he best self defense for a strike in Chinese swordsmanship is a deflection using taiji sword principles. Our deflections are never hard blocks. They adhere to the principle of using four ounces to deflect a thousand pounds. In other words, minimal expenditure of effort for the best result. Just as you listen for the right moment in push hands, so it is with taiji sword. You use every part of your awareness to understand what the duifang is doing. He moves first but you already knew what he was going to do, so you arrive first. This can happen by taking a smaller trajectory to the target, or by anticipating and voiding his strike, and taking control of the centre. This voiding and taking control is what you do when deflecting on the way to a strike of your own.
If you have not yet understood the definitions, go to this page where you can begin to master sword attacks with deflections.
When the duifang aims a strike at your upper left chest, neck, face or shoulder, the following deflection works: Sink into your back left, rooted leg and turn your waist left. Your sword arm moves with your body, not as a seperate part. Put your sword talisman fingers against the outside of your wrist to use as a brace. As your body turns, your wrist also turns, so that the edge of your sword that was facing the ground in basic jian stance, now faces the sky.
Your blade flat connects with the duifang's blade, close to the guard of your sword and further towards the tip end on the duifang's sword. This gives your blade stronger leverage. The tip of your jian is angled upwards - the steepness of the angle depending on the distance from your duifang and the strike you plan to return with.
Turning your body might be the best self defense against the thrust. It might miss you completely. If it doesn't, your sword will connect with the duifang's sword, brushing his thrust away from the line of your body. Since he is now offline, you are perfectly positioned to continue the flow of your movement into a strike of your own.
These lessons continue with:
1. Master Sword Defense - Definitions.
3. Deflections to the upper tight side.
4. How to delect an attack to the tight side leg.
5. Deflecting and returning a cut to the easy side leg.
6. Master sword attacks to the lower midline.
7. Deflections for the head