A Conversation for Swords
Geoff Taylor - Gullible Chump Started conversation Nov 8, 2001
The swords mentioned as Asian don't include any Chinese ones. There are 2 main ones;
The Dao, a short, single-edged curved broadsword. In its simplest form it was a heavy, machete-type thing given by feudal lords to peasants so they could fight when needed. When not needed, the peasants would use them on their crops. Half the time these things weren't even sharp. Later and more expensive versions were light and sharp, and needed to be wielded with some skill.
The Jian, a longer, lighter doubled edged sword. Jian was extremely sharp, but not very strong. It was the duelling weapon of a gentleman, and it required considerable skill to use; clashing blades together quickly resulted in 2 blunt lumps of metal. The targets of choice were soft, accessable points like the wrist of the swordarm, or the calf muscle to affect mobility.
Some Jian were believed to have magical powers, a bit like Excalibur.
Both the Dao and Jian are commonplace in the modern Chinese martial arts
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