Chinese Swordsmanship Fencing Video!

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

Re: Chinese Swordsmanship Fencing Video!

Postby Finny on Sun Apr 22, 2018 5:52 am

MaartenSFS wrote:
Something must have gotten lost along the way because Musashi clearly fenced.



Clearly. And you base this on.. your deep knowledge of the subject - or your personal desire to lend authority to your position?
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Re: Chinese Swordsmanship Fencing Video!

Postby MaartenSFS on Sun Apr 22, 2018 5:55 am

I base it on common sense. To learn how to fight you need to.. fight.

If they fought and were preserving an ancient fighting tradition I'd be all for it. Without the fighting it's just a tradition - not that those are bad.
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Re: Chinese Swordsmanship Fencing Video!

Postby Finny on Sun Apr 22, 2018 1:49 pm

You still don't understand - 'sparring' with sticks =/= 'fighting'.
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Re: Chinese Swordsmanship Fencing Video!

Postby Trick on Mon Apr 23, 2018 12:32 am

MaartenSFS wrote:I base it on common sense. To learn how to fight you need to.. fight.

If they fought and were preserving an ancient fighting tradition I'd be all for it. Without the fighting it's just a tradition - not that those are bad.

Ok speaking of Musashi, you will soon be moving back to the US? while there will you go on a "Musha shugyō(knight errant) quest to sharpen your sword skills, I mean participate in different fencing competitions? ...As your teacher did in China back when he was learning.
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Re: Chinese Swordsmanship Fencing Video!

Postby MaartenSFS on Mon Apr 23, 2018 3:32 am

I won't have enough money to do that, but I will check out everyone in my local area to start and, as you say, sharpen my skills. 8-)
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Re: Chinese Swordsmanship Fencing Video!

Postby LaoDan on Mon Apr 23, 2018 7:51 am

Trick wrote:
taiwandeutscher wrote:The Sancaijian was developed in the early 20th century, at the Nanjing Guoshuguan!

Then it was created by competent MAists and contain correct Jian techniques for the use in combat

I do not own the book, but my understanding is that the San Cai Jian form was already famous prior to (though I could be wrong) the publication of the following book:

The Study of Three Powers Sword (San Cai Jian Xue), 三才劍學 written by Xu Shi-Jin 徐士金 (who also posed for the photos).
He taught at the Wu Han branch of Central Military Academy 中央軍校武漢分校 and the book was published in 1932.

I would think that creation prior to 1932 would mean that the form contained more martial influences (“contain correct Jian techniques for the use in combat”) rather than performance considerations, but I do not know enough to be confident in my assessments.
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Re: Chinese Swordsmanship Fencing Video!

Postby Steve James on Mon Apr 23, 2018 11:02 am

Can anyone point to any documented reports of the jian being used in combat in China? I mean a report of an encounter between someone or a group using jians against other swordsmen.

I do "know" --but I think John Wang can confirm-- that The sword authority at the Nanjing Kuohou academy was Li JInglin. Most tcc sword standardization, following YCF, came from Chen Weiming, who had been a student of Sun Lutang.
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Re: Chinese Swordsmanship Fencing Video!

Postby Pandrews1982 on Mon Apr 23, 2018 12:20 pm

http://greatmingmilitary.blogspot.com/2015/06/swords-and-sabres-of-ming-dynasty.html
Although single-edged dao became the mainstay weapon of Chinese armies since the Han Dynasty, double-edged jian did not simply disappear from the battlefield. Unlike the long and slender (sometimes even floppy) "Wushu sword" that most people associate with Chinese jian, Ming military swords are short and sturdy, with relatively simple guards and large pommels. The edges of most Ming swords run nearly parallel until tapering to a round or triangular point, making them more suitable for hacking and slashing.


Image
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Scott Rodell showed me a very large two handed jian which has an inscription related to the Taiping Rebellion on the blade.

Article on two handed jian from the ming period, it may not have been a military manual but it is in the same style http://greatmingmilitary.blogspot.com/2016/01/interesting-parallels-between-chao-xian.html

The so called militia jian of the Ming and early Qing were short robust jian often without scabbards which may have been held by the local "braves" a little bit like the sheriff and his deputies in the American wild west, these would be handed out to the villagers (the posse) should there be need to arm the populace against some kind of large scale attack maybe by bandits or pirates or in a time of rebellion (there were lots). So whilst not used for a purely military purpose the jian was used in a paramilitary kind of way.

The Qing Army was controlled by the Manchu government and whilst Han Chinese were employed within the army the Manchu were traditionally nomadic people reliant on cavalry, as such they favoured the sabre, lance and bow. A curved blade adds to the cut and using a blade from horseback is predominately cutting and slashing as you pass or strike from above. The jian is less effective in cutting due to the straight edge but it's tip is dangerous however it is not particularly effective to thrust from above so it is rare that a horseman would have a straight sword.

http://mandarinmansion.com/jianruiying-special-forces-qing
Check out the drawing of the Lesser Jinchuan warrior near the top of the page it seems he is carrying two short jian (but maybe they are straight maces) as side arms.

My friend David Leffmann also wrote a book called the Mercenary Mandarin, a true account of the adventures of a British man who became a general in Qing Army in south-west China. This man William Mesny wrote a newspaper collumn he called his "miscellany" and in one account of his exploits he makes reference to the army hiring a group of mercenaries. Men that carried fancy short swords (jian) for dueling and who were covered in scars and loved to fight. This was in the late Qing period and again it's not military per se but it shows that even the short duan jian which many were made to sell to westerners did have practical use and were used, maybe for dueling or as side arms.
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Re: Chinese Swordsmanship Fencing Video!

Postby Pandrews1982 on Mon Apr 23, 2018 12:35 pm

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).
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Re: Chinese Swordsmanship Fencing Video!

Postby Steve James on Mon Apr 23, 2018 3:29 pm

Hi, I'm familiar with Rodell's work and respect it very much. I think that there may not be personal records of jian usage, either in warfare or personal combat, even though I'm sure at some point these weapons were used. I think that the British may have recorded some of the incidents that must have occurred during the 19th century. There are several accounts by Brits who fought in India and elsewhere with swords.

The Brits wrote that the Indians were much better swordsmen. I wish I knew enough to compare the prevalence of weapons in India versus China. I.e., that most weapons were severely restricted. High quality weapons, I would think, were largely unavailable to most.

The accounts of equipping townsfolk with jians imply reasonably large facilities for producing steel (?). I think that it might be more efficient to arm them with something like this. Though, the British didn't colonize China with swords.
Imagehttps://images.duckduckgo.com/iu/?u=http%3A%2F%2Fupload.wikimedia.org%2Fwikipedia%2Fcommons%2Fb%2Fb5%2FBoxersDrawingByKoekkoek1900.jpg&f=1

Here's an interesting caricature of a sword being used during the Boxer Rebellion.
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https://images.duckduckgo.com/iu/?u=htt ... on.jpg&f=1
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Re: Chinese Swordsmanship Fencing Video!

Postby Steve James on Mon Apr 23, 2018 3:32 pm

The hilt on that wavy blade has one heck of a useful hilt. Do you think it's a traditional sword; one made for practical battle; or, just a product of the artist's imagination?
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Re: Chinese Swordsmanship Fencing Video!

Postby windwalker on Mon Apr 23, 2018 4:08 pm

'For reasons which I have never completely understood his training method seems to have focused on the jian (traditional straight sword) rather than the more militarily accessible dao (saber). "
https://chinesemartialstudies.com/2017/ ... -comeback/

Good read based on many historical insights

"Big Knife Saber

The weapon that went into the history books that early morning was known in Chinese by the somewhat prosaic name of “big knife” sabers Dadao (大刀). They are short but broad bladed sabers meant to be used with two hands. The standard specifications, the “mil-spec”, of these “big knife” sabers were 3.5 pounds in weight and 35.5 inches in length but the reality is the size and the weight varied greatly.

Https://chinesemartialstudies.com/2013/ ... ican-army/

Marratens, teachers work and Martin's training seem to reflect a lot of historical accounts concerning swordsmanship.
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Re: Chinese Swordsmanship Fencing Video!

Postby Steve James on Mon Apr 23, 2018 4:29 pm

Secondly, Ma began to formulate his own plans for the creation of a civilian network (or militia) armed with dadao, capable of repelling the advance of Japanese infantry through cities (or at least making it costly). It should be noted that Ma was far from the only martial arts reformers in the 1930’s to have this same “good idea.” Many individuals, at both the local and national level, were spreading similar schemes. During the 1930’s the dadao became something of a defacto symbol of the state and Chinese military strength, and the nation’s answer to the more famous Japanese katana. Multiple specialized manuals were published, and a huge number of local martial arts instructors began to assemble their own systems to teach the weapon.


Yeah, big knives are easier to make. I don't think it's practical to use them anything like jians, though. I'm sure that General Ma might have practiced jian, but he didn't equip his fighters with them. I'm not putting down the jian anyway. I think it's quiet logical that a general would carry one. Yeah, I know that generals are also shown carrying spears, guan daos, or other weapons. Even Confucius is depicted with a jian.

Image
https://images.duckduckgo.com/iu/?u=htt ... um.jpg&f=1
Image
https://images.duckduckgo.com/iu/?u=htt ... s1.jpg&f=1
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Re: Chinese Swordsmanship Fencing Video!

Postby Pandrews1982 on Tue Apr 24, 2018 2:18 am

The great ming military blog is not Scott Rodell's work.

Peter Dekker has done some research into the history of militia jian too. Whether or not it was efficient to make them, nevertheless they were made. This was the ming period 1640s and earlier not the 20th century - http://www.mandarinmansion.com/chinese-ming-dynasty-militia-sword

The hilt of the wobbly sword - some Chinese weapons had cruciform hilts. Cruciform sabre hilts were fairly common in the Yuan dynasty when the mongols were influenced by persian and middle eastern sabre forms. Later this was replaced by the more disc like guards on sabres and sometimes on jian

A ming jian with disc guard:
https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=1676844452343459&set=gm.1370156853049463&type=3&ifg=1

Painting of ming court officials with cruciform hilts on jian
Image

Steve James - I gave you a record of jian usage from William Mesny, British adventurer and Qing Army General who related in southern China short fancy jian were used for dueling.

High quality weapons would be unavailable to most due to cost not restriction on arms. There were many good quality old sabres around China all the time. The military would issue them to troops who would then be sent on campaign, often against bandits and rebels. After months of fighting when the uprisings were put down many soldiers did not recieve their due payment (due to corruption) or were disbanded so many would sell their equipment. This was technically illegal so there are examples of old sabres with markings filed off the base of the baldes. Most Chinese military weapons have few markings but some would have the army or battalion numbers engraved into the base of the blade. There are quite a lot of examples around of polearm heads (glaives/pudao/guandao type) being refitted as sabres too. Which might indicate military weapons being re-purposed for more practical use by civilians. And I'm sure many ended up being reused as scrap.
As for large scale manufacture. I don't think there were any large scale factory type arms manufacturers except maybe the Imperial workshops. Almost all antique Chinese arms will show slight variations in form and fittings indicating that they were individually made. There were specifications for military arms, so the sizes, lengths etc. are often very similar between weapons, but many small variations. Most antique jian have very similar dimensions.

I'm not trying to say the jian was a military mainstay. The quote I posted from the ming military blog also says that from the Ming period jian usage declined. It was then a status symbol but if you've seen antique jian you will know that even though they may not have been in mass usage for military means they were still made to be practical. A lot of the fancy short jian (I own one myself) have good quality blades despite being mainly for sale as ornamental pieces.

Windwalker - what makes Maarten and his teacher's sword work reflect historical accounts? can you offer any of these historical accounts for us to review?
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Re: Chinese Swordsmanship Fencing Video!

Postby windwalker on Tue Apr 24, 2018 2:55 am

Pandrews1982 wrote:Windwalker - what makes Maarten and his teacher's sword work reflect historical accounts? can you offer any of these historical accounts for us to review?


nice pics. btw ;)

from my friends collection

Image
Image

In trying to understand some of the detractors of Maartens' work, looking for historical accounts of how they trained in the past, type of weapons
ect. Maartens work to me reflects the spirit and type of training that accords with some of the historical accounts. Not as polished as some of the comparisons from other types of sword work.

In the context presented it was very live with good spirit and movement reflective of how "he" trains and his teachers methods.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EB-taTb ... e=youtu.be


"In his preface, Yin discusses the battlefield effectiveness of the slashing saber at length. He includes discussions of both ancient and modern battles where sabers were involved. Yin also makes a point of the deadliness of double-handed sabers at close range, as opposed to single-handed swords. He quotes a maxim, “long-range stabbing with sword, closer range slashing with saber.” He gives the standard specifications of a slashing saber at 3.5 pounds in weight, 35.5 inches in length."
https://chinesemartialstudies.com/2013/ ... ican-army/
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