Names for 32-Sword

Names of movements can be either poetic or descriptive, and in the case of 32-sword, there are two completely different lists of the same routine.

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The list I gave in an earlier post on 32-sword is useful because so many of the movements also occur in the traditional and the standardized long sword forms. However, I’m trying to learn the descriptive list–in Chinese–because these are the names that my Chinese friends use. They are also the names called out in the music we use.

Here’s a nice web page: Tai Chi Central offers both lists in English. But I need Chinese. And not just any Chinese version (such as I might generate with a dictionary), but the one my friends use.

Luckily, they’ve given me this beautiful written transcript (above). Working out the correct Pinyin from these characters has been a most entertaining exercise! I’m almost there.

Below, the English is not word for word; I’ve rendered it a little more idiomatic. The Tai Chi Central page helped with this.

  1. 并 步 点 剑 Bing bu dian jian – Feet together point sword
  2. 独立反刺 Du li fan ci – Stand on one leg stab overhead
  3. 仆 步 ? 扫 Pu bu hen sao – Half-squat and sweep
  4. 向 右 平 带 Xiang you ping dai – Carry level on the right
  5. 向 左 平 带 Xiang Zuo ping dai – Carry level on the left
  6. 独立抡劈 Du li lun pi – stand on one leg whirl chop
  7. 退 步 回 抽 Tui bu hui chou – Step back circle withdraw
  8. 独立上 刺 Du li shang ci – Stand on one leg stab up
  9. 虚 步 下 戳 Xu bu xia chuo – Empty stance downwards cut
  10. 左 弓 步 刺 Zuo gong bu ci – Left bow stance stab
  11. 转 身 斜 带 Zhuan shen xie dai – Turn body carry across
  12. ? 身 斜 带 Shuo (?) shen xie dai – Carry across body (?)
  13. 提 膝 捧 剑 Ti xi peng jian – Lift knee hold sword both hands
  14. 跳 步 平 刺 Tiao bu ping ci – Falling step level stab
  15. 左虚 步 撩 Zuo xu bu liao – Left cat stance lift
  16. 右 弓 步 撩 You gong bu liao – Right bow stance lift
  17. 转 身 回 抽 Zhuan shen hui chou – Turn body circle withdraw
  18. 并 步 平 刺 Bing bu ping ci – Feet together level stab
  19. 左 弓 步 拦 Zuo gong bu lan – Left bow stance parry
  20. 右弓 步 拦 You gong bu lan – Right bow stance parry
  21. 左 弓 步 拦 Zuo gong bu lan – Left bow stance parry
  22. 進 步反刺 Jin bu fan ci – Advance step stab overhead
  23. 反 身回 劈 Fan shen hui pi – Turn back circle chop
  24. 虚 步 点 剑 Xu bu dian jian – Empty stance point sword
  25. 独立平 托 Du li ping tuo – Stand on one leg lift hilt
  26. 弓 步 掛 剑 Gong bu gua jian – Bow stance wheel sword back
  27. 虚 步 抡 劈 Xu bu lun pi – Whirl and chop to empty stance
  28. 撤 步 反 击 Che bu fan ji – Withdraw step and slash right
  29. 進 步 平 刺 Jin bu ping ci – Step forward level stab
  30. 丁 步 回 抽 Ding bu hui chou – Fourth step circle withdraw
  31. ? 转 平? Xieng zhuan ping me – Turn level…what???? Step around, carrying level*
  32. 弓 步 直 刺 Gong bu zhi ci – Bow stance straight stab

This is all a little backwards, in that the names aren’t helping me learn the form; it’s because I know the form that I can figure out the names! But if I can understand the names in Chinese, I can follow the music. Right?

*This is what you do; cannot make sense of the characters or the Pinyin!

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