Free sparring with Chinese sword fighting techniques should be a natural follow on from the basic cuts, forms, principles and partner exercises you have been working on. When learning a Chinese martial arts system, it is usual for a student to begin with emptyhand skills. These build in correct body mechanics and principles before complicating things with adding a weapon. The weapon then becomes an extension of your already trained body.
Check out this short video for a description of the five main elements of Chinese swordsmanship training. Then come back for a closer look at the fifth element - free sparring.
Children need more protection. We ask them to use padded swords and wear fencing masks.
More advanced students have fewer limitations. They speed up. The whole body becomes a target, and they need better protection in order to be less limited in their sword fighting techniques. This page on tournament equipment will give you a good idea of how these students need to be dressed.
The main thing to remember is that we are not developing a sport. This is a martial art. We want to build up skill using real weight swords and real techniques. You won't be able to do this with wobbly wushu swords. Wushu, as we know it today, is very skilful and athletic. It is beautiful to watch. But it is not real swordsmanship. Both can be a lot of fun. Both develop different skills. I will always admire people who can execute a perfect spinning butterfly kick with a sword in their hand. It's not my skill though. I'm training in real Chinese swordsmanship. Some people have time to be good at both types of swordie fun.
In real free sparring, all sword fighting techniques are allowed. All parts of the body are a target. It is a matter of staying "alive" while getting a "killing" strike in on your partner. I think it is just about the most fun in the world. It is definitely not safe even though we never do any partner training with sharp swords. You will have to be able to overcome fear, pain, distractions, and emotions if you are to grow in skill. You will have to learn to be "in the moment".
Why not start training in sword fighting techniques now. Before you know it you could be ready for something like the Traditional Chinese Sword League Tournament.
Leave Sword Fighting Techniques, Free Sparring and return to Swordfighting
Traditional Qing Dynasty design by Scott M. Rodell, made for Test Cutting!
Great quality cutting dao to suit your budget.
If you live in the Blue Mountains, give Linda a call