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Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Fundamentals of the Wudang Sword Method Trans by Scott Rodell



練劍歌 
頭腦⼼心眼如司令。
⼿手⾜足腰胯如部曲。
內勁倉庫丹⽥田是。
精氣神膽須充⾜足。
內外⼯工夫勤修練。
⾝身劍合⼀一⽅方成道。

Liàn jiàn gē
Tóunǎo xīnyǎn rú sīlìng.Shǒu zúyāo kuà rú bù qǔ.Nèi jìn cāngkù dāntián shì. Jīng qì shén dǎn xū chōngzú. Nèiwài gōngfū qín xiūliàn. Shēn jiàn hé yīfāng chéngdào.

Song of Sword Practice
The mind is like a commanding officer.The hands, feet, waist, hips, are like the troops.Internal power is stored in the dantian.Jing, qi, shen and courage must be abundant.Internal and external skills must be practiced diligently. Then the body and sword become one achieving the dao.
Commentary and Notes:
In the last line of this verse, the term chéngdào (成道) can have a wide breadth of meaning. For those genuinely engaged in this sort of work, the concept of chéngdào should be clear. One possible alternative translation of this line is, “With body and sword becoming uniting, one achieves illumination.” Within Buddhism, chéngdào can express enlightenment or illumination.
Not that one is correct or better, rather perhaps not all are familiar with the meaning behind chéngdào. Reaching a state where the body and sword have united as one carries with it more than the idea of achieving great martial skill. Arriving at this state also bring with it a clarity and understanding of the world and the manner in which forces interact. In other words, there is a special understanding that comes from achieving great skill
If one wished to translate this line in a more common vernacular, it could be rendered, “with body and sword becoming one you get it.”

Quoted from -
http://www.amazon.com/Fundamentals-Wudang-Sword-Method-Swordsmanship-ebook/dp/B0155MS13A

Sunday, November 19, 2017

THE "LORD OF THE RINGS" OF CHINESE LITERATURE IS FINALLY BEING TRANSLATED INTO ENGLISH

THE "LORD OF THE RINGS" OF CHINESE LITERATURE IS FINALLY BEING TRANSLATED INTO ENGLISH

"The world imagined by Chinese writer Jin Yong is one which celebrates loyalty, courage, and the triumph of the individual over a corrupt and authoritarian state—carried out by no less than heroes who fly through trees and deliver deadly blows to their enemies with a single finger.

It’s a world familiar to many readers of wuxia (martial-arts related fiction) writer Jin Yong, a pen name for Louis Cha, the best-selling author in the Chinese-speaking world. Though Cha’s fantasy worlds rival J.R.R. Tolkien’s every bit in creativity, breadth, and depth, his works remain relatively unknown to English readers because of a conspicuous lack of translations. Now his Condor Trilogy (1957),arguably the most celebrated of the 93-year-old writer’s works, is finally getting translated into English." 

READ THE REST HERE 



Friday, November 17, 2017

Ten Admonishments for the Sword Art (劍箴十條) - Kunwu Sword Manual Translated by Scott M. Rodell


一旣得眞傳,又須涵養性情。倘遇無知之徒,妄加譏貶;只可令其一世糊迷,不必與之較量。
Yī jì dé zhēn chuán, yòu xū hányǎng xìngqíng. Tǎng yù wúzhī zhī tú, wàng jiā jī biǎn; zhǐ kě lìng qí yīshì hú mí, bùbì yǔ zhī jiàoliàng.
Upon obtaining the true transmission, one must have self restraint. If one encounters an ignorant person, don’t rashly ridicule (him), only just allow him a life time of muddled confusion, it’s not necessary to have a contest with him.
From the Ten Admonishments for the Sword Art (劍箴十條)
from the Kunwu Sword Manual (昆吾劍譜)
by Li Lingxiao (李凌霄)
Translated by Scott M. Rodell

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Chinese martial artists ordered to stop organizing their own bouts

Chinese martial artists ordered to stop organizing their own bouts.

"China’s top sporting authority has banned kung fu practitioners from organising unauthorised fights, calling themselves “grandmasters” and creating their own styles.

The directive, issued by the General Administration of Sport on Thursday, bans a total of eight practices and follows an intense debate across the country prompted by the humiliating defeat of a tai chi master by a mixed martial artist in April.




Many questioned the merits of traditional martial arts after the fight, in which the founder of “thunder style” tai chi was defeated within 10 seconds by the MMA fighter.
In the directive, which aims to tighten regulations on martial arts-related activities, the General Administration of Sport said practitioners should “build correct values about martial arts”."

Read the rest HERE 

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Chinese Sword - Ming Dynasty Jian


"Ming early 1400s palace personnel with their Imperial issue Jians. The white handle on the bottom Jian is definitely rayskin wrapping." Chinese Sword - Ming Dynasty Jian 
Found HERE 

Tuesday, October 24, 2017


Test Cutting ~ Essential Practice
Test cutting is essential to the understanding of swordsmanship. Forgotten for a time, its revival is a key to the renaissance of the Chinese Sword Art. Test cutting provides the necessary context to understand the different cuts, quick and precise to long and powerful. It teaches intent, helping the student to understand aligning the cut, cutting itself and control of the follow through. It gives meaning to movements in the sword forms which are otherwise abstractions. It aids the practitioner in understanding how to move and apply power from the whole body and not simply the arms. For these reasons, and others, Chinese swordsmen made “grass men” out of the materials on hand to develop and refine their sword work.
Looking at this from a different context, drawing a bow for strength training has been a part of Chinese martial tradition for hundreds of years. But no matter how long one has drawn bows, no matter how heavy the draw weight of those bows, simply drawing the bow does not make one an archer, let alone a master archer. Shooting arrows at a target, hitting it, is what makes one an archer. This is true regardless of whatever benefits the exercise of drawing has provided. One can simply not be considered an archer without shooting. That is what the weapons is designed for.
The sword, whether the jian with its three edges, the tip and two sides of the blade, or the dao, with its single sharp edge, is designed to cut in various ways. Just as one who has never loose an arrow at a target can not sensibly be called an archer, one has has never used a sword to do what it is designed to do, be named a swordsman (jianke). If one has never used a tool to do the job it is designed for, one can not be called an expert in its use.
~Scott M. Rodell
Found Here: https://steelandcotton.tumblr.com/post/166675840231/test-cutting-essential-practice-test-cutting-is

Sunday, October 22, 2017

A Sword’s Sharpness – trans by Scott Rodell

寶劍鋒從磨礪出.
Bǎojiàn fēng cóng mólì chū.

A sword’s sharpness comes from polishing.
– Chinese idiom. trans by Scott Rodell

Friday, September 29, 2017

Tai Chi/ Taiji - The Exact Clear Method - Translation by Scott Rodell


太極指明法(太極拳使用法,楊澄甫)
Tàijí zhǐmíng fǎ (tàijí quán shǐyòng fǎ, Yáng Chéngfu)
The Exact, Clear method in Taiji
quoted from Yang Chengfu’s Taijiquan Applications, trans. Scott M. Rodell

用勁不對,不用力不對,綿而有剛對;
丟不對,頂不對,不丟不頂對;
沾不對,不沾不對,不即不離對;
浮不對,重不對,輕靈松沉對;
膽大不對,膽小不對,膽要壯而心要細對;
打人不對,不打人不對,將敵治心服對

Yòngjìng bùduì, bùyòng lì bùduì, mián ér yǒu gāng duì;
diū bùduì, dǐng bùduì, bù diū bù dǐng duì;
zhān bùduì, bù zhān bùduì, bù jí bù lí duì;
fú bùduì, zhòng bùduì, qīng líng sōng chén duì;
dǎn dà bùduì, dǎn xiǎo bùduì, dǎn yào zhuàng ér xīn yào xì duì;
dǎ rén bùduì, bù dǎ rén bùduì, jiāng dí zhì xīnfú du
ì.

Using internal power is not correct, not using muscle strength is not correct, soft but with hardness is correct;
to lose (contact) is not correct, to resist the flow* is not correct, to not lose contact and not resist is correct;
to stick is not correct, to not stick is not correct, not too close not too far is correct;
floating is not correct, sinking is not correct, agile and spirited, loose and sunk is correct;
being bold is not correct, being timid is not correct, being courageous with the mind finely focused is correct,
hitting people is not correct, not hitting people is not correct, the rival controlled so that he’s heart submits is correct.

Some Notes and commentary-
The title of this brief treatise is difficult to render into nice sounding English. The literal idea is that these words clearly outline the correct way to practice taijiquan. Douglas Wile chose to translate the title as, “The Method of Achieving Perfect Clarity in T’ai-chi.”
In the second line, I translated the character dǐng as “resist the flow.” It could also be translated as butting, as in banging one’s head forward. The meaning of dǐng here is to move in opposition to the direction of force. The idea of this line being that one should listen to the duifang and neither resist his or her actions or pull away dodging them, but rather to join with the action’s momentum using it to one’s own advantage. The third line reinforces and adds detail to the previous line pointing out that simply sticking to the duifang is not correct. There is an optimal distance for any set of techniques. One has to be at the correct distance in order to effectively apply the techniques trained in taijiquan. The phrase, “bù jí bù lí,” is a common expression in vernacular Chinese simply meaning, “not too close or too far.”


Monday, September 25, 2017

Chinese Swordplay (Jianfa) - ~ Scott M. Rodell


"A common problem with beginners' swordplay is concentrating on strategy before mastering technique. This is like discussing chess strategy before knowing all the pieces and how they move to take other pieces. New students search for a trick to winning. However without technique fully mastered and incorporated in one's mind-body, they lack the ability and tools to change when their trick fails them. Likewise, if their duifang has a trick of strategy they do not comprehend, they have no way for responding to unexpected situations. This is the error of putting strategy before technique in the study of swordsmanship. Before thinking about strategy, students of swordsmanship must study each cut, mastering them one at a time." ~ Scott M. Rodell (trans & commentary)

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Friday, September 8, 2017

Man with Hook Sickle Spear


                                                        Man with Hook Sickle Spear

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Bagua Zhang - Pa Kua Chang - Classes in Colorado at Boulder Internal Arts

Beginning and Ongoing classes in Gao Style Bagua here in Boulder, Colorado. Focusing on teaching a method for self cultivation, lasting health and personal transformation.
·        First Class Free
·        Increase Muscle Strength
·        Improve Flexibility
·        Regain Stability & Balance
·        Reclaim Aerobic Conditioning
Reasonably priced - Excellent Instruction - Fun/ Dedicated Training Group 

WEBSITE             FACEBOOK




Monday, August 28, 2017

Chinese Single Saber (dao, 單刀)





                                                        Chinese Single Saber (dao, 單刀)

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Cheng style Ba Gua Zhang by Liang Ke Quan


"Rare footage of Liang Ke Quan performing Cheng style Ba Gua Zhang. Although very skilled in both Xing Yi Quan and Ba Gua Zhang, Liang Ke Quan was more well-known for his Xing Yi Quan. This video was filmed at a gathering that I had the amazing pleasure of attending at a wushu school that he founded in his hometown of Zhuo Zhou in Hebei Province.
Liang Ke Quan was part of the inner circle of Cheng style Ba Gua Zhang and various styles of Xing Yi Quan. His first teacher, Zhou Lu Quan. was a student of Liu Feng Chun. Liu learned directly from Ba Gua's originator, Dong Hai Chuan, as well as Dong's student, Cheng Ting Hua, the founder of Cheng style Ba Gua Zhang. Liang went on to study with many other distinguished masters including extensive study with Cheng Ting Hua's youngest son, Cheng You Xin, Lo Xin Wu and Zhang Yin Wu, a student of Li Cun Yi."

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Story Of Ch’ang Tung Sheng::常東昇(1911-1986)

紅葉 – Red Leaves _ Xingyiquan – Baguazhang – Taijiquan _ Story Of Ch’ang Tung Sheng 
Posted by: iwalkthecircle Nov 8 2007, 11:03 PM

http://mastermatt.com/about/sheng.html</a&gt;

The oldest form of Kung Fu, Shuai Chiao can be traced back to Huan Ti, the “Yellow Emperor”(2700 BC). Shuai Chiao means “competing to throw”, so Shuai Chiao is often called Chinese Wrestling, which could be misleading, since leg work(low kicking, leg tangling, and tripping), arm locks, and a variety of hand strikes are all part of this devastaing system.


Grandmaster Ch’ang Tung Sheng

The father of modern day Shuai Chiao was Grandmaster Ch’ang Tung Sheng who died in 1986. Grandmaster Ch’ang Tung Sheng was born in 1908, the year of the Monkey, in Hopei Province in the northeastern section of China -a province long known for the great martial artists produced there. Of all the Masters coming from this region over the past 2,000 years, one of the most pre-eminent is the legendary Grandmaster Ch’ang Tung Sheng, perhaps the greatest fighter in the last 300 years irrespective of style and certainly the most tested and proven one in this century. Grandmaster Ch’ang started serious training in Kung-Fu in 1915 when he was seven years old. He learned the basics from his father & grandfather, but later his teacher was the famous Master Chang Feng-Yen who was well known as the foremost expert in Pao-Ting Shuai Chiao, the fastest and most powerful of the 3 main branches of this ancient art. Chang Feng-Yen was the top disciple of Ping Jing-Yee, who like Grandmaster Ch’ang, was a legend in his own time. General Ma, the first of the great Masters to compile ancient Shuai Chiao techniques for publication, was another prestigious student of Ping Jing-Yee.

Grandmaster Ch’ang has often stated that Master Chang Feng-Yen was the best teacher in that time regardless of style, and, as a result, many of the most promising young students wished to study with him. Of many who came before Master Feng-Yen to exhibit their basic skills, very few were chosen. Grandmaster Ch’ang was not only one of those few, but by the time he was eventeen he was already declared a Master himself, had attained proficiency unmatched by any of his peers, was the favorite pupil of Master Feng-Yen, and had married his Master’s second daughter. When Grandmaster Ch’ang was about 20 years old, he left Hopei Province and went to Nanking to study at the Central Kuo Shu School, the best in all China, in order to learn all the major styles of Kung-Fu. Since the best instructors and students from every major style were represented there,admission was an honor and exposed the practitioner to the widest possible cross-section of Chinese Martial Arts knowledge that could be found anywhere- in a phrase, if it wasn’t practiced there, it probably wasn’t worth much. Once again, Grandmaster Ch’ang’s capabilities were such that after five years of training with the best students in all of China, he emerged at the head of the program and became the teacher of the Shuai-Chiao department, having also mastered the styles of Shing Yi, Lo Han, Tai Chi, Pa Kua, and most elements of Shaolin in addition to his own!

At one point he went to challenge the Mongolian champion at their annual meet in Chang-Chia-Kuo, and in so doing had to fight the well known Kuhli, a giant of a man standing well over six feet tall and weighing almost 400 lbs.! Grandmaster Ch’ang agreed to use only wrestling techniques, and, despite the difference in size, repeatedly countered dozens of attacks by the Mongolian champion while throwing him down again and again with a variety of beautifully executed moves.

In 1933, at the age of 25, Grandmaster Ch’ang entered the Fifth National Kuo Shu Elimination Tournament in Nanking. This “no holds barred” competition involved over 1,000 participants and included Masters in all major styles from all over China battling each other for supremecy in all-out combat. Grandmaster Ch’ang won all of his matches, including one over his arch rival Liu Chiou-Sheng, and emerged the heavyweight grandchampion. Significantly, this was the last great tournament of its kind where Masters who were trained in the old ways fought in an “anything goes” manner to determine the very best among them. This national meet was considered to be the severest test of the ability, strength, and skills of any fighter and the winner was fully acknowledged to be the undisputed Champion of all China. Such open, free style, “no holds barred” tournaments on that scale were never held again, leaving Grandmaster Ch’ang the last truly tested fighter open to challenge by anyone regardless of style or system!

Both before and after his brilliant victory in the National tournament, Grandmaster Ch’ang traveled frequently with the intent of seeking out different teachers all over mainland China that were known to him to be famous for certain techniques or movements. It has been said that he studied with most of the best living Masters, humbly playing the role of “student” even though he could defeat them. He continued this quest until he had learned the specialties of some 70 different teachers and was satisfied that the techniques he knew were the best in existence.

During World War II, Grandmaster Ch’ang trained elite units of the military where he eventually rose to the rank of Lt. General. His exploits during this time are a story in themselves and would take a book to recount. Just one aspect of his many experiences involved challenging all of the top Judo experts at the Kuang-Si Province prison camp. Over a thousand prisoners were interned there and amused themselves by practicing Judo all day long. After challenging and beating their Chinese guards, they were confronted by Grandmaster Ch’ang who had heard of their prowess while teaching in Kue-Lin, the capital of Kuang-Si Province. Grandmaster Ch’ang fought every one in turn, including three high ranking champions, Hakayama Taido, Hisa Kuma, and Michi Masao, and defeated each of them handily.

In 1948, the National Athletic Meet was held in Shanghai. Unlike the tournaments before the war when hundreds of great Masters were still living(many died in the war), the meets following the conflict were not open, free-style, “anything goes” in organization. In conjunction with this major change, Shuai Chiao was now an independent contest and using other styles of Kung-Fu as the Grandmaster had done formerly were not allowed. Even so, the scope of the contest was large, with participants coming from 32 provinces, 12 special municipal cities, nine overseas Chinese teams, and 58 Military police units! Grandmaster Ch’ang, now 40 years old, represented the Army and easily won the overall championship proving he was still number one even after 15 years had passed!

Having won two national tournaments and proven himself countless times in hundreds of matches, both friendly and otherwise, Grandmaster Ch’ang went on to teach at the Central Police Academy in Taipai for nearly 30 years. During that time he was also Chief Official for all of the national tournaments on Taiwan and Shuai Chiao advisor for the military, the police, and the educational system. Though many Kung-Fu styles are taught in Taiwan, none have the prestige of Shuai Chiao, where the Taiwan Shuai Chiao Association boasts over 38,000 members– making it one of the largest Kung-Fu organizations in the world!

In April, 1975, Grandmaster Ch’ang, then 68 years old was invited to Morocco to give an exhibition of the Chinese arts to the King(Grandmaster Ch’ang’s faith was Islamic). During his visit, a 4th degree Tae Kwon Do instructor in service to the King as head of his personal bodyguards challenged Ch’ang and was accepted. The “match” lasted only seconds as Grandmaster Ch’ang deftly dodged the attack of the Korean and knocked him unconscious with a slap of the hand! Obviously, the years had not diminished the physical power and skills acquired by being trained by Masters from the previous century, the likes of which now exist only in a small handful of very old men.

In February 1982, the Grandmaster organized the International Shuai Chiao Association and spent much of the time since promotiing his art by traveling throughout the world giving demonstrations, workshops, and seminars. In June 1986, at the age of 78, the martial arts world was saddened by his untimely death.

The extent to which Grandmaster Ch’ang was respected, revered, and feared by the Chinese martial arts community is incalculable. He was regarded as a literal “national treasure” by Taiwan and was the only Master to be granted the red, white, and blue belt, the national colors of Taiwan, which was buried with him and will never be awarded again. Since the knowledge and the caliber of men needed to train someone as Grandmaster Ch’ang was trained no longer even exist, the 10th degree in Shuai Chiao was retired upon his death never to be awarded again. Some say that as much as 60% of all Kung-Fu knowledge that existed in the earlier years of this century went to the grave with him!

In perhaps all of Chinese Martial Arts history, no one ever went totally undefeated for well over half a century- certainly not if they accepted any and all challenges as Grandmaster Ch’ang did! Indeed, he was not only just one of a kind, but, unfortunately for all of us, Grandmaster Ch’ang was one the likes of which will never be seen again. Amid all of the competing and conflicting claims made by latter-day teachers as to whose style or system is superior, no one except the disciples of Grandmaster Ch’ang can state that their teacher defeated the teachers from all other styles at a time in history when the deciding factor in victory was who walked away!
Master Mollica on being thrown by
Grandmaster Ch’ang Tung Sheng:

“Attacking Ch’ang Tung Sheng was like sticking your hand in a blender…
He hit you, locked you, and threw you to the ground with one whirling motion!”

-Matt Mollica, 5th Teng
Posted by: iwalkthecircle Nov 8 2007, 11:05 PM

Monday, July 31, 2017

Monday, July 17, 2017

Friday, July 7, 2017

Chinese Swordsmanship - the Art of the Jian - Trans by Scott Rodell



莊子曰:
夫為劍者,示之以虛,
開之以利,後之以發,
先之以至。
Zhuangzi Said:
"The art of the jian is to 
deliberately 
expose a weakness, 
giving the enemy the 
impression they have 
the opportunity to attack. 
Your hand moves after the enemy, 
but your jian strikes first."
Trans. Scott M. Rodell

Chinese Swordsmanship - the Art of the Jian 

Monday, June 19, 2017

Bagua's Greatest Masters, Beijing 1993



Bagua's Greatest Masters, Beijing 1993

"Video tape of some of the demonstrations of the 1st meeting of the Guójì Bāguà Zhǎng Liányì Huì (International Bagua Zhang Friendship Association). This meeting took place in Beijing on December 24-27 1993. "

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Taiji Sword (太極劍) by Wu Tunan Translation: Scott M. Rodell


From the introduction to Taiji Sword (太極劍) by Wu Tunan (吳圖南) -
夫劍法無運用不能因敵致勝,微變化焉能出入神奇。是以初學劍術者,或姿勢不正確,或動作不自然,或應用不純熟,或轉換不玲琍。是皆由於不知運用之變化使然也。蓋用劍之法,紐勁為上,靈捷為先。目宜速,身不可滯。手宜敏,步不可遲。 久之,自然動作儒雅,舉止大方。其形勢似飛鳳。其勁力透中鋒。使用腰力,運動全身。故發勁用勢,非僅徒用手指着力而已耳。
Those practicing sword who do not practice applications can not achieve victory over different types of enemies,*(*There are different types of swordsmen and one must practice applications to deal with them in different ways analysis each, then taking advantage of their weakness.) (without practicing applications) if the enemy makes little changes you can not move the sword in and out with miraculous skill. Therefore, when first studying the sword art, maybe the postures are not correct, maybe the movements are not natural, maybe the applications not skillful, maybe the changes are not nimble. This is all due to not knowing the changes in applications. Concerning the application of sword techniques, the higher skill is turning power, being spirited and quick is also a priority. The eyes must be fast, the body cannot be sluggish. The hands must be agile, the steps cannot be late. After a long time, your movements naturally become refined, with a graceful bearing. Your postures resemble a flying phoenix. Your power passes through your center. Use the power of the waist, move the entire body. Therefore, when releasing power in a movement, do not merely use the power of the hand.
Translation: Scott M. Rodell

From the introduction to Taiji Sword (太極劍) by Wu Tunan (吳圖南) -

It is not possible for the. to be defeated by the enemy. It is a beginner's sword, or a posture, or an act of nature, or an unnatural application, or a change of ling. It is because of the changes that have been made. With the sword of the sword, the new is the first. I will be able to do so. Hand, step by step. For a long time, natural action is elegant and generous. The situation is like flying Phoenix. It's hard-Core. Use your waist, sport. Therefore, it is hard to use a finger, not just a finger.

Those practicing sword who do not practice applications can not achieve victory over different types of enemies,*(*There are different types of swordsmen and one must practice applications to deal with them in different ways analysis each, then taking advantage of their weakness.) (without practicing applications) if the enemy makes little changes you can not move the sword in and out with miraculous skill. Therefore, when first studying the sword art, maybe the postures are not correct, maybe the movements are not natural, maybe the applications not skillful, maybe the changes are not nimble. This is all due to not knowing the changes in applications. Concerning the application of sword techniques, the higher skill is turning power, being spirited and quick is also a priority. The eyes must be fast, the body cannot be sluggish. The hands must be agile, the steps cannot be late. After a long time, your movements naturally become refined, with a graceful bearing. Your postures resemble a flying phoenix. Your power passes through your center. Use the power of the waist, move the entire body. Therefore, when releasing power in a movement, do not merely use the power of the hand.

Translation: Scott M. Rodell

Friday, June 9, 2017

The Major Methods of Wudang Sword by Huang Yuan Xiou - Book Review

“Shaolin shadow boxing and the Wu Tang sword style, do you think your Wu Tang sword can defeat me?” Wu Tang Clan – Bring Da Ruckus - Enter the 36 Chambers - movie sample from Shaolin & Wu Tang 1981 (dubbed).

The Wu Tang/ Wudang sword method is famous in America because of the Hip-Hop group The Wu Tang Clan’s use of samples from, and love of, Chinese kung Fu movies. The book The Major Methods of Wudang Sword by Huang Yuan Xiou is a classic and a must have for anyone interested in Chinese straight sword (Jian) methods, philosophy or anyone interested in historical swordsmanship. This book translates the original text with pictures. It outlines the basics of the Wudang sword method but do not expect to learn something a complex as the Jian from a book. The book is a wonderful reference tool, but it is not meant to learn the real method from.  

The Jian is called the “king of weapons” because of its complexity and subtlety. It was traditionally thought it would take 10 years of consistent training to begin mastery. Because of its difficulty it was also referred to as a “scholar’s weapon” and traditionally depicted as the preferred weapon of the aristocracy of ancient China.

The Major Methods of Wudang Sword is an important work and even more important because it was one of the few English translations (until recently) of a Chinese Jian manual (check https://brennantranslation.wordpress.com for others). I believe the thing that sets this translation apart from other translations is the author and translator are both long time practitioners of the Wudang Jian method. They lend their insights to the translations and they help clarify some of the underlying principles of traditional Chinese swordsmanship.


There are several chapters devoted to the basic theory of the Jian. I think these chapters are some of the most insightful because they outline different practice methodologies. With names like “yin – yang sword circle method” and “triangular paired-practice method” there will need to be some explanation, and for the advanced practitioner I found some of these chapters to be most illuminating.

This is an excellent book and a must have for anyone interested in Chinese straight sword (Jian) methods, philosophy or anyone interested in historical swordsmanship. The biographies, history and discussion of the methods are rare in Chinese and even rarer in English.