Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Katana, Saber, and "Jian"

Katana, Saber (Dao), and Jian (straight sword)

So now that we are learning a two-person sword sparring set from our instructor Michael Gilman, I am getting to know the straight sword again. Years ago, I took fencing in college. It was taught by a French guy that had coached an Olympic team. It was a great workout and I loved it. But we were using the Foil mostly, and a little Epe' which was a little thicker and had an edge. I was just getting into Karate and wondered how the Foil would stand up to a Katana in combat.
Stylistically they are so different, it would be comparing apples to oranges. Let's face it; the Katana is probably the most bad-ass killing blade on the planet.
While it can be used for straight thrusts, the Katana is most powerful in arcing cuts.

The Saber just may be my favorite however. We learned Saber (Dao) use while Gilman trained us in a complex Wudang Saber form which included some Bagua-type circle-walking, straight thrusts and wide, sweeping arcs. Note the ring pommel which is very useful for flipping and inverting the Saber. While the Saber is mostly one-handed, many of the cuts use both hands or use the empty hand to assist and press against the wrist of the weapon hand. The Saber is lighter than the Katana, This one is hand forged in China and I got it through Wing Lam for around $130.

My new "Jian"

The Jian (straight sword) I bought is made by Hanwei, and was sold as a practical, durable no-frills sword. The scabbard is plastic as is the handle. But the construction is good and the blade is good spring steel. This sword could easily go on a rainy camping trip with no fear of causing it damage. The blade has flexibility in the last 1/3 and while the edge is unsharpened it would not take much to dress it.
As we were told, the Saber is the combat weapon for the soldier, and it comes in many forms; thick, blunt or long as mine is. The Jian however, was used more by nobles and women. While the Katana and Saber primarily cut in arcs, the Jian is more like a surgical tool for precise cuts and thrusts. It also is double-edged which opens up a wide variety of techniques.

I love the Katana and always will. It's power and durability are legendary. Most of what I know about the Katana was from the time I spent in Aikido, and I'm sure the techniques I learned reflected the nature of Aikido.
But I love the "poetry" of the Chinese sword. The movements mimic animal and natural forms and the Jian uses sticking energy close in.
All these weapons were affordable, durable and a lot of fun to learn and experiment with.
Let me know if you also have a favorite...


hermann said...

DJ, I really love to read your blog, and mostly find it very interesting, if not in my line of thinking martialy-wise alltogehter.

But your choise of Chinese weapons, I don't like, sorry. The sabre is a 20th century, western influenced "Yang sabre", not very historical, and I wonder about the quality of the blade, and the Adam Xu swords, I don't like either. Wrong balance, unhistoric guard, bad materials, and the wobbly blade would make a real dangerous cutter, if sharpended.
You mentioned the prices, well they are very affordable, a good thing, and maybe useable for forms training. But if you really get into Chinese blades and maybe a bit of cutting, you should check Scott Rodell and his 7* trading company.

Zacky Chan said...

Dude, so jealous you guys are working with Gilman on the jian. Still go through the sabre form every once in a while to make sure I can still recall it. The katana? Aikido's weird with this, at least how our dojo does it, because of course we're never using a real katana blade, and a bokken wooden sword instead. There's always arguments between iaido and aikido as to which is "better" or more "authentic". These terms can mean a lot of different things. In the end, you yourself define the relevance of your weapons training and empty handed time as well. I love working with the bokken. I find solo drills and techniques are incredibely simple, but putting basics together and working with partners is where the real fun comes in. I'd love to do some sticking drills with the sabre and jian.

Dojo Rat said...

Jeez Hermann, give a guy a break!
I am not ready to chuck down $500 on a combat-ready sword yet.
Do you have a link for Rodell's website?

Zacky: Did you get your Saber through customs into Japan?

hermann said...

Break given, lol, as the 500 $ might not be enough. It's just that I started off myself with some bad blades, hide them somewhere now, too embarressed to show. Sonner or later, one has to get something decent, they will last a lifetime, if treated well!


Dojo Rat said...

Thanks Hermann; I see there is a nice cutting Jian for about $195, but holy shit, some of those swords are almost $3000.00!

Fou-mar said...

bob here,saber or sabre, very good article in recent Black Belt magazine on swords. $150 to $300 ok for day to day usage. had to log-in to goggle to see comments.

Anonymous said...

GqvXag [url=http://chaneljponline.org/]シャネル 財布[/url] UmlTyw http://chaneljponline.org/ HvyWar [url=http://www.coachjpsales.net/]コーチ バッグ アウトレット[/url] BcaCgl http://www.coachjpsales.net/ QfnIlc [url=http://pradasjapan.net/]プラダ アウトレット[/url] MiyQyf http://pradasjapan.net/ XznGyq [url=http://coachonsales.org/]コーチ 財布[/url] CctZch http://coachonsales.org/

Anonymous said...

Thanks for your marvelous posting! I certainly enjoyed reading
it, you might be a great author.I will always bookmark your blog and may come back sometime soon.
I want to encourage one to continue your great work, have a nice day!

Here is my web blog プラダ 財布

Anonymous said...

Today, I went to the beachfront with my children.
I found a sea shell and gave it to my 4 year old daughter and said
"You can hear the ocean if you put this to your ear." She placed the shell to
her ear and screamed. There was a hermit crab inside and it pinched her ear.

She never wants to go back! LoL I know this is totally off
topic but I had to tell someone!

my blog post プラダ バッグ ナイロン

Anonymous said...

It's the best time to make some plans for the future and it's time to be happy.
I've learn this publish and if I may just I want to counsel you some attention-grabbing things or suggestions. Maybe you could write next articles regarding this article. I wish to read more things approximately it!

Here is my web-site :: プラダ バッグ

Anonymous said...

What's up to all, how is all, I think every one is getting more from this web site, and your views are fastidious designed for new viewers.

My web page http://www.jokecrazy.com

Anonymous said...

Valuable information. Lucky me I discovered your web site by accident, and I am shocked why this coincidence did not took
place earlier! I bookmarked it.

my page プラダ バッグ

Anonymous said...

I hardly drop responses, however i did some searching and wound up here "Katana, Saber, and "Jian"".
And I actually do have 2 questions for you if you usually do
not mind. Is it only me or does it look like a few of these responses come across like they are coming from brain dead individuals?

:-P And, if you are writing on other online social sites, I'd like to keep up with everything fresh you have to post. Would you list of all of all your shared pages like your linkedin profile, Facebook page or twitter feed?

Visit my web-site; kylejarcher.blogspot.com

Anonymous said...

I got this website from my buddy who informed me
about this website and now this time I am visiting this website and reading very informative content at this place.

My site - 時計コピー

Anonymous said...

Your way of explaining the whole thing in this post is genuinely fastidious, every one be capable of simply understand it,
Thanks a lot.

Also visit my homepage ... 激安レイバン

Anonymous said...

Usually I do not learn article on blogs, however I wish to say that this
write-up very forced me to take a look at and do it! Your
writing taste has been surprised me. Thank you, quite great article.

my weblog - オークリー アウトレット

Anonymous said...

My spouse and I absolutely love your blog and find a lot of your post's to be what precisely I'm looking for.
Do you offer guest writers to write content for yourself?

I wouldn't mind writing a post or elaborating on a lot of the subjects you write in relation to here. Again, awesome weblog!

Also visit my website ... ロレックスコピー

Anonymous said...

Hey are using Wordpress for your site platform? I'm new to the blog world but I'm trying to
get started and set up my own. Do you require any html
coding expertise to make your own blog? Any help would be greatly appreciated!

Feel free to visit my web page: 激安オークリー

Anonymous said...

Link exchange is nothing else but it is only
placing the other person's blog link on your page at proper place and other person will also do similar for you.

My website - ロレックスレプリカ

Anonymous said...

If some one wants expert view regarding blogging after that i advise
him/her to go to see this blog, Keep up the nice job.

My site - http://www.rolexoutletfreeshipping.com/

Anonymous said...

I must thank you for the efforts you have put in penning this website.

I'm hoping to check out the same high-grade content by you later on as well. In fact, your creative writing abilities has encouraged me to get my own, personal site now ;)

my website - レイバンサングラス

Anonymous said...

I visited many blogs but the audio quality for audio songs existing
at this site is in fact wonderful.

Feel free to visit my website - オークリーメガネ

Anonymous said...

Nice post. I was checking continuously this blog and I am impressed!
Very useful information specifically the last part :
) I care for such info a lot. I was looking for this certain
information for a long time. Thank you and good luck.

Feel free to surf to my web page: オークリーメガネ

Anonymous said...

Hi, just wanted to tell you, I loved this article.
It was inspiring. Keep on posting!

Also visit my page - レイバンサングラス 激安

Anonymous said...

It's impressive that you are getting ideas from this article as well as from our dialogue made here.

Feel free to surf to my web page - 激安レイバン

Anonymous said...

It's an awesome post for all the internet visitors; they will get benefit from it I am sure.

Here is my page: blogspot.com

Anonymous said...

I do accept as true with all of the ideas you've presented to your post. They're
really convincing and will certainly work. Still,
the posts are too brief for newbies. Could you please lengthen them a bit from next time?
Thank you for the post.

Also visit my weblog; レイバン

Anonymous said...

I'd like to find out more? I'd care to find out more details.

Look at my blog :: オークリー サングラス

Anonymous said...

Probably more eras than you'd like to admit through as have a lot of people other people. Cost of admission also includes access to the Hualapai Indian Commune. Fundamentally the first th th you'd r snowboarding lodge beneficial
ski issues. The right Life Coach does not provide all of the answers.

Feel free to surf to my webpage :: コーチ

Anonymous said...

Definitely believe that which you stated. Your favourite justification seemed to be on the web the easiest factor to have in mind
of. I say to you, I certainly get irked at the same time as other folks think
about worries that they plainly do not recognize about.
You managed to hit the nail upon the highest
and outlined out the whole thing without having side-effects , people could take a signal.
Will probably be back to get more. Thanks

Here is my page ミュウミュウ店舗

Anonymous said...

I am really thankful to the owner of this web page who
has shared this fantastic article at at this time.

Take a look at my web-site - www.miumiuoutletshopx.com

Anonymous said...

For newest information you have to pay a visit web and on the web I
found this site as a finest web site for most up-to-date updates.

Also visit my weblog: http://www.nbptjc.com

Anonymous said...

Hi, Neat post. There's a problem along with your site in web explorer, would test this? IE still is the marketplace leader and a large component to other folks will leave out your magnificent writing because of this problem.

my blog ミュウミュウ

Anonymous said...

Hi there! I'm at work browsing your blog from my new iphone 3gs! Just wanted to say I love reading your blog and look forward to all your posts! Carry on the superb work!

Also visit my site http://rcrunning.blogspot.fr

Anonymous said...

Way cool! Some very valid points! I appreciate you writing
this write-up and the rest of the website is really good.

Feel free to visit my website :: トリーバーチバッグ

Anonymous said...


Feel free to surf to my webpage ... ミュウミュウ アウトレット

Anonymous said...

It's amazing in favor of me to have a site, which is helpful designed for my know-how. thanks admin

Feel free to surf to my homepage - トリーバーチ財布

Anonymous said...


Feel free to visit my page ... miumiu 財布

Anonymous said...

We stumbled over here coming from a different web address and thought I might check things
out. I like what I see so now i am following you. Look forward to looking over your web
page yet again.

my web page: クロエ店舗

Anonymous said...

Admiring the hard work you put into your website and detailed
information you present. It's good to come across a blog every once in a while that isn't the same out of date
rehashed information. Wonderful read! I've bookmarked your site and I'm adding your RSS feeds to
my Google account.

My web page; http://www.letmagichappen.com/member/17357

Anonymous said...

Hi colleagues, good post and pleasant arguments commented here,
I am really enjoying by these.

Have a look at my page: クロエ アウトレット

Anonymous said...

hello there and thank you for your info – I've definitely picked up anything new from right here. I did however expertise a few technical points using this web site, since I experienced to reload the web site many times previous to I could get it to load properly. I had been wondering if your hosting is OK? Not that I'm complaining, but slow loading instances times will very frequently affect your placement in google and can damage your high quality score if ads and marketing with Adwords.
Anyway I am adding this RSS to my e-mail and could look
out for a lot more of your respective exciting content. Make sure you update this again very soon.

Feel free to surf to my homepage - ジョーダン

Anonymous said...

This is a really good tip especially to those new to the blogosphere.

Short but very precise information… Appreciate your sharing this one.

A must read article!

my web blog :: モンスタービーツ

Anonymous said...

I just like the valuable info you supply for your articles.
I'll bookmark your weblog and check again here frequently. I am fairly sure I'll be
informed a lot of new stuff right right here! Best of luck for the following!

Also visit my blog; モンスタービート

Anonymous said...

Hmm is anyone else experiencing problems with the images on this blog loading?

I'm trying to find out if its a problem on my end or if it's the blog.
Any feed-back would be greatly appreciated.

My webpage ... トリーバーチ