Historical use of jian in Taijiquan
The and families were involved in Qing dynasty military officer training, and taught jian technique to their students. Traditional Taijijian forms are rooted in martial application, and are thus originally designed to make use of the weapons available at the time of their development. As there was no historical jian type created specifically for taijiquan, the forms were designed around the use a functional jian of the day, being of appropriate weight, balance, sharpness and resilience to be effective in armed combat.
A lighter version of the traditional sword and theatrical versions of traditional sword forms are also used in the "taijiquan" routines of curriculum. The wushu sword is a narrow, double-edged Chinese jian with a thin blade designed to make noise when it is shaken by the competitor during competition and a tassel is always attached to the pommel. The jian variants used for taijijian wushu display or as training tools in modern day martial arts schools often have properties that render them unsuitable for historically accurate combat. These properties, such as extreme blade thinness or a high degree of flexibility compared to historical battlefield quality jian, are intended to add auditory and visual appeal to a wushu performance.