The Spear in Tai Chi Chuan

Discussion in 'Tai chi' started by aaradia, Aug 1, 2018.

  1. aaradia

    aaradia Choy Li Fut and Yang Tai Chi Chuan Student Moderator Supporter

    I just started learning a spear form for Tai Chi. And I am half remembering things mentioned in past threads, but searches are not finding them.

    Basically, I am interested in the use of the spear in TCC. I seem to remember others saying it is a more traditional weapon, not a newer addition. Am I remembering right? My GM wrote an article where he says the spear was an older more traditional weapon, but having it codified - so to speak - with a form came a bit later. Although I am not exactly sure if the bit later was still early on. The form I am learning about is the one mentioned in this article and seems to be different from the Yang family spear he mentions. If I am understanding him correctly.

    The Tai Chi Spear - Plum Blossom International Federation

    At first, I was a bit reluctant to learn it, because it didn't seem very TCC like. But I decided that I was focusing on the wrong things and being too close minded. I was focusing on specific moves, and not principles. Once I came to that realization, I am realizing the spear has a lot to teach me.

    Another thing it is teaching me is ambidexterity with it. Because all the Staff and spear forms I know in CLF have me holding the spear with the point to the right, while this has me holding it with the point to the left.

    Anyways in addition to my questions above, I thought maybe this thread could be a place for anyone to discuss anything about their experiences with the spear in TCC.

    Do you like it or not? And why?

    Posting clips of the spear in your lineage maybe?

    Here is a bit of an exhibition showing part of the spear form I am learning.

    ned likes this.
  2. David Harrison

    David Harrison MAPper without portfolio

    I don't have anything to add regarding TCC, but spears, pole arms and staffs are great for refinement of mechanics, because the extension means you have to be more exact.
    ned likes this.
  3. ned

    ned Valued Member

    I learnt spear after staff and broadsword which involved drilling applications between all three.
    Mostly kf at first, taiji forms a little later on though mostly the mechanics and structure are very similar.
    I like the agility required with footwork and the weapon itself, also the ideosyncracies of each individual spear
    being naturally differing in shape.length.
    Here's a couple of clips from our school's style, not brilliant quality video as from a few years back . Of the two I have only learnt the second one which (despite the caption) is from our (Chen) taiji GM .
    You need plenty of space to practice these forms !

    aaradia likes this.
  4. Xue Sheng

    Xue Sheng All weight is underside

    Chen family has a long spear form and has had it for a very long time. The Yang family had one but changed it and in one verso in on the story eliminated it and changed to a long pole due to the injury of one of the Yang family daughters.
  5. Tom bayley

    Tom bayley Valued Member

    my experience of spear forms in general (not of tie chi) is that the mechanics of fighting with a spear are a cross between knife fighting and staff fighting. that is to say for knife fighting the emphasis is (relatively) on evasion and speed rather than power - it is the blade that kills, while staff fighting is (relatively) much more about the use of force to overwhelm, the use of structure so as not to be overwhelmed and the generation of power.

    it is important to remember that a cut to the wrist or ankle can kill. in close the spear must be used with the structure of a staff to prevent being over whelmed but at distance fluid motion, rapid changes of direction, and shifting targets from high to low to middle make the spear a truly terrifying weapon to fight against.

    depending on weather the opponent is at distance or close the centre of momentum of the spear shifts. at range the key (for me) is understanding how to use leverage and subtle angles that radically shift the momentum and direction of the blade . while at close range it is more about whole body connectivity and flowing with the momentum of the weapon rather than forcing changes to the direction of motion.
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2018
  6. El Medico

    El Medico Valued Member

    Hi, kids! Long time no write.

    Yang TC has NO spear/staff/lance/pole forms. Any forms have been created by the lineage descendants of Yang,C-f. This is common knowledge.

    What Yang TC has is the long pole's (formerly a lance,as Xue Shang noted) solo and partner exercises/drills.

    It is a trad TC weapon,probably the oldest as it's known the Chen's used lances. Swords were added later by the Yangs.

    Aardia,if you're learning the pole exercises take advantage of this opportunity,they're a very important training method. If you're just learning a spear form...well,enjoy yourself.Sorry I'm unable to see the vid, as usual I can't view the vids from home.For that matter I'm lucky to have been able to get my dial up to get me here.

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