Saber Training and the Internal Martial Arts

The earliest Chinese saber is dating back to 1558 BC. Saber is generally called “Dao” in Chinese. Soldiers in China were often trained in saber combat to fight against infantry.

Saber is an easy-to-use weapon which practically does not need much techniques. Most of the movements are very simple and can be trained without much complexity. After two weeks of saber routines a soldier was usually considered to have learned the principles.

Wudang Saber Principles

The Wudang saber routines consist of few movements which can be adapted to any situation. Most of the time the saber practitioner goes into “attack mode”. The wider and head-heavy blade of a saber gives advantages in attacking and slashing power. There is a creation of centrifugal force through the circular movements controlled from the “Dantian” (energy center). The saber combat is indeed “internal” when it is executed with the Tai Chi principles in mind. However the “internal control” is supported by an “external flow”. This inner control is important for the execution of the movement. The external force, which is felt from the saber, is supportive to the movement to enhance the actual result. Tai Chi practice can greatly aid to the saber training, since both disciplines build on a consistent movement to keep the natural flow. Body, mind and saber is constantly balancing through the “internal” movement.

In training a flexible blade is used to give a feeling for the internal power. The fun factor is also raised when the saber blade clashes during the movements.

Saber is effective in fighting

Chinese history has proven the efficiency of saber infantry. Saber fighters were always the preferred choice compared to sword fighters. Saber is much faster to learn and easier to use. Its simplicity gives a surprising efficiency in actual combat.

The basic principle in saber combat is attacking. Attacking with a saber is considered to slash and block at the same time. The speed matters and the right angle of the saber swing. The blade of a saber is often build with softer metal to prevent breaks and chipping. This gives the saber user an advantage to endure a lot of blocks compared to hard steel weapons. However the blades did not last long and must be repaired after each fight.


Watch Jet Li’s Fearless movie if you like to see good choreographed saber fighting!


Wudang Store features a lot of new training saber equipment! Check it out here!

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