Tag Archives: jian

A Neutronic Viewpoint of Martial Arts Weapons and How to Use Them

People are always asking me about Martial Arts Weapons. Why are they funny shaped and how do they work? What’s the best Weapon in Tai Chi Chuan Karate, or Pa Kua Chang, or whatever. My answer to this is right below the video…

The truth of how to master weapons is contained in a thought so simple that most people never figure it out. There is, you see, an easy way to understanding the truth of weapons. That simple thought is…geometry.

Self defense weapons, no matter what the shape, are based on a straight line. The simplest and most basic is a pole. The pole is used for two things, bashing and poking.

Put a knife on the end of the pole and you have a spear. This is a pole with a sharp end. It is used for poking, and more delicate bashing.

Shorten that pole and sharpen it all the way, and you have a sword. A Jian, or Chinese Tai Chi Chuan sword is a rather lengthy knitting needle. It is used for poking, and for extremely delicate one inch bashing using only the tip.

Curve the Jian and you have a samurai sword. Or a cutlass or some other big sounding name. Good for poking, but especially bashing.

Shorten the samurai sword and you have a knife. Good for poking and short range bashing, of a sort. Easily concealed, used to open boxes, and swell for quick surgery on that mugger who tries to take your wallet, grab your wife, invade your home, and so on.

So, knife to sword to pole to even gun…there is a line, usually straight, that is used. The line can be hinged not at all or many times (nunchucks or nine section staffs), or handled with little hand grips (a tonfa) poking out the side, and so on. And the geometry, the ultimate geometry of all martial arts weapons, is deciding whether the shape of the tool best supports poking or bashing.

If you like this viewpoint of Martial Arts Weapons, you need to look into Matrixing and Neutronics. Here’s the weapons page, Blinding Steel, but if you go to the home page and check out the top left corner you can get a free ebook which explains Matixing.

Samurai vs Tai Chi Master!

Here’s an article I wrote based on a post from a week ago. It goes a little deeper, and it’s interesting to think about.

The samurai is often considered the best warrior in the world, and his weapon of choice was the Katana. On the other hand we have old Chinese gentlemen, who wave their delicate Jian, which isn’t much more than an overgrown knitting needle. Interestingly, the contest between the two, young samurai and Chinese noble, comes down to their choice of weapon.

To begin, we should specify that the duel is one on one, not on the battlefield. To be honest, the Samurai sword has weight and can take the bashing that a battlefield inflicts. But, we are talking about a strict weapons comparison, one to one.

A sword has three potentials: cutting, stabbing and using the handle. Either sword handle can be used, so we must concentrate on stick or slice. Thus, the question is going to resolve down to the violent bash, or the gentle thrust.

A samurai sword is better suited to slicing, to bashing, and to the large movements which take advantage of weight and the long curve of blade. It can be used to stick, but the whole body must be used to project the weight, and that makes it slightly unwieldy. The working part of the Jian, on the other hand, is the last inch of the blade, and it can only be used as a long distance scalpel, or a sticker.

The key to the combat is going to be in angulation. Angulation is when you take the slight side step and assume a superior position. The lighter you are, which means the less weight you carry, the more effective you will be when it comes to angulating.

Thus, the Katana sweeps forward in a large circle, and the Chinese straight sword takes a slight side side and sticks in. The timing must be exquisite, for the straight Chinese blade is not built to take a bashing attack. Timing up to snuff, a quick flick of the tip of the blade across the throat, or perhaps a stick into the armpit, and the fight is over.

Now, the real crux here is center versus circumference. This is to say that the ancient Chinese gentleman must achieve the central position, watch the arc, and strike from the center of the circle. Simply, watch the opponent, don’t be fooled by motion or emotion, and concentrate on the part of the body closest to the center of the body.

The interesting thing is that it always comes down to physics, analyzing the angles, and just watching how things work. The Japanese Katana versus the Chinese Jian, two ancient weapons which illustrate this subject of physics. It would be an interesting match up, wouldn’t it?

Tell me what you think, and if you’re interested in some major mojo, check out Matrixing Chi at Monster Martial Arts.

Tai Chi Sword v Samurai Sword…Which is Better?

I was asked, the other day, which I preferred, the tai chi sword (jian), or the Samurai Sword Katana).

Now, stabbing is fun, but it is a linear move which holds the body in place, and presents it as a target.

And slashing is fun, but it requires a slight sidestep to create the best angle.

In the case of stabbing the working part is the tip, in the case of slashing the working part is the whole blade.

So, while I love the whole body movement of striking to the four corners with the samurai sword, I think I prefer the Taiji sword. The reason is that I have to move less weight around, so I can angulate easier. Thus, I believe I can use the tip of the TCC sword to more advantage. A slight side step and I can angle the slice of the long sword, no matter how vicious, then use the tip like a knitting needle and insert to neck, armpit, or whatever.

This is, of course, predicated upon the fact of the situation presented being one of personal combat. For armies, get big, heavy weapons that will last the bashing.

But, getting older, having to rely on intelligent rather than force, and, of course, seeing the benefit of extending the awareness to the tip of the Chinese weapon, that is my personal choice.

There’s lots of info on weapons fighting at Monster Martial Arts, but you may have to look around for it. Blinding Steel basically matrixes weapons. There’s an extremely scholarly treatise in ‘3rd Level Sixth Sense Sword Fighting,’ which is in the Master Books, and so on.

Have a great day.