T'ai Chi Chien
T'ai Chi Sword makes full use of the combined techniques of Whirling Hands and Whirling Arms, but these are made more difficult by the weight and length of the sword. Greater mental concentration is required to retain complete control of the arms, wrists and hands, while maintaining perfect balance, especially in a few sequences where the whole body makes a complete whirl to demonstrate the 'order of the universe'. These techniques are not easy, but nothing is really easy in the full art of T'ai Chi, because there is so much to remember and so many movements have to be practised in order to understand the essence of energy and force, and expand self-awareness and mental control.
In accordance with the basic principles of T'ai Chi, the 'Sword' form, which comprises 216 movements, has no straight lines. Movements are performed in circular motion, with excellent balance and perfect utilization of the body in the movement from one stance to another in a gentle and continuous flow. These movements enrich bodily health, and can eventually eliminate all stress and strain. Whilst outwardly there is a great physical activity, inwardly there is peace and tranquility, a perfect balance of Yin and Yang. This balance enables us to become one with ourselves, and such an integral part of our everyday life, that this harmony can also protect us like a shield.
It is not possible to include the whole 'form' of T'ai Chi Sword in this introduction. I hope to describe it in detail in a future volume, but the following photographs may give you an impression of the beautiful flow of movements that are involved in T'ai Chi Sword.