Key Principles of Chin-Na and Joint Locks
Fun with Straight Swords

Hsing-I Straight Sword DVD

Hsingiswordapp1 Next week, I'm releasing a Hsing-I Straight Sword form on DVD. One of the qualities that has distinguished my students from others is their understanding of fighting applications--both for empty-hand forms and techniques and weapons forms.

This DVD will include a strong Hsing-I straight sword form, plus nearly an hour of coaching on the fighting techniques from the form, various blocking and striking techniques with the straight sword, one-steps, and other instruction.

Hsingiswordapp2 Just as in empty-hand forms, every movement in this straight sword form is either a block or a strike. Every movement, no matter how small, has a fighting application, even when it appears to be just a "transition." There really are no transitions in these arts, you know. Even transitions have fighting applications.

In the two photos here, taken from the Hsing-I form, the first one is from a movement where you step forward, raising the tip of the sword up before striking (in the 2nd photo). The raising of the sword tip represents a deflecting block of an incoming thrust. It isn't just a windup for the strike.

My students and I are known for our sword work. We've all won many tournament competitions using the straight sword and broadsword. I'm excited to finally have the time to put this great form and the instruction on DVD.

All the video is also available on the new website for members. I'll be making a public announcement of this site around July 1.


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Jay Gischer

It's a solid application. I look forward to your video.

Plucking like this can also be a cut with the upper edge of the blade. If a thrust has missed low, this edge can catch the opponent under an arm or wrist, inside the leg, or perhaps even under the chin.

Chris Miller

I'd like to say, as a shameless plug of the skills Sifu has taught me, that these techniques work.

I met up with some friends from work who do SCA type weapons fighting. Foam weapons, armor, the whole 9 yards. They had no idea what hit them.

You may not ever have to use a sword in real life, but I have one for home defense and I'm completely confident that I can use it to defend myself or another vs. an armed(not with a gun) opponent.

And when someone asks "Do you know how to use that thing?" I don't have to respond with "the pointy end goes in the other guy"


That's great, Chris. I have a good friend in the martial arts who is high level in karate and does a great staff form but a few years ago I asked him if he sparred with the staff and he admitted he didn't know fighting applications. I was very surprised, but since then I've learned that there are a lot of schools that teach the tournament forms but don't teach the fighting techniques and the ability to spar with the weapon. If you're in a school like that, you HAVE to ask yourself, "What's the point?" After a couple of staff sparring sessions with my karate friend, by the way, he began sparring more with the staff with his own students I believe.

Sean C. Ledig

I used to think that I could handle myself with weapons. I knew a number of weapons sets, but the only times I actually sparred with them were when I was learning the Yang tai chi gim and when I was on the fencing team in college.

It took meeting Anthony Chan, who became my instructor in Jeet Kune Do and the Filipino Tribal Arts, before I learned what it takes to use a weapon in combat.

Ken is performing a great service for the Chinese martial arts by helping to keep the practical techniques and applications alive in the weapons.

I have nothing against cross training. But, I think it is a shame that until I started training in Eskrima, Kali and Arnis, I had no idea how to actually use a sword in combat.

The few times I've practiced with Ken have really given me a great appreciation for the Chinese weapons I've studied, and continue to study.

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