Wudang Blog

The Sectional Chain Whip

The chain whip is a weapon used in some Asian martial arts, particularly traditional Chinese disciplines, in addition to modern and traditional Wushu. It consists of several metal rods, which are joined end-to-end by rings to form a flexible chain. Generally, the whip has a handle at one end and a metal dart, used for slashing or piercing an opponent, at the other. A cloth flag is often attached at or near the dart end of the whip and a second flag may cover the whip's handle. The flag or flags adds visual appeal and produces a rushing sound as the whip swings through the air. They also help stabilize the whip, enhancing the user's control. This reduces the risk of the user inadvertently striking themselves. The rushing noise also helps the user with identifying the location of the other end, since the weapon moves too fast to be normally noticed by human eyes.

There is no standard on the length of the chain whip. The typical length is also different between north and south China. The chain is shorter in the south which make it more suitable for close quarter fighting. In the north the length could be from the ground to the chin or the ground to the tip of the nose. Weight is heavier for practice and lighter for performance.

The cloth flag could be either rectangular or triangular. Triangular flags look better and move faster but rectangular flags sound better and allow better control.

The number of segments vary. Traditional whips have either seven or nine segments. Modern whips typically have between seven to thirteen sections. The numbers include the tip but does not include the handle.

Most whips today are made from stainless steel. Good whips have better color and shine to the metal, segments are stylized, holes are precisely centered, chain rotates smoothly in the swivel built into the handle, no sharp corners or edges and welds are strong. Handle should be shaped to allow good grip. Leather is best for endurance, to absorb sweat and prevent slippage. Typical method is to use a steel bolt to thread through small pieces of leather then use a lathe to round and shape the handle. The tip should be larger than the segments and weight proportional to the handle. Shape and weight distribution should allow the chain to be easily tossed and retrieved into one hand.

The chain whip is heavy but flexible, allowing it to be literally used as a whip to hit, hook and bind an opponent, restrict his/her movement, and to deflect blows from other weapons. The dart is used for slashing or piercing an opponent. In some cases, the dart might be coated with a poison. Because the whip is flexible, it can be used to strike around obstacles, including an opponent's block. The whip chain can be folded and hidden from view, making it an easy weapon to carry and conceal.

Chain whip forms are often extremely elaborate. In some, the chain whip is thrown in the air and caught, flicked around the neck, or flung around underneath a recumbent performer. One classic technique, used to accelerate a spinning chain whip, involves rapidly wrapping and unwrapping the length of the chain around various parts of the body, including the legs, neck and elbows. Various twisting or flicking motions cause the chain whip to gain momentum as it unwraps. In practice, wrapping then unwrapping is used to change the direction of the spin in response to the opponent's movement.

Chain whip techniques may be combined with jumping kicks and other acrobatics. Double chain whip forms have been developed, as have forms in which a chain whip is coupled with a broadsword.

For performance the chain whip can be used to perform meteor moves such as one hand or two hand meteor rotors and weaves. At the end of the performance the chain whip segments can be pulled and collected into the hand holding the handle.

As with all weapons that are either chained or tied together, the whip chain is hard to control without practice. In fact, it is harder to control than a traditional rawhide or bull whip because the linked sections provide looser joints while a bull whip is a continuous piece. The chain whip is sometimes considered one of the hardest weapons in martial arts to learn because lapse in the control of body movements in coordination with the position and momentum of the weapon will likely result in the weapon striking the wielder.

 

 

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Austria Wudang Kung Fu School

The Wudang Master from Austria

 
Official Website

Michael Weichhardt
Taoist Name: Wei Mao Zi Ji (=helping others)
16th generation of Wudang Sanfengpai
Knowledge of languages: German, English, Chinese

After years of Taoist training in Wudang Michael Weichhardt was registered and documented as inheritor in Sanfeng family tree. He was certificated by Master Yuan Xiu Gang of (15th generation) and Master Zhong Yun Long (14th Gen.). He received a Taoist name, a certificate and a sword, which is to accompany him on his way.

Shortly after Michael Weichhardt lived 6 months on the Wudang Mountains with Master Chen Shiyu (Gen. 15th) in the temple of the returning dragon and focused there his internal Wudang Kungfu under personal training by Master Chen Shiyu. In May 2015 Michael Weichhardt returned to Vienna to spread Wudang Kungfu in his homeland.


Since an age of 13 years I train Kungfu and have traveled through Asia (Korea, Vietnam, China).

 

In Wudang I have realized my goal and the responsibility that is entailed with Kungfu. Taoism is not a religion for me. Tao is simply the way each of us embarks in life. Tao means for me to understand what you are doing in the Here and Now. Tao is neither good nor bad, so conscious behavior is important for us and the nature.


Life in the Wudang Mountains is not easy. The way of nature is easy, the implementation is difficult. The little things make importance for the great. To want to change something is the best prerequisite for an entry into Wudang Kungfu. “


 

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The Profound System of Wudang Tai Chi

Tai Chi is an internal training method that was created by the great Taoist priest and immortal, Zhang San Feng at Wudang Mountain. Generally when people discuss “Tai Chi” they are referring to Tai Chi Quan, or the forms practice involved in Tai Chi. However, in Wudang, Tai Chi Quan is considered a part of the greater 'Tai Chi System'. The Tai Chi System is composed of 3 parts: Wuji, Tai Chi, and Liang Yi. Each of these three parts contains their own practices, purposes, and methods of training. Although the Tai Chi System is separated into three parts, they are all integrated and complementary to the others.

Wuji is another name for ‘Nei Dan’ (Taoist meditation practice). The practice of Wuji (loosely translated as 'ultimate emptiness') is for the cultivation of our three vitalities: Jing (Essence), Qi (Energy), and Shen (spirit). We practice Wuji in order to promote the health of these three vitalities; Wuji is also understood as the road to immortality. In order to become stronger and more robust in our health and our lives, we must strengthen and practice our Jing, Qi, and Shen. For more information about Wuji, please visit the Meditation section of the website.

Tai Chi is the balancing interaction of yin and yang. Under the Tai Chi System, Tai Chi Quan is the form that we use to cultivate ourselves and learn to develop and understand feeling in our bodies and how to integrate that into movement. In Tai Chi Quan practice we learn to conceal hardness within the softness of movement and learn to use our breathing through the Dantian, and our intention and internal awareness to guide our movement. Contrary to the widespread misconception that Tai Chi Quan is simply a calisthenic exercise for the elderly, it is actually a deep internal practice that requires great dedication and a strong determination.


Liang Yi is the separation of yin and yang. Under the Tai Chi System, Liang Yi Quan is for the use of the energy that we have cultivated through our practice. Whereas in Tai Chi Quan we combine the soft and hard, in Liang Yi Quan practice, we separate the soft and hard. The power of Liang Yi Quan is explosive, resembling a bomb detonating; its practice is more for use in practical fighting application. While in Tai Chi  Quan, all movement is the same speed, with the same balance in softness and hardness at once, Liang Yi Quan movement is slow and soft, followed by fast explosive movement, called "Fa Li".

The practice of all of the elements that comprise the Tai Chi System can help us to more deeply understand our bodies and minds and learn the methods to make them cleaner, clearer, quieter, and healthier. Tai Chi training teaches us not only to train our muscles, tendons, and bones, but also to train our intention, internal feeling, awareness, and power.

Health Benefits of Practicing Tai Chi Quan

The practice of Tai Chi Quan holds great benefits for those looking to improve their physical, mental, and emotional health. Many people in modern society suffer from chronic neck, shoulder, back, hip and knee discomfort as a result of poor posture and bad living habits. If these strains are not rectified early, over time they can become chronic problems that have a great effect on one’s personal life and overall health; painful problems that become increasingly more difficult to fix as we become older and our bodies become stiffer. Tai Chi Quan places great importance on the cultivation of correct posture. By aligning the posture, maintaining a straight spine and relaxed back and waist, over time practitioners of Tai Chi Quan begin to feel a greater release of built up tension and stiffness in the neck, shoulders, back, waist, and hips. This happens as a result of the process of relaxing the muscles and tendons of the body, especially those that are in the neck, shoulders, and back.

The importance of correct bodily alignment and its effect on bodily health also extends to the rest of the body including the arms, hips, knees, and ankles. Being load bearing joints that receive much of the wear and tear of our daily living, the hips, knees, and ankles are often places where tension builds up and stiffness occurs. Incorrect bodily alignment can also have a strong effect on the lower body’s joints – especially the hips and knees. By loosening the muscles in the lower back, tension that is built up around the hips begins to lessen. The practice of the Tai Chi form greatly improves the strength of the knees and ankles as it gives the body an exercise which focuses greatly on the slow improvement of tendon and ligament health. As the practice of Tai Chi Quan is also helpful in promoting all of the different circulatory systems in the body, greater lubrication of the joints is also a natural result. Promoting greater joint mobility, ease of movement, and flexibility of tendons and muscles can also help to alleviate and prevent the aches and pains the body begins to suffer over time.

By releasing built up tension and stiffness in the different areas of the body, all of the circulatory systems begin to flow smoother as blockages are removed and tenseness is alleviated. The results of greater circulation being better immunity, improved blood flow, healthier and more balanced internal organs, a greater ability to eliminate toxins from the body, softer joints, etc.

The practice of Tai Chi Quan requires both focus and memory. Correct movement and a relaxed posture require determination and focus which can be built up over time as one’s practice progresses. As some Tai Chi  forms are upwards of 20 minutes long, improving one’s strength of memory is also important. Most students begin with learning a shorter Tai Chi  form before moving on to longer forms, but soon realize that the once daunting task of learning and remembering the longer forms is actually quite easy.

Tai Chi practice necessitates and promotes a relaxed and focused mind and emotional state. Those students who suffer from stress and/or emotional imbalance will find that in practicing Tai Chi over time their emotions become more balanced and their overall temperament becomes more peaceful as a result of the practice. This comes about through stronger and more balanced organs (which have great influence over the health and balance of the emotions), strengthened circulation, and focusing on regulating deep Dantian breathing and fluidity in slow movement – all changes that come about naturally through practice.

The human mind is like a lake. When one looks into the calm waters of a lake they can see to great depths. What is reflected on the surface is clear. When the waters are not calm, seeing through to the bottom is impossible and one’s reflection becomes difficult to discern. With a quieter mind like still waters one can reflect more clearly and understand life more deeply; entering deeper into the mysteries of internal practice and cultivating bountiful jing, qi, and shen in the body. Through the practice of the Tai Chi  System one can truly enjoy radiant health in all of its manifestations.

Wudang Store offers the best Tai Chi Products directly imported from the Wudang Mountains. Feel free to see our Tai Chi Clothing, Tai Chi Swords, Tai Chi Sabers, Tai Chi Shoes and much more.

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The Origin of the Crescent Moon Knives

Crescent Moon Knives (Chinese: 鸳鸯钺; pinyin: Yuānyāngyuè), are Chinese bladed weapons consisting of two steel crescents crossing. They are used in Chinese martial arts. This crossing produces four curved, clawlike points, one of which is extended as the “main” blade. The practitioner grips the wrapped middle of the lengthened crescent with the other acting as a hand guard. Relatively short weapons that were easily concealable in traditional Chinese clothing, they are usually trained in pairs, one for each hand.

Crescent Moon Knives are especially associated with the soft style Chinese martial art Baguazhang, which is known for its diverse weaponry. They are mainly used in trapping an opponent’s weapon in aid of tying up or breaking the opponent’s weapon, disarming the opponent and other close combat applications.

The Crescent Moon Knives are normally used against longer weapons such as spear, sword, broadsword, or any weapon which uses safe distances to attack from. One advantage of the Crescent Moon Knives in comparison to a longer weapon is that seeing as the deer horn knives are direct appendages of the hands, they can be moved with great speed and precision, and along with their ease of concealment, can easily be used to catch their opponent off guard.

Some variations of the Crescent Moon Knives include pairs with one crescent being longer than the other, the large blade presumably being used as the “main” hand and the smaller blade as the “guard” hand.

Take a look in our collection for many different variations of the Crescent Moon Knives!

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The Monk Spade (or Fangbian Chan) a Buddhist and Taoist Weapon

The origin of the Monk Spade

A monk’s spade (Traditional Chinese: 月牙鏟; Simplified Chinese: 月牙铲; pinyin: yuèyáchǎn; literally “Crescent Moon Spade”; also, Traditional Chinese: 禪仗; Simplified Chinese: 禅仗; pinyin: chánzhàng; literally, “Zen Weapon”. Romanized Japanese: getsugasan, Hiragana: げつがさん), also called a Shaolin Spade, is a Chinese pole weapon consisting of a long pole with a flat spade-like blade on one end and a smaller crescent shaped blade on the other. In old China, Buddhist monks often carriedspades (shovels) with them when travelling. This served two purposes: if they came upon a corpse on the road, they could properly bury it with Buddhist rites, and the large implement could serve as a weapon for defence against bandits. Over time, they were stylised into the monk’s spade weapon.

The Monk Spade as Taoist weapon

The Fangbian Chan (or Monk Spade) is an unusual kind of weapon, which also Taoists possess and wandering Taoists bring with them in their travels. It is said that the Fangbian Chan is Laozi’s creation. In the field of Daoist studies, practicing the Fangbian Chan not only demands rigor, but it also builds rigor. The Fangbian Chan is divided into 3 parts.

First, the head of the shovel: its length of 1.8 feet represents the secret space between the 18 levels of Hades. The shovel face’s 2 curved edges each have a ring, which represents the 2 energies of Yin and Yang. The neck of the shovel head has 5 iron rings, representing the 5 elements (fire, wood, water, metal, earth). So the idea of the 5 elements is that practicing the Dao to keep Yin and Yang balanced in order to have the power to break away from the abyss of misery, and suppress the 18 levels of Hades with the shovel.

Second, the handle of the shovel: its length of 3.3 feet represents the middle 33 heavens. The idea is to manage cause and effect, good and bad oneself.

Third, the end of the shovel: its length of 8.6 inches represents the 8 directions and 6 sides because the 3 curves of the drill it forms brings about conformation and represent 3 Cai (Heaven/Earth/Humanity). In addition, each curve has a loop representing 3 treasures (Jjing/Qi/Shen). In this way, there is Heaven and Earth, and people have life from the 3 heavenly treasures. For this reason, people who go out into the world and experience life must follow the natural way of the existence in this world and universe. Laozi created the Fangbian Chan form with 81 movements; the original idea was to remind his disciples to always keep Yin and Yang, always practice with the heart, body, and mind, and help others along the way. Keep doing this again and again throughout your life and you can become immortal in the end. After this, you can suppress the force of Hades and rise to the Heavens.

The Fangbian Chan is a complete weapon. It can be used as a staff, spear, long broadsword, and trident. It can be used to hook, hitch, chop, block, thrust, shovel, sweep, smack, beat, twist, etc. These applications are used to understand the principles of defending and attacking, backwards and forwards, slow and fast, hard and soft, etc.

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The Spirit of Wudang Kung Fu

Wudang SpearWudang Kung Fu is one of China’s most famous systems of Wushu. It possesses a long established history and is well known both in China and abroad. By using traditional self-defense and fighting technique as its foundation, implementing theory derived from the Yi Jing (Book of Changes) and Taoist Neidan technique gradually a distinct system was created that gave shape to a truly unique style of training. The core of Wudang Martial Arts is comprised of the theory of the waxing and waning of yin and yang, the changes of the Bagua (the eight trigrams of the Yi Jing), and the phases and interactions of the Five Elements. Wudang Kung Fu encapsulates the deep and profound philosophical traditions of China including Tai Chi, Yin Yang, Five Element, and Bagua philosophical traditions and theories.It combines this theory with fighting theory and technique, training and cultivation principles, and fighting strategy as methods of searching to understand the natural laws of life.We use wushu as a method of self-cultivation in order to improve our health and our wisdom. This is the great treasure of Wudang Kungfu.

Wudang Kung FuThe entire body of Wudang Kung Fu is comprised of Wuji, Tai Chi, and Liang Yi. Taijiquan, Liangyiquan, Xingyiquan, Baguazhang, Wudang Sword and other internal Wushu systems are representative of Wudang Wushu. Wudang Kung Fu maintains the traditions and unique styles of the different systems.It uses Daoist philosophy and theory to guide, and also combines the study of Daoist medicine, the Yi Jing, and nei dan health cultivation methodology as its overall guiding principles and disciplines.Alongside these it fuses wushu fighting skills and exercises to strengthen the body and places great emphasis on understanding the body’s energy channels and acupuncture points.Wudang Kung Fu greatly stresses the importance of establishing a strong foundation in internal practice.By practicing to synthesize and coordinate the internal qi and the external body there is born a unification of internal and external.Using the qi for explosive power, borrowing power, becoming adept in using the soft to overcome the hard, using stillness to regulate movement, possessing a great unification of soft and hard, nimbly turning, circling, and evading and many other techniques are all characteristic traits of “internal kungfu”.

Relaxed, natural movement, a soft external and strong internal, moving like clouds and flowing water, continuous and unimpeded action and many other techniques are Wudang’s great attributes that distinguish it from other wushu.

Taoist Health Cultivation

In keeping with improvements in modern living conditions, people all over the world are looking to improve their health. As a result there are many different systems of health improvement that are springing up all over. China possesses thousands of years of development in self-defense practices, different artistic forms of self-expression and various methods and systems of health cultivation.The reason that Wudang Wushu has been able to continuously prosper up to today without being drowned out by modern trends is because it maintains a truly unique cultural character; its primary focus is on its oldest and most practically applicable value – health cultivation.

Wudang Taoist Kung FuAncient Taoist practices apply the theories of combining movement and stillness, internal and external, refining and cultivating, and the physical with the mental/emotional/spiritual as the major focuses for cultivation.These practices are used to balance and fortify the body’s original qi, vitality and spirit.The cultivation of jing, qi and shen as well as the physical body are given significant importance.Specifically in the methods of refining and cultivating one follows the method of the meridians or energy channels of the body. Taoist Health Cultivation uses dao yin (Taoist stretching and breathing exercises), qigong, wushu/gongfu methods in order to harmonize and improve the circulation of the meridians, improve the circulation of qi and blood, and harmonize yin and yang within the body – thereby achieving great improvement in overall health.

At the present time there are several Taoist Health Cultivation practices that are suitable for all to learn and practice, including Taiji, standing meditation, Ba Duan Jin (the Eight Pieces of Brocade Qi Gong), Taiyi/Liangyi Quan, Five Animals Qi Gong, Taihe Quan, push hands, etc.These practices are soft and slow-moving, and are helpful in coordinating breathing and intention/thinking, regulating blood and circulation, and relaxing the spirit and mind.They can help in lowering the degree of blood viscosity, reducing cholesterol, and blood stasis; improving blood circulation, and can greatly improve the condition of blood clotting related problems of the internal organs that may be at risk or in poor health and cause for concern.For example – those at risk of heart attack, cerebral thrombosis (blood clotting), early stage cirrhosis of the liver, etc. can greatly benefit by adopting these practices into their daily lives.By opening the meridians and removing sickness and toxic substances from the body one can therein begin to improve the overall yin yang balance of the internal organs. Taoist Health Cultivation methods can greatly improve and strengthen practitioners’ immunity to sickness and disease as well as slow the aging and deterioration of the different organ system of the body.It can be seen that these practices are quite suitable and beneficial for everyone – especially young children, the elderly and infirm and those suffering from waist and neck problems.

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The Wudang Fuchen - Horsetail Whisk

The Horsehair Whisk or Fuchen is a special Taoist weapon. There is a saying: “The person who holds the Fuchen is not an ordinary person.” In Taoism, the Fuchen is for those who want to study seriously.

A long time ago, the Taoist temple was very serious in finding students. Usually, the Taoist master takes a long period of time to test and observe a disciple, after which the master will especially choose him for deeper teachings. Usually, a disciple will do simple work in the first three years, and learn some basic skills about Tao and kung fu, during which time, the master is still testing and observing the disciple’s patience. After 3 years of testing is complete, the master throws a ceremony to show his acceptance of a real disciple. Then the master allows the disciple leave to travel and study more, but he is worried the disciple will be tempted by many things and will not return. Therefore, before the disciple leaves, the master gives him a few things to remind him. One of these things: 1. a red belt (3.3 feet means to tame the mind) for this time period, he has to be serious and keep his mind at peace. 2. the Fu Chen, during his travels, befriend good people and help others. If he is enamored with something and is tempted to return to society, he must whisk away these ideas, like the Fu Chen. 3. the sword. If he has lost his way and has lost himself, the disciple remembers that his master has given him the sword to cut away these ideas, so that he may continue on his path. After 3 years of traveling and studying, he returns and the master sees that he has enough patience and steadfastness to live a lifetime at the temple, to learn the Dao, and finally for the master to teach him how to be immortal.

Later generations have created the Fuchen form. The Fuchen style is one of the soft weapon styles. wrapping and pulling, snapping, whisking, poking, sweeping, etc. It can be used like the broadsword, straight sword, scourge, and dart weapons. When you practice the Fuchen, your movements must be in tune with your intention, your intention must be in tune with your Qi, and your Qi must be in tune with your Shen. Its movements are smooth like the wind and flowing like water.

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The Wudang Mountains

Wudang Mountains are one of the most famous Daoist holy mountains in China. The palaces and temples on Wudang Mountains were all built into the actual mountain face, adhering to the topography of the land, which dictated the scale of the buildings, the spaces between them and their layout. Palaces appear on the tops of peaks, in the middle of ravines, on the edges of cliffs and nestled within rock faces.

Apart from its unique architecture, Wudang is renown for its wealth of cultural relics.Throughout its history, but most especially during the Ming Dynasty, Wudang was the recipient of numerous religious gifts. Feudal rulers and Taoist devotees provided funds for the moulding of thousands of statues of gods and the crafting of thousands of musical instruments made of gold, silver, copper, iron, tin, jade, pearl and stone.

The first temples on Mount Wudang were constructed during the Tang Dynasty (AD 618-907). By that time Taoism had become a state religion, coexisting with both Buddhism and Confucianism as one of the three great religions of China. Taoism is essentially a reinterpretation of an ancient tradition of nature worship and divination. Taoists believe that the Dao (or Tao , meaning "way" or "path") is the origin of all creation and the force behind all the changes in the natural world. Simplicity, harmony, peace and retreat into nature are some of the basic principles of Taoism.

Taoist culture has existed on Mt. Wudang since the East Han Dynasty (AD 25-220).The movement began with a few early Taoists settling on the mountain in order to practise their worship of nature. As time passed, more Taoists converged on the mountain, making Mt. Wudang a Taoist holy place in central China. During the Zhenguan period (AD 627-647) in the Tang Dynasty Emperor Taizong constructed the Wulong (Five Dragons) Temple , the purpose of which was to spread Taoism on the mountain. The temple structure is one of the ways of expressing Taoist culture in physical form. A temple provides a container for the integration of the various elements of Taoism. Mt. Wudang remained a sacred Taoist site for several hundred years. The buildings were enlarged during the Song and Yuan Dynasties, but many of the buildings from this period were destroyed during warfare and battles at the end of the Yuan Dynasty when the Mongols invaded China.

The greatest period of development was during the Ming Dynasty (AD 1368-1644). In AD 1413 Emperor Yongle (AD 1403-1424) sent more than 200,000 soldiers and labourers to transform Mt. Wudang into the largest Taoist complex in the world. It took thirteen years to complete construction, which included nine palaces, seventy-two temples and halls, thirty-six nunneries, thirty-nine bridges, twelve platforms and countless stone steps winding their way along the entire mountain. The floor space of all of these complexes came to over one million square metres, although now, with the destruction of many buildings the floor space totals 50,000 square metres.
In 1994 the ancient building complex in the Wudang mountains was inscribed as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.

Wudangshan is located in a quite mild area of China. The Temperature in the summer usually dos not rise over 37degree, while in the winter it will not sink under -5 degree. It is a very green mountain with a vast flora and also fauna. Therefor it has since ancient times always attracted people, who want to practise Martial Arts, meditation or any other kind of self cultivation or arts.

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Learning Wudang Calligraphy

The brush is the traditional writing implement in Chinese calligraphy. The body of the brush can be made from either bamboo, or rarer materials such as red sandalwood, glass, ivory, silver, and gold. The head of the brush can be made from the hair (or feathers) of a wide variety of animals, including the weasel, rabbit, deer, chicken, duck, goat, pig, tiger, wolf, etc... Calligraphy brushes are widely considered as an extension of the calligrapher's arm. 

Today, calligraphy may also be done using a pen, but pen calligraphy does not enjoy the same prestige as traditional brush calligraphy.

Paperweights are used to hold down paper. A paperweight is often placed at the top of all but the largest pages to prevent slipping; for smaller pieces the left hand is also placed at the bottom of the page for support. Paperweights come in several types: some are oblong wooden blocks carved with calligraphic or pictorial designs; others are essentially small sculptures of people or animals.



Chen Shiyu is the only Master in Huilong Temple teaching Wudang Calligraphy. Including ancient taoist words and phrases. Master Chen Shiyu is teaching personally every calligraphy class and gives every student the full attention that is required to understand this traditional art.
Calligraphy has alot of similarities and the sensibility of Tai Chi. Learning Tai Chi is highly recommend when attending calligraphy classes at Master Chen Shiyu's school.
Official english website: http://www.wudangmartialarts.com/
You can support the traditional school from Master Chen Shiyu with a simple facebook like!
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The Wudang Store Sword Guide

Our store is selling only hand forged swords which are forged by Masters in the Wudang region. Before buying the most important thing to consider is the purpose of the sword you want to buy. Depending on the purpose the maintenance, which is needed for the sword, can vary a lot.

This Guide is focusing on easy understanding and helping you to decide which kind of sword is for you.

Should I use a stiff or flexible blade?

The balance of stiff blades is more on the head, while flexible blades tend to have the balance closer to the hilt. There are also semi flexible blades which still feel good in balance but wont bounce around as much as full flexible blades do. For Kung Fu performances you mostly want a flexible blade, since the power and stability of your movements can be measured and shown through your flexible blade. For Tai Chi you might want a semi flexible or stiff blade. With a stiff blade the fluid movements of Tai Chi feel very good and give you a stable sense of direction during your exercise.

The most used types of steel for our swords

  • Chrome steel, sometimes called stainless steel has a lot of chrome content which is protecting the sword against natural corrosion. Stainless steel is never 100% rust proof, but does have a higher rust resistance depending on the chrome content. More chrome means more resistance but also will make the steel softer and less durable. Stainless steel is NEVER made for cutting. The chrome steel shines with the small amount of maintenance time needed. To keep chrome steel healthy simply wipe it with a dry towel or cloth. Be sure to clean it from salty sweat or other acid containing substances after each practice. Chrome steel is fine for performances and daily training. You can identify chrome steel by its grey color and if the quality is high also mirror polishing is possible.
  • Carbon Steel can vary a lot depending on tempering and quality. Sometimes it is the cheapest steel if the tempering is missing or the quality of the steel is not good. Our swords use normally the expensive high carbon steel. which is a more advanced version of the normal carbon steel and has slightly more carbon content. With more carbon content the steel will become harder, but at the same time the rust resistance is lower. To make up for this we always temper our high carbon steel blades and give them the proper polishing which is needed for a fine sword. With polishing the steel surface becomes small and so the area where rust can attack is smaller. This makes maintenance easier and more resistant to rust. If the maintenance comes to late and you find rust on your carbon blade, please go to a proper smith to let him polish it for you. If you try to polish the rust away yourself, you will ruin the tempering and polishing. Our traditional swords are polished in multiple layers and the tempering is the soul of every sword. We highly recommend to bring the sword to a proper smith if the blade is damaged or rusty. Our high carbon steel makes fine cutting swords. You can identify high carbon steel of its clear surface. Instead of grey color, the carbon steel looks white and shiny like a mirror. High carbon steel needs the most maintenance time, and should be maintained right after usage.
  • Manganese Steel is the new technology and is mostly used in industry or heavy duty tools. Compared to high carbon steel, the manganese steel can be much cheaper with the same hardness properties. Manganese has more resistance to rust compared to carbon, but still needs proper maintenance. Manganese steel is hard enough to cut iron nails without being scratched. The properties of manganese steel are perfect for heavy duty cutting. Manganese steel is in most ways superior to carbon steel. Only the highest quality of high carbon steel and the finest forging could still be superior to a manganese blade.

What is the correct length for my sword?

If held in reverse grip at your side it should come to your ear. There is no must be when it comes to sword length. Usually if you like to leave a stronger impression in your performances, you might want a longer sword. But longer swords need more control and are usually slower in turning than shorter swords. Shorter swords are easier to balance. Longer swords need more attention in proper balancing. Wudang Store is making the job here for you, we check every sword before selling and the balance is always very good. Two handed swords have a proper length when they reach above your head. Single handed swords should not be longer than your head when held in reverse grip at your side.

What do i need for maintaining my blade?

If you have a chrome steel blade you dont have to worry much, only wipe once in a while after touching or training with a simple dry tissue or a piece of cloth.

These rules are important:

  • Do not touch with fingers! On your skin is always some sweat or salty fat which is very aggressive to metal.
  • Always put your sword back into the sheath, oxygen exposure will sooner or later make your blade rusty.
  • Avoid salt, or other acid substances
  • Cover your sword with this maintenance oil after usage.
  • If this sword is not used, check the metal once a month and eventually reapply the oil
  • Metal needs dry air, if you are living in tropical environments you have to check the blade more often.

For carbon or manganese steel blades please use our sword oil. The purpose of the sword oil is to prevent the oxygen to touch your blade. For the first time make sure you apply plenty of oil. Use a tissue or piece of cloth to apply the sword oil. Make sure you do not leave free spots on your blade. The steel should be covered in oil to prevent the touch of oxygen on the blade.

If the blade was expensive and made of high carbon steel be sure to coat the sword with oil right after usage. If the blade is still coated in oil, there is no need to reapply the oil. For manganese steel it is fine to check and apply oil once in a week or once in a month. This is strongly depending on how often you put the sword out of the sheath.

My blade is rusty! Can i fix it myself?

If the blade is made of chrome steel, then yes you can easily fix it with sandpaper. But if you do not fix it properly the blade will be rusty very fast again. This is because the sandpaper will scratch the surface and if not carefully polished, you will make the surface bigger and rust has a bigger area to attack the blade. The result is faster rusting and more often the use of sandpaper. When you intend to fix your blade from the rust be sure to use sandpaper with different stages. We recommend to use between 600 - 1000 grits for weak till medium corrosion. Polishing should be done in multiple steps starting with a 1000 grit paper and finish with 5000 grits. We do not recommend to use sandpaper on expensive swords or mirror polished blades. Please go to a professional smith.

I hope this clears most of your questions, if you have more please post a comment. We will put your question in this page for everyone to understand.

 

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