Apple Blossoms in the WindModifica

A versatile technique, intended for use against an ambush by multiple opponents. The blade is held low, but ready for use in a number of strike forms. Keep loose and move slowly.

Arc of the MoonModifica

A simple slash, meant to take off an opponent's head. Probably begins at midbody level, arcs to neck, and ends back at a guard stance.

The Boar Rushes Down the MountainModifica

A vertical slash, but one that can alter course in midswing quickly. Starts high and ends low. Try this with Tower of Morning.

Bundling StrawModifica

Several quick chest-level thrusts, followed by an arc and a paired return arc that should return the blade to a guard stance. Try this against a quarterstaff opponent.

The Cat Dances on the WallModifica

A feinting, tentative series of short slashes, thrusts, and parries. The swordsman must have good wrists and quick feet for this to be effective. Useful for buying time.

Cat on Hot SandModifica

A faster, less tentative version of The Cat Dances on the Wall. Better for multiple opponents.

The Courtier Taps His FanModifica

A quick, powerful overhand blow, meant to split the head. A good move for anyone to have in his repetoire.

The Creeper Embraces the OakModifica

A slow, circling stance. The blade goes from high to low and back to constantly offer a new threat and to guard against others. Forms to use out of this: The Falling Leaf, Lightning of Three Prongs.

The Falcon StoopsModifica

An abbreviated version of The Kingfisher Takes a Silverback. A quick overhand thrust, returning to a guard position just as quickly.

The Falling LeafModifica

A more exaggerated and slower version of The Boar Rushes Down the Mountain. Starting high, the blade sweeps back and forth before reaching its lowest point. Can be used to parry effectively against multiple opponents, or just one. Move from this straight into The River Undercuts the Bank, and you've got an effective pair.

Folding the FanModifica

The sword sheathing technique. The blade is smoothly swung around from guard stance and sheathed, all in one motion.

The Grapevine TwinesModifica

A circular motion when blades are locked, used to disarm an opponent.

The Heron Spreads Its WingsModifica

The operational version of Heron Wading in the Rushes. A tighter cut, concentrated in one sector of the arc of the sword.

Heron Wading in the RushesModifica

IMPORTANT: This form should only be used for practicing balance. It is possible to use this form in combat, but it is highly likely you will receive your opponent's weapon in your chest before you take his head. A horizontal, pivoting slash done on one foot. Begun at shoulder or head height.

Hummingbird Kisses the HoneyroseModifica

A quick thrust in the face. Will at least deter an opponent, and will usually kill a charging opponent outright. Blade should start from shoulder height, though it may be performed from any level less quickly.

The Kingfisher takes a SilverbackModifica

Begun while the sword is at shoulder height or higher, a downward stab for the abdomen. Begun when the sword is lower than shoulder height, a downward stab meant to cripple a leg or the groin.

Leopard in the TreeModifica

A preliminary form, begun with both hands on the hilt of the sword, knees bent, and leaning forward in a ready position. This form is used to prepare for Unfolding the Fan or another such drawing technique.

Leaf Floating on the BreezeModifica

A horizontal guard position with a form similar to The Falling Leaf. The blade will move up and down according to the threat while moving horizontally to offer new threats. A good basic form. Attacks from this position should include Lightning of Three Prongs and Lizard in the Thornbush.

Lightning of Three ProngsModifica

Beginning from a basic stance like Lion on the Hill, a thrust that can either continue as a thrust or slash to either side. Can also be used to parry.

Lion on the HillModifica

A basic guard stance, with the sword held at shoulder height ready to move into a variety of other forms. Looks kinda like Crono's basic battle stance - see a Chrono Trigger page for more info.

Lizard in the ThornbushModifica

Used expressly against two opponents. One thrust to the chest, then pivot and kneel with either a thrust or a slash, usually a thrust. Good mid-level technique; most veteran-level soldiers have mastered this form.

Low Wind RisingModifica

Can be done from almost any stance - even sitting. A diagonal slash, beginning low and rising cleanly. May be used to return to a guard stance after a form such as The Grapevine Twines or Lightning of Three Prongs.

Moon Rises Over the WaterModifica

A vertical arc after a horizontal, tentative slash. The blade should begin and end in the same position - near the waist.

Parting the SilkModifica

A more controlled slash, probably used as a precision block or strike. Directed at the abdomen, a good move to draw first blood or inflict nonlethal damage on an opponent.

Ribbon in the AirModifica

A horizontal slash that may change direction up or down at the tail end. Should be begun just below chest height. Both feet should be used in this form, unlike the Heron forms.

The River Undercuts the BankModifica

Can be done from a kneeling or standing position. A horizontal slash, used to disembowel or behead.

Sheathing the SwordModifica

More of a concept than a sword-form, this is used when what you can gain is greater than or equal to what you may lose in the process of gaining it. This might be using Heron Wading in the Rushes like Rand al'Thor, or it might be using Lizard in the Thornbush to take down two major opponents when you know a third, less important one is coming up behind you.

Stones Falling from the CliffModifica

The medium difficulty version of Boar Rushes Down the Mountain. A good mainstay of a battle, this form is useful for both parrying and attacking. The sword should begin at least at shoulder height and come down.

Striking the SparkModifica

A rapid series of powerful overhand blows, best begun on the return swing of a slash like Low Wind Rising or The Heron Spreads Its Wings. If you've got stamina this can win a battle for you.

The Swallow Rides the AirModifica

The usual followup move to The Swallow Takes Flight, though it does not need to be done that way. A fast, short swiping motion that won't behead someone but might slit their throat.

The Swallow Takes FlightModifica

Basically, Low Wind Rising followed by a short thrust. The form is angled more toward the opponent, though, so that the opening slash is more a guard for the thrust.

Thistledown Floats on the WhirlwindModifica

A short-range jumping spin-swipe, used for beheading. Best if done by surprise. An opening move in most cases. The sword should not move more than a foot or so; the main force is provided by the spin of the body. The blade should be close to the body, approximately chest high.

Tower of MorningModifica

A vertical slash, starting low and ending high. I'd pair this one with Boar Rushes Down the Mountain or The Courtier Taps His Fan.

Twisting the WindModifica

For use in a tight situation, when one is outnumbered. A quick, continual rotation of the body, using slashes and short thrusts to counter or attack as the situation dictates.

Unfolding the FanModifica

The exact opposite of Folding the Fan. Can be used as an opener, since this form can unsheathe the sword and stroke at the same time. Can also be used if caught off guard or in an awkward position.

Water Flows DownhillModifica

A more complicated form of The Boar Rushes Down the Mountain. This form can and will change direction in midstroke; only the more advanced swordsmen use this form. Like its name, it takes the easiest route from high to low, avoiding contact with the other weapon while seeking its target.

Whirlwind on the MountainModifica

A form of Thistledown Floats on the Whirlwind, except done while remaining on the ground. Can be modified for use for striking uphill or downhill simply by changing the angle of the spin.

Wind and RainModifica

Another complicated form. Begun with either Low Wind Rising or Parting the Silk, this form follows through with multiple short thrusts or quick overhand blows.

The Wood Grouse DancesModifica

Similar to the Cat Dances on the Wall, but from a more stationary point. Mainly to feel out an enemy, more than to do serious harm.