The White Lotus Sword System is an entire martial art incorporated within Gun Fu. To think of it exclusively as a sword system would be misleading.
Included within the course of study is short stick (generally 12” long, made of hardwood”), middle stick (We prefer 28”, and try to be consistent with
standards set by practitioners of Arnis.), jo (4 foot long “short staff”), and ultimately the sword.
Students “elect” to pursue this as an individual pursuit at an advanced level,
and if they satisfy the criteria for performance, knowledge, and maturity, they are given the opportunity to test for Black Sash. Since most students who learn the sword are already Black
Belts, there are no colored belts. You are simply a student, a Black Sash teacher, or a Master.
Sword arts reflect the many cultures of their respective origins. They range from the speed, grace
and lightning precision of the foil, to the integrity, penetration, and spirituality of the Japanese sword. Of course every culture has its heroes with the bladed weapons, and its own spin on what
constitutes the ideal fighting design.
Our system has its roots in Northern China, and bears the unmistakable stamps of Korean
traditional arts, and Hap Ki Do. The original forms came to the continental United States with Dr. James Tille, who learned them from Master Lee while studying Kuk Sool Won Hap Ki Do in
Korea. It was Dr. Tille who named the system “White Lotus” and we honor his contribution to heritage by keeping the name he chose. These were passed on to myself and to others, and over
the years, additional moves and concepts were incorporated into the body of knowledge bringing it to its present level. I have personally seen what resembled sections of these forms in Ai Ki Do,
and in Tai Chi Dao (Chinese Sword Art), but have come to no conclusion regarding commonality of origin.
The swords used in our system are light, quick and sharp. If you tried a “Samurai” Sword, then a
White Lotus Sword, you would immediately feel the lightness of the White Lotus Sword, sensing the balance in your hand, and its willingness to move at your command. Most who practice the
system end up getting someone to custom design a sword for them. In my case, Master Roy Kauffroath has always seen to it that I and my students have the finest weapons for our pursuit.
That is...he makes them as gifts of friendship.
Originally, six forms were adopted. Of the six, one is a reverse hand kata, and another is a two
sword kata. They are remarkable in their configuration because (with the exception of the two sword form) each connects perfectly with any other, in any order. On learning these block
elements, you can a perform a multitude of different forms by simply improvising (the total number is 120, in case you wondered). Or, once started, a practitioner can continue with a “never ending” form.
So you see, there is quite a bit to this study of swords.
In addition to the above, the White Lotus Sword System has incorporated two forms based on combining elements of the original six, identified as
Singing dragon and Full Circle. Testing for the Black Sash would include those eight forms, along the the confidence of being able to use the
weapon in combat, and to react against a sword wielding attacker while empty handed. Finally, there are two very advanced two person forms, Twin Musashi’s Short Form, and Twin
Musashi’s Long Form. These forms are for the most serious students. They are demanding both mentally and physically, and are seldom mastered in less than five years.
Among the clips included are the original “core” sword system, (White Lotus #1-6), and also Singing Dragon, Full Circle and Twin Musashis
. The form labled White Lotus #10 is a new discovery for us.