The most popular short Wushu weapons are the Broadsword and Rapier which for modern purposes have roughly the same length of blade.The use and difference in technique varies considerably because of the structure of the blade.

The broadsword has a point, a back and one blade. The rapier has a point and two blades edges. The strong broad back of the broadsword allows defense postures such as Entwining about the head and upper torso. The blade back can be reinforced by the shoulders or arms which would be impossible with the double edged rapier.


Broad Sword Features

Starting from the furthest tip or point of the broadsword there is the point. The point is usually rounded off to avoid accidental injury in practise. The Blade includes the body of the sword excluding the hilt and guard.he Face of the sword is either side of the blade. Recessed on both side of the blade are two channels situated near the back of the blade these historically were blood ruts use to channel away the accumulation of blood in battle field conflicts. Now retained to enhance the line of the blade.

The edge is the thinnest part of the blade, which is normally not sharpened to limit or prevent injury in practise. However sufficient clarity of technique can easily produce injury the edge sharpened or not. Care and consideration is advisable.

The Blade back is thicker in cross section than the edge. This allows successful defensive techniques because it strengthens the blade against the power of other heavier weapons. Defensive techniques can be reinforced by hand or body. The Guard protects the sword persons hand during dueling routines.The Hilt or handle of the sword encompasses the tang of the blade and is usually made of wood bound with cloth to maintain a good grip during perspiration.The Head or Bowl of the hilt prevents the sword "slipping" out of the hand and the blunt end can be use for jabbing where possible.The Head screw fixes the hilt firmly and a decorative ribbon is sometimes attached for display purposes it usually consists of two or three pieces of square heavy silk. In battle it can be wrapped about the wrist to loosely "tie" the sword to the hand.




There are three fundamental stances, Bow (front and side) stance, Crouching stance and Empty stance.

There are of course a considerable number of other stances (11 basic) involved in sword play together with numerous stepping methods which ensure correct body movement for each technique.

Examples of footwork are the arc step, striking step, kneeling step stamping step, leaping step, running step, and retreating covering types of stepping.

The stances most frequently encountered in sword work are : Point Stance, T-stance, Attention stance, Open stance, and perhaps the most well known is the Horse stance.

Footwork itself is composed of many different evolving techniques of integrated movements. The fluid use of the lower limbs are fundamental in building ones sword practise. Stance and footwork should combine through the waist to produce the upper body antics of the arms and hands.

BOW STANCE -Stance descriptions

Feet should be at least four to five feet of your own foot length, the front foot slightly turned in, this will contain the centre of gravity.


The stance is light, small in length the distancing similar to that of the cat stance. It is used to retreat and make transitory changes in postures.

RETURN TO HOMEPAGE Back to Archive Page