Hua

This Forum is a place for students of swordsmanship to ask advice from moderators Paul Champagne & Scott M. Rodell on how to practice test cutting in a manner consistent with how swords were historically used in combat. Readers use this Forum at their own risk.

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Linda Heenan
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Hua

Post by Linda Heenan » Fri May 26, 2006 2:17 am

Could I please have some tips on the use of Hua? Until recently, I've been focussing on Pi and Liao in my cutting practise. This afternoon, I was using Hua. I know it as a good strike to meet an incoming one by cutting to the top of the arm. If a duifang leaves themselves open, it would also be very effective elsewhere. Here are my questions:



When practising Hua on plastic bottles, is it more realistic to slice the bottle open with the tip, rather than slice it in half. Both work.



Should it be a perfectly horizontal cut, or is a slight upward angle acceptable too?



Is it a good idea to practise it as a cut that stops with the tip in the centre of the bottle, and then drive into Ci, while still in the centre... as a two movement sequence?



Has anyone worked out a good strategy for getting a left to right palm down Hua, followed by a right to left palm up one, into the same bottle? Or is that movement in the form made for two duifang, so that two different bottles on seperate posts would be more realistic?



Does anyone have other thoughts on cutting with this strike?

Scott M. Rodell
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Re: Hua

Post by Scott M. Rodell » Sat May 27, 2006 10:00 am

Linda Heenan wrote:When practising Hua... is it more realistic to slice the bottle open with the tip, rather than slice it in half. Both work.


Exactly, both work, so one could use either. If one is cutting into an armored target, one should use further down the blade if possible. However, in all honest, in combat one is always happy to hit with any part of one's edge, most of the time it is going to be the last few inches of the blade toward the tip.

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Re: Hua

Post by Scott M. Rodell » Sat May 27, 2006 10:03 am

Linda Heenan wrote:Should it be a perfectly horizontal cut, or is a slight upward angle acceptable too?


Hua is defined as a horizontal percussion cut, however, there is no need to be dogmatic about this. One could cut slightly up or down, or even at a 45 degree angle to the ground & I would still call that hua if the cut was still essentially moving from left to right or vica versa.

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Re: Hua

Post by Scott M. Rodell » Sat May 27, 2006 10:09 am

Linda Heenan wrote:Is it a good idea to practise it as a cut that stops with the tip in the centre of the bottle, and then drive into Ci, while still in the centre... as a two movement sequence?


No, that's a bad idea. If one's sword stopped halfway into one's duifang's body, then it would be pulled from one's hand as they fell to the ground, just imagine trying to hold up a person's body weight at the end of a sword.



However, if you visualize the pair of cuts as hua thru the duifang's sword arm, then ci, that is a good useful pair of cuts to train. One could even set this up with two stands, one closer for the first hua cut & the second one step back set up for one's follow up ci.

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Re: Hua

Post by Scott M. Rodell » Sat May 27, 2006 12:53 pm

Linda Heenan wrote:... other thoughts on cutting with this strike?


A good cut should be focused thru the course of its entire movement. It is as important to have focus at the end of the cut as it is at the beginning point & the moment of cutting. With a powerful long cut such as hua, it is easy to over carry. Practice cutting with hua so that you have a set end point to your cut. That is, know where your tip is going to stop before you begin your cut. This end point should be at a point where you could easily follow with another cut or deflect if your duifang has neutralized your cut & is countering. This should be true when employing any cut.

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