Swords have always fascinated me, I’m not exactly sure why. There is something about the beauty and the power they yield and the potential to be destructive and deadly while also being aesthetically pleasing. As Taylor Swift sings in Blank Space “Darling, I’m a nightmare dressed like a daydream“.
Due to my fascination with swords it has always been a goal of mine to complete a martial arts sword form. I started learning a Tai Chi sword form about 12 years ago but my Sifu relocated and I never got to complete the training. It has always felt like unfinished business.
I loved practicing my form with the sword outdoors and watching the blade gleam in the sunlight. It felt like an extension of me. Beautiful and deadly. Graceful and unflinching.
At the end of last year I finally had the opportunity to start Tai Chi again and found a great teacher in California named Tim Ghazaleh who has been teaching Yang Style Tai Chi for more than 25 years. He was taught by late master Wu Ta-yeh, a disciple of the late Tai Chi master Tung Hu Ling. I was told that in 2-3 years I could become proficient in the sword form and that filled me with excitement!
Then I had a conversation with my children’s Kuk Sool Won instructor, Master Saidi and he said that with hard work I could learn a black belt sword form in three years! It was music to my ears! My Green Destiny was calling!
For those of you wondering about Green Destiny I discovered it in the movie Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon that tells the tale of Master Li Mu Bai a great warrior and swordsman. His sword, the Green Destiny, is legendary, powerful and mystical and he decides to retire and give the sword to his old friend as a gift – only it gets stolen.
I was also thrilled to discover that the sequel, Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon: The Green Legend is going to be released this year! An interesting convergence of thought…
My Tai Chi sword has been tucked away in its hockey case for 12 years. Today I took it out for a photo for this post. I still enjoy holding it. I have plans for it.
At my first Kuk Sool Won class I thoroughly enjoyed the sword play even though they were padded training versions. With Tai Chi I never had someone come at me blade in hand, we trained side by side in harmony. In Kuk Sool Won I had to strike and block and get out of the way and I wasn’t really fast or controlled enough but it rocked!
At the end of the class one of the senior black belts named Rick commented that I went “all bushido” on him and I had to smile. Bushido was the code of conduct followed by Japan’s samurai warriors.There is a sad but beautiful Japanese legend retold in the movie the 47 Ronin. It’s a story of honour, courage and loyalty.
Unfulfilled dreams and unfinished business can either be catalysts for regret or stepping stones to help us crystallize our visions for our futures.
What will you do with yours?
Disclaimer: The views expressed here are solely those of the author in her private capacity and do not in any way represent the views of Master Saidi or that of the World Kuk Sool Won Association.