Most styles of Tai Chi practice weapons forms as part of their daily training, but generally just as an extension of the handform. Its just another way to move in a slow and graceful manner, with no real thought given to what the moves actually are and how they can be used for combat.
Straight sword is a very versatile weapon and to do it justice we need to understand how to use it in a realistic martial way. No flying across tree tops i’m afraid.
When teaching my students I first teach the form sequence, then the 8 forces of this weapon, then various ‘sticky’ sword drills, then set individual/sequence applications and finally free sparring.
By practicing with a martial intent/knowledge, the form then becomes alive and we start to understand the beauty and sublime nature of this elegant weapon.
Form and application practice are one and the same, to understand one you must do the other.