Design Help Need in Modern Vs. Antique Wing Chun Swords

Sword typology and Edge Weapons forms of the Chinese Empire and related cultures with an emphasis on their relationship to Swordsmanship.

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Rank: Chang San feng
Rank: Chang San feng
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Design Help Need in Modern Vs. Antique Wing Chun Swords

Post by bond_fan » Fri Oct 28, 2011 9:28 pm

Wasn't sure where to post this, so I posted it in two different forums.

Anybody know anything about sword and knife geometry and can give an opinion on some modern Wing Chun Butterfly swords (Hudiedao) I am designing?

The modern style I am checking out seems too top heavy for my tastes and I am trying to determine why and how to resolve this issue with a design I would like to have made. The sword in question is pictured below:


It was designed by Everything Wing Chun & Jeffery D. Modell and features a downward angled handle. I believe part of of the problem is the geometry, where the blade is angled lower than the handle, thus when holding the handle the blade has a natural tendency to be weighted even more downward toward the tip. There is a slight belly on the cutting edge before the blade curves up to the point, which tends to add the weight to the end as well. Supposedly, this is to help make it better for chopping, as many Wing Chun styles do. The point of balance is only about 1.75" from the front of the guard, so I would think the issue is more with the handle angle and the belly on the cutting edge?

Here's a close-up showing the prominent angle of the handle:


BTW this is a full tang version with pretty beefy blades, as the back edge is 4mm pretty far down toward the tip, which is about 12.25" from the front of the guard.

In comparison is the above modern version with an antique hudiedao, which doesn't feel top heavy:


Typically more of the antique styles have the handle being an extension from the middle of the blade like the antique pictured on the bottom instead of coming right off the top of the blade as this modern version. The modern geometry supposedly helps the stabbing motion to be more powerful, since the top of the blade is in alignment with the hand, but I am not sure? I think this configuration also moves the weight closer to the tip than say having the tang emanate from the middle of the blade as with the antique version. Is there really that much of a trade of in power with the blade top of the handle configuration?

Ultimately, I think a not so pointed modern version with a straight handle would be better suited to the modern Wing Chun style I practice. What do you think?


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