From a purely practical point of view, sword work kills multiple birds with one cut.
It strengthens the grip, focuses ki, improves posture, opens up ki channels in the body (good for health in Western lingo), improves breathing by opening up the chest cavity, enhances footwork, builds an awareness of distancing, strengthens the arms and shoulders, gives the student a way to practice individually, it's an excellent teaching and training aid, etc., etc., etc.
I see no downside here. Besides, it seems that young people have a natural desire to learn something about the sword, especially with Star Wars flicks coming out periodically. Why not let the children play?
I think that if there is any major failing here, it's the way instructors teach the sword. They make weapons sessons way too long. Often they devote an entire class to it.
Like everything else, it's better if students learn little by little. Fifteen or 20 minutes of weapons during a class is enough for most basic-level students.
Last edited by mike lee : 07-21-2002 at 04:02 AM.