The Yanmaodao (Chinese :雁毛刀; literally: "goose-quill saber") 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.
Chinese is a group of related, but in many cases not mutually intelligible, language varieties, forming the Sinitic branch of the Sino-Tibetan language family. Chinese is spoken by the Han majority and many minority ethnic groups in China. About 1.2 billion people speak some form of Chinese as their first language.
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. Here, it is called "The Marshal of All Weapons".
The jian is a double-edged straight sword used during the last 2,500 years in China. The first Chinese sources that mention the jian date to the 7th century BCE during the Spring and Autumn period; one of the earliest specimens being the Sword of Goujian. Historical one-handed versions have blades varying from 45 to 80 centimeters in length. The weight of an average sword of 70-centimetre (28-inch) blade-length would be in a range of approximately 700 to 900 grams. There are also larger two-handed versions used for training by many styles of Chinese martial arts.
Yanmaodao almost invariably have straight grips, although downward-curved handles are depicted in Ming artwork. During the last century of Qing rule, curved grips became far more prevalent than straight.
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A pole weapon or pole arm is a close combat weapon in which the main fighting part of the weapon is fitted to the end of a long shaft, typically of wood, thereby extending the user's effective range and striking power. Because many pole weapons were adapted from farm implements or other tools, and contain relatively little metal, they were cheap to make and readily available. This made them the favored weapon of peasant levies and peasant rebellions the world over.
A sword is a bladed weapon intended for slashing or thrusting that is longer than a knife or dagger, consisting of a long blade attached to a hilt. The precise definition of the term varies with the historical epoch or the geographic region under consideration. The blade can be straight or curved. Thrusting swords have a pointed tip on the blade, and tend to be straighter; slashing swords have a sharpened cutting edge on one or both sides of the blade, and are more likely to be curved. Many swords are designed for both thrusting and slashing.
The hilt of a sword is its handle, consisting of a guard, grip and pommel. The guard may contain a crossguard or quillons. A ricasso may also be present, but this is rarely the case. A tassel or sword knot may be attached to the guard or pommel.
The yatagan or yataghan is a type of Ottoman knife or short sabre used from the mid-16th to late 19th centuries. The yatagan was extensively used in Ottoman Turkey and in areas under immediate Ottoman influence, such as the Balkans and the Caucasus.
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).
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.
The wodao is a Chinese sword from the Ming Dynasty. It is typically long and slender, but heavy, with a curved back and sharp blade. It bears a strong resemblance to the Tang sword, zhanmadao, Tachi or Odachi in form. Extant examples show a handle approximately 25.5 cm long, with a gently curved blade 80 cm long. The Japanese samurai warriors were also adept with the wodao.
A battle axe is an axe specifically designed for combat. Battle axes were specialized versions of utility axes. Many were suitable for use in one hand, while others were larger and were deployed two-handed.
The butterfly sword is a short dao, or single-edged sword, originally from southern China, though it has also seen use in the north.
The miaodao (苗刀) is a Chinese two-handed dao or saber of the Republican era, with a narrow blade with a length of 1.2 metres (47 in) or more and a long hilt. The name means "sprout saber", presumably referring to a likeness between the weapon and a newly sprouted plant. 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.
The history of the sword in the Korean Peninsula begins with imports during Bronze Age in the mid 1st millennium BCE. Native production of Bronze and Iron swords appears to pick up beginning in the mid 1st millennium CE.
A billhook or bill hook is a traditional cutting tool used widely in agriculture and forestry for cutting smaller woody material such as shrubs and branches and is distinct from the sickle. It is very common in the wine-growing countries of Europe. Elsewhere, it either developed locally such as in China, India and Japan, or was introduced by European settlers, such as in North and South America, South Africa and Australia.
The changdao was a two-handed, single-edged Chinese sword. The term changdao has been translated as "long saber," "saber-staff," or "long-handled saber." During the Ming dynasty, changdao was often used as a general term for two handed swords. In recent discussions, the term miaodao is sometimes used to describe similar swords. Tang dynasty sources describe the changdao as being identical to the modao, but the modao may have been a double edged weapon unlike the changdao.
Dha is the Burmese word for "knife" similar term to daab or darb in Thai language for a single edge sword. The term dha is conventionally used to refer to a wide variety of knives and swords used by many people across Southeast Asia, especially present-day Myanmar (Burma), Thailand, Yunnan, Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam.
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. Many schools of Chinese martial arts originally trained with this weapon. This weapon features a moderate curve along the length of the blade. This reduces thrusting ability while increasing the power of cuts and slashes. It weighs from two to three pounds, and is 36 to 39 inches long.
Knife money is the name of large, cast, bronze, knife-shaped commodity money produced by various governments and kingdoms in what is now China, approximately 2500 years ago. Knife money circulated in China between 600 and 200 B.C. during the Zhou dynasty.
The Chinese classify all swords into two types, jian (劍) and dao (刀). Jians are double-edged straight swords while daos are single-edged, and mostly curved from the Song dynasty forward. The jian has been translated at times as a long sword, and the dao a saber or a knife. Bronze jians appeared during the mid-third century BC and switched to wrought iron and steel during the late Warring States period. Other than specialized weapons like the Divided Dao, Chinese swords are usually 70–110 cm in length, although longer swords have been found on occasion. Outside of China, Chinese swords were also used in Japan from the third to sixth century AD, but were replaced with Korean and native Japanese swords by the middle Heian era.
Mughal weapons significantly evolved during the ruling periods of Babur, Akbar, Aurangzeb and Tipu Sultan. During its conquests throughout the centuries, the military of the Mughal Empire used a variety of weapons including swords, bows and arrows, horses, camels, elephants, some of the world's largest cannons, muskets and flintlock blunderbusses.