Jian style cutting with a European sword

This Forum is a place for students of swordsmanship to ask advice from moderators Paul Champagne & Scott M. Rodell on how to practice test cutting in a manner consistent with how swords were historically used in combat. Readers use this Forum at their own risk.

Moderators:Scott M. Rodell, PaulC

Post Reply
User avatar
Linda Heenan
Rank: Chang San feng
Rank: Chang San feng
Joined:Tue Nov 23, 2004 3:58 am
Jian style cutting with a European sword

Post by Linda Heenan » Tue Apr 18, 2006 10:26 pm

Since we do not have a jian or dao suitable for cutting, I sharpened a Viking style sword bought for European style reenactment. It has a good Del Tin blade and seemed the most suitable candidate for slicing up milk bottles in the back yard.

I have the most success with liao because it guides me into the right sort of movement with the turn coming from the waist. We were practicing to see how many cuts we could get out of each bottle and how thin the slices could be made. Four was about the average, but with better accuracy, this could be increased. A good cut doesn't move the bottle much and so the water stays at the top, keeping the bottle nicely weighted for the next cut. Our thinnest slice was just over a centimetre.

Shaun discovered a way to cut the previously reluctant rigid plastic fizzy drink bottles. He used an upward angled version of hua. I know there is a name for it but have forgotten. Laoshi, if you read this, it's the same one you got Paul with in Sydney (something like ga, I think). Shaun discovered that if he sinks lower before the strike and spirals his whole body into it, this cut goes straight through the rigid plastic bottles. Previously, they were bouncing off the cut. If a rigid bottle is too small, the pressure from inside explodes the top right off the lid, leaving it still screwed onto the bottle but with just a hole where the cover was.

We were careful with safety, making sure there was only one person at a time in the cutting area and communucating carefully before anyone else entered. We checked the blade frequently as well. After about 100 cuts, the pommel became a little loose. Since it is already peened, I gave it a few hard taps with a hammer and it tightened nicely again. Comments anyone?

Rank: Frequent Contributor
Joined:Fri Sep 23, 2005 8:24 am

Post by PaulC » Fri Apr 21, 2006 9:16 am

I like the multiple cuts. 1 cm... very nice.

Post Reply