BAGUA SWORD

八卦劍學
A STUDY OF BAGUA SWORD
孫福全
by Sun Fuquan [Lutang]
[published Nov, 1927]

[translation by Paul Brennan, April, 2015]

《八卦劍學》 孫祿堂 (1927) - portrait

陸軍步兵少校六等文虎章孫福全
Major Sun Fuquan, Infantry, #6 of “Scholar Tiger” Section


PREFACE [BY WU XINGU]

古無所謂劍術也自猿公敎少女以刺擊而劍術始見於記載其他如宜僚之弄丸魏博之取合似與劍術有關然不傳其術無從加以評論予幼好技擊苦無師承淸季覔食春明見有所謂三才純陽六合太極靑龍諸劍名心好之而終以為未至也後獲親炙祿堂夫子始得見所謂八卦劍者竊以為歎觀止矣蓋此劍脫胎於八卦拳術左旋為陽右旋為陰於開合變化之中見參互錯綜之妙靜則太極動則爻變究其神之所至卽在不動時已含有靜極而動之妙用非所謂陰陽合撰者耶祿堂師近復以所著八卦劍術見示雖僅有八綱學者如神而明之則六十四卦之交錯無不寓於八綱劍之中猶之八卦實原於乾之一畫是在學者體會已耳自媿一知半解未能闡發祿師之意爰就所知者粗述之附驥名彰抑亦鯫生之幸已
民國十四年十二月歲次乙丑東臺吳心穀拜序
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 Liao’s 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 Sun’s 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

自序
AUTHOR’S PREFACE

八卦劍術傳者佚其姓名自董海川太夫子來京始展轉相傳而八卦劍之名遂著予親炙程廷華夫子之門廷華師固受業董太夫子者也竊本得之廷華師者因有此編之作請得而申其義焉按八卦始於太極由是而生兩儀生四象生八卦其本體則一太極也吾人各有一太極之體故此劍之左旋右旋陰陽相生實具太極之妙用一動一靜不離爻變極其變化神奇之功終不外參互錯綜之理故其外圓內方也亦即圓以象天方以象地之義也伏羲之卦先天也文王之卦後天也蓋先天者其體後天者其用劍之本體太極先天也劍之縱橫離合後天也惟其有先天之用故寂然不動惟其有後天之功故變幻莫測分而為八錯成六十有四而實具於太極之中所謂散則萬殊合則一本也自其用言之曰八卦劍自其體言之實即太極劍也學者明吾身在太極之中循吾書而求之自然領會復次第作圖以明之以示涂徑舉一反三是在善悟者至於神而明之則又存乎其人已
民國十有四年十二月歲次乙丑直隸完縣孫福全自序
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 art’s 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 sword’s 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 Xi’s version of the trigrams – “innate” – and King Wen’s version of the trigrams – “acquired” – are respectively the foundation and the function. The sword’s foundation lies in the grand polarity, which is innate. The sword’s 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

八卦劍學 目錄
CONTENTS

第一章 左右手納卦訣
Chapter One: Left & Right Hand Positions
第二章 練劍要法八字
Chapter Two: Eight Essential Terms in the Sword Practice
第三章 八卦劍左右旋轉與往左右穿劍穿手之分別
Chapter Three: The Distinction in Bagua Sword of Left & Right Circle Walking and Left & Right Sword or Hand Threading
第四章 無極劍學
Chapter Four: Nonpolarity
第五章 太極劍學
Chapter Five: Grand Polarity
第六章 乾卦劍學
Chapter Six: The Qian Trigram Sword Technique ☰
第七章 坤卦劍學
Chapter Seven: The Kun Trigram Sword Technique ☷
第八章 坎卦劍學
Chapter Eight: The Kan Trigram Sword Technique ☵
第九章 離卦劍學
Chapter Nine: The Li Trigram Sword Technique ☲
第十章 震卦劍學
Chapter Ten: The Zhen Trigram Sword Technique ☳
第十一章 艮卦劍學
Chapter Eleven: The Gen Trigram Sword Technique ☶
第十二章 巽卦劍學
Chapter Twelve: The Xun Trigram Sword Technique ☴
第十三章 兌卦劍學
Chapter Thirteen: The Dui Trigram Sword Technique ☱
第十四章 八卦劍應用要法十字
Chapter Fourteen: Bagua Sword’s Ten Basic Actions
第十五章 八卦劍變劍要言
Chapter Fifteen: Essentials of Bagua Sword’s Unfixed Practice

緒言
INTRODUCTORY REMARKS

一是編名為八卦劍學其道實出於八卦拳中習者應以八卦拳為主以八卦劍為輔不獨此劍為然各派劍術亦莫不以拳術為其基礎諺云精拳術者未必皆通劍法善劍法者未有不精拳術誠知言也
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 system’s 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.

一是編發明此劍之性能純以扶養正氣為宗內中奇異名目不過因形式而定一切引證均與道理相合而諸法巧妙亦寓於是
This book expounds particularly on this sword art’s 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.

一是編劍法不務外觀但求眞道以期動作運用旋轉如意
The swordwork in this book does not emphasize external appearance, striving instead for the genuine method, intent on moving and circling with fluency.

一是編劍術與易經先天八卦後天六十四卦三百八十四爻以至於變化無窮之理莫不相同
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.

一是編劍術之作僅舉八綱八綱者乾坤坎離震艮巽兌八卦也亦即八正劍也至於變劍無窮要不出乎八綱之外而八綱又係乾坤二卦之所生書內節目數十雖卽八綱之條理次序實即衍此乾坤二卦也
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.

一是編劍術練時步法不外數學圓內求八邊之理勾股弦之式其手法亦不外八線中弧弦切矢之道立法如是學者亦毋拘拘語其究竟求我全體無處不成一○而已
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.

一是編練法雖係走轉圓圈而方圓銳鈍曲直各式即含於其中練至純熟而後則縱橫斜纒上下內外聯絡一氣從心所欲無入而不自得無往而非其道矣
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.

一是編標舉八卦劍生化之道提綱絜領條目井然由納卦說起至變劍要言終是為全編條目自虛無式起至太極式終為八卦劍基礎內中起止進退伸縮變化一一詳載練時一動一靜按照定法不使錯亂則此劍神化妙用之功庶幾有得矣
This book highlights Bagua Sword’s 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 Sword’s 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.

一是編與他種劍術不同名為走劍又名轉劍或一劍一步或一劍三四步動作步法即是行走旋轉譬之丈徑之圈執劍不動身體環繞或一周而返或三五周而返功純者或數十周而返他種劍術或剛或柔或方或直或縱或橫或成三角等形式其步法劍法要不外乎一劍一步或一劍二步一劍三四步或劍動步不動數者與此旋轉者不同至其應用則亦有異
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.

一是編劍術初學須按式中步法規矩若練之純熟步法或多或少無須拘定至於劍中節次亦為便於初學不得不加分析習而久之始終只是一貫也
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.

一是編每式各附一圖庶使八卦劍之原理及其性質藉以切實表現用達八卦劍之精神及其巧妙因知各劍各式實係互相聯絡合為一體終非散式也
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 art’s 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.

一是編附圖均用照像網目版俾使學者得以模仿形式實力作去久之精妙自見奇效必彰世有同志者願將此道極力擴充傳流後世不令淹沒庶不負古人發明此道之苦心著者有厚望焉
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.

第一章 左右手納卦訣
CHAPTER ONE: LEFT & RIGHT HAND POSITIONS

劍之動作運用與左右手之訣法不外乎陰陽八卦之理裏裹外翻扭轉之道亦卽陽極生陰陰極生陽之道也右手執劍手虎口朝上或向前謂之中陰中陽自中陰中陽往裏裹裹至手心側着謂之少陽自少陽往裏裹裹至手心向上謂之太陽自太陽再往裏裹裹至極處謂之老陽又自中陰中陽往外扭扭至手背斜側着謂之少陰自少陰扭至手背向上謂之太陰自太陰再往外扭扭至極處謂之老陰
再手中陰中陽胳膊往下垂着劍尖向前指着或劍尖朝上皆謂之中陰中陽
劍從下邊中陰中陽着往身後邊去劍尖向外着謂之老陰右手在下邊中陰中陽着劍尖向前手不改式拉至後邊劍尖仍向前此式仍謂之中陰中陽手中陰中陽着自上邊從前邊往後邊去在前邊劍尖向上謂中陰中陽劍尖向後並手向後邊去謂之老陽手在上邊劍尖向後邊手亦在後邊手老陽着手不改式往前邊來劍尖仍指後着此式仍謂之中陰中陽此右手執劍之訣竅也
左手之訣竅中二指與大指伸着無名指與小指屈着但非舞劍一定不易之訣亦有五指俱伸之時然亦因式而為蓋左手五指之伸屈藉以助右手運劍之用不必格外用力至其陰陽老少扭轉之式與右手相同惟左手在頭上太陰着手腕極力塌住謂之老陰左手在右胳膊下邊太陰着靠在右脇處手腕極力塌住亦謂之老陰此左手之訣竅也以上左右手之訣竅學者要詳細辯之
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 tiger’s 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 hand’s 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.

第二章 練劍要法八字
CHAPTER TWO: EIGHT ESSENTIAL TERMS IN THE SWORD PRACTICE

走轉裹翻穿撩提按為練劍要法八字走者行走步法也轉者左右旋轉也裹者手腕往裏裹勁也翻者手腕向外翻扭也穿者左右前後上下穿去也撩者或陰手或陽手望着前後撩去或半弧或圜形因式而出之也提者劍把往上提也按者手心裏邊向下按也
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.

第三章 八卦劍左右旋轉與往左右穿劍穿手之分別
CHAPTER THREE: THE DISTINCTION IN BAGUA SWORD OF LEFT & RIGHT CIRCLE WALKING AND LEFT & RIGHT SWORD OR HAND THREADING

起點轉法無論何式自北往東走旋之不已謂之左旋自北往西走轉之不已謂之右轉凡穿劍穿手往左右穿者無論在何方若往左胳膊或左足處穿劍穿手或邁足者謂左穿左邁往右胳膊或右足處或穿或邁者謂之右穿右邁此左右旋轉與左右穿劍穿手邁足之分別也
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.

第四章 無極劍學
CHAPTER FOUR: NONPOLARITY

劍學之無極者當人執劍身體未動之時也此時心中空空洞洞混混沌沌一氣渾然此理是一字生這○一字者先天之至道這○者無極之形式是先天一字之所生人生在世未嘗學技動作自然是道之所行是一字也及手執劍正立身體未動是一字生這○也譬諸靜坐功夫未坐之時呼吸動作是先天道之自然之所行如同一字也甫坐之時兩腿盤跌兩目平視雖未埀簾觀玄兩手打扣而心中空空洞洞無思無想一氣渾然如同○也及心神定住再扣手垂簾塞兌觀玄又如同這●矣所以劍學與丹道初無差別分之則二合而為一是即劍學無極之理天地之始也丹書云道生虛無返回練虛合道是此意也學者細參之此理大中秘窮言之
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.)

無極劍學圖解
NONPOLARITY POSTURE

起點面正身子直立不可俯仰兩手下垂直兩足為九十度之形式右手執劍手為中陰中陽之訣式劍尖與劍把橫平直左手五指伸直手心靠着腿兩手兩足不可有一毫之動作心中空空洞洞意念思想一無所有兩目望平直線看去亦不可移轉將神氣定住此式自動而靜由一而生這○即為無極形式內中一切情形與八卦拳學無異此道執械則為劍無械即是拳所以八卦拳學於各種器械莫不包含學者可與八卦拳並參之
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.

《八卦劍學》 孫祿堂 (1927) - photo 1

第五章 太極劍學
CHAPTER FIVE: GRAND POLARITY

太極者劍之形式也無極而生乾坤之母左轉之而為乾像右旋之而為坤形劍之旋轉是內中一氣之流行也此理是一字而生這○自這○而又生Ф也這Ф當中之一竪是由靜極而生動在人謂之眞意在丹道謂之先天眞陽一氣為慧劍在形意拳中謂之先天無形之橫拳在八卦劍中謂之太極此式初動內雖有乾坤之理外未具乾坤之象所以謂之太極劍也譬諸坐功由神氣定住再垂簾塞兌回光觀玄之時此時劍之初動是萬物之母是以此劍不必格外再用內功之氣劍之動作規矩法則無不是內家拳術之道與丹道學之理丹書云慧劍可以消身內之魔寳劍可以辟世上之邪
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 body’s demons. The ‘precious sword’ can ward away the world’s evils.”

太極劍學圖解
GRAND POLARITY POSTURE

起點先將腰塌勁頭往上頂住勁兩肩往下垂着勁舌頂上腭口似張非張似脗非脗鼻孔出氣呼吸要自然不可着意兩足亦往上蹬勁諸處之勁皆是自然用意不要用拙力再將左手大拇指與二指中指伸直無名指與小指用力屈回稍節與中節根節直着與中指相倂五指屈伸用力要均匀左手之式並非與他劍揑訣相同取其五指屈伸左手不必格外用力此式能助右手之劍屈伸往來變化之力亦並非一定不易之規矩有時亦可五指俱伸因劍之形式而定學者不可膠執再將右足往裏扭直與左足成為四十五度之式兩手自中陰中陽皆與右足往裏扭時亦同時往外扭扭至兩手皆至太陰式停住兩胳膊仍靠着身子再將兩腿徐徐曲下兩腿裏曲不可有死灣子如圖是也右手之劍亦與兩腿下曲時同時胳膊靠着右脇劍尖往着左足尖前平着伸去與左足尖前邊成一交會線手仍是太陰劍把劍尖與心口平左手亦於劍動時手太陰着同時胳膊靠着左脇往右胳膊肘後下邊穿去手背挨着右胳膊左胳膊靠着心口兩眼望着劍尖看去將神氣定住頭頂兩肩下垂有往回縮之意皆是自然不可用拙力方可得着中和之氣而注於丹田也
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 hand’s posture is not really the same as the pinched swordsman’s 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 sword’s 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.

《八卦劍學》 孫祿堂 (1927) - photo 2

第六章 乾卦劍學
CHAPTER SIX: THE QIAN TRIGRAM SWORD TECHNIQUE ☰

乾卦劍者是從太極劍這Ф而生後天有形這○因此式有圓之象有左旋之義故名之為乾卦劍
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.

第一節 乾卦蟄龍翻身
1. WAKING DRAGON TURNS ITS BODY

起點先以兩手上下分開右手之劍往外扭至老陰扭時帶往上抬抬至手背到頭額處停住劍尖仍與心口相平此劍之理有動根不動稍之式是此意也左手亦於右手扭時同時往外扭至老陰扭時胳膊靠着身子帶往下伸伸至小腹處停住中食二指指地腰再往下坐兩腿再往下曲頭虛靈頂住兩肩亦往下埀住左脚後根欠起前脚掌着地周身重心歸於右腿兩眼仍視劍尖如圖是也以上自兩手分時壹至於左足根台起重心歸於右足動作俱是同時要歸成一氣所行皆是用意動作要自然不可拘滯學者要心思會悟身體力行內中之理方可有得也
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.

《八卦劍學》 孫祿堂 (1927) - photo 3

第二節 乾卦天邊掃月
2. THE HORIZON SWEEPS AWAY THE MOON

將兩手左右分開右手之劍仍老陰着往上起過頭胳膊往上伸直又往右邊掃去如一上半月形式至右邊胳膊伸直手往右邊掃時掃至手太陰着手與右肩平停住劍尖略比劍把仰高點左手老陰着與右手劍往上又往右邊掃時亦同時胳膊靠着身子往左邊摟去摟至手太陰與左膝相齊上下相離四五寸許勿拘左足亦於左手往左邊摟時同時極力順着左手邁去足落下地時足尖往裏扣着點停住頭虛靈頂住兩肩鬆開腰塌勁兩腿裏根均往裏縮勁頂鬆塌縮皆是用意不可用力右邊小腹放在右邊大腿上兩眼看劍之中節所動之形式如圖是也學者思悟明曉而後行之
Then your hands spread away to the sides, your right hand, still holding the sword in a three-quarter 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 three-quarter 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.

《八卦劍學》 孫祿堂 (1927) - photo 4

第三節 乾卦掃地搜根
3. SWEEP THE GROUND TO FIND THE ROOTS

隨卽將右手之劍手太陰轉少陰胳膊往下落直着往左邊掃去劍離地高矮隨便右手自太陰轉至太陽停住肘靠着右脇前邊手比肘較低下點劍在右足尖右邊斜直着劍尖與右胳膊肘成一斜三角形式右足與劍動掃時同時邁至左足尖處與左足成為倒八字形式兩足尖相離一二寸許勿拘左手亦於右手劍動時同時直着往上台起自太陰轉老陰老陰又轉至太陰與頭平大指與左額角處相離二三寸許勿拘停住胳膊為半月形式兩眼看劍尖腰塌兩腿裏根縮力頭頂肩垂仍如前惟是右手劍太陰着往左邊掃時兩肩要鬆開腹內亦要鬆空停住之形式如圖是也此式學者要深悟之
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.

《八卦劍學》 孫祿堂 (1927) - photo 5

第四節 乾卦白猿托桃
4. WHITE APE HOLDS UP A PEACH

隨後再將右手之劍手太陽着胳膊往前往右轉連伸帶轉伸去如C形式手自太陽往裏裹裹至老陽劍刃上下着手與口平劍尖與右肘成一斜三角形式劍把對左肘(成一斜三角)胳膊如半月形式腰隨着劍轉時亦同時向着右胯扭轉右腿裏根極力往回縮亦隨着腰往右胯扭轉內中之意思裏腿根要圜不要稜角意如C之形式兩眼看劍尖左手於劍動時亦同時手太陰着從頭往外翻又往上伸去伸至極處手翻至老陰手虎口亦對着劍尖左胳膊上節相離左耳一二寸許勿拘停住再右足與劍動轉時亦同時斜着往前邁去落地之形式與左足成一斜長方形式身形之高矮隨便勿拘兩足相離之遠近總以再邁後足時不移動形式與內中之重心為至善處此節之形式觀圖
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 tiger’s 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 body’s 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.

《八卦劍學》 孫祿堂 (1927) - photo 6

自明將形式定住再往左旋走去旋轉圓圈數目之多寡與地之寬狹不拘乾卦劍之目次分成四節形式雖停而意未停練時總要一氣貫串不獨此卦為然至於他卦以至變卦劍亦如是也學者要知之
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.

第七章 坤卦劍學
CHAPTER SEVEN: THE KUN TRIGRAM SWORD TECHNIQUE ☷

坤卦劍者是從乾卦劍這個有形之○物極必返陽極而生陰成為這●乾卦劍是自老陰旋轉而至老陽故為這○坤卦劍是自老陽旋轉而至老陰故為這●所以此式與乾卦劍有左右旋轉之形式彼左陽旋取乾之名此右陰轉定名坤卦
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.

第一節 坤卦日月爭明
1. SUN & MOON TRY TO OUTSHINE EACH OTHER

起點從白猿托桃旋轉時右足在前微停即將左足往右足尖邁去與右足成一倒八字形式右手劍自老陽往外翻往下落如掃下半弧線翻至右邊手至太陰停住劍把與劍尖相平直手與右足尖上下相齊手高矮與心口平劍往下掃時離地高矮勿拘右足與右手劍動時同時邁至右邊落地之形式與左足成一大斜長方形式兩足相離之遠近以右胳膊伸直手與右足尖上下成一直線為度再左手自頭上老陰着與右手劍翻動時順着左邊身子往下落自老陰往裏裹連裹帶落手至太陰手虎口與左脇平相離二三寸許勿拘胳膊半月形式停住兩眼看劍呑口前三四寸許勿拘兩腿裏曲仍是半月形式兩腿裏根鬆開勁小腹如放在右腿根上之意兩肩亦鬆開勁腰仍塌住頭虛靈頂住停住之形式如圖是也
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 tiger’s 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.

《八卦劍學》 孫祿堂 (1927) - photo 7

第二節 坤卦流星赶月
2. METEOR CHASES THE MOON

再將右手劍太陰着往右邊提轉轉至右手高與鼻平手仍太陰着劍尖與腿根平胳膊略微灣曲點左手太陰着與右手劍動轉時同時往裏裹靠着左脇往右胳膊裏根連穿帶裹穿去至右胳膊裏根手太陽着停住左足與左手亦同時往前邁去至右足尖處與右足成一倒八字形式兩腿灣曲着右手劍提轉時是身子並腰與右腿根同時往右轉不惟劍轉也兩眼看右手停住之形式如圖是也頭頂肩垂腹鬆𦡁開腿根縮勁塌腰皆如前
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 three-quarter 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.

《八卦劍學》 孫祿堂 (1927) - photo 8

第三節 坤卦靑龍返首
3. BLUE DRAGON TURNS ITS HEAD

再即將右手劍太陰着往外翻又往左邊如掃橫弧線又極力往前穿去手至老陰手高與頭平手背離頭二三寸許勿拘停住劍尖與左胯相平左手太陽着與右手劍同時翻至老陰手腕塌住往前伸直胳膊仍靠着身子左足與右手劍穿時亦同時往外邁去(足左邊為外)落地與右足成一斜長方形式身子形式高矮勿拘兩眼看劍尖轉動時是腰與左腿根同時往左邊扭轉停住之形式如圖是也
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 three-quarter 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 body’s 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.

《八卦劍學》 孫祿堂 (1927) - photo 9

內外一切之動仍如前微停再往右旋轉走去旋轉一周或二周或數周勿拘圈之大小亦勿拘轉法與乾卦白猿托桃法相同彼是手老陽着此是手老陰着彼是往左旋轉此是往右旋轉旋轉之數雖多寡不拘但此劍之效力惟在左右變換旋轉總期旋轉之數多多益善此節與本卦第一節雖分三節亦是一氣串成形雖停而意未停學者要知之
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.

第八章 坎卦劍學
CHAPTER EIGHT: THE KAN TRIGRAM SWORD TECHNIQUE ☵

坎卦者水之象也劍之形式如流水順勢之意故名為坎卦劍也內中有掃托之式又有換式截抹之法於此劍中用之變換最巧者也
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.

第一節 坎卦天邊掃月
1. THE HORIZON SWEEPS AWAY THE MOON

從坤卦靑龍返首式將左足在前邊隨即再將右足邁至前邊落地與左足成一倒八字形式隨後將右手劍老陰着胳膊直着往右邊掃去如掃上半月形式至右邊胳膊直着手往裏裹掃時掃至手太陰手與右肩平停住劍尖略比劍把仰高點左手老陰着與右手劍往裏裹掃時同時胳膊靠着身子從右脇往下又往左邊摟去摟至手太陰與左膝相齊上下相離四五寸許勿拘左足與左手往左邊摟時亦同時極力順着左手邁去足落地足尖往裏扣着點兩眼看劍之中節停住之形式一切之勁性與乾卦二節式相同
見乾卦第二節圖
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.)

第二節 坎卦仙人背劍
2. IMMORTAL CARRIES HIS SWORD ON HIS BACK

即將右手劍太陰着往裏裹掃又往上提裹至右手老陽與頭平右手相離頭左邊四五寸許勿拘劍刃與右肩尖上下相齊兩眼回頭看劍尖裏邊五六寸許勿拘右足與右手劍裏時同時往左足尖處邁去落地與左足成一倒八字形式左手太陰着與右手劍動時亦同時回到腹處大指根靠着臍處手腕塌住勁兩腿灣曲着身子高矮勿拘停住之形式如圖是也塌腰頂頭縮腿根之勁仍如前
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.

《八卦劍學》 孫祿堂 (1927) - photo 10

第三節 坎卦仙人換影
3. IMMORTAL SWITCHES PLACES WITH HIS SHADOW

即將右手劍老陽着從右邊往上抬起過頭再往裏裹掃如掃一上半小弧線裹至頭左邊手至太陰再往下落落在左胳膊下節中間上邊右手相離左胳膊肘前邊二三寸許勿拘手由太陰至中陰中陽又由中陰中陽翻至少陰停住身子並腰如螺絲意與劍裹落時同時往左邊扭轉劍尖高與眼平又劍尖與左胯尖並左肩尖相對兩眼看劍尖裏邊三四寸許勿拘左手太陰着與右手劍動時同時從臍處胳膊靠着身子往右脇處極力伸去手背挨着右肘後邊停住左足與右手劍裹落時亦同時往左邊直着邁去落地與右足成一斜長方形式兩足相離遠近勿拘蓋身式高矮旣不拘定故兩足距離亦因而勿拘初學之形式高矮如圖可也停住一切之勁並精神貫注氣歸丹田之理仍如前
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 body’s 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.

《八卦劍學》 孫祿堂 (1927) - photo 11

第九章 離卦劍學
CHAPTER NINE: THE LI TRIGRAM SWORD TECHNIQUE ☲

離卦者屬火也空中之象也於此離卦劍式之中有脫換搜抹虛空靈妙之法故取名為離卦劍也
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.

第一節 離卦日月爭明
1. SUN & MOON TRY TO OUTSHINE EACH OTHER

起點從白猿托桃式右足在前微停即將左足往右足尖處邁去與右足成一倒八字形式右手劍自老陽往外翻着往下落如掃一下半弧線翻至右邊手至太陰停住劍把與劍尖相平直手與右足尖上下相齊手之高矮與心口平劍往下掃時右足同時邁至右邊落地之形式與左足成一大斜長方式兩足相離之遠近右胳膊伸直手與右足尖上下成一直線為度再左手自頭上老陰着與右手劍動翻時順着左邊身子往下落自老陰往裏裹連裹帶落手至太陰手虎口與左脇平相離二三寸許勿拘胯膊半月形式停住兩眼看劍呑口前三四寸許勿拘一切之形式與坤卦劍第一節式均相同
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 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 tiger’s 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.

《八卦劍學》 孫祿堂 (1927) - photo 12

第二節 離卦白猿偸桃
2. WHITE APE STEALS A PEACH

再將右手劍太陰着胳膊直着往外翻扭又往上起翻扭至手老陰與頭平手背離頭三四寸許勿拘劍尖與左胯成一平直線左手太陰着與右手劍往外翻扭時同時往裏裹靠着左脇往右胳膊下節中間極力穿去至手太陽與心口平左足與左手穿時亦同時邁至右足尖處與右足成一倒八字形式兩眼看劍尖裏邊四五寸許勿拘兩腿灣曲着停住之形式如圖是也一切之勁仍照前
Your right hand lifts up to head level, twisting outward from its full passive position to a three-quarter 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.

《八卦劍學》 孫祿堂 (1927) - photo 13

第三節 離卦仙人脫殼
3. IMMORTAL THROWS AWAY A SHELL

再將右手劍老陰着從頭前往上起又往外翻扭到極處手至太陽又從頭上往右邊胳膊直着如返掃弧線往右胯前邊落下去手至少陽胳膊仍直着手與右腿裏根平手離腿根遠近手與右足尖在一圓弧線上為度劍尖與右肩尖成一平線兩眼再看劍尖裏邊六七寸許勿拘翻身之時眼看着劍過來再腿根與腰亦同時向右扭轉再左手太陽着與右手劍往上起時同時往外翻扭又往上起至頭上胳膊伸至極處手轉至老陰手虎口對着右手左胳膊之形式與白猿托桃左胳膊形式相同右足與兩手動時亦同時往右邊邁去落地與左足成一斜長方形式兩足相離之遠近勿拘形式高矮亦勿拘初學時遠近高矮照圖形式可也內中一切之情形與八卦拳學大蟒翻身意思相同形式雖分三節內中之神氣務要一貫學者要知之
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 tiger’s 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.

《八卦劍學》 孫祿堂 (1927) - photo 14

第十章 震卦劍學
CHAPTER TEN: THE ZHEN TRIGRAM SWORD TECHNIQUE ☳

震卦者動之象也在卦則為雷在五行則屬木有靑龍之象在劍學則有直穿斜穿上下左右穿刺之形式因有穿刺之法則故取名為震卦劍木形之理也
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.

第一節 震卦白蛇伏草
1. WHITE SNAKE HIDES IN THE GRASS

起點從坤卦靑龍返首式右手劍老陰着左足在前隨即將右足邁在左足尖處兩足成一倒八字形式再將右手劍從老陰往裏裹又往下落裹至手中陰中陽胳膊半月形式手離右腿根四五寸許勿拘劍與右腿根相平劍離身之遠近一二寸許勿拘左手從右脇老陰着與右手劍往裏裹時同時轉太陽靠着身子往下伸直又往左邊摟去摟至胳膊伸至極處手至老陰手與劍尖相平成一直線左足與左手往左邊摟時亦同時往左邊邁去落地兩足相離之遠近左足尖與左手稍上下相齊為度兩腿灣曲下腰塌住勁身子往前俯着點俯至左邊小腹放在左大腿根上之意兩眼看左手中二指稍停住之形式如圖是也
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.

《八卦劍學》 孫祿堂 (1927) - photo 15

第二節 震卦濳龍出水
2. SUBMERGED DRAGON LEAVES THE WATER

起點即將左足抬起不可高極力往外扭落地足尖向外右手劍中陰中陽着往前直着穿去穿至極處再按把劍尖隨着往上抬起起至劍尖與把上下相直劍尖微往外坡着點胳膊直着右手之高矮與左手相平右足與右手劍穿時同時往前邁去足尖往裏扣着落地與左足尖成一倒八字形式此式兩足尖相離略遠點大約五六寸許勿拘再左手老陰着與右手劍動穿時亦同時往心口下邊來從老陰裹至太陰大指根陷坑靠住身子心口下邊兩眼於劍往前穿時看劍尖俟劍尖台起停住時看劍半腰中上下勿拘腰塌住勁兩腿灣曲着停住之形式如圖是也
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.

《八卦劍學》 孫祿堂 (1927) - photo 16

第三節 震卦靑龍探海
3. BLUE DRAGON SEARCHES THE SEA

即將右手劍中陰中陽着往外翻扭又往上起望着右眉處而來至眉處手轉成老陰劍尖從上邊往左邊來從眉前斜着往前又往下極力探去去手仍是老陰着手與心口相平劍尖與左足成一平線再左手太陰着與右手劍動時同時往裏裹裹至手太陽俟右手至眉處往前探時亦同時手太陽着胳膊挨着身子從心口處往上穿去手至頭正額處往外翻扭扭至老陰胳膊過頭伸至極處停住左足與劍探時並左手往上穿時亦同時往上提起脚面𧰊着足心在右膝上邊挨住腰塌住勁兩腿裏根縮住勁身子微往前俯着點兩眼看劍尖停住之形式如圖是也
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.

《八卦劍學》 孫祿堂 (1927) - photo 17

此式亦是一二三節合成一氣練之譬如坤卦初變震次兌次乾雖然形式變化有三內中實是一氣貫串八卦劍形式變化亦然無論何卦劍之形式外邊雖分節次內中亦皆是一以貫之也學者要細悟之
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.

第十一章 艮卦劍學
CHAPTER ELEVEN: THE GEN TRIGRAM SWORD TECHNIQUE ☶

艮掛者山之象也艮其背不獲其身行其庭不見其人此劍有止而不進之意又有退藏之形故取名為艮卦劍昔人云縮身藏於劍之下有見劍不見人之意是此義也
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.

第一節 艮卦黑虎出洞
1. BLACK TIGER LEAVES ITS CAVE

起點從坤卦劍末節返首劍手老陰着左足在前隨即將右足邁在左足尖處與左足成一倒八字形式微停即將右手劍從老陰往裏裹又往下落裹至手中陰中陽胳膊半月形式手離右腿根四五寸許勿拘劍與右腿根相平劍離身之遠近一二寸許勿拘左手從右脇老陰着與右手劍往裏裹時同時轉太陰靠着身子往下伸直又往左邊摟去摟至胳膊伸至極處手至老陰手與劍尖相平成一直線兩眼隨着看左手中二指稍左足與左手往左邊摟時往左邊邁去落地兩足相離之遠近左足尖與左手稍上下相齊為度此時與白蛇伏草式相同往下則不同矣式不停隨即將右手中陰中陽着極力平着往前刺去劍之高矮劍尖劍把與心口平兩眼俟劍刺出看劍尖左手從老陰着與右手劍刺時同時轉太陰又與劍刺至極處時亦同時五指伸開扣在右手腕上前左膝極力往前攻右腿極力蹬直左邊小腹放在左邊大腿根上腰塌住勁頭頂兩肩往回縮住勁身子微往前俯着點停住之形式如圖是也
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.

《八卦劍學》 孫祿堂 (1927) - photo 18

第二節 艮卦白蛇吐信
2. WHITE SNAKE FLICKS ITS TONGUE

即將右手劍中陰中陽着往下按劍把劍尖往上起一條弧線着往右邊來從左邊至右邊成一半月形式右胳膊曲回時靠至右脇右手轉為老陽右手離胸前一二寸許勿拘劍尖與劍把平直再左手太陰着與右手按劍把時同時往裏裹裹至太陽再從右手腕裏邊胳膊靠着身子往外扭又往下穿去至左腿根手轉成太陰左足與右手劍往右邊歪時亦同時扭足根足尖往裏扣此時之形式似停而未停右手劍仍老陽着往前刺去胳膊伸至極處手之高矮與上胸平兩眼看劍尖左手太陰着與劍往前刺時亦同時往左邊摟去胳膊伸至極處手轉成老陰手高矮與左脇下窩平兩腿灣曲着停住之形式如圖是也
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.

《八卦劍學》 孫祿堂 (1927) - photo 19

第三節 艮卦靑龍截路
3. BLUE DRAGON BLOCKS THE ROAD

即將右手劍老陽着往外翻扭扭至太陰胳膊直着手與右足尖前上下相齊右手高矮與胸前平劍尖與左肩成一平線亦勿拘兩眼看劍當中勿拘右足與右手劍往外翻扭時同時足尖往外擺落地與兩足八字形相似左手老陰着與右手劍翻時亦同時往裏裹胳膊曲回手裹至太陽靠住左脇兩腿曲下兩腿根縮住腹內要鬆空停住之形式如圖是也
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.

《八卦劍學》 孫祿堂 (1927) - photo 20

第四節 艮卦白猿偸桃
4. WHITE APE STEALS A PEACH

再將右手劍太陰着胳膊直着往外翻扭又往上起翻扭至手老陰手與頭平手背離頭三四寸許勿拘劍尖與左胯成一平直線左手太陽着從左脇與右手劍往外翻扭時同時靠着身子往右胳膊下節中間極力穿去穿至極處手仍太陽着手與心口平左足與左手穿時亦同時邁至右足尖處與右足成一倒八字形式兩眼看劍尖裏邊四五寸許勿拘兩腿灣曲着停住之形式如圖是也
Your right hand lifts up to head level, twisting outward from its full passive position to a three-quarter 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.

《八卦劍學》 孫祿堂 (1927) - photo 21

第五節 艮卦仙人入洞
5. IMMORTAL ENTERS THE CAVE

再將右手劍老陰着從頭前往上起又往外翻扭到極處手至太陽又從頭上往右邊胳膊直着如返掃弧線往右邊落下去胳膊伸至極處手至少陽與小腹平手離小腹尺許勿拘身子與右手劍掃時同時往右邊扭轉兩眼看劍當中上下勿拘劍尖與右足尖相平直勿拘劍尖又與右肩成一斜直線右足與右手劍往下落時同時極力提起起至足心挨着左膝上邊脚面𧰊着左手太陽着與右手劍往上起時同時往外翻扭又往上起至頭上胳膊伸至極處手轉至老陰手大指根對着右手左胳膊之形式與白猿托桃左胳膊動作相同左腿灣曲着兩腿裏根往裏縮勁腰塌住勁身子微往前俯着點停住之形式如圖是也
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.

《八卦劍學》 孫祿堂 (1927) - photo 22

第六節 艮卦日月爭明
6. SUN & MOON TRY TO OUTSHINE EACH OTHER

卽將右足往右邊邁去落地足尖直着微往裏扣着點與左足成一大斜長方形式右手劍自少陽着與右足邁時同時往外翻扭胳膊直着往下邊如掃下弧線翻至右邊手至太陰停住劍把與劍尖相平直手右足尖上下相齊手高矮與心口平劍往下掃時離地高矮勿拘再左手自頭上老陰着與右手劍動翻時順着左邊身子往下落自老陰往裏裹連裹帶往下落手至太陰手虎口與左脇平相離二三寸許勿拘胳膊半月形式手腕往後撐着勁停住兩眼看劍呑口前三四寸許勿拘一切之形式勁性與坤卦第一節形式相同
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 tiger’s 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.

《八卦劍學》 孫祿堂 (1927) - photo 23

第七節 艮卦流星趕月
7. METEOR CHASES THE MOON

再將右手劍太陰着往右邊提轉轉至右手高與鼻平手仍太陰着劍尖與腿根平胳膊略微灣曲點左手太陰着與右手劍動轉時同時往裏裹靠着左脇往右胳膊裏根連穿帶裹穿去至右胳膊裏根手太陽着停住左足與左手亦同時往前邁去至右足尖處與右足成一倒八字形式兩腿灣曲着右手劍提轉時是身子並腰與右腿根同時往右轉不只劍轉也兩眼看右手停住之形式與各處之勁與坤卦第二節相同
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.

《八卦劍學》 孫祿堂 (1927) - photo 24

第十二章 巽卦劍學
CHAPTER TWELVE: THE XUN TRIGRAM SWORD TECHNIQUE ☴

巽卦者風之象也在天為風在人為氣在卦為巽巽卦劍有順旋逆返之式迴風混合之理有散有收因有風之理故名為巽卦劍也
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.

第一節 巽卦葉裡藏花
1. FLOWER HIDDEN UNDER THE LEAF [Part 1]

起點白猿托桃式右足在前即將左足邁在右足尖處與右足成一倒八字形式停住再將右手劍老陽着往外翻扭扭至手太陰右足與右手劍往外翻扭時同時往右邊邁去落地足尖往外擺着身子與劍往外翻時同時往右邊扭轉右手靠着左脇劍平直着劍之所指與左足根上下成一直線左手於右手劍往外翻扭時亦同時老陰着往裡裹又往下落裹至手太陽胳膊直着高與心口平兩腿曲下兩腿裏根縮住勁腹內鬆空着兩眼順着右肘往前平着看去停住之形式如圖是也
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.

《八卦劍學》 孫祿堂 (1927) - photo 25

第二節 巽卦葉裏藏花
2. FLOWER HIDDEN UNDER THE LEAF [Part 2]

右手劍與左手不動即將左足邁至右足尖處與右足成一倒八字形式兩腿曲着塌腰縮腿裏根一切之勁仍如前兩眼仍順着右肘往平看去停住之形式如圖是也
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.

《八卦劍學》 孫祿堂 (1927) - photo 26

第三節 巽卦葉裏藏花
3. FLOWER HIDDEN UNDER THE LEAF [Part 3]

再將右足往右邊擺着邁去落地直着足尖微往裏扣着點兩足之形式仍與斜長方形式相似勿拘隨即右手劍太陰往右邊橫平着掃去身子與劍往右邊掃時同時往右邊扭轉劍掃至與左足根上下為一平線手仍太陰着兩眼看劍尖左手太陽着與右手劍往右邊掃時同時與右手左右分開胳膊伸至極處手仍太陽着與右手左右相平腹內鬆空神氣定住兩腿曲着停住之形式如圖是也
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.

《八卦劍學》 孫祿堂 (1927) - photo 27

旋轉之形式自一節起左足扣右足往外擺至二三節兩足之形式皆是從着圓圈外邊Z○擺扣不往圈裏邊去學者要知之
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.

第四節 巽卦猛虎截路
4. FIERCE TIGER BLOCKS THE ROAD

兩足不動即將右手劍太陰着往裏裹又往上起起至與頭平手裹至老陽右手離頭五六寸許勿拘劍在兩腿中間劍尖與後腰平勿拘左手太陽與右手劍往裏裹時同時往外翻扭往臍處來胳膊靠着身子兩眼看劍當中勿拘此式似停而未停即將頭與身子扭轉左邊來右手劍老陽着胳膊伸直與身扭轉時同時往裡裏裹從頭上如掃弧線掃至左邊來手裹至老陰手高與頭平右手離頭五六寸許勿拘劍尖仍與後腰平直勿拘兩眼看劍尖或劍尖裏邊勿拘左手太陰着胳膊靠着身子與右手劍往左邊裹時亦同時往右脇伸去伸至老陰大指根靠着右脇兩腿灣曲着腹內鬆空氣沈丹田停住之形式如圖是也
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 three-quarter 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.

《八卦劍學》 孫祿堂 (1927) - photo 28

再走右手劍往外扭轉仍老陰復於靑龍返首之式往左旋走去走時先邁左足
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.

第十三章 兌卦劍學
CHAPTER THIRTEEN: THE DUI TRIGRAM SWORD TECHNIQUE ☱

兌卦者澤之象也有金之義焉此式劍中有㓲撩之法又有劈挅之形有搜捉之理皆剛屬之義故名為兌卦劍也
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.

第一節 兌卦㓲膀
1. SLICING TO THE ARM

起點乾卦白猿托桃式右足在前即將左足邁至右足尖處與右足成一倒八字形式右手劍老陽着與右足邁時同時往左膀尖外邊㓲去胳膊伸直往下落去胳膊靠着身子右手劍中陰中陽着手挨着左腿裏根劍尖與左肩平勿拘兩眼看劍尖或劍尖裏邊勿拘左手老陰着從頭上與右手劍動時同時往裏裹又往下落落至臍處手至中陰中陽不停卽速肘靠着左脇手心挨着身子與右手劍㓲時同時往上穿去穿至中二指與頭齊手太陽着(手心對面即是太陽)兩腿曲下腰塌住勁兩腿裏根往回縮住停住之形式如圖是也
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.

《八卦劍學》 孫祿堂 (1927) - photo 29

第二節 兌卦回馬劍
2. HORSE-TURNING SWORD

即將右手劍中陰中陽着胳膊直着從左腿根處如走弧線往右邊又往上提去提至右手與胸平手至老陰劍尖往前斜指着劍尖高與膝平勿拘此式有撩劍之意兩眼看劍尖處左手太陽着從頭前與右手劍往右邊提時同時順着身子往下落落至臍處手心挨着身子右足與兩手動時亦同時往前邁去落地足尖微往外扭着點步之大小不可有意務要腿往前邁時與平常行路一樣自然不可勉强停住之形式如圖是也
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.

《八卦劍學》 孫祿堂 (1927) - photo 30

第三節 兌卦回頭望月
3. TURN YOUR HEAD TO GAZE AT THE MOON

即將右手劍老陰着直着胳膊往上提起起至頭上手仍是老陰自頭上不停再往右邊身後劈去胳膊伸至極處手中陰中陽着劍尖往外仆着點手高與胸平兩眼看劍中間勿拘劍往後邊劈時劍尖走一條上弧線自前邊往後邊劈過身子與劍往後劈時同時往右邊扭轉左手中陰中陽着從臍處與右手劍往上提時同時往前又往下斜着伸去伸至極處手與腿根平此時右手到頭上右手劍在往後邊劈時左手亦同時再往上起起至高與右手前後相平手至太陰停住再左足與右手劍往上提時同時邁至前邊落地足尖直着微往外擺着點再右足與右手劍從頭上往後邊劈時亦同時邁至前邊落地足尖往外擺着兩腿微灣曲着點邁左右足時均要自然意與行路無別停住之形式如圖是也
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.

《八卦劍學》 孫祿堂 (1927) - photo 31

第四節 兌卦仙人釣魚
4. IMMORTAL ANGLES FOR A FISH

隨即將右手劍中陰中陽胳膊直着如畫弧線往下落落至離右胯六七寸許勿拘劍刃亦直着往下落落至劍尖與劍把相平劍尖往下低點亦勿拘左手太陰胳膊直着亦如畫弧線與右手劍往下落時同時往上起起至手過頭仍是太陰與右手上下前後成一斜直線左足於兩手動時亦同時往前邁去落地足尖極力往外擺着形式不可停再將右手劍中陰中陽着從右胯後邊如畫下弧線往前邊撩去撩至手老陽手高與胸平劍尖與右脇平兩眼望着右手前邊看去再左手太陰着與右手劍往前邊動作撩時同時往外扭扭至老陰如畫上弧線往左邊來又往下落落至與右手相平胳膊直着手又轉至太陰右足與兩手動時亦同時邁至前邊落地足尖極力往裏扣着與左足成倒八字形式此倒八字形式兩足尖要相離四五寸許勿拘再將右手劍老陽着胳膊直着如畫上弧線從右邊往左邊斫去胳膊伸至極處手中陰中陽着右手高與心口下臍上相平亦勿拘身子與右手劍往左邊斫時同時向左扭轉兩眼看劍尖處再左手太陰着往裏裹與右手劍動時同時到小腹處手心挨着身子又從小腹處與劍往下斫時同時順着身子往上去胳膊伸至極處手扭成老陰再左足右手劍往左斫時亦同時極力抬起脚面𧰊着足心挨右膝上邊兩腿裡根往裏縮住勁頭頂勁身子微往前俯着點右腿略有曲之意思停住之形式如圖是也
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.

《八卦劍學》 孫祿堂 (1927) - photo 32

此四節雖有停住形式亦要一氣貫串學者要細參之
Although this technique has four distinct postures, they should be performed as a single flow. You should particularly understand this.

第十四章 八卦劍應用要法十字
CHAPTER FOURTEEN: BAGUA SWORD’S TEN BASIC ACTIONS

挑 托 抹 掛 㓲 搜 閉 掃 順 截
The ten actions are: carrying, propping, smearing, hanging, slicing, gathering, sealing, sweeping, complying, and checking.

挑者手老陰着如靑龍返首式往前去挑住敵人之手腕或胳膊皆可謂之挑
[1] Carrying:
     My hand is in a three-quarter passive position, as in BLUE DRAGON TURNS ITS HEAD, carrying forward to an opponent’s wrist or arm.

托者手老陽着如白猿托桃式往前去托住敵人之手腕或胳膊俱是謂之托挑時多在敵人劍裡托時多在敵人劍外
[2] Propping:
     My hand is in a three-quarter active position, as in WHITE APE HOLDS UP A PEACH, propping forward to an opponent’s wrist or arm. Carrying is usually for when I am at the inside of the opponent’s sword, whereas propping is usually for when I am at the outside.

抹者將敵人之手腕或胳膊用劍挑住或托住後身形與劍或左或右走去是謂之抹
[3] Smearing:
     After carrying or propping to an opponent’s wrist or arm, I turn my body and sword to the left or right.

掛者敵人之劍已及己腕或斫己身右邊時用劍迎在敵劍上邊曲回胳膊縮回身體與劍一氣往回帶敵之劍隨帶隨出看勢擊敵是之謂掛
[4] Hanging:
     When an opponent’s 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.

㓲者敵人用手托住左臂或劍將及左臂時即將左胳膊往右胳膊下邊伸去用劍往左肩前邊斫去是謂之㓲
[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.

搜者敵人之劍或斫我上或斫我下我之劍意在敵先望敵手腕或左或右似削物然速去速回倐忽若電是之謂搜
[6] Gathering:
     When an opponent’s 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.

閉者敵人之劍將出而未出之時即速用劍堵住敵手不令出劍此之謂閉
[7] Sealing:
     In the moment when an opponent’s 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.

掃者上下掃也敵腕被我用劍挑住彼欲變法我速用劍纒繞彼腕令彼欲變不得是謂上掃敵劍斫我裡腕或外腕時即速縮身下式或左或右用劍望着敵人之腿如掃地一般斫去謂之下掃
[8] Sweeping divides into upper sweeping and lower sweeping.
     Upper sweeping: When my sword has carried to an opponent’s 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 opponent’s 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.

順者敵劍望我擊來我順彼勢隨之引出或敵劍將要抽回我順彼勢隨之送入皆謂之順用此字時不可强硬進退均以意為之
[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.

截者敵劍擊來我速用劍攩住敵腕或劍令彼不能得勢無分上中下三路均謂之截
[10] Checking:
     When an opponent’s 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.

上十字者即此劍應用之要法也雖云要法然用時亦必內而神意外而手足與劍合為一體方可應用咸宜變化無窮
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.

第十五章 八卦變劍要言
CHAPTER FIFTEEN: ESSENTIALS OF BAGUA SWORD’S UNFIXED PRACTICE

八卦劍之道有正劍有變劍正劍即體劍也亦即八綱劍也變劍者自八綱劍互相聯合錯綜變化而生無窮之形式也譬之易卦伏羲八卦為先天卦是體卦也文王六十四卦為後天卦是變卦也至於周公三百八十四爻則又變中之變也或曰是劍旣有變化之道自應與正劍一體為之圖為之解以貽後學俾免失傳奈何是編僅舉八綱而不及其變乎曰是難言也鄙意亦何嘗不爾惟是此劍之理雖與易道變化相同然此劍形式之變化則與易道有異易卦形式之變乾變坤坤變乾泰變否否變泰或上變而下不變或下變而上不變或上下不變而內卦變內中之理無論如何變化外形固皆有迹象之可尋是劍之變化則不然也例如乾卦劍中白猿托桃一式身形不動是此式身形高矮不同仍是此式走轉一步是此式走轉無數步亦是此式故劍變身不變者有之身變劍不變者有之手與劍不變而足變者固謂之變身劍手足皆不變惟眼神所注上下左右有所移換則亦變也其變化之至微妙者外形完全不變而內中之意變亦不得不謂之變也一身之變化與天地生物不測之意正同則其式寧可數計若為圖解旣非若卦畫之簡易易明則仍難免罣一漏萬之誚是以提綱振領僅舉正劍之形不及變劍之式然學者即身體驗時習力行求其正即以達其變見仁見智識大識小亦各存乎其人久久精純道理自得充於中形於外從心所欲罔或踰矩靜則存動變則變而至於化化而通於神正劍云乎哉變劍云乎哉
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 the Book of Changes. Fu Xi’s eight trigrams are “innate” or “essential”. King Wen’s sixty-four hexagrams are “acquired” or “changed”. Then there are the Duke of Zhou’s 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 from Lun 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…

 

[continue to Sun’s essays]

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