Gilman Studio On-Line Lessons



Yang Style

Tai Chi Dao/Saber/Broadsword



This Lesson Contains:

Movement # 8 – Jump Backward, Change Feet, and Push Forward

This is a fun movement. In it, I jump to avoid a slicing cut toward my leg, and push the saber bade into Stephie. The jump not only gets my leg out of the way, but it allows me to close the distance very quickly and attack the opponent’s flank. Depending upon the circumstance, I can jump in place to just change which foot is forward, or I can jump forward or backward. Practice the jump all by itself for a good aerobic workout.


Stephie is going to cut my knee. It is an easy target because it is the closest body part to her and not easily defended.

I sink back to avoid the cut.









I jump and change feet as Stephie’s saber passes my leg. Notice that my new stepping leg is now on the harmless side of her blade.

In these pictures it looks like Stephie could just thrust forward with her blade and poke me. It would be very hard for her to do this as she was using a sweeping horizontal cut to my knee and the momentum was going from right to left. Remember that the saber is fairly heavy and it is not easy to change directions in the middle of a cut.






I step in and push the saber blade into her. In this picture, I’m attacking her neck. I could easily have gotten her arm or torso.

This illustrates the principle of stepping into the flank of the enemy.








Following the previous movement, shift the weight straight back onto the left foot. Be sure to sink into the Kua. Don’t lean back.

The arms draw back as the body retreats. The saber is held in a diagonal fashion across the body.

Focus on energy returning to the center.



Jump and change feet.

It is hard to capture the jump with still pictures. Lifting up the right foot starts the jump. The weight then sinks into the left foot and the jump happens by releasing the energy, like releasing a spring. Land on the right foot with the left foot still held up.

Keep the saber in the front of the body in the same basic position, possibly drawing it a bit closer to the body as the jump happens.

Focus on the spring like quality of the left leg.





Landing after the jump.

Land on the right foot with the toe facing halfway between north and west. Be sure to keep the knee bent. The left leg is held up with the upper leg parallel to the ground. One could kick with this foot if necessary.

The arms remain in the same basic position.

Focus on keeping balance when landing.






Stepping in.

Step down with the left foot, just touching the heel. The toe faces west. This stance can be longer and narrower then usual since we want to be stepping well into the opponent, and the attack is a straightforward push.

The arms are still in the same relative position. Be sure to keep the fingers of the left hand well pulled back from the sharp edge of the blade.

Focus on the correct placement of the left foot. Energy is still gathered in the Dantien.





Push forward with the saber blade.

Shift the weight straightforward onto the left foot until the knee just covers the toe. The torso faces west.

The arms move with the body and expand outward. Be sure to keep the elbows and shoulders relaxed at the end of the movement. Be sure the saber extends past the knee. The blade is not quite parallel to the ground. The right hand is held a bit higher. This movement feels very much like push in the solo form.

Focus on the cutting edge of the saber.






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