Development of swords for chinese swordmanship

Discussion of Chinese historical swordsmanship from all styles.

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Nik
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Re: Development of swords for chinese swordmanship

Post by Nik » Sun Jun 27, 2010 4:53 pm

The answer is, you don't find historical "fencing feather" jian that are totally different from real weapons (thinner, flexible). These jian are taken in measures and make EXACTLY from real weapons - the only difference in those is the blunt edge. I can of course make "fencing feather" jian, flat grind with a safety tip that bends away on thrust, but there are no historical examples of such that I know of.

BTW, yes, I took offense, as we were already talking production details and prices and such via PN. I don't know how it could be misunderstood that my family will be the producer of our OWN swords, we're no merchants who buy cheap and sell expensive. I design the swords strictly by historical example (I happen to know the #1 fake maker for european weapons), my family will produce them, now that the old smith whom I just wanted to help to survive in the beginning refused to show any professional behavior and stick to promises. I won't depend on producing swords as I started that as a community service and to help the original smith, I work as business analyst for one of the three largest global IT players, and own a restaurant. But meanwhile, a relative of mine runs a polishing company. So instead of just forgetting about the swords I designed in the last 3 years, I gave the sword production to him, to save the work of providing 1a german quality from LOCAL german craftsmen (to save their business too) for a couple of sword models friends of mine needed for their martial arts. With me being more of a "lover" of swords and perfectionist, that's why I don't keep the sheaths as raw as they come, I grind them off, re-stain them in the correct mahagony color, and oil them with furniture oil to look the best I can do. I am a bit irritated about our PM discussion and its discrepancy to this thread, mildly put.

kg6cig
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Re: Development of swords for chinese swordmanship

Post by kg6cig » Mon Jun 28, 2010 10:53 pm

Nik wrote:The answer is, you don't find historical "fencing feather" jian that are totally different from real weapons (thinner, flexible). These jian are taken in measures and make EXACTLY from real weapons - the only difference in those is the blunt edge. I can of course make "fencing feather" jian, flat grind with a safety tip that bends away on thrust, but there are no historical examples of such that I know of.
FWIW, I'm wasn't talking about the "federschwert" type of sword- A&A doesn't make them that way. The ones I'm talking about are _narrower_, which allows them to also be _thicker_ without significantly increasing the weight of the blade (or its flexibility). A&A's Fechterspiel is drastically different in this regard from the Hanwei Federschwert. What are now called Federschwert (which is a modern term, BTW, and not found in period) were primarily used in the schools of people like Joachim Meyer, who taught what is known as Schulefechten. They are totally unsuited for Ernstfechten, or indeed any serious combative system; as you note, they're too flexible. They're the equivalent of a modern sport fencing saber, basically. But, we are here to discuss Chinese Swordsmanship, so I shall cease the digression.

With that in mind: where might I find historical examples of steel training jian? I did a google search, and didn't find anything. Hopefully you can point me in the right direction.
BTW, yes, I took offense, as we were already talking production details and prices and such via PN.
Klaus, I don't believe I have an exclusive contract with you. If you can make a product that is suitable for me, at a competitive price, I'll buy from you. IF you provide good customer service, I'll probably buy from you again. But I'm still entitled to an opinion of who provides good products and good customer service. Arms and Armor does both. Whether their products are suitable for this art, I don't know.
I don't know how it could be misunderstood that my family will be the producer of our OWN swords, we're no merchants who buy cheap and sell expensive.
I wasn't suggesting that you were. I simply suggested that A&A also makes good products, though I don't know if they're suitable for this venue. Specifically, you mentioned that your jian are too stiff for thrusting safely. The Scholar's sword is not. If someone thinks that being able to thrust is important, they may wish to consider Arms and Armor's product, assuming that someone more experienced than I believes it would work.
I design the swords strictly by historical example (I happen to know the #1 fake maker for european weapons), my family will produce them, now that the old smith whom I just wanted to help to survive in the beginning refused to show any professional behavior and stick to promises.
[snip]

I'm not doubting your work. It's quite possible that your work is much more suited for the GRTC and its affiliates than A&A's stuff. Somehow, you seem to have the idea that I'm disparaging your quality- I'm not, because I'm not in a position to know. First, because I know next to nothing about Chinese swordsmanship or jians, having read Scott's book, and a couple of others, and having watched a bunch of videos (including Scott's). Second, because I am a student of Kunst des Fechtens, not a Jian student at present, I wouldn't know a good jian from a bad one. So even if I had one of your swords, and one made by A&A, I couldn't begin to recommend one over the other. That's for people who are more knowledgeable than I to do.
I am a bit irritated about our PM discussion and its discrepancy to this thread, mildly put.
There is no discrepancy. As I said, I don't have a contract with you, exclusive or otherwise. If you're expecting customer loyalty, I can't give it yet- I have no idea if you run a good business or not. If and when I need a training jian, I'll probably talk to you first, because the people on this forum seem to be happy with your work. If you can produce a Fechterspiel equivalent- _not_ a Federschwert, they're not appropriate- at a competitive price, I'll buy one from you and have my Fechtmeister evaluate it. It's his school; whether your work meets standards or not is entirely up to him. But for purposes of this board, all I did was suggest that someone ought to look at what Arms & Armor can do and see if it's suitable. If it's not, then _nobody_ has to buy their stuff. And if people on this forum say "no, that's totally inappropriate for our purposes", why, then, I won't buy it either. :-) If Mr. Rodell says "Klaus makes the blunt trainers for our organization", why then, the question is likewise answered.

As for your being irritated... I'm sorry you're upset. I do not, however, apologize for my post. If the moderator wishes to tell me that I have been inappropriate, I will be happy to tender an apology. I will not do so simply because don't like me suggesting competitors. If you felt I was disparaging your work, then there's no reason to be offended, because I wasn't.

Regards,

Joseph

Nik
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Re: Development of swords for chinese swordmanship

Post by Nik » Tue Jun 29, 2010 1:25 am

You have approached me about production details and prices, and I gave them to you. The next action of you was to not respond to that, but come up with a "suggestion" right below Lindas feedbacks on my prototypes I gave to her why she doesn't try A&A products instead (whatever the casual reader might take that as). In a thread I started to discuss historical measures, details of handle makes etc. on prototypes to provide to my smith, and discuss problems with my prototypes.

Regarding the issue that my swords are both too wobbly and too stiff at the same time, well. The jian are blunt WEAPONS. That means they are not dedicated to sports fencing, they are just suited for full-contact practice with _armor_ or _safe approaches with no full contact to the body_. The Fechtfedern which are historical training weapons and today used by expert historical fencers like Thomas Stöppler (whom I had them made for by THEIR specs, he might be able to say more about their historical aspects) are designed for MILD thrust-safety. Mild meaning, it hurts, but it doesn't penetrate a fencing maitre vest. That's what they are meant and made for. The ones my old smith made for him and which I intend to continue are much stiffer than Hanweis, as they are forged out of high duty raw steel and not laser-cut from steel slabs like Hanweis, they should also be thicker. The example on the picture I have sent you ARE historicals from the 17th century, as far as the re-maker told (Arno Eckhard). Like I said, I don't know of any training swords like that of the jian variation, but that doesn't mean anything. I just don't think there were, as far as I am concerned. I would just make them if someone wants those, I even have the indecency to come up wit a cork-screw formed pink blade with flashlights if customers like that. That was a joke. But I sure as the proverbial location way down would not "knock up" european medieval blades with european medieval blades measures and european medieval blades balance with jian fittings so the poor people do not have to live with those ugly german blades.

@Scott: I suggest you clean up this thread if you don't think this kind of discussion is appropriate here. I just don't like con games.

kg6cig
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Re: Development of swords for chinese swordmanship

Post by kg6cig » Tue Jun 29, 2010 1:35 pm

Nik wrote:You have approached me about production details and prices, and I gave them to you. The next action of you was to not respond to that, but come up with a "suggestion" right below Lindas feedbacks on my prototypes I gave to her why she doesn't try A&A products instead (whatever the casual reader might take that as). In a thread I started to discuss historical measures, details of handle makes etc. on prototypes to provide to my smith, and discuss problems with my prototypes.
The suggestion was _not_ to Linda. The suggestion was to anyone who was interested. It was in response to your own statements that your own weapons are too stiff for safe thrusting. So I provided an alternative. God's Blood, Klaus, if I was trying to steal your business by undercutting you I'd hardly recommend Arms and Armor. They're bloody expensive- I asked you about doing some because I thought you might be able to come up with a less expensive alternative.

For those people who want historically accurate swords, safe for light contact and slow speeds, yours are better- they're modeled after the real deal. For those who want to go faster with steel, and/or to be able to thrust, A&A's might be better. Two different markets. Two different sword makers.

You have taken offense where none was given or intended. Please, let's chalk this up to misunderstanding and call it a day. I'm not going to carry this conversation further, as it's clear we don't see eye to eye on whether this was appropriate. I will discuss Liechtienauer training swords with you privately, should you still be interested in doing business with our school. I simply see no reason to continue this disagreement.

Regards,

Joseph

Nik
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Re: Development of swords for chinese swordmanship

Post by Nik » Tue Jun 29, 2010 3:35 pm

Then lets attribute this to bad timing and/or misunderstanding. A cleanup of this thread is probably warranted then, as I don't like to contribute to a lesser atmosphere in this forum.

Regarding the Liechtenauer practice swords, they are exactly made like the originals on the picture, which have a certain profile in width and thickness along the length. Thomas Stöppler used them for years, and anyone who handled them wanted some - the old smith just had the same pricing as A&A, and nobody wanted to buy then. I am going to relaunch them at a price affordable to the casual practitioner. They are more flexible then A&As, and far less flexible and wobbly, and heavier than Hanweis, but they're still just covering a safety issue regarding the danger of penetration - it still hurts to issue a powerful thrust. The Liechtenauer group around Thomas likes it that way, to conserve the behavior of the blade on contact with no "wobbling away".

I can make jians the same way, but they would look different from normal blunts, and behave a bit different. So if someone wants that, for thrust-safe full-contact fencing with medium safety gear, I would have to specifically create some like that. They would still break bones on unprotected heavy contact, so they're no toys, they still require a sane mind regarding contact on partners in training.

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