Grip wrapping on Chinese swords and sabers

How to restore antique arms & repair practice swords.

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Peter Dekker
Rank: Chang San feng
Rank: Chang San feng
Posts: 395
Joined: Tue Dec 06, 2005 7:46 am
Location: Groningen, The Netherlands
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Grip wrapping on Chinese swords and sabers

Post by Peter Dekker » Thu Dec 07, 2006 2:12 pm

As the medium between your hand and the sword, a decent (tight) grip wrap is of great importance for the control on the weapon. Badly done grip wraps on edged weapons I bought and sold had annoyed me into studying and learning the technique so I could rewrap them myself.



I'm willing to share what I know about them, and explained one way to do it in detail in a .pdf file that is downloadable from my site. It is located here:



www.mandarinmansion.com/art_files/gripwrap.pdf



As mistakes are human, and I sometimes seem to be more human than others in that extent, please contact me about possible errors and I will correct them in the downloadable file.



When learning I also found what is probably the most authentic cord available today, which is hand woven by a Beijingnese collector especially to be used on antique swords and sabers. Any who is interested in this cord can contact me for it. The contact data is in the PDF file.



Good luck!



-Peter
Knowing is not enough, we must apply.
Willing is not enough, we must do.


-Bruce Lee

http://www.mandarinmansion.com
Antique Chinese Arms & Functional reproductions

http://www.manchuarchery.org
Fe Doro - Manchu Archery

User avatar
Peter Dekker
Rank: Chang San feng
Rank: Chang San feng
Posts: 395
Joined: Tue Dec 06, 2005 7:46 am
Location: Groningen, The Netherlands
Contact:

Matching the wrap to the fittings

Post by Peter Dekker » Wed Feb 07, 2007 2:44 pm

It's nice to adjust grip wraps to different kinds of sword fittings. Here an example of a fangshi (angular style) grip I recently wrapped in comparison to that on a yuanshi (round style) mounted saber I wrapped.

At the start of both wraps (guard side) I began with a simple knot to reach near full breadth of the inner loop at the first wrap.

I usually don't do this on jian because a gradual widening of the inner loop matches the bulb shape of the jian handle better.

Image

Image

The trick on both wraps is to accurately calculate the length of the inner loop when you lay it out prior to wrapping. Where you should be on the tight side for a yuanshi wrap, binding a fangshi fitted saber requires a somewhat more accurate estimate. You can play with it to some extent: When you are not happy about the end result it's possible to make the inner loop slightly tighter or looser with for example, a fork.

But it's best not to bet on this in the first place, because the extent to which you can moderate it is very limited. By rule, it's best to lay the loop exactly like you want it to appear later and it will have the best chance to turn out like that. Do tighten and straighten it between wrappings, and take some distance from your work from time to time to see if the lines are still in harmony.

-Peter
Knowing is not enough, we must apply.
Willing is not enough, we must do.


-Bruce Lee

http://www.mandarinmansion.com
Antique Chinese Arms & Functional reproductions

http://www.manchuarchery.org
Fe Doro - Manchu Archery

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