The Li Style Taiji Straight Sword practiced by the LFIAA is the “Square Yard Taiji Sword Form” which can be practiced within a small confined area, moving in the directions of the eight trigrams (Bagua) just like the Li Style Taiji Bare Hand Solo Form which hundreds of people practice for health and wellbeing purposes and which has become a very popular exercise. The Li Style Taiji Straight Sword Square Yard Form involves both upright postures, low postures and single standing leg postures to strengthen the leg muscles, tendons and bones to benefit better balance, plus, to invigorate the circulation of the blood and improve fitness.
The welding of the straight sword (Zheng Jian), while performing the slow, soft flowing movements can take a lot of concentration by the individual. As the individual has to make sure that both of their arms are moving in harmony with each other, and that there are no isolated actions, were the sword arm is moving while the free arm is not. Both of the individuals arms must be constantly moving at the same speed with the free arm being used to support and balance the sword.
The free hand must be held in what is known as the “Sword Fingers” ( Jian Zhi) were the index and middle fingers are kept extended, while the ring finger, pinky finger are bent covering the Laogong Qi cavity located in the centre of the palm, the thumb touches the ring finger to form a circle. The Sword Fingers hand shape is held in the eight different shapes while performing the Li Style Taiji Sword Form to help balance the flow of Qi through the whole body and through both hands.
I have already mentioned before in a previous blog that when I first learnt the Li Style Taiji Straight Sword Form. It was taught in a long linear line by my teacher Master Chee a Soo and there are still many of his students who still practice it in this particular way. Whereas, we in the LFIAA have created a Square Yard Sword Form that can be performed in a confined area just like the Li Style Taiji Form itself, which means that we are keeping with the unique style of the Li Family in being able to practice its forms in a small area.