Announcement

Announcement Module
Collapse
No announcement yet.

Chinese vs Japanese swords

Page Title Module
Move Remove Collapse
X
Conversation Detail Module
Collapse
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Chinese vs Japanese swords

    Having seen 'House of Flying Daggers' recently, I was reminded of an observation that I'd made a while ago after watching 'Crouching Tiger'. Namely that the Chinese swords in those two films have a rather high 'wobbliness factor' (tm). I thought it faintly absurd at the time, but having seen it now in several films, I'm wondering if it has any basis in reality.

    So that's the question. Were (authentic) Chinese swords much more flexible(and presumably a lot thinner), and if so why?

    cheers,
    Jason

  • #2
    chinese sword have to be one handed and light because chinese sword art has a lot of kick's and acrobatic movement.

    Comment


    • #3
      Generally Chinese sword as said, is one handed.

      The blades are on both sides unlike the jap sword.

      in chinese jap sword = knife because it only has one sided blade

      they seem flimsy as the are light and sharpness of blade is irrelevant to flimsyness of the sword.

      and yeah, a lot more acrobats too.

      Comment


      • #4
        well...is it chines sword have wobbliness? i think the chinese sword is hard...may be the "wobbliness" is to show us the movement is fast or something...like a pencil you shake it up and down...it looks soft right?...(i hope you guys know what im talking about).

        Comment


        • #5
          Here's an article on antique jian (straight double edge) and dao swords (curved single edge).

          http://www.northernwu.com/Swordgrp.htm

          I don't think they are particularly wobbly.

          Comment


          • #6
            I believe the wobbliness only exist in movies or TV. They know how to make stage fight more exciting - as comparing to Japanese ones where all the excitement is build up towards the one-and-only cut (ref.: Sanjuro, or the recent Zatoichi). IMHO it has some reference to the weapons (props) as used in traditional Chinese Opera (esp. Peking Opera which is famous for actions). If you check out their sword it's only a thin piece of metal which can be bent by hand... Probably the same thing they use for wushu jian.

            For historical stuff go read a book or visit the museum. The chinese swords making skill is faaaaar behind the japanese. Usually on display at the museum will be a rusty sword made out of copper (greenish) and iron. I don't think by any chance those can create a wobbly effect at all.

            Comment


            • #7
              Some Chinese swords were very well made. I don't know about the quality of the blades themselves, but this one....

              http://www.royalarmouries.org//extsi...?sectionId=473

              ...is very nice.

              They have a few nice Jian and DaDao there as well. I live very close so I get to gawp at all the weapons on a regular basis.

              Comment


              • #8
                The Chinese philosophy of taoism comes to mind. The tao is circular and flexible. This wonderful ideal has been implamented in the art, architecture and of course the weapons in chinese culture. Flexability is considered to be better to deal with situations. Altho the really flexible weapons in the movies are usually aluminum and are not real. The carbon steel replicas do not bend for the most part.

                Now the chinese weapons are not entirely one sided, dont for get the tai chi sword. And as far as the differences are concered between the chinese and japanese sword arts, the two handed tai chi sword and tai chi broad sword have very similar movements found in japanese sword arts.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Actually, soft Chinese swords do exist.

                  They are usually made as belt swords, and are in fact, so soft that when you hold it, the sword doesn't remain straight (no Viagra jokes please ).

                  It is actually an indicator of skill how straight you can make the sword be while swinging it...meaning you understand the motion.

                  That's really for the internal styled arts though, and rarely seen.

                  A similarly function is served by tassles...a skilled Chinese swordsman, when in motion, will have the tassles extended in such a way as to appear rigid and in line with the line of the blade.

                  FWIW.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    geh.. nothin is like as a good katana...

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      The sword is only as good as the swordman.

                      Anyway, the sword making skills of chinese were at the top of the world during ancient time. While the Greek and then the Roman were still using short sword (because if they forged a longer one, it would break during battle), the chinese already knew how to forge a long sword.

                      Comparing a katana with a chinese jian is like comparing apples and oranges. They are different weapons for different style of martial arts. Even among chinese jian, you already have so many different kinds.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by JasonC
                        So that's the question. Were (authentic) Chinese swords much more flexible(and presumably a lot thinner), and if so why?

                        cheers,
                        Jason
                        Before I started Kendo, I practised one year of Wushu (I still practice once a week), including the straight sword. I can tell you that the sword is only thin and flexible in order faciliate the movements in wushu.

                        There are many FAST movements in Chinese wordplay. At its best, you almost create like a force-field around youself because of the speed of the sword. That is only possible with a light, thin and flexible sword with good balance. Authentic swords (for battle) were not wobbly.

                        I must say, the movements, cuts and swordplay in wushu is exhilirating and so much fun to do. There are limitless possibilities as to how to use the sword. The sword really becomes part of the natural movements of your body.

                        However what I found frustrating was that ultimately, it's all for show. There is no "Chinese fencing". There is no way 2 Chinese swordsmen could challenge each other. Because there are no rules and protection equipment.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Yo...osh!
                          Before I started Kendo, I practised one year of Wushu (I still practice once a week), including the straight sword. I can tell you that the sword is only thin and flexible in order faciliate the movements in wushu.

                          There are many FAST movements in Chinese wordplay. At its best, you almost create like a force-field around youself because of the speed of the sword. That is only possible with a light, thin and flexible sword with good balance. Authentic swords (for battle) were not wobbly.

                          I must say, the movements, cuts and swordplay in wushu is exhilirating and so much fun to do. There are limitless possibilities as to how to use the sword. The sword really becomes part of the natural movements of your body.

                          However what I found frustrating was that ultimately, it's all for show. There is no "Chinese fencing". There is no way 2 Chinese swordsmen could challenge each other. Because there are no rules and protection equipment.
                          Is chinese swordsmanship a really practical art to use in real fights?

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I think no.

                            But I can be convinced by an experienced Chinese swordsman practitioner. Since I only have one year experience.

                            When we learn straightsword, we learn complex movements. Spinning, twisting, thrusts in all directions aiming at all body parts, incorporating kicks and jumps. The cuts are more like whips then kendo cuts.

                            I say it's not practical because for example when we learn a block, we simply do the blocking movement without having a real sword thrust at us. We're just told, "this is a block".

                            When we thrust and cut, we just cut air.

                            Therefore, how can we react if a real sword was coming? How can we hit the target accurately with our thrust when we only thrust at air?

                            This is the fundamental problem with Chinese swordplay as i see it.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Is chinese swordsmanship a really practical art to use in real fights?
                              It is practical, otherwise it wouldn't still exist. Even so all sword arts are impractical today in a real fight.

                              Comment

                              Working...
                              X