Tai Chi Saber (Dao)
This beautiful, flowing weapon form is performed with a saber (dao): a single-edged sword with a slightly curved blade. Tai Chi Dao form is described in a Classical Chinese poem consisting of 13 lines with seven characters each. Classical Chinese poetry can be tricky to translate, but with the help of my parents, I offer the following:
- Step forward to seven stars, retreat to ride tiger, cross the knife from left to right.
- Rise and soar, shift, flash open, extend your spirit.
- Gaze left then right as you divide and split open with the knife.
- White crane spreads wings with five-element palm.
- Wind rolls the lotus blossoms, hiding them under the leaves.
- Fair lady works shuttle, back and forth in all directions.
- Three stars wink open and closed, exerting their will.
- Raise your leg to pat the foot, then subdue the tiger.
- Spreading wings, swaying body, kicking feet like mandarin ducks.
- Whip the knife like swirling currents of water pushing a boat propelled by a pole.
- Three strokes combined in harmony, expressing freedom and power.
- Part the water to the left and right, then jump over the dragon gate.
- The sage carries the stone, and the phoenix returns to the nest.
With special thanks to my parents for their assistance with this new translation.