For those who study and practice Taijiquan will know that there are eight energies that are expressed in a variety of variations that make up the movements of the many styles of Taijiquan forms. It is exactly the same when you see individuals practicing the Taiji Sword (Jian), but instead of using and expressing just eight energies, there are a total of thirteen Taiji Sword Powers (Taijijian Shi San Li) performed within the Taiji Sword Forms, these thirteen Taiji Sword Powers are 1. Piercing, 2. Splitting, 3. Striking, 4. Lifting, 5. Slicing, 6. Bursting, 7. Stirring, 8. Whipping, 9. Pointing, 10. Obstructing, 11. Intercepting, 12. Pressing, 13. Leading. It is a natural progression for those interested individuals to begin studying the Taiji Straight Sword, once they have learnt the Taijiquan barehand form, as the Chinese say that the weapon is just an extension of the hand.
As the individual begins to become more accomplished with the Taiji Sword form and can distinguish between each of the thirteen Taiji Sword Powers the next stage is to then practice the two-person Taiji Sword training drills. These particular Taiji Sword drills or exercises brings alive the Taiji Swords thirteen powers into actual skilful usage with the individual and training partner using either linear or circular footwork methods to help control the distance between each other. As within the practice of the Taiji Pushing Hands (Tuishou) exercise were both training partners learn to remain in contact with each to develop their listening (Ting), sticking (Zhan) and adhering (Nian) tactile skills. The same is required within the practice of the Taiji Sword two-person drills, each individual must learn to stick and adhere staying in contact with each other’s Sword, so as to be able to listen to each other’s sudden change of direction and intention.
There are a numerous amount of Taiji Sword two-person drills were the individual can develop each of the thirteen Taiji Sword powers which will also help them to transform their Taiji Straight Sword form to a much deeper level. Traditionally the study and practice of the Taiji Sword was the only way that certain people could use to defend themselves and their family from a violent situation. Nowadays because of modern weapon technology the study and practice of the Taiji Sword is only performed as a method of cultivating ourselves to help improve our health, fitness and wellbeing.