There are many different types of weapons that can be practiced with Tai Chi. By understanding the different types and unique characteristics of each weapon, it can help us enhance our tai chi skills.
The learn more about tai chi weapons, read the blog – Is Practicing Weapons in Tai Chi for You?
Below we describe the four main tai chi weapons.
Tai Chi Sabre (刀 – dāo)
The traditional Tai Chi Sabre or Broadsword, also known as Tai Chi Thirteen Sabre, is one of the important weapons in Tai Chi. The routine not only maintains the basic requirements of the broadsword, such as chopping, hanging, pulling, cutting, etc., its movements are also powerful and vigorous. Combined with the requirements of the Tai Chi body, it shows the effect of combining power and softness, with speed and slowness. Practicing Tai Chi Sabre can strongly enhance the strength of both body and mind.
Tai Chi Spear (槍 – qiāng)
The Spear is one of the commonly used weapons in martial arts. It is called the commander of long weapons and the king of a hundred soldiers.
Tai Chi spear is based on the original spear skills such as blocking, holding, and thrusting, plus the requirements of Tai Chi. Practicing Tai Chi spear requires a lot of small circle manipulations and large-area sweeps plus other flexible movements, giving our bodies a good physical workout. The body and the spear need to be highly integrated into one to achieve fluent control of the spear in the hand, so it is necessary to increase the focus of mind and intention.
Overall, wielding a spear requires really good coordination of the hands, eyes, body and feet. Hence it is more difficult to master than the sabre.
Tai Chi Sword (劍 – jiàn)
Tai Chi Sword combines the characteristics of tai chi empty hand form with swordsmanship.
Tai Chi Sword is the same as Tai Chi, the mind is calm and the body clear. The mind is the conductor, and the body leads the sword. The sword is a light weapon, its movements are mainly light and agile. The practitioner should experience the connection of movements through arcs and circles, with the body leading the sword. Many years of diligently and repeated practice is needed to achieve the perfect blend of mind, body and sword.
Tai Chi sword has a strong emphasis on the mind (yi) guiding all movements, hence it is also a good exercise of the brain and nerves.
(To learn more, read the blog – Why People Learn Tai Chi Sword)
Tai Chi Long Pole (大桿 – dà gǎn)
The Tai Chi long pole is the best equipment for Tai Chi skill training. The pole length is more than eight feet long, and there are single and paired exercises. For paired exercises, you can train strength and sensitivity by sticking the pole in circles. In solo practice, there are various exercises like pole shaking and circle strikes, plus the 13 moves Long Pole form.
The long pole is one of the most important equipment for tai chi training as it can greatly enhance physical fitness, stamina and strength.
(To learn more, read the blog – Long Pole exercises for Tai Chi training)