What are SmartSwords?
Put simply a SmartSword is a DumbBell with a stick extending the handle. It allows the user, working with a pair of them to practice tai chi and yoga movements and build up strength at the same time. Having the “sticky” bit brings in certain elements from the tai chi sword, in particular exaggerating the users hand movements and making them more aware of how they use their hands, arms and indeed, the whole body.
The idea came from using dumbbells in hotel gyms whilst on holiday or away on business. Quite often a small gym only has a treadmill or cross trainers with static arms. Our own arm-moving cross trainer gives a good work-out to the arms when used properly. So, in such situations and feeling arm-deprived, I would go over to the weights and pick up the dumbbells. Not being either a fan or knowledgeable about weights, I would experiment practising my chi kung movements – it seemed to work.
The sword bit came about, like many good things, by accident. I picked up a pair of dumbbells at home and started thinking how a hand grip was not too dissimilar from the handle of a sword. Some would say it was fate, others just good luck that the plastic end of the dumbbell had a circular hole that just happened to be a certain size – the certain size of a broken metal broomstick handle that was lying around in the cleaning cupboard. How lucky was that. Cut two lengths of around half a meter and we were in business. The rest is history (or it will be in the future).
Where can I get my SmartSwords?
At the moment, I have the only pair in existence but you could look at the photo and make some yourself. Having the only set means that currently I am the world’s SmartSword master – something that undoubtedly will change fairly soon. Also because I invented them, however I use them must be the right way (unless I injure myself in which case, perhaps not). A final big plus is that because they are new, no one will be allowed to refer to the “ancient art of ….” (which should go for tai chi, and yoga as they are practised now).
At the moment I am working on a design for a commercial sets which will have variable weight by adding or removing bits, a rounded and a flat side (for reasons that I will go into later), and it’s been suggested – flute attachment for interesting sounds, and maybe a torch to practise at night and make them look like lightsabers.