My student has not gotten halfway into the straight sword form. Many moves still look unsettled and rough around the edges.
But the benefit of taking up the straight sword is showing up positively. When I feed him movements in push hands he can move a lot more lighter and quicker.
More interesting is now he can start to let go easier to borrow strength and movement to move into a better winning position.
This is why I say that straight sword training can complement empty hand form training to enhance and refine one’s Taiji skill if done the right way.