I’m liking these Kung Fu Quest videos! Here’s another one, also 45 minutes long, YouTube, with English subtitles. This one is about Tai Chi.
The emphasis is again on fighting, and the Tai Chi is mostly traditional. However, our two pilgrims do go to Beijing and touch on standardized Tai Chi, and the promotion of Tai Chi in the last century as a form of healthy exercise for most people, and especially for older people.
In the Wudang sword form, I have gotten to the 1:30 mark. In the next section, we walk in a circle and jump to a squat. Long Feng has led me through this section more than once; it’s time to learn the sequence.
We left off in Zuo Gong Bu — left bow stance — stabbing palm up and level, away from the direction we faced at the beginning. Left hand is up.
Rock back on the left heel, withdrawing the sword. Step across to the left with the right foot; the sword snakes across the body and turns right so you are following its point.
Walk in a complete circle to the right, counting the first step with the left, up to twelve steps. On eleven, turn to the left and step to right bow stance (twelve), stabbing down with both hands.
The movement of the sword is tricky. It leads, hilt high and point low, left hand high, for four steps. On step five, the left hand comes up to the hilt. Then both arms circle around: up, out, back, in (that’s 6, 7, 8, 9), crossing hands at nine.
On step ten open up again, sword circles like Swallow Beats the Water on eleven, and then stab on step twelve. This whole sequence, the 12 steps, starts out slow and accelerates right up to the Yo Gong Bu. That stab is with both hands, downward. All this takes only15 seconds!
We are up to the jump. Shift back, swing to the left, sit back on the right leg in left cat stance, arms open, palms down. Settle. Step left and jump to the right foot, making a 360-degree turn in the air. Set the left foot down and squat, sword pointing left.
It’s not a hard jump. Long Feng does it easily and gracefully, and it’s not too hard for me, either, except that Master Liang, I notice, lands on both feet in a squat. Landing in a squat is not so easy.
He then rocks back to the right, pivots to the left on the left foot, steps right and back with the left into right bow stance facing back the way he came. The man is beset from all sides! Very dramatic! I like it. The sword pulls back when he rocks back, the swoops and stabs down on the You Gong Bu. Left arm is up.
We are almost at the two-minute mark. That jump is right about the halfway point in the form. Next, we’ll get to the Compass, run around, and do my favorite part, a cute little flip of the sword and foot that captures the spirit of this form for me.