View Full Version : World Jianshu League: Thoughts?

9/25/2009 11:51pm,
Any thoughts on this World Jianshu stuff? It's apparent full contact weapon sparring with a Jian (straight sword). Seems like it'd be fun to try out.

Organization site:


Videos of matches:

9/26/2009 3:22am,
I took a semester of the stuff. At the end, for our finals we had sparring. I had one epic battle against a southpaw. Seriously, it was all Samurai movie and stuff where we both strike, hold and then slowly realize who the victor was. The swords are PVC and when I held a real Jian the latter was much heavier. The center was also off, but the pvc ones have weight slots so you can change where the center of mass is located.

It's point sparring, but fun and full contact. Wore gloves and helmet, but anywhere is fair game. We got plenty welts on arms and legs. Points are awarded for significant cuts. Think Ippon in Judo. If the strike is too weak (i.e. no tippy tappy game of tag) or is made with the face of the sword rather than the blade or point, it doesn't count as a hit. Also if both sides hit, the more significant hit wins (e.g. a cut to the arm loses to a stab to the gut).

I see it as a great way to make weapon sparring more realistic. Fencing is cool, but sword fights never exist in 2 dimensions.

9/26/2009 2:57pm,
What kind of stuff did you do in the training? (Like forms, what kinda drills) And did they mention any particular style the techniques came from? Or was it just some parts of different styles.

9/26/2009 4:08pm,
It was the first time the university offered it as a class, so everyone was n00b save for a couple of the kung fu club members. With this in mind we all started off with stances, footwork and basic strikes.

1st thing was how to hold the sword (life grip and death grip) and the basic stance. We drilled footwork: moving forward, backward, in diagonal and circling. Nobody liked it, but it did come in handy later on.

Then we worked on basic strikes. Vertical diagonal and horizontal in both directions with both hands and thrusts. Proficiency with both hands was emphasized. The equivalent blocks and parries were taught as well. The midterm exam was a basic demonstration that we all knew the attacks and parries.

From there we stepped up to 1-step sparring. This was to get the idea of what it was to attack and defend. A flow drill was introduced....kinda having the two swords meet and move them in circles to feel the opponent's movements. Eventually the drill moved up to being able to move the opponent's sword out of the way and move for a thrust.

After a couple weeks of that we were able to move up to full contact sparring. We donned the gloves, vests and helmets and had at it. The scoring was taught and strategies were demonstrated for winning in sparring. The idea was that if a significant hit was made with a real sword, the opponent would be unable to fight. So strike the neck, that guy's dead. Strike the shoulder, he'll be hurt but might be able to continue fighting. One interesting point was hitting the hand. If you strike the hand with a real sword, the opponent ain't holding on to his weapon anymore. It lead to one of my friends being really good at hand strikes. They stung like a mofo, even with the gloves.

The final exam was a 5 round sparring session. It wasn't graded on if you won or not, just that you demonstrated the techniques you learned through the semester.

As for the style, he didn't explicitly say what style it came from. One youtube vid has him demonstrating San Cai Jian. He showed us similar forms and how they demonstrate real moves. Yah, it was the ol' "hidden meaning in the form" schtick, but he made a damn good case if I say so myself. He said the forms would be saved for next semester for the students that returned. Unfortunately, I graduated....oh well.

Here's the San Cai vid.
YouTube - Sifu Tsou explains San Cai Jian techniques (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M6ALBOxgKyo)

9/26/2009 4:50pm,
That's pretty cool, thanks for the info.