Fan II – Section 2

Starting after Bend Bow Shoot Tiger at the end of section one, I’m following the instructional video by Li De Yin.

10. Resting stance, carry fan (Xie bu dai shan). The traditional name is Gǔ Shù Pán Gēn, or Uproot the Old Tree, a name that also occurs in double saber, where it’s a 360 turn and a chop down. The breakdown:

  • Turn the waist swing the fan across – zhuǎn yāo bǎi shàn. Bai can mean show or move back and forth.
  • Resting stance, carry fan – xiē bù dài shàn.

It doesn’t sound like either of these fan movements is a strike, and in the demo, they don’t look like strikes, but Gu Shu Pan Gen is a chop down, so maybe they’re based on a striking movement (down). Basically, the saber and fan movements of the same name are not very similar! I can’t see it.

Professor Li, Xie Bu Dai Shan

Professor Li, Xie Bu Dai Shan

11. Point foot, reveal fan (diǎn bù liàng shàn). The traditional name is Chú Yàn Líng Kōng, or Baby Swallow Flies in the Sky. The breakdown:

  • Stamp foot, pound fan – zhèn jiǎo zá shàn.
  • Point foot, reveal fan – diǎn bù liàng shàn

Dian bu is new to me. I would have called in xu bu. Same thing? Seems to be. I recently learned that xu bu can be either toe or heel down, so maybe this just specifies that it’s xu bu with the toe.

12. Resting stance, embrace cloud (Xie bu yun bao). The traditional name is Tian Nu San Hua, or Beautiful Lady Spreads Flowers. The breakdown:

  • Open stance, embrace fan – kāi bù bào shàn.
  • Lean back the head and work the fan – yáng tóu wǔ shàn.
  • Resting stance, embrace fan – xiē bù bào shàn.

Start with the wrists crossed, fan held in front of the chest, open the arms in a big circle so they meet overhead and circle the wrist that holds the fan, Fold the fan down to the chest again. The key here is not to be lazy (as I sometimes am), but to get the fan all the way up there.

Circling way up there over the head. This is Professor Li's wife demonstrating.

Circling way up there over the head. This is Professor Li’s wife demonstrating.

13. Bow stance, cut down (Gong bu xia jie). The traditional name is Yan Zi Chao Shui, or Swallow Touches Water (small swallow, actually), a name from sword form that invokes the image of a swallow skimming the surface of the water. The breakdown:

  • Turn body, turn over fan – zhuǎn shēn fān shàn.
  • Bow stance, cut down (with) fan – gōng bù xià jié shàn.

14. Embrace fan snap kick (Bao shan dan ti). The traditional name is Huai Zhong Bao Yue, or Embrace the Moon, which is familiar from sword form as the posture of standing on one leg, embracing the sword, which is pointed upward. I notice that in the demo, the kick can be held momentarily, pointing up (for those who can do that). The breakdown:

  • Step up, close fan – shàng bù hé shàn.
  • Embrace fan, snap kick – bào shàn dàn tī.

15. Bow stance, push fan (Gong bu tui shan). The traditional name is Shun Shui Tui Zhou, Push Boat with Current. This one caught me by surprise! I was looking up each character when I recognized where it was going. This move is in every sword form. I didn’t recognize it in the fan version, because the fan is vertical, not pointing away as the sword would be. The breakdown:

  • Turn the waist, spiral the fan – zhuǎn yāo rào shàn.
  • Bow stance, push fan – gōng bù tuī shàn.

16. Chop [with] fan, stretch palm forward (Pi shan tan zhang). The traditional name is Bai She Tu Xin, or White Snake Spits Out its Tongue. The breakdown is:

  • Bow stance chop fan – gōng bù pī shàn.
  • Carry (hanging down) by the leg, extend palm forward – tí tuǐ tàn zhǎng.

17. Dance flowers, hit fan (Wu hua ji shan). This is a movement I was particularly interested in getting clear about. I find it a bit tricky!

The traditional name is Wu Song Tuo Kao, or Wu Song Breaks the Handcuffs. This is a movement in Kung Fu; here’s an interesting article from Wu Song is a character in a traditional Chinese novel. The short version (which I got from Pan Huai) is that (handsome) Wu Song discovered that his short elder brother’s beautiful wife had an affair with a rich man, so Wu Song killed her. He was arrested, but broke the manacles and escaped to live a Robin-Hood life with bandits.

The breakdown on the fan version of breaking the handcuffs is as follows (translations dicey!):

  • Set down the foot, back and forth step, thread the palm – luò jiǎo bǎi bù chuān zhǎng.
  • Fasten step, close fan – kòu bù hé shàn
  • Point foot hit fan level – diǎn bù píng jī shàn.

Based on what Long Feng as shown me and slow motion vdieo, it looks like this:

Step left and circle the fan shut toward you.

Step left and circle the fan shut toward you.

  • Set down the left foot and cross the inside wrists, fan-hand (right) on top. Catch the edge of the fan with the left outside fingertips.
  • Set down the right heel and pivot to the right, turning to the right at the waist, and use the left hand to close the fan. The right wrist circles inwards. (above)
  • Pivot the right heel to front, shift onto the right, and snap the fan open horizontally, left xu bu. The left hand naturally lands on the right arm.
Stepping right, turning to the right before facing front to snap the fan open.

Stepping right, turning to the right before facing front to snap the fan open.

Best bet for learning this move (unless you have someone to show you): watch Faye Li Yip in Scotland, using the gear symbol at the bottom of the video screen to set the speed at .25, and watch at about 1:23.

56-Sword last minute

This completes the sequence for 56-Sword, following the demo by Fan Xue Ping. After xu bu dian jian, at about 4:30, she withdraws the sword, then steps up to bing bu ping ci (White Ape Presents the Fruit). From there she begins another retreating sequence.


As she steps back, first with the right, she points the sword down (above). She retreats two more steps, left, right, each time pulling the sword back to her waist on the side to which she has stepped, left hand on the wrist.


Then she pivots on the right foot and does gong bu xia ci to the right front corner, as shown above. From there she does phoenix Spreads Wings, wheels the sword back on the left and chops down, as shown below.


She does another run of deng jiao, qian ci, tiao bu, ping ci. This is the third one in the form, and except for the direction she’s facing, I see no difference between them. From ping ci, she wheels the sword around on the left, dipping fairly low:


Then wheeling to the right, she dips with the right crossed in front of the left, as shown here:


She then steps left and right, lifting the sword (liao jian). From there she pulls back to the position shown below.


From there, she steps in a circle just as if to close 32-sword (Xieng zhuan ping me). But instead of the straight stab, she does bing bu ping ci and reaches under for the sword, as we do in closing Tai Chi Wudang Sword.

We’re done! I now know the sequence well enough to follow Long Feng and to practice on my own. However, I haven’t got complete lists of the names, poetic and descriptive, plus I would like to compare this form to Yang sword (which I don’t know very well). So I still have a lot to learn.

56-Sword: 4:00-4:30

I’ve reached Phoenix Spreads its Wings, or Che Bu Fan Ji, just before the four-minute mark in the demonstration video by Fan Xue Ping.

Phoenix Spreads its Wings

Phoenix Spreads its Wings

From the finishing position above, she shifts all the way onto the right, steps left and right, circling and lifting the sword—liao jian (below).


From there, she shifts back to the left, pulling the hilt of the sword in to the body and lifting the right knee. The she steps onto the right for Yaksha/Night Demon/Spirit (depending on your list) Searches the sea (below).


Another familiar sequence follows: Zhuan shen hui chou and Bing bu ping ci. From Yaksha, turn to face the opposite way, sword over the shoulder, then chop down and withdraw to left empty stance. The traditional name for Zhuan shen hui chou is (two moves actually) Rhonoceros Gazes at the Moon (Zhuan shen) and Shoot the Wild Goose (Hui chou).

Then step up to White Ape Offers the Fruit (feet together, level stab). She is now facing the front right corner. Another Phoenix Spreads Wings, leaves her facing the back left corner:


At 4:20 I encounter a completely new move. She shifts back and steps across with the right in front of the left. It’s a little jump, a falling step onto the right. Then steps left and presses down on the sword (below).


Then she does it to the left: opens with the sword, shifts right, hops over with the left in front, then steps right and presses down, as below. Names may be Cross the Fence or Straddle and Block. I don’t know the modern descriptive names—I have those only for the names in common with 32-sword.


From there, she shifts right and casts the sword overhead to Ding bu dian jian to the left front corner as shown below.


This brings us to 4:30. It’s enough sequence that I can follow Long Feng up to the new move—for which I need help! I don’t for a minute think I can learn the form from the video alone, but if I can get a handle on the sequence I can begin to learn by following Long Feng.

56-Sword: 3:00-4:00

The next full minute of the form consists of ten moves straight out of 32-sword, so maybe this is a good time to review. The movements all have both descriptive and traditional (or poetic) names. Which I’d like to hook up. My translations of the descriptive terms leave much to be desired. I don’t really care—why translate? Why not use the Chinese names?

The moves are:

Zuo/You/Zuo Gong Bu Lan (L, R, L bow stance block) = Dusting the Wind

Push Boat With Current

Push Boat With Current (Jin bu fan ci)

Jin Bu Fan Ci (advance and stab overhead) = Push Boat with Current

Comet Chases the Moon

Comet Chases the Moon (Fan shen hui pi)

Fan Shen Hui Pi (turn back circle chop) = Comet Chases the Moon

Pegasus Crosses the Sky (Xu bu dian jian)

Pegasus Crosses the Sky

Xu Bu Dian Jian (empty stance point sword) = Pegasus Crosses the Sky

Du Li Ping Tuo

Du Li Ping Tuo

Du Li Ping Tuo (stand on one leg hold up level) = Lifting the Curtain

I notice that a couple of transitions in this section are not what I’m used to. Fan Xue Ping stoops into xie bu ya jian (resting stance press the sword down) after Fan shen hui pi. Then, from Xu bu dian jian, she pulls the sword straight back up. I am accustomed to going straight from Fan shen hui pi to Xu bu dian jian, then wheeling the sword into xie bu ya jian. I am talking about this position being before or after pointing the sword in empty stance:

Xie Bu Ya Jian

Xie Bu Ya Jian

Gong Bu Gua Jian (bow stance wheel sword) = Wheeling the Sword Left and Right

Xu Bu Lun Pi (Wheeling Chop)

Xu Bu Lun Pi (Wheeling Chop)

Xu Bu Lun Pi (empty stance whirl and chop) = Right Wheeling chop

Phoenix Spreads its Wings

Phoenix Spreads its Wings

Che Bu Fan Ji (step back slash back) = Phoenix Spreads its Wings

56-Sword: 2:00-3:00

I left off at the two-minute mark of Fan Xue Ping’s exemplary demonstration video. Next is a series of three moves straight out of 32-sword: Du Li Lun Pi, Tui Bu Hui Chou, Du Li Shang Ci.


She steps back with the left foot (facing away) and slashes left , palm-up, brings the feet together (bing bu) and slashes right, palm-down. Then pulls the sword in to the waist, like carrying the sword at the waist, ping dai. This is at 2:15 (above). She’s standing quite straight.


She then does a complicated series of retreating and stabbing moves, facing all different directions, almost like four corners:

  1. One step straight back with the right, stabbing, then withdraws the sword to the waist. Tui bu ping ci? Step to left bow stance and stab–Zuo gong bu ping ci–to the back right corner (above).
  2. Turns around to her right 270 degrees: shift back, left toes in, step with right toe pointing to back left corner. With this turn, she turns the sword  over, from palm-up to palm-down, sweeping across (below), and then pulls it in to her waist, stepping in with the left.


This is followed by four retreating steps, starting with the left, a lot like block and sweep left and right, but retreating. Step left, pull the sword in to the left; step right, pull the sword into the right side. She finishes in position (below) to do a run of Lift Knee, Falling Step, Stab (Ti Xi Peng Jian, Tiao bu ping ci), which is also straight out of 32-sword.


Then she does Yang shen bao jian (circles the sword in front of her face and embraces it), turns back to her left in pu bu (below–doesn’t she look amazing?), and comes up to bing bu ping ci at the three-minute mark.


More than halfway through, with some familiar moves coming up. This is going faster than I expected!