About Auxiliary Training
Another aspect of your Taichi training is Auxiliary training. You start out with your Single Form training and Two Person practice, and then move on to Auxiliary training to enhance your Single Form practice, Two Person practice, and energy development. Your Single Form Practice and Two Person training is are the frame and foundation of your "Taichi House". Auxiliary training is like the shutters, windows and siding to complete the house. You need all of that to have a complete house.
In Auxiliary training you learn Taichi Sword, Taichi Knife, (Broadsword), Taichi Staff and Spear, Tzun Tiao, Tzun Bai, Tzun Dzuan, Taichi Belt, Gong practice, and Tao Gong meditation. All of these train various aspects of your energy flow and development, as well as giving you additional two person practice. You do not approach sword, knife, staff, and spear as weapons, but rather as energy training tools. Each trains your energy differently. Your bare hand, sword, knife staff and spear are also assigned to the five elements. Bare hand is Earth, sword is Water, knife is Metal, staff is Wood and spear is Fire.
Sword is designed to teach sensitivity, as well as how to vibrate your energy. Using the tip of the sword as a focus point helps to draw out your energy much better than just bare hand practice alone. The knife you start with weighs eight pounds, and then you move on to a sixteen pound one. The point here is to use your whole body to drive the energy to move the knife. Otherwise you are just doing a lot of physical exercise. The staff vibrates at the tip and is used for power development, whereas the spear vibrates more in the middle. Both teach you to project the power outward in a more focused manner.
In order to get the most out of your Auxiliary training, it is important that you get the best tools that you can afford. It used to be that this meant hand made, but unfortunately, these are becoming increasingly difficult to find, and the cost is increasingly higher. If you are fortunate enough to be able to find the hand made variety, that is best. Otherwise you will have to settle for the best factory made ones you can find. The main thing is to get the best quality that you can find/afford, in order to maximize the benefits of your training.
Lastly, try and find a good, qualified instructor that understands the true purpose of this training. If these are seen as weapons or as strictly a type of Martial Arts training only, then the point of the training is being missed. Make sure that the energy training aspects are part of what you are being taught, not just an empty form. Two person practice is also a very important part of this training, and should not be left out either. Like your Single Form practice, you need Two Person practice, in order to bring out your energy, flow with another’s energy, and to test whether you are indeed broadcasting a signal outside of yourself. This is something you need another person to verify.
Auxiliary training as you can see, is a vital part of your training in Taichi. When you have progressed to a point in your Single Form practice, that you are ready, then add this to your training. The added results that you will see will be well worth the time and effort.