Traditional Chinese Sword (Jian Fa) & Saber (Dao Fa) Training

The Fighting Arts Collective offers Traditional Chinese Swordsmanship Training, adhering to the curriculum designed by LaoShi Scott Rodell.  This program is intended to parallel the kind of training Yang Lu Chan (Founder of Yang Family Tai Ji Quan) and his sons would have taught when training the provincial militia and elite Bannermen units guarding the BeiJing Capital during the Qing Dynasty. 

While this training teaches the skills and basic cuts handed down within the Yang Family TaiJi Jian system, the basic cuts and other skills that are contained in this lineage are techniques that are common throughout all styles of Chinese swordsmanship.  

This training program is divided into three levels: Foundation Skills, Intermediate and Advanced.



2-3 years training

The first step is developing solid foundations.  In the case of swordsmanship, the skills that need to be mastered first are the basic cuts.  Students will train in the basic cuts of the Yang Family Mi Chuan (Secret Transmission) and public Jian systems.   Each cut involves solo execution and two-person paired drills.  Students at this Foundation level will also engage in controlled full-contact swordplay.

Part 1 Mi Chuan Basic Cuts: ci, pi, dian, tiao, liao, zha, duo, tiao, ya, hua, and muo.

Part 2 Public Basic Cuts: ci, dai, xi, ji, ge, chou, beng, ti, pi, jiao, and jie.

Competency in the Michuan Jian form is required before progressing to the Intermediate Level.  This form teaches the foundational footwork, body structure, basic cuts and their applications in Chinese swordsmanship.





2 years training

Once a student has demonstrated sufficient mastery of each basic cut, they may beginning training in Shi Zhan (Test Cutting) with the instructor's permission.



The Intermediate Level, students work to develop a deeper understanding of core principles and how these relate to application in action.  With respect to technique, this level of training will focus on combining the basic cuts in effective ways and on active stepping.

Part 1 Mi Chuan Combination Cuts and transitions.

Part 2 Public Combination Cuts and transitions

Students will be introduced to the Si Lu Miao Dao form (Four Road Grain Saber), a Northern ShaoLin routine created by Master Han Qing Tang to train the army of the Republic of China.  Understanding this two-handed saber help students develop the timing, distancing and footwork to neutralize attack from a Dui Fang (opposite direction) wielding a weapon with greater reach and power than your own.

Rediscovering the Chinese Long Sword




2 years training, moving from structured to natural free swordplay

This level of training is meant to provide a broader context for the student’s understanding.  Instructor level students will study single-handed Dao and TengPai Dao (rattan shield and saber).  Adding the study of these weapons will provide a broader historical context for the JianFa they studied previously and to season their understanding of martial applications.  Advanced student will also learn to face different weapons (such as a spear), multiple Dui Fangs and how to apply swordsmanship as part of a battle unit.

The Saber form taught in the Advanced curriculum is a military variation, which differs from the contemporary Yang Tai Ji Saber form.  Studying the Dao gives students understanding of the difference between military and dueling applications of Dao Fa and Jian Fa, respectively.  The contrast in their intent, striking targets, footwork and power/Jing emission enable students to appreciate this equally significant part of Chinese Swordsmanship tradition (Dao Fa).

Basic Dao Cuts:

Kan, Duo, Hua-Slice, Jie, Gua, Liao, Zha, Lu, Pi, Chan Tou, Huo Nao, Shan, Lan, Hua-Slip






Instructor Training

Instructor level students are expected to conduct their own research into Chinese historical swordsmanship.

Recommended areas for further study may include the following:

-Dan Dao.  An anti-spear two-handed long saber used by the Ming military published in the Dan Dao Fa Xuan in the year 1616.  

-Yang Family Public Jian  

-San Cai Jian (Three Treasure Jian): a two person sword form from Northern ShaoLin style.  

-Shuang Dao (Twin Saber)

-Shuang Shou Jian (Two-handed Longsword)