An Introduction to Chen Sword (Jian)

24/03/2019 12:09
 
Alongside the open hand forms, Chen style Taijiquan trains with a broad range of weapons which condition the body in different ways to develop the Taiji physique. The sword or Jian is one of the most traditional weapons forms and even though it is usually the first weapon taught to students the movements are considered complex and technically difficult. When performed correctly it is said to resemble a powerful dragon swimming through water.
 
The Chen Taiji sword stretches and strengthens the bodies joints and encourages open and expansive postures. It develops flexibility in the wrists and hands enabling the jing energy to extend beyond the body and through to the sword. The sword form also requires nimble footwork, lightness and agility. It promotes extensive use of the waist to maintain the spiral rotational movement which is fundemental to Chen Taijiquan.
 
The form encompasses 13 basic techniques which are -
 
  1. Ci or Stab - Extend forward either horizontally or vertically with the point of the sword
  2. Pi or Chop - A vertical action using the first third part of the sword
  3. Liao or Scoop - Sword moves upwards with the power moving from the centre or middle of the sword to the end
  4. Gua or Hang - The tip of the sword moves vertically either upwards or downwards in a circular fashion. Downwards the wrist and hand turns inwards, upwards the wrist and hand turn outwards
  5. Dian or Point - With the sword vertical, the wrist flicks downwards. The power goes to the tip edge of the sword. Dian can be performed forward, backward or to the side
  6. Mo or Slice - With the sword horizontal, the blade slices left or right in an arc. The power goes along the whole edge of the sword
  7. Tuo or Push Up - With the hand turns inwards, the sword blocks upwards with the power in the lower third of the sword
  8. Jia or Block - Raising sword horizontally using the middle section to block
  9. Sao or Sweep - Holding the sword horizontally, move the sword left or right at calf height
  10. Jie or Intercept - The sword moves obliquely from above or below. Power is in the front of the sword
  11. Zha or Plunge - The sword is lifted up and then down with force with the hand facing outward
  12. Tui or Push - The sword is held horizontally at chest height and then pushed outwards while releasing power. The power is in the lower third of the sword
  13. Hua or Neutralise - Redirecting or neutralising the path of your opponents sword

 

And consists of 49 postures, as listed here -

 

      1st Section

      1       Dān jiàn qǐ shì                 Sword Preparation

      2       Cháoyáng jiàn                 Homage To The Sun

      3       Xiānrén zhǐ lù                  Immortal Points The Way

      4       Qīnglóng chūshuǐ            Blue Dragon Out Of The Water

      5       Hùxī jiàn                         Protect The Knees

      6       Bì mén shì                      Close The Door

      7      Qīnglóng chūshuǐ             Blue Dragon Out Of The Water

      8      Fānshēn xià pī jiàn           Turn And Chop Down

      9      Qīnglóng zhuǎnshēn         Blue Dragon Turns Over

     10     Xié fēi                              Flying Obliquely

 

     2nd Section

     11     Zhǎnchì diǎntóu                Spread Wings And Nod The Head

     12     Bō cǎo xún shé                Separate Grass To Find Snake

     13     Jīnjīdúlì                            Golden Rooster Stands Alone

     14     Xiānrén zhǐ lù                   Immortal Points The Way

     15     Gài lán shì                      Cover And Block

     16     Gǔ shù pán gēn               Ancient Tree Wraps Its Roots

     17     Èhǔpūshí                        Hungry Tiger Attacks For Food

     18     Qīnglóng bǎi wěi              Blue Dragon Sways Its Tail

     19     Dào juǎn gōng                 Turn The Arm Backwards

     20     Yěmǎ tiào jiàn                 Wild Horse Jumps The Ravine

     21     Báishé tǔ xìn                   White Snake Shows Its Tongue

 

     3rd Section

     22     Wū lóng bǎi wěi               Black Dragon Sways Its Tail

     23     Zhòng kuí zhǎng jiàn         Zhong Kui Holds The Sword

     24     Luóhàn xiáng lóng            Louhan Subdues Dragon

     25     Hēixióng fān bèi               Black Bear Turns Backwards

     26     Yànzi zhuó ní                  Swallow Pecks Mud

     27     Báishé tǔ xìn                   White Snake Shows Its Tongue

     28     Xié fēi                              Flying Obliquely

 

     4th Section

     29     Yīng xióng dòuzhì            Eagle And Bear Battle With Their Wits

     30     Yànzi zhuó ní                  Swallow Pecks Mud

     31     Zhāi xīng huàn dòu          Pluck Stars And Change Constellations

     32     Hǎidǐ lāo yuè                  Scoop Moon From Under Sea

     33     Xiānrén zhǐ lù                  Immortal Points The Way

     34     Fènghuáng diǎntóu          Phoenix Nods Its Head

     35     Yànzi zhuó ní                 Swallow Pecks Mud

     36     Báishé tǔ xìn                  White Snake Shows Its Tongue

     37     Xié fēi                             Flying Obliquely

 

     5th Section

     38     Zuǒ tuō qiānjīn                Left Side Holds Up One Thousand Pounds

     39     Yòu tuō qiānjīn                Right Side Holds Up One Thousand Pounds

     40     Yànzi zhuó ní                 Swallow Pecks Mud

     41     Bái yuán xiàn guǒ           White Ape Presents Fruit

     42     Luòhuāliúshuǐ                 Falling Flowers

     43     Shàngxià xié cì              Jab Up Then Down

     44      Xié fēi                           Flying Obliquely

 

     6th Section

     45     Nǎ chì tàn hǎi  Na Dra      Explores The Sea

     46     Guài mǎng fānshēn          Large Serpent Turns Itself Around

     47     Wéi tuō xiàn chǔ             Wei Tor Presents Pestle

     48     Mòpán jiàn                      Millstone Turning Sword

     49     Dān jiàn shōu shì             End Single Sword