It was just like a scene out of a movie, perhaps a yarn called The Secret Flying Sword. But it sure was funny.
We use telescopic straight swords for practice. It’s not ideal but a poke won’t hurt much nor a splitting cut.
Here I was talking and showing, repeating something I said before about the importance of keeping a distance whilst the swords were moving when my student’s sword broke and half a section flew at me. It missed me by a lot since I followed my own advice to keep a distance and safe, angled position.
But it sure was funny. Right away the notion of secret flying blade popped into mind.
This was the second sword we broke in practice though we tried to avoid doing hard contact this time around.
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In this final clip on the use of Tai Chi straight sword and its correlation to empty hand techniques, we examine the idea of how the training of the straight sword can enhance the power of our empty hand techniques.
At the beginning of the clip I asked my student to apply sudden and forceful power on me. However, his power is not forceful enough. At 0:18 I demonstrate how the straight sword movement in the clip in the previous Sword & Body 2 post can be used to enhance the forcefulness of my palm strike.
As with the use of empty hands, we too employ physics in the use of the Tai Chi straight sword. For example at 0:21 we use gravity to power the thrust of the tip.
Similarly, at 0:25 we combined the use of the vertical circle with gravitational drop and sudden braking of the body’s movement to generate an impulse force. And at 0:26 we learn to whip out the power in a sharp vertical drop of the weapon.
At 0:42 I am explaining the relationship between using the straight sword and translating the same movement into an empty hand technique, in this case a splitting palm. We test out the power at 0:49.
At 2:44 we examine another Tai Chi straight sword technique and how the principles of power and motion from this movement can be extracted out for use in empty hand technique.
My student is still struggling to learn the Tai Chi straight sword.
I’m trying to explain the importance of flow and circles here in the use of the straight sword.
Its what I would call the best of the worst solutions.
Using a foldable straight sword is fine for playing form. It works quite well too for playing sticking swords.
But when it comes to clashing swords during applications to simulate striking the hand, testing the power of different cuts, etc the poor foldable sword has reached its limits.
First, I could see that the sword was bent after practice last week. This week when I flicked it the last part of the sword would not longer come out. My student tried to pull it out but it was stuck.
Then I got my student to do sword disarming and he smashed his sword down really hard and there was a dent in the “blade”.
I think that dent must have caused a structural damage to the pommel because when I showed him how to issue power in a short, circling strike something dropped out. It was the weight placed in the pommel to bring the balance of the sword closer to the handle.
Perhaps we should start looking at some other viable alternatives that won’t get damaged so easily.