Skill level vs Weapon use...

sabre, sword, spear, etc

Skill level vs Weapon use...

Postby SnakeEyesX » Tue Jun 01, 2004 6:59 am

Is it better to start with a weapon while your new, or better to wait till your more advanced?
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Postby Michael » Tue Jun 01, 2004 3:45 pm

I would suggest waiting until after you have learned the Barehand form. And most teachers will not start on weapons until you have done so, and most not until a good time after that.
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Postby SnakeEyesX » Wed Jun 02, 2004 1:43 am

OK, because at the school I go to, beginngers taking Choy Li Fut can start with a weapon but I've never seen a Tai Chi beginnger with one, just wondering...
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Postby Kalamondin » Thu Jun 03, 2004 10:48 pm

I don’t recommend starting weapons training until at least one year into your tai chi training. Personally, I learned the form first and practiced it for 5 years before switching to a school that also taught weapons. In comparison with my fellow students, most of whom had just finished learning the hand form, I picked up the sword form relatively easily.

It was easier for me because I had my footwork down pretty well. They say that all errors in the form can be traced to footwork and the alignment of the waist/hips. The footwork in sword and saber is much the same as the hand form with a few variations. So, concentrate on your footwork, and when it feels comfortable, balanced and you’re sure your stance is wide enough and that your footwork angles are correct—then you can take up weapons with relative ease.

Saber has fewer movements and is less complicated and less subtle than the sword form, but both have wide sweeping movements, some of which are done on one leg—so if your footwork isn’t stable first, learning the weapons forms will be an exercise in frustration because the additional few pounds the weapons weigh will throw you off balance. I’m not saying it can’t be done. I’m saying that it really does make sense to wait a bit…although had the sword form been available at my old school, I’m not sure I would have had the self-discipline to wait.

Best wishes,
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Postby Charla Quinn » Thu Jun 03, 2004 11:27 pm

I agree. I started saber too soon and my knees paid for it because my stances were not solid enough.
Charla Quinn
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Postby Audi » Thu Jun 03, 2004 11:40 pm

It is also said that Taijiquan and similar arts work from the inside out, whereas external arts work from the outside in. The weapons forms are considered harder than the barehand forms, because you have to extend your internal skills through your body into the weapon. If your "body" skills are not up to the task, there may be inadequate raw material to practice the internal skills with the weapon, even if you can approximate the external movements. You might even create some learning blockages as you naturally try alternative methods to produce the external results you deem necessary.

I would also say that for most good teachers and students, the barehand form is quite a handful by itself at the beginning of study. Adding more material at this point would probably dissipate a great deal of energy and end up with an inferior result. After a certain point, the challenge of studying a weapon can begin to reinforce study of the barehand form, rather than adding confusion or competing for "learning resources."

Take care,
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Postby DavidJ » Fri Jun 04, 2004 12:15 am

Hi All,

Generally speaking, I think that waiting until you've a handle on the long form before taking on a weapon form is a good idea. This is standard practice in Tung's school.

When people are young they seem to have more of a sense of how to move. Adults who have lost that sense may regain it with the barehanded forms. After it is regained the weapons may be enjoyable from the very start of training. If someone never lost that sense of how to move then there is no problem with learning weapons early.


David j

[This message has been edited by DavidJ (edited 06-03-2004).]
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