YANG STYLE TAIJI SABER

太極拳刀劍桿散手合〔卷八〕
PART EIGHT of Taiji Compiled: The Boxing, Saber, Sword, Pole, and Sparring
陳炎林
by Chen Yanlin
[published June, 1943]

[translation by Paul Brennan, Nov, 2012]

太極刀
TAIJI SABER

太極刀。一名十三勢刀。有十三字訣。砍、刴、剗、截、刮、撩、扎、捛、劈、纏、搧、攔、滑。為昔日楊家太極拳術中著名器械之一。刀式不多。惟式式均能實用。而化人攻人。尤為神妙。令人不可測度。相傳楊健侯時。有著名神刀張某者。與楊交手。楊僅以拂塵代刀。張前進未及一步。刀遂被黏住。竟無一刀出手。可見楊家太極刀之深奧也。惜乎迄今得正傳者少。如廣陵散幾成絕調矣。著者不願珍秘。特將斯刀練法及用法。詳加闡明。以供好此者作為借鏡。太極刀在練時或用時。皆以腰腿為主動樞紐。刀之進退。腰腿相隨。用刀猶如用手。上下、前後、左顧、右盼、周身一致。其間不可稍有斷續。尤不能以力運刀。(如手臂拙力使刀運轉等)恐因拙力。(卽呆力)則己身內勁閉於骨內。不克運行於外。遂有運轉不靈之弊。務須以刀引出己身內勁。使周身內勁及精氣神運於刀上。如水銀裝於其內。運用達於刀尖。收之至尾。故楊家前輩練習太極刀。有重咸在五斤以上。蓋欲由重刀之轉動。引出本身內勁。倘渠運此重刀。僅以手而不用腰腿。試問其能神速乎。故學者之練習太極刀。非以腰腿勁運轉不可。至於沾黏等勁與徒手拳式同。否則不能成為太極刀正宗也。
Taiji Saber is also called Thirteen Dynamics Saber [Shisan Shi Dao], having thirteen techniques: cleaving, hacking, scratching, pushing, shaving, raising, stabbing, rolling, chopping, coiling, fanning, blocking, and sliding. It is one of the earlier weapon sets to become a famous part of the Yang family’s Taiji boxing art. There are not many postures for the saber, but they are all practical, and in neutralizing and counterattacking an opponent it is especially ingenious, causing him to be unable to figure out what you are doing.
     Tradition has it that Yang Jianhou had a bout with a famous man called Magic Saber Zhang in which Yang used only a horsetail duster in place of a saber. Zhang advanced not even one step before his saber had been adhered to, and so he had no chance to carry out even a single saber technique. From this it can be seen how profound the Yang family’s Taiji Saber is.
     Alas, those who nowadays have obtained the true transmission are so rare, it resembles the way the Guangling Melody is considered a masterpiece [because it is hard to find someone who can perform it well]. I am unwilling to hold anything back, and so I present this saber’s training method and methods of application through thorough explanations, with which to supply aficionados so they may learn by the experience of others.
     When either practicing or applying the Taiji Saber, always use your hips as the central pivot directing movement. The saber’s advancing and retreating is coordinated with your hips. Using a saber is just like using your hand. Whether going up or down, forward or back, your whole body is to work as a single unit, and during the exercise there must not be the slightest break in the flow. You especially should use no effort to wield the saber (such as your arm using clumsy strength to make the saber move), and so you should dread using clumsy strength (also known as “stupid strength”), which will seal your internal power into your bones, unable to express outwardly, and then you will have the error of moving awkwardly. You must use the saber to draw forth your own internal power, causing the power within your whole body, as well as your essence, energy, and spirit, to move into the saber. It is like quicksilver is filling it, reaching to the tip [when advancing] and gathering in the pommel [when withdrawing].
     For this reason, when the previous generations of the Yang family practiced the Taiji Saber, they had weapons that were all heavier than five pounds. When they wanted to move such heavy sabers, it drew forth the internal power in their bodies. If they wielded them using only their hands and not their hips, how could they have done so with any speed? Therefore when practicing the Taiji Saber, if you are not driven by your hips, you will not be able to move [i.e. If you do not move your hips, you cannot move the saber.]. As for sticking and the rest of the energies, they are the same here as in the bare-handed exercises, otherwise you will not be able to get your Taiji Saber to be authentic.

太極刀名稱歌
SONG OF POSTURE NAMES FOR TAIJI SABER
[The posture names here employ more poetry whereas those used for the movement descriptions are more technical. I have here aligned the instructions in the verse with the posture names in the movement descriptions so that you may refer back and forth with less confusion.]

七星跨虎意氣揚。白鶴涼翅暗退藏。
風捲荷花隱葉底。推窗望月偏身長。
左顧右盼兩分張。玉女穿梭應八方。
獅子盤球向前滾。開山巨蟒轉身行。
左右高低蝶戀花。轉身捛撩如風車。
二起腿來打虎勢。鴛鴦腿發半身斜。
順水推舟鞭作篙。翻身分手龍門跳。
力劈華山抱刀勢。六和攜石鳳囘巢。

BIG DIPPER POSTURE in a sitting tiger stance rouses mind and energy.
WHITE CRANE COOLS ITS WINGS involves a subtle retreat.
WIND ROLLS UP THE LOTUS LEAVES conceals under a leaf.
PUSH OPEN THE WINDOW TO GAZE AT THE MOON lengthens your torso.
[postures 1-3… 4… 5… 6…]

LOOK LEFT & RIGHT, expanding to both sides.
MAIDEN WORKS THE SHUTTLE deals with all directions.
LION TURNS THE BALL rolls forward.
OPEN THE MOUNTAIN and HUGE PYTHON turns your body around.
[postures 7-9… 10… 11… 12&13…]

Going left and right, high and low, the BUTTERFLY LOVES THE FLOWERS.
Turn around, ROLLING and RAISING are like windmills.
DOUBLE KICK, then perform FIGHTING TIGER POSTURE.
MANDARIN DUCK KICK expresses with your body at an angle.
[postures 14-16… 17-20… 21&22… 23&24…]

GOING WITH THE CURRENT TO PUSH THE BOAT, use your iron staff like a punting-pole.
Turn around, spread your hands, then LEAP THE DRAGON GATE.
FORCEFUL CHOP THROUGH MT. HUA, then EMBRACE THE SABER.
BIAN HE CARRIES THE STONE, then the PHOENIX RETURNS TO ITS NEST.
[postures 25… 26-28… 29&30… 31&32]

(一)起勢
1. BEGINNING POSTURE

左手執刀。刀刃向前。刀背貼於左臂。右手掌心下按。五指前伸。兩足平行分開立定。距離略與兩肩相齊。頭懸身正。目向前平視。舌抵上腭。唇齒相合。以鼻呼吸。沉肩垂肘。含胸拔背。鬆腰鬆胯。體靜神舒。氣輕沉於丹田。精神提起。貫至頭頂。週身鬆開。全如太極拳起勢。(見圖1)
Your left hand holds the saber, the edge facing forward, the back of the saber touching your left arm. Your right palm is pressing downward, fingers extended forward. Your feet are spread apart, standing parallel at about shoulder width. Your head is suspended and your body is upright, eyes looking straight ahead. Your tongue touches the roof of your mouth and your mouth is closed in terms of both lips and teeth. Breathe through your nose. Sink your shoulders and drop your elbows. Contain your chest and pluck up your back. Loosen your waist and hips. Your body is calm and relaxed. Energy gently sinks to your elixir field. Your spirit lifts, passing through to your headtop. Your whole body loosens. This is entirely like the BEGINNING POSTURE in the boxing set. See drawing 1:

太極刀 - 陳炎林 (1943) - drawing 1

(二)上步七星
2. STEP FORWARD WITH THE BIG DIPPER

(向前)兩手隨腰向左由內往外平面圓轉。至胸前。刀背仍貼左臂。右手握拳。在左手腕下向前擊出。同時右足往前踏出一步。左足隨前進勢。以足尖向前平踢。(見圖2)當虛領頂勁。含胸拔背。沉肩垂肘。尾閭中正。眼神前視。
(facing to the Front) [These directions faced are constant compass points – Front, Rear, Left, Right – regardless of the changes in direction of your own personal left and right. I will capitalize compass directions to keep them distinct from personal directions. The directions faced are always in the context of your torso. Here, your torso is square to the Front.]
Your hands go along with your waist as it moves to the Left [Front], both going outward from in, arcing in horizontal circles until in front of your chest, the back of the saber touching your left arm, your right hand grasping into a fist and striking out forward under your left wrist. At the same time, your right foot takes a step forward, then your left foot advances, using the toes to kick forward with the foot flat. You should forcelessly press up your headtop, contain your chest and pluck up your back, sink your shoulders and drop your elbows, and center your tailbone. Your gaze is forward. See drawing 2:

太極刀 - 陳炎林 (1943) - drawing 2

(用法)左手刀柄格開人武器。右拳擊人心窩。左足踢人迎面骨。
Application:
Your left hand uses your saber’s handle to block aside an opponent’s weapon, and your right fist strikes to his solar plexus while your left foot kicks to his shin.
(註)向前、向左、向右、均為面對方向。乃以(一)起勢時身之前後左右為依據。
Note:
The directions you face – to the Front, [Rear,] Left, Right – are all according to the Front, Rear, Left, Right of the BEGINNING POSTURE. [i.e. The compass directions are established based on whatever direction you are facing in the initial standing posture.]

(三)左轉七星
3. TURN LEFT WITH THE BIG DIPPER

(向左)左足隨腰左轉。至左側落地。兩手同時左右平分。俟全身轉至左側時。復同時內合。右拳復由左手腕下向前擊出。刀背仍貼左臂。同時右足復向前平踢。(見圖3)餘同第(二)節。
(facing to the Left)
As your waist turns to the left, your left foot lowers to the left side. At the same time, your hands spread apart horizontally to the sides, then once your whole body has turned to the left side, again they join inward in unison, and your right fist again strikes out forward under your left wrist, the back of the saber touching your left arm. At the same time, your right foot kicks forward with the foot flat. The rest is the same as in Posture 2. See drawing 3:

太極刀 - 陳炎林 (1943) - drawing 3

(用法)左側有人來擊。隨卽將身左轉以刀柄格開人武器。右拳擊人心窩。右足同時踢人迎面骨。
Application:
An opponent attacks from the left side, so turn your body to the left, using your saber’s handle to block his weapon aside, and use your right fist to strike to his solar plexus while your right foot kicks to his shin.

(四)白鶴涼翅
4. WHITE CRANE COOLS ITS WINGS

(向左)右足往後收至左足後半步。落地坐實。左足隨勢亦向後略收。足跟提起。成為虛步。兩手隨腰腿下蹲勢。左手向下。右手(變掌)朝上同時分開。刀背仍貼左臂。成為白鶴涼翅式。(見圖4)兩手距離勿太開。當虛領頂勁。含胸拔背。尾閭收住。氣貼脊背。眼神前視。
(facing to the Left)
Your right foot withdraws until a half step behind your left foot, comes down and sits full, then your left foot slightly withdraws, heel lifted, making an empty stance. Your hands are going along with the squatting down of your hips, left hand going downward, right hand (becoming a palm) going upward, spreading apart in unison, the back of the saber touching your left arm, making a posture of a white crane cooling its wings. Do not spread your hands too far apart. You should forcelessly press up your headtop, contain your chest and pluck up your back, keep your tailbone tucked in, and keep the energy sticking to your spine. Your gaze is forward. See drawing 4 [side view]:

太極刀 - 陳炎林 (1943) - drawing 4

(用法)刀柄撥開人武器。右掌閃擊人面部。左足同時踢人下部。
Application:
Your saber’s handle deflects an opponent’s weapon, and your right palm strikes to his face while your left foot kicks to his lower body.

(五)轉身藏刀
5. TURN AROUND, STORE THE SABER

(向右旋轉。向左。)左腿略提起。右足前掌着地。全身向右旋轉。隨轉隨往下蹲。至半圓圈(一百八十度)時。右手執刀柄。刀刃朝外。刀背向內。全身復向右旋轉。隨轉隨往上升。至原有方向。(連前半圓圈。共為一正圓圈。)右腿在轉時漸漸提起。右手執刀向右平拉。左手貼於刀背。刀平橫於右膝蓋下。左膝略屈。(見圖5)當虛領頂勁。含胸拔背。眼神前視。
(turning around to the right, then facing to the Left)
Your left foot slightly lifts, and with the ball of your right foot touching the ground, your whole body spins around to the right, squatting down during the spin. Halfway through the spin (i.e. once you have turned 180 degrees), your right hand takes hold of the saber handle, the saber edge facing outward, the back of the saber facing inward. Your body then continues to spin to the right, rising up during the spin, until you are facing the original direction (continuing from the initial half spin all the way around to make a full spin). Your right leg during the turn gradually lifts and your right hand pulls the saber horizontally to the right, your left hand touching the back of the saber. The saber is horizontal with the blade flat below your right knee, your left knee slightly bent. You should forcelessly press up your headtop, and contain your chest and pluck up your back. Your gaze is forward. See drawing 5 [side view]:

太極刀 - 陳炎林 (1943) - drawing 5

(用法)先為避勢。再以刀刃拉人身或臂。後為藏刀。預備人之攻擊。
Application:
First evade [an attack], then use your saber’s edge to do a pulling cut to the opponent’s torso or arm, after which store your saber in preparation for his next attack. [This storing is unlike the storing in Postures 13, 17, 24, and 27, and seems to only indicate a slight follow-through from the pulling cut, as is implicit in Postures 19 and 23, but here your saber does not get pulled back to your hip, only below your knee. Your knee is apparently the leaf in the song’s words of “conceals under a leaf”.]

(六)斜推刀
6. DIAGONAL PUSH WITH THE SABER

(向左側)右手刀向右平拉至將盡端時。翻腕刀刃朝上。向左往後。由上往下砍劈。右足向右側踏出一步。成斜弓步式。刀隨腰腿向右側。往前由下朝上推去。(卽剗)同時左手貼於刀背。身體略往右側。姿勢為斜式。(見圖6)身勿太前仆。尾閭當中正。眼神視右側。(上述右側乃接聯上式之動作方向而言。以後各式均可類推。)
(facing to the Left corner [Left Front])
When your right hand finishes pulling horizontally to the right, the wrist turns over so the blade is upward, and goes to the left and rear, chopping down from above, while your right foot takes a step out to the right side to make a diagonal bow stance. The saber goes along with your hips as they go to the right side, going forward and upward from below with a pushing (or scratching) cut, with your left hand touching the back of the saber. Your torso is slightly inclining to the right side. This posture is on a diagonal. Do not lean your torso too far forward. Your tailbone should be centered. Your gaze is to the right side. (The above mentioned right “side” then continues forward in the direction of the movement of the previous posture. The direction of each of the postures that follow can then be reasoned out.) See drawing 6:

太極刀 - 陳炎林 (1943) - drawing 6

(用法)先砍身後左側來人。復往前向右側剗另一人之手腕。或身部。(剗後可以刀盤滑人武器)
Application:
First chop to an opponent attacking from your left and rear, then go forward to the right side with a scratching cut to another opponent’s wrist or torso. (After the scratching, you could then coil around and slide along his weapon.)

[Notice the saber set begins in the manner the boxing set ends. Postures 3-6 are equivalent to this series of postures in the boxing set: STEP FORWARD WITH THE BIG DIPPER > RETREAT TO SITTING TIGER POSTURE > TURN AROUND, SWINGING LOTUS KICK > BEND THE BOW, SHOOT THE TIGER.]

(七)左撩
7. LEFT RAISE

(向左)左足向前往左橫上半步。(右足隨勢略拖上)右手刀隨腰腿左轉勢。向左翻腕。刀刃朝上。由下往上向左前撩。左手向後分開。兩腿成為斜弓步式。(見圖7)當鬆腰鬆胯。含胸懸頂。右肘略沉。勿太直。眼神視刀尖上部。
(facing to the Left)
Your left foot takes a half step forward across to the left (slightly dragging your right foot forward). The saber in your right hand goes along with your hips as they turn to the left, your left [right] wrist turning over so the saber edge is upward, and goes from below to above and forward to the left with a raising cut, your left hand spreading away to the rear. Your legs are making a diagonal bow stance. You should loosen your waist and hips, contain your chest and suspend your headtop. Your right elbow slightly sinks and should not be too straightened. Your gaze is to the area above the saber tip. See drawing 7:

太極刀 - 陳炎林 (1943) - drawing 7

(用法)左側有人用刀劈來。隨卽橫步轉腰。以刀刃撩(或刮)人手腕。(刮後可翻腕。以刀刃搧人頸部。)
Application:
An opponent to your left uses a saber to attack you with a chop, so step across, turning your waist, and use your saber’s edge in a raising (or shaving [see Posture 14]) cut to his wrist. (After shaving, you could then turn your wrist over and use your saber’s edge in a fanning cut [see Posture 15] to his neck.)

(八)右撩
8. RIGHT RAISE

(向左)右足向前往右。橫上半步。(左足隨勢略拖上)右手刀隨腰腿右轉勢。向右翻腕。刀刃復朝上。向右由下往上。朝前直撩。左手隨勢貼於右腕。兩腿成為斜弓步式。(見圖8)餘如第(七)節。
(facing to the Left)
Your right foot takes a half step forward across to the right (slightly dragging your left foot forward). The saber in your right hand goes along with your hips as they turn to the right, your right wrist turning over so the saber edge is again upward, and goes from below to above and forward to the right with a vertical raising cut, your left hand touching your right wrist. Your legs are making a diagonal bow stance. The rest is the same as in Posture 7. See drawing 8:

太極刀 - 陳炎林 (1943) - drawing 8

(用法)(一)右側有人用刀劈來。隨卽橫步轉腰。以刀刃撩(或刮)人手腕。(二)接前左撩用法。人被撩向後。或向右避開。己隨勢翻右手腕。上步以刀刃剗其腹部。或臂部。
Application:
1. An opponent to your right side uses a saber to attack you with a chop, and so you step across, turning your waist and use your saber’s edge in a raising (or shaving) cut to his wrist.
2. Or continuing from the previous application of raising to the left, after doing the raising cut to the opponent, dodge to the right while turning over your right wrist, stepping forward and using your saber’s edge to scratch along his belly or arm.
(註)右撩後。復上左步。為左撩。左撩後。再為右撩。練時每式各二次、四次、或六次均可。
Note:
After RIGHT RAISE, you may step your left foot forward and repeat LEFT RAISE. Then after LEFT RAISE, you may repeat RIGHT RAISE. When practicing, these postures can be performed two, four, or six times.

(九)正推刀
9. STRAIGHT PUSH WITH THE SABER

(向左)在右撩後。翻右腕。刀刃朝上。刀隨腰腿左轉勢。向左側身後由上往下砍劈。劈至與左脅齊。右足往前略移。復上左足。成弓步式。刀刃向外。隨左足向前進步勢。兩手(左手掌貼刀背)將刀由下往上。向正面朝前推截。(見圖9)頂懸尾正。勿太前仆。含胸拔背。眼神前視。
(facing to the Left)
After RIGHT RAISE, your right wrist turns over so the saber edge faces upward. The saber goes along with your hips as they turn to the left, going to the left and rear, chopping down from above until level with your left ribs, your right foot slightly shifting forward. Then your left foot steps forward to make a bow stance, and the saber, edge facing outward, goes along with your left foot’s advance, both hands (left palm touching the back of the saber) sending the saber up from below, going forward with a pushing cut. Suspend your headtop and straighten your tailbone. Do not lean too far forward. Contain your chest and pluck up your back. Your gaze is forward. See drawing 9:

太極刀 - 陳炎林 (1943) - drawing 9

(用法)(一)先砍劈左側身後來敵。再將身復轉至正面。架格人武器。或推截人腕部。或剗人腹部。推截後。可以刀盤滑人武器。(二)接前右撩用法。在人被撩而向後退讓時。己可乘勢將刀後收。復上步攻其旁門。
Application:
1. First chop to an opponent attacking from the left and rear, then turn your torso until it is again facing forward and block the forward opponent’s weapon, or perhaps do a pushing cut to his wrist, or a scratching cut to his abdomen. (After the pushing cut, you could use your saber to coil around and slide along his weapon.)
2. Or continuing from RIGHT RAISE, when the opponent retreats from it, you can take advantage of the moment by withdrawing your saber and stepping forward to attack his side.

(十)玉女穿梭
10. MAIDEN WORKS THE SHUTTLE

(向右旋轉。向右。)接前兩手推刀式。刀隨腰腿左轉勢。向右盤頭。刀尖向下。同時右足跟略提起。以足掌向右旋轉。全身如鷂子翻身姿勢。轉至背後方向。右手將刀抱與胸齊。(刀刃朝上)左手掌貼於刀柄尾部。左足提起。兩手同時平肩分開。如拳架中之單鞭式。(刀刃隨勢繞轉朝下)眼神前視。(見圖10)虛領頂勁。含胸拔背。身略向右偏。
(turning around to the right, then facing to the Right)
Continuing from both hands pushing the saber, the saber goes along with your hips as they turn to the left [right] and coils around your head to the right, the saber tip pointing downward. At the same time, your right heel slightly lifts in order to use the sole of the foot as a pivot to turn around to the right, your whole body performing similarly to the posture of HAWK TURNS OVER, turning around until to the rear, your right hand embracing the saber at chest level (the saber edge facing upward), your left palm touching the saber pommel. Your left foot lifting, your hands in unison spread to the sides at shoulder level, similar to SINGLE WHIP in the boxing set (the saber edge going along with the posture, coiling around to face downward). Your gaze is forward. Forcelessly press up your headtop, and contain your chest and pluck up your back. Your torso slightly inclines to the right. See drawing 10:

太極刀 - 陳炎林 (1943) - drawing 10

(用法)以刀避四週敵人。利用假敗勢。乘人不備。轉身刺人喉或心。左掌斜擊左側另一來人。
Application:
Use your saber to protect all the way around against surrounding opponents. Feign defeat, then take them by surprise as you turn around and stab to the throat or solar plexus of one while striking with your left palm diagonally to the left side to attack the other.

(十一)平拉
11. PULL ACROSS

(向右)左足落地。刀尖墜下。刀背朝上。隨腰腿左轉勢。由下往上。向左斜撩。至額部齊。翻右手腕。刀尖往右。刀刃向外。往左平拉。上右步。翻右腕。刀尖往左。刀刃向外。左手貼刀背。隨腰腿勢往右向前平拉帶提。(見圖11)
(facing to the Right)
As your left foot comes down, the saber tip hangs down, the back of the saber facing upward, and going along with your hips as they turn to the left, it goes up from below in a diagonal raising action to the left, until level with your forehead. Turning your right wrist over so the saber tip is pointing to the right, the saber edge facing outward, do a horizontal pulling cut to the left. [This is not a proper pulling cut. The text here should instead say “leading” to the left. It is merely a buildup into the first pulling cut, a subtle curving movement which will manifest naturally if you are using a very heavy saber. Your hips will instinctively torque to the left in order to slash the saber to the right.] Step forward with your right foot, turning your right wrist over, and with the saber tip pointing to the left, the saber edge facing outward, your left hand touching the back of the saber, the saber goes along with your hips by going forward with a horizontal pulling cut leading away to the right. See drawing 11 [side view]:

太極刀 - 陳炎林 (1943) - drawing 11

拉至將盡時。卽翻右腕。刀尖往右。刀刃向外。上左步。往左平拉。左拉後。上右步復右拉。(三次、五次、七次、均可)身體中正。尾閭收住。含胸拔背。身勿前仆。勁勿稍斷。眼神前視。
When the pulling cut has reached its limit, turn your right wrist over, and with the saber tip pointing to the right, the saber edge facing outward, step forward with your left foot and do a horizontal pulling cut to the left. After the pulling cut to the left, step forward with your right foot and do another pulling cut to the right. (You may do this move three, five, or seven times [the last one, and therefore the first one, on the right side].) Your body is balanced upright. Keep your tailbone tucked in. Contain your chest and pluck up your back. Your torso should not lean forward. The energy should not be even slightly interrupted. Your gaze is forward.
(用法)以刀背撩擊人腕。俟人後化時。隨卽進步平拉其身。如彼再化。當繼以右提。(或拉)
Application:
Using the back of your saber, do a raising strike to an opponent’s wrist. Wait until he retreats in order to neutralize it, then advance and do a horizontal pulling cut to his torso. If he again neutralizes it, you should follow up by leading to the right (to do another pulling cut [to the left]).
(註)拉刀含捛意。
Note:
The pulling cut contains the rolling intention [i.e. It does not pose with each pull across but instead twines into the next].

(十二)斜推刀
12. DIAGONAL PUSH WITH THE SABER

(向右)接前右拉刀式。翻右腕。刀刃朝上。隨腰腿左轉勢。向左側身後由上往下砍劈。至左脅齊。右足略提起。向前落地。左足隨勢向右角踏上一步。成弓步式。左手貼刀背。刀刃向外。隨左足進步勢。以腰腿勁將刀向右角。往前由下朝上推去。(卽剗)餘如第(九)節內載。
(facing to the Right)
Continuing from pulling the saber to the right side, your right wrist turns over so the saber edge faces upward, and the saber, going along with your hips as they turn to the left, goes to the left and rear, chopping down from above until level with your left ribs, and your right foot slightly lifts and comes down forward. Your left foot then takes a step forward to the Right corner to make a bow stance, and with your left hand touching the back of the saber, the saber edge facing outward, the saber goes along with your left foot’s advance, and using power from your hips to send it to the Right corner, goes forward and upward from below with a pushing (or scratching) cut. The rest is the same as in Posture 9 [reverse view].
(用法)見第(九)節內載。
Application:
Same as in Posture 9.

(十三)轉身盤頭藏刀
13. TURN AROUND, COIL AROUND THE HEAD, STORE THE SABER

(向右轉。向左。)左足掌略提起。(足跟仍著地)向右轉移。右足提起略往右側落地。同時全身向右往後轉。刀隨勢(刀刃向下)向右往下。朝後拉於右胯旁。左手掌自刀背後部。向前往上撲出。前足略虛。翻右腕。刀刃朝上。隨腰腿旋轉勢。提至右額旁。向左盤頭。(刀刃向外。左掌收囘。)至左肩齊。復往右向下。朝後拉至右胯旁。同時左掌自刀背後部。復往前向上撲出。(見圖12)當虛領頂勁。含胸拔背。鬆腰鬆胯。姿勢自然。尾閭收住。眼神前視。
(turning around to the right, then facing to the Left)
Your left sole slightly lifts (heel still touching down) and turns to the right. Your right foot lifts and lowers slightly to the right side while your whole body turns around to the right rear, the saber going along with the momentum (the saber edge facing downward) by going downward to the right and pulling back to be beside your right hip, and your left palm goes from the back of the saber to strike forward and upward. Your front foot slightly empties [i.e. your weight slightly shifts back], your right wrist turning over so the blade is facing upward, and the saber goes along with the turning of your hips, lifting until beside the right side of your forehead. It coils around your head to the left (the saber edge facing outward, your left palm withdrawing) until level with your left shoulder, then again goes downward to the right, and pulls back to be beside your right hip [while your weight again shifts forward,] as your left palm goes from the back of the saber to again strike forward and upward. You should forcelessly press up your headtop, contain your chest and pluck up your back, loosen your waist and hips, keep the posture natural, and keep your tailbone tucked in. Your gaze is forward. See drawing 12:

太極刀 - 陳炎林 (1943) - drawing 12

(用法)先轉身用刀格開人武器。左手撲擊人面部。復將刀盤過頭部。自上往下斜拉人腕或身。左手可撲、可拿、可引。藏刀後。靜觀對方行動。再作進一步之攻擊。
Application:
First turn around, blocking aside an opponent’s weapon, and strike to his face with your left hand. Then coil your saber around your head to send it downward from above with a diagonal pulling cut to his wrist or torso, and your left hand can strike, grab, or pull. After storing your saber, calmly watch for how he will move, then you may advance a step and attack.

(十四)左刮
14. LEFT SHAVE

(向左)左足提起。向前往左側斜上一步。翻右腕。刀刃向左。隨腰腿往左側朝上平刮。左手同時貼於右脈門上。兩腿成為橫弓步式。(見圖13)頂懸尾正。上身勿太向前仆出。內勁勿稍斷。刀勿舉過鼻部。眼神前視。
(facing to the Left)
Your left foot lifts and takes a step forward diagonally to the left side, your right wrist turning over so the saber edge is facing to the left, and the saber goes along with your hips by going upward to the left with a horizontal shaving cut. At the same time, your left hand touches on top of your right pulse area. Your legs are making a sideways bow stance. Suspend your headtop and center your tailbone. Your upper body should not lean too far forward. Do not let your internal power be even slightly interrupted. Do not raise the saber beyond nose level. Your gaze is forward. See drawing 13:

太極刀 - 陳炎林 (1943) - drawing 13

(用法)人刀劈來時。以刀刃平刮其腕部。
Application:
When an opponent attacks with a chop, use your saber’s edge to do a horizontal shaving cut to his wrist.

(十五)右搧
15. RIGHT FAN

(向左)右足提起。向前往右側斜上一步。翻右腕。刀刃向右。屈右腿。伸直左腿。身下蹲。刀隨腰腿向右往下搧砍。左手同時平行往後分開。(見圖14)當頂懸尾正。內勁勿斷。含胸拔背。沉肩垂肘。全身鬆開。眼神前視。
(facing to the Left)
Your right foot lifts and takes a step forward diagonally to the right side, your right wrist turning over so the saber edge is facing to the right, and with your right leg bending, left leg straightening, torso squatting down, the saber goes along with your hips to do a fanning chop downward to the right, while your left hand spreads away horizontally to the rear. You should suspend your headtop and center your tailbone, keep your internal power from being interrupted, contain your chest and pluck up your back, sink your shoulders and drop your elbows, and loosen your whole body. Your gaze is forward. See drawing 14:

太極刀 - 陳炎林 (1943) - drawing 14

(用法)接前左刮用法。人若往後讓避。己乘勢上步搧砍彼下部。
Application:
Continuing from LEFT SHAVE, if the opponent evades to the rear, take advantage of the moment by stepping forward and doing a fanning chop to his lower body.
(註)右搧後。復上左步為左刮。左刮後。再為右搧。每式可練三次。
Note:
After RIGHT FAN, you may again step forward with your left foot and perform LEFT SHAVE, then after LEFT SHAVE, again perform RIGHT FAN, so that each posture can be practiced three times.

(十六)正推刀
16. STRAIGHT PUSH WITH THE SABER

(向左)在右搧後。為正推刀。見前第(九)節內載。
(facing to the Left)
After RIGHT FAN, do STRAIGHT PUSH WITH THE SABER, same as in Posture 9.

(十七)轉身藏刀
17. TURN AROUND, STORE THE SABER

(向右轉。向右。)左足掌略提起。(足跟仍著地)向右轉移。右足提起。略往右側落地。同時全身向右往後轉。刀隨勢(刀刃向下)向右往下拉於右胯旁。左手掌自刀背後部。向前往上撲出。前足略虛。餘見前第(十三)節。惟毋須盤頭拉刀。
(turning around to the right, then facing to the Right)
Your left sole slightly lifts (heel still touching down) and turns to the right. Your right foot lifts and lowers slightly to the right side while your whole body turns around to the right rear, the saber going along with the momentum (the saber edge facing downward) by going downward to the right and pulling back to be beside your right hip, your left palm going from the back of the saber to strike forward and upward. Your front foot will slightly empty [to initiate the following posture]. The rest of the details are the same as in Posture 13, except it is not necessary here to coil around your head and do a pulling cut.
(用法)見前第(十三)節內載。
Application:
Same as in Posture 13 [but with the reverse of drawing 12, as in drawing 18].

(十八)撩刀
18. RAISE THE SABER

(向右)上左步。翻右腕。刀刃向上。隨腰腿前進勢。由下往上向前直撩。至胸齊。左手貼於右脈門。兩腿成弓步式。(見圖15)虛領頂勁。含胸拔背。鬆腰鬆胯。身勿前仆。眼神前視。
(facing to the Right)
Step forward with your left foot, turning your right wrist over so the saber edge is facing upward, and going along with the advancing of your hips, go up from below with a vertical raising cut until at chest level, your left hand touching your right pulse area. Your legs are making a bow stance. Forcelessly press up your headtop. Contain your chest and pluck up your back. Loosen your waist and hips. Your torso should not lean forward. Your gaze is forward. See drawing 15:

太極刀 - 陳炎林 (1943) - drawing 15

(用法)以刀刃撩人腕或身。
Application:
Use your saber’s edge in a raising cut to an opponent’s wrist or torso.

(十九)捛刀
19. ROLL THE SABER

(向右)上右步。刀隨腰腿前進勢。翻右腕。向後轉至右額齊。復往前直刴。(刀刃朝下)至胸齊。向後往右斜拉至右胯旁。左手同時自刀背後部。往前向上撲出。(見圖16)餘見前第(十三)節。惟毋須盤頭拉刀。
(facing to the Right)
Step forward with your right foot, the saber going along with the advancing of your hips, your right wrist turning over, the saber arcing to the rear until level with the right side of your forehead, then going forward with a vertical hacking cut (the saber edge facing downward) until at chest level. It then goes to the right rear with a diagonal pulling cut until beside your right hip, your left palm going from the back of the saber to strike forward and upward. The rest is the same as in Posture 13, except it is not necessary here to coil around your head and do a pulling cut. See drawing 16:

太極刀 - 陳炎林 (1943) - drawing 16

(用法)人向後讓避。己亦先假向後讓。復向前帶刴帶拉人腕或身。左手可撲、可拿、可引。
Application:
The opponent dodges back [from your raising cut]. First make it appear you will allow him to back off, then come forward with a hacking cut and lead back with a pulling cut to his wrist or torso, and your left hand can either strike, grab, or pull.

(二十)撩刀
20. RAISE THE SABER

(向右)刀背朝上。隨勢向上往後繞轉。翻右腕。刀刃朝外。由下往上。向前直撩。至胸齊。左手貼於右脈門。餘見第(十八)節內載。
(facing to the Right)
The back of the saber faces upward, then goes along with the posture upward and to the rear with a twining action, turning your right wrist over so the saber edge is facing outward, and it goes up from below, going forward with a vertical raising cut until at chest level, your left hand touching your right pulse area. The rest is the same as in Posture 18.
(用法)先以刀背撩開人武器。復用刀刃直撩人腕或身。
Application:
First use the back of your saber to do a raising deflection to an opponent’s weapon, then use your saber’s edge to do a vertical raising cut to his wrist or torso.
[(Note:) There is no description here of Postures 19 & 20 repeating, but with the options of repeating the movements of Postures 7 & 8 to the Left, 11 to the Right, and 14 & 15 to the Left, should not Postures 19 & 20 also have optional repeats to the Left? If you elect to do the repeat option for Postures 7 & 8, 11, and 14 & 15, you will not be able to finish the set where you started unless you also repeat Postures 19 & 20 equivalent to the repeating in Posture 11.]

(二一)二起腿
21. DOUBLE KICK

(向右側)右手刀移置於左手。刀背貼於左臂。左足隨身上升勢。向右側角以足尖高踢。右足俟左足將下落時。亦以足尖向右側角踢去。以右足背拍右手掌。身正頂懸。足尖向前。呼吸自然。眼神前視。
(facing to the Right corner [Right Rear])
Your right hand switches the saber to your left hand, the back of the saber touching your left arm, and your left foot goes along with the rising of your body to do a high kick to the Right corner using the toes. Your right foot waits until your left foot is about to lower, then also does a toe kick to the Right corner, your right palm slapping the back of your right foot. Your body is upright, headtop suspended. The toes [of each foot] are pointing forward. Your breathing is natural. [This is the only place this advice is mentioned throughout these saber instructions, and is very appropriate here because this jumpy movement has added vigor and thus comes with more of a temptation for you to counterproductively hold your breath.] Your gaze is forward.
(用法)左足假引人。使其驚惶。右足乘隙踢彼心窩。或下顎。
Application:
Your left foot does a feint to lure an opponent into disarray, then your right foot takes advantage of his hesitation by kicking to his solar plexus or under his chin.

(二二)撤步打虎勢
22. WITHDRAW A STEP, FIGHTING TIGER POSTURE

(向右)左足隨右足落地勢。向左往後斜撤半步。同時腰腿向左旋轉。兩手隨旋轉勢。向左往下沉搨至左胯旁。向上升至左額旁。復向右轉至右額旁。再往左轉。(左手握刀成橫式。與左耳齊。)右手漸漸握拳向左橫擊。至左脅齊。兩腿成為斜弓步式。眼視右側角。(見圖17)虛領頂勁。含胸拔背。尾閭中正。鬆腰鬆胯。
(facing to the Right)
Your left foot goes along with the lowering of your right foot by withdrawing a half step diagonally to the Left. At the same time, your hips turn to the left, and your hands go along with their turning by going to the left and sinking down until close beside your left hip, then rising until beside the left side of your forehead. They then turn to the right until beside the right side of your forehead, and again turn to the left (your left hand holding the saber crosswise, level with your left ear), your right hand gradually grasping into a fist and striking crosswise to the left until level with your left ribs. Your legs are making a diagonal bow stance. Your gaze is to the Right corner. Forcelessly press up your headtop, contain your chest and pluck up your back, center your tailbone, and loosen your waist and hips. See drawing 17:

太極刀 - 陳炎林 (1943) - drawing 17

(用法)撤步假敗。避人攻勢。上以刀把格人武器。中以拳擊。下以右足踢人。
Application:
Withdraw a step to feign defeat, evading an opponent’s attack, while above blocking his weapon with your saber’s handle, in the middle using your fist to strike, and below you may use your right foot to kick him.

(二三)鴛鴦腿
23. MANDARIN DUCK KICK

(向右側)右手握刀。身向上升。提起右腿。(腿平、膝彎、足垂、)以刀背向右拉過右膝蓋。(如圖5)右足落地。成虛步。刀拉至右側。翻右腕。刀刃朝上。隨腰腿旋轉勢。上升至右額旁。向左盤頭。(刀刃向外。左掌收囘。)至左肩齊。復往右向下後拉。至右胯旁。同時左掌自刀背後部。向前往上撲出。右手將刀平橫於左脅旁。刀背朝內。以刀尖向左往後平橫刺去。(卽攔腰)同時左手提起。向右平橫於頭額前。起右足。以足底向右側角往前蹬出。當虛實分清。尾閭中正。神貫於頂。
(facing to the Right corner [Right Rear])
Your right hand takes the saber, your torso rises up, your right leg lifts (so your thigh is flat, knee bent, foot hanging), and using the back of the saber, pull to the right, past your right knee. (It is similar to drawing 5.)
     Your right foot comes down to make an empty step, the saber doing a pulling cut until to the right side, then your right wrist turns over so the saber edge is facing upward, and the saber goes along with the turning of your hips, rising up until beside the right side of your forehead. It continues to the left and coils around your head (the saber edge facing outward, your left palm withdrawing) until level with your left shoulder, then goes to the right and downward to the rear with a pulling cut until beside your right hip. At the same time, your left palm goes from the back of the saber and strikes out forward and upward. [It is similar to drawing 16, but with the weight on your back leg.]
     Your right hand sends the saber across to be beside your left ribs, the back of the saber facing inward, the saber tip doing a horizontal stab to the left rear (barring across your waist). At the same time, your left hand lifts and goes across to the right to be in front of your forehead as your right foot lifts and uses the bottom of the foot to do a pressing kick forward to the right corner. You should clearly distinguish between empty and full, your tailbone should be centered, and spirit should penetrate to your headtop.
(用法)右足提起。避人武器。同時以刀刃拉人腕或身。倘人避讓。隨卽乘勢向左往前斜砍。復拉人腕或身。如人再避開。復以武器擊來。己乘勢以左手拿人腕部。同時用刀橫刺。或攔擊其身。設彼後退。隨勢以右足蹬之。
Application:
Your right foot lifts to evade an opponent’s weapon. At the same time, use your saber’s edge to do a pulling cut to his wrist or torso. If he dodges this, then take advantage of the moment to go to the left [around your head] and cleave diagonally forward, which then becomes [retracts as] a pulling cut to his wrist or torso. If he again dodges and then uses his weapon to attack, take advantage of the moment by using your left hand to grab his wrist while using your saber to stab across or do a blocking strike to his torso, and if he now retreats, follow up by using your right foot to do a pressing kick.

(二四)轉身盤頭藏刀
24. TURN AROUND, COILING AROUND THE HEAD, STORE THE SABER

(向右旋轉。向右。)右足收囘落地。足尖向右側。刀隨腰腿右轉勢。往右向下平拉至右胯旁。左手同時向左分開。左足向右略移上半步。刀上升至右額旁。向左盤頭。至右肩齊。(刀刃向外。左掌收囘。)全身復向右旋轉。右足向右側角踏上一步。成弓步式。(面朝右側角。成斜勢。)刀復往右向下後拉。至右胯旁。同時左手掌自刀背後部。往前向上撲出。(見圖18)轉身當輕靈。刀刃刀背宜分清。身勿前仆。尾閭中正。含胸拔背。眼神前視。
(turning around to the right, then facing to the Right [Right Rear])
Your right foot withdraws and comes down, toes pointing to the right side, and the saber, going along with your hips as they turn to the right, goes downward to the right with a horizontal pulling cut until beside your right hip, your left hand spreading away to the left side. [It is similar to drawing 11.]
     Your left foot slightly shifts forward a half step to the right, the saber [follows through from the pulling cut into a sweeping cut behind you, then] lifts until beside the right side of your forehead, coils around your head to the left until level with your right [left] shoulder, (the saber edge facing outward, your left palm withdrawing), your whole body spinning around to the right. As your right foot takes a step forward to the right corner to make a bow stance (You are facing to the Right corner to make the posture diagonal.), the saber again goes downward to the right and pulls back to be beside your right hip, your left palm going from the back of the saber to strike forward and upward. The turning of your body should nimble. The saber edge and the back of the saber should be distinct. Your torso should not lean forward. Your tailbone should be centered. Contain your chest and pluck up your back. Your gaze is forward. See drawing 18:

太極刀 - 陳炎林 (1943) - drawing 18

(用法)拉人腕或身。轉身掃拉身後來人。復盤頭格開人武器。斜拉人腕或身。左手可撲、可拿、可引。藏刀後。作假敗勢。靜觀對方行動。再事攻擊。
Application:
Do a pulling cut to the opponent’s wrist or torso, turn around, sweeping across with a pulling cut to an opponent attacking from behind, and coil around your head to block aside his [the forward opponent’s] weapon, then do a diagonal pulling cut to his wrist or torso, and your left hand can either strike, grab, or pull. After storing your saber, you may feign defeat or calmly watch for how he will move, then take your chance to attack.

(二五)順水推舟
25. GOING WITH THE CURRENT TO PUSH THE BOAT

(向左)左手隨腰腿左轉勢。向左往上分開。右手翻腕。刀刃朝上。隨右足向前踏出一步勢。由下往上朝前直撩。至鼻齊。左手向後平肩分開。兩腿成弓步式。(見圖19)
(facing to the Left)
Your left hand, going along with your hips as they turn to the left, spreads away upward to the left, and with your right wrist turning over so the saber edge is upward, the saber goes along with your right foot as it takes a step forward, going up from below and forward with a vertical cut until at nose level, your left hand spreading away to the rear at shoulder level. Your legs are making a bow stance. See drawing 19:

太極刀 - 陳炎林 (1943) - drawing 19

向左轉身。刀隨腰腿轉移勢。向左往後砍劈。至左脅齊。(見圖20)
Turning your torso to the left, the saber goes along with the turning of your hips by going to the left and rear with a chop until level with your left ribs. See drawing 20:

太極刀 - 陳炎林 (1943) - drawing 20

重心寄於左腿。左手置於右肘上。眼神後視。上左步。刀刃朝外。隨進步勢。左手掌貼於刀背。由下往上向前直推。兩腿成弓步式。(如第(九)節正推刀)向右轉身。刀隨腰腿轉移勢。向右往後砍劈。至右脅齊。重心寄於右腿。左手向前平肩分開。眼神後視。上右步。復作直撩式。撩後。復向左往後砍。砍後。復向前正推刀。推刀後。復向右往後砍。砍後為撩。撩後。復向左往後砍。砍後。向前正推刀。以上動作。次數不論。惟至正推刀式止。須週身輕靈。上下一致。手隨刀。刀隨腰腿。前進、後退、動作一致。轉腰繞圈當求圓滿。而虛領頂勁。含胸拔背。尾閭中正。眼神注視。亦須顧及。
The weight is shifted to your left leg, your left hand is placed at your left elbow, and your gaze is to the rear.
     Step your left foot forward, and with the saber edge facing outward, the saber goes along with your left foot’s advance, your left palm touching the back of the saber, going up from below and forward with a vertical pushing cut. Your legs are making a bow stance. (It is like Posture 9.)
     Turning your torso to the right, the saber goes along with the turning of your hips by going to the right and rear with a chop until level with your right ribs, the weight shifting to your right leg, your left hand spreading away forward at shoulder level, your gaze to the rear. [It is somewhat similar to drawing 14, and with a reverse view.]
     Step forward with your right foot and again do the vertical raising cut. After the raising, do the chop to the left rear. After the chop, again do the forward pushing cut.
     Then after the pushing cut, you may again do the chop to the right rear, and after the chop, again do the raise, and after the raise, again do the chop to the left rear, and after the chop, again do the push… Regardless of how many times the above movements are done, they must conclude with the pushing cut.
     Your whole body must be nimble. Your upper body and lower act as one, hand going along with saber, saber going along with your hips. In advancing and retreating, their movements are to be unified. In the turning and coiling of your waist, seek to be fully rounded. Additionally, forcelessly press up your headtop, contain your chest and pluck up your back, and center your tailbone. Your gaze is concentrated and must be upon the target.
(用法)上步向前撩人腕或身。向左後砍身後來人。復上步向前帶推帶提。向右後砍身後來人。此勢乃蔽護週身。作向前進攻之用。
Application:
Step forward and do a raising cut to an opponent’s wrist or torso, then go to the left rear with a chop to an opponent attacking from behind, then step forward lifting your saber into a pushing cut to the opponent in front of you, and lead into a chop to the right rear for the opponent behind. This posture covers your whole body while you perform an advancing attack.

(二六)轉身藏刀
26. TURN AROUND, STORE THE SABER

見第(十七)節內載。
Same as in Posture 17.

(二七)上步撩刀
27. STEP FORWARD, RAISE THE SABER

見第(十八)節內載。
Same as in Posture 18.

(二八)跳步刴刀
28. HOP & HACK

(向右)刀隨腰腿右轉勢。下落至右腰齊。往後抽至右胯旁。左手同時向前分開。提起右足。向前橫踏半步。左足乘勢提起。向前踏上一步。刀隨進步蹲身勢。向前往下直刴。至左膝齊。左手置於右腕上。兩腿成弓步式。(見圖21)身勿太前仆。當虛領頂勁。尾閭中正。眼神視刀。
(facing to the Right)
The saber, going along with your hips as they turn to the right, lowers until level with the right side of your waist and withdraws until beside your right hip. At the same time, your left hand spreads away forward, and your right foot lifts and takes a crosswise half step forward. Your left foot goes along with the momentum, taking a full step forward, and the saber goes along with the advancing step and the squatting of your body by going forward and downward with a vertical hacking cut until level with your left knee, your left hand placed on top of your right wrist. Your legs are making a bow stance. Your torso should not lean too far forward. You should forcelessly press up your headtop, and center your tailbone. Your gaze is to the saber. See drawing 21:

太極刀 - 陳炎林 (1943) - drawing 21

(用法)接前式撩刀後。人往後退讓。己乘勢跳步前進。刴砍其身。
Application:
Continuing from RAISE THE SABER, as the opponent retreats, take advantage of the moment by jumping forward and do a hacking cut to his torso.

(二九)力劈華山
29. POWERFUL CHOP THROUGH MT. HUA

(向後)刀隨腰腿右轉及身下蹲勢。向右由上往下直劈。與肩齊。左手同時平肩分開。兩腿成為馬步式。眼視刀尖。(見圖22)當頂懸尾正。鬆腰鬆胯。含胸拔背。
(facing to the Rear)
The saber, going along with the turning of your hips to the right and the squatting down of your torso, goes to the right and downward from above with a vertical chop until at shoulder level. Your left hand at the same time spreads away to the side at shoulder level. Your legs are making a horse-riding stance. Your gaze is to the saber tip. You should suspend your headtop and straighten your tailbone, loosen your waist and hips, and contain your chest and pluck up your back. See drawing 22:

太極刀 - 陳炎林 (1943) - drawing 22

(用法)轉身向後砍劈來人。
Application:
Turn around and chop an opponent behind you.

(三十)抱刀刺
30. EMBRACE THE SABER, STAB

(向後略帶左)身向左上升。右腿提起。屈膝垂足。重心寄於左腿。兩手同時向內抱合。右手肘與右膝齊。右手掌心向內。刀刃朝上。向前平斜。刀尖向下。左手貼於刀把。(見圖23)
(facing to the Rear, slightly leading to the Left)
Your body rises to the left, your right leg lifting, knee bent, foot hanging, the weight shifted onto your left leg. At the same time, both your hands embrace inward, your right elbow aligned with your right knee, the hand placed palm inward, the saber edge facing upward, [cutting] across diagonally forward, the saber tip pointing downward, your left hand touching the saber handle. See drawing 23:

太極刀 - 陳炎林 (1943) - drawing 23

左右兩手同時分開。右手執刀向前往下直刺。左手往後向上分開。右足同時踢出。身往前向下略俯。眼視刀尖。(見圖24)當虛領頂勁。尾閭中正。鬆腰鬆胯。含胸拔背。沉肩垂肘。
Your hands spread apart in unison, your right hand, holding the saber, going forward and downward with a vertical stab, your left hand spreading away upward to the rear. At the same time, your right foot kicks out, your torso slightly leaning forward and downward. Your gaze is to the saber tip. You should forcelessly press up your headtop, center your tailbone, loosen your waist and hips, contain your chest and pluck up your back, and sink your shoulders and drop your elbows. See drawing 24:

太極刀 - 陳炎林 (1943) - drawing 24

(用法)先讓避人武器。(或以刀刃抽拉人腕)復向前刺。右足可隨勢踢人下部。
Application:
First evade an opponent’s weapon (or use your saber’s edge to draw in with a pulling cut to his wrist), then stab forward at him. Your right foot may go along with the posture and kick to his lower body.

(三一)翻身換步砍
31. TURN THE BODY, SWITCHING THE FEET, CLEAVE

(向前)右足橫式落地。左足提起。身向右側翻轉。左足向右側踏上一步。屈膝蹲身。右腿伸直。同時刀隨轉身勢。先往右上升。復往左向下橫砍。至右膝齊。左手置於右腕背上。(見圖25)身勿太前仆。頂宜懸。尾宜正。內勁勿使稍斷。眼神視刀。
(facing to the Front [Left])
Your right foot comes down crosswise, your left foot lifts, your torso turns to the right side, your left foot takes a step forward to the right side, and the knee bends, your torso squatting down, your right leg straightening. At the same time, the saber goes along with the turning of your torso, first rising to the right, then hacking across downward to the left until level with your right [left] knee, your left hand placed on the back of your right wrist. Do not lean your torso too far forward. Your headtop should be suspended and your tailbone should be straight. Do not let your internal power be even slightly interrupted. Your gaze is to the saber. See drawing 25:

太極刀 - 陳炎林 (1943) - drawing 25

(用法)轉身攔掃人武器。復帶拉帶砍。
Application:
Turn your body with a sweeping block to an opponent’s weapon, then do a pulling cut changing into a cleaving cut.

(三二)收刀勢
32. CLOSING POSTURE

身上升。重心分於二腿。(膝胯部先略屈。後升直。)刀隨腰腿右轉勢。往右向上升至右額齊。復往左盤頭。(刀背向下)至左額齊。落下移置於左手中。刀背貼於左臂。兩足合與肩齊。身往上升。兩手下垂。(見圖26)
[facing to the Front]
Your body rises up, the weight between both feet (knees and hips first slightly bending, then rising up to stand straight), and the saber, going along with your hips as they turn to the right, goes to the right and upward until level with the right side of your forehead. It then coils around your head to the left (the back of the saber facing downward) until level with the left side of your forehead, and lowers to be placed into your left hand, the back of the saber touching your left arm, as your feet come together [right foot stepping toward left foot] to be at shoulder width, your body rising, and your hands hang down. See drawing 26:

太極刀 - 陳炎林 (1943) - drawing 26

與起勢同。氣歸丹田。斂氣凝神。停立片刻。使氣血行走歸囘原狀而止。(收勢步位。須與起勢同一地點。不可兩相分離。學者欲求此種同一步位。祇須在順水推舟時。配凑距離可也。)
It is the same as in the BEGINNING POSTURE. Energy returns to your elixir field. Gather energy and concentrate spirit. Pause there, standing for a moment to get the energy to return to its original state, then end. (The position of your stance in CLOSING POSTURE should be at the same spot as in BEGINNING POSTURE rather than the postures occupying different places. If you want to end up in the same place, it depends on GOING WITH THE CURRENT TO PUSH THE BOAT matching the distance. [i.e. Don’t repeat Posture 25 too many times.])

[continue to Part Nine: pole]

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