The Jian for the Active Outdoorsman

Discussion of Chinese historical swordsmanship from all styles.

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ben hanawalt
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The Jian for the Active Outdoorsman

Post by ben hanawalt » Mon Jul 24, 2006 11:46 am

Hello all.



I have a tendancy to practice with my Jian on craggy peaks and such, that take extensive footwork to reach.. and I have yet to find a way to carry my jian that is comfortable and urgonomic. Has anyone come up w/, or researched a harness that allows full body movements, including running and climbing, with the jian in easy reach. (though I suppose that doesn't have to be a prerequisite. I can limber it up once I get there.) another point of concern, since the sheath is wooden is that it not get in the way of movement once the sword is unsheathed and put into use.



Any suggestions, ideas would be great =)



ben
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Post by Linda Heenan » Mon Jul 24, 2006 4:02 pm

When wearing a jian, I use a rapier frog to wear it at the hip. This is not perfect for mountaineering but very practical for reenactment type events. A friend from America made something that allows him to carry it on his back. This seems very useful. I think youd have to be careful putting a sharp sword back into something of that nature unless you took it off to do so.

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Re: The Jian for the Active Outdoorsman

Post by Scott M. Rodell » Tue Jul 25, 2006 8:55 am

ben hanawalt wrote:...anyone come up w/, or researched a harness that allows full body movements, including running and climbing, with the jian in easy reach...


In easy reach huh? Expecting to find some wisened old daoist up there in the mountains to duel?...



The obvious thing to do is strap it to your back. The problem I see, is if you want to be able to draw it from the back, it has to ride low enough that you can reach the scabbard chape end to pull down when drawing. Unless you have extraordinarily long arms, you won't be able to draw your jian from the back with your sword arm alone. The problem with this carry, for climbing & such, is that it hit your backside.



Our guys here in the DC area found a very cheap sword bag that even comes with a free chair. Right about during the up coming month of August, when stores like Target are selling off their summer stuff cheap, you can buy a swrd length canvas bag with a draw string closure & carrying strap for about $5, with a folding camp chair on the inside. (Okay, some less imaginative people will say you are buying a camp chair that comes in a canvas bag, but we're swordmen). These might not be exactly what you are looking for, but they cheap enough to give a try & the canvase bag will protect your scabbard from scatches while you are scaling Mt. Hua.



BTW, great idea to take your jian out in the wild to practice on uneven surfaces...

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Post by ben hanawalt » Wed Jul 26, 2006 8:53 am

Thank you very much for the replies. I would be very interested to check out the back strap design, if you ever have a chance.. having heard more about the subject, I may continue w/ a design i've been working on. One of the most comfortable placements I have found is actually under my left armpit. I have been using a bit of hemp twine that goes through both fitting on the sheath, and then ties to itself to form a complete circle. w/ one twist it becomes a figure 8. which you can then put on an arm through each circle of the '8', w/ the 'x' between your shoulder blades.



This leaves the hilt and about 2 inches of sheath, exposed in front of the armpit. I have found that I can run, and climb in relative comfort. (though I scratched the sheath going through a barbwire fence =( ) On the back might work even better. but with a simple twine setup, the sword is soon in the small of my back.



*grin* I think I was hopin the chinese military had come up w/ something extremely functional. as they must have had to drag their weapon around through all sorts of conditions I can hardly iimagine..





thanks

ben
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Post by Scott M. Rodell » Thu Jul 27, 2006 11:40 am

ben hanawalt wrote:... was hopin the chinese military had come up w/ something extremely functional...


They did...



Image

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Post by ben hanawalt » Fri Jul 28, 2006 7:53 am

Do you know where i could find pictures to study?



thanks,



ben
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Post by Scott M. Rodell » Fri Jul 28, 2006 8:44 am

ben hanawalt wrote:... find pictures to study?


These are pretty much all I'm familiar with. Notice how high on the back the dao are carried, if lower, it can't be quickly or easily drawn.

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Re: The Jian for the Active Outdoorsman

Post by nyrell » Mon May 14, 2012 2:00 pm

*grin* I think I was hopin the chinese military had come up w/ something extremely functional. as they must have had to drag their weapon around through all sorts of conditions I can hardly iimagine.
They did...

Could someone please repost that picture? I'm curious how the jian was actually carried historically.

I have a royal peony jian, and it has some kind of straps on the scabbard but I have never figured out how it is supposed to work. Any hints would be appreciated.

BTW: Are those straps a modern invention or did they use the same system historically?

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Re: The Jian for the Active Outdoorsman

Post by Scott M. Rodell » Tue May 15, 2012 8:46 am

nyrell wrote:... have a royal peony jian, and it has some kind of straps on the scabbard but I have never figured out how it is supposed to work. Any hints would be appreciated.

BTW: Are those straps a modern invention or did they use the same system historically?
There are a number of historical images in this thread: Drawing the sword from the back?
viewtopic.php?f=4&t=815&p=4666&hilit=Ca ... back#p4666
that will show you how swords were slung. The only real difference between how jian & dao were slung from the waist was how they were attached to the belt. Dao used a kind of hook. And jian used a large belt that went between the belt & waist & hung from the top of the belt.

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Qing Blet Clips

Post by Scott M. Rodell » Tue May 15, 2012 8:53 am

Examples of Qing clips or hooks used to hang swords or archery tackle from belts-
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QingBeltClips.JPG
QingBeltClips.JPG (2.27 MiB) Viewed 4618 times

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