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Long Saber - Making Consecutive Attacks

This is a quick video clip from my weekly sparring session. I was using a red Long Saber, length around 130cm and weighs approx 1.2 kg or so. Some key learning points to share, with regards to the 3 consecutive attacks I made in the video clip.

First was a straight thrust. Notice that the thrust was made in coordination with my footwork, and not merely just extending the arms. Because there was minimal hand movement involved, the thrust was made less observably.

Second was a diagonal/horizontal cut, made by flipping my sword around. Notice once again, the cut was made in coordination with my footwork. I turned my hips to switch my left leg to be in front, at the same time as my sword's movement.

Third was a straight down vertical cut, made with "sneaking steps". Which is basically retreating my left leg, but my left hip continues to be positioned forward.

How do you make consecutive attacks swiftly with a long and heavy weapon?

1) Use your body, instead of your arms/hands. Even though I'm right-handed, I intentionally used my left hand forward. This forces me to use my body to generate the movement.

2) Learn to grip your weapon loosely during training. The more firmly you grip your weapon, the more your body becomes lazy. The more loosely you grip your weapon (as reasonably possible), the more your body has to work harder to compensate for it.

3) Avoid using overly excessive brute force. You should, of course, still have a reasonable amount of force in your attacks to make them effective, so it's a matter of finding the right balance. If I had swung my weapon with excessive brute force, it will take a longer time for me to recover in order to make the next attack.

By finding the optimal balance between gentleness and effectiveness, you'll be able to shorten the interval between one attack to the next. I used to feel muscle aches or fatigue in my arms in the past. But now, after a good session, the back muscles (latissimuss dorsi) and my glutes ache, indicating that I was using the correct muscle groups.

Jack Chen

Ancient Chinese Martial Arts Manuals


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