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Basics of Broadsword Play

  • broadsword play
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Chinese Wushu Series: Basics of Broadsword Play
By Dong Wenyu
Published by Foreign Languages Press, Beijing, 1993
Paperback, 138 pages.

Broadsword play is a widely practiced Chinese martial art which is good for both health and entertainment. There are a great variety of broadswords including the big broadsword used mainly with two hands, the single broadsword used mainly with one hand and double broadswords used with both hands. Some specially shaped knives are also used. The big broadsword is a long weapon. The single broadsword is a short weapon. Styles of broadsword play differ from weapon to weapon, and from school to school. There are hundreds of routines of broadsword play in China. Take the single broadsword as an example. The most popular routines include the plum blossom broadsword, wind-chasing broadsword, part-turning broadsword, dragon-form broadsword, flower-style broadsword, Liuhe broadsword, Taiji broadsword, Tongbei broadsword, and Bagua broadsword. The most basic requirement for learning broadsword play is that you must first grasp the basic techniques and basic movements of Chang Quan (Long-Style Boxing), such as basic hand techniques and movements, basic steps, basic footwork and leg techniques, jumps, leaps and balances before going to broadsword play.

The broadsword play described here refers to single broadsword play. This is one of the short weapon used in the modern Wushu competition, while the big broadsword and double broadswords are listed as traditional events. Broadsword play mainly includes head entwining, head binding, cutting, chopping, straight-arm lifting, stabbing, upward parry and blocking. These techniques are combined with the empty hand, footwork, jumps, leaps and balances to form the broadsword play and its routines. They are characterized by vigor, power, and ferocity. Beginners must first learn the simple and easy ones before progressing to the difficult ones. Once you have correctly grasped the basic methods and techniques, the basic movements, the moving and fixed stances and the smooth and natural combination, you will find it easier to learn and grasp the routines. In simple language, the author describes the basic techniques and skills involved in broadsword play. With more than 100 illustrations, the book is intended to help beginners correctly grasp the essential points of the art.

Author:  Dong Wenyu (1948 - ), a Wushu teacher in the Xicheng District Spare-Time Sports School, a member of Bejing Wushu Association, and a national Wushu judge.

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