Tuesday, December 29, 2020

Three Methods of Free Swordplay in Jianfa - Scott Rodell



Sàn jiàn fǎ

Liàn sàn jiàn. Fēn sānzhǒng fāngfǎ. Dì yī yuán dì duì jī fǎ. Huóyòng shǒuwàn. Yǔ rén jī cì. Shǐ xīnyǎn shǒu sān zhě hé wéi yīqì shì yě. Dì èr háng dòng duì jī fǎ. Yǐ shǒufǎ bù fǎ yǔ rén duì jī. Dì sān huóyòng shēn fǎ. Shǒufǎ. Bù fǎ. Hū qián hū hòu. Shēngdōngjīxī. Huò shàng huò xià. Bēnténg piāohū. Jiàn háng rú diàn. Shēn háng rú lóng shì yě.

Free Swordplay

The practice of free swordplay is divided into three methods.
The first method is standing in place striking at each other, adapting with a lively wrist. The intention is for the eyes, mind, and hand, these three to become one qì.
The second method is moving and striking. Use hand technique and footwork for swordplay.
The third method is a lively, adaptive body.
Hand techniques, footwork, back and forth, make a noise in the east and attack in the west, sometimes high, sometimes low, moving fast and unpredictable, the sword moves like lightening. The body moves like a dragon.

Commentary and Notes: In this chapter on swordplay, the author follows a common plan of development seen in Chinese martial arts, namely moving from fixed-step two-person exercises to moving step set routines. Naturally, students commence training in these exercises after techniques have been learned and thoroughly practised through solo forms and drills. Once the student has integrated the hand techniques with their footwork through the moving-step two-person forms, they can then move on to actual free play.

A common error, particularly amongst newer sword students is to always give distance, retreating to neutralize attacks. The problem with this is that once out of distance, one cannot counter-cut. This allows the opponent to control the flow of the action. By making sure the beginning swordsman has a sound foundation in his or her hand techniques, meaning he or she can properly deflect and counter-cut before adding footwork to the response to an attack, the student prevents this error of excessive or unnecessary footwork.

The author describes developing a lively wrist as part of the first step in learning free sword. The word for lively used here is huó (活). Huó means loose or lively, but in this context it does not simply mean the ligaments are loose and adequately stretched out. It means that one is able to adapt quickly and easily to any given situation. The quick changes that provide jiànfǎ with its versatility rely on this lively wrist.

“Make a sound in the east, hit in the west” is a classic Chinese strategy idiom for creating a diversion.

-Scott M. Rodell 

Found HERE 

Monday, December 21, 2020

Fundamentals of the Wudang Sword Method

空歌 歌曰。手心空。使劍活。足心空。行步捷。頂心空。身眼一。

Xīn kōng Gē
Gē yuē. Shǒuxīn kōng. Shǐ jiàn huó. Zú xīn kōng. Xíng bù jié. Dǐng xīn kōng. Shēn yǎn yī.
Song of Empty Mind
The song says
With palm empty, the sword is lively.
With the center of the foot empty, the footwork is nimble.
With the topknot empty, the entire body is one.

Commentary and Notes: This short “song” describes the body once one is free from premeditated action. Simply put, when one is not predisposed to use a certain cut, one is free to cut in any manner. Likewise, when one is not planning on stepping here or there, one will freely move anywhere. When one is not thinking ahead without attachment to a certain action of set of rules, but “empty” in the moment, one is free from dogmatic actions, and can clearly see without the filters of habit and prejudice moving with true freedom.
The topknot refers to a daoist hairstyle where long hair is wound up into a knot that sits atop the apex of the head, held in place by a peg. “Keeping the topknot empty” means not hanging the head, inclining the body forward, nor titling the head back, so that it is pulling the body backward off balance.
Quoted from-
Fundamentals of the Wudang Sword Method - Selected Translations with Commentary from a Manual of Chinese Swordsmanship

This and Rodell Laoshi's other books can be found at-

Sunday, December 13, 2020

Xing Yi Quan, Ai Shen Pao, Che lineage 山西形意拳名家高宝东挨身炮

Xing Yi Quan, Ai Shen Pao, Che lineage 山西形意拳名家高宝东挨身炮

"This is beautiful performance of Ai Shen Pao by GM Gao Baodong (高宝东) the master of my friend Hou Jinsheng (侯锦升) and GM An Qibang (安启邦) both disciple of Wu Zhitai (吴治泰) from Shanxi, Taigu(山西, 太谷).  Gao Baodong and An Qibang are high skilled and well known Shanxi masters from Che Yizhai(车毅斋) lineage, two of just few descendants of the old orthodox Xing Yi Quan.  There is long friendship between our and Liujian line.  Lineage of grandmaster Gao and his disciple (my lineage "uncle") Hou:  Li Luoneng(李洛能)---Che Yizhai(车毅斋)---Liu Jian(刘俭)--Wu Zhitai-吴治泰---Gao Baodong(高宝东)---Hou Jinsheng(侯锦升)."

Monday, December 7, 2020

Xing Yi Ba Fa Sword - Old grandmaster Zhang Baoyang


                                       Xing Yi Ba Fa Sword - Old grandmaster Zhang Baoyang

"Grandmaster Zhang Baoyang(张宝杨,1922-2016) was famous Xing Yi Quan (Xin Yi Liu He Quan心意六合拳) practitioner, founder of Beijing Xing Yi Quan Research Association(北京武术协会形意拳研究会). This is rare footage of 8 Basic methods of  Xing Yi Sword (形意八法剑). Lineage: Li Luoneng(李洛能)---Liu Qilan(刘奇兰)---Wang Fuyuan(王福元)---Wang Jiwu(王继武)---Zhang Baoyan (张宝杨)."