Created by Dugu Qiubai, the 'Nine Swords of Dugu' (獨孤九劍) are nine independent sword stances created to overpower all sorts of weapons, including swords, spears, clubs, whips, and arrows, as well as barehanded attacks.

This swordplay has nine stances, each of which is designed to counter a particular form of martial arts. The mastery of all nine forms allows the swordsman to counter a wide range of martial arts moves (including those involving the use of weapons). The first core element of the swordplay is speed: The swordsman is trained to quickly predict and identify the weaknesses in the martial arts moves executed by an opponent, and then attack those weak points. The second core element of the swordplay is its formless nature and adaptability: Unlike typical martial arts styles described in wuxia stories, the moves of the 'Nine Swords of Dugu' do not follow any fixed sequence or pattern. As such, it is impossible for an opponent to predict (and counter correspondingly) the moves of the swordplay.

The key to mastering the swordplay is to understand the two core elements instead of rigidly memorizing all the stances. Once the swordsman has grasped the essence of the swordplay, he can use it in endless forms and variations, hence the swordplay has no fixed sequence or pattern. During combat, the less the swordsman remembers, the less restricted he is by the original stances. He is thus able to customize and adapt the swordplay accordingly.

Nine stances Edit

1 General Index Stance (總訣式) Has variations to implement the General Index Script. This stance cover all variations and changes of all forms of martial arts in the world.

2 Sword-defeating Stance (破劍式) Used to counter swordplay styles from any sect.

3 Saber-defeating Stance (破刀式) Used to counter single-blade weapons such as the broadsword, willow leaf cutlass, demon beheading saber, large cleaver and pudao.

4 Spear-defeating Stance (破槍式) Used to counter pole weapons such as the spear, halberd, staff, wolf head cudgel and monk's spade.

5 Whip-defeating Stance (破鞭式) Used to counter chain weapons such as the whip, fly whisk, three section staff, rope dart, chain whip and fishing net.

6 Mace-defeating Stance (破索式) Used to counter short weapons such as the club, mace, dianxue[1] peg, tonfa, Emei piercer, dagger, axe, octagonal hammer and awl.

7 Palm-defeating Stance (破掌式) Used to counter unarmed styles of hand-to-hand combat that utilize the fists, legs, fingers and palms. The stance include techniques to overcome boxing and grappling, joint manipulation and dianxue.

8 Arrow-defeating Stance (破箭式) Used in defense against missiles and projectile weapons. The first stage of mastering this stance involves the practitioner learning how to identify the type of missile by listening. Upon mastery, he is capable of blocking the projectiles with his sword, and may redirect the missiles back to the enemy.

9 Qi-defeating Stance (破氣式) Used to counter opponents who have strong inner energy reserves. It is not clearly explained in the novel on how this stance actually works.

Tomb of Swords Edit

Dugu Qiubai's final resting place is known as the Tomb of Swords. In The Return of the Condor Heroes the Condor leads Yang Guo to the Tomb, where Yang reads a statement which Dugu Qiubai carved in stone: Yang Guo also read this at the Tomb of Swords

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