Gilman Studio On-Line Lessons



Yang Style

Tai Chi Dao/Saber/Broadsword


This Lesson Contains:

Movement # 4 – Step To The Left And Change Saber Hand

In this movement, I use the scarf to daze and distract the opponent and then put the saber into my stronger hand and get ready for a slicing cut if and when Stephie makes her move. As we progress in the lessons, you will notice that most of the time I am either hiding the saber, making it difficult for the opponent to see, or I am making it very present and projecting Chi through it to threaten him.


I bring the saber over to my right side. At this point I have a few options. I can change hands now and get ready for her attack. I could use a reverse thrust and attack her with my saber using my left arm. I decide to fake her and she if she will make a move that will expose her to my counterattack.

Turn the torso to the right and allow the saber to sweep over to the right side of the waist. The torso faces slightly to the right of west.

Drop the right hand straight down to end just above the saber handle.

Focus on the energy in the center.

Note: This part of the movement can be used to parry a thrust attack to my center by the opponent. I would be using the inside of the blade and I would parry to the right.





I am deciding what line of action to take.










I am starting to make my move.

Step out with the left heel. The toe faces slightly to the left of west. Don’t add weight yet to the foot. Be sure to sink your weight deeper into the right Kua/leg. Don’t turn your torso left when you step. You want to keep the torsion in the waist.

The hands remain in the same position.

Focus on the proper step.






I flick the scarf into Stephie’s face to distract her and make her commit to a course of action. I am also in the process of changing the hand that holds the saber. In this picture, I haven’t quite completed my shift of weight.

Shift the weight onto the left foot, turning the torso to the left.

The left hand makes a sweeping arc-like movement to the left side. The idea is to flick the scarf in the opponent’s face, and change saber hand.

The right hand is following the movement of the saber over to the left in order to grab it at the appropriate moment.

Focus on the pommel (end) of the saber to flick the scarf.





The scarf distracts Stephie.

This picture does not really capture what is going on. I am swinging the saber over to my left side very quickly and the scarf is brushing across Stephie’s field of vision. It looks like a posed picture, which it is. You have to keep in mind that, in application, the movements must be lightening fast. My camera can’t cope with movement like that.

In any case, what I’m trying to do is get Stephie to commit to some line of action. She will try and slice me in the next movement and my trap will be complete.






The change of hands is complete.

The weight is fully on the left leg. The torso faces the direction the toe is headed (slightly to the left of west).

The right hand takes hold of the saber handle. This is done by having the saber resting on the left elbow for balance and then opening the left hand that had been holding the handle. The left palm is up and the right palm is down. This all happens at waist level.

Focus on the change of hands.

Note: It is hard to see in these pictures but the saber should be parallel to the ground with the pommel facing the opponent. This makes it difficult for the opponent to easily see the saber. It is more or less hidden from her view.





At the change of hands, the scene is something like this. In this picture I am actually too far from my opponent for the application I am working on – flicking the scarf, getting Stephie to commit, then attacking her weakness. But you can get the idea.









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