Reliable & HONEST USA vendor for Jian?

Discussion in 'Chinese Swords and Sword Arts' started by Old Iowa Man, Mar 12, 2014.

  1. Old Iowa Man

    Old Iowa Man Guest

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    I would appreciate any help on a source for a beginners practice metal blade Jian and some one who will be honest and tell me the difference in the stiffness of the blades - I've seen many in the $80.00 price range , Yeah, I know you get what you pay for - Mainly someone honest here in the USA that actually carries weapons IN STOCK - Yes I've looked but it seems the people answering the phone only know how to take your order - Thanks - Old Iowa Man

    FYI - the Sifu I've talked with isn't very specific in his help so far but he's a busy teacher.
     
  2. Ynze

    Ynze White Belt

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  3. Old Iowa Man

    Old Iowa Man Guest

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    Thanks a lot!! So many views and one answer - It's appreciated :) Wish they were in my price range :^(( - I should mention I don't have hundreds to spend on a practice sword, My fault!
     
  4. oaktree

    oaktree Master of Arts

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    Why not get them straight from longquan?
    I purchased several good quality for the price.
     
  5. Old Iowa Man

    Old Iowa Man Guest

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    Thanks - I'll try and find them - Best regards!
     
  6. colemcm

    colemcm Orange Belt

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    Don't be in so much of a hurry to get a sword that you settle for a lesser blade. I've had a variety of swords that were cheap and workable, but when I inherited my Sifu's sword and began practicing with it, it made a world of difference. I'd really recommend that you keep using a wooden sword and save up your cash to buy a really good blade.
     
  7. Old Iowa Man

    Old Iowa Man Guest

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    Coleman - Thanks for the advice - It makes sense and I'm in no hurry due to my health problems - Time will tell & money :) - What is the price range for a "decent" practice sword - I would prefer a stiff blade and rounded edge and a stainless blade which I've found several on eBay for around $40.00 - Others at $3-600.00 - Yes, I've also seen the custom made ones for $ 3-6,000.00 as well, but that isn't going to happen - When I was a professional custom knife maker and engraver 4 & 5 digit sales 20 years ago were not uncommon but due to being health problems and the costs that go with them for going on 6 years now I'm just starting to show some improvement hence the interest and hoping to be able to practice sometime within 6 months to 2 years from now - I can set at the computer so that's my only source of research and dealing with people - the closest Sifu 60 miles away does his teaching part time and since I can't drive, at this time, we've only emailed and talked twice for only a few minutes - Also, How would "I" know the difference since I have no opportunity to examine swords in person - I live in the middle of southern nowhere Iowa in the woods - People like you that are kind enough to respond help me with knowledge and keep my hopes up - Best regards - OIM
     
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2014
  8. Flying Crane

    Flying Crane Sr. Grandmaster

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    I would strictly avoid anything with a stainless blade. While it's possible to make a quality sword with the right kind of stainless steel, it takes a swordsmith who really knows what he's doing to do it right and you'll not find that readily available. The stuff you'll find out there in stainless is junk, plain and simple.

    Stainless can be a perfectly good choice for a shorter blade like a knife, but is not the right choice for a long blade that would be subject to much greater stresses under use. A good high-carbon steel is a good choice, something with a stiff spring flex to it. 5160 spring steel, the same stuff used to make leaf spring truck suspensions is a good, tough steel that makes for some excellent blades, but isn't typically what you'll find in the imported stuff from China. There are some American swordmakers, like Angus Trim, who use this kind of steel, but what he makes is typically of a Western European design and not Chinese. However, you could use some of that stuff in a Chinese training methodology. I think a Viking style weapon could be used quite well in a Chinese methodology. I think the big crossguards are what don't work so well in the Chinese methods, tho to be honest you could use them too if you had the training and knew what you were doing. The Viking stylings typically have a much shorter guard and in my opinion that would work better. The stuff that Angus Trim makes is high-end stuff, can run you several hundred dollars, easily over $1000.00 and higher, but it's very high quality, typically comes with a very sharp edge, and could literally be carried onto a medieval battlefield and it would perform very well.

    You can check out Christian Fletcher, he customizes swords made by Albion Armory in Wisconsin, who also makes European style weapons of high quality. There is some wonderful stuff here, but again, not cheap.
    http://www.christianfletcher.com/Christian_Fletcher/Welcome.html

    If you have not yet gotten some serious training, I would actually discourage you from trying to go it alone with a sword. It's not something you can properly pick up from books, video, or internet instruction. You need to work with a good instructor in order to learn this stuff properly. Otherwise, you will end up kinda playing with the sword, essentially trying to figure it out mostly by yourself, and I think you'll just end up frustrated. The chances that you'll really progress in this way is simply very small, so I do not recommend it.
     
  9. Old Iowa Man

    Old Iowa Man Guest

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    Michael - Thanks for your input - It's appreciated - I used to use 5160 for my forged knives I made and some 1095 - I heat treated the whole blade and others just the edge Japanese style - I'll forget about the stainless swords based on your comments - Age and bad health is no fun AT ALL!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I think I'll hold off on buying any metal sword when and if I can actually take some lessons with my local Sifu - right now most of our extra money goes for life's emergencies and all my doctor and hospital bills - I think you saved me from buying some cheap junk - I wish I still had a shop and my tools and health back - NOT looking for sympathy!!! - Best regards - OIM
     
  10. Flying Crane

    Flying Crane Sr. Grandmaster

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    smart move sir, especially if you have limited extra income for these things. Best to do it right, or not at all in that case. It can be very tempting to try and go it alone, and I've done it myself. The results are never good, tho there are people who will argue the contrary. Especially when you are faced with forking over some serious cash, just to end up frustrated, it's best to recognize that in the beginning.

    I'm sorry to hear about your health problems, and on top of that, quality instruction is not available everywhere. That can be frustrating all by itself, but that is life. All the best to you and I hope you find something that works out for you. Travel for instruction can be difficult, but it would be money better spent, if the sifu is good. Even if you only see him once a week, or once a month, you would then have solid material to work on, and do it right even if it takes a long time. Weaponry would be appropriate after you've had some solid training in the system that he teaches. You need that foundation work first before you start working with the weapons. It's a life-long journey and commitment, but worth it when you find the right sifu. Looking for shortcuts, or trying to figure it out yourself or with video or internet instruction isn't a fair option, in my opinion.

    all the best to you, sir.
     
  11. Old Iowa Man

    Old Iowa Man Guest

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    Michael - Thanks for your additional input - I do have a lot of canes and need to use one most of the time - A guy whose been doing it for years recommended a Tai Chi cane DVD, which he says is better than no Sifu at all - For now I'll follow your advice - Play with my canes and hope to be able to go to the Sifu someday - Maybe, or not, you can check his website out and provide comments for me http://www.dmeagleclaw.com/ - Thanks - OIM
     
  12. Flying Crane

    Flying Crane Sr. Grandmaster

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    I need to run out for a bit, but I'll take a look when I get back.

    In my opinion, video is usually not better than no sifu at all. There are a whole lot of subtleties involved that just cannot be taught thru DVD. This topic gets debated here a lot, and I'm very vocal in my position while others here will argue the contrary. Martial arts of any kind are a physical activity, with a very strong mental component. Just understanding the issue on an intellectual basis is the very beginning. You now need to translate that concept into physical action and that's where the problems lie when you do not have an instructor. Often, how it needs to translate physically is very different from how you THINK it should be translated, and that's where you need a good sifu to teach you properly. Lots of little details that WILL get missed, and they make ALL the difference in the world. You end up with a very shallow mimicry, and that's not a fair trade.
     
  13. Flying Crane

    Flying Crane Sr. Grandmaster

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    i checked out the website, if this guy is certified under Leung Shum, he should be legit. I watched his videos on the website, too much short clips, often could not really tell what i was seeing. i don't know much about eagle claw, but would have liked to see more substance. Much of the video clips seemed to be taken from a performance they did, and contrary to what one might think, that's often NOT the best venue to see quality kung fu. In a performance, they want to impress an audience who is largely educated by Hollywood movies and don't know much about real kung fu, so they do the fancy, flashy stuff, the acrobatics, the jumping and spinning kicks, and whatnot, and often that stuff is really just fluff. The real quality stuff isn't good for performance, it's not "exciting" enough for an audience, so they play to what the audience wants to see. So I'm withholding judgement, even tho I didn't like a lot of what I saw on his videos. But Leung Shum is legit, so if this guy is certified to teach under him, well that's a legitimate lineage, and that does mean something in this kind of thing.
     
  14. Old Iowa Man

    Old Iowa Man Guest

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    Mike - Thanks and I'll let you know if I ever get to take a lesson and I'll just make a couple of wood swords when my body lets me - I still might get the cane DVD just for the exercise and I might learn one or 2 things - Take care - OIM
     
  15. Flying Crane

    Flying Crane Sr. Grandmaster

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    i hope it works out for you. all the best.
     
  16. Old Iowa Man

    Old Iowa Man Guest

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    Does anyone else have any comments about DVD's when you have NO access to a "Qualified" Sifu? I realize I believe what you say is true as I used to have people come from ALL over the USA to learn engraving from me BUT IMHO isn't learning something from a DVD is better than nothing if that's your, my, only opportunity? - OIM
     
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2014
  17. Flying Crane

    Flying Crane Sr. Grandmaster

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    There have been some pretty extensive discussion threads here on that topic. Do a search for DVD or VIDEO TRAINING or something like that, they should show up...
     
  18. Flying Crane

    Flying Crane Sr. Grandmaster

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  19. Old Iowa Man

    Old Iowa Man Guest

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    OK, OK - I get the idea - I looked over the thread as suggested and NOBODY likes training DVD's - I've picked up some good techniques on simple self defense from some kind instructors that sent them to me for free - I'm not going to buy ANY steel sword at any time soon for many reasons - I won't buy ANY DVD's for ANY sword stuff either - I still might get a cane DVD that's been recommended by a guy who knows what he's talking about and that's it - I really appreciate ALL the help and comments - When/if I live long enough to get a couple of lessons from the local Sifu I'll make a report - Until then - Best regards to all and thanks for saving me precious money - OIM
     

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