Jian Basic Cuts, Cutting, and Cleaning Swords
13.3.10, 2024

Practising  basic cuts with a sharp sword is good for training correct edge angle.
Alt Text--sword form training in basic cuts

Training in sword form and basic cuts should also include practising cutting techniques against targets, with a sharp blade. This is the best way to correct edge angle and focus intent in our sword fighting moves. Check this page on sword cutting for lots of practical information.
If the bottle bounces, it was probably your sword techniques rather than the sharpness of the blade. Check the cut after you do it and see if it was straight. Try not to swing too wide. The sword should always be in a place for covering your body and moving into the next cut.

How to Remove Rust From a Sword Blade

Keep your sword free of rust. You wouldn't look good doing a sword form with a rusty blade. Nor would it look great hanging on the wall. The ones you use for cutting are tools, not decorations but a tool is only as good as the condition it is kept in. Here's a revision page on how to remove rust from a sword blade. Follow the links on that page to revise how to care for your wooden swords, reenactment swords and antiques as well. This is essential knowledge for anyone who owns a sword.

Silu Miao Dao Sword Form

We are training in the Silu Miao Dao Sword Form. There is a video of Seth Davis  performing it, on this page. This is not the same as the demonstration we talked about during our training. That one is found on the Sword Festival DVD from Estonia in 2002. I have a few copies of that to share with students who train with me. Ask me next time we meet.

We studied the first two lines of the Miao dao sword form. You can use the video to revise. Work on being martially correct and having your feet in a strong position before launching into the next strike.

Use the question and comment form at the bottom of the Miao Dao page to communicate and also build a resource of information for future students with similar thoughts.

Decide which cut you are going to do and try to improve something each time.
Alt Text--Sword Cutting with Jian

Jian Sword Techniques - Basic Cuts

We practised the basic cuts for jian. Follow the links to read up on them and check your technique. Pay attention to the angle of the sword blade when practising basic cuts.

Jian Sword Techniques - Partner Drills

sword cutting-Liao
We trained in these drills:
  • Four corners
  • Liao to Zha
  • Dian, Dian, Tiao
The picture to the right shows the upper tight side deflection. This uses Mo energy even though the tip of the sword is pointing down.
    Four Corners Drill has an explanation page of it's own.  Things to remember:
    • Turn your waist out of the way of the oncoming thrust.
    • If your elbow is in the way, the duifang can cut that.
    • Keep control of the thrusting blade until you are in a good position for a return thrust.
    sword techniques Liao to Zha Liao to Zha
    You can see the step into Liao pictured to the right. In this case the duifang is waiting for the rising drawcut to come up under his arm before stepping back to allow the Zha thrust. Do it both ways. Waiting for the liao to touch gives the feel of what should be happening. Stepping back out of the way before the cut connects is what you want to achieve in a real sword fight.

    As we discussed, letting the touch come is just for the early training stage. You don't want to spend too much time training in letting your partner get you.

    • Whole step forward into the liao, as in the picture.
    • Half step up to the ankle into the zha.
    • The liao cuts pulls the leg forward as you turn your waist.
    • The waist turn and step into the zha are times to power the strike.
    • Dont try to deflect the zha until it is actually coming towards your shoulder, then turn the waist and deflect with the sword tip up.
    Dian, Dian, Tiao
    I find it easier to think, thigh, thigh, chest. Keep alert during this one because the person thrusting at the chest changes in each series of three thrusts. Don't forget to always use the flat of your blade to deflect.

    Practise the Miaodao sword form until it becomes automatic. Try to add the other lines if you like. We can correct them next time we meet. I'm going to add a response form to this page soon for questions on basic jian training.

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