Applications for sword

There are thirteen techniques for swordplay. I have found several versions of the list, including:


Above, Amin Wu is doing 32-sword, and this is dian jian: point sword. Here’s the list

  1. 点: Dian – point
  2. 刺: Ci – stab
  3. 带: Dai – carry
  4. 劈: Pi – chop
  5. 抽: Chou – pull out
  6. 提: Ti – lift
  7. 击: Ji – hit
  8. 格: Ge – block
  9. 洗: Xi – clear off
  10. 绷: Beng – split
  11. 绞: Jiao – stir
  12. 压: Ya – press
  13. 截: Jie – intercept

The first seven are exemplified in 32-sword. Master Zhang (first link above) provides good descriptions of how all of them work as applications of sword forms. I am wondering how liao, gua, and sao fit in. Also, is lan just a synonym for ge or jie?

From Tao of Tai Chi, I’ve also found a list of techniques for the Tai chi broadsword: upper cut, under cut, cross cut, chop, split, lift, stab, block, pull coiling, push, intercept and parry.

Videos, Fan Form, etc.

Jesse Tsao offers an amazing line of instructional DVDs on The teasers are poor video quality, but the videos are excellent. I’ve started collecting them. So far I have the videos for 24 and 42 step.

photo (29)

Above, here is the wonderful Amin Wu doing 42-form. A few more times through Master Tsao’s instructions on this form, and I will be able to do it pretty confidently (within my sorry physical capacities). Of course, I follow Long Feng through it every weekend. Next, I’ll get Master Tsao’s video for Wudang sword.

Master Tsao was a collegiate wushu champion and studied with Chen Zhenglei and Li Deyin, so he’s pretty much got it all covered. Too bad he’s so far away (in San Diego). Watching the short clips last night, I was amazed to see Pao Chui in Fan II!

In section five, when you snap the fan backwards, that’s Yan Shou Gong Quan! Then left-right-left punches! Then you turn around and do what I thought was a kick. It’s chong! A sidekick.

In the move that follows, at school, we do a cat stance and snap the fan down. Long Feng does a little jump to cat stance. But what Master Tsao teaches is…Fan Hua Wu Xiou!!! Overturning Flowers! It’s Chen. And Master Tsao learned this form from Li Deyin, who created it. So I’ll need to get that video as well.

Meanwhile, I just finished reading The Joy Luck Club, by Amy Tan. What a great book! How have I never read it before now? I’m reading it because I am writing up the story of how my Chinese friend Lily came to the US by way of Vietnam.

I have many times been invited to join my Chinese Tai Chi friends for potluck dinners, so I loved the scene where Waverly takes her American boyfriend home for dinner. With the best intentions he commits one faux pas after another. He takes too much on his plate to begin with:

“…he had helped himself to big portions of the shrimp and snow peas, not realizing he should have taken only a polite spoonful, until everybody had a morsel.”


“He thought he was being polite by refusing seconds, when he should have followed my father’s example, who made a big show of taking small portions of seconds, thirds, and even fourths, always saying he could not resist another bite of something or other, and then groaning that he was so full he thought he would burst.”

I was relieved to know that I had always cautiously taken small portions at first–and it was no artifice on my part that I then accepted seconds, thirds and fourths because I couldn’t resist! Until I begged off because I was so full!

Rich also falls for Waverly’s mother’s criticism of her own cooking–believing her and offering condolences! Only a man could make that error, and not only among Chinese people. But anyway, that’s how you behave at dinner.