Dan Dao Fa Xuan, Translations

Dan Dao Fa Xuan: part 2

Here is the first section of the main portion of the text. This section introduces the basic maneuvers used in with the weapon and some of the strategy that goes along with it. These techniques do not all follow from each other as in the form presented in the next section. They can however be seen to be arranged in a certain manner lending to some novel combinations to be created.

The text is read right to left. The pages are presented in their original order. Facing pages are detailed below right side first and left side second.

Translation

〈單刀式圖〉

〈單刀勢圖二十二式〉

〔01〕你我拔刀勢

此因刀長,遇急難時,難以出鞘,故以本陣中用刀者,你拔我刀、我拔你刀而用。

Tandem Draw

Because the sabers are long, they are difficult to draw from their scabbards quickly in times of urgency, and because swordsmen will be standing in formations, you draw my sword and I will draw yours. 

〔02〕拔刀出鞘勢

左手持鞘,右手陽持刀靶,先拔出少許,再用手掌托拏刀背,出離鞘口,以左手持靶,再換右手,共持刀靶砍殺。

Drawing the Saber

Left hand holds the scabbard, Right hand holds the handle in true grip, first pull it out a little, use the hand to hold the back of the blade as you unsheathe the sword, the left hand changes with the right hand to hold the sword, grab the handle with both hands and cut down. 

〔03〕埋頭刀勢

此開左邊門戶,將左邊身體向敵,餌彼鎗劄入,以刀橫攔開鎗,斜進右腳,換左手共持靶,聽便砍殺。

Bury Head

Here, open the left side door, the left side of the body faces the enemy, lure the enemy to enter with the spear, the saber comes across to block and open the spear, step in obliquely with the right foot, bring the left hand to grasp the handle, it is a simple matter to kill with a chop. 

〔04〕入洞刀勢

此亦開左邊門戶,側身放空,餌彼鎗入,則將刀自下撩起,他鎗進右步,單手自下斜撩而上。

Enter Cave

Here again, begin by opening the Left Door, lean the body to create an opening, lure in the spear, the saber will lift up from below, he enters with the spear one step, one hand from below performs a lifting cut.

〔05〕單撩刀勢

此先或立埋頭勢,或入洞勢,餌彼鎗劄入,我將刀橫揭起,開彼鎗斜進右腳,單手自下撩起一刀。

 Single Lift 

This follows from the previous”Bury Head” position, or the “Enter Cave” position, lure the spear to thrust in,  I lift the saber across, opening the spear and entering with the right foot, deliver the upward cut with one hand from below. 

〔06〕腰砍刀勢

此先單手撩一刀,其勢力已,歸於左邊,單手再復回,橫砍一刀。

Waist cut stance

This follows from the previous single hand lifting cut, stop your strike with strength, return to the left side, with one hand repeat, hack across with the saber. 

〔07〕右獨立刀勢

此開右邊門戶,彼鎗劄入,則將刀往右後一攪,開鎗斜進右步為左獨立,聽便砍殺。

Right Single Leg stance

Open the right side door, the spear thrusts in, with the back of the saber go to the right and behind to stir once, open the spear at an angle and step in to do the “Left Single Leg Stance”, follow this and it is easy to kill.

〔08〕左獨立刀勢

此開左邊門戶,彼鎗劄入,則將刀往左後一攪,開鎗斜進右步,砍一刀。

Left Single Leg Stance

Open the left side door, their spear thrusts in, with the back of the saber go back and to the left to stir once, open the spear step in diagonally to the right, chop once with the saber.

〔09〕左提撩刀勢

此亦開右邊門戶,彼鎗劄入,則將刀自下斜撩而上,進左步復成右提撩,聽便砍殺。(此二勢乃倭奴之絕技也。)

 Left Lift and Carry Stance

This again opens the right side door, his spear thrusts in, the saber will cut up from below with a diagonal lifting cut then next, step in with the left foot and repeat on the opposite side, or “Right Lift and Carry Stance”, heed this advice and kill with ease. ( these two techniques are the quintessential methods of the Japanese Pirates. )

〔10〕抝步刀勢

此左腳向前,開右邊門戶,將彼鎗劄入,則將刀往右後一攪,進右腳,再進左腳,剪步斜入,聽便砍殺。

 Crossed Stance

The left knee is facing forward, open the right side door, the spear thrusts in, with the back of the saber stir once to the right, step in with the right foot, step again with the left, shear and step diagonally in, heed this and kill with ease. 

〔11〕低看刀勢

此亦開右邊門戶,彼鎗劄入,則將刀往右一格,進右步於左邊,復成上弓勢。此二勢,左、右格鎗,兩邊閃躲,進步跟鎗勿離,聽便砍殺。

Low Watch Stance

Open the right side of the body again, the spear thrusts in, the saber will go back to parry, step in with the right foot from the left side, repeat “Upper Bow Stance”. These two techniques, Left and Right Blocking Spear, both can dodge to the sides, step in and follow the spear and do not disconnect from the weapon, heed this and kill with ease.

〔12〕右提撩刀勢

此亦開左邊門戶,彼鎗劄入,則將刀自下斜撩而上,進右步則成左提撩。

Right Lift and Carry stance

Again, open the left side door, the spear thrusts in, the saber comes from underneath for a diagonal lifting cut to the top, step in with “Left Lift and Carry”.

〔13〕外看刀勢

此開右邊門戶,彼鎗劄入,我進右腳於左,用刀往右推開。彼鎗進,左腳右腳偷步滾身跳進,再進左腳,橫靠一刀,又進右腳,往右一攪,復砍一刀。

Outer Watch Stance

Open the right side door, the spear thrusts in, use the back of the saber to push open. They advance with the spear, left foot or right foot steal a step turn the body and lunge in, again enter with the left foot, draw cut across once, again enter with the right, stir with the back of the saber to the right, then deliver a chop.

〔14〕上弓刀勢

此將刀斜橫右膝前,開當面門戶,彼鎗劄入,則將刀往左一格,進左步於右邊,則成低看勢。

Upper Bow Stance

The saber is diagonally across the right knee facing forward, open the front door, the spear will thrust in, the saber back blocks to the left, enter with the left step from the right, then into “Low Watch Stance”.

〔15〕左定膝刀勢

將刀推出,按於左膝上,故鎗即有挐劈,如鎗左攔開刀,則退左步,變成上弓勢;如鎗右挐,開刀將身略後一坐,變成低看勢,鎗再劄入,聽便砍殺。

Brace the Left Knee

The saber is pushed out, press against the top of left knee, the ancient spear has a “dragging” strike, if the spear blocks and opens the saber to the left, retreat with the left step, change into “Prepare Bow Stance”: if the spear drags to the right, open the saber and sit back, change into “Low Watch Stance”, the spear enters again, follow this for an easy kill.

〔16〕右定膝刀勢

此將刀推出,按右膝上。如彼左右劄我,我即那步進,用刀挨削彼鎗。彼鎗劄我腳,用刀一提;彼鎗劄我面,用刀一砍。彼挐我刀,即變外看勢;彼攔我刀,即變上弓勢;聽便砍殺。

Brace the Right Knee

The Saber pushes out, and presses the above right knee. If they attack to the left or right of me, I will quickly step in, and use the saber to slice at the spear in close quarters. the spear thrusts at my foot, use the lifting strike; If they thrust straight for me, use the saber to chop. They drag my saber, quickly change to “Outer Watch Stance”: they block my saber, quickly change to “Prepare Bow Stance”. Heed this and kill with ease.

〔17〕朝天刀勢

此以左肩背胯腳,向敵餌。彼鎗劄入,我懸起左腳,將刀背往左一攪,開鎗,隨進右腳砍殺。

Face the Sky (Over Turning)

With the left side, hip, and foot, facing the enemy. The spear thrusts in, I raise the left leg, with the back of the saber stir to the left, open the spear, follow it by stepping in and chopping to kill. 

〔18〕迎推刀勢 

此先立外看勢,開右邊門戶。彼鎗劄不實,則將刀往右一推,開彼鎗。彼復實劄我懷裡,略偷左腳於右,砍斷彼鎗。

Receive and Push 

This follows from “Outer Watch Stance”, open the left side door. The spear feigns a thrust, with the back of the saber, push to the right, open the spear. The spear returns with an actual thrust to my chest, slip your foot from right to left, sever the spear with a chop.

〔19〕刀背格鐵器勢

刀口薄始利,如遇彼用鐵孑、鐵鈀、重器之類,若將刀口砍格,則刀口必傷,何以殺敵!故用刀背,以勢中之法,擊格為妙。

Saber back Blocks the Iron Weapon

The edge begins sharp, if I encounter one using a “Iron Whip”, the Iron bar, the heavy class of weapons, if the edge is used for chops and blocks, it will surely be ruined, then how will you kill the enemy! The old use of the saber back is one of the central techniques and is a subtle action strike and block . 

〔20〕藏刀勢

此因彼鎗變幻難測,故懸挂小刀二三把,用一把藏挐左手,以左肩背向敵,勿令敵見,使之無防,以便將刀飛刺。

Concealed Knife

This is intended for the feints with the spear which are difficult to predict, so, hang two or three small knives (in your belt), hide the left hand, face the left shoulder and back toward the enemy, you must not let the enemy see, so that they cannot defend as you throw your dagger at them. 

〔21〕飛刀勢

此將小刀飛刺去,彼必招架,乘此之機,用刀砍入,乃短技長用也。

Flying Knife

Throw the small knife, it will surely provoke a response, avail yourself of the opportunity and use the saber to chop in, certainly this is the use of the short and the long. 

〔22〕收刀入鞘勢

此先將左手持刀靶,再換手,陽掌托挐刀背入鞘。

Sheath the Saber

With the left hand grasp the handle. Switch hands and grab the back of the saber with the right hand, then returns to its sheath. 

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