I'm told that "rulers" were sometimes used by the families in the old days, but mostly for stimulating acupoints for health purposes, not for forms training. My teachers say weapons do a better job at teaching the geometry of T'ai Chi anyway. Although, there are drills that we do using everyday objects such as pens, keys, shoes, etc., exploring spatial relationships and leverages that probably resemble the "ruler" trainings that some people do. My Sifu has said, when asked, that our best "apparatus" for training is our training partner's arms, legs, head and torso. He asks us to consider how much money it would cost to build a training dummy as unpredictable and obnoxious as the average T'ai Chi student...
[This message has been edited by Polaris (edited 07-22-2004).]