One Perfect Jian Cut: Bringing Together Speed, Power & Precision


Test cutting was a forgotten tradition in Chinese swordsmanship that has been revived at Great River Taoist Center. The jianke (swordsman, 劍客 ) cuts different types of targets to test different skills. A small, unsupported piece of bamboo is widely considered one of the most challenging cutting targets. The cut must be absolutely straight, fast and powerful. If any of these are off, the cut will fail.


Yangjia Michuan Taiji Jian – Testing Out the Zha Method​


A short video demonstrating the applications of a the movements, Testing out the Zha Method. Up, Down, Three Swords The Technique is Complete from the Yangjia Michuan Taiji Jian (楊家秘傳太極劍) form. Thanks to Poney Chiang for acting as Scott M. Rodell Laoshi’s duifang, Tig Fong of Flying Knee Films for his masterful camera work and editing and 276 Sterling Studio for the use of their amazing studio.


Test Cutting with Jian (Chinese Straight Sword) – Liao, Pi Double Cut 中國劍試斬,撩劈两个动作​


Test cutting is an important part of the jianke’s ( 劍客 ) art. Cutting tests the power, accuracy and edge angle of one’s cuts. Cuts can be practiced singularly or in multiples. Different targets can be employed to focus on testing and working on different aspects of one’s cuts.


Rediscovering the Dandao: The Hidden Saber and Flying Knife​


Rediscovering the Chinese Longsword​


Chinese Swordsmanship- Jian vs. Spear with Scott M. Rodell & Kisu Stars​


Presented by teachers Scott M. Rodell of Great River Taoist Center ( and Kisu Stars of West Gate Kung Fu. Rodell’s sword work is based in his training in Yang Family Taiji Jian. Kisu Stars’ Spear technique is borne from his training in Northern Shaolin. Thanks again to all the guys at 276 Sterling Studio in Toronto, Ontario for making this video possible.


Traditional Manchu Archery of the Qing Imperial Guard


Martial arts teacher and archer Scott M. Rodell walks the viewer through the essential body mechanics of traditional Manchu archery technique.


Celebrating 400 years of the Chinese Long Saber – 慶祝中國單刀法創立四百週年


Martial arts teacher and archer Scott M. Rodell walks the viewer through the essential body mechanics of traditional Manchu archery technique.


Chinese Swords & Swordsmanship: Jian – Historical Reality


Scott M. Rodell, noted authority on Chinese Swords and Swordsmanship, cuts through the common misconceptions and dojo-lore surrounding Chinese swords, presenting Qing Jian (double edged straight swords) in their historical context using period examples.


Chinese Swords & Swordsmanship: Duanjian, the Chinese Short Sword​


Scott M. Rodell, noted teacher and authority on Chinese Swords and Swordsmanship, discusses Qing period Chinese Duanjian or short swords. The cousin of the long, full length jian, these short swords are largely overlooked by practitioners today but played an important role in Qing society.


Chinese Swords and Swordsmanship: Five Tips to Improve Your Jianfa​


  1. Tip control
  2. Do Not Make your Movements Too Large
  3. Don’t Step Out Before Your Cut
  4. Correct Cutting Intent
  5. Train with a Realistic Sword


Chinese Swords & Swordsmanship: Taking the On Guard Ready Stance​


Chinese Swords forms start with the Jian, or a Dao, out of the scabbard held in the left hand. This at attention stance is a sort of half ready posture. From this position the weapon can be brought quickly into action. In the video we look at the technique men at arms employed to quickly move from this at attention stance into a ready stance as well as the structure of the correct on guard posture. Traditionally, basic cuts practice begins and ends with this on guard, ready stance.


Miaodao Steel Swordplay Presented by Scott M. Rodell & Poney Chiang​​


The techniques demonstrated are from the Four Roads Miaodao form. Teacher Rodell, in blue on the left, employs a běng tiāo (繃挑) deflection in a kǎn cut (砍), follows with a circular jiǎo (絞) deflecting into a pi cut, then slips to his left with a jià hù (架護), countering with a jī cut (擊) to the next neck, then circles into a second jī (擊) cut as his duifang responds to his first.


Swordsman vs. Arrow- Sword Cuts Speeding Arrow​


Speed is one of the five essential elements of Chinese Swordsmanship (Jiànfǎ, 劍法). Cutting an arrow in flight is the ultimate test of a Swordsman’s skills. The Japanese refer to this skill as Yadome no jutsu (the military study of arrow cutting or blocking), considering it an indicator of superior martial prowess. Scott M. Rodell, director of the Great River Taoist Center, draws his jian (sword) slicing an arrow shot at him from just over 15 meters away. Traveling at 70.2 mph (113 kph) the arrow flies 51’ (15.5 m) in .48 of a second. Drawing his jian (sword) from the scabbard, his Liāo cut (撩) sliced it neatly in two.


Chinese Swordsmanship: Quick Draw Cutting a Candle Wick​


Precision is one of the hallmarks of Chinese Swordsmanship (jianfa, 劍法). Testing Cutting was a nearly forgotten tradition in Chinese Swordsmanship that has been revived at Great River Taoist Center. Cutting a Candle wick requires the greatest accuracy of any target one can choose. Hitting the top of the wick will not extinguish the flame. It is one of the few cuts that missing by 3 or 4 MM means failing. Chinese martial oral tradition speaks of quick drawing the sword from the scabbard, however these techniques appear to have been lost to time. The method presented here is a reconstruction based on the oral tradition as well as primary sources.


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