The Wudang Straight Sword, Jian
|Real World||Competitions||Health & Well-being||Profession-Acting||Profession-Security||Lifestyle & Life||Fitness|
|Learning to defend against a blade or knife seems to be ever more important; understanding the expertise of the attacker is key||Winning competitions is a way of Coming to terms with one self and developing; also to improving self esteem||Life long exercise needs to be interesting and work on multiple levels and have the ability to change with our changing needs||Many, most stunt persons have some form of martial arts training and weaponry; this can be often seem in movies||Being comfortable in confronting situations is much more likely when you have learned to stand up to a weaponed attack in training.||Some just train because it os fun but some of us are really interested in Weapons history,not just the written word||Working out in a Gym is fun (not) but working out with a variety of instruments both the Weapon and the defend against that weapons IS fun (yes)|
Straight Sword History
When does a Dagger become a Straight Sword, at which length. Arsnic copper and tin-bronze swords are believed to date back to 3300 BCE. These swords had to be short stout almost clubbing like weapons as Bronze was not really good enough for anything beyond 60 to 70 cm.
First Swords may have been made of wood with Animal Teeth set at the edge. Later, for a short period copper swords took over but were not very usable, not until they added tin to the copper and made Bronze that Swords came of age.
Chinese Bronze swords are believed to have started during the Shang Dynasty around 1200 BCE. These Stout Bronze Age Swords were often referred to as 'Willow Leaf Swords' due to the similarity to the Willow Leaf (right). The shape came from the battle field, a compromise between weight/length and sturdiness. Any longer and it would need to be even wider and thicker or it would break and bend much easier.
Later in the Qin Dynasty (221 BCE – 207 BCE) some unique (in the world) technologies were used, such as casting high tin edges over softer, lower tin cores which gave a Sharper Edge and a more flexible, less likely to break Weapon. Experimentation with ultra high tin content gave even harder weapons that would shatter when stressed to much whereby the softer, lesser tin weapons would bend and thus still be usable for defence. Yet, in some places Sword makers war far ahead of the rest.
In 1965 a damp tomb was unearthed in China. Believed to be 2,000 years old it yelded a number of artifacts oncluding a Straight Sword. There wasn’t a spot of rust on the blade despite the damp conditions of the tumbe. The blade was so well preserved that one of the archeologist drew his own blood whilst handling the edge of the Sword.Study of the etchings, form and style of the blade concluded that it was a sword belonging to the Yue king, Goujian, and is believed to be the legendary blade mentioned in The Lost History of Yue.
There are other such great swords recorded in history including that were far exceeded the craftman skills of the time; Tomoyuki Yamashita’s Sword from sword maker Fujiwara Kanenaga crafted 1640~1680 CE (CS), Curved Saber (CS) of San Martin, Seven-Branched Sword (SS) 4 Century Korea, William Wallace Sword (SS) from the 13 Century (made famous by the Mel Gibson movie), Colada (SS) and Tizona (SS) owned by El Cid 11th Century CE, Napoleon’s Sword (CS), Sword of Mercy of Edward the Confessor 11th Century (SS), Zulfiqar Scimitar (CS) of the Islamic leader Ali 7th Century CE, Honjo Masamune Swords from 1288CE – 1328CE (CS), Joyeuse Sword (SS) of Emperor Charlemagne 8th Century CE.
As can be seen from the list above (SS = Straight Sword, CS = Curved Sword), most of the 'famous' Swords that are know and have survived were straight edged; but not all!
Through his study of the martial way, a teacher spent years growing toward enlightenment. One day he felt very close to achieving his goal. He watched the moonrise over the nearby mountain. The beauty he be-held struck him. He was overwhelmed by the clarity of everything he saw: the mountain, the stars, the indigo night sky, the golden circle of the moon. Every sound seemed richer; every sensation enhanced. He was so touched by what he was experiencing that he gathered up his students and brought them to the mountain. When he had his students all around him, he raised his arm and pointed at the night sky: to the wonders of nature. He was overwhelmed and gratified as he looked into his students' faces and assumed that they understood what was being offered. He saw how intently they watched his every move.
The next day, he went to the practice field to further discuss with his students the wonder that they had all experienced. He found them intently practicing how to "point." Each one trying to outdo the other in developing the most powerful "pointing technique."
Whereby the Broad Sword, in essence is fairly simple, although in the advanced stages it becomes more complex, the Wudang Straight Sword can be very complex. yet, in it's complexity, it can also be very simple. First the Complex!
|Jab||is a very short thrust from a semi extended hand, a short movement a bit like a Rabbit Punch in Boxing. It is more of a twitch than a full blown thrust.|
|Stab||is a longer movement where the Sword Hand moves from in front of the body to almost full extension.|
|Thrust||is the technique where the Sword Hand is either next to your body or even a bit behind.|
|Lunging||is a thrust but with a hyper extension to achieve the point|
|Rev Thrust||is inverting the Sword in your hand and thrusting behind you or to the side.|
|Stab||is just barely penetrating the skin to draw blood using a strait poking motion; this is a as a Warning or Dueling technique|
|Cut||is Cutting the opponent barely nicking the skin and drawing blood; this is meant as a as a Warning or Dueling technique|
|Whip||is a reverse Cutting motion after a Trust (or the like) again barely nicking the skin and drawing blood; this is also used as a Warning or Dueling technique|
|Slap||Slap||is another Warning or Dueling technique where you Chop using the Straight Sword but turn the blade to his flatly rather than with the edge; usu|
|Punch||Punch||is a Punch is a Punch just that you are holding a Sword in your Hand|
|Pommel||Pommel||is Hitting the attacker with the reverse side of the Sword the bottom bit.|
|Cut||Sweep||is dropping down low and Cutting at the attackers legs with your sword as if a Broad Sword|
|Accelerate||Is getting behind the force of the attack and helping it along thus also inhibiting the opponent from stopping/controlling their weapon the way they wanted.|
|Brush||is like brushing the tip of the attacking weapon to either one side or the other;|
|Press||is the same as Brush except you press it down|
|Lift||is the same as Brush except you lift the weapon up (exposing the attacker)|
|Deflect||is much the same as with the Broad Sword where you use the bottom part of the Sword to Stop a chopping or Cutting attack; usually though, not often used with the Wudang Straight Sword|
|Coil||Wrap or Wind your Weapon around the opponent's Weapon with circles getting bigger thus accelerating the opponents weapon and possibly making the opponent lose the sword|
|Wrap||Is the opposite of Coiling as the circle gets smaller and you can follow up with a Thrust once you make a small side-step|
|Pointing||is where you keep your sword pointed at the mid section of the opponent and minimal sword movement you parry all attacks occasionally following this with a Jab or Stab|
|Stirring||is similar to pointing except you interferer with the opponents Sword Tip; as the name say stirring it, moving it, preventing the attacker from attacking|
|Obstruct||is when you use an object to obstruct the opponents ability to attack you. This is usually done in some way with an object of some kind, dagger in the other hand, surrounding features like furniture or trees, or just simply getting close to the person not allowing a good attack to be developed.|
|Stroke||is keeping in constant contact with the attackers weapon and stroking it off the centerline|
Yes, there seem to be a lot of techniques to learn but fortunately our Weaponry comes in 3 levels and the 1st level, this page only requires you to learn the Key and Major techniques. As mentioned, the Wudang Sword is the Lord of all weapons and gives you a lot of opportunity to play.
Although the Shaolin Warrior Monks are called Warriors, they are not Soldiers or even Mercenaries but Buddhists with speciality skills. Although we are not Warrior Monks we are also not Killers, Murderous or Mercenaries! As most people would not qualify themselves as the afore mentioned, we feel it is better to set down some Shaolin Kung Fu Academy principles and practices or 'The Way we do Things'.
Use the wisdom of Buddha for Success not just to Win.
Keys and Principles, one unlocks doors (metaphorically possibilities) the other Centers (metaphorically grounds). We should be using a word that combines both these into one for this segment. Where it is easy to imagine a Key opening a Door it is not easy to see how a Principle can be understood. Let's try the following;Holding a Kit's Sting seems to limit it's freedom but if you let it go, it quickly falls to the ground
In much the same way correctly applied principles (as correctly applied techniques to flying a kite) will allow you the greatest freedom. With out these Keys or Principles you may be living, working or training without direction or meaning. So, the following are such Principles that, if you use them in your thinking and training of the Shaolin Tiger Broad Sword will serve you well and help to understand the unique style of Shaolin rather than a butchers Broad Sword.
|Centerline Management is a foundation principle of all Shaolin Kung Fu and Shaolin Weaponry training and usage. It is possibly the most important Key or Principle for most any Martial Art. Managing that direct line from your attacker to you and managing your Center Line are probably the most overlooked Principle in modern Martial Art training; although one sees it more and more.|
|Focus on Defence not Offense; that is what Shaolin Practitioners do; in a conflict situation we try 1st to Avoid then Evade and when this is not possible, Defend. We do not seek to start a fight nor do we seek to prolong an encounter beyond a point of safety. What can not be caught, what can not be touched and what can not be seen can not be attacked or hurt. Focus on Safety and Defence!|
|Foundation & Center; like the Kite analogy above, you need a solid basis to work from be it the physical ground or the metal principles or the spiritual mind set. To use a solid tool, weapon like the Tiger Broad Sword you need a good Center and Foundation. This means your Metal state of mind and your physical ability for strong stances and balanced movement. When you are swing, guide and manage a heavy object you need to b able to find your center and have the foundation of a boulder. Although, compared to the Kwan Dao (which can be 2 meters and 70lb) the broad Sword may not seem so heavy, remember to think about Combat Steel. Even if you are training with a training weapon, establish a habit of reality.|
|Bare Hand Skills; a weapon can break, not be there or even be taken away from you. As long as you manage a weapon well it is a tool but should it be taken from you, do not be a helpless child! The one thing that an not be taken away are your skills and abilities and if they ever are you are no longer you. As you progress through your Weaponry maintain and improve you bare Hand Skills. Just because you have a bike does not mean you will never walk again!|
|Back-door Exit; be it for yourself or your attacker, always allow a way out, a back door, a point of exit or escape. There is nothing as dangerous as a person with nothing left to loose so pushing your attacker into such a position may not be the wisest move. And the same for you; be aware of your options and choices. Fighting is rarely the best first choice. Not to say that running is the best first choice; just have options and manage the situation rather than controlling it or being a victim of it.|
|Long Term Behaviors|
|Always consider => 'Who is in charge?' If you are hot and bothered and emotional will it be you or your bad habits that are directing your actions. Is it possible even that you attacker is the one riling you up so that you think less and be the aggressor or patsy/stooge. If you are focused on Defence (Key 3) you will not attack and this gives you time to settle and center. Remember Centerline Management (Key1) is not only physical.|
|No Emotions; avoid the insult, avoid the goading, avoid the attack, avoid the conflict if you can; because you can NOT AVOID the responsibility for the resulting consequences. Ultimately, if you are not there, you can not be to blame or be attacked.|
|Constant Practice; but only Perfect Practice Makes Perfect; so, first learn what there is to learn well and then practice, practice and more practice. This will keep you fit, healthy and is your path to Mastery (with some help)|
|Meditation; another form of centering, reflection and understanding. 30 minutes a day is the way; no matter if you wish to be a Wudang Sword Master or just lead a balanced life, 30 minutes a day is the only way!|
|Sheng, Jing Chi balance; Body, Mind and Spirit are linked through Chi and when this is all balanced health and well-being will ensue. Seek to balance you life and your being. What does this mean, well we do have a 'Life Balance Page' which you can consult but if you meditate 30 minutes a day, it will soon become clear to you what this means; the journey is just as important as the destination.|
Kung Fu means "Perfection though Effort"; and it would be difficult to achieve perfection through effort if you constantly injured yourself in the process; it is also difficult to achieve excellence if you do not push the limits. The very spirit of Kung Fu is Safety and Growth. What use is any exercise if it causes you constant pain and injury; and does not allow you to grow and develop. Achieving a balance between these two opposites (Yin and Yang) lies in the skill of Instructors and Students alike! We err on the side of Safety and are excellent Risk Managers! We are aware that....
The human body has in-built redundancy to allow us many choices which in times of threat allow us to push it way beyond its normal usage. Yet when we do this, we damage our body in some way. This is what top sports people do constantly and why we hear about knee reconstructions, shoulder injuries, ankle problems and damaged backs. We do not want this in Shaolin 5 Animal Kung Fu Academy (Australia). We choose to slowly, consistently and sustainable develop and build our bodies and minds, and gently push ourselves, with focus, care, and patience in a safe way, rather than burning our body and mind!
It is not about Risk Elimination but about Risk Management!
"The good warriors first put themselves beyond the possibility of defeat,
and then waited for an opportunity of defeating the enemy"
Shaolin Academy dose not use or supply weapons of any type or sort for any reasons. The materials and equipment we use are Recreational meaning both for health, Sports & Fitness as well as a Recreation of Historical Skills and Styles.
Training from this materials will not make an expert out of you, or a Champion or a Warrior; but it will give you a good grounding upon which you can choose to build, if you wish. Some have chose to enter competitions and have done well using the 72 Fists and principles; especially the movement groups. Some have had opportunity to defend themselves using 72 Fists and this has also been successful. We at the Shaolin Academy have even used our Kung Fu as action stand-ins in theater, movies, music videos and shows and when we visited China we put on a demonstration at the Shaolin Temple in Henan China, Xian Wushu School and the Beijing Wushu Institute. But mostly, we use our Kung Fu for Fun, health and Fitness!
Choose wisely the reason for your training and if you are not wise; consider the following words;The Universe will conspire to make you thoughts come true; both what you want and what you don't'; be careful on what you focus your mind.
Reading beyond this paragraph you agree to follow the instructions given on these WEB pages, in a safe and responsible way including the following rules;
Only use Shaolin Cannon (Ball) Fist Kung Fu for fitness, competition, fun, development and when needed self defence. never initiate the course of violence. If you agree to this, please read the following also and only continue if you are in agreement with both this and the below.
MARTIAL ARTS IS DANGEROUS!
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Below is a list of the Bare Hand Skills required to safely and correctly learn the use of the Shaolin Tiger Broad Sword. The first test is a fairly standard test mostly equal to the 1st Level of Shaolin Kung Fu training sans the Punches. Ideally though you would want to be 2nd Level or even a 3rd Level Martial Artist to commence the Trident-Axe training. That said, check you skills against the requirements in the 1st Test just below. To be Shaolin Accredited you need to complete all 9 tests. These need not be done all at the same time but each test needs to be done at the one time without interruptions to the test or the recording.
|Overview & Info||Always First||Required Bare Hand Curriculum||Emei Shan Breathing Set|
2nd Test - The 5 Greater Tiger Broad Sword Strikes
It is more in the spirit of the Shaolin Style to start with the defensive techniques but; they are easier to understand and learn if you know the way you can be attacked with the broad Sword. Also, Shaolin training and Assessment's require you mainly to be able to defend against a sword both with another sword but also with you bare hand Kung Fu. So, we start with the 10 Major Tiger Broad Sword Strikes, the 5 greater and the 5 Lesser.
Test 3 - Record yourself demonstrating the 5 ways of Attack Management (4 blocks and the avoidance) against an imaginary attacker if you do not have someone to work with. Do each technique 10 times recording it from the front (front side if you are working with someone) and 10 times from the side.
4rd Test - Control & Accuracy
Test 6 - Record yourself defending a each of the 5 attacks in one recording. Record 4 times each routine, recording twice from the side and twice from the front!
Test 7 - Record yourself performing the form twice, once from the front and once from the side! Ensure that the recording is uninterrupted, in a well lit area and no back light making the movements difficult to see. If you are unsure, send us a 5 second recording and we will confirm that all is OK! E-mail us
8th Test - Theory/Knowledge
There are a number ot topics you can choose for your Broad Sword Theory and they do not need to be about Oriental Swords only. Following are some specific examples of items that would be of interest to add to the Broad Sword WEB Page; (if they are good enough and original!)
As we also have a Straight Sword page, choose a non-Straight Sword, Sickle Sword, Bastard Sword anything of that nature. Also, choose something original unless you just want to do the theory for Theory's sake. Make it good, please.
Test 8 - Write about a Famous Curved Sword, Curved Sword Warrior, Curved Sword Information, Curved Sword History, Event , etc. But Not Fantasy or Game Sword please!
9th Test - Choice
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