Sword Applications

sabre, sword, spear, etc

Sword Applications

Postby Audi » Sat Mar 10, 2001 10:47 pm

Can anyone describe applications for the Big Dipper and Lifting up the Curtain postures in the sword form? Also, any ideas about the backwards sword flourish (liao?) that begins the Big Dipper, Pushing the Canoe with the Current, Right Cartwheel, Tiger Sways his Tail, and perhaps other postures?

Audi
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Postby Hans-Peter » Mon Jun 17, 2002 7:51 am

Hi Audi,

while browsing through the older topics of this forum, I found your post. I don't know if it's still up to date, but if it is I'd like to say some words to Big Dipper. If you meanwhile knew other applications - nice if you'd let me know. I hope you'll find this post after such a long time.

I'm doing the Yang style sword the way HUANG WEI LUNG teaches it. It has all the same postures as YZD's form - but the transitions shows more techniques obviously and all in all the form has very much Yang-energy with many explosive movements. Although very nice for the eyes - it's very combat orientated. So let me explain what I do before Big Dipper and why:

After I've picked up the sword with my right in front of my head (facing East - weight left)I sick deep on my left, turn waist and right toes to SW and make a large sweep with the sword to the right (= SW). The sword is flat in the air but at the end of this sweep, I attack the opponents wrist with the lower edge of the sword while flicking the right wrist, so that the thumb points down.
The weight is now on rigt foot, sword tip points square to the floor.This position is a kind of stand by position. If the opponent has managed to overcome this heavy attack uninjured, you now should check his "shen".Therefore I try to scare him as a test. Still sitting fully on right, I turn my right hand 180 degrees and point the sword towards him. This is done without weightchange, only the torso goes up and down with the flow of the right arm. The endposition after pointing to the opponent is a kind of Rhino gazes at the moon, but the right hand is more in front of the right bodyside. If the opponent reacts uncool with hitting or pressing on my sword, I immediately let my sword "fall down in my hand" and turn it in the hand and cut diagonally to the right (as if cutting his head - I'm now over his sword). This all happened on my right side, torso to SW and I guess thats the flourish you've talked about. I'm still sitting on my right. Now I turn my torso to S and start Big Dipper with rising up from this low position. I've been always told, that this rising into Big Dipper as well as the endposition contains no special technique and has no special application. It's just a strike out for the next heavy attack to SW - "Swallow touch water", which starts in my form with a really energetic chop to SW, that needs enough strike out movement without letting the circle for it becoming too large. The left foot in the air acts as a counterbalance for this heavy chop.

I think it's very difficult to describe sword actions in detail. I feel my english knowledge is not good enough for such a job. I'm always missing words. But still I hope this statement has given you something to think over.

My best
Hans-Peter
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Postby Erik » Sat Jun 22, 2002 7:53 am

Hi Again Audi,

I love questions like this. Here's a simple app. that I like to use for the "Big Dipper". It can be done very quickly with one continuous wave of force. If you saw it done it would take you just a second to understand it. Writing it is going to be difficult but here goes:

Sword moves back and to the right - Opponent stabs your lower abdomen - you deflect down, back and to your right. Your blade is on the outside of the opponent's.

Left hand follows the sword hand - Simultaneously you step or shift in (footwork not shown in the form) to close the distance. If the opponent lunges heavily you will not need to step or shift. Next, grast his sword hand with your left - fingers grasp the thumb base and your thumb firmly on the back of the hand.

Left leg rises up - Kick (stomp) the outside of his lead (right) knee causing it to buckle or drop to the floor.

Left hand extends forward - Upon dividing his attention and destroying his structure with the kick I immediately twist (qinna) his sword hand outward causing his sword to arc counter-clockwise. It's a very common wrist lock in all styles but especially recognizeable in Aikido. If done right his sword should fly out of his hand towards your left/front left.

Sword held high - The opponent should be on his right knee and dis-armed - you still holding his locked right wrist with your left and your sword is poised high for the final strike.

Downward arc - This is seen as a transition in the form. You step forward or down with your left foot and stab the opponent* in the base of the throat in a downward arcing manner - still holding his right hand.

*note - you don't have to stab him. The wrist lock is intended to control the opp's. center and keep him immobile or you can fully apply the qinna and send him on his back. Here it would be enough to simply place the sword tip at his throat if you did not want to kill him.

Hope that makes sense. Good Training - Erik
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Postby Audi » Sat Jun 22, 2002 7:42 pm

Hi Hans-Peter and Erik,

Thanks for the responses. I must confess, however, that I am having difficulty following your descriptions, as you both suggested might be the case.

One of the problems is that I think the differences in how we do the form are significant enough that I have little or no sense when one posture is beginning or ending and where the opponent is supposed to be.

Let me try to simplify and make more precise what was a very question that I posted. I will focus on two aspects of the beginning postures, starting with a question about the multiple shifts of the gaze before Swallow Skims the Water.

At the end of Three Rings Encircle the Moon in Yang Zhenduo's form, the gaze is to the east and the stance is a left bow stance. At this point we reposition the sword to hold it vertically at the right front of the body with the right hand at about waist height and bring the right foot up under the body's center of gravity. We then shift 100% of the weight back over the right foot into an empty stance with the gaze to the west or west-southwest. As the weight is shifted, the right arm swings from east-southeast of the body to west-southwest along with the shift in weight. The energy of the weight shift and swing is also used to spin the sword in a verticle east-west circle with the axis around the right wrist to make the sword tip point sharply upward with the right wrist still held at or below the waist. This is what I think was called "liao."

At this point, we straighten the right leg to rise into the Big Dipper and shift the gaze to the east. Then, with no noticeable shifting of the weight up or down and no noticeable waist rotation I am aware of, we shift the gaze to the southwest and chop downward to the southwest to the level of the opponent's waist or knee (I am unsure which). We then sink and step east-northeast into a bow stance swinging the right arm to face the same direction, but flicking the sword with the wrist in an action that lags behind the weightshift to slice leftward with the right hand (which holds the sword) palm upward.

My first question is, Who is this opponent that manages to jump from east to west no less than four times in this sequence? If I am facing multiple opponents, are the Liao (?) and the chop really enough to dispatch the opponent to the west/southwest? Why is no yielding technique involved in either case? I have heard that one application of the Liao technique was to deter an opponent sneaking up from the rear, but I have diffulty seeing this as part of the overall sequence.

In the Big Dipper, how is holding the sword above my head and efficient attacking or defensive position? Surely this is an awkward position from which to stab downward.

If I have managed to refrain this part of my question in an intelligible way, I will take a stab at the other applications at a later time.
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Postby Erik » Wed Jun 26, 2002 10:08 am

Hi Audi,

It's my experience that the majority of solo forms do not necessarily have techniques arranged (one after another) in a manner suitable for practical fighting but are, rather, linked seperate movements. Athough some sequences may follow one another in a free-fighting situation, most don't. Grasp Sparrow's Tail does - Lady Works the Shuttles doesn't.

The technique I posted utilizes one continuous fluid wave of force covering the entire "Big Dipper" sequence. It starts from the initiation of the Liao and ends before the chop down to the rear. In this technique the sword must rise up a bit so you can do an over-hand stab to a grounded opponent. A common battlefield technique.

I also have a number of apps. that utilise only small parts of the overall sequence.

As to your first question regarding an opponent jumping around; you can also see these as individual movements (hidden applications of which Taiji has many) done at convenient spots in the form rather than fighting one or even multiple opponents.

As to yielding - it's combat footwork again not shown in the form.

Liao or flick up - The opponent lunges with a stab. You take a step forward at 45* to the left to avoid (get off the line of attack) and flick up to the inside of his sword-hand wrist or fore-arm thereby dis-arming him without killing him in one short stroke. The yield is the step off of his line of attack.

The downward flick is almost exactly the same only the opponent is attacking a bit lower so you counter by attacking his sword arm from the top rather than the bottom.

The footwork I like to use for these apps. is a cross-over step. Ie. the right foot takes a step toward your front/left. (imagine a bull-fighter taking a small step forward as the bull passes). You can then shift your entire weight to the right and perform your counter - or not. If you do it resembles the form more but even if you don't these apps. require the same energy or wave of force.

I like to attack the wrist or fore-arm when fencing rather than blade on blade. The ole "you attack and I arrive first" idea. It's an attack hidden in defense... or is my defense my attack... a mush of yin/yang I suppose but it works really well.

Good Training - Erik
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Postby Hans-Peter » Fri Jun 28, 2002 1:40 pm

Hi Eric,

interresting for me to read about your combat footwork. I've also been told to use cross-step frequently to give movements more spiral-form. Do you have other fixed postures in YZD's sword form where you use it in applications? Do you use cross-step in the barehandform too? I've been taught to use it definitely in Ban Lan Chui for the step with the right foot. It has very much power. Other ideas?
Take care
Hans-Peter
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Postby Erik » Sat Jun 29, 2002 10:47 am

Hi Hans-Peter,

I use the cross-step often to close in with my opponent on any number of applications. It is an especially useful form of combat footwork when you close in from an outside angle, need to enter sideways or want to add a bit of rotational energy. A good example would be 'Slant Flying'. Here are a few techniques that I sometimes use this foowork pattern for:

...Twist Step
Ward-Off in Grasp Sparrow's Tail
Deflect, Parry & Strike
Apparent Close-Up
Part Horse's Mane
Slant Flying
Shoulder Stroke
and a few others

I don't always use this footwork for those applications. It depends on what circumstances allow me to enter. Sometimes the cross-step can be a very quick and stable way to get into a superior position. Too bad you weren't coming to Thailand. I'd love to train a bit with you exchange ideas.

Good Training - Erik
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Postby Audi » Fri Jul 12, 2002 9:48 pm

Hi Erik:

Thanks for the clarification.

<<It's my experience that the majority of solo forms do not necessarily have techniques arranged (one after another) in a manner suitable for practical fighting but are, rather, linked seperate movements.>>

I think I know why you say this, but I must say that whenever I have inquired sufficiently, I have found linking applications to just about every sequence in the hand form. At this point, I think I have heard or read reasonable explanations (not necessarily from the Yangs) for linking up just about any two or three consecutive postures in the form. One of the spins, the follow-on to Push, and Cross Hands are about the only postures that come to mind for which I really don't have a semblance of an application in mind.

In saying this, I am, of course, not asserting that the entire form is simply a single choreographed fight with one or more determined opponents I do not dispatch until the Concluding Posture. I also have to concede that performing three/five consecutive Cloud Hands or four consecutive repetitions of Fair Lady Works the Shuttle is not reasonable for any application. Nevertheless, I have seen reasonable explanations for linking two Cloud Hands together or linking the first and second or the third and fourth Fair Lady Repetitions.

At one point, I thought that the weapons forms must be different; however, I recently bought a saber video produced by Eo Omwake that shows plausible sequenced applications for just about the entire Saber Form. To be fair, the form he shows has about a 20% difference from the one taught by the Yangs. In some of the application demonstrations, he also shows evasive steps that are absent even from his version of the form. Nevertheless, I can transfer the vast majority of what he shows to Yang Zhenduo's form.

Also, at the very beginning of the video, there is a background sequence of Omwake and Sam Masich doing a two-man routine that features Yang Zhenduo's exact sequence up through "Yi qi yang" (with Will and Spirit Raised), where the saber is twice thrust with both hands towards the front, with the saber diagonally across the torso.

In addition to this saber video, I also have one of a fan form created by Doc Fai Wong. He shows linked applications for all the postures, from the beginning of the form until the end. Again, he shows slight variations of detail between how the fan is used in the form from how he shows the application.

Thanks again for your clarification of the Big Dipper sequence. I know think I can follow most of what you describe, but still have a few questions.

You stated:

<<Liao or flick up - The opponent lunges with a stab. You take a step forward at 45* to the left to avoid (get off the line of attack) and flick up to the inside of his sword-hand wrist or fore-arm thereby dis-arming him without killing him in one short stroke. The yield is the step off of his line of attack.>>

I am puzzled here, because the Liao I perform is the conclusion to a step to the rear with the right foot, rather than a step forward. I can see how it might be appropriate for an enemy attempting to sneak up from behind. I can also see how a step off line would make it more understandable. If this is a move to disarm, I can also understand why one can than turn attention to an opponent in front. One other possible difference I note is that the move I perform does not seem at all appropriate as a parry, but could be seen as an attack to the wrist from below.

You also mentioned a "downward flick." Where is this performed? I cannot relate this to what I do.

In the Big Dipper, I can follow your explanation for lifting the sword slightly, but why perform it with the sword lifted so high and level and with a straight arm? I would imagine that a stab from above would come from the temple area. Also, why stand up on one leg if you have control of the opponent's sword hand?

I like your explanation for the application of the sword hand in the Big Dipper, but am again puzzled about what yield or what position this would come out of. Any ideas? Are you moving in to intercept (jie)an overhand strike before it can begin?

Take care,
Audi
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Postby Hans-Peter » Fri Jul 19, 2002 7:23 am

Hi Audi,

I'd like to let you know some ideas I have from one of my teachers who was chinese and taught the traditional Yang Sword form as shown by YZD.

He first mentioned, that this sword form - although many applications for every posture could be choreographed - should mainly be viewed as a vehicle for opening joints. Therefore you don't find real combat or battlefiled footwork (Erik has also pointed out this absolutely clear)here. Also many postures serve this idea of joint opening.

But since the postures come from combat forms, the form can easily be varied for this use. But then it's absolutely necessary, that you not only think about fights sword against sword. Very often the sword has to be used against spear or particularly often against staff. You have to put this in mind, when thinking about applications for the movements.

So when you ask, why is the sword held so high in Big dipper, isn't it possible to think, that your left hand has grabbed a staff and you try to stab someone's throat from above,since you couldn't get through (due to his armor or anything else) in a straight way?

When you ask, why you stand on one leg, then maybe it's helpful for you to know, that the raised foot in weapon-forms generally is used to protect the groin area, since very often both of your hands are involved in using the weapons or other things. Think about Double sword. So when you raise your left foot in Big dipper, maybe you can imagine to protect your groin area. To do is effective, you'll have to raise it to a certain high, maybe higher than commonly shown in Yang sword (external forms show this aspect very clear). But you can have this in mind and vary your form.

I hope these ideas are something you'll like to think over.

My best
Hans-Peter
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Postby Audi » Fri Jul 19, 2002 9:36 pm

Hans-Peter,

Thanks for the thoughts.

During my last seminar with Yang Jun, he talked about extending the footwork more in the Saber Form than in the hand form. Perhaps, this comes from the same idea as extending the joints that you mention. However, I must confess that at my level of practice, I seem to derive much more of a feeling of joint opening from the hand form than from weapons forms.

I find the handform to be very invigorating and clearly feel a health effect after my practice. Although I have begun to enjoy the weapons forms, they do not yet have the same flavor for me. The sword form requires more finesse than I can muster at the moment, and I still have not yet gotten accustomed to the speed and weight of the saber.

As for applications, my interest is not so much in learning how to fight, but rather to better understand how to perform the postures. In many postures, such as Waiting for the Fish, Wasp Returns to its Nest (?), and the Little Dipper, I think my control of the sword is lacking because I am frankly unsure of what I am doing with it. In other moves, such as Pushing the Boat with the current, I am unsure whether I am stabbing, slicing, parrying, or pushing with the final move. In Phoenix spreads both wings, I am not sure how tightly to grip the sword as I swing it, because I am again unsure of whether I am intercepting (jie) with the tip, or something else.

Lastly, I can accept what you and Erik have said about altering the form for combat purposes; however, I hate to give up the idea that I should not be examining the transitions. This has been a favorite vehicle of mine for deepening my understanding of the hand form.

Take care,
Audi
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Postby Hans-Peter » Mon Jul 22, 2002 7:53 am

Hi Audi,

I think I understand your problem now. You are not sure which basic sword techniques are featured in the end positions of the specific movements. Since to my knowledge there's no such list, I've made one for the Yang sword form as shown by YZD. First I) give a short explanation of the techniques.
Don't wonder if I've used some techniques usually not heared in Taiji sword. We use them in Wudang sword and I think they make things clearer.
ji - striking from upper right to lower left
jie - striking from upper left to lower righ
ci - thrusting with downward or upward palm
blade flat
chuan - thrusting downward with vertical
blade, palm faces right
dang - blocking with the lower edge
xi - shuttling, wash, frequently used in
transitions
chou - pulling, drawing back - cutting with
with edge to left or right
shou - slicing, cutting horizontally from
left to right
dai - slicing, cutting horizontally from
right to left
ti - lifting, cutting the groin or belly with
upper edge
dian - pointing downward - cut wrist from
above
peng - tipping upward, cutting wrist from
below, counterpart to dian
pi - chopping, splitting
tuo - holding sword with flat blade vertical
or upward, mostly combined with ya
ya - pressing sword down with flat blade
shao - sweeping diagonally from side to neck
or ear
no sw.t. - no sword technique - posture used
for gathering qi

Big dipper - no sw.t. - preparation of chuan
or pi
Swallow touches water - shao
Right/Left Block & Brush - dai
Little dipper - ti
Swallow enters nest - ci
Tiger holds head - tuo/ya
Cat catches rat - ci
Dragonfly touches water - ci/peng (?)
Yellow hornet enters hole - ci
Phoenix spread wings - shao
Waiting for fish - dian
Dragon goes right - ci with downward palm
Dragon goes left - ci with upward palm or ji
Embrace the moon - chou to left
Sleepy bird enters forrest - ci
Black dragon wags tail - jie
Green dragon emerges - ci
Wind blows Lotus - jie
Lion shakes head - jie - ji - jie
Wild horse jumps - ci
Holding the horse - ji , holding = no sw.t.
Compass needle - ci
Shake & blow dust - pi or ji to left
jie to right
Push boat - chuan or dang
Falling star chases moon - pi
Flying horse acroos - pi
Lift up curtain - ti
Left/right cartwheel - xi followed by pi
Great roc spread wings - shao
Scoop moon - ji/peng
Water Imp reaches into sea - ci
Rhino watches moon - chou
Shooting swallow - no sw.t.
Green dragon stretches claws - ci
Left/right cross - xi
Shooting wild goose - no sw. t.
White Ape presents fruit - shao
Right/left falling flowers - jie - ji
Fair lady - ci
Whiter tiger wags tail - dang
Carp jumps over - ci
Black dragon dangles post - pi to left
chou to right
Immortal points the way - shao
Incense pointing the sky - tuo
Wind sweeps Plum flowers - ji
Holding the Gna fut - ci

Please excuse if I've made the one or other mistake while doing this too quickly. I invite
everyone to correct and improve this list.

Audi, if this list helps you, I can continue by time with the techniques in the transitions, but this would be much more difficult.

My best
Hans-Peter
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Postby Audi » Wed Jul 24, 2002 3:31 am

Hi Hans-Peter,

Thank very much for your list. I think a discussion along these lines is just what I need.

As I had thought further about my questions on this thread, it seemed to me that I needed to head in this direction. I had tried to begin plowing through the section of Master Yang's book where he discusses the 8 basic sword techniques, but my Chinese is very weak. In my case, figuring out the nuances is like pulling teeth, slow and painstaking, with a result that still has gaps. I look forward with anticipation to Jerry's translation and do not envy him the difficulty of choosing between terms like "cut," "sever," "slice," and "slash."

When I have time in the next few days, I would like to ask some questions about some of the terms you have defined and about some of your technique choices. Unfortunately, I do not have time to formulate good questions tonight. Thanks again for the help.

Take care,
Audi
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Postby Hans-Peter » Wed Jul 24, 2002 7:31 am

Hi Audi,

good to hear that you can benefit from my list. My chinese is also very limited. So I look forward to the translation of YZD's book. But you should keep in mind, that only at a higher level of understanding you can order the basic sword techniques in 8 or
maybe in 4 or 5 families. What I've made is differantiate in a larger number to make it easier to talk about them only with words, although this is still difficult enough.
For example - undoubtely ji and jie are basically the same, but the differ very much in holding the handle and alignement, so I think it's better to use two names. This will become more obvious in smaller not so basic techniques, e.g. liao. There's not "the liao", in reality there's a "backhand liao" and a "forehand liao", so I think again, it's better to differentiate.
Furthermore I hope it will be easier to talk about the the point of the sword, which should be focused in a special posture. If you think, that always this part of sword that is used for the technique should be focused, then you know e.g. that in dian the focus is at the tip and in dang it's in the last third of the blade. You can also differentiate between techniques more "carried by the body" (I actually haven't found better words to say it in english what I mean) as e.g. shou or those one's in which the arm plays a bigger part, e.g. chopping (although all the movements in general coming from the dantian).
So I think that my list is pretty complete, if you add the following 3 techniques, I think you can discuss the complete Yang sword form (if I've forgotten some, please excuse):
liao - flicking defensive movement to protect either the left or the right side
jiao - stirring with the sword in the body
before pulling it out
ge - scrolling your sword around the
opponent's sword

BTW - please note that what I've written in a hurry as "peng" should be correctly "beng".

Take care
Hans-Peter
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Postby Audi » Mon Aug 05, 2002 1:42 am

Hi Hans-Peter,

Here are some of my questions about what you have posted.

First in Swallow Enters Nest, you designate “ci” (stab) as the technique. Do you see an application in the curious way in which this posture is begun after the spin, with the blade flat and the tip pointing inward? Is this some sort of pressing move?

In what you refer to as “Tiger holds head” (presumably the skips that precede the final position of Agile Cat Catches Rat), where is the opponent’s blade? Are you pressing downward? I had always thought these motions were for bumping the opponent’s sword upward in order to clear a path for the stab, although it is not clear to me what the exact positions of the weapons should be.

You designated “Phoenix Spreads Wing” as “shao.” I am unfamiliar with this word, can you describe the character or the dictionary meaning? Could this be a spelling issue? I know of a “sao3,” meaning “sweep,” and a “xiao1” meaning “to pare or peel.” Do you differentiate “shao,” “ji,” and “jie” simply by the direction of the strike, or is there also a difference in wrist technique or arm technique. Are all done with a firm wrist, or do you begin them by having the wrist bent. Do all three involve striking with the side of the tip? By the way, as I look at Yang Zhenduo’s book and try to understand the Chinese, he seems to indicate that Phoenix Spreads Out Right Wing is “ti ji” (lift (and) knock?) or “beng” (thump?). For Phoenix Spreads Out Left Wing he indicates “ya” (press down).

Yang Zhenduo seems to describe jiao differently than you do. I find it hard to follow the Chinese, but he seems to describe a motion whereby the hand holding the sword gives it a twirl, presumably around the opponent’s blade. He lists the technique used in “Dragon Goes Left”/”Left Dragon Walking Posture” as “jiao.” Can you square this with the definition you have given or maybe alleviate some of my confusion? Yang Zhenduo also describes at least part of Wind Blows Lotus as a “jiao” (to or with) the wrist.

This is all I have time for now.

Take care and thanks again for the time spent answering my questions.

Audi
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Postby Hans-Peter » Tue Aug 06, 2002 2:17 pm

Hi Audi,

your questions are good ones. I'll do my best.

Generally spoken - if the opponent is close you'd use cutting techniques, if he's in greater distance you'd use thrusting, striking or chopping techniques.

What I term as "shao" is "xiao" (with knife-radical on the right side) not sao, since the name doesn't refer to the arm movement. The meaning is "to peel away" and it means to peel away the flesh of the arm or the shoulder from the bones with a quick movement, initiated from the power of your back. Thereore in shao/xiao you have to use the very sharp qianren-zone (first third) of the swords blade. Shao/xiao is very frequently used and it apperas in many variations, e.g. also as a stroke to neck or ear, but always in palm up grip. It's generally used after a defensive technique as ya or dang. Xiao is often used in ping-pong to describe a cutting-slice with the backhand.

With YZD's Phoenix spread wings I have a problem, since I now realize for the first time that he has Phoenix spreads right wing and another Phoenix spreads left wing. I can say nothing to this, but Phoenix spreads right wing is shao/xiao. Phoenix spreads left wing to me is a Little Dipper (Ti) followed by what is called "Whirlwind" or "Tornado" in slow pace (initiated by ya).

YZD's "jiao" is what I call "ge". I use two different terms for stirring, since there are two different stirrings. My jiao is stirring while the sword is in the body of the opponent to make the wound larger and to increase the pain. In traditional Yang sword form there's a second thrust after Cat catches rat before Dragonfly touches water. Between these two thrust my "jiao" is shown.
YZD doesn't show this second thrust, therefore he doesn't have a special term for this technique.

YZD's jiao/ge is a technique in which the sword is held horizontally or vertically and shaked, so the blade moves in one or more circles around the opponents weapon, either from inside or from the outside. Whith this jiao you try to force the opponent to drop his weapon or to make him loose his balance.
It's a very difficult and dangerous technique, since f you fail you will easily loose your own balance. Applying more than one circle needs a high degree of sensivity. I cannot detect this jiao either in YZD's nor in Yang Yun's form. During the single technique demonstrations on his video, YZD really shows a kind of jiao at the end of Wind blows Lotus, just as you mentio0ned. After he carried the sword from left to right with palm up, he circles it one time aas a transition into the first Lion shakes head - jie (palm-diagonally down). Unfortunately the video has a kind of jump here, so I cannot see 100% whats going on. But Yang Jun doesn't show this in the following demonstration.

Jiao/ge is always possible when your sword has contact to the opponents weapon. Therefore you could have many jiao/ge in your form, particularly during grip-changing positions. Therefore you can surely have a jiao in Dragon walks left/right. In this position the opponent retreats, while you walk forward unstoppable as a Dragon while thrusting to the opponent from left and right. First the opponents sword is neutralized to the right (palm down). Then you jiao in Palm-up grip and thrust forward.
This jiao also helps to make your thrust in spiral-form, not straight.

In Sword form it's also desired to have spiral thrusts instead of straight thrusts. This aspect plays a part in the transition from Little Dipper to Swallow enters net.
First the sword is hold in that way to keep balance during the 180 degrees shift. The tip points to the left, although you want to thrust straight out. To do this your swordtip has to move in a spiral. If you'd carry the sword by your right side, you'd thrust out straight. In YZD's form this is not so obvious, since in Little Dipper he makes Ti with the xiaren-edge (finger side edge) of the sword (palm down). I do it with the shangren-edge (thumb-side edge-palm up).
Then I step back, lower down and thrust in a obvious spiral forward, coming up as from Snake creeps down.

Tiger holds head is an own position but it also precedes Cat catches rat. It's shown in photos 28 and 29 in YZD's book. The sword is
hold up as if you'd read sometghing from it's blade - for stabbing the opponent's throat) or for blocking something from the front. Cat catces rat starts with sinking the sword and the right foot for the jumps. The point in Cat catches rat is to puzzle the opponent what's your real attack. Your sword goes down, up, down, up and finally down. He is retreating - his sweapon is where it is. You can chase him for many jumps, also you can wait with the finakl thrust in your right bow stance, while shifting weight back and forth and mowing blade up and down as seen often by fencers during olympic competitions.

Jie and Ji have different grips. For Ji palm faces up 45 degrees, for jie it faces down 45 degrees. Ji and Jie are done with the arm in the beginning. At the end, the wrist has to be stretched to its maximum to make the cut larger. That's also important for pi. Since shao/xiao is done with the qianren,
ji, jie or pi uses the second blade third, the zhongren, which isn't so sharp but more stable. The last kick of the chop is made by the wrist-strech, using the qianren again.
Only choping or striking down, without wrist flex is not correct.

My best
Hans-Peter
Hans-Peter
 
Posts: 42
Joined: Sat Apr 13, 2002 6:01 am
Location: Idstein Germany

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