the PLUM Publication:
SPRING AND AUTUMN of WUSHU
from Professor Kang Ge-Wu's book of the same name
The Scene: The DANCING ASSASSIN
Bang destroyed the Chin Dynasty and went to HongMen to meet with
Xing Yu. At the banquet Xing Zhuang said, "We have no entertainers
in the army. May I perform a sword dance?" And Xing Zhuang
drew his sword and began dancing. He intended to strike Liu Bang.
Xing Yu followed suit, shielding with his body so that Xing Zhuang
could not strike Liu Bang." (From the Records of the Historian).
At that time wearing swords became the fashion. On the one hand
the sword could be used in sword dancing. On the other hand it
could be a defense weapon. Later, wearing a sword became part
of ritual. The Book of Chin records, "The ettiqute of Han
Dynasty stipulated that the Emperor and all officials wore swords.
Later they word swords only when they went to court.
stone rubbing of Xing Yu defending Liu Bang
So popular did the sword become that Confucius is said to have
worn one despite not knowing how to use it. He said it made him
feel like a gentleman. One of China's most famous and beloved
poets, generally known as Li Po, was an accomplished Swordsman
and his great colleague, Tu Fu, wrote a few pieces about the art
of swordplay. Women entertainers were so excellent at the sword
that they actually inspired movements for combat. For many centuries
this weapon that balances beauty and skill has been a favorite
of the China people in general and Kung Fu practitioners particularly.
to this book source
See the Year 1214