How Tony Mosen Jian Handle Compares to Real Jian

Sword typology and Edge Weapons forms of the Chinese Empire and related cultures with an emphasis on their relationship to Swordsmanship.

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bond_fan
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How Tony Mosen Jian Handle Compares to Real Jian

Post by bond_fan » Tue Sep 14, 2010 12:43 am

Just curious if anyone who owns a Tony Mosen wooden fighting jian might also have an antique steel jian and can please do a handle comparison for me? I want to know if both handle are the same size or not for blade lengths approximately 27" - 30", and if not what are the differences? (I have an e-mail to Tony about this as well.)

I am curious to know for those who practice forms with authentic weight jian if they prefer plain wood handles, as opposed to one with ray or eel skin or one with a silk or cotton grip wrap? Which one feels the best for you and provides the best grip, so one will not lose their sword when their hands get sweaty?

Thanks!

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Re: How Tony Mosen Jian Handle Compares to Real Jian

Post by Peter Dekker » Tue Sep 14, 2010 10:21 am

I can't comment on Tony Mosen jian versus antique examples, as I don't own a Tony Mosen jian.

On grips, I much prefer a traditional grip wrap over anything else. But there is a night and day difference between wraps.

A good wrap should at least be:
1. Wrapped tightly with cord that does not slip or move at all when handling the sword. Cotton is best for gripping when sweaty, silk is more durable.
2. Is not stabilized with lacquer. A good wrap won't need this for general use.
(It may have been necessary for weapons carried in the rain such as on long campaigns but we don't generally do that in our time.)

Having that said some plain wooden grips or those covered with polished ray-skin van also be very comfortable but it depends a lot on the shape and dimensions of the grip itself. They will all tend to become slippier than a wrapped handle when sweaty though.

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Re: How Tony Mosen Jian Handle Compares to Real Jian

Post by Linda Heenan » Wed Sep 15, 2010 12:06 am

I have several of Tony's jian in constant use. The handles are all the same length except the tournament version he made me. It is slightly longer to give balance to a heavier blade.

I have both wood and grip wrapped hilts among the swords I use. I don't really notice when fighting because I'm also wearing gloves. For a sharp sword, used for cutting, I think grip wrap is preferable as long as it's tight - as Peter already said.
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Re: How Tony Mosen Jian Handle Compares to Real Jian

Post by bond_fan » Mon Sep 20, 2010 5:56 pm

Peter and Linda, thanks for your replies.

Here is a reply Tony sent me, "The Jian grips I make are made partly to balance (slightly longer) and partly for a comfortable grip, most antiques I have seen have been restored so the grips were new anyway so my only comment should be that you design your handle to your hand size if you are going to train with it, really it does not effect the balance that much, other factors like the type of fittings and tang length from my experience effect that more. The wooden grip is pretty light in comparison."

I must say I like the quality and the balance of my Mosen wooden fighting jian, which is why I wanted to know how it would compare to an antique jian of which I am trying to duplicate with a modern blade and replica jian fitting.

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Re: How Tony Mosen Jian Handle Compares to Real Jian

Post by Tony Mosen » Thu Sep 23, 2010 6:20 am

Here's a tipp'

Assemble your fittings to your jian and see how it balances on the end of your finger' play with different handle sized blocks of hardwoods or what you plan to use to see how it effects the POB.

The weight won't change that much after it has been shaped, and your jian will balance right where you want it too.

Cheers'

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Re: How Tony Mosen Jian Handle Compares to Real Jian

Post by Scott M. Rodell » Fri Feb 11, 2011 9:38 am

bond_fan wrote:... Tony Mosen wooden fighting jian might also have an antique steel jian and can please do a handle comparison...?

I am curious to know for those who practice forms with authentic weight jian if they prefer plain wood handles, as opposed to one with ray or eel skin or one with a silk or cotton grip wrap? Which one feels the best for you and provides the best grip, so one will not lose their sword when their hands get sweaty?
Tony's jian are made from hardwood & many Qing & Ming period jian also had grips of hardwood. So I would say they handle the same.

As for different grip types, I'd say once you get your grip correct, it really doesn't matter. Frankly, the larger problem is that most do not understand the proper grip & use one that would cause them to be disarmed & hurt their thumb (at the very least) if the cutting cut into anything with any real power.

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Re: How Tony Mosen Jian Handle Compares to Real Jian

Post by bond_fan » Sun Feb 20, 2011 9:44 pm

Laoshi,

Thanks for you added opinion!

I finally inspected three real jian from the late Qing - Republic periods and did a comparison with my Mosen jian. What I found is the Mosen jian handle is almost the same size width as the antiques, but the antique handles are not as thick, nor as long. The Mosen jian is about .75" longer and .25" thicker. Of course this is to compensate for the wood blade not being as heavy as the steel ones.

It was interesting to finally be able to do a fair comparison.

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