Yet another form that I have been revising this year is Chen sword, and right now I’m working through it with Hu Pei Yi. Chen Zhenglei’s demonstration of the form is an excellent paradigm:
In a series of short videos, Chen Zhenglei goes through the form a few moves at a time, with names and some instruction. The videos are in Chinese, but with a list of names and a modest vocabulary for sword techniques and stances, etc, I find I can understand a fair bit.
- Moves 1-11 (起势 Qǐshì to 斜飞势 Xié fēi shì )
- Moves 12-21 (展翅点头 Zhǎn chì diǎntóu to 白蛇吐信 Bái Shé Tǔ Xìn)
- Moves 22-28 (乌龙摆尾 Wūlóng bǎi wěi to 斜飞势 Xié fēi shì)
- Moves 29-37 (鹰熊斗智 Yīng Xióng dòuzhì to 斜飞势 Xié fēi shì)
- Moves 38-44 (左托千斤 Zuǒ Tuō Qiān jīn to 斜飞势 Xié fēi shì)
- Moves 45-49 (哪吒探海 Nézha tàn hǎi to 还原Huányuán)
I have also worked my way through Jesse Tsao’s English instructional video for Chen Sword, which can be downloaded or streamed from his website: Taichihealthways.com.
Master Tsao’s Chen lineage is directly to Chen Zhenglei, so the form is the same. It is called 陈氏太极剑四十九式 (Chén shì tàijí jiàn sì shí jiǔ shì): Chen Style Tai Chi Sword 49-step form. Here is a list of the 49 steps:
Chen Sword List of Movements: Chen_Sword (PDF)
I arrived at this list by transcribing from the six videos by Chen Zhenglei. The Chinese names should all be good. The English translations are mine and are not guaranteed (or even likely) to be what anybody else uses. This form is not so well known that there are established English names. I use the Chinese.
Here is Chen Bing, Chen Xiaowang’s oldest nephew, performing Chen sword:
Bing’s younger cousin, Chen ZiQiang, is the head instructor at the Chen family school in Chenjiagou. He also offers a step-by-step instructional video on YouTube, with names.
Chen ZiQiang performs Chen Sword: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nem8pEmoAzE&t=7s
Here is his instructional video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GhxErjCbXxU
In the frame below, you can see that Chen ZiQiang gives the nine sword techniques (Jian fa) in the Chen system as follows: beng, gua, liao, pi, ci, dian, tuo, jia, and sao (for the characters and standard pinyin, see my vocabulary for sword). The move he’s doing is Qing Long Chu Shui (Bluegreen Dragon Emerges from the Water). It repeats twice, in moves #14 and #33.
Just for fun, some of the personalities in the form are:
Zhong Kui (鍾馗), the Ghost King (vanquisher of ghosts);
Luóhàn (罗汉), aka Arhat, an enlightened person in Buddhism, one who has reached nirvana;
Yèchā (夜叉), a malevolent spirt;
Nézha (哪吒), the protection deity; and
Wéi Tuó (韦驼), aka Skanda, one of eight divine protectors in Chinese Buddhism.