Aside from the main uniforms, shoes, and primary weapons of tai chi, there are some additional tai chi weapons that are really interesting and are practiced by many classes. We have included the most common questions that we get from practitioners who are looking for great deals on high quality tai chi weapons for sale online.
Most tai chi weapons for sale can be bought online or through a local dealer. As a general rule, there is an increase in quality with an increase in price but only up to a certain point. Tai chi weapons used for practice only my not last long, can be heavy, or not responsive. Weapons meant for competition are typically great quality and at the best price.
A time comes when some of us get really serious about tai chi competitions. At this point, the responsivity of the weapon is important as the movements of your body are reflected in the response of the metal, wood, or tassels. Secondly, judges inspect weapons to make sure they don’t fall apart or that spear heads don’t go flying into the audience. I actually saw a grandmaster snap the bolt off a sword that was holding the handle together by issuing force into it. So, yes, there needs to be some quality control here!
Tai Chi Fans
When buying tai chi fans there are a few really important things to consider. For your practice fans, it is best to get a set that comes with four because you can practice with another person and if one breaks you have a back up. The quality of the hinge is really important because you want it to open quickly to give that “snap!” sound and don’t want it to fall apart. The material is the last consideration which is less of a problem these days because the newer tai chi fans are made with a synthetic material. Once you have your fan or if you are interested in studying, there are some essential fan must-knows for getting you progressing in the right direction.
For performances, there are some beautiful fans that are artfully designed with plants, dragons, or traditional backgrounds. They often come with silk carrying cases like this one:
Tai Chi Sword Tassels and Flags
You did it! You learned a sword form, practicing diligently and are doing everything you needed to do. Now, you have one way to express yourself if you school allows. For just a few dollars, buy a beautiful tai chi sword tassel for your tai chi sword or some unique flags for your tai chi broadsword. Think of it as your merit badge for putting your time in to join the club. Some schools specify which colors you should have. My thinking is that variety is more fun. So BOOO! on them.
From being in large classes and workshops I can also tell you that it is just not practical to have everyone’s weapon look the same (outside of a demonstration perhaps) because people’s belongings get mixed up. So use that logic to convince them otherwise. Many tai chi sword tassels and flags that come with the swords fray easily. So for just a few bucks you can get something nicer and uniqe.
Guandao / Kuan Dao
The guandao or reclining moon blade was made famous and reputably invented by Chinese General Guan Yu who used the guandao as a cavalry weapon. It is a broadsword mounted on a two meter metal or wooden pole and has a cudgel on the other end which acts as a second weapon and counter balance.
The guandao is beautiful! The blade is often ornate with designs on it. The blade can also have a second blade coming off the back end. Some guandao’s have rings which make a super cool sound when you spin them and and strike with them. Most have a flag that come off of them too.
The guandao come in wood or steel and this largely comes down to preference. Most people prefer the wood because it is more responsive and feels like the other long weapons.
Tai Chi Balls
There are two varieties of tai chi balls typically, metal and wood. The wooden ones are used for qi gong and the heavier steel balls are used for dantian and leg training. Here are some good options for wood balls along with some instructional videos At the time of writing, steel balls can’t be purchased anywhere that I know of and they are really expensive if you have a machine shop try to make you one. Honestly, in our class we use bowling balls that we by at secondhand sports stores for $7-$15.
We use a ball to warm up before our evening practices because of the great health benefits. You can find out more about the benefits of the ball set here: How to Use Tai Chi Balls to Improve Health