The tai chi sword known as “jian” is a straight sword with a double-edged blade, considered by many the ‘king’ of Chinese martial arts weapons. It has evolved over the last 2500 years or so from early ones made of bronze to the more sophisticated carbon steel swords of today. Renowned throughout history as a deadly close combat weapon, the wielder of the sword would have been considered a great warrior in battle. Read the rest of this entry »
Opinions are divided about the use of a collapsible tai chi sword, some people find them very useful, for others there is no substitute for a genuine tai chi sword.
The main advantage (some would say the only advantage) is that they are easily transportable.
For many people a collapsible or extendable sword can for sure have its good points. They are retractable to under a third of the length in the same way as a telescope, making them easy to carry around either to and from a class, or to enable practice when travelling away from home for a period of time. They are lightweight and can easily fit into a travel bag or case making them convenient and be carried anywhere with discretion. Read the rest of this entry »
Wudang mountain photo by http://www.flickr.com/people/toehk/
Situated in China’s Hubei province, Wudang mountain is considered a holy place having been the home of Taoist monasteries teaching meditation and martial arts for many centuries. Renowned for its beautiful scenery and historical interest, the mountains have become popular for tourists to visit, with palaces and temples dating as far back as the 7th Century among the rocky slopes. Read the rest of this entry »
Tai chi can be the perfect exercise regimen for someone who has been ill and wants to get back on the road to recovery. This ancient Chinese martial art form includes gentle physical exercise, a calming of the mind, and a raising of the spirits. Practising tai chi for health and well being is a truly holistic healing process!
The movements within a tai chi form are designed to promote the natural flow of energy around the body; good for general well being and good health. The physical exercise helps to circulate and oxygenate the blood which is good for the heart. It also gently massages all of the internal organs, including the small intestine which aids digestion, and stretches muscles and mobilises the joints. Read the rest of this entry »
Thinking of adding a sword form to your tai chi? Wooden practice swords such as this are commonly used by beginners for safety.
If you are thinking of learning a sword form it is likely that you are already pretty good at your tai chi practice. It would be inadvisable (not to mention dangerous) to start to train using a sword if at first you haven’t become adept at the unarmed forms. Tai chi sword forms are considered to be advanced training and can be a fantastic addition to your tai chi. Read the rest of this entry »
An early Chinese sword would have been very basic, made of bronze and not much longer than a dagger, but as technology advanced it became possible for them to be made longer and of carbon steel. The blade has to be sharp at the edge yet malleable enough so as not to snap upon contact, which is attained through skilful forging techniques.
When swords began to be made ‘full tang’ (the blade encased within the length of the handle) it was a major advancement as it prevented the blade from becoming detached from the handle. It is fascinating to watch a sword being made from beginning to end, a highly skilled process producing an exquisite piece of weaponry. Read the rest of this entry »
The tai chi sword “Green Destiny” is featured in the hit martial arts action movie Couching Tiger Hidden Dragon. The story centres around the sword which is thought to be magical and give the wielder great sword fighting prowess. Read the rest of this entry »