Thursday, September 3, 2009

Just Ordered This Tai Chi Dao Saber



Oooooh, I can't wait!
I've wanted one of these for a while. Now that I have a clue of how it's supposed to be used, the wooden sword can go back in the closet!
Notice how the Saber is long and slender, more like a Japanese Katana but mostly used one-handed. (The power cuts are two-handed though). Note the Ring Pommel, useful for intricate manipulation of the saber.
Compare it to a typical Broadsword:

As you can see, the Broadsword is, well, "Broad". The Saber is much more streamlined and is more functional for thrusting as well as slashing.
Here's the stats:
The Long Quan Tai Chi Dao (tai chi broadsword) is unique among dao broadswords. Its taper is much gentler than the more martial variety and has no flare. Two fullers extend down the blade, one nearly the entire way and one only a fraction of the length. The first third of the blade (the shoulder) is thicker than the rest for strength in parrying. It is fitted with a blade forged in China legendary Long Quan (dragon well) forges, by the Shen family smiths from combat (high carbon content) steel.
Shen Family Swords: Many sword-making families now live in Long Chuan, but the most famous among them is the Shen family. The Shen family's swords have been known to have the best quality and skill for hundreds of years. In the 1911 Long Chuan Master Sword competition, a sword forged by the third generation of the Shen family stabbed through three solid brass blanks as well as split a sword from another maker in half, thus earning the title "King of Swords." The Shen family Long Chuan Master Sword were praised as national treasure in China by the people of the highest social class. In 1942, a Long Chuan Master Sword was made for the second president of the Republic of China by special request and in 1955, a special customized Long Chuan Master Sword was made for Chairman Mao Zhe Don.

Length (w/ scabbard): 43" Length(blade): 32.5"
Weight(with scabbard): 3.51 lb.
Weight(without scabbard): 2,25 lb.
Semi-flexible

I should get it next week, I'll let you know more then.

Here's the link to Wing Lam Enterprises, with lots of other Kung Fu equipment

13 comments:

Rick said...

You may find this of interest:

http://wuswordproject.com/

BSM said...

God help those who trespass on your land!

Dojo Rat said...

Hi Rick;

We looked at this site a couple of weeks ago. It would be great if they would update it!

Scott said...

Whoah, did they send one to Stalin too?

Wim Demeere said...

I trained with a Long Quan saber a while ago. Really nice blade. It felt very comfortable in my hand. I'm pretty sure you'll enjoy it a lot.

Arkangel said...

Is it what I'd call a miao dao? I've been training some miao dao forms with a bokken for a while to get the hang of it, but I'd love real one...

Dojo Rat said...

Arkangel;

Yes, according to "The Complete Dao" by Zhang Yun, the Miao Dao is considered a long slender sword, in use since the Han Dynasty (206 BC-220 AD). It also says the unique ring pommel was introduced back then. The name Miao came later in the Qing Dynasty and was related to an ethnic group.

CTC said...

I beg to differ.

The Taiji Saber and the Miao Dao are very different weapons, who may or not share a distant, remote origin.

The Taiji Saber is other wise simply known as the Southern Saber, and is widely accepted as having received western influences, fromt he British in Hong Kong, in the early 1800's. It spread in popularity all the way through the Tai Ping Rebellion. Yang Luchan was commander in Yongnian, and that's where he probably got it. It is the weapon you're traditionally meant to do Taiji with, and the more orthodox Yang and Northern Wu teachers generally insist on it. My teacher doesn't, but he does teach a kickass Southern Style Saber Form, super-dynamic, and generally asks my kungfu bros to use the southern Saber with it, mostly on account of the "coolness" factor.

As for the Miao Dao, it is something else entirely. It is a.... katana. Period. It has different guard, the blade is longer than the typical modern kanata, more like the Tachi katana, but it's essentially the same and many students simply buy a bokken to practice their Miao Dao forms. It is the original katana design which passed into Japan sometime around 800 or 900, then slowly faded from popularity in China by the early Ming dinasty, 1330' or 1400's. Then it briefly became popular from 1550-1650 or so, as a naval marines weapon, simply because it was the time the chinese were fighting the Japanese pirates, and they thought the Japanese were excellent swordsmen. Admiral Qi Ji Guan, famous for systematizing and creating weapon forms, including a Miao Dao form attributed to him, even sent some of his officers to study Japanese swordfigthing around 1570's, or so. After it faded again, it only subsisted in a few martial arts lineages, a northern Praying Mantis line, some Pigua Zhang and so on. Then in the early 1900's, again because of Japanese influence, it surfaced again, especially in Tianjin, where it remains popular to this day.

Miao Dao simply means Willow Leaf Blade, or Long Leaf Blade or something (because of the shape of the blade, like a long stalk).

This guy does it very well, and if you go his Youtube channel you'll find a tone of great videos on different styles, including more Miao Dao.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IYDBnA3WOpc

It sometimes feels great to be the armchair warrior!

:-)

JoseFreitas said...

I beg to differ.

The Taiji Saber and the Miao Dao are very different weapons, who may or not share a distant, remote origin.

The Taiji Saber is other wise simply known as the Southern Saber, and is widely accepted as having received western influences, fromt he British in Hong Kong, in the early 1800's. It spread in popularity all the way through the Tai Ping Rebellion. Yang Luchan was commander in Yongnian, and that's where he probably got it. It is the weapon you're traditionally meant to do Taiji with, and the more orthodox Yang and Northern Wu teachers generally insist on it. My teacher doesn't, but he does teach a kickass Southern Style Saber Form, super-dynamic, and generally asks my kungfu bros to use the southern Saber with it, mostly on account of the "coolness" factor.

As for the Miao Dao, it is something else entirely. It is a.... katana. Period. It has different guard, the blade is longer than the typical modern kanata, more like the Tachi katana, but it's essentially the same and many students simply buy a bokken to practice their Miao Dao forms. It is the original katana design which passed into Japan sometime around 800 or 900, then slowly faded from popularity in China by the early Ming dinasty, 1330' or 1400's. Then it briefly became popular from 1550-1650 or so, as a naval marines weapon, simply because it was the time the chinese were fighting the Japanese pirates, and they thought the Japanese were excellent swordsmen. Admiral Qi Ji Guan, famous for systematizing and creating weapon forms, including a Miao Dao form attributed to him, even sent some of his officers to study Japanese swordfigthing around 1570's, or so. After it faded again, it only subsisted in a few martial arts lineages, a northern Praying Mantis line, some Pigua Zhang and so on. Then in the early 1900's, again because of Japanese influence, it surfaced again, especially in Tianjin, where it remains popular to this day.

Miao Dao simply means Willow Leaf Blade, or Long Leaf Blade or something (because of the shape of the blade, like a long stalk).

This guy does it very well, and if you go his Youtube channel you'll find a tone of great videos on different styles, including more Miao Dao.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IYDBnA3WOpc

It sometimes feels great to be the armchair warrior!

:-)

Dojo Rat said...

Thanks Jose'
That's a huge amount of history. The only thing I would say is that in the book I mentioned "The Complete Dao", The examples of weapons shown were heavy bladed chopping swords, or the slender sabers. The Maio Dao was in that category.

JoseFreitas said...

I also have some books with bad stuff in them. Here's a good pic of a Miao Dao:

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/f/f5/Miaodau2.JPG/300px-Miaodau2.JPG

It is slightly different from a katana, but not to the point that it would affect the usage from a functional point of view.

My own teacher here thinks that the Miaod Dao hasn't been used siince ever and that it's all propaganda. I have a video from Guo what'shisname who repopularized the thing in Tianjin, and he spends 10 minutes showing old manuals and books to show it existed!

Rob Smith said...

As someone with a fair amount of experience with western swords, when i first picked up a Yang style saber(a correct one, not with the katana-like tip some versions have), it felt exactly like a hand and a half version of a good European Cavalry Saber.

Rob Smith said...

As someone with a fair amount of experience with western swords, when i first picked up a Yang style saber(a correct one, not with the katana-like tip some versions have), it felt exactly like a hand and a half version of a good European Cavalry Saber.