This long (nearly 45 minutes, with English subtitles) YouTube video about the Wudang Kung Fu Academy is fascinating. I have never seen anything like the Tai Yi Wu Xing form of Tai Chi. The Wudang Mountains are beautiful (as are the temples and the Academy).
Kung Fu Quest – Wudang (YouTube video)
The training is fiercely difficult, and you can’t help worrying about the children who are sent there. It’s definitely all about fighting, which is not my goal in learning Tai Chi. But the sword play and light body skills (at about the 26-minute mark) are amazing.
“Light Body Skills” Master Chen Shiliu
As for the 49-step Wudang Sword that I’m trying to learn, picking up from Ma Bu, with the sword pointing to the right, the next section is as follows:
- Step up with the left, turn sword to left
- Step around with left (turning to the right), sword pointing right
- Step forward right and stab downward (palm down, left hand on hilt)
- Step left and right, sweeping sword
- Stand on one leg, sword pointing up, palm up (Holding the Moon)
- Step back left, turn to left and squat to lower sword (palm down)
- Step up to right cat stance, holding sword palm up
From here, lift the right knee, extend the leg, and perform a run like that in 32-sword, consisting of Lion Shakes his Head, Tiger Holds its Head and Horse Jumps Over the Stream.
Finish by pulling the sword back to the right hip, pivot 270 degrees on the right foot, step to left bow stance and stab, palm down, level (or slightly down). This completes the next half-minute; we are at about 1:30 of 3:40.
The standardized version of Wudang sword starts out much like 32-sword. I haven’t found a good list of names for this form yet, so I am borrowing the names from 32-sword, even though the moves may be slightly different. This is just an aid to learning the rough sequence of the form.
Another demo: 49-step Wudang Sword
- Commencement (slightly different)
- Three rings Around the Moon
- [Stand on one leg]
- Swallow Beats the Water
- Block and Sweep left and right.
- [Stand on one leg]
- Sweep the Dust into the Wind on right
- Wheeling the Sword to the right
- Slash left, right, left to horse stance, sword pointing right.
In step 3 above, the sword points downward, as in Yecha Explores the Sea, and back. Step 6 resembles the Big Dipper, except the right leg extends in a heel kick. Step 8 is the one that looks back; in Chen sword we call this Rhinoceros Gazes at the Moon (after the similar Nei Kung posture).
These first nine moves comprise about the first minute of the form (which is about three and a half minutes long, give or take).
I’ve had a moratorium on new material since I decided to test for second degree, but now that the test is over, I am eager to learn another sword form. Long Feng has started teaching me Wudang sword.
Master Chen Shixing Traditional Wudang Sword
There are several versions of this form. The one in the video above is traditional; what Long Feng is teaching me is the standardized 49-step version, demonstrated in the video below.
Wudang Sword 49-step Master Liang
I’d like to learn both eventually, if that wouldn’t be too confusing. A third form, Wudang Seven Sword, seems to be a Kung Fu version (below).
Wudang Kungfu Academy China demo