Gilman Studio On-Line Lessons



Yang Style

Tai Chi Dao/Saber/Broadsword


This Lesson Contains:

Movement # 17 – Turn Around And Chop Downward

   The opponent attempts to cut my leg with a large swinging, horizontal cut. I withdraw my leg, allowing the momentum of her cut to carry her saber pass me. As she tries to withdraw, I follow with a chop to her saber arm.


Note: The first group of pictures below is of sabers I am using for the lessons. In the first picture on the left, you will see three sabers. The one on the right is the one I have been using for the solo movements. It is quite large, heavy, and is available for sale in many good martial arts catalogues. It is combat steel. The middle one is made of aluminum, is fairly light, and inexpensive. This is the weapon I use for the applications. The one on the left is quite old, probably 100 years or more. It is shorter then the two others and has a different handle, guard, and pommel. I have started to collect old weapons so my students can experience the feel of real weapons, which is quite different then the cheaper ones sold on the current market. I am using this saber in the next series of pictures as I am going to be doing close in defense movements, and a shorter weapon is more appropriate.












1) Stephie would cut my leg if I didn’t move it.

2) As she cuts towards my leg, I pull my leg up and back to get it out of the way.









1) Having failed in her attempted cut, Stephie withdraws back into her center.

2) I follow and use a large downward chopping motion to her wrist.








I get my leg out of the way.

Turn the torso to the right until it faces halfway between north and east. As you do this, sink the weight deeper into the left leg and pull the right leg up until the foot is near the left knee.

The saber stays about the same place. The left hand moves with the body as it turns, and ends up on the left center side of the chest, protecting the upper body. The saber is now hidden from the opponent.

Focus on getting the right leg out of harm’s way.





I start my downward cut.

Step down with the right heel. Don’t add weight yet. The toe faces slightly to the right of north. Sink deeper into the left Kua.

The right arm starts to chop out and down. Lead with the pommel end of the saber. The left hand remains in the same relative position.

Focus on the area you want to cut on the opponent.





The chop downward is complete.

Shift the weight onto the right leg. Be careful not to let the knee extend past the toe. As you do this, the torso turns to end facing the same direction the toe is headed. At the end, pivot in the rear toe to end halfway between north and east.  The body can incline forward as far as is comfortable without over extending and causing imbalance.

The right arm finishes its downward chop. The tip is about your knee level. There is a strong, straight line from the tip of the saber, up the arm to the shoulder.

The left arm opens in the opposite direction to counterbalance the strong downward chop.

The palm faces backward.

Focus on the cutting edge.





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