I moved to Port Townsend in 1981 and rented spaces to teach Tai Chi, in various localities. None were perfect, but that is what most teachers must put up with. In the late 1980’s I met Dr. Bernard Haldane, the founder of “Dependable Strengths Process”, as well as running the worlds largest career counseling service. He was an advisor to four Presidents in the area of jobs and career satisfaction. At the time I was helping people to get started in a new career (I called it “Alternative Vocations Institute”). We immediately hit it off and developed a deep relationship.
In 1990, he came up with the idea of helping me build my own studio, and he and his wife could have an apartment up above, since they liked coming to Port Townsend from their usual home in Seattle. The Gilman Studio finally had a home, designed especially for the study and practice of Tai Chi and related arts.
One of the interior walls was blank (the others were either windows or mirrors or shelving for reference material). I was enjoying practicing and teaching weapons at his time, so I decided to display the old Chinese weapons I had collected, mostly from the 1800’s and early 1900’s. It was fun for students to use real weapons, many containing the energy of ancient warriors. There were swords, sabers, canes, and spears.
Swords (Jian) have a sharpe point, and is also sharpe for several inches along both sides of the blade, and is used mostly for poking and light cutting and slicing. This particular sword is quite heavy and must have been used by a person, large and strong.
Sabers (Dao)are sharpe usually only on one side with a more curved blade. The weapon is used mostly for slashing and cutting. There are two here: one is more narrow with a longer blade. The other is more correctly called a broadsword. This one has a shorter blade and is used for closer in fighting. Also notice the unique hand guard.
Cane swords were popular because it didn’t freak people out to be carried around in public. This one has a nice solid blade.
When I sold the Studio in 2015, I had no place to keep the weapons so I decided to give some away, sell some, or keep a few. Here is where “Something Special’ comes in. I have a few left and decided it is time to find them a new home.
Here is what I have in mind. I am giving away a saber (40” overall, 31” blade), a broad sword (36” overall, 25” blade), a sword (40” overall, 31” blade), and a cane sword (38” overall, 25” blade). All are in good condition. If you are interested in possessing one of these special, old weapons, email me with why you want it, and what you plan on doing with it. I will evaluate the responses and, if chosen, you will receive one in the mail, or if local, hand it to you. In any case, don’t overlook weapons practice. It can be fun, aids in hand and eye coordination, and is a positive physical workout. Advanced forms include partner forms (always use practice wooden weapons for these). Teaches timing, spacing, and the reality of the weapon.