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Weapons training in our taijiquan
(supreme ultimate fist) syllabus includes:

Sabre form
2-person cane form
Staff form
Walking stick form
Jian form
2-person short stick drills (5)
Broadsword drills (15)
Knife drills (13)
Stick drills (20)
Chin na against a knife
Countering a knife
Escape from a knife hold
Improvised weapons
Shuai jiao against a knife
Broadsword form applications
Jian form applications
Staff form applications
Walking stick form applications

In Ancient China a person could strap a sword on his back, and if he knew how to use it, there was no place he could not go.

(Cheng Man Ching)


Using a weapon teaches you the strategies, distance and timing associated with weapons use.
This, in turn helps you to be more capable of defending yourself against one, and far less naive about the dangers involved.
Weapons training is about precision, better peng, increased strength, amplified striking power, better muscle tone in the arms, back and torso, agile footwork.


The knife is a very popular and dangerous weapon.
We learn how to defend against it.


The first weapon ever used by humans was probably a blunt instrument such as a short stick or a bone.
It would have been something that was to hand.
We adopt the same approach and train with sticks because they can be replaced by any suitable object you might find.


A simple stick is the preferred Taoist weapon.
It is defensive rather than offensive.

Improvised weaponry

Improvised weaponry is practical.
You reach out your hand and defend yourself with whatever you can find.
If a burglar pulls a knife on you, you may well find yourself armed with a frying pan or a TV guide.


Our students practice broadsword drills, sabre form and the straight sword (jian) form.
Practice swords are lightweight, but a real sword is extremely heavy.
Swords are offensive weapons and were not designed for self defence.

Heavy weapons

A heavy weapon offers a notable workout.
Working with a heavy weapon can be pretty taxing. Heavy weapons make you use your body a lot more.
You must compensate for the weight of the weapon - without tensing up - and still move in a lithe, nimble, strong manner.
The sword develops upper body strength, whole body movement and wrist flexibility. Students learn how to extend their power through the blade.

The trouble with wielding a long sword with both hands is that it is no good on horseback, no good when running hurriedly, no good on marshy ground, muddy fields, stony plains, steep roads or crowded places.

(Miyamoto Musashi)

Page created 2 March 1995
Last updated 12 October 2016