This short sword form is a simplified version of the standardized 56-sword–simplified just in being shorter. All the movements in 32-sword are also in 56-sword. Michael Garfalo (Valley Spirit Taijiquan, Green Way Research, Red Bluff, California) offers an illustrated list of movements on his website. He also offers a PDF with drawings, but although this seemed like a great idea, I found it impossible to follow. Learning from video is hard enough! Luckily, I have Long Feng–nothing is better than a good teacher.
Excellent video is available for this one, from taiji.de website–I don’t see the name of the man who performs– and from Sifu Amin Wu:
Names of movements (with notes to self):
- 三環套月 Three Rings Around the Moon (twist step, right cross, take sword)
- 大魁星 The Big Dipper (aka the major literary star)
- 燕子抄水 The Swallow Beats the Water
- 边拦扫 Block and Sweep, Right and Left
- 夜叉探海 Yecha explores the sea [stand on right leg pointing sword down]
- 懷中抱月 Holding the Moon [stand on right leg, holding sword up]
- 宿鳥投林 The Birds Returns to the Tree at Dusk [pointing out]
- 乌龙摆尾 Black Dragon Swings Tail [turn around and sweep out]
- 青龍出水 Green Dragon Emerges from the Water [pull back left]
- 風捲荷葉 Wind Rolls the Lotus Leaf [pull back right to left cat]
- 夜叉探海 Lion Shakes Its Head [step up to right]
- 虎抱頭 Tiger Holds Its Head [fall forward]
- 野馬跳澗 The Horse Jumps Over the Stream [finish run with right bow thrust]
- 小魁星 The Little Dipper [pull back to right cat]
- 海底撈月 Scoop Up the Moon from the Sea Bottom [sweep left to cat, right to bow]
- 預備式 Shoot the Flying Geese [chop overhead, pull back to left cat]
- 猿献果 White Ape Presents the Fruit [elsewhere the compass]
- 迎風撣塵 左 Sweep the Dust into the Wind, L, R, L [swallow beats the water]
- 順水推舟 Push Boat With Current [open arms]
- 彗星飞行由月亮 Comet Chases the Moon [stab overhead]
- 飛馬行空 Pegasus Crosses the Sky[pivot left, chop to right bow]
- 挑簾式 Lifting the Curtain [turn left chop to right cat]
- 左輪劍 Wheeling Sword to the left [sit to minor literary star]
- 右輪劍 Wheeling Sword to the right
- 右輪劍 Right Wheeling Chop [to right cat]
- 大鵬展翅 Phoenix Spreads Its Wings
- 黃蜂入洞 Bee Enters the Cave [slash and shift left, shift right to left cat]
- 懷中抱月 Holding the Moon [step to right bow]
- 風掃梅花 Wind Blows the Plum Blossoms [turn over the sword and step around]
- 指南针 The Compass Points South [left bow, then shift back to take sword]
This short, flashy form is required for the second degree black sash. It’s performed with a flexible broadsword and lasts only a little more than a minute. A section can be repeated to add length for purposes of competition, where a minimum time of two minutes or more may be required.
Video resources for this one are scant! On Master Gohring’s YouTube, you can see Mister Hunter and Mister Rodriguez performing at Black Sash Graduation 2010. Very dark! And shot from the back.
Master Blue Siytangco studied with Grand Master Cheng Jincai along with Master Gohring. A few years ago he taught a class in Chen Saber at Master Gohring’s school. Here’s a video–wonderful instruction but doesn’t cover the whole form.
Here’s the list of movements:
- Preparing Form
- Protect the Heart
- Blue Green Dragon Leaps from the Sea
- Wind Sweeps the Wilting Flowers
- White Clouds Overhead
- Black Tiger Searches the Mountain
- Su Chin carries the Sword on His Back
- Golden Rooster Stands Alone
- Turn to Coming Force
- Cut the White Snake at the Waist
- Three Rings Around the Sun
- Part Clouds to See the Sun
- Search Grass for Snake
- Blue Green Dragon Leaps from the Sea
- Wind Sweeps the Wilting Flowers
- White Crane Inserts Golden Wing
- Nei Zha Searches Sea Bottom
- Turn and Chop Left
- Turn and Chop Right
- White Snake Spits Poison
- Embrace the Moon
- Close Form
Few of my Chinese friends speak English. In the year that I’ve been working with them, we’ve managed to learn only a handful of words in each other’s language. Up until recently, I’ve really struggled to hear Chinese–I’ve learned much less than they have–but suddenly, I’ve experienced a very small breakthrough. My brain, for some reason, is beginning to accept a little Chinese.
Bai He Liang Chi – White Crane Spreads Wings
I found a great website run by the Lau Sui Taijiquan school in the UK. Not only do they list the Chinese names for movements of many forms–they even provide audio to help with pronunciation! For example: movements of 42-form. Fantastic!
Many of these movements are familiar from other forms. I’m working on the following list right now:
- Grasp the bird’s tail: Lan Que [cheh] Wei
- Single whip: Dan Bian [bi-en]
- Lift hands: Ti Shou
- White crane spreads wings: Bai He Liang Chi
- Brush knee push: Luo Xi [lo shee] Ao Bu
- Step forward, deflect downward etc: Jin Bu Ban Lan Chui [chway]
- Fist under elbow: Zhou [jo] Di Chui*
- Part the wild horse’s mane: Ye [yay] Ma Fen [fun] Zong [tzong]
*Different for some reason from what I’ve learned in school.
Also called the combined form and the competition form, 42 was created in 1989 by Grand Master Li De Yin. It incorporates elements of all four styles of Tai Chi: Yang, Chen, Sun and Wu. Wikipedia offers this interesting discussion by Dr. Paul Lam.
I’ve been using an excellent video demonstration by Miss Ng Ah Mui.
For comparison, here’s an excellent performance by Gao Jiamin on YouTube.
Here’s a list of the 42 movements in English and Chinese, derived from Lau Sui and a list that Long Feng gave me.
The form takes 6-7 minutes. The movements are:
- Preparing Form – Qishi
- Right Grasp the Bird’s Tail [Wu style] – You Lan Que Wei
- Single Whip – Zuo Dan Bian
- Lift Hands – Ti Shou
- White Crane Spreads Wings – Bai He Liang Chi
- Brush Knee Push – Luo Xi Ao Bu [right and left]
- Fist Across the Body – Pie Shen Chui
- Roll Back and Press – Lu Ji Shi
- Step Forward, Block, Parry, Punch – Jin Bu Ban Lan Chui
- Withdraw and Push [Sun Style] – Ru Feng Si Bi
- Open and Close Hands – Kai He Shou
- Single Whip [Wu style] – You Dan Bian
- Fist Under Elbow [Sun style] – Zhou Di Chui
- Turn to Push Palm [Sun style] – Zhuan Shen Tui Zhang
- Fair Lady Works the Shuttle [Wu? style] – Yu Nu Chuan Shuo
- Right and Left Heel Kick – You/Zuo Deng Jiao
- Hidden Hand Punch [Chen style] – Yan Shou Gong Chui
- Part the Wild Horse’s Mane [Chen style] – Ye Ma Fen Zong
- Cloud Hands – Yun Shou
- Hit the Tiger on One Leg [Wu style] – Du Li Da Hu
- Right Snap Kick – You Fen Jiao
- Box the Tiger’s Ears – Shuang Feng Quan Er
- Left Snap Kick – Zuo Fen Jiao
- Turn Body Slap Foot – Zhuan Shen Pai Jiao
- Step Up and Punch Down – Jin Bu Zai Chui
- Slant Flying [Wu style] – Xie Fei Shi
- Snake Creeps Down – Dan Bian Xia Shi
- Golden Rooster Stands on One Leg- Jin Ji Du Li
- Step Back Piercing Palm – Tui Bu Chuan Zhang
- Press Palm in Empty Stance – Xu Bu Ya Zhang
- Lift Palm on One Leg – Du Li Tuo Zhang
- Strike With Shoulder – Ma Bu Kao
- Turn Body Big Pullback – Zhuan Shen Da Lu
- Grab to Punch – Xie Bu Qin Da
- Squat to Palms Through – Chuan Zhang Xia Shi
- Step Up Seven Stars – Shang Bu Qi Xing
- Step Back to Ride the Tiger [Wu style] – Tui Bu Kua Hu
- Turn and Sweep the Lotus – Zhuan Shen Bai Lian
- Bend Bow Shoot Tiger – Wan Gong She Hu
- Left Grasp the Bird’s Tail – Zuo Lan Que Wei
- Cross Hands – Shi Zi Shou
- Close Form – Shou Shi
The form is predominantly Yang style; I’ve indicated where the other styles occur (as best I know).
I’m considering testing for my second degree black sash this year — if not this year, next year — and my trusty Tai Chi Notebook on Pommelhouse is hard-coded. So I’m moving it to WordPress and updating everything.
For the second degree black sash, I’ll need to know the Chen 38 and its applications, Ba Fa, Chen sword, and Chen saber. I’ll also have to pass the first degree test again, which shouldn’t be a problem; I’ve stayed with it.
I study at Master Gohring’s Black Sash Academy, and that’s where I’ll be testing, but I also practice with a group of Chinese friends in my neighborhood. The Tai Chi they do is quite different, and although it keeps me spread somewhat thin to study with them, too, I love working with them.
I feel the need for a hardcopy notebook, so I’ll be adding printable versions of some of the material on this site.