Gilman Studio On-Line Lessons



Yang Style Saber Application Form

Tai Chi Chuan


This Lesson Contains:

Retreat And Deflect

The opponent, having failed at her attempted neck cut, now goes for my unguarded center. As she pokes my belly, I retreat, join with her saber, and neutralize it to my right side. There is a good drill derived from this movement. Have the opponent poke toward your center with his saber. You step back, join, stick, and lead to the right. When he is neutralized, you step forward and poke. He does the same movement. Go back and forth until this feels natural.


Starting to step back and join.

Shift the weight back onto the right foot (I’m in the process in these pictures).

The saber is lowering and untwisting (the cutting edge is rotating in a counterclockwise direction). It stays well in front of the body.

The left hand disengages from the right wrist.

This is the point where I use the side of my saber to join with the incoming blade of my partner.

Focus on the left (under) side of the blade for joining.





Getting ready to step back and draw the partner’s saber past me to the right.

The weight is fully shifted onto the right foot. The torso has turned to face forward. The left foot pivots on the heel so that the toe faces forward (north).

The right arm has finished its counterclockwise movement and ends slightly forward of the right hip with the cutting edge facing down.

The left palm is in front of the left side of the chest with the palm facing out. It is going to threaten the opponent.

Focus on the right side of the saber blade for sticking and leading.





Leading the opponent’s saber into emptiness on the right side.

If you study the application pictures, you will see how this movement ends up working. The opponent will be open, slightly off balance, and easy to attack.

Step back with the left foot and shift the weight back onto it. Take the weight off the right foot and just touch with the toe. The torso and right toe face north.

The right arm continues to move to the rear on the right and slightly out from the hip. Don’t let the saber get behind the body. The point face forward with a slight tilt outward.

The left palm press forward. It could be striking the opponent in the face as her body is thrown off balance to the right.

Focus on the right side of the saber blade for sticking and the left palm for striking.





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