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By: Li Zhen

R-Li Zhen-Illustrations of Thirteen Tai-

Illustrations of Thirteen Tai-Chi Sword

by Li Zhen

(Wan Li Book Co., Ltd., 1981, 92 pages)

Review by Christopher Dow


If you have to learn a Tai Chi sword form from a book, this slender volume might do the trick. I managed to learn a saber form from similar book issued by the same publisher. (See the review of Tai Chi Tao, by Cai Long.) Oddly both books have photos of the same man—Sin Man Ho—demonstrating the movements, though the names of the authors are different.


The text is in English and Chinese, and the expository material is limited, which probably is not a bad thing considering the awkwardness of the English translation. For example: “The sequence requires an even and proper co-ordination in the postures and movements of the sword-fingers and the sword, so that the development from one posture into another is clearly visible, and there are no such shortcomings as paying attention to the sword-fingers but losing sight of the sword or to the upper section at the expense of the lower, and vice versa.” Comprehensible, but, whew!


Really, though, mediocre translation isn’t much of an issue if you can get something from a book, and as I said, you probably could learn a straight sword form here if you don’t have access to someone to teach you.

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