Taiji Sword of Wudang Mountain

( Wudang Taoist Culture Center )

Updated: 2011-07-15

Taiji Sword of Wudang Mountain
Photo by Li Qun

Have you ever seen the martial prowess of the statue of Zhenwu, the Taoist god on Wudang Mountain, who is holding a double-edged sword in his hand, standing on a stone base carved in the shape of a tortoise and a snake and looking down at man's world?

A story goes that long long ago, demons and ghosts ran wild for a time around the place of Wudang Mountain, causing the local people untold suffering. Hearing the news, the Jade Emperor, the Supreme Deity of Taoism, sent Ziwei, Emperor the Great, and Zhenwu, God of northern Lunar Mansions, to conquer the devils on Wudang Mountain.

Receiving a seven-star sword and instructions from the Jade Emperor, the God of Zhenwu swung his fabulous sword for a sweep and the jade-like dome was cleared of all devils wide and deep. Thereafter, the seven-star sword was named Taiji sword and handed down as heirloom and one of the ritual implements of Taoism.

Nowadays, Taiji swords are widely used in martial arts as one of the weapons. On Wudang Mountain, visitors can see several places whose names are connected with the sword, such as the Platform of Sword-Bestow, the Sword-trial Stone and the View-stand of Sword Playing.

Like Taiji boxing, the Taiji swordsmanship has the advantage of “overwhelming the hard by the soft” and “attacking the moving power with static force.” A master sword player can perform a sword dance so well that “the sword seems invisible in the quick but gentle action sometimes you can hardly see the player dazzled by the brandishing sword.” The outstanding series of skills and tricks in sword playing are the Snake-like Wudang Sword Art, the Sword Skill of Taiyi and Taiji Phoenix Sword Skill.

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