|The RDTC School's
A Guide to Loong Chuan
by Alec Jones
Price: £6.00 (mbs), £7.00 (non-mbs) - plus £2.50 p&p
To give a flavour of the book here are some excerpts from it.
The syllabus of Rising Dragon Tai Chi School is designed as a process, a path along which students can progress step by step. There are resting places along the way where you can look back to see how far you've come, and the opportunity to retrace certain steps which may not have been fully understood the first time through. For example, when some students have completed the Short Form they rejoin a new beginners class before moving on to other Forms.
The syllabus takes us through different levels of our being, i.e. Body-Mind-Spirit. If you are reading this it is likely that you have travelled some way along the path already, but to remind you of the steps:
In ancient times a sword was carried to protect oneself against attack. It was used as a means of keeping oneself alive and considered an honourable weapon. The sword became a symbol of the warrior class in cultures around the world, signifying rank and status.
Today, in Rising Dragon Tai Chi School, we also use the sword as a means of keeping ourselves alive, but not by learning how to fight, not by learning how to harm others, but by working with the sword to develop and focus our Spirit of Vitality, that energy of vital aliveness.
What's in a Name?
Loong Chuan translates as "Dragon Spring", and is the name of the Sword Form taught in the RDTC syllabus.
It is also the name of a particular kind of sword. Loong Chuan swords were first made in China between 720 B.C.and 478 B.C.
The Sword and Body are joined as one unit. The mind is extended through that unit to the tip of the blade.
The Ch’i follows the mind.
Keep the eyes on the blade.
Watch for the changing grip and be clear about difference in the grip.
The Grip - To allow the chi to flow into the sword so that it can move smoothly and correctly it should be held as though it were a bird, hold it too lightly and it will fly away, hold it too tightly and you will suffocate it.
The Sword Charm
Sword Charm, sometimes called Secret Hand, is the name given to the configuration made with the empty hand. The sword charm (fig 5) has several uses:
Respect and Safety
Whatever kind of sword you have, whether wooden or metal (or even plastic!), always treat your sword with the greatest respect. You will be less likely to injure yourself or those around you if you handle it as though it has a "live" blade. This will establish good habits, especially if you ever have the chance to handle a real sword.