Yang Family Dao Questions

sabre, sword, spear, etc

Re: Yang Family Dao Questions

Postby lu rui ting » Wed May 09, 2012 3:16 am

Last edited by lu rui ting on Thu May 10, 2012 9:59 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Yang Family Dao Questions

Postby lu rui ting » Wed May 09, 2012 7:41 pm

Last edited by lu rui ting on Thu May 10, 2012 10:00 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Yang Family Dao Questions

Postby lao-pei » Wed May 09, 2012 8:23 pm

3.3 The Ring Skills

Daohuan – the ring at the end of a Taiji Dao can be grasped and manipulated by
the empty hand to assist the main sword hand. Although both hands are used in
these circumstances, ring skills are different from regular two-handed grips. Usually a
two-handed grip adds power at the expense of liveliness and agility. Using the ring
adds less power but retains more nimbleness and control. As opposed to the typically
large movements of two hands in a two-handed grip, ring skills involve small, quick
movements by the rear hand holding the ring, all the while the front hand, on the
handle, remains relatively still.

Compared to one-handed grips, holding the ring with the empty hand in Taiji Dao
yields greater power. Compared to regular two-handed grips, it yields greater
liveliness and agility. Overall, ring grips balance the relative advantages and
disadvantages of other kinds of grips. Some skills using the ring are:

Tui uses the center of the palm of the empty hand to push forward on the ring.
The opposite of tui is la – pulling using the thumb and two or three fingers that are
hooked through the ring. In ti, the sword hand remains relatively still, while the thumb
and two or three fingers of the rear hand are hooked through the ring and pull up on
it, causing the front of the sword to move downward. The opposite of ti is ya - hooking
the thumb and two or three fingers through the ring and pushing down on it, while the
sword hand remains relatively still. The downward push on the ring causes the front of
the sword to move upward. Yao is waving, where the fingers are hooked through the
ring and move it in circles in front of the body. It makes the tip of the sword to circle
through an ever-larger spiral.

Different Taiji Dao skills are used to defend against different types of weapons.
The way different parts of the sword are used can also vary widely depending on the
opponent’s weapon. Even when the same skill and part of the sword are used, the
internal feeling may differ from one situation to another. Because of these
complexities, we should not limit our sword practice to the study of the sword alone.
We should also research the skills required for the proper use of other weapons.
by Shifu Zhang Yun

From http://www.ycgf.org/Articles/TJ_Dao/Taiji_Dao-2.html

recommended by Horacio Lopez (ex-Director Department Ranking Standards Yang Family Association)
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Re: Yang Family Dao Questions

Postby lao-pei » Wed May 09, 2012 9:10 pm

see video related to previous comment.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=63UXHgkP ... e=youtu.be
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Re: Yang Family Dao Questions

Postby Bob Ashmore » Thu May 10, 2012 8:27 pm

That's pretty awesome. I've got a lot of studying to do.

One use for the ring that just occurred to me as I was watching and reading the above...
If your saber gets stuck in your opponents body, you can grasp the ring to pull it out.
Yes, I know. But we're not talking about a knitting needle.

Suddenly a lot of the Yang Family saber form makes much more sense to me.

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Re: Yang Family Dao Questions

Postby Isaac888 » Fri May 11, 2012 12:38 am

Lao Pei,

Suddenly it makes sense. Thank you for the kind contribution.
Just like Bob, I will explore these techniques. Hope I don't hurt any one.

If I may add a thought, I feel the ribbons attached to the ring has a more deadly application.
It is an extention of the Dao.


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Re: Yang Family Dao Questions

Postby DPasek » Fri May 11, 2012 4:27 pm


Thanks for posting the information from Zhang Yun. He is my favorite author on Taijiquan and I think very highly of his book on Taijidao (as well as his various other publications). Shown are very good techniques for using the ring pommel, but I suspect that the ring pommel existed in Chinese culture prior to being adapted by the Yang and Wu families of Taijiquan.

I am no authority on the matter, but my understanding is that the S-guard and ring pommel appeared in non-regulation weapons (dao) after the fall of the Ming dynasty; and some people speculate that the S-guard may have symbolized “defeat the Qing and restore the Ming.” The ring pommel seems to be closely associated with the S-guard and can be seen in period photos showing ‘boxers” (Boxer Rebellion) carrying various types of dao (rarely, but occasionally with cloth flags attached). Perhaps the ring guard was also a symbolic representation of Ming (the sun and moon which make up the character for ming both being circular objects). I don’t know, but it seems like these characteristics may have come about for symbolic or aesthetic reasons and were only later adapted to usages of the features as given by Zhang Yun.

Likewise, while we often think about attaching cloths to the pommel of dao (and tassels to the pommels of jian) I am not certain that this was as widespread a tradition in the past as it is now. For example, most period paintings (Qing dynasty) that include people with dao show a simple cord loop attached through a hole near the pommel rather than cloth flags attached to the end of the pommel. It is possible that the usage of the cloth flags on dao (and tassels on jian) is a later convention associated with the increased popularity of performance rather than actual usage in combat. Just like the silk clothing used today for performances of dao and jian forms was unlikely to be what was worn in combat, I suspect that the cloth flags and tassels have been added to the weapons primarily for performance aesthetics.

Still, I am not saying that the cloth (or tassel) was not used earlier in history, just that it seems like their usage may not have been very common. It is also likely that the usage of the non weapon holding hand to aid in the control of the dao (and jian) was relatively common as it seems to appear more commonly in various forms that I am aware of. It is just the specific usage of the fingers through the ring than I think was probably added later. If you have a feature in the tools that you use (like the ring on this type of dao), then adapt a way to advantageously use it!

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Re: Yang Family Dao Questions

Postby Bob Ashmore » Wed Jun 20, 2012 4:30 pm

I have been having a ball with the ring on the end of my Dao.
It really is a force multiplier. I'm SO glad I found this technique.
A few weeks ago I got my hands on two Nerf N-force Marauder long swords: http://www.hasbro.com/nerf/en_US/shop/d ... t_id=27755
You can't buy them anyplace but from Hasbro's website any more, at least not around here.
They're the same length and nearly the same weight as Yang family Jian's, but the handle is longer and the blade shorter.
I tried the smaller Nerf swords but they are too short and don't have any weight.
Anyway, I use them with my partner for push swords and sword sparring. They're pretty awesome for this purpose for two reasons:
We can practice together in a local park without having the police called on us.
We can get as "swashbuckler" crazy as we want on each other and no one gets hurt.
The first time we used them my partner said, "This thing feels more like a Dao than a Jian."
I had to agree. It took us a while to figure out why though.
The longer handle.
It's almost identical to the handle on a Yang Family Dao.
It has the handy round pommel on the end of it, though it is solid and not a ring.
Once I figured that out, I grabbed a hold of it and started to use it like the ring on the Dao.
And it works nearly as well.
It would be better if it was a ring, because then you could put your fingers through it like on the Dao.
But it's still a very good force multiplier.
When I realized this, I began to use it against my partner.
Who was absolutely overcome the very first time.
It took him a while to figure out what I was doing, but once he did he picked it up pretty quickly and started using it himself.
Anyway, while not a perfect fit for either the Jian or the Dao these $20 foam swords are worth their weight in gold for practicing either weapon.
I highly recommend them.
Unfortunately Hasbro/Nerf doesn't make a foam saber that even comes close to the Dao. All of their foam sabers are way too short and light for that purpose.
Still, I am learning a lot about using both weapons from this one foam sword.
The first thing I learned:
I don't know how to use a Jian or a Dao!
It's not as easy as the old Kung Fu movies make it look, that's for sure.
And despite what you [i]think[i] you know from doing the form, it sure doesn't work like that in reality!
Once we figured out that a LOT of the sword and saber forms are based entirely on how you move when your blade is in contact with an opponent though we started to figure things out.
You can't move like you do when you're doing the solo form when in combat. It just doesn't work.
So with one person being the aggressor and the other the defender we have started from the very first movement of each form and have been working with each other to feel what the movement is like when in contact.
VERY educational, let me tell you.
We're through the saber form but are still working on the sword form. It's a tad longer...
If anyone knows where we can get a good foam facsimile of a Dao, let me know.
Oh, under $50 please.
I know about LARP weapons. They cost more than the real thing!
We're poor folk! We can't afford those until one of us hits the lottery.
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