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#424990 - 02/14/10 04:19 PM sword forms
bcihak Offline
Member

Registered: 08/12/07
Posts: 298
Loc: Illinois
For those of you who do sword forms in your style of chinese martial art, in particular Tai chi chuan, are you interested in application or are you in it for more meditation or excercise. The reason I ask is that I am currently doing DTS kali. Before I chose to do this I was looking at chinese styles because I have always been interested in learning how to use swords. I have tried western fencing, and I was in iaido for about six years before starting this style of kali.
smirk
I decided against the chinese styles for two reasons, 1) it seemed as if it would take several years to get to the point where I could learn the sword techniques, and 2) the application of the technique seemed to be missing. There was one school, that I saw here on the forum, with video of a girl doing a sword form and at the end of the video they had some application. I went there to check out the school and it verified the two points above. So, I am curious. Is application important to your enjoyment of your sword forms or is it a small consideration to your overall training. Thanks.

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#424995 - 02/14/10 10:42 PM Re: sword forms [Re: bcihak]
IExcalibui2 Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 05/20/06
Posts: 961
Loc: New York City
I actually do not practice any sword forms but I can offer some more insight on your 2 reasons against the Chinese sword arts.

1) Yes you are right that it wouuld take you a while to learn the sword. Unlike other martial arts out there, the Chinese do not separate their training. In Japanese MAs, you can learn to train empty hand (ex. Karate) or train in a weapon art (ex Iaido). In Chinese MAs, that is not the case. You learn empty hand techniques first and then the weapons. The idea that the weapon is an extension of your limbs. If you cannot transmit the power effectively to the tips of your fingers/toes then how is it that you would be able to transmit it to the end of your weapon?

Arts like Kali you train the weapon first. And eventually learn that regardless of what kind of weapon you have (mano, baston, daga, etc) the techniques are all the same/similar. So it doesnt matter if you have a weapon in hand or not, the techniques all work the same. Chinese MA is not exactly the same. There are techniques that are analogous and sometimes similar to empty hand techs but its not always the case.

2) In the CMA, a lot of application work is hidden. Thats just part of the territory. Lots of deciphering and hidden meanings. Its up to you to see the application and learn from it. Sometimes theres obvious uses and other times not so obvious.
_________________________
"you're going to work till you wish you were dead and then keep going.." -Sgt Slaughter

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#425029 - 02/15/10 01:10 PM Re: sword forms [Re: IExcalibui2]
iaibear Offline
Veteran

Registered: 08/24/05
Posts: 1304
Loc: upstate New York
<< 2) In the CMA, a lot of application work is hidden. Thats just part of the territory. Lots of deciphering and hidden meanings. Its up to you to see the application and learn from it. Sometimes theres obvious uses and other times not so obvious. >>

Do they at least let you know there are hidden meanings? It would be a kindness.
I spent several (ten) years in a traditional class and never a whisper that it was up to me to figure out what they were demonstrating.

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#425031 - 02/15/10 02:38 PM Re: sword forms [Re: iaibear]
IExcalibui2 Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 05/20/06
Posts: 961
Loc: New York City
uh...if you're talking about traditional learning, then it'd really have to depend on your relationship with your teacher and fellow classmates. And in my experience, its not just application that is hidden but always the finer points of having proper form and proper training techniques. So potentially you could be training under someone and learn & develop a great deal of skill but you wouldnt know that you're missing out on a whole chunk of other good stuff out there.

this is the biggest flaw i see in CMAs...you never know what the hell you are learning or not learning. so much secrecy
_________________________
"you're going to work till you wish you were dead and then keep going.." -Sgt Slaughter

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#425075 - 02/16/10 09:56 AM Re: sword forms [Re: IExcalibui2]
iaibear Offline
Veteran

Registered: 08/24/05
Posts: 1304
Loc: upstate New York
Originally Posted By: IExcalibui2
uh...if you're talking about traditional learning, then it'd really have to depend on your relationship with your teacher and fellow classmates. And in my experience, its not just application that is hidden but always the finer points of having proper form and proper training techniques. So potentially you could be training under someone and learn & develop a great deal of skill but you wouldnt know that you're missing out on a whole chunk of other good stuff out there.

this is the biggest flaw i see in CMAs...you never know what the hell you are learning or not learning. so much secrecy


Now you tell me. Wish I had known that in 2000. It would have saved so dang much frustration.

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#425127 - 02/17/10 09:16 AM Re: sword forms [Re: iaibear]
IExcalibui2 Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 05/20/06
Posts: 961
Loc: New York City
hahaha, yea by far the worst part in training CMA. And thats why I'm very cautious of people who teach kungfu. Its much harder to earn REAL credentials in CMAs than it is for other arts like say like Judo or BJJ, arts that are more organized and structured even though there is a training manual (that you don't get to see or hear about). There's no belts or rankings. You will teach something when the teacher thinks you are ready for it. Sometimes there is a logical reason, slowly introducing things to you so your skill develops and you're not overwhelmed by different techniques. But the next technique could come tomorrow or maybe next year. who knows?

my cousin trained with me for 2,3 years? He only learned 1 form. Maybe because his technical skills weren't on par or maybe my Sifu didnt really feel that it was worth teaching him more. Most likely a combination of the both.
_________________________
"you're going to work till you wish you were dead and then keep going.." -Sgt Slaughter

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#425589 - 03/01/10 12:03 PM Re: sword forms [Re: bcihak]
bcihak Offline
Member

Registered: 08/12/07
Posts: 298
Loc: Illinois
To everyone studying a Chinese sword form, have you ever considered looking at the Filipino martial arts for the application of your art. I know this may be odd, but in my experience and observation a sword based Filipino system, like Dekit tirsia Sirada kali or Kali illustrisimo has much to reveal about actually using a sword. Take for example DTS kali, if you look at the application that it teaches, the youtube videos you may find do not do the art justice as far as swordsmanship goes, you may be able to find help with your sword form application. Another example is Kali ilustrisimo, you can see the use of the uppper cuts with the sword that you see in a lot of Tai Chi sword forms. Kali ilustrisimo has actual application and experience using these cuts. It is just a thought. Thanks

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