Sacred Texts  Taoism 

p. 197: Ho T'ai-ku supporting Heaven, seated. (Public Domain Image)

Kung-Fu, or Tauist Medical Gymnastics

by John Dudgeon


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This is an extremely rare 19th century treatise on Chinese medicine, particularly the practices of the Kung Fu school. This has never been reprinted, and was scanned from a rare copy in the possession of the University of California. Although best known for a fighting style, Kung Fu includes a whole range of medical practices based on late Taoist alchemy. Dudgeon describes the use of yoga-like postures, movements similar to Tai Chi, the use of healing sounds similar to mantras, as well as massage and other techniques. He gives specifics of compounds used to treat a wide range of ailments in conjunction with the other methods. Dudgeon describes Taoist deities and sages, and gives extensive background on Chinese medical theory. This text is an invaluable look at the esoteric medical practices of the Chinese prior to the 20th century.

Important: This is an historical text which includes accounts of 19th century Chinese medical practices, presented for the purpose of education and entertainment. Please do not attempt any of the exercises or treatments described in this document without consulting your physician first.

Production Notes: I had to scan this from a PDF created by Google books, by printing out the PDF and then bulk-scanning the pages back in. Because of the poor quality of the printing in the original text, it is likely that there are additional errata which have not been corrected. Several sections which were printed entirely in small type have been presented in the default type size for purposes of readability. Locations of untranscribed Chinese characters in the text are indicated by a single hash sign (#). Due to the number of diagrams in the text, I have broken it down into files based on the number of images per file, so as to not have to thumbnail the images. --J.B. Hare, October 9, 2008.

Title Page
The Eight Ornamental Sections
The Five Animals

Kung-fu for the Four Seasons

1. For the Solar Term of the First Month, or 'Beginning of Spring.'
2.—For the Middle of the First Month, or 'Rain Water.'
3.—Second Month, name of Solar Term,—the 'Waking of Insects'
4.—Middle of the Second Month,—termed the 'Spring Equinox.'
5.—Third Month,—Solar Term 'Pure Brightness.'
6.—Middle of the Third Month,—termed 'Corn Rain.'
7.—Fourth Month, Solar Term named 'Beginning of Summer.'
8.—The Middle of the Fourth Month, termed 'Small Full.'
9.—For the Solar Term of the Fifth Month, named 'Sprouting Seeds.'
10.—The Middle of the Fifth Month, termed 'Summer Solstice.'
11.—For the Solar Term of the Sixth Month, named 'Slight Heat.'
12.—For the Middle of the Sixth Month, termed 'Great Heat.'
13.—For the Solar Term of the Seventh Month, called 'Beginning of Autumn.'
14.—For the Middle of the Seventh Month, termed 'Stopping of Heat.'
15.—For the Solar Term of the Eighth Month, termed 'White Dew.'
16.—Middle of the Eighth Month, named 'Autumnal Equinox.'
17.—For the Solar Term of the Ninth Month, called 'Cold Dew.'
18.—Middle of the Ninth Month, termed 'Frosts Descent.'
19.—The Solar Term of the Tenth Month, called 'Beginning of Winter.'
20.—For the Middle of the Tenth Month, termed 'Slight Snow.'
21.—For the Solar Term of the Eleventh Month, named 'Great Snow.'
22.—For the Middle of the Eleventh Month, called 'Winter Solstice.'
23.—For the Solar Term of the Twelfth Month, named 'Slight Cold.'
24. For the Middle of the Twelfth Month, termed 'Great Cold.'

Medicinal Kung

No. 1—The Honourable and Real Form of the Great Pure Ancestral Teacher
No. 2.—The Venerable Prince Li playing the Lute
No. 3.—Hsü Shên-wêng's Method of preserving the Air and opening the Passes
No. 4.—The Immortal with the Iron Crutch pointing the Way
No. 5.—The Maiden Immortal Ho slowly ascending to Heaven
No. 6.—Pai Yü-ch‘an seizing his Food like the Tiger
No. 7.—Han Chung-li's Method of sounding the Heavenly Drum
No. 8.—The Immortal Maiden Ts’ao looking at the Figure of the Ultimate Principle of Being
No. 9.—Ch‘ieu Ch’ang-ch‘un’s Method of Turning the Windlass
No. 10.—Ma Tan-yang's Method of using the strength of Fire for the whole Body
No. 11.—Chang Tze-yung driving the Pestle
No. 12.—Miss Huang-hua Sleeping on Ice
No. 13.—Yin Ching-ho's Sleeping Plan
No. 14.—Li Ch‘i-ch‘an’s Method of dispersing the Semen
No. 15.—The Maiden Chang Chên-nü fixing her Animal Spirits
No. 16.—Wei Po-yang's Method of beating the Wind
No. 17.—Hsueh Tao-kwang rubbing his Heel
No. 18.—Ko Hsien-wêng opening the Thorax
No. 19.—Wang Yü-yang's Method of dispersing Pain
No. 20.—The Maiden Ma rubbing (away) the Disease
No. 21.—The Picture of Chang Kwo-lao abstracting from and adding to the strength of Fire
No. 22.—Ch’ên’s kung for obtaining his Great Sleep
No. 23.—Shih Hsing-lin's Method of warming the Tan-tien
No. 24.—Han Hsiang-tse’s Figure for nourishing Man's Heart
No. 25.—Miss Chao-ling's manner of making disease go
No. 26.—Lü Ch’un-yang’s Figure of sustaining the Pulse
No. 27.—Ch’ên Hsi-i imitating the Cow descending from looking at the Moon
No. 28.—Fu-yeu-ti-chün drawing the Sword from its Scabbard
No. 29.—The divine ancestor Hsü shaking the Heavenly Pillar
No. 30.—Ch’ên Ni-wan’s Method of grasping the Wind's Nest
No. 31.—Ts’ao Kwo-chieu taking off his Boots
No. 32.—Chao Shang-tsao’s Method of transferring and stopping the ching
No. 33.—The pure peaceful Heavenly Preceptor's Sleeping Kung
No. 34.—Sun Hsuen-hsü imitating the Black Dragon taking hold of his Claws
No. 35.—Kau Hsiang-sien’s imitation of the Phoenix  spreading its Wings
No. 36.—Fu Yuen-hsü embracing the Vertex
No. 37.—The immortal Li Hung-chi admiring the Moon
No. 38.—Li T‘ieh-kwai the Immortal leaning on his Staff
No. 39.—The True Jade Immortal's method of harmonizing the Hall of the Kidneys
No. 40.—Li Ye-p‘o imitating the child reverencing
No. 41.—Lan Ts‘ai-ho imitating the Black Dragon shaking his Horns
No. 42.—Hsia Yün-fêng imitating the Black Dragon in a horizontal position on the Ground
No. 43.—Ho T‘ai-ku supporting Heaven, seated
No. 44.—Liu Hsi-ku exhibiting terribly the Ferocious Tiger
No. 45.—Miss Sun Pu-erh waving the Flag
No. 46.—Chang Yao-yang imitating the Child worshipping the Goddess of Mercy
No. 47.—Tung Fang-shuo's Method of grasping his Big Toes
No. 48.—The Patriarch of P‘êng’s Method of brightening the Vision
Extra Curative Kung without Prescriptions
The Dragon Series
The Tiger Series


Books on Kung-fu
Method for Acquiring the Essences of the Sun And Moon
The Eighteen Disciplinary Records
Divisions under the External Method
Notes on Kung-Fu Regulating the Various Parts of the Body

The Twelve Positions

1.—The First Aspect of Wei-to
2.—The Second Aspect of Wei-to
3.—The Third Aspect of Wei-to
4.—Taking away a star and changing the Dipper for it
5.—Pulling Nine Oxen's tails backwards
6.—Pushing out the Claws and Extending the Wings
7.—Nine Devils drawing a dagger
8.—Three Plates falling on the ground
9.—The Azure Dragon stretching its Claws
10.—The Lying Tiger springing at his Food
11.—Making a Bow
12.—Wagging the Tail
The Nine Figures to Remove Disease and Lengthen Life
Description of Diagrams
Physiology of Kung-fu
Diagrams Illustrating the Physiology of Kung-fu