Dangerous Flowers of Double
The Story of the Double Saber
the isle of the green sea there were three groups of
warriors totaling 100,000 who all perished.
woman general from Tian Zhou came with thousands of soldiers
to aid the little country. Her soldiers were disciplined and
brave. On a snowy night with a new moon she battled in
person waving her double sabers. She and her soldiers wiped
clean the entire island.
the, 'Song of Double Sabers' recounting a story of a powerful
woman warrior who fought with a pair of sabers. This is the
opening of a short section of some history and methods of the
double sabers. Written in Wu She's book Shou
Bei Lu (published 1662). A book famous for its details on
spear fighting and training methods.
Double Saber vs. Spear in
Before learning how to use
the steel weapons we undergo a long period of using
nothing but sticks. In this picture I train double saber
of Tian Shan Pai style of longfist. Photographed at
Tainan City's Confucius Temple.
Footwork of Double Sabers
The essential attacks of double saber
are based on
three types of footwork.
- Traveling on a straight
line directly toward your opponent.
- Moving diagonal left and right.
- Leaping and turning.
Straight line means that you
move directly toward the opponent in your attack and directly
backwards in your retreat.
Diagonal means that as you
advance forward your footwork doesn't bring you toward your
opponent, but off to their side.
Leaping and turning is similar
to diagonal travel in that you don't move in the direction
of the enemy. Use leaping and turn before you land to the opponent's side.
The sonnet of double sabers
gives hints to the the proper handling of the weapons.
Use left and right as if
they are one.
The two arms circle and
wrap around each other.
Don't use your
weapons like you are chopping vegetables, but in a smooth
continuous flowing motion.
The application is
described in logical detail.
your right saber. As soon as it contacts or passes its
target follow with the left hand. Keep your eyes clear, body
rapid and feet nimble. Like a stream flowing out of the
valley or how wind shakes fire.
Just like the ancient
description, our first attack often starts with the right hand.
Below is a pictographic explanation of this method. This two
person drill is first taught without walking. Once the students
master that, they can begin walking forward and backward.
Steve, wearing the
white shirt, is the attacker. Jim, in black, is the defender.
The the solo diagrams on the side show how Jim or Steve would be
performing these moves in their solo training.
attacking strike and the defending parry of this
sequence are the same movement. In the end it comes down
to getting there first. Whoever gets to the target first
is the attacker. Steve's first strike shows him chopping Jim's
Jim's saber intercepts
before Steve has a chance to apply his strike. Like the
black and white diagram off to the side, Jim and Steve's
saber will follow through past his waist and continue to
swing up to their left side.
Follow with the left hand
Steve's left hand immediately
follows his initial right hand chop. This time his target is
Jim's unprotected wrist.
follows with his left saber to parry Steve's swift
quote above, The two arms circle and
wrap around each other.' Steve's right saber never
hesitates and comes around to strike Jim from the other
saber follows like Steve's does.
The Other Half of the
This strike to Jim's wrist
is the beginning of the other half of the circle. As
long as Jim can keep his circle going he will defend
himself, as shown below.
Difficulty of Strikes
These drills require a precise
accuracy as a slip up will cause an injury to your partner's
hand. A major blunder will chop his shoulder, neck or body. For
these reasons, students must master the solo moves with pinpoint
accuracy before they can move on to the two person drills.
In actual combat,
proper understanding of the footwork goes a long way in
saving your life.
The focus on footwork is
essential training in the training of double
sabers and gives insight into the similar footwork of Mantis Boxing
and how Mantis Boxing uses footwork for proper
positioning to overcome the enemy[