Terminology

Discussion of Chinese historical swordsmanship from all styles.

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nyrell
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Terminology

Post by nyrell » Sun Feb 19, 2012 11:56 am

In some western MA I have been in contact with they have the concept of "true edge" and "false edge" of the sword. The true edge is the one facing away from you (nearest to your knuckles) and it is the one you use most of the time. Do you know if this concept exist in Chinese swordsmanship too?

Also in western MA a common exercise is to use a wooden target (pell) for practicing different cuts. Is there a Chinese name for this sort of thing? Wooden dummy?

Aidan O'Brien
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Re: Terminology

Post by Aidan O'Brien » Sat Feb 25, 2012 10:38 pm

Yes. But as I don't speak Mandarin (and it changes again with Cantonese) and am travelling at the moment, I can't tell you the proper names in Mandarin.

I have them in my books back home.

nyrell
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Re: Terminology

Post by nyrell » Wed Feb 29, 2012 3:56 pm

Great! If you can check it up when you get back it would be great.

Michael
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Re: Terminology

Post by Michael » Fri Mar 09, 2012 8:27 pm

Well, the edge of a jian is called the "jian ren"(剑刃), but I don't know of a specific term to differentiate true and false edge. The term isn't that meaningful for a symmetrical double-edged sword(it would change depending on how you hold it), but for a dao you can differentiate between the edge - "dao ren" (刀刃) - and the back - "dao bei" (刀背).

I don't know if there is a true equivalent of a pell, but a Wing Chun-style wooden dummy is called 木人樁 - "mu ren zhuang" in Mandarin, but more commonly known by its Cantonese name, "mok yan jong"(spelling varies by romanization style).
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nyrell
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Re: Terminology

Post by nyrell » Sun Mar 11, 2012 2:41 pm

Thanks!

Regarding true and false egg: I agree it is not meaningful for naming the edges of the sword all by itself, but it is useful when writing down applications. You can write things like "divert to the side with the true edge pointing back/forward/up/down". I find it very useful for that kind of things. Easier to write than "knuckle side" or "elbow side" for example.
I don't know if there is a true equivalent of a pell, but a Wing Chun-style wooden dummy is called 木人樁 - "mu ren zhuang" in Mandarin, but more commonly known by its Cantonese name, "mok yan jong"(spelling varies by romanization style).
Yes, I have allready started to call our "pells" wooden dummies anyway. It is kind of self explaining and easy to understand and that's the main thing, I'm still curious though if this kind of thing was common in chinese weapon training. If it was, I guess that they had a name for it.

Michael
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Re: Terminology

Post by Michael » Sun Mar 11, 2012 10:24 pm

Well I absolutely agree that "true edge" and "false edge" are useful for recording a movement in writing. It's like being able to differentiate between your inside line and your outside line, or your upper arm and your forearm. It's just that much more specific. I'm actually a HEMA practitioner, so I think in terms of true and false edge all the time. My point was just that for a symmetrical weapon, it shouldn't surprise us that they don't differentiate between two identical edges. But for a curved weapon, you can almost always find some sort of term for the false edge.

In fact, I'd bet any amount of money that the term "true edge" and "false edge" originally referred to cavalry sabers or some similar curved weapon. We just appropriated it for use with straight weapons because it was handy.
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nyrell
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Re: Terminology

Post by nyrell » Mon Mar 12, 2012 12:47 am

Sounds reasonable!

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