"The same principles of the basic t'ai chi ch'uan form are used with both the tao and chien: natural breathing, body upright, keeping the movements integrated, coordinated, and flowing smoothly, etc. The difference is in the focus. For the tao, the broadsword, the focus is on the blade. For the chien, the narrow, double-edged sword, the focus is on the tip. The chien is considered the higher art form, and is more difficult to learn. The tao is basically a chopping and slicing weapon; little skill is needed for that It was generally the weapon of the common soldier. The chien was used by the more scholarly and aristocratic Chinese. ... Sword tai chi is a very rewarding experience at any level. It’s movements, done correctly, develop one’s awareness, timing, grace, and continued good health"
- Dorothy A. Odsen, Tai Chi Chien
Taijiquan broadsword (Tao, Dao) or sword (Jian, Chien) forms are
frequently taught to intermediate level Taijiquan students. Each
Taijiquan style (Yang, Sun, Wu, Chen, etc.) has their own sword movement
"To practice the Tai Chi Sword correctly, the first thing
a practitioner must be able to do is to have a flexible body and wrist
so that the sword and the body will coordinate and move in unity. The
second thing is that the intent should direct each movement so that all
the movements have applications, speed and accuracy. The third thing is
to have spirit and natural breathing in each movement. In usage, it also
emphasizes the concepts of sticking and adhering, running and
following. In summary, in order to practice the Tai Chi Sword correctly,
a practitioner must execute all the movements in an even, soft,
continuous and smooth manner. All the movements are initiated by the
waist, controlled by the wrist, with the upper and lower parts of the
body coordinated so that when one part of the body moves, all parts
follow. When one part stops, all stop. Therefore, all the movements are
very light, speedy, flexible, nimble and stable. People often describe
these kinds of motions as
like a "swimming dragon and flying phoenix."
- Vincent Chu, Gin Soon Tai Chi Chuan Federation Tai Chi Sword Practice
Tai Chi Double Edged Sword (Jian): Bibliography, Links, Resources, Quotations, Instructions Research by Mike Garofalo.
Tai Chi Saber/Broadsword (Dao): Bibliography, Links, Resources, Quotations Research by Mike Garofalo.
32 Standard Sword Form: Bibliography, Links, List of Movements
Research by Mike Garofalo.