Sabre & Staff Resources

sabre, sword, spear, etc

Sabre & Staff Resources

Postby greengk » Thu May 31, 2001 5:57 pm

I have been studying TC and the TC sword for a while and have been able to find information about form, function, etc. Recently I have begun to study TC staff and I will soon begin to study TC sabre. I have been able to find very little information on sabre and staff. Does anyone know of good books/articles etc. on these weapons.

Thanks.
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Postby Audi » Sun Jun 03, 2001 9:11 pm

Hi,

Unfortunately, I too have been unable to find only scarce material on the saber and staff and so cannot really help you there. I would be curious, however, to know what good sword material you have found.

I have found one or two sword books, but find I am still struggling with understanding the function behind a good many of the postures and transitions in the sword form.

Thanks,
Audi
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Postby greengk » Sun Jun 10, 2001 3:12 pm

There is a book called "The Art of Chinese Swordsmanship" that is available in English. I can't remember the author's name; but you could find it at one of the online booksellers. The form in the book is different than a Yang style sword; but there is much to be gained from studying. It is a Tai Chi sword book nonetheless and it is easy to see similarities in postures and how they are applied.

There is of course the ubiquitous Yang Jwing-Ming book (seems to have one on every topic); I think this one is simply called Yang Style T'ai Chi Sword. Again, his form is slightly different--more external in some senses; but he does a nice job of illustrating function as does the other book.

Barbara Ecker has also recently published a translation of a Chen Wei-Ming sword book which is quite nice. Stuart Olsen also has a T'ai Chi sword book (student of TT. Liang) which is OK.

There are others; but these are the best that I have come across. I will say that understanding the transitions for me has been the result of three things:
1. Visualizing an opponent at times while doing the sword form
2. Asking questions about function of my teacher
3. Looking at one of the books and playing around with a movement or two until I think I understand it better.

I say all of this as a beginner--so be careful of taking my advice.
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Postby Audi » Fri Jun 15, 2001 10:05 pm

Hi again,

Thanks for the recommendations. I have read Yang Jwing Ming's book, but found it helpful only on some accounts. Based on your suggestion, I was able to go to amazon.com and find both "The Art of Chinese Swordsmanship: The Manual of Taiji Jian" by Yun Zhang and also Chen Wei-Ming's book. I ordered both.

Thanks again for the advice and good luck with the search for saber material.

Thanks again,
Audi
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Postby Audi » Wed Feb 06, 2002 5:27 am

Hi Greengk,

I just got through viewing Eo Omwake's T'ai Chi Saber video, which is available from Wayfarer Publications (www.tai-chi.com). I would very much recommend it for someone interested in Yang Style saber applications.

Omwake's form is clearly a close cousin of Yang Zhenduo's form. It is close enough to transfer most applications, but not quite close enough to learn Yang Zhenduo's form, since too many details differ. One thing I found particularly interesting is that Omwake's form appears to be a somewhat more martially oriented version of Yang Zhenduo's form.

Assuming that both versions reflect Yang Chengfu's choreography and intentions at different times or in different settings, contrasting the two gives interesting insight as to how form "simplification for the masses" may work. In my opinion, Omwake's form shows more detailed applications and with greater clarity, but Yang Zhenduo's form has retained the same essence with greater smoothness.

Basically, where Omwake's form shows something like a sequence of three applications, Yang Zhenduo's squishes these into two with the third implied. Also Yang Zhenduo's form seems to make a greater attempt at regularity of choreography by eliminating evasive steps not necessary to maintain the flow. Lastly, I would describe Omwake's form as somewhat more dramatic, whereas I would describe Yang Zhenduo's form as more elegant and refined.

By the way, I do not recall any difference in form principles between what Omwake shows on his video and what I understand of Yang Zhenduo's teaching. The differences in qualities I have described are fairly slight. In my opinion, they seem to reflect more a difference in the intended purpose of the form, than any real difference in philosophy. One is a study of detailed applications that reflect Taiji principles, while the other is a study of detailed Taiji principles as exemplified through a variety of applications.

If anyone else has seen this video, I would appreciate other opinions.

Take care,
Audi
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