A Good Defensive Move
in Chinese Swordfighting

Part 3: High Tight Side Deflections

This defensive move is very useful when your duifang attacks with a thrust to the right shoulder (the side you are holding your sword). It uses the flat of the blade to guide his sword offline, as you turn your waist, and puts your own sword in a threatening position.

Chinese swordfighting uses the principles of tai chi, as I said in an earlier lesson.

Best defensive move for a thrust to your tight side shoulder

Teacher Scott Rodell demonstrates
upper right deflection..
Alt Text--defensive move for a sword thrust
These directions assume a right handed swordfighting stance. Reverse the directions for left handed.

When the duifang aims a thrust at your upper right chest, neck, face or shoulder, this movement will deflect his sword: Sink into your left back leg and turn your waist to the right. Spiral down as you turn, pivoting on the toe of your right, unweighted foot, and opening wider from the top inside of your legs. As you turn, pull your elbow back and turn your wrist so that the blade faces tip down with the leading edge upwards. Your fingers will be facing away from your body, and the back of your hand will face and be approximately level with your forehead. This defensive move is a twisting action of your whole body that places the flat of your blade between your body and the duifang's blade.

It is important to mention that your blade will wrap over the top of the incoming blade, connecting with your blade flat. You have the longer movement than the person making the thrust, but the quick turn of your waist without a step, will make up the difference. His blade will probably miss you because of the waist turn, but the deflection puts his sword offline so that you can make a return strike. The jian is a versatile Chinese sword - light and easy to move. Remember the deflection isn't the end of the matter. Keep your blade tip in a direct line towards a target area of your duifang so that you can step your unweighted leg forward into a thrust. If you need further extension to reach a retreating duifang, transfer the weight to the right leg as you step forward, raising the left leg, or even stretching out in a horizonal position to reach.

Deflecting a cut to the upper tight side.

Stepping for extra reach.
Alt Text--defensive move for a thrust in chinese swordfighting
If the duifang has taken a downward moving diagonal slash at your right side, this same defensive move might still work. If it is a powerful cut though, it will hit your blade against your turned body, jamming your sword and preventing a return cut. If it was life and death and you didn't need your sword to keep functioning, one of those nasty edge blocks while stepping left will save you. Then you could turn your wrist quickly and cut to the neck. My system rather frowns on that method though.

You could try stepping wide left and forward while deflecting the cut with a blade tip down beat on the side of your jian. This puts you in a position for a return cut or some emptyhand skills.

Another defensive movement for this situation is to step wide and forward while employing either a one handed or two handed high anti clockwise spinning deflection. Your return strike is a vertical head cut. The trouble is, your duifang can deflect in exactly the same way you did, so it is best to vary the expected cut.

One more good defensive move is a tip up circular deflection while stepping your right foot behind your left. The Left foot then steps forward into a rising diagonal cut to the duifang's torso. This is called Liao with a Pipa step.

These lessons continue with:
1. How to master sword attacks with deflections - Part 1: Definitions.
2. Best self defense to the easy side shoulder.
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

Leave Defensive Move for the Upper Right and return to Sword Fighting Basics

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