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  • Wudang Sword

    My Dear Family and Virtual Kwoon readers,

    I have been discussing some details about the Wudang Sword with Sifu and he has very kindly shared the following very interesting information with me. This I know you will enjoy


    The choice weapon of kungfu knights was the sword. “Kungfu knights” is the term I find closest to what is called “xia” in Chinese. The title xia or kungfu knight was not bestowed upon by a ruler, like knights were in Europe. It was unofficially bestowed upon him by people in general for his qualities resembling those associated with an ideal European knight, like morality, honor, chivalry, courage, wisdom and combat efficiency – the very qualities we aspire to and practice in our school. The sword was so widely used by kungfu knights that they were (and are) known as “jian xia” or “sword-knight”.

    Of the various schools of swordsmanship, the Wudang sword was the most famous. It was not easy to have a chance to learn the Wudang Sword. In fact, it was not easy to have a chance to learn even mediocre kungfu. Amongst those who were very fortunate to learn kungfu, only a very, very, very small percentage would have a very, very, very rare opportunity to learn the Wudang Sword.

    The Wudang Sword is different from the Taiji Sword, though the Taiji Sword evolved from it. But today the Taiji Sword has been so debased that it is actually an insult to call a typical performance a Taiji Sword. It has debased even more than unarmed Taijiquan

    Amongst those who were very fortunate to learn kungfu, only a very, very, very small percentage would have a very, very, very rare opportunity to learn the Wudang Sword
    .

    This highlights even more how special it is for Sifu to generously teach Wudang Sword at a regional course.

    I guess the question may arise, as we are living in a world very different from that of the kungfu knights, is learning the Wudang Sword relevant today?

    I would truly love to hear your views

    Thank you once again Sifu.

    With deepest respect,
    Joan
    Attached Files
    Books don't mean a lot unless you open them, Hearts are the same.......


    Valentine's Smile from the Heart 2019 IRELAND - world renowned Grandmaster Wong Kiew Kit.

    -A FEAST OF SHAOLIN transmitted by Grandmaster Wong Kiew Kit FEBRUARY 16TH -19TH 2019
    GENERATING ENERGY FLOW
    ONE FINGER SHOOTING ZEN
    THE INCREDIBLE 3 DAY INTENSIVE ZEN COURSE .

    Sifujoan@gmail.com

  • #2
    Dear Sifu,

    Wow, this is an amazing piece of information. We are so lucky indeed to have this opportunity to learn the beautiful Wudang Sword.

    Yes, I think learning Wudang Sword is relevant today. By learning Wudang Sword I think we can experience and appreciate an incredible art, deepen our awareness and learn many new skills that can be applied to our life.

    The skills of a sword could be applied to using an improvised weapon if needed and also could be used to defend ourselves against an opponent using an improvised weapon.

    Thank you Sigung and thank you Sifu for this great opportunity.

    Shaolin Salute,
    Dominic.

    Comment


    • #3
      About Wudang Sword and applications for Today

      Dear Shaolin Wahnam Family,

      First of all, I would like to thank Sifu one more time for being so generous with his teachings. I will never forget what he is doing for me. I still don't see the whole picture but I can affirm that I can see more than 8 years ago. All my life has been greatly affected to what I am learning in this wonderful family.

      Second, I would like to thank Sije Joan because her passion for what she teaches it is a big motivation for me. She truly is a wonderful master and within these 2 years that I know her, I have seen her amazing progress. I am very lucky for that because the more she progress, the more I progress. :-) One of her wonderful skills/strengths is that, even when she is getting that incredible progress, she remains always humble. I see that particularly amazing as this is one of the things that I am mostly concerned about.

      Now, I would like to try to answer the question that Sije Joan made to the best of my capabilities:

      Being able to use a sword means being able to use a tool for our own advantage. Whenever I had to use new tools for work, hobbies and/or any other task, I have observed that it is not natural to be proficient at the beginning. But, as always, there is a break point when I feel confident about a tool that I train with. Since that moment, I forget about the tool and I consider it as an extension of myself. That allows me to focus on the result and not on the use so I can make the best of it without even realizing.

      I have also found that a tool allows me to do things that I would not be able to do without using it. That lead me to results, in many cases, impossible to reach or to achieve results in a much shorter time.

      I have being able to make the best of a tool when I forget that I am using that tool. I become so familiarized with the tool itself that it is not a tool anymore. It gets my personality, my mind, my will, my energy. I see myself in that tool and an expression of my intention.

      For example, when I first learned guitar, I was handling my guitar as an object. Now, I take my guitar, put it in my lap and treat it as a part of my body and serves me to express myself, who I am and what I want to share with the world. It serves me to go deep inside and find my way home, to connect with creativity/creation.

      I believe that Wudang Sword serve, in many ways, to similar purposes. Being able to accept something external and make it internal. Being able to discover and see ourselves through something external. Understanding that we can find ourselves through any object/tool that we use in our daily life. Understanding that anything within the world can be part of us and that we can be part of it too. Understanding about learning and then about forgetting. Understanding that everything is a continuation.

      Taking into account the way Sifu teaches I can clearly see that, what we are going to learn here, will lead us to a deeper knowledge on how to use any kind of tool in order to serve our own purposes. How amazing that can be? :-)

      We are very lucky that Sifu is teaching us Wudang Sword in this coming February. What we are going to learn it is an absolute surprise and wonder for me. I always get amazed about how much I always learn and how my expectations are always wrong. This is because Sifu always exceed my expectations. I know that this year won't be different. :-)

      I am really excited about this course as I know that it will be very very special.

      Shaolin Salute,

      Santiago

      Comment


      • #4
        I think handling a sword will improve our mind (as everything in our School), channeling the energy to the sword, and also improving hand - object coordination alot. As english is not my first language I am not sure if I expressing myself correctly with the meaning of coordinating.

        I don't have a sword at home so I can't prepare for the set with an actual sword, But "thinking" of holding a sword, it feels as if the flow of energy is coordinated with the other hand forming the sword finger, guiding and controlling the flow to the sword.

        Training of flow, mind, and sword - in one unity. I think this skill would be transferrable to other objects as well, in everyday life.

        As this will be my first weapon training, I feel very lucky to be learning the legendary Wudang sword. I'm very, very excited!!

        Thank you Sifu, for teaching us this great set, and thanks you Sije, for organizing this course, and the work you have put in manifesting this event.

        Best regards,
        Tim.

        Comment


        • #5
          Dear Santi, Tim and Dominic,

          Thank you for your great answers. I guess the skills that the knights developed from training the sword will always be priceless whether in the past or in our modern world.

          It will be interesting to come back to this thread after the course!


          By learning Wudang Sword I think we can experience and appreciate an incredible art, deepen our awareness and learn many new skills that can be applied to our life.

          The skills of a sword could be applied to using an improvised weapon if needed and also could be used to defend ourselves against an opponent using an improvised weapon.
          I believe that Wudang Sword serve, in many ways, to similar purposes. Being able to accept something external and make it internal. Being able to discover and see ourselves through something external. Understanding that we can find ourselves through any object/tool that we use in our daily life. Understanding that anything within the world can be part of us and that we can be part of it too. Understanding about learning and then about forgetting. Understanding that everything is a continuation.

          Taking into account the way Sifu teaches I can clearly see that, what we are going to learn here, will lead us to a deeper knowledge on how to use any kind of tool in order to serve our own purposes. How amazing that can be? :-)

          We are very lucky that Sifu is teaching us Wudang Sword in this coming February. What we are going to learn it is an absolute surprise and wonder for me. I always get amazed about how much I always learn and how my expectations are always wrong. This is because Sifu always exceed my expectations. I know that this year won't be different. :-)
          If you have only just joined the thread, here was my question, I would really like to hear from more of you and your thoughts on this

          Question: I guess the question may arise, as we are living in a world very different from that of the kungfu knights, is learning the Wudang Sword relevant today?

          With deepest respect,
          Joan
          Books don't mean a lot unless you open them, Hearts are the same.......


          Valentine's Smile from the Heart 2019 IRELAND - world renowned Grandmaster Wong Kiew Kit.

          -A FEAST OF SHAOLIN transmitted by Grandmaster Wong Kiew Kit FEBRUARY 16TH -19TH 2019
          GENERATING ENERGY FLOW
          ONE FINGER SHOOTING ZEN
          THE INCREDIBLE 3 DAY INTENSIVE ZEN COURSE .

          Sifujoan@gmail.com

          Comment


          • #6
            Dear family,

            I finished the learning of the set and started the loving of it.

            The only seemingly negative thing about it is that it is comparativly short. Or maybe I should stop learning 108+ sets. But this can be easily rectified by repeating the set over and over.

            I experienced the same kind of (big, round, soft) chi flows after practicing these sets:
            Wudang sword
            Wudang Tai Chi Chuan
            Drunken Eight Immortals

            Seems like the Wudang (Taoist) spirit and essence are deeply imprinted in the sets which again points out the the ingeniousness of Sifu.

            Flowing with the sword in hands is still a bit unfamiliar for me, but I'm getting used to it.

            Question: I guess the question may arise, as we are living in a world very different from that of the kungfu knights, is learning the Wudang Sword relevant today?
            My opinion is, that if it would be irrelevant to learn a sword set, it would as well be irrelevant to learn Kung Fu at all, because we hardly are in need to use it in real fighting, at least in civilized and peaceful countries like in Europe. But we all know about the manifold benefits we gain from practicing the Shaolin and Wudang (martial) arts.

            I see the special benefits of learning the Wudang Sword, or any kung fu sword set, as well in the improvment of awareness, especially when practiced with a sharp weapon.

            I don't think that the Jian techniques are the most suitable ones for improvised short weapons. The Dao (knife, saber) techniques are of much bigger use, as they are also very effective with blunt weapons. This is one reason why in Shaolin tradition the staff is taught first and after that the Dao. The Jian patterns might be useful with sharp improvised weapons like a poking stick.

            One of the biggest martial benefits of weapon training in general (for my personal progress) was the realisation of importance and later the improvement of waist rotation. When slashing the Jian in the Wudang sword set, I experience the sword moving without moving anything else than my waist. Of course this should be done in every TCC pattern, but it becomes even more obvious with a shiny sword extending the body.

            I also think that training with a weapon improves our ability the use any tools as extension of the body. As there is currently a lot of snow in Austria I will have the opportunity to test my waist rotation skills handling the snow shovel later today.

            I am very looking forward to the course, the skills to be learned and of course metting the family in Ireland!

            See you soon!

            Best wishes,
            o\

            Leo
            Sifu Leonard Lackinger

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            Comment


            • #7
              Dear Leo,

              Thank you for your great answer also.

              I am just getting used to using the sword in practice instead of a bamboo stick and it feels so different not to mention much heavier. Sifu mentioned to me that they would have trained with swords three times heavier in the past

              Does anybody know or would like to hazard a guess as to why the sword was the characteristic weapon of kungfu knights?

              I am really looking forward to meeting everybody for this amazingly special Wudang Sword set here in beautiful Killarney in just a few weeks time.

              With deepest respect,
              Joan
              Last edited by Joan; 27 January 2013, 05:21 PM.
              Books don't mean a lot unless you open them, Hearts are the same.......


              Valentine's Smile from the Heart 2019 IRELAND - world renowned Grandmaster Wong Kiew Kit.

              -A FEAST OF SHAOLIN transmitted by Grandmaster Wong Kiew Kit FEBRUARY 16TH -19TH 2019
              GENERATING ENERGY FLOW
              ONE FINGER SHOOTING ZEN
              THE INCREDIBLE 3 DAY INTENSIVE ZEN COURSE .

              Sifujoan@gmail.com

              Comment


              • #8
                Dear Sifu,

                I’ll try a guess at this question.

                Kung Fu Knights possibly preferred the sword because of its elegance; flowing characteristics and skills developed form its mastery.

                The characteristics of the sword possibly resembled the happy and honorable Kung Fu knights, flowing through life with beauty and elegance.

                I look forward to more answers on this subject

                Thank you Sigung and thank you Sifu for this wonderful thread.

                Shaolin Salute,
                Dominic.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Forging

                  Greetings to my Shaolin Wahnam Brothers and Sisters,
                  Special greetings to Sije!

                  "Does anybody know or would like to hazard a guess as to why the sword was the characteristic weapon of kungfu knights?"

                  This is a hugely interesting topic. From what I've read, I believe a large part of the jian being the weapon of choice for Xia was down to forging techniques.
                  Bear with me here! Even though by the Qin and Han Dynasties, they were using smelted steel and folding sheets of metal to forge the blade and tempering only the edge of the blade, the variables were many such as impurities in the metal and controlling the temperature of the forge.

                  Thus, out of 50 to 100 swords attempted, one or two may only have been successfully completed. This was because of the blade along both edges of the spine. It was and still is much easier to forge a saber with only one edge or a dao. Teh slightest mistake by the swordsmith would leave the blade buckled and twisted. This made the jian a highly prized weapon.

                  It meant that a sword was only passed onto one who truly deserved it. Certainly the RELATIVE short supply of jian compared to sabers or dao would have added to their mystique coupled with the fact that invariably, someone who was at all worthy of carrying a jian would have been highly competent in it's use if not a master.

                  This surely would have added to the mystique of the blade. This is not to suggest for a moment that the Xia chose to carry jian for the mere mystique. Obviously they pursued the highest attainment. I'm not by any means a weapon expert but have also read that the jian is the hardest weapon to master. Please, correct me if I am wrong.

                  So it would seem that, if you were at all worthy of carrying a jian, it was pretty much symbolic of your mastery since only someone of the highest spiritual and moral values could master it's use; mastery being the stage where the sword is deadly in the hand but with no thought of violence in the head. Only a master was worthy of wielding it. That was most likely widely known by the general population. Just carrying a jian was therefore probably a preemptive deterant to unprovoked attacks itself as it would make the average brigand think twice of attacking a Xia who was almost undoubtedly a master.

                  Therefore, the supply of the swords in some ways seems to have correlated well with the supply of masters and helping to maintain a high standard of mastery perhaps. The level where the sword disappeared was surely within their reach. To answer the original question as to why learn ancient sword arts in this modern society - well, we're moving to a better society if there are people walking around of the highest moral and spiritual values who wield invisible swords to cut down injustice, ignorance, delusion, fear and hate. People who have "become the sword" as it were. A tremendous benefit to a society of any epoch.

                  Since we are on the topic of swords, "By the Sword" by Richard Cohen is a fascinating read detailing the history of various traditions from the Gladiators of Ancient Rome to the Knights Templar to the Musketeers to the Xia and the Samurai.

                  Also, I will say again that I am not competent by any manner of means at sword play, or any weapon for that matter, but chose as my username for this forum the words in Gaelic/ Irish "Claidheamh Solus" (pronounced "Clee-uv Solis") which translates in English as " The Sword of Light". I'm not for a moment suggesting that I am a sword of light! No, indeed. It is perhpas something to aspire to and I merely wanted to evoke a sense of tradition for indeed the Celts highly prized their swords too. The Irish contingent may be aware that this was a legendary sword and in fact the sword which was forged in Tir na nOg (the Land of Eternal Youth, a Western Paradise of sorts across the Western Sea before they knew there was a continent called America beyond it, before they knew of the curvature of the Earth ) by Oisin and brought back to Eire (Ireland) as a gift for his father Fionn upon his homecoming. It later (according to legend) became known to the Celts over in Britain as "Excalibur"... interesting eh!? Sword legends, gotta love 'em.

                  Best Regards,
                  A Shaolin Salute,

                  John.
                  Last edited by John Ó Laoidh; 29 January 2013, 03:02 AM. Reason: forgot to sign off~

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Dear Family,

                    Less than three weeks to Sigung’s visit to Ireland and the excitement and anticipation is reaching fever pitch! It promises to be another breathtaking experience in every way you can and can’t possibly imagine.

                    A number of us took a huge step in preparing for it at the weekend by learning the form of the Wudang Sword set – Oh what magnificence! What majesty! What beauty!

                    In the seemingly never ending capacity of this school to keep bearing us rich harvests of golden honey, the three days of Wudang Sword in Killarney is another absolute classic in the making. In two words – simply unmissable.

                    Only about 480 hours to go...

                    All the best,

                    Kevin

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Sifu's Irish visit

                      Wow....luck and treasure beyond belief.
                      Wish I could be there!
                      Enjoy Kevin!!

                      A Shaolin salute.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Dear John,

                        Wow what a wonderful answer Sifu has linked it on his homepage.

                        The sword was also one of the four Treasures of the Tuatha de Danann, which is a great story from the Irish perspective

                        Dear Dominic and Kevin, thank you for your posts and enthusiasm Now just practice, practice, practice!

                        Perhaps somebody can help with my next question:

                        As it was so very rare to have an opportunity to learn the Wudang Swrod, from where did Grandmaster Wong learn it?

                        That should get your thinking caps on

                        With deepest respect,
                        Joan
                        Books don't mean a lot unless you open them, Hearts are the same.......


                        Valentine's Smile from the Heart 2019 IRELAND - world renowned Grandmaster Wong Kiew Kit.

                        -A FEAST OF SHAOLIN transmitted by Grandmaster Wong Kiew Kit FEBRUARY 16TH -19TH 2019
                        GENERATING ENERGY FLOW
                        ONE FINGER SHOOTING ZEN
                        THE INCREDIBLE 3 DAY INTENSIVE ZEN COURSE .

                        Sifujoan@gmail.com

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Joan View Post
                          Perhaps somebody can help with my next question:

                          As it was so very rare to have an opportunity to learn the Wudang Swrod, from where did Grandmaster Wong learn it?
                          Excellent question Sifu!

                          I must admit I don't know, but that won't stop me from having a good guess! (In helping me make an educated guess I searched Sigung's website last night for clues but found nothing).

                          My guess is that Sigung used his Kung Fu genius to reconstruct the set based on classical sources.

                          I am super excited about learning Wudang sword from Sigung. Oh yes I am...

                          All the best,

                          Kevin

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Interesting question Sifu!

                            I am going to have be completely unoriginal here and agree with my Siheng.

                            Kevin Siheng, I am glad my big brother will be on the course with me. Your enthusiasm is always infectious to everyone in the room!

                            Thank you for the question Sifu, I am really looking forward to hearing what the real answer is!

                            WSS,
                            Peter Clayton
                            Shaolin Wahnam Ireland
                            "Though one man may conquer in battle a thousand men a thousand times over, it is he who conquers himself that is the greatest of conquerors". - Dhammapada.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Dear Kevin and Peter,

                              Thanks for attempting the question Now we will wait and hear the full story at the Wudang Sword course! One more thing to look forward to

                              I also want to reassure everybody that we will be filming the Wahnam Tai Chi Chuan courses as Sifu has mentioned to me that there will be a lot of 'secrets' taught.

                              9 more days to the start of the Valentine's!

                              Smile from the Heart,
                              Joan
                              Books don't mean a lot unless you open them, Hearts are the same.......


                              Valentine's Smile from the Heart 2019 IRELAND - world renowned Grandmaster Wong Kiew Kit.

                              -A FEAST OF SHAOLIN transmitted by Grandmaster Wong Kiew Kit FEBRUARY 16TH -19TH 2019
                              GENERATING ENERGY FLOW
                              ONE FINGER SHOOTING ZEN
                              THE INCREDIBLE 3 DAY INTENSIVE ZEN COURSE .

                              Sifujoan@gmail.com

                              Comment

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