Tai Chi Chuan

Grand Ultimate Boxing

Tai Chi Broadsword

Tai Chi Chuan



Taiji Quan Da Dao

Tai Chi Broadsword

Tai Chi Chuan Da Dao


Tai Chi Broadsword


Shifu doing Tai Chi Broadsword



The Tai Chi Broadsword is also referred to as a Dao.  Its' translation in English is Saber or Wide Blade Sword and referred to as a Broadsword.  Usually, the Dao is more than 1 1/2 inches wide.   In Tai Chi the emphasis is on feeling.  Like Push Hands, you want the sword to become part of you so you can "SENSE" or feel your opponent.  This practice thereby requires you to focus beyond the blade tip and takes total concentration. 

The broadsword in constructions has the following components:

  • The Blade

    • Tip

    • Back edge which is dull

    • Blade edge which is sharp on the first third to two thirds

    • Blood groove which allows the weapon to be withdrawn from the opponent after being thrust into the body

    • The flat edge used to block an opponents weapon

  • The Guard protects the hand from other weapons during its' use

  • The Handle

    • The grip or handle where you hold the sword

    • The pummel at the end of the handle  

There are movements like fist, sword, rapier, spear, pushing hands and big stroke in Tai Chi series. Although the movements type are different, but they have the same movement characters, that is “the solid blend in the soft, needles hide in the cotton, lingering constantly and flow on without stopping.”
What is concerned in this book is completely different with the movements in the book “thirteen sword movements of Tai Chi”. The content of this book is written by studying from part of the attacking movements of short sword in ancient China which include hack, cut, chop, sever, pick, lift up, push, prick, support, slice, wipe, hitch, sweep, etc. Combine with special stance type, stance method and body type of martial art and form a sport event of short weapon. There is a character of attacking in it, as well as the characters of Tai Chi Boxing which are moving gently, smoothly and lingering constantly.
The practice way of Tai Chi sword is same with Tai Chi boxing. Therefore, it will bring great benefits to the nerve system, cardio cerebral vascular system, respiratory system, digestive system and metabolism as well. Meanwhile, the player will obtain more interests to play a sword than nothing in hands.
The practice method of Tai Chi Sword

When you practice the Tai Chi Sword, your head cannot lean or pitching and have to keep the chin back. Push the head upward like to support something. You should avoid the feeling of stiff neck when you do this movement and should keep the muscles on the neck relax. Both eyes have to look forward horizontally and avoid the strabismus while moving. Mouth should be closed naturally and twist the tongue and the tip of tongue should touch the palate. Exhale with mouth and inhale with nose naturally.
You should keep the body upright and avoid leaning when you practice. Backbone and tailbone should keep upright and avoid leaning as well. However, it does not mean that your body will be stiff completely without any flexibility. When you need to change the movements while moving, you need to do the movements like head down on chest, straighten up, sink down the shoulders and turn over the waist, etc. Mr. Yang Dengpu said: “when you meet the movement variation, such as head down on chest, Straighten up, sink down the shoulders and turn over the waist, you must pay great attention to it at the beginning, otherwise correction will hard to be done and the movements will be stiff after a long time. It will bring great influence to your further studying and you will never obtain its benefits.”
When you practice the Tai Chi Sword, you should keep the bone joints and muscles relax, shoulders should be sunk down, the elbows should be kept drooping and curved arc-shaped. Palms should be stretched and fingers should be stretched as well with a little bit curving.
You have to make clear about which one is empty and which one is full for both legs when you practice the Tai Chi Sword. If the weight of the body moves to the left leg, then the left leg is the full, and the right leg will touch the ground with empty stance. Otherwise, the left leg is empty and the right leg is full. What is called the empty, does not mean hollow, it means that the moving trend does not stop, there is still leeway to make some scale changes. What is called full, does not mean overexert with entire strength. It means full with energy. So when you squat, just bend your knees a little. Bending your knees too much and a half squat means you do this movement too far. At the same time, the posture of half squat will make the upper body lean forward and lost the state of upright. Then it will obey the requirement of keeping upright without leaning to either side.
When you practice the Tai Chi Sword, you should make the forward and backward, up and down of the steps like a walking cat. The up steps should be flexible and the down steps should be light and gentle. In case of kicking, you should keep the instep in line, and toe forward. However, do not tighten the instep too much; you should make all the muscle tendon relax and kicking out slowly.
When you practice the Tai Chi Sword, you have to keep silence to concentrate your mind and focus on each fine movement. Do not consider any other matters while practice. Otherwise, sport will become a leisure activity and the value of practice will be reduced.
When you practice the Tai Chi Sword, you have to keep the breath naturally; do not make the natural breath be influenced by any movement. About the breath method, although the Tai Chi Sword is same with Tai Chi Boxing, both of them use deep breath from the pubic region, but you do not need to be fettered by this method at the beginning stage, just use an ordinary abdominal breathing is enough and do not need to focus on the up and down movement of your diaphragm. Otherwise, one can neither breathe naturally nor moving naturally, it will be more difficult to coordinate them.
When you practice the Tai Chi Sword, you have to use a flexible strength instead of stiff and clumsy. What is called flexible strength means in case the body, arms and legs move naturally or in the state of standing, make the muscle tendons and the joints relax as much as possible. However, this kind of relaxation does not mean loosen and exhaustion; it means to do any movement with minimum strength as well as to control the bones with minimum muscle strength.
When you practice the Tai Chi Sword, you have to make all the movement consistently and prolonged. The movement of body, legs and arms should be consistent and coordinated, especially the coordination and union among the sword, posture of hands and steps. If one moves, then all the others will follow. Avoid hands moving but legs stopping and sword moving but hands stopping. At the same time, you should make each movement consistently from start to end, make the Tai Chi Sword becomes a complete movement, no pulse, and no interruption; although there are some little breaks, they are only to slow down the movement, but not stop.
When you practice the Tai Chi Sword, the slower movement is better. However, slowness does not mean bluntness and tenderness. Therefore, bluntness and tenderness should be avoided regard to the movement speed. At the same time, you should practice in uniform speed from start to the middle and end and avoid fast and slow irregular.
written by Chen Hongzhen

Watch Carla do Tai Chi Broadsword