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Shaolin Academy Curved Swords

The Warriors Weapon

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On this page you will find most of the information that you require to learn, train and pass the Shaolin Academy the various forms of Curved Weaponry for Fun, Fitness, Recreation and Self Defence. → → →

Introduction & Overview to Curved Blades

Sijo Robert Z
Sijo Robert Z


In the development for 5000 years, the Chinese Broad Sword or Dao is considered the pinnacle of Curved Swords. Although the Japanese Katana have received better publicity and greater exposure, the lesser know two handed Broad Sword or even Long Handed Broad Sword are superb superior swords. Yet, the single handed Dao with it's triple function offers the Traditional Weaponry Recreation practitioner far more variety, complexity and flexibility, as no other curved or even straight sword can. With it's triple function equal to that of a Curved Blade, Straight Blade and Axe, the Chinese broad Sword is exceedingly versatile and interesting to work with.

Perspective on Shaolin Weaponry training in the 21st Century.

It would almost seem ludicrous to train with Weaponry now-days where so many are forbidden. Yet on the other hand there are many, many reasons for training with such items. And if you have a closer look, we actually promote the use of some weaponry for sport like the Javelin, Hammer and Discus. And this is also the key to Shaolin Weaponry training!

The Shaolin Temple (where our style originated) Kung Fu teachers used to teach and use weaponry to prepare the student for the Real World. To complete their training most Shaolin students after many years of teaching in the 6 Arts (Scripting, Math's, Poetry, History, Kung FU and Buddhism), would be encouraged to go on their journey years. As part of their Bare Hand training, they would learn weaponry to help them understand how the weapon is used and then how to defend against a weaponed attack bare handed. This would have them learning many, many weapons and at the same time get a through workout; both learning to use the weapon and then defending against the weapon bare handed. They became so good at it that Chinese Emperors called up-on Shaolin Warrior Monks many times to help them out when the Imperial Army was not good enough or too corrupt.

So, what about Weaponry Training today! Well there are still a few nuts walking around with concealed weapons and anyone can pick up a stick, knife, broom or anything else for that matter and use it to attack you. That is why we train Weaponry still today; for appreciation how to defend against it; for a through and good workout and for the recreational aspect of Weaponry training; and yes, it is also enjoyable! Just below we have put some ideas together and then we will continue with information on the Shaolin Tiger Broad Sword!

Acting & Movies Competitions and Events Fitness and Sport Health and Recreation Lifestyle & Life Professional Teaching Self Defence
Knowing a form of martial art seems almost a pre-requisite to Movie and thwarter roles if you want more than just extras work Just entering and participating in competitions improves self esteem, confidence and self worth; very important. Same-old, same-old is the usual way of fitness and exercise, not with Kung Fu and Weaponry Training! You choose the intensity and strength or your training whilst you are learning and 1000 year old art. Kung Fu and Chinese Weaponry has a long and rich history for Reenactments and the learning of Strategies and Tactics. Martial Art teaching is one of the oldest professions and one of the professions still in need today and tomorrow. Shaolin Academy has an Instructor and Business development program for members. It is not about fighting but about having the skills and confidence to stand up for yourself; If you know Kung Fu you will not need it!
Tiger Broad Sword Forms

Broad Sword & Shield Forms

Twin Broad Sword Forms

The Great (Broad) Sword Form

Long Handled Broad Sword Forms

Kwan Dao Form

Sword Overview
Sword Blocks

Sword Strikes Greater

Sword Strikes Lesser

Sword Training Sessions

Introduction to Curved Bladed Weapons

Over a period of several thousand years, the Chinese system of required that any warrior had to learn the four foundation Weapons to understand the systems of the many Chinese Weapons. Even if you wish to specialize in, say, the Tiger Broad Sword Style, if you are not familiar with some basic common weapons, you will not know how to manage (for example) a Spear attack. The learning of these 4 Weapons; Heavy Staff, Curved Bladed Sword, Light Spear, Straight Sword and possibly the Shield would give you a proper grounding for you speciality and also keep you alive. The four weapons are so important they they also received special titles;

  1. Heavy Staff - known as the Father of All Weapons due to the fact that it is mainly a very long wooden handle and that most any weapon will have some aspect of the Staff within it, even thrown knives.
  2. Curved Sword - know as the Marshal of all Weapons as it is the most popular of all cold weapons (non explosive), requires a good combination of Skill and Strength and can be used both on the ground and off the horses back. The Broad Sword, aka, Saber, Scimitar, Cutlass, Dao is possibly one of the most popular of all Cold (non explosive) Weapons around the world, and for good reason. Curved Swords, also know as Scimitars, Sabers, Cutlass, Katana's are usually chopping and slicing weapons which are good against multiple opponents, as mallee weapons and can be used on the ground and off a horse back.
  3. Spear - known as the King of all Weapons as it is a very difficult weapon to over come. Most any army who had a trained spear force usually were very successful against charges both by foot and horse. Defenders with extremely long spear were able to defend from above on a balustrade or fortification. This was in some ways better than arrows as these were often shot back at the people who used them in the first place.
  4. Straight Sword - titled the Lord of all Weapons as it is the one requiring the most skill to learn. It is also the one weapon that finds the small opening in armor that can be used to deliver the one strike necessary to end the fight. As an example of this, the European Fencing Blade is said to have killed far more people in it's prime days of usage (16th to 17th Century) than the Japanese Katana.

On this page we look at the Tiger Broad Sword, the triple sword, the weapon that was not just a curved sword for cutting but also was weighted at the top for chopping and designed to be also used for stabbing. Yet, to fully understand this Sword it would be good to have some experience in the other 3 Weapons and Shield.

Background Understanding

To understand a bit about Broad Swords we need to understand a bit about metals. It is a bit more difficult to create a curved sword than it is a straight sword and curved swords can often be more fragile than straight swords. So the development of Metal or to be more exact the alloy we call Steel is important. And, although the first 'Steel' dates back 2000 years both in China and in India, it was very much a hit and miss circumstance!


Iron's high melting point meant the smelting process limited primitive sword smiths to the production of a porous mass of iron called a bloom, which was subsequently hammered out over the course of numerous heating and cooling cycles to produce the desired blade. Hotter temperatures were needed to create better Iron. Longer, stronger iron swords did not emerge right away, however. In fact, many of the original iron swords were only marginally better than their bronze predecessors. Iron ore was readily accessible in just about every region of the ancient world, and while the copper required in the production of bronze was also abundant, the simplicity in producing workable iron and the relative rarity of tin meant that iron swords could be produced on a much larger scale, and could therefore equip more soldiers.

Transition to Steel

Introducing trace amounts of carbon into the iron purification process in the proper quantities and with the correct technique gives rise to the vastly superior alloy commonly known as steel. The trouble with adding carbon to iron is that it is a decidedly difficult process to control. Consequently, many of the earliest sword smiths working with iron were wont to produce swords of vastly different qualities from one day to the next. The fact that early iron blades were work-hardened (meaning they were formed by way of hammering out a bloom over the course of several cycles of gradual heating and cooling, as described above) rather than quench-hardened (an incredibly meticulous process wherein the alloyed blade is rapidly cooled in a way that reduces the formation of unwanted crystallization within the blade while increasing its overall structural integrity) meant that the superior qualities of true steel remained elusive and poorly understood for hundreds of years.

Even when early sword smiths happened to imbue their iron blooms with the optimal quantities of carbon, their chances of of producing a steel blade - while possible - are believed to have been exceedingly slim; while some regions gradually came to demonstrate varying degrees of mastery over the production of steel, the process eluded many sword smiths until as recently as the early middle ages or Ming Dynasty.

Legendary Swords

This hit-and-miss aspect of making Steel Swords would explain some of the 'Swords of Legend'. Makers who chanced on just the right combination, mixture and process and created Steel of a quality to smash other metal swords. Often then though, the smiths would not exactly record their formula and thus there was great variation in the quality of product.

One example of such a seemingly perfect hap stance was the Sword of Goujian (SS). Found 1965 in a damp tomb in China and despite being over 2,000 years old, there wasn't a spot of rust on it. The blade was so untouched by time it even drew blood when one archeologist tested its edge on his finger.

There are other such great swords recorded in history including; Tomoyuki Yamashita's Sword from sword maker Fujiwara Kanenaga crafted 1640~1680 CE (CS), Curved Saber (CS) of San Martin, Seven-Branched Sword (SS) 4 Century Korea, William Wallace Sword (SS) from the 13 Century (made famous by the Mel Gibson movie), Colada (SS) and Tizona (SS) owned by El Cid 11th Century CE, Napoleon's Sword (CS), Sword of Mercy of Edward the Confessor 11th Century (SS), Zulfiqar Scimitar (CS) of the Islamic leader Ali 7th Century CE, Honjo Masamune Swords from 1288CE - 1328CE (CS), Joyeuse Sword (SS) of Emperor Charlemagne 8th Century CE.

As can be seen from the list above (SS = Straight Sword, CS = Curved Sword), most of the 'famous' Swords that are know and have survived were straight edged; but not all! It took a while before the Broad Sword could be made and before it became well know.

The Broad Sword

The Broad Sword, Saber, Scimitar, Cutlass, Dao is possibly one of the most popular style of all cold weapons around in history that also found usage far longer than any other curved sword in history. It is also a very contemporary weapon as what you learn with the Dao can also apply to sticks of similar length; both using it for defence or defending against someone trying to use it against you.

The Broad Sword is the most magnificent creation as far as Swords for Soldiers go. It has the beautiful curves and lines of a classical and beautiful Curved Sword and properly made, it is also mathematically perfect using natural lines and growth based mathematics. It has the full function of a classical Curved Sword but when correctly proportioned also has the ability to be used for stabbing and jabbing. And the final bit of brilliance is that is also has the functions of an Axe. With the top-heavy blade making it ideal for hacking without making the Sword as unwieldy as an axe proper!

First things First

We first need to mention that Shaolin Monks would not use a Bladed Killing weapon against another human being. It is against the Buddhist Precepts practiced by (most) Shaolin Monks (most) of the time. The only reason a Shaolin Monk or a Shaolin Martial Artist would learn the use of a Bladed weapon is to understand it and to know how to defend against it! This is often show in traditional Chinese Martial Art movies when the hero disarms their opponent and throws away the weapon rather than using it against their attacker.

Tigers (Tooth) Broad Sword

The Broad Sword was know as the "Hundred Day Weapon" especially in the turbulent times after the fall of the Ming Dynasty. It was considered that this was the amount of daylight hour days that a person needed to train to become proficient in its use as a soldier. Comparatively, this is considered a short time, for a practitioner to learn the three aspects of the unique Broad Sword! As with other curved swords, it was great at slicing and cutting. With the addition of the larger top part of the Sword, the 'broad' blade, it could also be used like an axe, chopping down on an opponent with sufficient force to stun and damage through normal armor. The shape of a superior Broad Sword though can also be used as a thrusting weapon having a straight line from hilt through to the tip (The Sword and Handle were curved in such a way that a straight line could be drawn from Handle to tip on the metal). A very versatile weapon that came in several variations including the Two Handed Broad Sword, Long Handled Broad Sword and General Kwan's Kwan Dao!

Shaolin Broad Sword Size and Shape

In Chinese terms, human measurements were the most important. The 'ideal' Tiger Broad Sword is about the length of the users arm length; so the blade is about the length of you arm from shoulder to longest finger tip. The Grip is about 1½: hand widths and the pommel a further ½ a hand. The ideal Tiger Broad Sword scabbard is made from a good dry wood, covered externally from treated water proof hide and reinforced with steel banding. You would never ever sheath your blade without cleaning and oiling it first even if you only practiced with it.

The Broad Sword Blade is only Sharp around the top ¼ (back) ad ⅓ (front). It would be foolish to have the whole front of a Sword be sharp. than every time when you block you would chip the sword and after only a few engagements, the sword would become useless. Thus, you cut and chop with the front round edge but you block with the bottom (marked green) solid blunt part of the Tiger Broad Sword. Also, the profile, thickness of the Tiger Broad Sword is accordingly different than the usual sword. The front part is thinner than the back part allowing for a sharp edge. The bottom bit, as mentioned is thick and blunt. This also gives the Tiger Broad Sword an excellent weight distribution for rapid and flowing round movements.

One of the important parts of Sword Handling is the position and grip of your hand on the Grip. It is important that your fist is fairly hard up against the Guard. It is part of the three parts of control of a Tiger Broad Sword. The 3 fingers and thumb give is strength and movability; the fist hard up against the Guard give it Stability and the little finger at the bottom allow for a finite control and detail movement of the Sword. Always train with your hand position correct on your sword; bad habits will not get you killed like in a Sword Fight but you may injure yourself or your sparring partner.

But the Pommel is also important. Fancy Pommels may give the Sword a higher value, but the Tiger Broad Swords Pommel is also an aspect of the Weapon. It is used for trauma strikes, blows that may incapacitate an attacker rather than killing or severally injuring. preferably the pommel is round or oval without any adornments. In custom made swords the pommel is made to an exact weight specification for the user to give it a close to perfect balance for the owner. It also has attached to it the Tang; the flowing material that disguises the hand somewhat and can be used for distraction or blinding. Sometimes the Tang would hide some sharp metal objects at the tips but more often just small metal balls that could be whipped across the attackers eyes.

The Three Target Groups of the Tiger Broad Sword

Chopping; When using the Broad Sword like a Chopping Ace or Metal Bar, you aim for similar part if using the Heavy Staff. Fingers, Elbows, Knees, Shoulder Joints and Head. Especially when against an armored opponent, where the sharpness of your blade is useless, you would seek to chop with the middle part of the sword which is just below the sharp edge and just above the heavy blocking part.

Cutting; is best against fleshy areas such as neck, muscle, tendons and exposed body parts. Cutting or Slicing is best done as a hit and evade method as it is not usually an ending technique even when an artery is severed. The attacker still has several moments to do you harm.

Stabbing; can only be effective against unprotected areas like cutting/slicing. There is a whole new skill with stabbing to do with angles and penetration depth. Unlike Chopping and Slicing, with Stabbing you need to recover your weapon and unlike in the movies, not everyone immediately realizes they are stabbed. Bust areas are heart, throat, mouth and eyes.

Shaolin practitioners would prefer the chopping impacting action of the Broad Sword to prevent any real damage but still stop an attack. They would you blunt areas of the sword including the Pommel the flat of the blade and a simple punch with the sword in hand.

As a defender you need to be aware of the vital areas to protect when defending against a Broad Sword. Most important is to protect exposed arteries and tendons as these have an immediate debilitating and shocking effect beyond simple pain. A cut can be well managed but a severed artery or tendon is very serious.

Sparring Targets of the Tiger Broad Sword

Sparring with the Tiger Broad Sword is real fun especially if combined with a shield. We consider any body stab to be the equivalent of sudden death. Cuts to the arms and legs stop the usage of the limb, cut to the neck is also sudden death. But any hit to the head is sudden death to the person who caused the hit. We do not allow any head contact and penalize any person who hits another in the head or groin.


The above information was in a way an introduction to the Shaolin Tiger Broad Sword. If you are wanting information about Chinese Cold Weapon History or Shaolin Temple Temple just click on the underlined text. If you wish to know more about the Shaolin Tiger Broad Sword, we ask you to read the following warning and agree to the disclaimer.

Shaolin Academy Main Focus for ALL Members - Safety

It would be difficult to achieve perfection through hard work if you constantly injured yourself in the process. The very spirit of Kung Fu is Safety and Control. What use is any exercise if it causes you pain and injury and sends messages to your brain of pain whenever you are exercising your body? Eventually you will associate health-giving exercise with pain.

Pain is nature's way of telling you that there is something wrong!!

The human body has in-built redundancy to allow us many choices which in times of threat allow us to push it way beyond its normal usage. Yet when we do this, we damage our body in some way. This is what top sports people do constantly and why we hear about knee reconstructions, shoulder injuries, ankle problems and damaged backs. We do not want this consequence arising for you when training in Shaolin Academy (Australia) materials. We choose to train in a slowly, deliberate and safe way to allow our Physical, Mental and Spiritual aspects to develop together in rhythm and harmony with each other. This is the Shaolin Way.

It is not about Risk Elimination but about Smart Risk Management!

Even in the Book of War by Sun Tsu, possibly the greatest and most quoted martial strategy book, stats;

"The good warriors first put themselves beyond the possibility of defeat, and then waited for an opportunity of defeating the enemy"

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  1. Do not cause harm through action or inaction if anyway possible and/or reasonable
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Only use Shaolin Skills for fitness, competition, fun, development and when needed self defence. Never initiate the course of violence. If you agree to this, please read the following also and only continue if you are in agreement with both this and the below.

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If you wish to train ANY of the Shaolin Academy Materials; you must agree to be safe and responsible, indemnify the Academy and Instructors and follow the rules and guides as stated above. Register yourself with a $35/y reoccurring subscription with the Shaolin Academy. You will then receive Master Level support when you ask for it to help you there where you need it. Once you have subscribed you will receive confirming e-mails from both PayPal (almost immediately) and the Shaolin Academy (within 72 hours) with instructions how to proceed. And when you are ready book your for a Assessment or just a Review below at the bottom of this page.

Shaolin Academy Traditional Chinese Weaponry Home Training

It is in the 90's that the professional workforce became very mobile. A number of Shaolin Academy members needed to travel a lot and often missed their training. It was especially frustrating for those living in Hotels as there was enough spare time (being away from friends and family) to do training but frequent short term relocation made it virtually impossible to find local training for any meaningful period. Sijo was asked if he could tape a few classes and make these available to members for when they were traveling. And this is how the Cyber Program Started! Around the same time, Sijo was put in charge of a Engendering Development Program. Here the challenge was to inform and update Engineers of the latest developments in Telecommunications, Transmission technologies and Fibre Optics. Long story shortened, Sijo co-developed both programs using the same principles, one for Engineers and the other for Shaolin Academy members.

Since then we have added over 1000 members in around 82 different countries, but mainly US, Canada, Australia, England, China and the EU. The program has expanded to include all the Bare Hand Levels to Black Sash and around 20 different Weapon Forms. One of the reasons this works so well is the detailed description of each technique and form, not only the what and how but also the Why; why is this done and why so. SO, have a look at the Cyber Intro Video above left and the Shaolin Staff Intro Video above right. Specific training videos are below the Indemnity and Safety notices.

The Shaolin Academy Weapon Warriors Main Principles

10 Principles of the Shaolin Staff Warrior

1 - Safety - Is always at the forefront, never do any harm, even if attracted, if possible. But also consider the long term effect that your training and practice of the martial art has; will it cause long term damage to your body, mind or spirit; will it create health issues through its practice or use (excessive impact on training objects) and even to the point; will it mark your body in such a way that everyone will recognize that you are a fighter and assume that you are also a thug!

2 - Consideration - Is a key element of Shaolin Style Martial Arts. Think and Consider before you Act. If you feel that you are becoming aggressive, emotive and possibly out of control, the style should be one that promotes a calming, reconsidering process rather than a "Strike First - Think Later" action. A true Shaolin Academy supported style places Thinking and Consideration before Action and Violence.

3 - Peace - and health are the reason for Shaolin Martial Arts. It is not about War Style that seek to kill and destroy. The level of skill needs to be such that no one needs to be hurt or damaged more than the situation requires.

4 - Management - not Domination of a volatile situation. It is a tool for conflict situations which has a number of options, tactics, strategies and methods of dealing with these, backed up by the possibility (not inevitability) of an active response (which also gives the confidence not to need a physical action).

5 - Appropriateness - is a far reaching concept. Do you really want to spend year learning to bash someone or does your training have considerable other benefits? Is the style right for you; your physical, mental and spiritual aspects. If you are a non-violent person how can a martial art help you or if you are a violent character, how can it support you in finding human and intelligent outcomes.

Plus the Shaolin Academy Sword Warriors Encounter Principles

6 - Focus on Defence - You have a deadly weapon in your hand; do not miss-use it. Ensure that you really need to use it before you do. Walk away if possible, defend if necessary but only strike if it is life threatening.

7 - Centerline Control - is Shaolin Academy principle. If the person can not attack you easily or directly, they have to work hard and take risks. It is also in the nature of the Shaolin Warrior to be defensive and evasive not offensive and aggressive. Control the center, watch for false movements or feints.

8 - Patience - is the hunters way; Patience is also the defenders way. Unless there is a need for action, patience often pays off; not always, but often. As a saying by Sun Tzu goes - 'If you wait by the river long enough, the bodies of your enemies will float by'.

9 - Use the Blunt - is a way of not causing deadly harm. Most of the Tiger Broad Sword is not sharp. If you can use the flat of the blade, the thick blocking part or even the pommel to finish the conflict without causing undue harm, then do it.

10 - Prefer Bare Hands - is the motto of the Shaolin Warrior. We learn weaponry to know and appreciate the Weapon, Style, Possibilities and Limitations. But we prefer to defend bare handed even against a Sharp Blade like the Tiger Broad Sword. Know the weapon well, be prepared and the battle is half won!

Traditional Chinese Weaponry Curriculum, Grading and Advancement

Reminder that each (most) of these videos are recorded in full HD and can be sized to full screen by clicking on the open square at the bottom right of each video bar.

Bare Hand Skills Link

Curved Sword Guards and Centerline Principle

Shaolin is all about Protection and Management thus after we had a review of the Bare Hand Requirements, the most important Shaolin Iron Staff Technique is the Guard!

The Main Shaolin Sword Guard is held controlling the Center-line (between your spined and the attackers spine) with the tip of the Sword hovering between the tip of your nose and the tip of the attackers/opponents nose. The other hand is in Guard Position, half bent and hovering around your solar plexus.!

You posture is in Guard Stance almost exactly like the bare hand centerline guard except that you leading hand has a Broad Sword in it!.

The Shaolin Curved Blade and Moving/Evading methods

You need to move as prescribed in the relevant form. But you also need to learn evasion and defence; and the best way not to loose or get hurt is 'not to be where the attack is attacking'. For this reason we suggest that following movement skills corresponding to your Shaolin Weapon Forms, any forms! https://www.kungfu.network/KungFuLibrary.html#stepping

Linear Forward and Backward Linier Side to Side

Initially for your first Traditional Chinese Weaponry (TCW) Level, use the natural and simple advancing and retreating movement. On the second TCW (Traditional Chinese Weaponry) Level learn and practice the sideways linier evasion. For the third TCW level/form you need to learn diagonal movement and Snake Stepping. Fourth level requires complex patterns movement and the 5th level the ability to evade a strike without moving the feet... much.


There are 5 parts to each of the 10 levels of the Traditional Chinese Weaponry Curriculum;

  1. Essential Warm-up - Preparation, Warm-up, Stretching.
  2. Bare Hand Skills - a minimum of Kung Fu techniques, stances and such required for each level.
  3. The Form - and you can choose which form you wish to do first.
  4. Application - is the part where you also show that you know how to use and defend against the weapon.
  5. Theory - is a written paper on an aspect of the chosen weapon style.

Each of these categories is explained below.

1 - The Essential Warm-up

Always, always, always do a full Warm-up before any form of training or sport! In almost 60 years of Martial Art experience have shown me that if you are not prepared to prepare you are not really wanting to do what you are going to do. If you do not have the time to do the preparation for what you are about to do, be it a Warm-up before training, taping and masking before painting, planing and working the wood before making a table, then you just want results without the effort of achieving a safe and superior outcome through Hard Work. As Kung Fu means (loosely) "Hard Work leading to Perfection", your Kung Fu will be 'not good' with proper preparation.

Always, Always, Always, do the Essential Warm-up, unless you are being attacked, that is the one and only exception!

2 - Bare Hand Skills

Each progressive Traditional Chinese Weaponry level has a Bare Hand requirement, independently of the Weapon you are learning. Traditionally, the progression was Staff, Broad Sword, Spear, Straight Sword and for Shaolin, one of the 4 remaining Shaolin 'Tools' (the first being the staff); Monks Lantern, Monks Spade, Walking Stick (Damo Kane) and Sash. After these 5 levels you would have a large range of other weapons for specializations from which to choose. Usually, Weaponry Training would be complimentary to your mainstream Bare Hand, Kung Fu Skills training. But now in the 21st Century, we do not always train Weaponry for Combat and Competition but also for Appreciation, Recreation and Play. So, many people are not 'bothering' with Bare Hand Skills when training Weaponry. This is not possible with the Shaolin Academy. A certain number of basic or essential Bare Hand Skills are required.

As we appreciate that we have very many experienced martial artists training with us both locally and internationally, we do not insist of the Bare Hand Skills being exactly as we suggest. We will accept your skills from other styles as long as they are related to that what we require. We have further detail on this on the Traditional Chinese Weaponry, Bare Hand Requirements page. We strongly recommend you have a look at the page if you are serious in training Shaolin Academy Traditional Chinese Weaponry.

The Shaolin Curved Blades Forms

It is your choice which form you choose for your Shaolin Curved Blades accreditation. We strongly suggest that you start with the 1st Form but the decision is yours. The form will be judged on 5 key points, some of which you already know.

Safety - is the key to each and every Shaolin Academy Form, technique, System, Routine and Self-defence. Controlled accurate movements are essential. It is important that you are safe and secure with your your staff and movements before you start to practice the form. So we prefer you to grade the first time as Tai Chi speed and correctly. This allows us to give you corrective and supportive feedback with which you can then re-grade your form at the level and speed you would like. This regrading is free after you have passed the initial and safety grading.

Form/Posture - of the body, position of the sword, correctness of stances all are important. Thus we ask you to learn the Bare Hand requirements listed above in addition to the correct movement and positions of the form. To support you in this there are a host of Sword Techniques Video about Strikes and blocks. We suggest you use these videos to understand what is happening in the form you are learning.

Pattern - of movement. Each form has a specific pattern of movement. The first form is very simple and needs you to move just forward and backward. But most forms after this have a practical movement pattern and just as important as your handling of the sword is your ability to move where you need to be. Learning this patterned movement allows to to master your own movement style and method.

Start, Flow & End - of the Sword technique. Each of the Sword techniques has a specific starting point, flow and ending point. Usually at the start or end the Sword is either fully vertical, horizontal or at 45 degrees. Especially the correct Sword Centerline Guard is important when used in the form or otherwise. Shaolin Academy is a strong proponent of the Centerline Principle in all variation and the Centerline Guard is the Key to this protection be it in Bare Hand Styles or Weaponry.

Start and Finish - are essential. The Triple Bow, to Sijo, to the audience/fellow members/viewers and the Three Step Bow; in that order and in reverse, Three Step bow, to the audience/fellow members/viewers and finally in the direction of Sijo. Some Chinese styles neglect this and are the poorer for it. A good start and a proper end make the content!

4a Defending against the Curved Sword Bare Handed

For Shaolin, defending against an attack by a weapon bare handed is really what it is all about. This is the final bit whereby you will be attacked by a partner and will show that you are able to defend against a Sword Bare Handed. Not just defend but also manage the situation, which means stopping any further attacks from coming at you and protecting any other would be victims. We show you may ways to do this on the recording but you need to chose which is best for you and your way of doing things..

For 'Pro-active" people, defend and attack or Defend and Disarm; for reactive people, defend and run or defend and hold. Seems simple; choose you style by learning all four and finding out which works best for you. Don't want to sound like a broken record but Choice is also the Shaolin way, though in order to choose you way must first learn and try!

4b Defending against the Broad Sword with a Broad Sword

Although, for Shaolin Practitioners, the Bare Hand defence against an attacking Staff is most important, you also need to be able, at this level, defend against a Sword attack with your own Sword. On advanced levels this will mean defending against multiple attackers. This does not mean Sparring or Fighting; no, this means, meet the attack and manage it. The key three actions are Defend (yourself), Disarm (the attacker) and Debilitate (them from further attacks). And you need to do this the first time correctly and absolutely; often you can surprise an attacker by quick, sudden and determined action; often you do not get a second chance.

Final Words

This will not make an expert out of you, or a Champion or a Warrior; but it gives you are good grounding that will enable you to specialize, if you wish, in a direction you care to take. Some have chose to enter competitions and have done well in All Styles Comps, Kung Fu Comps, Internationally and Nationally. Shaolin Academy students have even been used as action stand-in's in theater, movies, music videos and shows. We even put on a show at the Shaolin Temple in Henan China.

You may choose to want to use the style for Acting, Stage Work, Shows, Street Theater and such but it also applies for everyday life. Recognizing when you are confronted with a Tiger Style personality, you will know what you are up against, be it in the office, at a party, in the street or elsewhere. And the more you immerse yourself in the understanding of your Tiger, you will find that you are able to manage it within yourself better, both to restrain it when it will harm and to use it when appropriate. You will also learn the weaknesses of the each animal and relies that, for example, a Tiger can only be defeated by a Greater Tiger or by a mouse (and you need to work this out).

Level Review Application (and Certification)

Shaolin Curved Blade Grading Review

Additional Info or Request

e-mail address for report

Shaolin Martial Art & Self Defence Instruction & Training

Before you attempt the next level, ensure that everything you have learned in this level is correct. As you progress, many, many of the techniques that follow are based around, founded or along very similar principles as the ones from the 1st levels. Fix any problems and details now before you learn new techniques and carry through the errors thus doubling and tripling the effort to fix them later. And as an old and new wisdom stated "It is 5 times more difficult to fix a habit then it is to establish it!

Apply for an Official Review by the Shaolin Academy and Confirm your Skill!

If you reject feedback, you also reject the choice of acting in a way that may bring you abundant success. John Mattone

More Question, Thoughts, Ideas Proposals and/or Suggestions (QTIPS)?

In Australia call us on 0458 742 654 or e-mail sijo@shaolin.com.au!

Links to other interesting Shaolin Kung Fu pages.

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