In the study and practice of the Chinese Straight Sword (Zheng Jian) irrespective wether it be Taijiquan, Baguazhang, Xingyiquan or even the Shaolin sword styles. They will all involve the use of the Sword Fingers (Jian Zhi) hand shape to help each practitioner to balance the flow of Qi through the both arms and especially into the straight swords tip. It is said the the Sword Fingers hand shape originated from the Wudang Daoist Sword Methods and gradually filtered into other sword styles like the Li Style (Lishi) Taiji Straight Sword Square Yard Form practices.
Originally there are eight different shapes that the “Sword Fingers” can be held while the practitioner practices their Straight Sword techniques. In the picture that is attached to this blog, the “Sword Fingers” are held in the Heaven Sword Fingers hand shape (Qian Jian Zhi Fa) as each of the eight sword fingers hand shapes corresponds to the eight trigrams symbol (Bagua Tu) and these are found within the practice of the Li Style (Lishi) Taiji Straight Sword Square Yard Form.
The use of the “Sword Fingers” (Jian Zhi) not only allows each practitioner of the Li Style (Lishi) Taiji Straight Sword to balance the flow of Qi through the both arms. It is also used to add strength and support to the sword hand, plus it is used to aid the practitioners own balance when the sword is held further away from the practitioners body to maintain their stability. Obviously many practitioners place all of their awareness on the sword hand as it is the primary, but just as much awareness must also be placed on the “Sword Fingers” hand shapes to balance the Yin & Yang energy within the practice of the Li Style (Lishi) Taiji Straight Sword Square Yard Form.
There are many different straight sword form practices. But there are not many that can be performed within a small confined area, unlike the Li Style (Lishi) Taiji Straight Sword Square Yard Form that is taught and practiced by the Li Family Internal Arts Association (LFIAA) as taught by Laoshi Keith Ewers who is a lineage holder of the Li Family Arts (Li Jia Shu).