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Thread: swords

  1. #1
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    swords

    Anyway, I borrowed with his permission, my teachers practice katana, and tai chi sword.

    I noticed the tai chi sword seemed more balanced. I guess I understand now what he likes that so much. I'm used to working with escrima sticks, so gripping something two handed seems, to me unwielding, perhaps that because I'm not used to it. That's probably it. Also, tried his wooden broadsword. It seemed interesting, how is it wielded though?

  2. #2
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    Funny, the term broadsword means totally different things in the west as opposed to china, where a broadsword is a sabre.

    European broadsword is a bit like katana, in that its a two handed sword and you take advantage of the push/pull principle, but since its double bladed you lose many of the blocking techniques used with a katana, thus making its use more like an oversized two handed taiji straight sword.

    The same techniques you use with taiji straight sword can be applied, the 4 corners (those two figure 8 motions, in both directions), lifting, thrusting, covering, and rotating the blade around it's center of gravity.

    Just remember, cut, don't chop. This holds true with any swordwork. Its not an axe, pull the blade through as you swing.
    Show me a man who has forgotten words, so that I can have a word with him.

  3. #3
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    Is a tachi different then a katana?
    "If you want pure self-defense buy a can of mace." Grandmaster Villari (I think that is it).

  4. #4
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    My teacher is wants to work with me on the tai chi sword. He says because I will appreciate and benifit from it once I get though the basic class. I think the karate, will make my body strong, but it is the tai chi that will help me to maintain my mental well being.
    "If you want pure self-defense buy a can of mace." Grandmaster Villari (I think that is it).

  5. #5
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    I've been reading the legend of the five rings. Interesting, thoughts on the sword work. His method was to wield the sword in with one hand.
    "If you want pure self-defense buy a can of mace." Grandmaster Villari (I think that is it).

  6. #6
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    Basically, he held the katana with one sword when facing a single opponent. When facing multiple opponents, he used both short and long. One thing he wrote, is that one should learn the short sword, in that way, one would be able to defend themselves. Since the long sword was taken off when entering a home. Seems that the modern day would comparison is too learn a stick.

    He says his method is to use one sword in each hand, yet did he use both hands when against a single opponent? Often times he talks of the environment of which to fight in, how to use it.

    I was thinking with two shorts words, would be better. I like having the two at once. More unpredictable that way.

    I was wondering, what a nine-ring broadsword. That's something that interested me. Because it would be very distracting when used.
    "If you want pure self-defense buy a can of mace." Grandmaster Villari (I think that is it).

  7. #7
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    greenknight, a katana is japanese, and the tai chi sword is chinese, and there are a bunch of differences.

    one thing worth noting is that, while you might be able to use the same principals for certain asian weapons as old european ones, most european swords, before the invention of the gun, were meant for fighting people with armor, and were predominantly meant for thrusting, since this was the easiest way to get between plates of armor, and was a faster technique than swinging the big swords around. sabres for lightweight cutting and rapiers for lightweight thrusting mostly caught on after the gun was perfected and armor was ditched. most of the time, when european weapons were used for slashing in the heyday of armor, it was from horseback, and that's also where you get the really cool weapons like the ball-and-chain and morningstar, that would wreck your insides even if you were wearing armor.

    the japanese never really had to worry about all that stuff because, honestly, they never got very good at making armor, and for some reason didn't like the idea of shields. mongols and chinese were OK at it, but their armor was never quite as good as the europeans'. they had quite a knack for horseback technology, though.
    Last edited by zachsan; 10-04-2004 at 05:41 PM.

  8. #8
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    The Samurai carried the 2 swords, long & short. Not much is known about Musashi Miyamoto mostly what he wrote in A Book of Five Rings (Go Rin No Sho) and his techniques of mastering 2 swords at once.

    In the Philippines this technique is known as Espada y Dagger (sword & dagger) basically weather sticks or blades today it simply refers to two different sized weapons. The Filipinos were very good at imitating and learning from their enemies. Observing the Spanish techniques for the Toledo blade & rapier or a dagger. The Europeans already knew how to fight with 2 weapons; the Filipinos adapted Spanish ways with their own.

  9. #9
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    Brief history of the Chinese sword.

    BCE: Before Common Era CE: Common Era

    The Shang Dynasty (circa 1600-1100 BCE) introduced the Bronze Age. With new technology came the advent of better farm equipment and metal weapons such as the wavy-bladed spear, dagger-axe, Guandao (halberd), jian (straight double-edged sword) & rapier. As these weapons were created the skill to wield & deploy them also had to be developed, as well as armour to protect against them. Rhinoceros hide was extremely tough & excellent against bronze weapons, it was used for centuries until the animals were decimated and forced further south into Vietnam & Laos.

    The Zhou Dynasty (1100-221 BCE) replaced tribalism with feudalism. While the jian (straight sword) was known in the Xia Dynasty (circa 2100-1600 BCE), it gained popularity in this time. Known to Taijiquan practitioners today as a long sword, it was at this time more of a dagger, wide & approximately 20-cm in length. This was due to the fact that the alloy of bronze is made up of tin & copper, the higher the tin content the harder the bronze becomes, but makes it brittle. A higher copper content gives the blade more tensile strength but too soft to maintain an edge.

    The Spring & Autumn Period (770-476 BCE) is so named after Confucius’s book the Spring and Autumn Annals. Iron began replacing bronze leading to an increase in agriculture and warfare between the states. War on horseback began replacing war fought from chariots, new weapons had to be designed and learned to battle from horses. Sword dancing and fencing became popular for both men & women especially in the kingdoms of Yue, Wu & Zhao. However inadequate protection was worn and many fatalities and injuries were inured. One outstanding fencer was a woman (who would become known as Yue Nu); she so impressed the King of Yue that he not only asked her to train his army but also bestowed upon her his family name, making her an adopted daughter. The fighting principles we practice today were established at this time. Artisans & master fencers became well respected, carrying jian as a symbol of their status & noble quality. Kings retained fighters to hold daily competitions and even learned the use of jian, for as a status symbol who was higher than a king? By this time the jian had grown to a length of over 50-cm; this was due to an increased knowledge in metallurgy. It has been found that craftsmen were able to have a lower percentage of tin in the center of the jian giving it more tensile strength, while having a higher percentage near the edges allowed it to hold an edge.

    The Warring Kingdoms period (475-221 BCE) was a time of internal feuding as princes vied for control. The capital was no longer paid homage to as seven states became the strongest of fourteen. Of these the kingdom of Qin stood out as the most resolute.

    The crossbow also came to being in China during the Warring Kingdoms. Considered an abomination by the Christian church in Europe, as any fool could shoot a cross bow, it did not require the training of a professional long bowmen, it was none the less a highly effective weapon of war.

    Qin's victories have been attributed to having studied Sunzi's Bingfa (book on strategies of war) and the use of iron weapons, which had came to full development. The jian was further enhanced from short & thick to long and narrow, its length now reached 100 cm. While wrestling was still popular, fencing gained an arena with judges to enforce rules of engagement, & protective clothing was worn. The sword dance also began to embody the qualities of honour & honesty.

    Steel was developed & perfected in the Han (206 BCE –220 CE) & Jin (265-420 CE) Dynasties making a better class of weapon. Fencing books such as Jian Dao or Way of the Sword, were written & new forms created such as dance of the rapier, saber, battle-axe & guandao. These dances began to show more than athleticism, but strategies of attack & defense. People would come from distant villages to watch matches, not only of the sword, but archery and unarmed combat. While the jian was an officer’s weapon the common soldier carried the saber, a heavier, wider blade more effective in pitched battle. Government officials carried jian as a badge of their status, they were used to officiate rites of office, jian were used in Daoist religious ceremonies, it was also believed they could exorcise demons.

    It was at the time of the Tang Dynasty (618-907 CE) that fencing hit its zenith, the jian we know today came to being.

    Aside from professional soldiers nobility were the only class allowed to practice warrior arts, as with the Knights of Britain, a gentleman of the Tang dynasty was a scholar, poet, and swordsman.

    Wushu was organized into societies of wrestling, the staff & archery in the Song Dynasty (960-1279 CE). Horn Butting was still practiced along with hand & kick boxing in the streets, anywhere people could practice. The Dragon Spring Jian was the highest development in craftsmanship; they are the most sought after swords, of this type, by collectors today. It was in the Song that tales of great martial exploits appeared in print. One such novel was Outlaws of the Marsh, it depicted peasant heroes using their wushu skills to battle corrupt Song officials. These tales were to be perpetuated throughout martial history.

  10. #10
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    Interesting, so the Jian was kind of like a long sword?
    "If you want pure self-defense buy a can of mace." Grandmaster Villari (I think that is it).

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