Tag Archives: long sword

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.