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3 October 2005


Greetings. Let me start by saying nicely done last week. Lord knows how I got onto ground fighting, but it was nice tussling on the concrete. Real world application right? Besides, broken glass is cheaper than mats...

I've been thinking about the miao dao an awful lot lately - pouring over old notes, researching historical data not only on china but Also Japan [yes, there's a correlation, and it's really cool], and refreshing myself on the form. I can't emphasize how great this Sword technique is. Teacher Chen showed us this form in lieu of the traditional single broad sword form in the Chen curriculum. Broadsword is the first weapon taught in the Chen syllabus and I do feel everyone's ready for this additional means to achieve xiao jie ling jing. So, I'm throwing it out there - a workshop on the introduction of the miao dao - history, basic techniques and the solo form. This will be followed up by converting the solo form into The two person paired exercise.

Anyone interested???? Let me know. This workshop will be a requirement to continue onto the ongoing class. What ongoing class you might ask? A miao dao fencing class. Yup. That's right.

I'm going to scare up some battered lacrosse helmets. If anyone has some please let me know. Scott - I have a preliminary design for a miao dao plastic wrapped in foam sword. Any thoughts on your end? It has to be flattish, safe and curved. Leslie - if you get a chance can you please research Ming dynasty infantry crossbows and see if you can turn up some schematics? These are personal crossbows, not two person ones. Non-functional is fine. A functional one will win you an award.

Why all this? Because it's the best way to understand this weapon, and to expand your physical and psychological experience of combat. And because it's fun. Attention to the other details - i.e. Other Equipment - turns the exercise into experiential archaeology.

So, I'm looking for interested and willing participants. For starters a bokken will suffice. Eventually, people interested may want to invest in one of these:

It's referred to as a long saber, or chang dao.

Give me some thoughts and feedback. I want to start this soon.

See you Tuesday,



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