56-sword continued

It appears that Michael Garofalo has lost his domain name! His website is such a great resource–I hope he’ll get it back up. I was counting on it for the traditional names for Yang sword (and for a lot of other things as well). [False alarm: Cloud Hands is fine. Whew!]


I left off 56-sword at 1:30 in the excellent demo by Fan Xue Ping. She was in xu bu liao. What follows is: She slashes backhanded to the right, then steps in with the right foot and does Phoenix Spreads Wings (above). Repeat Xu Bu Liao.


Next, she steps back with the left foot and stabs downward to the left and circles the sword up, so the tip does a figure-8. She has shifted all her weight to the left and finishes this move stabbing down (xia ci) in xu bu (right empty stance–above).


The next move, repeated twice, is also unfamiliar. She steps right, blocking down with both hands on the hilt, as shown above (1:50), then steps left into what looks to me like zuo gong bu lan, except the sword is held lower. The first step is palm-down, the second is palm up. This brings us to 2:00 (below).


The form is a little more than five and a half minutes long. I’ll try to learn the whole sequence this winter.

Fan Form II: 1st Section

I’ve been going through Li De Yin’s instructional video for Fan Form II in Chinese, with Pan Huai’s help. So far, this involves learning a lot more Chinese–I wanted to know the names of the movements—but also, I’m learning how Professor Li breaks down the movements. Excellent form correction and detail!

Hai Di Fan Hua - Overturning Flowers from the Bottom of the Sea

Hai Di Fan Hua – Overturning Flowers from the Bottom of the Sea

So far I’ve only gotten through the first section, which consists of nine movements:

  1. Qi Shi
  2. Xu Bu Liao Shan
  3. Zhen Jiao Dou Shan
  4. Yun Shou Ba Shan
  5. Gong Bu Tui Shan
  6. Jia Shan Deng Jiao
  7. Du Li Pi Shan
  8. Hui Shen Beng Shan
  9. Ju Shan Chong Quan

The character for fan is this: 扇 and the word is Shan (sounds more like shen). The movements, like the movements of the contemporary sword forms, have two names—a descriptive name and a traditional name. The traditional names for the fan form are drawn mostly from other weapon forms.

The opening, Qi Shi, is the traditional White Ape Presents the Fruit– bái yuán xiàn guǒ. Stand with the fan held vertical in front, left hand shielding (not folded around) the right.

The traditional name for Xu Bu Liao Shan (Empty stance lift fan) is Jin Gang Liao Yi. This move resembles Jin Gang Dao Dui, except that the feet are close together. Liao Yi means to raise the hem, as of a skirt. The move is broken down by Professor Li as follows:

  • zhuan shen you lou (turn body and gather to the right)
  • ca bu ping tui (step the left foot forward and push [the fan to the right] level
  • gong bu zuo peng (bow stance ward-off left)
  • xu bu liao shan

Ca bu is new to me. It sounds a lot like cha bu, but it’s the step forward while shifted back (cha bu is cross step behind).

Third, Zhen Jiao Dou Shan (Stamp foot shake out fan). The traditional name, Hai Di Fan Hua (Overturn Flowers from sea bottom) describes the foam of a breaking wave.

  • Ju shan ti tui (raise fan lift leg)
  • Zhen jiao za shan (stamp the foot, pound the fan)
  • Zhuan yao bai bi (turn waist swing arms)
  • Ba quan dou shan (pull up fist shake out fan)

Fourth move: Yun Shou Ba Shan (Cloud hands pull fan). Traditional name, Cha bu yun shou (Cloud hands with cross step behind). The breakdown:

  • Kai bu you ba (open step pull right)
  • Cha bu Zuo ba (cross step pull left)
  • Kai bu you ba (open step pull right)
  • Cha bu Zuo ba (cross step pull left).

Move number 5 is Gong Bu Tui Shan (Bow Stance Push Fan). Traditional name is Lou xi au bu, the Yang brush knee push (or brush knee twist step).

  • Zhuan yao bai shan (turn waist swing fan)
  • Ti jiao fan shan (lift foot flip over fan)
  • Shang bu shou shan (step up collect/put away fan)
  • Gong bu tui shan (bow stance push fan)

Six: Jia Shan Deng Jiao (support fan heel kick). Jia is frame; jia shan is holding it up as if on a shelf. The traditional name, Tiao Lian Tui Chuang, is familiar from Yang sword—rolling up the screen.

  • Zhuan yao he shan (turn waist close fan)
  • Shang bu rao shan (step up spiral fan)
  • Ti tui ti shan (lift leg lift fan)
  • Beng jiao jia shan (collapse leg, support fan)

Seven: Du Li Pi Shan (stand on one leg chop/split fan) is a saber move, a chop as if to split logs with an axe. The traditional name, Na Zha Tan Hai (Na Zha goes to the sea bottom) invokes a well-known story. Na Zha is angry about his village not getting the rain it needs, so he goes to the sea bottom and hits the Long Wang (Dragon King), the rain god. The breakdown for number seven is:

  • Zhuan shen gua shan (turn body hang fan)
  • Gai bu ju shan (covering step raise fan)
  • Du li pi shan (stand on one leg chop fan)

Gai bu, the covering step, is a step across in front.

Hui Shen Beng Shan

Hui Shen Beng Shan

The eighth move is Hui Shen Beng Shan (turn back collapse fan). Collapse isn’t the right word; it’s a flick back to open the fan. The traditional name is entirely unfamiliar to me: Da Mang Fan Shen (big python turns back body).  It is clearly a snake move.

  • Kou bu chuan zhang (closing stance piercing palm—kou means fasten)
  • Tui bu ya zhang (step back press palm)
  • Zhuan shen chuan ci (turn body piercing stab)
  • Du li beng shan (stand on one leg flick fan back)

Last move in the first section: Ju Shan Chong Quan (Raise fan thrust fist). The traditional name is—surprise!—Wan Gong She Hu! Bend Bow shoot Tiger. Facing front. Professor Li does this with the fist rotated away from the body, as in Hit the Tiger.

  • Luo jiao bai bu (lower leg swinging step)
  • Kou bu fan shen (closing step turn body back)
  • Zhuan shen bai shan (turn body swing fan)
  • Ju shan chong quan
Bend Bow Shoot Tiger

Bend Bow Shoot Tiger

The pictures are all grabs from three wonderful demos by Professor Li’s daughter, Faye Li Yip.

The third video is particularly useful because of the slower pace. The lovely music seems to have been added afterwards. You can see her performing at speed, to Xi Yang Mei, in the first two.

Laojia Yilu Section 1

My class will be learning Laojia Yilu this coming year; we started last week. All of us already know the Chen 38 short form, so we’ve got a running start.

My class performing Laojia Erlu with Grandmaster Gohring, Dec. 2015

My class performing Laojia Erlu with Grandmaster Gohring, Dec. 2015

We count the first section as going up to the first Yan Shou Gong Quan (hidden hand punch). This section differs from the Chen 38 only in the addition of one new move after Lou Xi, which is then followed by a second Xie Xing/Lou Xi combination. So the sequence is:

  1. Jin Gang Dao Dui
  2. Lan Zha Yi
  3. Liu Feng Si Bi
  4. Dan Bian
  5. Jin Gang Dao Dui
  6. Bai He Liang Chi
  7. Xie Xing
  8. Lou Xi
  9. Shang San Bu (Step up three steps)
  10. Xie Xing
  11. Lou Xi
  12. Yan Shou Gong Quan
Shang San Bu

Shang San Bu, Grandmaster Gohring

At the end of the first Lou Xi, he rocks back on the left heel, steps up with the right. He shifts back, swinging the right arm across to the left, then pushes and shifts forward. The right hand is rotated so the fingers point to the left, palm away. The fingers of the left hand point up.

That’s it! Circle the hands to the left and step left into a second Xie Xing. Repeat Lou Xi. We have two videos of this section: