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A STUDY OF BAGUA SWORD

by Sun Fuquan [Lutang]


[published Nov, 1927]
[translation by Paul Brennan, April, 2015]

Major Sun Fuquan, Infantry, #6 of Scholar Tiger Section

PREFACE [BY WU XINGU]

There was no sword art in ancient times until Duke Yuan had his instructive duel with the
Maiden of Yue. The art then began to appear in written records. Other mentions such as Yi Liaos
juggling of pellets or the thief of Weibo seem to be relevant to the sword art but teach us nothing

about it and add little to the discussion. [Yi Liao juggling pellets (Zhuangzi, chapter 24) is
actually a parable on laissez-faire government and has nothing to do with swords. A mention of Yi
Liao involving a sword occurs in the Chun Qiu Zuo Zhuan, Duke of Zhao, year 21, but as it has him
being threatened by a sword rather than using one, this is clearly not intended either. Wu was
perhaps thinking of stories about swordsmen with magic pellets and mixed them up in his
memory. The Weibo thief refers to the swordswoman Hong Xian.]
When I was young, I adored martial arts, but unfortunately I had no teacher. During the last
years of the Qing Dynasty, I looked around for the finest material I could find, delving into such
famous sword arts as Three-Substance Sword, Chunyang Sword, Six Unions Sword, Taiji Sword,
and Blue Dragon Sword, all of which I loved but ultimately made no achievement in. I later
received personal instruction from Sun Lutang and was exposed to Bagua Sword, which in my
opinion is the best of them all.
Because this sword art emerges from the Bagua boxing art, leftward circle walking is active and
rightward circle walking is passive, there are the alternations between opening and closing, as well
as the subtleties of the complex way that the postures mix with each other, stillness has to do with
the grand polarity and movement has to do with the changes of the lines in the hexagrams, and
through examination of spirit until in a state of stillness, it contains the marvelous effect of
movement emerging from the peak of stillness. It is surely the manifestation of the union between
the passive and active aspects.
Sun approached me and showed me his manuscript for The Bagua Sword Art. Although it
contains only the core techniques, it seems to possess a magical wisdom. When the sixty-four
hexagram techniques are then made from mixing the eight, they are still based within the eight
core techniques, just as the trigrams themselves start from the Qian trigram. It will be a matter of
your own experience. I am embarrassed by my ignorance, being so incapable of expressing Suns
ideas, merely giving a crude preview to his knowledge. I am very fortunate indeed to have such a
noteworthy teacher.
sincerely written by Wu Xingu of Dongtai [in Jiangsu], Dec, 1925

AUTHORS PREFACE

We do not know the identity of the founder of the Bagua sword art. When Dong Haichuan came to
Beijing, it began to spread and get passed down, and became a famous art. I was given instruction
by Cheng Tinghua, who learned from Dong. I have put what I have learned from Cheng into this
book because I have been requested to explain the arts concepts.
The eight trigrams come from the grand polarity, which generates the dual aspects, which
generate the four manifestations, which generate the eight trigrams. The basic substance is thus
the grand polarity. We are each in substance a grand polarity. Therefore in this swords leftward
circle walking and rightward circle walking, passive and active are generating each other, and it is

truly a matter of the subtleties of the grand polarity. In each movement and stillness, there is never
separation from the changes of the lines within the trigrams and the effects of their magical
transformations, nor going beyond their principles of complex intermingling. Thus there is
outward roundness and inward squareness, the notion of round as the sky, square as the ground.
Fu Xis version of the trigrams innate and King Wens version of the trigrams acquired
are respectively the foundation and the function. The swords foundation lies in the grand
polarity, which is innate. The swords crissing and crossing, disengaging and engaging, is acquired.
The innate function is silent and still. The acquired skill is unpredictably changing. Having been
divided into eight trigrams, they are then piled up to make sixty-four hexagrams, and yet still they
are all derived from the grand polarity.
Therefore they are spread into countless variations yet united in the same source. In its
function, the art is called Bagua Sword, though in its essence, it should actually be called Taiji
Sword. You should understand the grand polarity within your own body, and by using this book to
seek such a quality, it will be naturally realized. Go through the material over and over until the
path has been revealed. Then by intuiting further on top of what you have learned, you will fully
awaken and achieve a magical awareness, and thus the art will have become a part of you.
written by Sun Fuquan of Wan County, Hebei, Dec, 1925

CONTENTS

Chapter One: Left & Right Hand Positions

Chapter Two: Eight Essential Terms in the Sword Practice

Chapter Three: The Distinction in Bagua Sword of Left & Right Circle Walking and Left & Right
Sword or Hand Threading

Chapter Four: Nonpolarity

Chapter Five: Grand Polarity

Chapter Six: The Qian Trigram Sword Technique

Chapter Seven: The Kun Trigram Sword Technique

Chapter Eight: The Kan Trigram Sword Technique

Chapter Nine: The Li Trigram Sword Technique

Chapter Ten: The Zhen Trigram Sword Technique

Chapter Eleven: The Gen Trigram Sword Technique

Chapter Twelve: The Xun Trigram Sword Technique

Chapter Thirteen: The Dui Trigram Sword Technique

Chapter Fourteen: Bagua Swords Ten Basic Actions

Chapter Fifteen: Essentials of Bagua Swords Unfixed Practice

INTRODUCTORY REMARKS

This book is called A Study of Bagua Sword. As its method actually comes from Bagua Boxing,
practitioners should use the boxing art as the basis of it. The sword art is supplemental. This is not
only the case for this sword art. Every systems sword art takes the boxing art as its foundation.
There is a saying: An expert in the boxing art will not necessarily have understanding of the sword
method, but a skilled swordsman always means an expert in the boxing art. True words indeed.

This book expounds particularly on this sword arts capacity for cultivating vital energy. Although
its unique contents are only a matter of postures, all of it demonstrably conforms to Daoist theory,
and all the ingenuity of the method resides therein.

The swordwork in this book does not emphasize external appearance, striving instead for the
genuine method, intent on moving and circling with fluency.

The sword art within this book has entirely the same theory as in the Book of Changes:
there are the innate eight trigrams, then the acquired sixty-four hexagrams, then the three hundred
eighty-four lines of the hexagrams limitless change.

The sword art within this book is taken only as far as the eight core techniques the trigrams of
Qian [Creative], Kun [Receptive], Kan [Abysmal], Li [Clinging], Zhen [Arousing], Gen
[Keeping Still], Xun [Gentle], and Dui [Joyous] also called the eight orthodox sword
techniques. As for the limitlessly changing swordwork, it should not go beyond the eight core
techniques, which themselves arise from the first two trigrams. Within the book there are dozens of
postures, and although the eight core techniques have a sequence, they are really a development
out of those first two trigrams.

While practicing the sword art in this book, the footwork does not depart from the geometry of a
circle, seeking to step to the eight sections of the bagua circle. The steps are shaped in the manner
of the three sides of a right-angled triangle. [When you step in with the foot hooked inward, it
makes a ninety degree angle to the other foot, the line from heel to heel completing a triangle.
When you step out with the foot swung outward, it makes a ninety degree angle to the other foot,
the line from toe to heel completing a triangle.] The hand movements also do not depart from an
eight-section circle [a vertical circle, as opposed to the horizontal circle walked by the feet], the
method being that of an arrow aimed from a drawn bowstring. [The hands extending up or down,
to the left or right, to the upper left or upper right, to the lower left or lower right]. This principle
applies also to the method of standing, although you do not need to be exacting as to details [i.e.
focusing on being stable in the specific eight sections of a circle surrounding you], merely seek for
your whole body to be involved with every part in the forming of a complete circleness.

Although the practice methods in this book are based on circle walking, the postures along the way
contain squareness as well as roundness, both acute and obtuse angles, both straight and indirect
directions. Once you have practiced to the point of skill, you will then be crissing and crossing,
slanting and coiling, with your upper body and lower, inside and out, working in unison. You may
do whatever you want and everything you try will succeed, for everything you do will be from the
correct method.

This book highlights Bagua Swords method of generating change, focusing on essentials and
taking you through them methodically. Beginning with Hand Positions [Chapter One] and
finishing with Essentials of Bagua Swords Unfixed Practice [Chapter Fifteen] this forms the
complete text of the book. Beginning with the NONPOLARITY POSTURE [Chapter Four] and
finishing with the GRAND POLARITY POSTURE [Chapter Five] this forms the foundation of the
Bagua Sword set. Each technique is then described from the beginning in detail through all of the
transformations of advancing and retreating, extending and withdrawing. While practicing, let
each movement and stillness be according to the established method so as to keep you from falling
into disorder. Thus you will be on the cusp of obtaining all the magically subtle skills in this art.

The sword art within this book is different from others. It is called walking sword or circle
walking sword. A single sword movement may be accompanied by a single step, or a sword
movement may occur in tandem with a full three or four steps. As your feet walk around a circle
perhaps ten feet wide, you hold the sword in a static position while your body makes a complete
circuit back to where you started, or perhaps three or even five circuits, and skilled practitioners
may make dozens of circuits. Other sword arts may emphasize hardness or softness, be more
squared or straightened, be more vertical or horizontal, or work more with triangular shapes. The
stepping methods in the sword techniques of this art are no more than: one sword movement, one
step; one sword movement, two steps; one sword movement, three or four steps; sword movement,
no steps. The counting of these movements [within the techniques] is different from [the
movements and steps during] circle walking, as are their functions.

In the beginning of learning the sword art within this book, you must adhere to the footwork as
prescribed within the techniques. Once you are skillful, you will not be restricted from having more
or fewer steps. Likewise, for the sequence of sword movements within a technique to be easy to
learn in the beginning, they have to be broken down into discreet moments, but once you have
practiced over a long period, it will be performed as just a single continuous flow from beginning to
end.

Every posture in this book has a photo included with it so that the reality of the Bagua sword
principles and characteristics can be demonstrated, and you will thereby achieve the arts spirit

and ingenuity. Be aware also that all of the techniques and postures are linked up into a single set,
and thus they will not end up as a mere assortment of random postures.

The images included within are photographs so that you will have a model to imitate. By ardently
working at it for a long time, you will come to realize its subtleties, and extraordinary effects will
manifest. My comrades everywhere, I wish for this art to be spread as widely as it can be, that it be
passed down to future generations to keep it from disappearing into oblivion, which would be a
betrayal of all the hard work of previous generations in developing these methods, and in this I
have great hopes.

CHAPTER ONE: LEFT & RIGHT HAND POSITIONS



Sword movements involve the actions of each hand. They do not go beyond the theory of the
passive and active aspects within the positioning of the eight trigrams, the methods of wrapping
inward and twisting outward, as well as the concept that the active at its peak gives rise to the
passive and the passive at its peak gives rise to the active.
Positions for the right hand:
When the tigers mouth is facing upward or forward this is the half passive position.
Wrapping inward from the half passive position until the center of the hand is tilted [upward to
the left] this is the one-quarter active position.
Wrapping inward further from the one-quarter active position until the center of the hand is
facing upward this is the full active position.
Wrapping inward still further from the full active position until at the limit of wrapping [the
center of the hand facing upward to the right] this is the three-quarter active position.
Twisting outward from the half passive position until the back of the hand is tilted [upward to
the right] this is the one-quarter passive position.
Twisting outward further from the one-quarter passive position until the back of the hand is
facing upward this is the full passive position.
Twisting outward still further from the full passive position until at the limit of twisting [the
back of the hand facing upward to the left] this is the three-quarter passive position.
In the half passive position, the elbow is hanging down and the sword tip is pointing forward or
upward.
When the sword goes from below in a half passive position to be behind with the sword tip
pointing outward, the position is three-quarter passive.

When your right hand is low in a half passive position with the sword tip pointing forward, the
hand not changing in its posture while pulling to the rear with the tip still pointing forward, the
position is still half passive.
When your right hand in a half passive position goes from front to rear with the sword tip
pointing forward and upward, the position is half passive. But if the sword tip points to the rear
while your hand is also in the rear, the position is three-quarter active.
When your right hand is above with the sword tip pointing to the rear, the hand also to your
rear, it is in the three-quarter active position. But if the hand comes forward without changing its
posture and with the sword tip still pointing to the rear, the posture is once again the half passive
position.
These are the positions of the right hand.
Positions for the left hand:
The forefinger, middle finger, and thumb are extended, the ring finger and little finger curled in.
However, this is not an unchanging posture throughout the sword practice, for there are also times
when all five fingers will be extended in accordance with certain postures. This is because the
extending or bending of the left hands fingers is used to assist the right hand in its sword
movements, though it is not necessary to put any extra effort into doing so.
As for the passive and active one-quarter and three-quarter twists, it is the mirror of the
positions for the right hand, except that when your left hand is above your head in a full passive
position and the wrist puts its energy into sinking, this pulls the hand into a three-quarter passive
position, and when your left hand is below your right arm close to your right ribs in a full passive
position and the wrist puts its energy into sinking, this pulls the hand into a three-quarter passive
position.
These are the positions for the left hand. You have to distinguish the positions for each hand in
detail.

CHAPTER TWO: EIGHT ESSENTIAL TERMS IN THE SWORD PRACTICE



The eight essential terms: walking, circling, wrapping, turning, threading, raising, lifting, pushing.
Walking: this is the footwork.
Circling: there is leftward circle walking and rightward circle walking.
Wrapping: this is when the wrist wraps inward [i.e. right hand rotating clockwise or left hand
rotating counterclockwise].
Turning: this is when the wrist twists outward [i.e. right hand rotating counterclockwise or left
hand rotating clockwise]
Threading: this is when there is threading out to the left or right, forward or back, and upward
or downward.
Raising: this is when a hand, turned to face upward or downward, raises out to the front or rear,
going out in a half circle or full circle depending on the posture.
Lifting: this is when the sword handle is lifted up.
Pushing: this is when the center of the hand is pushing down.

CHAPTER THREE: THE DISTINCTION IN BAGUA SWORD OF LEFT & RIGHT CIRCLE
WALKING AND LEFT & RIGHT SWORD OR HAND THREADING

When initiating circle walking, in whatever posture, if you walk out from north to east, it is
leftward circle walking, and if you walk out from north to west, it is rightward circle walking. When
threading to the left or right with sword or hand, regardless of the direction you are facing, if
threading with your left arm under the threading sword while stepping with your left foot, it is a
left threading with left stepping. If threading with your right arm while stepping with your right
foot, it is a right threading with right stepping. This makes clear the distinction between leftward
and rightward in the circle walking and between left and right sword or hand threading with the
stepping.

CHAPTER FOUR: NONPOLARITY

Nonpolarity is the moment when you are holding the sword but your body is not yet moving. At
this moment, your mind is empty and undifferentiating, a continuous vagueness. This principle is
embodied in an empty circle, which represents the innate Way. This empty circle is the form of
nonpolarity. It is innate in life that when born into the world, one does not yet have any learning or
skill, and the movement is naturally this activity of the Way, like the empty circle. The hand
holding the sword, standing straight, body not yet moving is also like the empty circle. Compare it
to the practice of sitting meditation, in which the movement of the breath is innate, a natural
activity, like the empty circle. During seated meditation with the legs crossed, the gaze is straight
ahead, although not yet doing anything within and gazing blankly, the hands covering the thighs,
while the mind is empty, without thoughts or feelings, a continuous vagueness, like the empty
circle. Then while the mind dwells and the hands cover, there is control from within, the senses
closed off, gaze blank, and it is like the full circle. Therefore the sword art is no different from
elixirism. Though two distinct things, they merge into one. In the sword art, this is the principle of
nonpolarity, the beginning of the universe. The Elixir Book says: The Way begets the void.
Through training, you return to emptiness and rejoin the Way. This is the idea and you should pay
it careful attention. (This theory is profound, but unfortunately words are limited.)

NONPOLARITY POSTURE

Begin by facing squarely. Your body is upright and must be not leaning. Your hands are hanging
down. Your feet make a ninety degree angle to each other. Your right hand is holding the sword in
a half passive position. The sword tip and handle are on a straight horizontal line. The fingers of
your left hand are extended, the palm close to your [left] thigh. Your hands and feet must not have
the slightest bit of movement. Your mind is empty, without thoughts or feelings. Your gaze is
straight ahead and must not wander around, and your spirit is steady. This posture goes from

movement to stillness, from oneness to zeroness, a posture of nonpolarity. Everything within this
posture is the same situation as in A Study of Bagua Boxing. In this case you are holding a weapon
and so it is called Sword, while without a weapon it is called Boxing. Therefore the Bagua
boxing and weapon work embody each other and you may consult the earlier manual.

CHAPTER FIVE: GRAND POLARITY


The grand polarity, as a sword posture, arises from nonpolarity and gives rise to the trigrams of
Qian and Kun. Leftward circle walking corresponds to Qian. Rightward circle walking corresponds
to Kun. The spinning of the sword is a continuous flow inside. To make an image of this principle:
an empty circle. From an empty circle arises a divided circle. Within this divided circle, movement
is generated by the extreme of stillness. People call it truth. Elixirists call it innateness. The
authentic active aspect when it is continuous is the sword of wisdom. In Xingyi Boxing, it would
be considered the innate shapelessness of the crossing technique. In Bagua Sword, it is called
grand polarity. In this posture, at the beginning of the movement, although internally there is the
theory of Qian and Kun, there is not yet such a shape externally, and so it is called the GRAND
POLARITY POSTURE. It is like during seated meditation when mind enters void. This initial
movement with the sword produces all that follows. Therefore with this posture it is not necessary
to use another kind of internal energy. The standard for the sword movements is always the same
as the ways of internal boxing arts and elixirism. The Elixir Book says: The wisdom sword can
take away the bodys demons. The precious sword can ward away the worlds evils.

GRAND POLARITY POSTURE

To begin, first get your waist to have an energy of sinking, your head to have an energy of pressing
up, your shoulders to have an energy of hanging down. Your tongue touches your upper palate,
your mouth is flat but not flat, pursed but not pursed. The breath is through your nose. The
breathing should be natural and must not be concentrated upon. Your feet have an energy of
pressing up. Everywhere the strength is natural, for you should use intention rather than awkward
exertion. Then your left thumb, forefinger, and middle finger extend, while the ring finger and little
finger forcefully bend inward from the middle knuckle, the section from root knuckle to middle
knuckle lined up next to the middle finger. The fingers use the same degree of strength whether
bending or extending. Your left hands posture is not really the same as the pinched swordsmans
hex of other sword sets. When your fingers bend and extend, your left hand does not need to use
extra force. Its posture can assist the power of the swords bending and extending, coming and
going, and transforming, rather than being a fixed and unchanging shape, for sometimes all five
fingers can be extended, in accordance with the sword posture, and so you must not be obsessed
with grasping. Then your right foot twists inward to point straight, making a forty-five degree angle
with your left foot. As your right foot twists inward, your hands twist outward from their half
passive positions until they are each in a full passive position, your arms still close to your body.
Then your legs slowly bend downward, though it must not be a dead bend. It is like the photo. As
your legs bend down, and with your right arm close to your right ribs, the sword extends with a flat
blade in front of you and in line with your left toes, the hand still in its full passive position. The
sword handle and sword tip are at solar plexus level. During the movement, your left hand, also
still in its full passive position, is close to your left ribs and threads under and behind your right
elbow, the back of the hand close to your right arm, the arm close to your solar plexus. Your gaze is
toward the sword tip. Your spirit and energy stay stable. Your head presses up, but your shoulders
drop down and have an intention of shrinking in. Everything should be natural and there must be
no use of awkward exertion. Then you can have an energy of centered harmoniousness and
concentrate it into your elixir field.

CHAPTER SIX: THE QIAN TRIGRAM SWORD TECHNIQUE


The Qian trigram sword technique arises from the GRAND POLARITY POSTURE, which is
represented by a white circle with a line running through it. [With the two aspects of passive and
active now distinct,] this resultant active aspect takes shape [which typically emerges before the
passive aspect, odd numbers being active and even numbers being passive]. It is symbolized by a
white circle [white because it is filled with light, as opposed to the passive circle filled with
shadow], has roundness [as opposed to the quality of squareness assigned to the passive aspect],
and performs leftward circle walking. It is therefore deemed the Qian trigram sword technique.

1. WAKING DRAGON TURNS ITS BODY


To begin, first your hands spread apart above and below, your right hand twisting the sword
outward until in a three-quarter passive position, lifting up until the back of the hand is near your
forehead. The tip of the sword stays at solar plexus level, the intention being one of moving the
root but not the twig. Your left hand at the same time twists until in a three-quarter passive
position, the forearm extending along your body until near your lower abdomen, the middle finger
and forefinger pointing to the ground. Your waist is sinking, legs bending, head forcelessly pressing
up, shoulders hanging down. Your left heel is lifted, the ball of the foot touching down. The weight
is entirely on your right leg. Your gaze is still toward the sword tip, as in the photo. The lifting of
your left heel and the weight shifting to your right foot should both occur in unison with the
spreading of your hands. Each of these actions are to be driven by intention. The movement should

be natural rather than stiff. You should think upon these things until you understand, practice
them until you are performing powerfully, and then the theory within will be obtained.

2. THE HORIZON SWEEPS AWAY THE MOON


Then your hands spread away to the sides, your right hand, still holding the sword in a threequarter passive position, lifts higher than your headtop, the arm extending upward, and sweeps out
to the right side in an upward-bulging semicircle, the arm extended to the right. As your right hand
sweeps to the right, it moves into a full passive position, and halts once level with your right
shoulder, the sword tip slightly higher than the handle. Your left hand at the same time, in a threequarter passive position close to your body, brushes out to the left side until in a full passive
position in line with your left knee, about four or five inches away from it, the distance not needing
to be exact. As your left hand brushes to the left, your left foot steps out as far as it can to the left
along with it. As the foot comes down, the toes are slightly hooked inward and it pauses like that.
Your head forcelessly presses up, your shoulders loosen, your waist has an energy of sinking, your
hips have an energy of shrinking in, and each of these things is to be accomplished by using
intention rather than exertion. The right side of your lower abdomen settles onto your right thigh.
Your gaze is toward the middle of the sword. The posture is as in the photo. Ponder it until you
understand it, then perform according to it.


3. SWEEP THE GROUND TO FIND THE ROOTS

Then your right hand rotates from a full passive position to a one-quarter passive position,
the arm lowering, as it sweeps out to the left, the sword at a height above the ground that feels
appropriate for you. Your right hand then continues to rotate, reaching a full active position when
the elbow is close in front of your right ribs. The hand is lower than the elbow so that the sword is
at a slant aligned to the right of your right toes and the line from elbow to sword tip is forming one
side of a triangle. As the sword sweeps, your right foot steps to your left foot, hooked inward so the
toes of both feet are pointing toward each other at roughly one or two inches apart. Your left hand
at the same time lifts up, rotating from a full passive position to a three-quarter passive position
and back to a full passive position, to be at head level, the thumb stopping about two or three
inches away from your left temple, the arm making a semicircle. Your gaze is toward the sword tip.
Your waist sinks, your hips shrink in, your headtop presses up, and your shoulders hang down, as
before. However, when your right hand starts from its full passive position to sweep to the left,
your shoulders should loosen and the inside of your body should empty. The completed posture is
as in the photo. This is a posture that should be deeply understood.


4. WHITE APE HOLDS UP A PEACH

C


Then your right hand, in its full active position, goes forward and rotates to the right, leading
across while extending outward, making a C-shaped curve, the hand wrapping inward from its full
active position to a three-quarter active position with the sword edges facing upward and
downward, the hand at mouth level. The line from the sword tip to your right elbow forms one side
of a triangle, while the line of the sword handle pointing to your left elbow forms another side of
the triangle, the arm making a semicircle. Your waist at the same time twists to the right, your right
hip shrinking in as much as it can, also twisting to the right. There is an intention within that your
hips should be rounded rather than producing corners, making a C-shaped curve. Your gaze is
toward the sword tip. During the movement of the sword, your left hand extends upward from your
head, its full passive position rotating outward until at a three-quarter passive position, the tigers
mouth pointing toward the sword tip, the upper arm stopping about one or two inches away from
your left ear. As your sword arcs, your right foot steps diagonally forward, coming down to form a
diagonal rectangle with your left foot. The height of your bodys posture is up to you. The distance
between your feet is correct if it does not cause the weight to shift off of your rear foot. The posture
is made obvious by looking at the photo.

Once the posture is settled into place, then perform leftward circle walking, the number of circuits
you make around the circle and the size of the circle being unrestricted. The sword technique for
the Qian trigram is divided into four postures. Although a posture may finish, intention continues,
thus the postures should be a single flow when practicing, not only for this trigram, but for the rest
of them as well. You have to understand this.

CHAPTER SEVEN: THE KUN TRIGRAM SWORD TECHNIQUE



The Kun trigram sword technique follows from the Qian trigram sword technique, which was
represented by a white circle. Things reverse their condition upon reaching extremes. The active
aspect at its peak generates the passive aspect, represented by a black circle. The hand position in
the Qian trigram sword technique goes from a three-quarter passive position to a three-quarter
active position, and thus is represented by the white circle. The hand position in the Kun trigram
sword technique goes from a three-quarter active position to a three-quarter passive position, and
thus is represented by the black circle. Both techniques also have their particular direction of circle
walking. Whereas in the case of the other it is leftward active circle walking, and is therefore called
the Qian trigram sword technique, in this case it is rightward passive circle walking, and is
therefore called the Kun trigram sword technique.

1. SUN & MOON TRY TO OUTSHINE EACH OTHER


Beginning from circle walking in the posture of WHITE APE HOLDS UP A PEACH, your right foot
goes forward and slightly pauses, then your left foot steps, hooked inward to be pointing toward
your right toes. Your right hand at the same time turns outward from its three-quarter active
position, sweeps in a downward-bulging half circle to arrive at the right side in a full passive
position. The sword is horizontal from handle to tip. The hand and your right toes are in line with
each other above and below, the hand at solar plexus level. The height of the downward sweep of
the sword is not restricted. As your sword moves, your right foot steps out to the right side, coming
down to make a large diagonal rectangle with your left foot, the distance between your feet
[depending on your height], right arm extended straight, the hand aligned vertically with your
right toes. Your left hand at the same time lowers from its three-quarter passive position above
your head, moving along the left side of your body, constantly wrapping inward until in a full
passive position, the tigers mouth level with and about two or three inches away from your left
ribs, the arm making a semicircle. Your gaze is toward the area about three or four inches along the
blade from the sword hilt. Your legs are again bent into semicircles, your hips have an energy of
loosening, and your lower abdomen has an intention of settling on top of your right hip. Your
shoulders again have an energy of loosening, your waist continues to sink, and your head
forcelessly presses up. The completed posture is as in the photo.

2. METEOR CHASES THE MOON



Then your right hand arcs farther to the right side, lifting until at nose level, the hand remaining in
a full passive position, the sword tip at hip level [which would actually put the hand in a threequarter passive position as mentioned in the next posture], the arm slightly bent. Your left hand at

the same time wraps inward from its full passive position while threading from near your left ribs
to below your right armpit, finishing in a full active position. Your left foot also at the same time
steps out forward, hooked inward to be pointing toward your right toes, both legs bent. As your
right hand lifts and arcs, your body, waist, and right hip turn to the right in unison, for it is not
merely the sword that arcs to the right. Your gaze is toward your right hand. The completed
posture is as in the photo. As before, your head presses up, shoulders hang down, abdomen
loosens, crotch spreads internally, hips shrink in, and waist sinks.

3. BLUE DRAGON TURNS ITS HEAD



Then your right hand sweeps across in an arc to the left, threading out forward as far as it can,
twisting outward from its full passive position until in a three-quarter passive position at head
level, the back of the hand about two or three inches away from your head. The sword tip is level
with your left hip. Your left hand at the same time rotates from its full active position to a threequarter passive position, the wrist sinking, extending forward with the arm still close to your body.
Your left foot also at the same time steps out (i.e. outward to the left), coming down to make a
diagonal rectangle with your right foot. The height of your bodys posture is up to you. Your gaze is
toward the sword tip. As the movement arcs, your waist and hips also twist to the left. The
completed posture is as in the photo.

Everything about the movement internally and externally is the same as before. After slightly
pausing, go into rightward circle walking, making a circuit or two, or more, around as large or
small a circle as you please. It is the same as circle walking in the posture of WHITE APE HOLDS
UP A PEACH, except in that case your right hand is in a three-quarter active position whereas in
this case it is a three-quarter passive position, and in that case you are performing leftward circle
walking whereas in this case it is rightward circle walking. There is no limit as to the number of
circuits you make, though the effectiveness of this technique lies in changing directions, and it is
usually the case that making many circuits brings greater benefit. Although this technique is
divided into three postures, it is nevertheless to be performed as a continuous flow. A posture may
finish, but intention does not stop. You have to understand this.

CHAPTER EIGHT: THE KAN TRIGRAM SWORD TECHNIQUE


The Kan trigram is associated with water. The intention of the movements is to be like water
flowing. It is therefore called the Kan trigram sword technique. Within it are the postures of
sweeping and propping, as well as the methods of checking and smearing [explained below in
Chapter Fourteen] when switching postures. The key to this technique lies in the switching of
postures.

1. THE HORIZON SWEEPS AWAY THE MOON


From circle walking in the posture of BLUE DRAGON TURNS ITS HEAD, step forward with your
left foot, then step forward with your right foot, hooked inward to be pointing toward your left toes.
Then your right hand, in a three-quarter passive position, arm extended, sweeps out to the right
side, in an upward-bulging semicircle, the arm extended to the right. As your hand sweeps to the
right, it moves into a full passive position, and halts once level with your right shoulder, the sword
tip slightly higher than the handle. Your left hand at the same time, in a three-quarter passive
position close to your body, brushes from your right ribs out to the left side until in a full passive
position in line with your left knee and roughly four or five inches away from it. As your left hand
brushes to the left, your left foot steps out as far as it can to the left along with it. As the foot comes
down, the toes are slightly hooked inward. Your gaze is toward the middle of the sword. The
completed posture and all of its energies are the same as in Posture 2 of the Qian trigram sword
technique. (See the photo for Posture 2 of Qian trigram.)

2. IMMORTAL CARRIES HIS SWORD ON HIS BACK




Then your right hand wraps inward from its full passive position, sweeping with the sword, lifting
upward until the hand is in a three-quarter active position level with and about four or five inches
away from the left side of your head, the blade vertically aligned with your shoulder. Your gaze goes
behind you toward the area about five or six inches along the inner edge from the sword tip. At the
same time, your right foot steps out, coming down hooked inward to be pointing toward your left
toes, and your left hand, in its full passive position, draws in until at your abdomen, the root of the
thumb close to your navel, the wrist having an energy of sinking. Your legs bend, but the height of
your posture is up to you. The completed posture is as in the photo. As before, your waist is
sinking, your head is pressing up, and your hips are shrinking in.


3. IMMORTAL SWITCHES PLACES WITH HIS SHADOW


Then your right hand lifts up from the right side, in its three-quarter active position, and once it is
higher than your head, it sweeps in a small upward-bulging arc until to the left side of your head,
wrapping until the hand is in a full passive position. The hand then lowers until over the middle of
your left forearm, about two or three inches in front of your left elbow, going from its full passive
position to a half passive position, then rotating to a one-quarter passive position. While your
sword is wrapped in and lowered, your body and waist twist to the left like a strand of silk being
twisted, the sword tip at eye level and vertically in line with your left hip and left shoulder. Your
gaze is toward the area about three or four inches along the inner edge from the sword tip. Your left
hand at the same time, in its full passive position, puts its energy into extending from your navel to
your right ribs, the arm close to your body, until the back of the hand is behind your right elbow.
Your left foot also at the same time steps out straight to the left side, coming down to form a
diagonal rectangle with your right foot, the distance between your feet being up to you. Because the
bodys height in this posture is not standardized, the distance between your feet is thus up to you.
In the beginning of the training, the height of the posture should be as in the photo. At the
completion of the posture, everything is as before, including the principles of spirit coursing
through and energy sinking to your elixir field.

CHAPTER NINE: THE LI TRIGRAM SWORD TECHNIQUE


The Li trigram is associated with fire and represented by hollowness. This technique has the
methods of stripping away, gathering in, hollowing out, and being nimble. It is therefore called the
Li trigram sword technique.

1. SUN & MOON TRY TO OUTSHINE EACH OTHER


Beginning from circle walking in the posture of WHITE APE HOLDS UP A PEACH, your right foot
goes forward and slightly pauses, then your left foot steps, hooked inward to be pointing toward
your right toes. Your right hand at the same time turns outward from its three-quarter active
position, sweeping in a downward-bulging half circle until arriving at the right side in a full passive
position. The sword is horizontal from handle to tip. The hand and your right toes are in line with
each other above and below, the hand at solar plexus level. As your sword moves, your right foot
steps out to the right side, coming down to make a large diagonal rectangle with your left foot, the
distance between your feet [depending on your height], right arm extended straight, the hand
aligned vertically with your right toes. Your left hand at the same time lowers from its threequarter passive position above your head, moving along the left side of your body, constantly
wrapping inward until in a full passive position, the tigers mouth level with and about two or three
inches away from your left ribs, the arm making a semicircle. Your gaze is toward the area about
three or four inches along the blade from the sword hilt. All features are the same as in Posture 1 of
the Kun trigram sword technique.

2. WHITE APE STEALS A PEACH



Your right hand lifts up to head level, twisting outward from its full passive position to a threequarter passive position, the back of the hand about three or four inches away from your head, the
sword tip level with your left hip. Your left hand at the same time puts its energy into threading out
from your left ribs until below the middle of your right forearm, wrapping inward from its full
passive position to a full active position at solar plexus level. Your left foot also at the same time
steps forward, hooking inward to be pointing toward your right toes. Your gaze is toward the area
about four or five inches along the inner edge from the sword tip. Your legs are bent. The
completed posture is as in the photo. All of its energies are as before.

3. IMMORTAL THROWS AWAY A SHELL


Your right hand in its three-quarter passive position lifts from in front of your head
and goes to the right side, twisting outward until in a full active position, the arm straightening,
then sweeps inward in a downward arc until in front of your right hip and in a one-quarter active
position, the arm still straightened. The hand is level with and away from your right hip, as well as
above your left toes on the line of the walking circle, the sword tip level with your right shoulder.
Your gaze is toward the area about six or seven inches along the inner edge from the sword tip,
then when you walk, your gaze will follow the sword, your hips and waist also turned to the right.
As your right hand lifts away from your head, your left hand lifts up until above your head, twisting
outward from its full active position to a three-quarter passive position once the arm has reached
its final place, the tigers mouth facing toward your right hand. The posture of your left arm is the
same as in WHITE APE HOLDS UP A PEACH. Your right foot at the same time steps out to the
right, coming down to form a diagonal rectangle with your left foot, the distance between your feet
and the height of the posture both being up to you. In the beginning of the training, you ought to

base the distance and height on the photo. All of the attributes within this posture are the same as
in PYTHON TURNS ITS BODY from the boxing manual [though it looks somewhat different].
Although this technique is divided into three postures, the internal spirit and energy should flow
continuously. You have to understand this.

CHAPTER TEN: THE ZHEN TRIGRAM SWORD TECHNIQUE



The Zhen trigram is associated with movement, represented by thunder. Of the five elements, it
corresponds to wood, represented by the blue dragon. This technique has the methods of threading
straight, diagonally, upward, downward, to the left, to the right. It is therefore called the Zhen
trigram sword technique, and has the principles of the wood element.

1. WHITE SNAKE HIDES IN THE GRASS


Beginning from BLUE DRAGON TURNS ITS HEAD, your left foot in front, your right foot then
steps forward, hooked inward to be pointing toward your left toes. Then your right hand lowers,
wrapping inward from its three-quarter passive position to a half passive position, the arm making
a semicircle shape, the hand roughly four or five inches away from your right hip. The sword is
level with your right hip and roughly one or two inches away from your body. Your left hand at the
same time wraps inward from its three-quarter passive position to a full active position as it
extends downward along your body and brushes out to the left, then once the arm is extended to its
final place, the hand is again in a three-quarter passive position, hand and sword tip horizontally in
line with each other. Your left foot also at the same time steps out to the left, coming down so the
distance between your feet is such that your left toes and left fingertips are vertically aligned. Your

legs are bent, your waist has an energy of sinking, your body is slightly leaning forward with an
intention of the left side of your abdomen settling onto your left hip. Your gaze is toward the tips of
your forefinger and middle finger. The completed posture is as in the photo.


2. SUBMERGED DRAGON LEAVES THE WATER

First your left foot lifts, though not high, and twists outward to come down pointing as far outward
as it can. Your right hand in its half passive position threads the sword forward, then once at the
full extent of its threading, it pushes the handle down so the tip correspondingly lifts upward until
the sword is almost vertical from handle to tip, the tip slightly slanted outward. The arm is straight
and your right hand is at the same level as your left hand. Your right foot at the same time steps
forward, coming down hooked inward to be pointing toward and roughly five or six inches away
from your left toes. Your left hand also at the same time lowers to be below your solar plexus,
wrapping inward from its three-quarter passive position to a full passive position, the root of the
thumb against your body. Your gaze goes toward the sword tip as the sword threads forward, then
once the tip has lifted, you will be looking toward roughly the middle of the sword. Your waist has
an energy of sinking, your legs bent. The completed posture is as in the photo.


3. BLUE DRAGON SEARCHES THE SEA

Then your right hand lifts toward your right eyebrow, twisting outward from its half passive
position to a three-quarter passive position. The sword tip goes to the left then reaches out as far as
it can forward and downward, the hand rotating back to a three-quarter passive position, the hand
at solar plexus [mouth] level, the sword tip level with your left foot. As your right hand moves the
sword, your left hand wraps inward from its full passive position to a full active position. Once your
right hand is at eyebrow level and reaching forward, your left hand threads upward, the arm
moving along your body, until in front of your forehead, twisting outward to a three-quarter
passive position, the arm finishing once it has passed your head. Your right foot at the same time
lifts, the foot flexed downward, so the sole is over your left knee. Your waist has an energy of
sinking, your hips have an energy of shrinking in, and your body leans slightly forward. Your gaze
is toward the sword tip. The completed posture is as in the photo.

The three postures in this technique are to be practiced as a single flow. If you trace your way
[counterclockwise] around a bagua diagram starting from the Kun trigram, then switching to the
Zhen trigram, then the Dui [Li] trigram, and then to the Qian [Dui] trigram, although there are
three changes of trigram in this process, internally there is actually only a single flow. This is also
true for the changes in the Bagua Sword techniques. Regardless of which technique, although these
sword techniques are externally divided into postures, internally there is always a single idea
running through them [Lun Yu, 15.3]. You should particularly understand this.

CHAPTER ELEVEN: THE GEN TRIGRAM SWORD TECHNIQUE


The Gen trigram is associated with mountain. [From the Book of Changes, explanation for
hexagram 52:] Stubbornly he turns his back so you cannot catch his person. He walks in his
courtyard but does not notice his family. This technique has an intention of holding ground rather
than advancing, and a posture of retreating and concealing. It is therefore called the Gen trigram
sword technique. It was said by a previous generation: Shrink your body to be concealed under
your sword. The idea is that your sword is noticed but you are not.

1. BLACK TIGER LEAVES ITS CAVE


Beginning from BLUE DRAGON TURNS ITS HEAD, your left foot in front, your right foot then
steps forward, hooked inward to be pointing toward your left toes, and slightly pauses there. Then
your right hand lowers, wrapping inward from its three-quarter passive position to a half passive
position, the arm making a semicircle shape, the hand roughly four or five inches away from your
right hip. The sword is level with your right hip and roughly one or two inches away from your
body. Your left hand at the same time wraps inward from its three-quarter passive position to a full
passive position, as it extends downward along your body and brushes out to the left, then once the
arm is extended to its final place, the hand is again in a three-quarter passive position, hand and
sword tip horizontally in line with each other. Your gaze follows the tips of your forefinger and
middle finger. Your left foot also at the same time steps to the left, coming down so the distance
between your feet is such that your left toes and left fingertips are vertically aligned. At this
moment, the posture is the same as in WHITE SNAKE HIDES IN THE GRASS, but is different in
that this is a pauseless transition rather than a posture in itself. Your right hand in its half passive
position then puts its energy into stabbing straight out, the sword from handle to tip at solar plexus
level, your gaze toward the sword tip once it has stabbed out. Your left hand at the same time
rotates from its three-quarter passive position to a full passive position, the hand also extending all
five fingers and covering your right wrist. Your left knee puts its energy into bending forward and
your right leg puts its energy into straightening. The left side of your lower abdomen settles onto
your left hip. Your waist has an energy of sinking, your head presses up, your shoulders have an
energy of shrinking in, and your body leans slightly forward. The completed posture is as in the
photo.

2. WHITE SNAKE FLICKS ITS TONGUE



Your right hand, in its half passive position, pushes down the sword handle, the tip lifting up and
moving in a semicircle from left side to right side, your right arm bending inward until close to

your right ribs, the hand rotated to a three-quarter active position one or two inches away from
your chest. The sword is horizontal from tip to handle. Your left hand at the same time wraps
inward from its full passive position to a full active position as it threads out downward from the
inner side of your right wrist, the arm twisting outward close to your body, until by your left hip
and rotated to a full passive position. Your left foot also at the same time twists at the heel to hook
the toes inward. The posture at this moment seems to pause yet not pause. The sword stabs out
forward, your right hand remaining in its three-quarter active position throughout the extending of
the arm, the hand as high as the upper part of your chest. Your gaze is toward the sword tip. As the
sword stabs forward, your left hand in its full passive position brushes out to the left. Once the arm
extends to its final place, the hand is rotated to a three-quarter passive position level with your left
ribs. Your legs are bent. The completed posture is as in the photo.

3. BLUE DRAGON BLOCKS THE ROAD




Then your right hand twists outward from a three-quarter active position to a full passive position,
the arm straightening. The hand is vertically aligned with your right toes and is at chest height. The
sword tip is roughly level with your left shoulder. Your gaze is toward the middle of the sword.
Your right foot at the same time swings its toes outward, coming down to make a ninety angle with
your left foot. Your left hand also at the same time wraps inward from its three-quarter passive
position to a full active position, the arm bending in to bring it close to your ribs. Your legs bend
downward, your hips shrinking in, and within your body there should be an emptiness. The
completed posture is as in the photo.


4. WHITE APE STEALS A PEACH

Your right hand lifts up to head level, twisting outward from its full passive position to a threequarter passive position, the back of the hand about three or four inches away from your head, the
sword tip level with your left hip. Your left hand at the same time puts its energy into threading out
from your left ribs until below the middle of your right forearm, maintaining its full active position
as it finishes at solar plexus level. Your left foot also at the same time steps forward, hooked inward
to be pointing toward your right toes. Your gaze is toward the area about four or five inches along
the inner edge from the sword tip. Your legs are bent. The completed posture is as in the photo.


5. IMMORTAL ENTERS THE CAVE


Your right hand in its three-quarter passive position lifts from in front of your head
and goes to the right side, twisting outward until in a full active position, the arm straightening,
then sweeps inward in a downward arc on the right side, finishing with the arm extended and the
hand in a one-quarter active position, level with and about a foot away from your lower abdomen,
your body also twisting to the right. Your gaze is toward the middle area of the sword. The sword
tip is level with your right toes, as well as making a diagonal line with your right shoulder. Your
right foot at the same time puts its energy into lifting until the sole is over your left knee, the foot
flexed downward. As your right hand lifts away from your head, your left hand lifts up until above
your head, twisting outward from its full active position to a three-quarter passive position once
the arm has reached its final place, the thumb pointing toward your right hand. The posture of
your left arm is the same as in WHITE APE HOLDS UP A PEACH. Your left leg is bent, your hips
have an energy of shrinking in, your waist has an energy of sinking, and your body leans slightly
forward. The completed posture is as in the photo.

6. SUN & MOON TRY TO OUTSHINE EACH OTHER




Then your right foot steps out to the right side, coming down with the toes hooking slightly inward,
making a large diagonal rectangle with your left foot. Your right hand at the same time twists
outward from its one-quarter active position, arm straightening, and sweeps in a downward-

bulging half circle until arriving at the right side in a full passive position. The sword is horizontal
from handle to tip. The hand and your right toes are in line with each other above and below, the
hand at solar plexus level. The height of the downward sweep of the sword is not restricted. Your
left hand at the same time lowers from its three-quarter passive position above your head, moving
along the left side of your body, constantly wrapping inward until in a full passive position, the
tigers mouth level with and about two or three inches away from your left ribs, the arm making a
semicircle, the wrist having an energy of bracing to the rear. Your gaze is toward the area about
three or four inches along the blade from the sword hilt. All features and energies are the same as
in Posture 1 of the Kun trigram sword technique.

7. METEOR CHASES THE MOON


Then your right hand arcs farther to the right side, lifting until at nose level, the hand remaining in
a full passive position, the sword tip at hip level [putting the hand actually into a three-quarter
passive position], the arm slightly bent. Your left hand at the same time wraps inward from its full
passive position while threading from near your left ribs to below your right armpit, finishing in a
full active position. Your left foot also at the same time steps out forward, hooked inward to be
pointing toward your right toes, both legs bent. As your right hand lifts and arcs, your body, waist,
and right hip turn to the right in unison, for it is not merely the sword that arcs to the right. Your
gaze is toward your right hand. The completed posture and all of its energies are the same as in
Posture 2 of the Kun trigram sword technique.

CHAPTER TWELVE: THE XUN TRIGRAM SWORD TECHNIQUE



The Xun trigram is associated with wind. It is wind within Nature, energy within the human body,
and Xun among the trigrams. The Xun trigram sword technique has postures of going along and
going against, the principle of a whirlwind mixing everything together, both scattering and
gathering. As it has the characteristics of wind, it is therefore called the Xun trigram sword
technique.

1. FLOWER HIDDEN UNDER THE LEAF [Part 1]


Beginning from WHITE APE HOLDS UP A PEACH, your right foot forward, your left foot then
steps forward, hooked inward to be pointing toward your right toes, and pauses there. Then your
right hand twists outward from its three-quarter active position to a full passive position. At the
same time, your right foot steps out to the right, coming down with the toes swung outward, and
your body twists to the right. Your right hand is close to your left ribs. The sword is horizontal and
the tip is vertically aligned with your left heel. As your right hand twists, your left hand lowers,
wrapping inward from its three-quarter passive position to a full active position, the arm
straightening at solar plexus level. Your legs bend downward, your hips have an energy of
shrinking in, and there is a hollowness within your body. Your gaze goes out straight ahead in line
with your right elbow. The completed posture is as in the photo.


2. FLOWER HIDDEN UNDER THE LEAF [Part 2]


With the sword and your left hand not moving, your left foot steps forward, hooked inward to be
pointing toward your right toes. Your legs are bent, your waist sinks, your hips shrink in, and all
the energies are as before. Your gaze continues to go out straight ahead in line with your right
elbow. The completed posture is as in the photo.

3. FLOWER HIDDEN UNDER THE LEAF [Part 3]


Then your right foot steps out, swinging out to the right but coming down pointing straight, the
toes slightly hooking inward, your feet again forming what is roughly a diagonal rectangle. Then
your right hand sweeps the sword across to the right in a full passive position, your body at the
same time twisting to the right. The sword sweeps until vertically aligned with your left heel, the
hand remaining in a full passive position. Your gaze is toward the sword tip. Your left hand in its
full active position spreads away at the same time to the opposite side, and when the arm has
reached its final place, the hand is still in its full active position and is level with your right hand.
Within your body there is a hollowness, your spirit and energy are stable, and your legs are bent.
The completed posture is as in the photo.

This swirling technique starting with your left foot hooking inward and your right foot swinging
outward in Posture 1, then continuing into Posture 2 [left foot again hooking inward] and Posture 3
[right foot again stepping out], zigzags your feet around a smaller circle which does not have any
steps within the larger walking circle. You have to understand this.

4. FIERCE TIGER BLOCKS THE ROAD



Your feet staying where they are, your right hand lifts up to head level, wrapping inward from its
full passive position to a three-quarter active position, the hand roughly five or six inches away
from your head. The sword is aligned between your feet, the sword tip roughly level with your
lower back. Your left hand at the same time goes toward your navel area, twisting outward from its
full active position [to a full passive position], the arm close to your body. Your gaze is toward the
middle of the sword. The posture seems to stop yet not stop. Then your head and body twist to the

left, your right hand at the same time, arm extended, wrapping inward from its three-quarter
active position to a three-quarter passive position while performing what seems to be a sweeping
arc over your head to the left, the hand at head level, roughly five or six inches away from your
head, the sword tip still roughly level with your lower back. Your gaze is toward the sword tip or
the inner edge of the sword tip. Your left hand also at the same time reaches out toward your right
ribs, the arm close to your body, while wrapping inward from its full passive position to a threequarter passive position, the root of the thumb close to your right ribs. Your legs are bent, your
body is hollowed within, and energy sinks to your elixir field. The completed posture is as in the
photo.


Then you will walk, your right hand twisting outward to again be in a three-quarter passive
position as you return to the posture of BLUE DRAGON TURNS ITS HEAD, commencing leftward
circle walking by stepping out first with your right foot.

CHAPTER THIRTEEN: THE DUI TRIGRAM SWORD TECHNIQUE


The Dui trigram is associated with marsh. It has the position of metal [i.e. is placed to the west in
the acquired bagua diagram]. Within the sword technique, there are the methods of slicing and
raising, the postures of chopping and hacking, and the principles of gathering and capturing. All of
these things fit with its categorization, and thus it is called the Dui trigram sword technique.

1. SLICING TO THE ARM



Beginning from WHITE APE HOLDS UP A PEACH, your right foot forward, your left foot then
steps forward, hooked inward to be pointing toward your right toes. Your right hand at the same
time lowers, slicing out at the outside of your left arm, the arm straightening while close to your

body, the hand rotating from its three-quarter active position to a half passive position lowering
until beside your left hip, the sword tip roughly level with your left shoulder. Your gaze is toward
the sword tip or the inner edge of the sword tip. Your left hand also at the same time lowers from
above your head to the area of your navel, wrapping inward from its three-quarter passive position
to a half passive position, but the hand does not pause there. With the palm facing your body, the
elbow urging close to your left ribs, the hand threads out upward until the forefinger and middle
finger are at head level, the hand rotating to a full active position (the palm facing your [right]
temple). Your legs bend downward, your waist has an energy of sinking, and your hips are
shrinking in. The completed posture is as in the photo.

2. HORSE-TURNING SWORD


Then your right hand in its half passive position passes your left hip, arm straightening, and lifts
up in a continuous arc to the right until at chest level, the hand now in a three-quarter passive
position. The sword tip is pointing diagonally forward, roughly at knee level. The intention is of the
raising technique [explained in the following chapter]. Your gaze is toward the sword tip. Your left
hand at the same time passes in front of your head and lowers along your body until at your navel
area, palm near your body, rotating from its full active position [to a half passive position]. Your
right foot also at the same time steps forward, coming down with the toes twisted slightly outward.
The size of the step must not be fixated upon, for this forward step should be a quite ordinary
natural step rather than something strained. The completed posture is as in the photo.


3. TURN YOUR HEAD TO GAZE AT THE MOON

Your right hand lifts until above your head, arm straight, remaining in its three-quarter passive
position. It does not pause there, chopping to the right rear, and once the arm has reached its full
extent, the hand is in a half passive position, the sword tip slightly slanted outward, the hand at
chest level. Your gaze is toward the middle of the sword. As the sword chops from front to rear, the
tip traces an upward-bulging arc. During the chop, your body also twists to the right. As your right
hand lifts up, your left hand extends diagonally downward from your navel area until at hip level,
still in its half passive position. Then as your right hand chops to the rear, your left hand lifts up
until at the same level as your right hand and in a full passive position. As your right hand lifts up,
your left foot steps forward, coming down with the toes pointing straight or slightly swung
outward. Then as your right hand chops to the rear, your right foot steps forward, coming down
with the toes swung outward, your legs slightly bent. These left and right steps should be natural,
no different from an intention of simply walking. The completed posture is as in the photo.


4. IMMORTAL ANGLES FOR A FISH

Then your right hand in its half passive position lowers in an arc, the arm straightening, until
roughly six or seven inches away from your right hip, the blade lowering until the sword is
horizontal from handle to tip or the tip is slightly lower. Your left hand at the same time lifts in an
arc until above your head, remaining in its full passive position, diagonally in line above and below,
forward and rear, with your right hand. Your left foot also at the same time steps forward, coming
down with the toes swung outward as far as possible. The posture must not pause. Your right hand
in its half passive position then raises the sword forward in a downward-bulging arc, finishing in a
three-quarter active position at chest level, the sword tip level with your right ribs. Your gaze goes
in front of your right hand. Your left hand at the same time twists outward from its full passive
position to a three-quarter passive position while making an upward-bulging arc to the left, then
lowers until at the same level as your right hand, the arm straightening, the hand rotating back to a
full passive position. Your right foot also at the same time steps forward, coming down with the
toes hooking inward as far as they can, pointing toward and roughly four or five inches away from
your left toes. Then your right hand in its three-quarter active position, arm straight, chops from
right to left in an upward-bulging arc, then once the arm is extended to its final place, the hand has

rotated to a half passive position and is roughly level with the area below your solar plexus and
above your navel. During the chop, your body twists to the left. Your gaze is toward the sword tip.
At the beginning of the chop, your left hand in its full passive position goes to your lower abdomen,
palm facing your body, then moves upward along your body as the chop finishes, the arm reaching
its final place with the hand now in a three-quarter passive position. Also during the chop, your left
foot puts its energy into lifting, the foot flexed downward, so the sole is over your right knee. Your
hips have an energy of shrinking in, your head has an energy of pressing up, your body leans
slightly forward, and your right leg has an intention of bending. The completed posture is as in the
photo.

Although this technique has four distinct postures, they should be performed as a single flow. You
should particularly understand this.

CHAPTER FOURTEEN: BAGUA SWORDS TEN BASIC ACTIONS

The ten actions are: carrying, propping, smearing, hanging, slicing, gathering, sealing, sweeping,
complying, and checking.

[1] Carrying:
My hand is in a three-quarter passive position, as in BLUE DRAGON TURNS ITS HEAD,
carrying forward to an opponents wrist or arm.

[2] Propping:
My hand is in a three-quarter active position, as in WHITE APE HOLDS UP A PEACH, propping
forward to an opponents wrist or arm. Carrying is usually for when I am at the inside of the
opponents sword, whereas propping is usually for when I am at the outside.


[3] Smearing:
After carrying or propping to an opponents wrist or arm, I turn my body and sword to the left or
right.

[4] Hanging:
When an opponents sword is chopping toward my wrist or the right side of my body, I use my
sword to meet the upper section of his sword, bending my arm and shrinking back my body,
continuously leading his sword out to then attack him, watching for the right moment.

[5] Slicing:
When an opponent uses his hand to prop up my left arm or his sword to attack my left arm, I
promptly extend my left arm under my right arm while using my sword to chop forward to his left
shoulder.

[6] Gathering:
When an opponents swords chops toward either my upper body or lower body, my sword is
intent upon reaching him before he reaches me, heading to the left or right toward his wrist as
though whittling an object, then withdraws as quickly as it goes out, fast as lightning.

[7] Sealing:
In the moment when an opponents sword is about to come out but is not yet coming out, I
quickly use my sword to seal off his hand, preventing his sword from coming out.

[8] Sweeping divides into upper sweeping and lower sweeping.


Upper sweeping: When my sword has carried to an opponents wrist, if he wishes to adjust, I
quickly coil my sword around his wrist, preventing him from adjusting the way he wants.
Lower sweeping: When an opponents sword chops to the inside or outside of my wrist,
I quickly shrink back, lowering my body, and chop out to the left or right toward his leg as though
sweeping the floor.


[9] Complying:
When an opponent attacks, I go along with his momentum to draw him in, or when he
withdraws, I go along with his momentum to send in my sword. When performing this action, I
cannot be stiff, and I should instead be using intention whether advancing or retreating.

[10] Checking:
When an opponents sword attacks, I quickly use my sword to obstruct his wrist or sword,
rendering him unable to succeed. This can be performed above, to the middle level, or below.

These ten actions are the basic sword applications. Despite being basic, they must be applied with
spirit and intent inwardly as well as hands and feet outwardly. When your sword is a part of your

body, then you can apply these actions, and you should always be able to switch from one to
another limitlessly.

CHAPTER FIFTEEN: ESSENTIALS OF BAGUA SWORDS UNFIXED PRACTICE


The methods of Bagua Sword include orthodox sword [i.e. choreographed] and changing sword
[i.e. unchoreographed]. The orthodox sword is the essential sword set, the eight core techniques.
The changing sword is the eight core techniques intermixing, changing with complexity and
generating endless postures. Compare this to the hexagrams in theBook of Changes. Fu Xis eight
trigrams are innate or essential. King Wens sixty-four hexagrams are acquired or changed.
Then there are the Duke of Zhous explanations for each of their three hundred eighty-four lines,
further changes within changes. It has been said that this sword art already possesses this method
of change. I have responded with this whole set of orthodox sword postures, using photographs
and explanations to pass it down to future generations in order to keep the art from being lost.
Why does this book present only the eight core techniques and not include the changing sword?
Because it is so difficult to describe, nor do I see how it could not be so, if only for the fact that
although the theory of this sword art is the same as the method of change in the Book of Changes,
the changes of the sword postures are nevertheless different to it. For instance in the Book of
Changes, there is the way that Qian and Kun [Creative / Receptive] switch with each other
[hexagrams 1 and 2 (six solid lines as opposed to six broken lines)] or the way that Tai and Pi
[Peace / Stagnation] switch with each other [hexagrams 11 and 12 (upper and lower trigrams
reversed)], etc. Sometimes the upper trigram of a hexagram is changed while the lower trigram
stays the same, sometimes the lower trigram of a hexagram is changed while the upper trigram
stays the same, and sometimes neither upper nor lower are changed and the change lies within the
hexagram [i.e. in the explanations for its individual lines]. No matter what those internal changes
may be, they have external effects which can be found.
The changes in the sword art are not like this. For example, in the posture of WHITE APE
HOLDS UP A PEACH in the Qian trigram sword technique, the body does not move [while you
walk the circle], and even if the height of the posture varies, it is still the same posture, and
whether you take a single step along the circle or countless steps around the circle, it is yet still the
same posture. Thus there are times when the sword changes while the body does not or the body
changes while the sword does not. If the hand and sword do not change, yet there is change going
on with the feet this indeed counts as change. If the hands and feet do not change, yet the gaze
shifts up, down, left, or right these are also changes. Changes so subtle that there is no outward
change or the changes are of intention internally these also have to be considered changes. The

changes of the body and the idea of nature invisibly producing things are truly the same, thus the
permutations of posture are beyond counting. If I included photographs and explanations for
them, they would not be like the simple and succinct images of the hexagrams, and it would be
impossible to avoid listing as many changes as I can without leaving any out.
Therefore I have focused on the main points, presenting only the postures of the orthodox sword
and not getting into any postures of the changing sword. However, from your own experience of
practicing the orthodox sword, you will achieve the changing sword. There are differing opinions,
varying knowledge of generalities and details within each of us. After a long time, you will become
skillful and the principles of the method will naturally be grasped. Such fullness within will
manifest outwardly and [paraphrasing fromLun Yu, 2.4:] you may do whatever you please without
ever doing anything wrong. With stillness, there is movement. With change, there is more change,
until finally there is transformation. And with transformation, there is awakening of spirit. Ah, the
orthodox sword Ah, the changing sword

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