White Crane Sword Part 21

Part 21 of the series of White Crane seminars was the first one for 2024. It was almost three months since the last one, due to the Christmas break, so it was good to get back to it.
It was a cold but clear and dry morning for many of us in different parts of the UK and world, so we could be outdoors to practice which makes it easier. Indoor is more difficult due to lack of both horizontal and vertical space to accommodate tassel and sword! 
After the warm up, it was straight into polishing the form that we had learnt so far. White Crane is a very long form, I only know part of it and that part is very long already! It is good that we have the full 2h for polishing and learning the new bit at the end. It means there is time to go over the movements in detail, and plenty of time in the play rooms for questions and answers.
There are many elements to learn in the form, including how the sword moves, how the tassel moves, what the empty hand is doing, what is the stepping / weight on the legs. I usually start with focusing on what the tassel and the legs are doing, paying attention to directions. They later, I try to watch more closely what the sword and empty hand are doing, as I find this harder to be aware of when practicing. After 20 seminars, there are still plenty of times in the form when I have missed one of those elements, but Sigong patience in demonstrating and explaining what is going on is invaluable to fill-in the gaps. Everyone questions also help me realise what I have missed!
The White Crane form is very intricate, with lots of challenging movements which exercise coordination and brain generally. It is also very addictive, because when all the elements of a movement come together and it all flows, and I can be aware of everything that is happening at once, it is a very good feeling. It is also very good to focus the brain, no way can the mind wander onto other thoughts, it needs 100% focus on the movements otherwise it all goes pear shape!
I love practicing this form and often spend more time on it than I planned, as the tassel does not always goes as it should and I have to repeat a few times to smooth it out. Thank you Sigong for teaching this very special skill. 

by Christine Barbier

Student Comments

Lots of small details cleared up today. Love the new bit where the tassel goes under the armpit – it makes me feel like a Beijing Opera performer!
Thank you Sigong.
Paul Hogg

Sigong’s review of White Crane Sword was very good and there’s always a challenging new bit at the end though he was also teasing us with hints of the new Nine Section Whip Seminar that’ll start at some point this year – been looking forward to that since he hinted at it during 13 Grab Stick Residential before covid! Thanks, Sigong. Kay

It was so helpful to go over the detail of both the new section and the preceding section, with its complicated movement of tassel and sword, giving me a clearer understanding of the movements. The whole form is now becoming clearer and more flowing. Thank-you Sifu.

White Crane just keeps getting more and more interesting. The positioning of the tassel is really important and feels quite good when I get it right. Thank you Sigong for the seminar. Yunki

As the form becomes longer it is a little harder to remember but I was glad I could still recall the ending. A very nice form and feels very good when getting it right. Thank you Sifu and senior students for your help and guidance!

I find always helpful to through the sword techniques each time we attend the seminar and picking up the details that I have missed along the the way and you find out how your flow has become, I need to keep practising, thank you Sigong and leaders for your help on my corrections in the breakout rooms making my form a little less wild and a little more order. Earl