Chinese Swordsmanship Fencing Video!

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

Re: Chinese Swordsmanship Fencing Video!

Postby Steve James on Mon Apr 16, 2018 2:38 pm

Ooopla, I forgot to post the example of small sword work.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZMAgDiEPkD4
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Re: Chinese Swordsmanship Fencing Video!

Postby MaartenSFS on Mon Apr 16, 2018 2:49 pm

Trick wrote:
MaartenSFS wrote:No, I don't bother with Chinese sites. Low quality and my work will just get copied and used by millions..

Then I can't see it, I like fencing arts so a little pity there...Wouldn't your teacher like the promotion of his sword art?

Trick, add me on WeChat: Maarten-SFS. I can send you some stuff for now.
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Re: Chinese Swordsmanship Fencing Video!

Postby MaartenSFS on Mon Apr 16, 2018 2:55 pm

windwalker wrote:Was wondering about the weight of the weaponry as Steve mentioned, and Maarten, shows and talks about.
My friends swords were not light nor flexible at all. In Korea, the teacher I studied from also had real weapons "dao" the weight and inflexibility of the weapons gave meaning and usage to the movements used to practice with them, a little different then the wushu routines. .... One had to understand how to move their body around the weapon rather then it around the body...the swords he had weren't very long


It is my understanding that antique swords (real swords) were usually much shorter, heavier and stiffer. They required a tremendous wrist strength to wield properly, something that I've developed over the past year. The training swords used in this video are 100cm long and have a bit of flexibility for safety. Not much, though. We have another one that is 90cm, but the same weight. It is less flexible and I prefer it, as I like to switch between one and two-handed techniques.
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Re: Chinese Swordsmanship Fencing Video!

Postby windwalker on Mon Apr 16, 2018 2:58 pm

Steve James wrote:Windwalker, your pics don't post.



thanks, is it all pics or only certain ones....I'll have to post them differently.

Image
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Re: Chinese Swordsmanship Fencing Video!

Postby windwalker on Mon Apr 16, 2018 3:03 pm

MaartenSFS wrote:
windwalker wrote:Was wondering about the weight of the weaponry as Steve mentioned, and Maarten, shows and talks about.
My friends swords were not light nor flexible at all. In Korea, the teacher I studied from also had real weapons "dao" the weight and inflexibility of the weapons gave meaning and usage to the movements used to practice with them, a little different then the wushu routines. .... One had to understand how to move their body around the weapon rather then it around the body...the swords he had weren't very long


It is my understanding that antique swords (real swords) were usually much shorter, heavier and stiffer. They required a tremendous wrist strength to wield properly, something that I've developed over the past year. The training swords used in this video are 100cm long and have a bit of flexibility for safety. Not much, though. We have another one that is 90cm, but the same weight. It is less flexible and I prefer it, as I like to switch between one and two-handed techniques.


my friends swords are real interesting you should mention the length.

we talked a little about this

Image


yep not flexible heavy and very stiff.

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Re: Chinese Swordsmanship Fencing Video!

Postby MaartenSFS on Mon Apr 16, 2018 3:06 pm

Steve James wrote:Ooopla, I forgot to post the example of small sword work.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZMAgDiEPkD4

I just had a look at the rapier video again and now this one. I feel like they shouldn't be standing so close to each other the whole time. There should be more entering and retreating. Then again, the hands are protected, which is also why there are more body and head shots. I think that comparing these with what I do is like comparing apples and oranges. In Chinese Daofa (and Jianfa) your hands are a lot more exposed. The same is true in stick or staff fighting. You will not be waiting around close to each other to get hit. Perhaps in longsword they are supposed to be wearing armour and don't care about getting hit as much. We would never square up with the blades touching. It's way too easy to lose a hand that way. We don't feel each other out by touching blades all the time. We move in and out of range, change angles and make feints. I like watching these videos, though. I'm happy that they are all different and unique in their own way.
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Re: Chinese Swordsmanship Fencing Video!

Postby MaartenSFS on Mon Apr 16, 2018 3:10 pm

windwalker wrote:
Steve James wrote:Windwalker, your pics don't post.



thanks, is it all pics or only certain ones....I'll have to post them differently.

Image

Very interesting hilt. That sword is even shorter than I imagined. Easier to carry with your spear, I suppose. By the Tang Dynasty, though, armies tended to fight with Dao instead. Perhaps it was influence by other countries. My Master says that the shape of the Tangdao is perfect for his style of swordsmanship.
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Re: Chinese Swordsmanship Fencing Video!

Postby MaartenSFS on Mon Apr 16, 2018 3:26 pm

Greg J wrote:Nice video, Maarten. One thing to perhaps consider for future videos is your purpose for filming and sharing. If it is to document your journey, then a mix of things is fine. If it is an instructional video, then I suggest following the Dog Brothers maxim "if you see it taught, you see it fought." Teach the techniques, and and then show these techniques being used successfully (and perhaps unsuccessfully, with commentary explaining why they failed) in sparring. Consider saving the scenic footage for an intro, or outro.

As for the sparring itself, I saw a lot that I liked. You entered and exited under structure, you did a nice job of attacking from different angles, and mixing up different strikes (i.e., thrusts, power slashes, probing shots, and hits to the hand).

The only suggestions I have is to work on chaining more of your strikes together to form 3 - 4 (or even 4 - 5) strike combinations. Also, consider moving from guard to guard, rather than holding a single guard and attacking from that one guard. Doing so telegraphs your strikes.

Take care and keep training!

Best,
Greg

Your thoughts are appreciated. It's true that I didn't think about my target audience too much. I haven't left China in seven years and all of the contact I have with Western martial artists is through this forum and some that I've met here in China in person. I suppose that it's more to document my journey, supplement what I teach my future students and show people what the art is all about, rather than it being a lesson, per se.

In my last video I did what you suggest and show techniques and how to use them in sparring and people loathed it. In this video I just wanted to show a range of different things we use. I do like that format, though. Perhaps I'll make another video like that in future, but with swordsmanship. I probably won't post it on this forum, though. After I return to the West I'll have no reason to subject my work so such spiteful scrutiny. After seeing what others posted as good swordsmanship and denouncing my work it is quite obvious that they have a lot to learn themselves. Have you got a Dog Brothers video like that handy? I'd love to see it. I like their stuff.

My Master and I were just talking about chaining together more techniques yesterday, so that is definitely the plan. Right now I usually use two or three techniques at most, as I tend to use evasive footwork and I've already hit my target by then. But against opponents that defend well we've gone up to as much as nine or ten in one exchange! :o Yesterday my Master and I had one bout like this. It also depends on what types of techniques I'm trying to use. I'm also working on not getting hit during my set-ups and being more unpredictable.

Moving from guard to guard is something that I haven't thought about too much. I usually change guards because I want to do something from that guard (if I see an opening or the like), or sometimes in response to what my opponent is doing. That's a very good point, that it telegraphs my intentions. Sometimes I use that to my advantage, though, as I tend to use a lot of deception in my strategy.. 8-)
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Re: Chinese Swordsmanship Fencing Video!

Postby Steve James on Mon Apr 16, 2018 3:28 pm

Well, if the swords were shorter back in the day, then the opponents would be closer. The lack of hand protection might make that necessary. That's what I meant about technique. Of course, the Roman gladius was relatively short; but, it was used at short range. It'd be interesting to find accounts of how jians were actually used through history. I.e., before the advent of firearms --even in China.

Anyway, I think there are plenty of things to learn from Indian and Filipino swordplay. Oh, btw, I'm not comparing what you do to anything. Imo, when people fought for their lives with weapons like these, they developed techniques that worked. I tend to believe that when the weapon is similar, at least some of the effective techniques will be similar. Now, if you have parties using different weapons, as in curved sword versus straight, there will be different techniques.
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Re: Chinese Swordsmanship Fencing Video!

Postby MaartenSFS on Mon Apr 16, 2018 3:33 pm

That's a good point. Back in the day most of the fighting was done with shields, which definitely changes things and allows for shorter blades to be more effective. I think that the curvature of the blade changes a lot. We tend to favour a straighter Dao so that thrusts may be more easily applied. Also, the reason that the weapons were designed that way are different. The rapier and smallsword are dueling weapons, whereas the weapons we use were used on the battlefield or to protect villages.

I just watched the rest of the smallsword video and there was some good stuff in there. Liked the music too. I still think that they could stand a foot further away from each other, though.
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Re: Chinese Swordsmanship Fencing Video!

Postby Steve James on Mon Apr 16, 2018 3:55 pm

Back in the day most of the fighting was done with shields


Yep. It changes the hilt issue enormously. To me, it makes sense that something would be needed to protect the hand.

Otoh, I think that longer, lighter swords came about because they weren't used as front line weapons. They were symbols of status. Not that there weren't great swordsmen (or women), just that their techniques were based on their lighter weapon. That might also mean that they were someone less effective at killing or for mass defense. I.e., daos were much better at slicing or percussion.

Imo, it's possible to get the job done with are relatively flimsy sword (no, not the wushu type, but a carbon steel blade that is able to flex some). The thing is or are: 1, it ain't gonna cut through heavy clothing; and 2, you'll have to be very precise to hit the artery, tendon, eye, throat, area, etc that is unprotected. Then, maybe, you'll be able to give a coup de grace.

I've never read anything about the Chinese wars with the British, but I know that the Indian swordsmen gave the Brits hell. Here's an example.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pLTcVJGMBkQ
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Re: Chinese Swordsmanship Fencing Video!

Postby MaartenSFS on Mon Apr 16, 2018 4:12 pm

OMG. That shield is badarse.. I would love to see some of their fencing.

The thing is that while a flimsy sword can be more precise, it can't parry heavier swords worth shit and unless that coup de grace is delivered, the attacks will be ineffective. In my sword fighting you can see a lot of striking the blade to knock their blade out of the way and use the momentum to deliver a devastating attack. A smallsword won't be able to parry that and a rapier will struggle (it will be harder to keep the point on line and rapier cuts aren't hugely effective), but it would be interesting. With one-handed swords the best defence is good footwork, but with two hands it is also possible to block a lot of things, let go with one hand, etc.
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Re: Chinese Swordsmanship Fencing Video!

Postby Steve James on Mon Apr 16, 2018 4:39 pm

That's the point; a jian wouldn't stand up long to heavier weapons. Well, it's possible that people with two different weapons would end up dueling. But, that's a whole nother can of worms.
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Re: Chinese Swordsmanship Fencing Video!

Postby MaartenSFS on Mon Apr 16, 2018 4:43 pm

I reckon the Jian didn't face many Dao after the Tang Dynasty. Except for those shorter, heavier village protection Jian. Those were crude and probably used more like Dao, though. A lot of Jian became ornamental or ceremonial after that. Jianfa is more of an ideal than what actually happens in combat, methinks.

Ja, I try to avoid thinking about different weapons dueling.. It's already complicated enough as it is. We have done some fencing with and against 2 shorter swords, though. Wow. That's different. My Master wants to teach me that in future (two-sword fighting).
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Re: Chinese Swordsmanship Fencing Video!

Postby Steve James on Mon Apr 16, 2018 4:53 pm

I think it's really interesting. Good luck.
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