Friday, 4 September 2009

Horse Chopping Blade "斬馬刀"

Horse Chopping Blade "斬馬刀 (Zhan Ma Dao)" also known as "雙手帶", is one of the most practical weapon used by both soldiers and martial artists.

Horse Chopping Blade combine the agility of single handed dao and the power of 2 handed weapon.

Contrary to common belief that Zhan Ma dao is a simple weapon to learn and only requires force. To learn the real Zhan Ma Dao skills will requires much more than just force and strength.
The skills/moves of Zhan Ma dao is ferocious but also tricky and sneaky. Instead of directly against enemy's attack, it often choose to be "sticky" and use different parts of sword to counter-attack effectively. For instance, The tip of blade can be used for stabbing (刺), picking (挑) , pointing (點); the first section edge for slicing (切), intercepting (截) and main edge for chop, cut (劈 斬 剁), the back for block/stick (格, 攔, 黏) and even the ring pommel (獻鑽打) and etc...

The photo in left hand side is an example move of using tip of blade to intercept (截點) incoming attack towards to lower body (下盤) by intercepting perhaps enemys' wrist. Please note the sword I was using in the left photo was a shorter version of Zhan Ma dao, the common Zhan Ma dao should be around 130 CM in overall length. The form I learnt years ago in Taiwan was called Zhong Yi Dao (忠義刀) translated as " the sword of royality & rightous". A senior had told me once long time ago that this sword was also called Hon Men 36 Dao (洪門三十六刀) .

Yi Mon Dao "奇門兵器"

This is a very rare design sword in traditional Chinese weaponary system, and not many people knew how to use such blade.

This type of blade also know as "Dragon & Tiger blade (龍虎刃)" as it combine the advantages of the agility of Jian (double edge straigth sword) & ferocious power of Dao.

One of a interesting story of where this unique style of blade came from was during the "Warring States Period" (476 BCE to 221 BCE) in Chinese History, a student , who learnt the art of war from his famous Master Gui Gu-Zi (鬼谷子), was about to leave his master and join the war. As this student were very good in both Jian and Dao, so Master Gui Gu-Zi personally forged this unique blade for his student as a farewell gift and named it "Dragon & Tiger Blade. Of course, it is just a story, no one knows whether this story is true or not.

In Yang style taichi, (the Yang Cheng Fu "big frame" system), there is a taichi saber which looks a bit similar to Yi Mon Dao. (see photo in below), however, it has nothing to do with authenic Yi Mon Dao and the specifications and the way to use are also compeletly different. Yang Tai Chi saber is believed to be created by Master Yang Cheng Fu, based on a Japanese Sword. and mainly used with single handed.

Yi Mon Dao, on the other hand, is a very difficult weapon to master, much longer blade and can be used in both two handed (70% of time) and single handed, and can be regarded as a most fearful weapon once mastered as the unique design allow the swordsman to attack in unexpected angles/directions with very fast speed and great power.

This particular sword was made 8 years ago. It took almost 3 months and broke quite a few blade bodies during forging & quenching before this one was eventually born. As this sword was made for real combat sword, so the steel, overall strength and balance must be taken into consideration while making this unique piece.

As the result, this blade is sharp enough to shave paper while strong enough to cut metal hair clip into half. Back in that time, this sword was one of the best you can get, and it still holds true today when comparing with most of swords you can find in the market.

Damascus Kun Wu Jian

Hang fold forged Damascus + inserted blade Kun Wu Jain.

This jian was made for one of my client but he was not able to complete the purchase and therefore was kept in storage for a year. One of my friend who currently own it asked me if I can give this sword a inspection a clean -up if necessary, and take some photos of it, as he might want to sell it in near future.

This sword was hand fold-forged Damascus with a 1060 high carbon steel inserted blade. Carefully water quenched and tempered

Nice solid brass fittings with good engravings, red sandalwood sheath and handle with nice nature color and grain.

Quite a remarkable piece with good combat sword balance. I have not give the blade full test but it seems to be able to shave normal 1050 carbon steel swords with ease.

Praying Mantis - Beng Bo Chuan "螳螂崩步拳"

Beng Bo (bouncing steps) is one of the three original forms in eariler mantis boxing system, which contains most of basic and important concepts/moves/footwalks of mantis system.Regardless which styles'/schools of northern mantis, they all havce beng bo chuan and seems to be sharing a lots of similarities.

The photo in the left is one of fast throwing move (跌破) in Beng Bo called "引針腰斬", performed by my student Han.

Dai Xin Yi Chuan "戴氏心意六合拳"

Master Yan Long Chang 閻龍昌

Master Yan performing Dai Xin Yi San Gun (地盤兜棍)

Master Yan Performing Dai Xinyi Dao - (人字步)

Training in Shan Xi Province, China

Thursday, 3 September 2009

Damascus Yi Mon Dao

Hand fold forged Damscus steel with inserted blade with unique shape design.

The first 1/3 of the total sword length is double edged like Chinese Jian, while the rest of the blade is remaind single edged. Such design also known as the "dragon & Tiger blade" which means the combination of dragon (jian) & Tiger (Dao) into one piece.

It is a very unique sword, and only few will actually know how to use it well.