Rochester Chen Style Taijiquan

Chen Village Spring Autumn Broadsword
(Green Dragon Crescent Moon Broadsword)

1) General Kwan carries broadsword over bridge boldly
showing power and strength

2) Clouds overhead

3) Holding the moon to wait for opportunity to attack

4) Three upward movements, three steps forward to frighten off Shu Chu with speed of movement like wind

5) Three downward movements, three steps to frighten off Chow Chow

6) White ape draws broadsword to prevent opponent from drawing weapon

7) Full circular movement (Step Back 1st Full Turning Flower)

8) Tiger leaps suddenly

9) Parting mane

10) Cross cutting

11) Turning waist and twisting root

12) Circulate and look for opportunity to cut forward (Half Turning Flower and Cut Upward)

13) Holding the moon to wait for opportunity to attack

14) Circulate and strike downward (Half Turning Flower and Strike Downward)

15) Holding the moon again to wait for opportunity to attack

16) Entire circular movement twist body strike (2nd Full Turning Flower and Great Impetus Turn)

17) Backward strike to frighten

18) Circulate and strike downward (Half Turning Flower and Strike Downward)

19) Clouds over the head

20) Circulate and cut upward

21) Lift up the green dragon

22) Circulate and cut downward (Half Turning Flower and Cut Downward)

23) Clouds over the head

24) Offer wine, pick up cloak suddenly turning back

25) Knife turns around and handle becomes bronze gavel

26) Double leg

27) Turn knife and it becomes iron bar to block attack

28) Rolling a curtain like waving a flower going back

29) Hold knife up in a cross

30) Green dragon come down, touches water and comes back up

Chen Taiji Kwan Dao Choreography
This rendition of the form was performed slowly to allow students to learn the basic choreography and associate the names with the moves. I'll put a faster, non stop clip up next summer


Clip of Chen Zheng Lei performing Chen Village Kwan dao

Notes on techniques:

Carry on back position: The shaft is held against the forearm and up against the back or back of the armpit. The tip of the blade is out a little way from the right toes, and the L hand is often at head height..  To start the swing out of this position you can hit one end of the shaft with your back while pulling the other end of the shaft with your arm, the hit and pull being powered by your center.

Great Impetus Turn AKA Twist Body Strike: The body and is twists and unwinds, usually to deliver a chop with great momentum. For a movement facing W, Great Impetus turn is performed as follows:

  •   Step W with R foot
  •   Step W and behind with L foot forming a twist stance (AKA girl foot)
  •   Swing down KW using body weight
  •   Pivot on balls of feet undoing the twist of the body to impart farce into the KD
  •   Step back a little with R, Step in (W) with L and use momentum of the swinging KD to perform a move such as a downward chop

Tricks to minimize the use the arm strength and maximize full body strength: Pull the Kwan dao by sinking and shifting. Think of using the butt cheek on the opposite side of the Kwan dao to sink and pull the Kwan dao. When advancing and circling the Kwan dao forward, you can often position your right arm so its elbow is just off the hip. Think of the hip pushing the Kwan dao, with a connection from hip to elbow.

Notes on names:

The poetic forms of the names are intended to evoke a certain spirit to each move. Many of the names occur in various weapons forms of all different styles, not just in taijiquan kwan dao.

The moon is the crescent shape of the blade. The form should be called “new moon” broadsword, or “crescent moon” broadsword.

Clouds overhead” - When you swing the knife it is like a white protective cloud overhead. It is defensive, while also preparing you for attack.

Shu Chu and Chow Chow are two kings from the three kingdoms.

Cross cutting” refers to the cross (+) formed by the legs and shaft during the cut.

Offering wine is a weapons strike from your centerline held high (throat).  It may also appears as holding a tray overhead.

Serving wine is a weapons strike from your centerline at bench or table level.

Holding the moon” literally means holding the curved sword.

Iron bar” is refering to the bar used to lock a house door.

The “green dragon” is General Kwan.

Information on “white ape”: A white animal in Chinese mythology has lived a long time and has gained the wisdom and knowledge that nature has to teach. There is a famous story about a white ape teaching swordsmanship (swordswomanship?) to young woman having status like a princess. She then became a great practitioner. Some of the white ape terminology naming of postures comes from this story. This white ape differs from the martial art style tongbei (tong – ape, bei – white) of Northern China, which is named for its cimean limb movements.

Series of 3 moves occur and denote some large number of the move is performed. A single move means that a single move was performed. A series of two moves indicate a sort of complete set (yin/yang). A series of 3 is any large number, possibly infinite. Series of 3 often occur for a chase or retreat sequence.

Many thanks to the friends that provided tranlastions.

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