Chinese Swordsmanship Fencing Video!

Discussion on the three big Chinese internals, Yiquan, Bajiquan, Piguazhang and other similar styles.

Re: Chinese Swordsmanship Fencing Video!

Postby Steve James on Tue Apr 24, 2018 3:52 am

I have no clue about the ming military blog. I have Rodell's book and his cutting jian. But that's irrelevant.

I'm just interested in accounts of how the jian was used not that it was used.

You posted a picture of a jian with a rounded edge. It might be because it was used for slashing, but it could also be a practice weapon. I.e., to make practicing thrusts more safely -implying the use of thrusting techniques.

Afa steel production and quality, I think the practical and logistical problems are similar to other cultures.

It's interesting that general Qi trained his raw troops to use the miao dao and other long weapons against the Japanese.
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Re: Chinese Swordsmanship Fencing Video!

Postby MaartenSFS on Tue Apr 24, 2018 4:11 am

According to my Master, the Jian hasn't been used much on the battlefield for over a thousand years. They were carried by government officials and senior military officers to reflect their position. When a general went to war, though, he would bring a Dao or other weapon. The same was true in the West, where the sabre was the battlefield mainstay for most armies, even officers. They are more effective in melee combat, after all. Most of these Jian, then, were ornamental, with the militia Jian being a notable exception (though they probably would have handled quite differently). There are a lot of types of Dao to choose from. Some were used more like Jian and others more like meat cleavers. Most fell somewhere in between and this is what I train. Apparently the Dadao were very effective at countering both the Katana and bayonettes of the Japanese in WWII. Dao were much more durable and Jian could not easily parry them, especially two-handers.

David, what is the length of the second Dao from the top in the second picture? I like the look of it. I think that 3.5 pounds is too heavy for my purposes, because that would be an exclusively two-handed weapon and I like a more hand-and-a-half approach. As such, the blade would probably have to be narrower. I had a chance to train with a real Miaodao the other day and it handled wonderfully, but with the same problem, mostly due to the length.

Your quote is interesting in that the Jian is to be used from a distance and the Dao up close, but in our video examples they use their Jian up super close and we use our Dao from a distance but then close in with footwork (which I don't think contradicts the quote). Perhaps that is because a slash is a wide arc and you shouldn't stand too close, but if they miss you with a Jian thrust you are fine and because the Jian is also a much lighter weapon with the balance point more towards the back many subtle movements are possible using mostly the wrist, including parring another Jian. With the Dao you want to go in and slash (or thrust) and retreat when you are recovering from a miss or continue the attack from another angle. Since the blade is heavier the waist is used to generate power, hence the additional footwork (they go together well). I think that the Jian would have trouble against the Dao unless the practitioner was much more skilled.

Unfortunately I can't open the Youtube link. It just takes me to the home page.
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Re: Chinese Swordsmanship Fencing Video!

Postby windwalker on Tue Apr 24, 2018 4:43 am

MaartenSFS wrote:
David, what is the length of the second Dao from the top in the second picture? I like the look of it. I think that 3.5 pounds is too heavy for my purposes, because that would be an exclusively two-handed weapon and I like a more hand-and-a-half approach. As such, the blade would probably have to be narrower. I had a chance to train with a real Miaodao the other day and it handled wonderfully, but with the same problem, mostly due to the length.

All his weapons are real, I would it expect to be about the same size and weight as what you handled. You might find this interesting its called a sword coffin, according to my friend they would send the swords back from the fallen warriors in this Image

Your quote is interesting in that the Jian is to be used from a distance and the Dao up close, but in our video examples they use their Jian up super close and we use our Dao from a distance but then close in with footwork (which I don't think contradicts the quote). Perhaps that is because a slash is a wide arc and you shouldn't stand too close, but if they miss you with a Jian thrust you are fine and because the Jian is also a much lighter weapon with the balance point more towards the back many subtle movements are possible using mostly the wrist, including parring another Jian. With the Dao you want to go in and slash (or thrust) and retreat when you are recovering from a miss or continue the attack from another angle. Since the blade is heavier the waist is used to generate power, hence the additional footwork (they go together well). I think that the Jian would have trouble against the Dao unless the practitioner was much more skilled.

Unfortunately I can't open the Youtube link. It just takes me to the home page.Its ok, I've a feeling you might have seen it before
some guy named Maarten posted about his work in China ;)


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Re: Chinese Swordsmanship Fencing Video!

Postby MaartenSFS on Tue Apr 24, 2018 4:44 am

Nothing to do with Daofa or Jianfa, but interesting nonetheless: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ntsJ3xpd3yY
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Re: Chinese Swordsmanship Fencing Video!

Postby MaartenSFS on Tue Apr 24, 2018 4:47 am

Oh, haha. I think I've heard of him. He's apparently public enemy no.1 in some jurisdictions.

Sounds about right for the Miaodao, though it was balanced very well indeed.

The sword coffin IS really interesting and better than shipping a bag of parts.. =P
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Re: Chinese Swordsmanship Fencing Video!

Postby Trick on Tue Apr 24, 2018 6:06 am

Pandrews1982 wrote:Also doing a little digging on San Cai Jian and in a few other discussions it seems that the set is common in some Northern Chinese arts. The tai ji sword form of Sun Lu Tang apparently is very similar to the San Cai Jian set and it is found in some Long Fist schools too. Many of the discussions credit Li Jin Lin with the creation of the form. This would date it to the early 1900s maybe around 1920-30 if true (Li Jin Lin died in 1932 in his early 40s).

As Steve mentioned above Li Jin Lin was an instructor at the Central Goushu Institute and contemporary of Sun Lu Tang and Yang Chen Fu. He developed the Wudang Sword system by adding to it from other arts he was exposed to (likely Xing Yi Tai Chi and Baguazhang among others). His nickname was the first sword of China. One of the head instructors in the association I am affiliated to was taught Wudang Sword from Li jin Lin lineage but it's not something I've personally been exposed to other than reading the translations of the book Fundamental Methods of Wudang Sword (Scott Rodell and Brennan).

One of my Taiji teachers in Dalian(liaoning province) learned the Wudang sword from another linage than Li Jin Lin supposed to be the "pure" teaching from Sung Wei I the teacher of Li....I never studied the sword from my teacher except that he liked to do the kind of free play sparring as you can see in some Zheng Manqing video clips, but as I understand from other sources that kind of sparring actually came from Sun Lutang, so I don't know what to make of it 8-)
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Re: Chinese Swordsmanship Fencing Video!

Postby Bob on Tue Apr 24, 2018 8:17 am

My understanding is that warlord/general Li Jinglin was one of the founders of the Central Guoshu institute and highly unlikely he taught there. There was an old post that listed the instructors and what they taught - I don't recall his name listed.

The taiji and kun wu swords I learned came from the Song Weiyi line and really don't resemble the san cai jian which I also once knew (didn't ever like it) - you can youtube both sword forms on YouTube being performed by adam hsu.

Barb Davis's translation of Chen Weiming's Yang sword tells of a visit by Li Jinglin and an exchange - I posted it years ago - Chen Weiming describes Li Jinglin's Wudang sword as almost identical to the Yang sword and if I remember correctly, Li Jinglin taught him two person drills.
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Re: Chinese Swordsmanship Fencing Video!

Postby LaoDan on Tue Apr 24, 2018 9:35 am

I acknowledge that the dao supplanted the jian in military usage, but I also think that there are indications that it was still popular with martial arts practitioners well into the Republic. For example, see the numerous books on jian that Brennan has translated:

https://brennantranslation.wordpress.com/2015/12/23/yang-style-taiji-sword-according-to-yin-qianhe/

https://brennantranslation.wordpress.com/2015/11/25/wu-style-taiji-sword-qiankun-jian/

https://brennantranslation.wordpress.com/2013/07/31/yang-style-taiji-sword-according-to-chen-yanlin/

https://brennantranslation.wordpress.com/2012/12/22/yang-style-taiji-sword/

https://brennantranslation.wordpress.com/2014/06/01/wudang-sword/

https://brennantranslation.wordpress.com/2013/07/20/the-kunwu-sword-manual-of-li-lingxiao/

https://brennantranslation.wordpress.com/2014/01/30/startling-rainbow-sword-jinghong-jian/

https://brennantranslation.wordpress.com/2011/02/23/dragon-shape-sword-2/

I do not know when the light “wushu” performance jian began to be manufactured and used, but I am confident that the San Cai Jian form was created and practiced with real weapons (weight, balance, etc.), as likely were all of the forms in the early books that Brennan has translated. If real jian were available, but the “wushu” reproductions only came later, then this would indicate that the various forms that were passed down from that time would have been how real jian usage was viewed (although in the idealized manner common to choreographed forms). The usage may or may not have been “battle tested”, but at least they were using real weapons.

It would not surprise me if modern practitioners of older forms, but using “wushu” reproductions, distort the forms that were passed down. I have seen this in various forms that I have learned; knowing that a jian with historically accurate weight and balance would not be used in the manner that many modern practitioners do.

To me the value of the San Cai Jian form is in the partnered version, although the solo form allows one to practice when a partner is not available. Its emphasis on the three levels (high/middle/low, or heaven/man/earth, i.e. the three powers or San Cai), allows practice in responding to various heights of attacks, both defensively and offensively. I doubt that many practitioners of solo jian forms take this aspect into account during their practice.
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Re: Chinese Swordsmanship Fencing Video!

Postby Trick on Tue Apr 24, 2018 10:56 am

Not specific about Sabres & Swords of China, but about being forced to handle confrontations against attacks from certain groups in the Shanghai of late 19th to early 20th century layed the foundation for the close quarter combat tactics of British and US armed forces...."World War II combatives are rooted in British colonial history with the Shanghai Municipal Police (1854–1943), pioneers of modern SWAT, who operated in what was widely acknowledged as the most dangerous port city in the world at the time. After studying under some of the finest warriors of pre-Communist China and pre-war Japan, these officers condensed the most practical elements of these arts, combined it with elements of Shanghai gangster fighting, and field-tested their skills in over 2000 documented encounters, including over 600 lethal force engagements[citation needed]." - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_War_II_combatives ........ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Defendu ..... https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_E._Fairbairn ...... https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fairbairn–Sykes_fighting_knife ....
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Re: Chinese Swordsmanship Fencing Video!

Postby Bob on Wed Apr 25, 2018 10:38 am

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Re: Chinese Swordsmanship Fencing Video!

Postby MaartenSFS on Sat May 05, 2018 6:56 am

Trick wrote:
Pandrews1982 wrote:Also doing a little digging on San Cai Jian and in a few other discussions it seems that the set is common in some Northern Chinese arts. The tai ji sword form of Sun Lu Tang apparently is very similar to the San Cai Jian set and it is found in some Long Fist schools too. Many of the discussions credit Li Jin Lin with the creation of the form. This would date it to the early 1900s maybe around 1920-30 if true (Li Jin Lin died in 1932 in his early 40s).

As Steve mentioned above Li Jin Lin was an instructor at the Central Goushu Institute and contemporary of Sun Lu Tang and Yang Chen Fu. He developed the Wudang Sword system by adding to it from other arts he was exposed to (likely Xing Yi Tai Chi and Baguazhang among others). His nickname was the first sword of China. One of the head instructors in the association I am affiliated to was taught Wudang Sword from Li jin Lin lineage but it's not something I've personally been exposed to other than reading the translations of the book Fundamental Methods of Wudang Sword (Scott Rodell and Brennan).

One of my Taiji teachers in Dalian(liaoning province) learned the Wudang sword from another linage than Li Jin Lin supposed to be the "pure" teaching from Sung Wei I the teacher of Li....I never studied the sword from my teacher except that he liked to do the kind of free play sparring as you can see in some Zheng Manqing video clips, but as I understand from other sources that kind of sparring actually came from Sun Lutang, so I don't know what to make of it 8-)

I have trained a bit of that but stopped for the same reasons that I quit Tuishou and Chishou. I just don't find it very realistic and feel that just drilling techniques on a compliant partner and later a resisting partner helps me to use new or advanced techniques a lot more. I found it to be especially limiting for two-handed sword use. I consider these kinds of training methods as games more than anything, depending on the rules used.
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Re: Chinese Swordsmanship Fencing Video!

Postby MaartenSFS on Sat May 05, 2018 7:04 am

I think that it is interesting that the Jian is still so popular, despite mostly being relegated to ceremonial purposes for over a thousand years. Even the Koreans copied the manuals on it.

May I ask what benefit you think that you receive from practising sword forms? My Master told me that he thinks that they are a particularly big waste of time, compared to unarmed forms.
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Re: Chinese Swordsmanship Fencing Video!

Postby MaartenSFS on Sat May 05, 2018 7:07 am

That's very interesting, Trick. It would have been quite a unique place to live in before the great evil took hold. I've just been on a five-day motorbike trip through the most remote areas of southern Guizhou. It was like time-travelling. Extraordinary.. :o
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