Anyone do Chinese swordmanship?

Discussion on the three big Chinese internals, Yiquan, Bajiquan, Piguazhang and other similar styles.

Re: Anyone do Chinese swordmanship?

Postby Bao on Fri Sep 15, 2017 1:43 pm

You are right.

tried to make a polite explanation of how things work on forums. But after some thought, I didn't think he deserved it. That's all.
Last edited by Bao on Fri Sep 15, 2017 1:46 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Anyone do Chinese swordmanship?

Postby MaartenSFS on Fri Sep 15, 2017 4:54 pm

That's fine by me..
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Re: Anyone do Chinese swordmanship?

Postby Trick on Sat Sep 16, 2017 1:09 am

MaartenSFS wrote:When you train every single day without rest for over a month, without ever having trained your weak, modern wrists, it's quite easy to overexert the wrist. We don't just use blunt force. We use the entire body. There are techniques that require a bit of strength in the wrists. I said that balance was less important with two-handed, not that it wasn't important.. I don't get why you are all trying to discredit my training.. It's starting to get annoying. What's the point of posting, then?

Take all the negative criticism agains yours and yours teachers training with a big fistful of salt. I would be very surprised if any one on this forum has been in real blade life and death sword duels, we can only assume(if that is wath we are doing) that we would be great live blade fencers from our sparring with practice sword or/and sword forms practice(usually also with practice sword). i would agree that any sparring with wooden/foam sword/stick would be of more value for "real" fencing than forms practice.
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Re: Anyone do Chinese swordmanship?

Postby Trick on Sat Sep 16, 2017 9:50 pm

[quote="wayne hansen"
If they did not differ what would be the point of doing both[/quote]
I wonder back in the times when ones safety depended on the blade if swordsmen "studied“ many kind of blades
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Re: Anyone do Chinese swordmanship?

Postby wayne hansen on Sat Sep 16, 2017 10:38 pm

Each weapons is a further level of training connected to the 5 elements
Fist earth/pole wood/spear fire/knife metal/sword water
Each weapon changes how you do the empty hand form.
Don't put power into the form let it naturally arise from the form
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Re: Anyone do Chinese swordmanship?

Postby Trick on Sun Sep 17, 2017 12:31 am

wayne hansen wrote:Each weapons is a further level of training connected to the 5 elements
Fist earth/pole wood/spear fire/knife metal/sword water
Each weapon changes how you do the empty hand form.

I wonder when this "knowledge" came in to practice, in ancient time or more recently. As I understand for example the Jian was introduced quite "recently" to for example TJQ and XYQ
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Re: Anyone do Chinese swordmanship?

Postby wayne hansen on Sun Sep 17, 2017 2:19 am

I have only been training since 73 and it has always been part of my training
I know CMC mentioned it in one of his books
In the Yang system the 4 weapons have been talked about as far as Yang lu chan
I only know what my teachers have taught me before that I don't know
Don't put power into the form let it naturally arise from the form
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Re: Anyone do Chinese swordmanship?

Postby MaartenSFS on Sun Sep 17, 2017 4:33 am

Trick wrote:
MaartenSFS wrote:When you train every single day without rest for over a month, without ever having trained your weak, modern wrists, it's quite easy to overexert the wrist. We don't just use blunt force. We use the entire body. There are techniques that require a bit of strength in the wrists. I said that balance was less important with two-handed, not that it wasn't important.. I don't get why you are all trying to discredit my training.. It's starting to get annoying. What's the point of posting, then?

Take all the negative criticism agains yours and yours teachers training with a big fistful of salt. I would be very surprised if any one on this forum has been in real blade life and death sword duels, we can only assume(if that is wath we are doing) that we would be great live blade fencers from our sparring with practice sword or/and sword forms practice(usually also with practice sword). i would agree that any sparring with wooden/foam sword/stick would be of more value for "real" fencing than forms practice.

Training basics for hours every day, plus fencing against people that are trying to cut your head off/bash your head in and running through a silky-smooth, flowing form once or twice are two totally different things. We train sensitivity as well, but sparring is sparring and it is violent. I wonder how many here fence full-contact. I think that fencing full-contact with foam weapons (which are not light at all with a thick PVC core that runs into the handle) and fencing lighter with wooden or blunt swords and fencing full contact with blunt swords plus armour are all different sides of the same coin and necessary.

My master seems to be allergic to forms. He says that Taiji Jian, especially, is a waste of time (as he was doing a shortened Chen Jian form). He only keeps it around in case he wants to get a higher Duan rank or something like that. He says that all of these weapons have a lot more in common than they don't. I know one master that went around learning all kinds of sword forms and converted all of them into two-handed Dao forms.
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Re: Anyone do Chinese swordmanship?

Postby Trick on Sun Sep 17, 2017 8:45 am

wayne hansen wrote:I have only been training since 73 and it has always been part of my training
I know CMC mentioned it in one of his books
In the Yang system the 4 weapons have been talked about as far as Yang lu chan
I only know what my teachers have taught me before that I don't know

Interesting about CMQ, thought he weapon wise only practiced and taught the Jian. Interesting also about YLC
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Re: Anyone do Chinese swordmanship?

Postby Trick on Sun Sep 17, 2017 9:16 am

MaartenSFS wrote:My master seems to be allergic to forms. He says that Taiji Jian, especially, is a waste of time (as he was doing a shortened Chen Jian form). He only keeps it around in case he wants to get a higher Duan rank or something like that. He says that all of these weapons have a lot more in common than they don't. I know one master that went around learning all kinds of sword forms and converted all of them into two-handed Dao forms.

Never practiced the TaijiJian and I think I never will, it does not look interesting. Although I find the Jian "sparring" methods of Cheng ManChing and Li YaXuan (two students of Yang Chengfu) interesting. Converting sword techniques in to the Dao, well let's say back in the days of "real" fencing if a master of the rapier only had a sabre at hand I think he could do very well with that.
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Re: Anyone do Chinese swordmanship?

Postby wayne hansen on Sun Sep 17, 2017 1:05 pm

Jian is like rapier and is more direct than dao
I feel someone skilled in Jian would have the technical advantage
Having never had a real fight with either it is just conjecture
I have been taught in an FMA line where it was tested to the point of death and I take there word for how it works
Saying all that I feel the benifit I have gained from all the weapons is in the empty hand arena.
The Jian improver my folding and in close ability
As for CMC the sword play does not impress me
You have to look at who he was teaching the abridged curriculum to and at what stage of his life
In Malaysia the full gamet was taught including iron body
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Re: Anyone do Chinese swordmanship?

Postby Pandrews1982 on Wed Sep 20, 2017 5:27 am

The more you train with the sword the less the wrist will feel fatigued, partly through conditioning of the wrist through repeated practice and partly through learning the connection to the rest of the body. But that said it depends on how much practice you are doing, what techniques etc. There are specific cuts which require isolation of the wrist for tip control or quick whipping movements or to snap the energy you've sent from the body out from the hand to the tip of the blade. These can all fatigue the wrist and a certain level of wrist flexibility and wrist and forearm strength is needed, especially when working with historically weighted weapons and not the usual lightweight cheap practice swords.

You cannot completely negate the need to use the wrist and muscles around the wrist/forearm. There will be movements more conencted/locked into the body but especially with the jian there are movements that will require wrist movement for tip control and whipping the jian.

It can take months to stretch out tendons and ligaments to gain the flexibility needed for some movements and until then you're going to feel some aching after practising certain movements.

I just finished a weekend of sword training and almost all of my students were complaining of wrist ache by the end of the two days. This in part due to the amount of training and the intensity and partly because they are not yet fully conditioned or have completely developed that whole body connection.

So all this "you shouldn't feel fatigued in any part of your body" it depends on your experience and level of conditioning and skill and also the weight of the weapons you use (I think the majority of martial artists do not use realistic training weapons and therefore don't have real understanding of the physical demands of such). Keep training and condition the wrist over time, remember to rest and heal too, and work on the connection to the body to reduce undue strain.
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Re: Anyone do Chinese swordmanship?

Postby LaoDan on Wed Sep 20, 2017 6:36 am

I agree with Pandrews.

While the idea of using the while body in Taijiquan is true, I think that it is being unrealistic to think that practitioners would not be susceptible to wrist strain from overuse, even when moving properly. We do have wrist motions in our sword usage. It would be considered as being “stiff” if we were to swing a sword the same way that one swing a tennis racket (with the wrist held firmly). There are numerous techniques that can emphasize using the wrist.

The following list of different chopping techniques, as I understand them from Taiji swordsmanship, demonstrates how different joints of the arm may be emphasized.
劈 Pi/Split – Large, powerful chop using the whole arm (like using an axe to split wood)
Emphasizes using the shoulder joint
砍 Kan/Cleave – Powerful chop using the forearm (like using a hatchet)
Emphasizes using the elbow joint
剁 Duo/Hack – Short distance mincing chop (like chopping food with a cleaver)
Emphasizes using the wrist

Other techniques that can emphasize using the wrist include the following:
掛 Gua/Hang – Like hanging onto a hook
拋 Pao/Fling – Sword body moving diagonally across (to either side)
弸 Beng/Flick – Handle snaps down to explosively flick the tip up
點 Dian/Dot – Small point or poke with tip using a wrist flick

When practicing at full speed and power, it seems to me that it could be easy to have overuse strain on the wrist, especially when using historically accurate weights for the swords (~800 grams or more).

It seems to me that using any of these techniques in a long practice session(s), at full speed and power, could result in wrist strain if one is not properly conditioned for using the heavy weapon. I think that it may be unfair to criticize Maarten, under his practice conditions, for straining his wrist.
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Re: Anyone do Chinese swordmanship?

Postby Wanderingdragon on Wed Sep 20, 2017 1:19 pm

As with every martial art, conditioning is imperative, as pandrews said, the wrist in swordplay is key and its articulation demanding. That said, my point, in Chinese swordplay, the fatigue should not come from Jian to Jian contact as this part of the play should be highly finessed, footwork, positioning, connection, and body method. Fatigue in the wrist should be by way of articulation in expressing technique, any more solid contact, as in clouding or stirring, or
Washing, though still finessed by angle and leverage should be supported by the whole.
The point . is absolute
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Re: Anyone do Chinese swordmanship?

Postby MaartenSFS on Wed Sep 20, 2017 4:23 pm

Thanks for chiming in, guys. The technique that probably wrecked my wrist the most was Wanhua, a vertical spinning motion. We will aim for one side of the opponents wrist and then spin around to the other side and make contact - an extremely effective technique. Others include the above-mentioned Dian, which requires the tip to be flipped down quite far. This one still over-exerts my wrist with Miaodao, although my wrist is feeling a lot better since I began training with it. We train these over and over again and then spar at full contact. I'm assuming that over time my wrists will become stronger and this won't be an issue. The training swords that we are using are 580g. The fatigue is due to over-training and heavy sparring more than the weight. In future I plan to train with heavier wooden swords.

Nowhere did I say that I injured my wrist from blade-on-blade contact. Even supported by the whole, the wrist is stressed more than other parts.
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