Qing Zhong Ox Tail Dao

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Scott M. Rodell
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Qing Zhong Ox Tail Dao

Post by Scott M. Rodell » Fri Nov 28, 2008 1:11 pm

Qing Zhong Knife & Sword Company's Ox Tail Dao
List Price: $822
Company Website: http://www.qing-zhong.com/

Solo Basic Cuts & Form Practice Test- This dao is typical of those carried during the mid-Qing dynasty thru to the early days of the Chinese Republic. The Ox Tail dao was a style of Chinese saber that was only ever a civilian weapon & was popular with martial artists of most lineages. This made testing of this dao rather easy as all that was required was that I made it a regular part of my training routine, using it while training the Yang style Taiji Saber form & the basics cuts for this system, which as cuts common to most Chinese saber forms. Overall, this Ox Tail dao it handles as do most Qing period examples. It is not what most would consider a light blade, weighing in at 2 lb. (900 g.), but it is well balanced and not at all clumsy.

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Structural Integrity Test- The results can be quickly summed up as, not a scratch. The blade was completely undamaged by rather robust cuts into my usual dead pine testing tree & the grip assembly remained tight as when it came out of the box. I gave it a good go & after cleaning the dirt from the blade, one wouldn't be able to tell it had been tested at all.

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Hard Cutting Test- Not every sword test is fun, but this one was a joy. Qing Zhong's Ox Tail Dao sliced cleanly thru even 2" diameter bamboo with ease. The robust blade made for easy cutting regardless of the cut employed.

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Historical Design Authenticity- Right on. Happily, the days of being limited to Chinese fantasy swords for practice are well behind us. The only point I might quibble with are the engraved designs of archaic dragons on fittings. The vast majority of Qing period Ox Tail dao I've handled have unadorned fittings. This is not to say that there weren't any Ox tail dao with decorated fittings, but to my mind, undecorated, utilitarian fittings fit more with the nature of the late Qing times when militiamen & boxers favored the use of the Ox Tail sabers.

Rating- Overall, from blade design to fittings & solidity of assembly, to handling, an excellent saber.

What I'd Like to See- This is just a question of personal choice, but I'd like to see Ox Tail Dao like this one with plain, undecorated fittings. I'd also like to see Qing Zhong, as well as other forges, do versions of their swords with iron fittings, they'd go nicely on robust swords like this Ox tail dao. Otherwise, just more of the same.

Looks like though Qing-Zhong is the new kid on the block, they are going to give the more established companies some good competition. That will be good for everyone. I've been treated to some photos of jian in development & they look good, I'm looking forward to putting them to the test.

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