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There are three types of weapons taught in Tai Chi Chuan. As well having self defence applications they also train the body and mind.

The weapons provide a method of exercise quite different to that provided by the hand form. They can stretch out and relax the muscles and bones, promote the circulation of the blood, make the breathing smoother and longer, and are of great benefit to the health and constitution.

The sword nourishes the Chi, the spear promotes wisdom, the sabre cultivates the resolve.


When practising the Sabre, we employ movements such as spring up, shift, dodge and display. The sabre is entwined like a belt round the waist and then shoots out; when the steps change the body shifts; advance one step, withdraw one step; chop once, cut once. Hand and sabre in conjunction; coil and spin, rise and fall; like a long rainbow passing through the skies. Like a swirling wind rotating snowflakes.

  • Pi to chop/split from various angles
  • Ci to stab/pierce
  • Tan to search out, slashing upwards to the groin
  • Tou to push up left hand supporting the blade
  • Ti to lift an upward diversion
  • Liao to stir diversion and slash in a continuous movement
  • Chen to sink diverting an attack by pressing downwards
  • Lu to divert an attack to the side


When practising the Sword, the actions employed are chopping, stirring, stroking and stabbing. The techniques are finely linked together. One drawing forth (of opponents attack) and one strike; one flourish and one presentation.

The body follows the movements of the sword which circles the body and can be seen on every direction. Lithe and graceful, surprising and subtle; body and sword are as one. Like a Spiritual Dragon, speeding like an arrow, or a male phoenix soaring and circling in the air.

  • Kan to chop
  • Liao to stir divert and slash in one continuous movement
  • Mo to stroke subtle circular diversion
  • Ci to stab/pierce
  • Chou to draw forth diverting upwards with a whipping action
  • Ti to lift an upward diversion
  • Heng to sweep across horizontal diversion followed by thrust
  • Dao to invert diverting to the side, sword pointed down


When training the Spear, adhere, connect, entwine and stab; one lift, one hit; one drag, one dot. Obstruct and cut, rapid and intense; in the midst of fullness, conceal emptiness. Like a snake coiling and striking; or like a willow tree swaying in the wind. In the finest stage, the changes can be infinite.

In the spear we use Peng, Lu, Ji, An as the warp (vertical and horizontal) and Tiao, Tan, Qian, Dian as the woof (diagonal). This means that the spear should be used in a three dimensional way and not flat, so we can defend and counter from any angle.

Join our Monday and Wednesday sessions in Camden

All levels welcome. £20 per class 7-9pm.

email 📧 neilrosiak@mac.com

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