Tai Chi Weapons

Tai Chi Weapons training can be an excellent tool for internal growth if the tools are trained and used properly.

There are a fair number of different Tai Chi Weapons forms and styles that can be learned. Most people who have been around Tai Chi for awhile are familiar with the sword. There are also Tai Chi Fan sets, Tai Chi staff, Tai Chi Broadsword, Tai Chi Stick, Tai Chi Wind and Fire Wheels and other more exotic and lesser known Tai Chi Weapons forms that can be learned. What they all share in common is that the emphasis of practice should be on the extension of Chi and Mind Intent through the weapon.

I like to start students with a stick and have them focus their chi and mind to the end of the stick. Extend the stick and push a heavy bag with the end of the stick. This should be as easy as pushing it with your outstretched hand. If it is easy then you are successfully focusing your intent and extending your chi. If you are having to use tension or brute force or are otherwise having difficulty then you have work to do.

You can do this same practice with a staff from quite a bit farther away. Practice your different moves with the stick or staff and consider the action that is expressed from the movement. Is it pushing, striking, lifting, pulling, circling etc.. Also, which Tai Chi energy is appropriate to the action? Peng should still be expanding. Even though the stick or pole cannot expand. You, the practitioner can express the jing and that energy can stil be expressed at and through the point of contact. Lu, Ji and An can also be expressed through the tool / weapon.

Last, but not least, if you train to feel inside the other person (and all competent Tai Chi Chuan practitioners do) then can you touch a person with your stick or staff etc and feel inside of them through the device without having to put undo pressure on them. Obviously, if you press hard enough then you can feel inside because they will begin to move due to the pain or discomfort. The skill is for you to be able to feel them through the tool and they feel like you are barely touching them and cannot feel you through the contact. This refers to the idea that “I know them but they do not know me”.

Have fun training. Let me know how you enjoy or benefit from the practice of these drills.

Salutations. Until next time.
Sifu

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