Jan 20, 2018

Wudang Sword 武當劍 Wudang Taoist Sword Form

Wudang Taoist Sword (Wudang Taiyi Xuan Men Jian)instructional DVD available at:

Wudang sword form are famous. There are many Wudang sword forms. Wudang taoist sword or Wudang TaiYi Xuan Men Jian is one of the best example of Wudang sword forms. Wudang Taoist sword performed by Master Zhong Xue Chao (Bing). His swordplay expressed the spirit of this Wudang taiyi form while he integrated his sword, body, mind, qi, and spirit into one.

Wudang Sword Forms Characteristics

The sword forms from the Wudang school are considered to be the best in the Chinese martial arts circle. This style of sword techniques has the following four major characteristics:

Change based on opponent’s movement without any fixed rule

This is the strategic guideline and philosophy of Wudang sword play. A Wudang swordsman’s training starts with forms and ends with free sparring. The techniques are based on the “change” principle of Tai Chi and Ba Gua. They are based on the belief that constant change is the rule of nature and should also be the guideline of swordplay. Therefore, this style emphasizes that “there is no fixed ways to move and the movement depends on the opponent’s reaction”; “the key of sword play is to observe the change; right before the opponent makes a slight movement to initiate an attack, I disrupt his (or her) movement by attacking ahead of him (or her); when I move I change, when I change I hit the target.”

Attack during the weak moment of the opponent, avoid brute force, and get the opponent in one single attack

This is the strategic principle of Wudang swordplay. It suggests “following the flow of opponent’s force and borrowing the opponent’s power”; “remain tranquil to wait for opponent’s movement”; “launch the attack later but hit the opponent before his attack reaches you.” When fighting with an opponent, avoid direct confrontation with his strong force and attack him when his force is weak or near an end. Go around the opponent but attack him along a straight line. Circle around the opponent to enclose his attacks. It also points out that the uniqueness of using a straight sword as weapon is that it is not used to intercept and contact physically with the opponent’s weapon. Instead, a swordsman just finds the gap in the opponent’s defense and attacks him in lightening speed.

Body in harmony with the sword and the sword in harmony with the spirit

This is the key to Wudang swordplay. It emphasizes the use of body movement to control the sword. The movements of upper body, lower body, and the sword are integrated as unity. The body moves like a dragon and the sword moves like electricity. The footwork is light and agile and the body movement is soft and flexible. Therefore, it is characterized by the so called “Tai Chi waist and Ba Gua footwork.” It also emphasizes that the sword and the spirit should merge as one. The sword goes where the mind and spirit go. The force propagates through the tip of the sword blade and so does the qi.

Neutralize attack by body movement and walk swiftly lightly and stably

These are the major features of Wudang sword movements. The style is well known for its varieties of changes. It not only has the changes in the front, rear, left, right directions but also consists of many jumping and lying on the ground movements. Whatever movement it is, it requires swiftness, lightness, and stability. It is said that a swordsman should move like the swift wind and remain stable like a mountain. He (or she) disarms the opponent by one single attack. “He (or she ) scares the flying birds when jumping and twisting in the air”; “He (or she) does not touch any dust when rolling on the ground”; “During the attack, only a light breeze is felt and the sword is invisible”; “During the change of movements, only the light reflected by the sword is visible but not the sword itself.”

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Sword Form Wudang
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