wrong direction and will rise, it will not return to the dan tian.
Seeking instruction - In order to study martial arts, one must be diligent in two areas. First, one must be willing to travel great distances in order to study with those of higher ability and sincerely request instruction. One must also be diligent in speech, humbling the self and asking for guidance.
Force and self-satisfaction - In practising the martial arts there are two things which must be avoided, the first is reliance upon force, the second is self-satisfaction.
Start practise slowly - After a period of practising slowly, it is good to use more force and speed in order to increase the internal power for practical purposes.
Sequence of practise - At the beginning of practice stand in San Ti, afterwards practise forms.
Stages of training - After beginning formal practise, one must follow the rules of training, if so, in three years the basic training will be complete. In the intermediate stages of training, practise single forms repeatedly, use the form to express the intent. After a long period of practise one will be able to change spontaneously with the circumstances. After six years one will complete this level of training. In advanced stages of training, both the internal and external gong fu will be completed, your body will become as hard as steel, your gong fu will be of a high level.