Sword is an extension of the arm: Xiaoyao Sword

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Xiaoyao Sword is one of the Wudang sword techniques, which is named after one of the famous works of an ancient Chinese philosopher Zhuangzi. The sword technique features continuous and free sword movements that embody the Taoist’s idea of ​​being free and unfettered.

Xiaoyao Sword has been derived from Xiaoyao Palm, and the sword is an extension of the arm. One of the characteristics of Xiaoyao Sword is to attack at unexpected angles instead of relying solely on force. Most of the time, you circle around your opponent and strike at an angle that is difficult for him to defend.

One of the characteristics of Xiaoyao Sword is to attack unexpectedly. /CGTN

One of the characteristics of Xiaoyao Sword is to attack unexpectedly. /CGTN

Liu Xiang is a coach at Wudang Yunxi Caotang Wushu School. “I hope one day I would be as unrestrained as the legendary Wushu experts, and be able to do anything of my own free will,” said Liu, talking about the technique. After coming to Wudang Mountain, everyone chooses a set of Quan techniques or a set of weapon techniques as their major. Liu was particularly interested in Xiaoyao Sword when he saw his master practicing it.

Liu Xiang (left) practices the Quan technique. /CGTN

Liu Xiang (left) practices the Quan technique. /CGTN

When he started to study the Quan technique, the master told him to strictly follow the rules. This made him feel bored, and it was not the same as the freedom he imagined in his heart. “At the beginning of the practice, I had many distracting thoughts. It was easy for me to lose my balance. My sword often dropped when I rotated it.”

Liu Xiang (left) practices Xiaoyao Sword. /CGTN

Liu Xiang (left) practices Xiaoyao Sword. /CGTN

The first step in practicing Wushu is to master fixed movements. In the beginning, you should follow a fixed set of rules. When you practice Xiaoyao Sword, you enter the second phase. One must master flexible movements. It’s not difficult to learn 10,000 movements, but it is difficult to repeat an action 10,000 times.

Liu Xiang (left) plays the Qin instrument. /CGTN

Liu Xiang (left) plays the Qin instrument. /CGTN

Taoists use certain items to train their bodies and cultivate their hearts and minds. Besides practicing Xiaoyao Sword, Liu is quite interested in playing the Qin and making Qin instruments. Making Qin instruments is also a process of cultivating one’s heart and mind. You need to choose a suitable piece of wood and keep it soaked in water for several years. Through the cultivation of spiritual composition, one’s true self is manifested.

All experiences in daily lives are practices of kung fu. /CGTN

All experiences in daily lives are practices of kung fu. /CGTN

Most people in the modern-day world are constantly aspiring for things in the external world. But people who choose to cultivate themselves are constantly examining themselves from the inside. All experiences in daily lives are practices of kung fu. Whether you are moving, sitting or sleeping, it is a kind of cultivation of your minds. The combination of life and cultivation can improve the understanding of the Quan technique as well as the sword technique.

A cultivated mind is all-conquering. To be truly free and unfettered, one should get rid of prejudices and preconceived ideas. In essence, they are all delusions.

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