Chen Sword

This form is required for the second degree black sash. The sword is double-edged and flexible, so it snaps when jabbed sharply. It’s the first sword form I learned; I now recognize some of the same movements in the Yang sword forms I’ve been studying.

Chem sword form

2010 Black Sash Graduation

The 2010 Black Sash Graduation video shows the form as we do it, which is the way Master Cheng Jincai teaches it. Here’s a video of Cheng Jincai performing Chen sword at the Legends of Kung Fu tournament. My Chen class performed it at the 2013 Graduation (I’m in the back in gold silks).

I don’t know the names of the movements, though I did find a list of movements on a site for the Dragon River School. I have my own notes describing the sequence; I’ll have to compare the two lists and see if I can make any sense of it. I’m not even sure that list is for the same form.

  1. Opening Form. Step left, sword across chest; shift left, turn right toes in, shift back, pivot on left heel, right arm forward; Step right, circle the arms and present sword; shift back, right toes in, open all the way around to left, return back around to right, sink, switch hands.
  2. Stand on right leg and SNAP DOWN.
  3. Step left and stab level.
  4. Slashing. Cut Right, left, right, left and turn.
  5. Step left and stab level.
  6. Over-the-head stab down behind.
  7. Stamp, step left and stab level.
  8. Slant Flying.
  9. Rhinoceros Gazes at the Moon.
  10. SNAP horizontal.
  11. Slashing. Cut left, right, left.
  12. Sink and Pull Back.
  13. Stamp right.
  14. Stand on right leg and SNAP DOWN.
  15. Stab Up. Cut left and right, left knee, stab upward.
  16. Slashing. Cut left, right, left, turn right, left, right, open.
  17. Stab Up. Knee, step right, left, skip, stab upward.
  18. Stab horizontal. Pull around to left, sink and pull back, step up and stab horizontal.
  19. Twirl Sword. Step left, twirl right; step right, twirl left, turn and face front.
  20. Lunge. Step back with right foot, wipe blade and brush knee, stab overhead and catch right wrist with left hand.
  21. Over-the-head stab down behind.
  22. Fish: Turn back to front, cast overhead to cat stance, step up and horizontal stab.
  23. Slant Flying.
  24. Stab Up Left. Cut left, left knee, stab behind and up to left.
  25. Fish: Open and step right, left, right cat stance stab down.
  26. SNAP vertical. Open to right, recoil and snap open to side, sword up.
  27. SNAP. Turn to front, scoop on right, stamp, stand on right leg and snap down.
  28. Over the Shoulder. Step left throw sword up and over the right shoulder, right cat stance.
  29. Over the Shoulder. Step right and left throw sword forward, around and down in front, right cat stance.
  30. Slant Flying. Facing front.
  31. Recoil, hilt right, step right, left, right, fajin.
  32. Cut right and left, recoil, step right, left, right, fajin.
  33. Fish: Open step right, left, right cat stance
  34. Circle sword and catch.
  35. Slashing. Cut left, right, left, and open, right knee, step right and stab upward.
  36. Fajin. Turn back and stab down.
  37. Slant Flying.
  38. SNAP. Coil, step right, left, right, and SNAP horizontal.
  39. Over-the-Head stab behind.
  40. Horizontal SNAP. Facing front.
  41. Slashing. Left, Right turning, right, right, sink and pull, step up and stab horizontal.
  42. Close Form. Change hands, step left, slip sword, feet together, left hand circles down.

One more video, of Master Chen Zhenglei, is recognizably the same form, styled differently and with a different opening. I like it! And another variation has the opening that looks a bit like a Buddha Stamp, plus a bit more Fajin.

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