A few thoughts on practise weapons

I have a few cheap wooden sabres for students to start learning weapons with but some have asked about buying their own. This I would highly recommend as every blade or spear feels so different and you can customise the grip and even the blade.

If you are only going to do forms then cheap wooden broadswords are adequate. The problem is that if you don’t learn the applications you can never give your form proper ‘yi’ or intent. Even sliding deflections as in ‘Pick a star on the left’ will soon damage a cheap softwood sabre such as

https://www.taichilink.net:8445/catalog/broad-sword-c-1_4/wooden-broad-sword-tai-chi-sword-p-12 £15.99 +p&p but they do come in two lengths 26” or 28”.

Better but still not made to practise applications at speed is this one made from oak:

https://www.playwell.co.uk/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=23_106_203&products_id=1935 £18.99 +p&p but it is only in the shorter length.

Cheap metal display weapons are much more expensive starting at about £60 and for real, live bladed, folded steel you can pay hundreds. They are also much heavier, of course, but better balanced with a larger range of sizes. and come with scabbards. Tai Chi Link (see above) has a number of seconds with slight damage at 10-15% off so you can instantly look like an old hand!

You could, of course, go up to London and visit Shaolin Way in China Town and choose exactly what you want. They didn’t have a big range when I went but that was in the last century… Alternatively if you want to do a bit of research on-line there are several other websites in this country and abroad and, in the U.S., sites where you can pay hundreds or even thousands of dollars. Don’t forget you may have to pay duty on top but my son has found what he wants this way.

And finally you could consider the latest type, made of abs plastic, so OK for sparring and applications but which I have not tried such as:

https://www.playwell.co.uk/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=23_105&products_id=7330 £36.99 + p&p. They look interesting but for the fact they are plastic, a material I try to avoid. On the other hand if they can survive applications & sparring and last a lifetime they are probably relatively environmentally friendly.

Happy hunting.

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