49-Step Wudang Sword (6)

Look at this! One of the people in my weekend practice group has written out the 49 steps of this form for me in beautiful calligraphy. Don’t tell me: Now I have to learn to read Chinese characters.

The 49 steps in Standardized Wudang Sword form

The 49 steps in Wudang Sword

Step 1 is Qi Shi and Step 49 is Shou Shi. Beyond that I can see Du Li in three places–why not more? He also gave me a list of the steps in 32-sword, so that helps in decoding. There are many thousands of Chinese characters, so this is no mean riddle.

I’ve also found another video of 49-step Wudang. It looks like the same place, the same person (but with a different name?) and a different (somewhat less annoying) sound track: Wudang Sword by Master Leng Xian Feng.

We left off at the second sit, with the sword pointing to the left, arms closed, right foot crossed behind the left. Step back out to the right, slashing out to the right and circling the blade around in front of the face. Cross step in back with the left, pointing the sword to the right, left arm over the head. Poor quality screen grab nevertheless shows the position at the three-minute mark:

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Footwork on the next move is step out to the left with the left, step to right cat stance, step out to the right, and step across behind with the left. Some shifting of weight happens with the slashing of the sword, as follows: slash to the left, circle in front of the face, and hold palm up with both hands in front at the cat stance. Then slash right, left, right. Finish in position as above, but sword low, left hand high.

Shift onto the left foot and lift the right knee and the hilt of the sword, step right and cut, palm up, to the right, left arm down. Pivot to the left on the left foot, chop overhead and down, right knee up. Step forward with the right (but you’re traveling to stage left) and wheel the sword back, left hand high.

Step left, sweeping to front with the sword, close with the right foot and point the sword. Step left again, sweeping the sword to the left, and close with the right, both hands on the sword.

Run in a circle, starting with the right foot, six steps and then back with the right, to left cat stance. The arms circle once during the six steps, then the sword circles, then the arms open when you step back, same position as if you were about to finish 32-sword.

To close the form (!!!) step forward left, close with the right (as in the Compass), then catch the hilt in the left hand, palm up, hand pointing back at you. Step forward left, right, then left to shoulder width. While taking these steps, circle the sword back to resting position and circle the right hand up. Straighten up and lower the right hand, as if ending the 32-sword. We’re done.

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