Traditional Yangjia Michuan Jian Swordsmanship 2005

Ipicked a sword up in the Penrith markets. That's how it all began. I picked it up and knew from that moment on that it had such an attraction for me I only had two choices. I could put it down and never go near another one. Or I could learn how to handle one properly.

The Beginning

The First Seminar Camp.
Alt Text--sword camp 2005
That afternoon, I did an internet search on the subject The most promising site was a fantasy writing group called The Grey Tower. It was based around the world of Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time series and they had a whole section for writing about the use of weapons. I had just read the Wheel of Time books and enjoyed them, so the concept was familiar. I became Kanamai, and started to write. Kanamai was everything I wasn't - tall. slim, an expert with a blade. It wasn't too long before I felt a complete fraud.

Then I met another writer who was into weapons and martial arts in real life. His character was teaching my character how to use a jian. I decided it was a really good style to write and he and another of the writers suggested I read a book by Scott Rodell on traditional Chinese swordsmanship. I ordered the book, and one of his DVDs.

About five minutes into the DVD I realised this was the style I wanted to learn. So I found the author's contact details and emailed him. He wrote back and pointed me to the GRTC forum to ask questions. A couple of weeks later I asked him to be my teacher. To my great surprise, he said yes. That was the beginning of the GRTC branch in Australia. We had our first Jian Camp just over a year later.

It was a wonderful time of training in traditional Chinese martial skills. We learnt some basic cuts, did lots of partner training drills, worked up to freeplay with wooden replicas. I looked up some old pictures today and turned them into a slideshow. Here it is:

As I have time, I'll make some more of these and write the history up to the present day. It's quite addictive. I had one wooden jian when I started. Now I have over twenty wooden jian, dao and maiodao and about thirteen steel ones.

News: New page and slideshow about swordsmanship training in Australia in 2006 - 2007.

Richard White's summary of Tai Chi Moves for empty-hand and sword training. Richard explains what the students were taught - the eight basic strikes for Taijiquan empty-hand San Shou and the fun of training in Chinese swordsmanship in Brisbane with Scott Rodell Laoshi in January 2008.

Chinese Swordsmanship Camp Australia 2005

The first Australian event of its kind, the Camp brought people together from Australia, New Zealand and the United States. The Camp was a complete treatment of the jian art. Participants trained in all aspects of the Jian; from basic cuts to freeplay, under the expert instruction of internationally renowned teacher and author, Scott Rodell.

Morning sessions focussed on training in the essential ingredients - the Eight Basic Cuts of the Yang Family Michuan Taiji Jian. Students progressed through precision cutting practice into two man drills. They also learnt the first four sections of the Yang Family Michuan Jian Form. There was plenty of opportunity for practical expression of skills in freeplay.

sword fighting women

To broaden our understanding of Chinese Swordsmanship, some less formal sessions were devoted to Miao Dao training. The Miao Dao is a rare form of Chinese two handed swordsmanship arising out of a long history of two handed weapon use in China. More recently this tradition was developed during the Ming dynasty by General Qi Jiguang. The Miao Dao was taught during the Chinese Republic at the Central Military Academy and employed by agents sent behind enemy lines during the Japanese invasion.

The camp was a truly great experience. Participants went home with many new skills and plenty to work on. We look forward to future camps and seminars with Scott Rodell.

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Look for upcoming seminars in Australia.

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