This week how to make a sword for training was the main focus of our class. In our sword group, these foam padded jian are usually the first sword children begin to train with. After that, they progress to wood, blunt steel, and sharp swords for test cutting.
During our tournament last week, Blake broke his sword with a sharp strike on top of someone's helmet. This was the second time he had broken it in a month, so I decided to teach all the kids how to make a sword. I also decided to move away from using dowel in the centre and replace any breaks with electrical duct pipe. It costs about the same but lasts much longer. For kids reading this revision class online, here is a video to remind you how we make a padded sword for Chinese sword fighting.
If you don't have any leather for the hilt, I suggest finding a leather bag at an Op Shop or a garage sale. If you want more detailed instructions, you can find them on the How to Make a Sword page.
Miao Dao Form Notes
In the second line, the cut comes momentarily before the stamp. If you have knocked the duifang's blade low with the strike, you could stamp on the back of it to drive it into the ground ensuring an open position for your thrust. Or, if you have missed, the stamp might connect with the duifang's knee (don't do this for real).
When half stepping forward, make sure you have get-away room. A common mistake is to step the rear foot into the back of the front foot.
The turn into the third line finishes with the blade resting against the side of your lower leg. Then the circular deflection is to counter a downward strike and is immediately followed by a thrust to the opening created.