Nov 9, 2010

Tai Chi Sword

If you are passionate about your tai chi and would like to extend your knowledge and training of this ancient art form, you may be interested in learning about the tai chi sword. Maybe it could renew your enthusiasm and give an extra edge to your training that has been missing for a while.

Tai chi sword is said to be an advanced level of martial art training, which is hardly surprising considering how challenging tai chi itself can be. Although by adding the sword you are basically going through the same movements as in unarmed practice, you do need a subtle wrist and to be comfortable handling a sword. It is also something that should only be attempted after you have mastered some basic tai chi forms.

Great care should be taken when training, and be sure to use a practice sword at first so as not to harm yourself, or anyone else for that matter! There are different types of sword for practice, the wooden one being the most likely to be used by a beginner. There are even collapsible ones for ease of transport for people who travel regularly and like to continue their training.

Basically there are two types of tai chi sword, the broadsword or 'dao' which is a shorter one sided blade, and the chien or 'jian' which is a longer straight double edged blade; the chien being the one more commonly used in training. A chien would usually be around 36 - 40 inches (90 - 100 cms) long including the handle, the length and weight would vary according to the user.

The sword, known as the king of close combat martial art weapons, has been used in China for the last 2500 years, gradually evolving from crudely constructed bronze swords to the more sophisticated steel ones of today.

Looking back in history there is much to be admired about the 'eye to eye' close combat encounters in battle, which sets the sword apart as more honourable than longer range weapons. These days however, it is mainly used for ceremonial purposes, training for competition, or within a discipline for good health and longevity.

Adding the sword to your armoury of tai chi knowledge can make you become more appreciative of the martial art aspects of the past. It can make quite a difference to your training as well, as it becomes an extension of the body, allowing you to project even more chi from the body along the arm to the tip of the sword.

Many people are interested to know how a tai chi sword can be used in such an elegant art form as tai chi, as historically it has been used to such deadly effect in battle. These days people use the sword as part of their training for health reasons to bring harmony to the mind, body, and spirit.

Who would have thought many years ago that a weapon such as the sword, in the past used so often to kill, would eventually be used by many people as an aid to extend life!


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