Weapons - Tassels
Traditionally, tassels are added to many weapons. Four colors were used: black for army officers; red for beginning students; gold or yellow for competent students (who will rarely injure themselves or others, break nearby objects or damage borrowed equipment during practice) and white when inviting mortal combat. In combat the tassels were supposed to visually distract the enemy and prevent his blood and entrails from making the gripping surfaces slippery. In many sets, notably sword and saber, connoisseurs consider control of the tassel to indicate level of mastery. Students who prefer flags are welcome to substitute them. Chen Family style Tai Chi Chuan Grandmaster Zhu Tian Cai shown to right performing Chen style double broadsword with flags at the Chen Village. With the exceptions of gold and white colors, students are free to accessorize as they please.

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