Home Add to Favorite Contact Submit  
             24 October, 2020

Category:  Articles » Recreation & Sports


Tai Chi Sword Selection

         Views: 1860
2009-06-25 07:04:53     
Article by Rafael Kosche

So, how do you select a Taichi sword? Well, now is when you think about the details of the geometry, or shape, of what you want. There are T'ai Ch'i Straight Swords, and there are T'ai Ch'i Broadswords (also called sabers or knives). Each one has a different use. The Straight Sword is used for finesse work (that is, working around the opponents weapon and pin-pointing your targets) and stabbing. The Broadsword is more appropriate for power moves such as blocking, overpowering, and chopping.

(As you may have noticed, I do use the words Tai Chi, Taichi, and T'ai Ch'i interchangeably. This is correct because the only difference is pronunciation between regions of China coupled with the phonetic translations in the West.)

For swords, the intended use should dictate what would be the most appropriate balance point of each. A lot of people say a sword has a "nice balance", but what they really are referring to is the "feel" in the hand and, perhaps unwittingly, the harmonic vibrations of the blade (I'll get to this later in this article). That is purely subjective and varies greatly from one person to another.

The correct "balance" of the sword is much more objective and directly refers to the fulcrum of the sword. Generally speaking, for a quick-moving, with a lot of wrist movement sword (such as the Straight Sword), you want the balance point to be right where you grasp your sword or just in front of it. This will normally be within 1/2" behind the guard, right at the guard, or about 1" in front of the guard. This will depend on whether you will be using a tassel to practice or not, and how much wrist mobility you will be using. The basic trade-off here is that the more the balance is in your grip, the stronger you have to be to hold the blade if the sword is struck by your opponent. A forward balance point will allow you to use the inertia of the blade to your advantage.

For the Broadsword, you want a more forward balance because your weapon is meant to be used for hard swings where the weight of the blade will do most of the work. Typically this will reside somewhere between 4" and 8" in front of the guard.

Now, "harmonic vibrations." This may sound strange, but yes, the way the blade vibrates, and how those vibrations flow up and down the blade, is the main reason most blades "feel" a particular way to different people. Also, most people do not realize that this is one of the common reasons a sword will break. Imagine the ripples that a rock makes when dropped in a water pond, and how those ripples reflect and refract off the edges of the pond. Think about where the outgoing and returning ripples interact, forming peaks and valleys. These are outgoing and returning waves of motion.

Have you ever used a hard stick to hit something hard and felt pain in your hand from it? That pain was caused by the harmonic vibrations peaking in your palm, delivering the energy of that hit right into your hand. Grab a different stick of a different length and make the same hit, and you might not have any pain at all, even if you hit harder. Well, the vibrations peaked somewhere else and you felt nothing. The reason many swords break is because the harmonic vibrations peaked at the exact point where the blade and the tang of the sword meet (this is usually right where the blade goes into the hand guard). The sword makers solution to this has often been to either shorten the blade, or to add weight to the pommel (the butt end of the handle) to compensate. Sometimes, a large tassel will also give a false feeling to the vibrations of the sword. When "feeling" a sword, take the tassels off, or hold them in the other hand.

The person you are buying your sword from should be able to answer your questions and help you through this process. Seek and get help from professionals that know what they are talking about and can help you.

If you have any doubts on any of this, you are more than welcome to call us at 1-800-508-0825 and we will do our best to answer your questions. A good sword does not have to be expensive, but a cheaply made sword can be very dangerous.

Rafael Kosche


Specialized in: Eskrima - Martial Art Weapons - Martial Arts Videos - Martial Arts Books - Hand Forged Weapons - Sparring Gear - Escrima - Martial Arts Equipment - Fighting - Martial Arts Supplies - Kung Fu - Weapons - Karate - Swords
URL: http://www.valleymartialarts.com
Print article      Bookmark this page
Related Articles 
Make Escape the Netherworld Part of Your Ultimate Summer Staycation (Popularity: ): Why travel hundreds (or thousands) of miles and bust your budget with an over the top vacation when you can have the ultimate summer staycation? Come to our Escape the Netherworld escape rooms and then check out some nearby restaurants and other activities to make a day of your adventure! Located at 2076 West Park Place Boulevard in Stone Mountain, Escape the Netherworld is easily accessible by metro Atlantans and ...
Sports League Websites Give Social Network an Entirely New Perspective (Popularity: ): Creating a free network to play games, all this while, interacting with others has become easier. A number of sports league websites have been established online that encourages avid gaming enthusiasts to become a part of their offering. The process of becoming a member is fairly simple, as all you are required to do is enter a few personal details. You can join a team and take up any role, ...
Things To Know Before You Send Your Child To Sleep Away Camps (Popularity: ): Camping these days is as educational as school where kids learn by experience. Through various types of activities, kids learn wide range of skills that help them develop emotionally, socially, and intellectually strong. These days, more and more parents are sending out their kids for sleep away camps as they provide children with wide variety of opportunities to learn new skills and experience the real life closely.A sleep away camp ...
How Your Children Can Seek Benefit From Sleep Away Camps (Popularity: ): Kids love the fact that they are going to summer camps. These camps are apt to meet the rejuvenation needs of kids of various ages as they get an atmosphere and surroundings where they stay active and explore new things. If you kids are already in love with the camping concept, you can try sleep away camps for them these holidays. Research has proved that sleep away camping experience promotes ...
Three Easy Steps To Play Basketball (Popularity: ): For us fans, basketball is a sport. That's why we're always looking for ways on how to play better basketball.It keeps us healthy in different ways. Not only to help in the functions of the lungs and heart, it is also a good way to stay active and fit. It's a good thing that technology has allowed us to learn and improve.Here are some ideas on how to play basketball ...

Related Business 
The Tai Chi Site (Popularity: ): Directory of annotated Tai Chi links, message board, search engine and a world calendar of Tai Chi events.
Tai Chi Finder (Popularity: ): Tai chi listings by place and name (internationally but mainly UK and Ireland). News, events, free club listings, shop selling tai chi videos and outfits.
Tai Chi and Chi Kung Meditation Center (Popularity: ): Wu style Taiji, push hands, sword, Daoist internal Neitan qigong for energy, self-defense, and body-mind health. Beginning and advanced classes in Austin, Texas.
Flowing Water Tai Chi (Popularity: ): Tai chi and Chi kung classes in San Diego California. Contains links, articles, and school information.
North Shore Tai-Chi Club/Chinese Healing Institute (Popularity: ): Tai-chi, chi-gong, tui-na classes in Massachusetts and New Hampshire. John Toy, Director.
Wu Li Academy (Popularity: ): Training in Chi Kung, Tai Chi and Kung Fu with a holistic approach. Includes class schedule and history of the Hung Gar and Tai Chi forms.
Tai Chi for Health Institute (Popularity: ): Mark Johnson teaches chi kung, tai ji, feng shui, chi kung healing. Mill Valley, CA.
Tai Chi (Taiji) Network (Popularity: ): Geographic directory of Tai Chi (Taiji) and Chi Kung (Qugong) teachers, schools and events worldwide.
Brookline Tai Chi (Popularity: ): School teaching Tai Chi, Chi Gung, and Ba Gua as taught at a Taoist lineage school. Includes instructor profile, photo gallery, FAQ, workshop and school information.
Martial Arts and Fitness (Popularity: ): Teaches Tae Kwon Do, Shinken JuJutsu, Tai Chi, and Chanbara Samurai sword training. Located in Flemington, NJ.