Oops, missed this post earlier.
Originally Posted by Metsudragon
Traditionally, the sword was taught as part of a complete Chinese martial art style, and there wasn't a separate Chinese sword art, like Japanese Kendo. But there are good teachers out there who offer specific instruction on sword or saber without previous barehand experience. Personally, I feel that the idea that "the sword is an extension of the barehand style" to be a bit over-emphasized---I would argue that the basic cuts common to most Chinese styles are the most important things, and they don't differ that drastically between styles. There's only so many ways you can effectively attack and defend with the sword, and most styles have all the main ones.
If you don't have a local CMA place to study at, keep an eye out for seminars in your area. I learned my sword basics from Yang Jwing Ming, and I believe he still travels around doing sword seminars. Also, I'll put a plug in for my teacher Scott Rodell, who also travels a lot giving seminars on Chinese swordsmanship:
He often brings along some of his collection of antique historical jians and daos, so you can get an idea of how real swords feel and handle.
Even a few hours with a teacher can start you on the basics of how to handle the weapons, and the basic cuts and deflections. As I've been taught, to really study the sword your pracitice should include (with realistic weight weapons) :
That was cool seeing CMA test cutting- even in Chinese arts that use swords, I've never seen that and have always thought that was a shame. In part I blame the crappy swords that China makes that end up in most kwoons.
Yeah, I'm not super-experienced with test cutting, but we have a little study group that occasionally trains at a dojo in Vermont, and once or twice a year we get together for some cutting. This past spring we had a mix of Chinese, Japanese and Western stylists all cutting together. It's great to learn to be conscious of blade angles and focused technique---cause if those are off, you usually don't cut through the mats. Also, the cutting abilities of various jians and daos can vary greatly. But it's cool when it all comes together---a good cutting sword, good angle and technique---when those are all there you don't need anywhere near full power to cut through a mat.
Two questions, 1st, how limited is the sword selection? is double dao allowed, or butterfly swords for that matter?
2nd, When are you bringing this to Australia, seriously?. very cool
Originally Posted by you there
Hi, you there.
We only allow one sword during a bout. It can be any style of jian or dao, and you can use any techniques, but it has to meet the length and minimum weight requirements detailed in the rules. I think there's been talk of allowing different weapons down the road, but we want to focus on getting the league going with more standard swords. Specifications are at www.swordleague.com
As far as Australia, we've already got a representative there! Not sure if she's near you, but Linda is an awesomely nice lady who knows her stuff. She competed in our 2009 tournament in Vermont, organized a youth tournament in Australia, and she has all kinds of info: