The Taiji Sabre


Arguably the oldest short weapon of Taijiquan is the sabre, it is usually taught after one has learnt the sword form and consists of 13 postures (each consisting of several subpostures). The sabre form was first recorded by Li I Yu in his manuals and first recorded pictorially by Chen Yan Ling in his book. The song formula in the old Li manual corresponds to the pictorial form and this is the traditional sequence that has been preserved and taught to this day.

ysabre.jpg - 4.7 KAs with the sword, the sabre also consists of 13 techniques and also has a two man sequence. From Yang Pan Hou's lineage we have a set sequence of four movements that are practiced in continuous cycles. There also exists a 52 posture two man sequence which is similar to the bare handed San Shou set.

The 13 sabre techniques consist of:

1) Hack (Kan)
2) Chop (Duo)
3) Scratch (Hua)
4) Scrape (Gua)
5) Hold Up (Liao)
6) Bind (Zha)
7) Draw Back Diagonally (Lu)
8) Split (Pi)
9) Coil (Chan)
10) Incite (Shan)
11) Obstruct (Lan)
12) Intercept (Jie)
13) Slip (Hua)

The sabre is also recorded to have four basic techniques for two man practice, they are:

1) Inner wrist cut
2) Outer wrist cut
3) Press down wrist cut
4) Hold up wrist cut

The method of measuring the sabre to see if it is suitable for you is the same as the sword. There are two type of sabres used for the practice of the Taiji Sabre. First is the traditional sabre with its enlarged head and curved handle. The other is a thin tapering sabre with a straight handle and a ring at the end of the handle. The form can also be done using a wooden sabre. Ensure that the hand guard is fitted on tight and that the blade is straight. It should feel comfortable in your hand and be like a natural extension of your arm.


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