The Eight Immortals' Revolving Sword of Pure Yang
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The Eight Immortals' Revolving Sword of Pure Yang
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Dr. Baolin Wu, Michael McBride,

and Vincent Wu

207 Pages, illustrated
May 2011
ISBN 978-1-931483-19-3



This is the story of Master Wu and the esoteric sword practice he learned at the White Cloud Monastery in Beijing. It opens this practice to the outside world for the first time, explaining its history, theory, cosmology, and practice in great detail.

The Eight Immortals' Revolving Sword goes back for seventeen generations, starting with Wang Chongyang, the founder of the Complete Reality school and martial arts champion of the Song dynasty, and actively continued through Qiu Chuji and other senior Daoist lineage holders.

Practicing sword to attain immortality is a profound Daoist method. Master Wu shares his insights and practice instructions as a way of self-cultivation, illuminating the power of the practice to drive away inauspicious energies, eliminate harmful incidents, and safeguard against ghosts. Able to harness good fortune, practice of this sword set enhances inner communication and creates an intimate connection with the universe.

In traditional Chinese fashion, Master Wu guides the reader through the ins and outs of the history, folklore, and technique of this sword practice, focusing especially on the figures of the Eight Immortals and explaining their legends, practices, and feats in great detail. Along the way, he highlights the hidden jewels of training with insightful commentaries on various parables, thereby to bring out the essence of Dao. He succeeds masterfully at braiding together his unique training history and deep Daoist insights with treasured traditional stories, creating a thrilling account and setting a palpable example of Daoism's best kept inner secrets as brought to life in actual experiences today.

The Authors

Dr. Baolin Wu is a senior master of Daoist sword practice. From an early age he studied with Master Du Xinling, abbot of the White Cloud Monastery, training in the Book of Changes, Chinese herbal medicine, martial arts, swordplay, Bagua zhang, Taiji quan, Xingyi quan, and more. Especially in the Book of Changes and in sword skill, Master Wu reached the highest pinnacle, making accurate predictions and excelling in martial practice.

After working as a physician at Guang'anmen Hospital in Beijing for many years, he emigrated to the U.S. in 1990. Since then, Master Wu has served as a teacher of Daoist exercise and TCM practitioner in Santa Monica, Calif. He has two earlier books: Lighting the Eye of the Dragon: Inner Secrets of Taoist Feng Shui (St. Martin's Press, 2000) and Qi Gong for Total Wellness: Increase your Energy, Vitality and Longevity with the Ancient 9 Palaces System from the White Cloud Monastery (2006). See

Michael McBride is a native of Los Angeles. For the past 15 years, has studied Daoism under the guidance of Master Baolin Wu. He trained in qigong, taiji quan, Daoist swordplay and Chinese medical massage. He has traveled extensively in and around China for more than a decade.

Vincent Wu, Master Wu's son, was born in the U.S. He currently attends high school in, Cerritos, Calif. He follows in his father's footsteps and learns Chinese martial arts from him.


In the fashion of Wile's Tai Chi Touchstones, Wu's book is an exceptional primary source for a martial lineage, not easily found in English. Like unsheathing a sword, the reader gradually discovers Wu's exciting autobiography, the story of his precious sword, and the fantastic account of the Eight Immortals for whom the style is named. It's the steel's memory. The practice instructions offer clear images and detailed explanations for the patient student. If you cannot learn Eight Immortals' Revolving Sword from Wu, let this book be your instructor. It gives a rich context and a detailed practice in one volume.

-- Bede Benjamin Bidlack, Boston College and Still Mountain Tai Chi Center

This remarkable book transcends the boundaries of genre more completely than any other work of its type with which I am familiar. It is, indeed, a martial arts manual in the final third of the text supplying a meticulously detailed description, with felicitous accompanying illustrations, of the sequence of movements and postures that comprise the ancient and esoteric eight immortals' revolving sword form. But while most manuals of this type merely gesture toward the philosophical and religious context within which such martial exercises evolved historically, the first two-thirds of Wu's book offers an extended and fascinating account of the Daoist world view that gives this sword form its special meaning.

In many ways, this book serves for its readers as much as an introduction to Daoism as it is an instruction in the way of the sword. Basic Daoist concepts and practices are carefully elucidated and the core of the text supplies a narrative framework for this discussion, briefly telling the stories of each of the immortals (among them, distinguished scholars and swordsmen, but also a cross dresser and a child bride!) Dr. Wu's book does a splendid job of exposing the essential continuity among the martial arts, Daoist religious practice and Chinese traditional medicine. It is a book that will be of great interest and value, not only to martial artists, but also to students and scholars of religion, as well is to readers with a more general interest in Chinese culture and mythology.

-- Michael Raposa, Lehigh University