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Kung-Fu, or Tauist Medical Gymnastics, by John Dudgeon, [1895], at

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The Dragon Series.

The Dragon is the chief among the four divinely constituted beasts, a legendary monster depicted by Chinese tradition as a four-footed reptile resembling a huge saurian. The watery principle of the atmosphere is pre-eminently associated with it. For a notice of the Dragon King see the writer's article in The Chinese Recorder, on Praying for Rain (Volume I, 1867).

No. 1.—The Dragon stamping the Earth, or The Stamping-Earth Dragon (and so with all the other titles).

Let both hands embrace crosswise both shoulders; fix the toes on the ground, and stamp with the heels 24 times. This is used for the strengthening of the ligaments and bones. The stamping with the heel causes the blood to circulate in heaven and earth, high and low (that is, all over the body). The blood and air thus circulating everywhere, boils, abscesses, etc., will not be produced. In this way, man can voluntarily and gratuitously strengthen himself. *

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No. 2.—The Dragon wagging his Tail.

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Place both legs firmly together, and move from side to side like a dragon's tail, 24 times. For pacifying and making comfortable the ligaments and bones. (These results are produced by the movement of the coccyx).

No. 3.—The Dragon rubbing his Head.

Take hold of the Dragon with the left hand, and rub his head with the right hand; seize it slowly, and afterwards move it firmly; do not be afraid to repeat it any number of times. The black dragon is the liver, and the white tiger is the lungs. By so manipulating, hardness will disappear, and the dragon at the sight of the tiger will not be afraid. (The illustration is similar to Nos. 1, 18, 23 and 29, of the Medicinal Kung).

No. 4.—The Whirling-Wind Dragon.

With closed fists and head slightly bending downwards strike out first the right hand and then the left, each hand following the other. This is in order to more the bones and muscles, and cause the blood to advance forwards, and so prevent the body from becoming weak. (The illustration is similar to that for the Third month).

No. 5.—The Dragon joining his Feet.

Sitting straight place first one leg and then the other in the opposite axilla, and with the hands grasp the opposite elbows. To cause the blood to pass down the vertebrae to the kidneys and coccyx. (The illustration, a male, is similar to No. 5, of the Medicinal Kung).

No. 6.—The Dragon shutting the Pass.

The hands to be lifted up with the palms towards heaven, and the air is thus driven up to the head. To be done 24 times; and, if the air reach to the ni-wan bone, * the organs of vision and hearing will be strengthened. (The illustration is similar to No. 7, of the Eight Ornamental Sections).

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No. 7.—The Dragon closing in the Inspired Air.

Perfect quiet to be maintained, without which the exercise is useless. To be done 81 times. To impart strength to men. (The illustration is similar to Nos. 1, 20, 16, 21, 23, and 29, of the Medicinal Kung).

No. 8.—The Dragon supporting Heaven.

The object of this movement is to cause the air to pass from all parts of the body to the coccyx. The person lies on his back, the heart is empty (free from all care, etc.), the legs are drawn up, and the hands clasped underneath, 81 times. By this kung-fu alone can the air freely circulate to the coccyx.

No. 9.—The Ascending Dragon.

The person sits cross-legged, the breath is retained and drawn into the abdomen, the mouth is closed and the tongue thrown against the palate. Prescribed for driving out cold, with the hands in the loins, and against incontinence of urine.

Inspire by the nose 90 times. If inspiration by the nose be not attended to, the passages will be blocked up; and, if the mouth be not closed, the dorsal muscles will be rendered uncomfortable; and, if the tongue be not rubbed against the palate, the air from below will not pass to the occiput, and all pass round like the flowing of the Yellow River and the tides of the ocean and go into the heart.

There are three more given to complete the dozen, forming the "Dragon Set:"—one, The Dragon taking Water; another, The Dragon fearing Fire; and The Dragon meditating on the Elixir. These, not being very different from some others already given, are omitted.


212:* These directions are usually in rhyme, so as to be easily remembered and committed to memory. The Chinese have no correct notion of the circulation of the blood. They speak invariably of blood and air; and, together, these words stand for the constitution. Original air is supposed to be mixed with the blood, and to be the cause of its onward movement. (The position of the arms resembles No. 3, Medicinal Kung).

214:* "Mud pellet bone," so called from its containing the brain called the "mud pellet palace," and this again from a reference in the Han dynasty to an official who, with such a pellet, could close the Han Pass. (See the writer's Anatomical Vocabulary,—"Ni-wan").

Next: The Tiger Series