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  1. Ebrey 1999, p. 41
  2. Rodell 2003, p. 19
  3. Lorge 2011, p. 69.
  4. Rodell 2003, p. 20
  5. Sugawara 1998, p.204
  6. Zhang 1998, pp. 38-39
  7. Rodell 2003, pp.22-23
  8. Zhang 1998, pp.37-38
  9. Rodell 2003, pp.16-17
  10. Sugawara 1998, pp.298-299
  11. Rodell 2003, p. 17
  12. Xia 2017 pp.30
  13. Terracotta weapons
  14. Rodell 2007, pp. 2, 10, 39
  15. Chinese officer with sword
  16. Photo of Chinese officer's sword
  17. Werner, E. T. C. (1922). Myths & Legends of China. New York: George G. Harrap & Co. Ltd. Retrieved 2007-03-14. (Project Gutenberg eText 15250)
  18. Liu 1967, p. 130

Related Research Articles

A sword is an edged, bladed weapon intended for manual cutting or thrusting. Its blade, longer than a knife or dagger, is attached to a hilt and can be straight or curved. A thrusting sword tends to have a straighter blade with a pointed tip. A slashing sword is more likely to be curved and to have a sharpened cutting edge on one or both sides of the blade. Many swords are designed for both thrusting and slashing. The precise definition of a sword varies by historical epoch and geographic region.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Hilt</span> Handle of a sword or similar weapon

The hilt of a knife, dagger, sword, or bayonet is its handle, consisting of a guard, grip and pommel. The guard may contain a crossguard or quillons. A tassel or sword knot may be attached to the guard or pommel.

<i>Dao</i> (Chinese sword) Single-edged Chinese sword primarily used for slashing and chopping

Dao are single-edged Chinese swords, primarily used for slashing and chopping. The most common form is also known as the Chinese sabre, although those with wider blades are sometimes referred to as Chinese broadswords. In China, the dao is considered one of the four traditional weapons, along with the gun, qiang (spear), and the jian, called in this group "The General of Weapons".

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Swordsmanship</span> Skills of a person versed in the art of the sword

Swordsmanship or sword fighting refers to the skills and techniques used in combat and training with any type of sword. The term is modern, and as such was mainly used to refer to smallsword fencing, but by extension it can also be applied to any martial art involving the use of a sword. The formation of the English word "swordsman" is parallel to the Latin word gladiator, a term for the professional fighters who fought against each other and a variety of other foes for the entertainment of spectators in the Roman Empire. The word gladiator itself comes from the Latin word gladius, which is a type of sword.

The English language terminology used in the classification of swords is imprecise and has varied widely over time. There is no historical dictionary for the universal names, classification or terminology of swords; a sword was simply a double edged knife.

<i>Zhanmadao</i> Single-bladed anti-cavalry Chinese sword

The zhanmadao was a single-bladed anti-cavalry Chinese sword. It originated during the Han dynasty and was especially common in Song China (960–1279).

<i>Guandao</i> Type of pole weapon

A guandao is a type of Chinese pole weapon that is used in some forms of Chinese martial arts. In Chinese, it is properly called a yanyuedao, the name under which it always appears in texts from the Song to Qing dynasties such as the Wujing Zongyao and Huangchao Liqi Tushi. It is comparable to the Japanese naginata and the European fauchard or glaive and consists of a heavy blade with a spike at the back and sometimes also a notch at the spike's upper base that can catch an opponent's weapon. In addition there are often irregular serrations that lead the back edge of the blade to the spike. The blade is mounted atop a 1.5 m to 1.8 m (5–6 foot) long wooden or metal pole with a pointed metal counter weight used to balance the heavy blade and for striking on the opposite end.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Butterfly sword</span> Single-edged blade

The butterfly sword is a short dao, or single-edged sword, originally from southern China, though it has also seen use in the north. It is thought that butterfly swords date from the early 19th century. Several English language accounts from the 1840s describe local militia in Guangdong being trained in the "double swords", short swords with a hook extending from the guard, and fitting into a single scabbard.


The miaodao (苗刀) is a Chinese two-handed dao or saber of the Republican Era, with a narrow blade, long hilt, and an overall length of 1.2 metres (47 in) or more. The name means "sprout saber", presumably referring to a likeness between the weapon and a newly sprouted plant. An early reference, in Jin Yiming’s Single Defense-Saber, makes a connection between the miaodao and the Qing-era wodao, as well as mentioning both single and two-handed versions of the ‘’miaodao’’, suggesting that the name originally described the shape only, without any connotations of size. While the miaodao is a recent weapon, the name has come to be applied to a variety of earlier Chinese long sabers, such as the zhanmadao and changdao. Along with the dadao, miaodao were used by some Chinese troops during the Second Sino-Japanese War.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Korean sword</span>

Korean swords have served a central place in the defense of the nation for thousands of years. Although typical Korean land battles have taken place in wide valleys and narrow mountain passes, which favor use of the spear and bow, the sword found use as a secondary, close-quarters weapon, especially useful during sieges and ship-to-ship boarding actions. Higher quality, ceremonial swords were typically reserved for the officer corps as a symbol of authority with which to command the troops. Ceremonial swords are still granted to military officials by the civilian authority to this day.

Since the 1970s, there has been a revival of traditional or reconstructed methods of swordsmanship based on the Korean sword in the Republic of Korea, supplementing the practice of Kumdo. There are historical sources on which such reconstructions are based, dating to the 17th and 18th centuries, notably the Muyejebo of 1610, its 1759 revision Muyeshinbo, supplemented with 12 additional fighting methods by Prince Sado who originated the term Sip Pal Ki, and the renewed revision of 1790, Muyedobotongji.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Hook sword</span> Chinese curved sword

The hook sword, twin hooks, fu tao, hu tou gou or shuang gou is a Chinese weapon traditionally associated with northern styles of Chinese martial arts and Wushu weapons routines, but now often practiced by southern styles as well.

Taijijian is a straight two-edged sword used in the training of the Chinese martial art Taijiquan. The straight sword, sometimes with a tassel and sometimes not, is used for upper body conditioning and martial training in traditional Taijiquan schools. The different family schools have various warmups, forms and fencing drills for training with the jian.

Scott M. Rodell is a martial artist, author, and teacher of Yang-style taijiquan. He is the founding director of Great River Taoist Center, a non-profit organization based in Washington, D.C.

The Yanmaodao is a type of dao used as a standard military weapon during the Ming Dynasty and middle Qing Dynasty (1368–1800). The blade is straight until the curve begins around the center of percussion along the last 1/4 or so of the blade approaching the tip. The center of percussion is the point on the blade with the least vibration on hard contact, the spot on the blade that transmits the most power to the target in a hard chop. This allows for thrusting attacks and overall handling similar to that of the jian, while still preserving much of the dao's strengths in cutting and slashing. This type of sword seems to have lost its popularity with military and martial arts practitioners alike by the end of the 18th century.


The liuyedao or willow-leaf saber is a type of dao that was commonly used as a military sidearm for both cavalry and infantry during the Ming and Qing dynasties. A descendant of the earlier Mongol saber the liuyedao remained the most popular type of single handed sabre during the Ming dynasty, replacing the role of the Jian in the military. Many schools of Chinese martial arts originally trained with this weapon.

Historically, a Chinese sword is classified into two types, jian and dao. Jians are straight swords, while daos are single-edged swords and mostly curved from the Song dynasty forward. The jian has been translated as a long sword, while the dao has been translated as a saber or a knife. Bronze jians appeared during the Western Zhou period. They switched to wrought iron and steel during the late Warring States period. In modern times, the ceremonial commissioned officer's sword of the Chinese navy has been patterned after the traditional jian since 2008.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Chinese swordsmanship</span>

Chinese swordsmanship encompasses a variety of sword fighting styles native to China. No Chinese system teaches swordsmanship exclusively, but many eclectic schools of Chinese martial arts include instruction for using one or two-handed versions of the single-edged sword (dao) and the double-edged sword (jian).

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Weapons and armor in Chinese mythology, legend, cultural symbology, and fiction</span>

Legendary weapons, arms, and armor are important motifs in Chinese mythology as well as Chinese legend, cultural symbology, and fiction. Weapons featured in Chinese mythology, legend, cultural symbology, and fiction include Guanyu's pole weapon. This non-factually documented weapon has been known as the Green Dragon Crescent Blade. Other weapons from Chinese mythology, legend, cultural symbology, and fiction include the shield and battleax of the defiant dancer Xingtian, Yi's bow and arrows, given him by Di Jun, and the many weapons and armor of Chiyou, who is associated with the elemental power of metal. Chinese mythology, legend, cultural symbology, and fiction features the use of elemental weapons such as ones evoking the powers of wind and rain to influence battle.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Turko-Mongol sabers</span> Cavalry Sabre

These swords were used by the Turkic and Mongolic nomads of the Eurasian steppes primarily between the 8th and 14th centuries. One of the earliest recorded sabres of this type was recovered from an Avar grave in Romania dating to the mid 7th century. Although minor variations occur in size and hilt, they are common enough in design across 5 centuries that individual blades are difficult to date when discovered without other context. These swords were likely however, already influenced by swords used by others, such as the various Chinese swords.


Sword with Scabbard MET DP119025 brightened 2x3.jpg
Single-handed jian and scabbard of the 18th–19th century