The Sun style Eight Trigram Sword is broken down into three sword practices, the orthodox sword set follows the Fu Xi eight trigram sequence of Heaven (Qian), Earth (Kun), Water (Kan), Fire (Li), Thunder (Zhen), Mountain (Gen), Wind (Xun) and Lake (Dui). The second method of practicing the Eight Trigram Sword is called the “Changing Sword Practice” and this follows the “King Wens” trigram method of constant change. The third method of the Bagua Jian is where the practitioner from a state of stillness creates movement, movement creates change and more change, until there is transformation and with transformation there is an awakening of the Dao.
The Sun style eight trigram sword involves the eight methods of Walking meaning the basic footwork methods, Circling means to walk the circle in a clockwise or anti-clockwise direction, Wrapping means that the sword hands wrist turns inwards, Over-Turning means that the sword hand wrist turns outwards, Threading means to pierce with the sword tip, Raising means the sword hand palm faces upwards or downwards using a semi circle or full circle, Lifting means the the sword handle is lifted upwards, Pushing means the sword hands palm is pressing downwars.
There are also ten sword actions that the practitioner applys while performing the eight trigram sword form which are Carrying, Propping, Smearing, Hanging, Slicing, Gathering, Sealing, Sweeping, Complying and Checking all of the sword fighting two-person drills are found within the Sun style eight trigram sword form ( Bagua Jian Shi). I have been personally practicing this sword exercise for many years now and I practice it daily as a method of health and wellbeing, every time that I practice this sword form I always find some interesting aspect about refining its smooth, flowing actions of the whole body and sword as one complete unit.
As a method of cultivating and building the vital energy (Qi) the practitioner must spend more time walking the circle and less time practicing the many, many changes. A good practitioner will walk at lest ten rotations of the circle before changing direction. This can make the duration of practicing the eight trigram sword very long which develops strength of both body, mind & spirit.