Differnce between a japanse sword and chinese sword

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YiLiJingLei

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Hi, Lamont,
Actually, the tranlation from Mandarin is "Blood-Groove" for what I was describing. Perhaps the 74 year old 5th Generation Cheng Bagua Teacher from Beijing that explained it to me didn't know what he was talking about. If it isn't a "Blood Groove", then could you please explain what it is?
Thank you for your insight.
 
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chufeng

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Wow ...a very nice discussion going on here...

This is my first visit to this section of martial talk...

I don't have the depth of knowledge that some of you obviously have...but I would simply like to add that several cuts with the Katana are directed forward...that is an arc that intercepts a body part followed by a thrust upon impact (sort of like slicing bread)...

But this is only one method of cutting...certainly there are a miriad of ways to use that weapon...

:asian:
chufeng
 
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Yari

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Originally posted by YiLiJingLei

-the cutting methods used with a Bagua Dao are more carving than the swiping cuts used in most kenjutsu ryu, which in contrast use more of the swing of the arm from the shoulder--with a big, heavy Bagua Dao, that just doesn't work, and isn't the intended use of the weapon.

I'm not sure, but it sounds like the stuff we learned in Arnis. I know Arnisador commented on this, but we've learned alot of classical stuff in our Modern Arnis classes. It's a couple of years ago, but Knifeman.dk can elaborate on this.

What I find intriging (sp?) is that movment in a japanese sword is based on the center of the body. While I feel that the movement in the "arnis" approach is more centered around the contact point.
Even though the basis of the movement is so different, they both flow "with the force".

/Yari
 

Blindside

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Actually, the tranlation from Mandarin is "Blood-Groove" for what I was describing. Perhaps the 74 year old 5th Generation Cheng Bagua Teacher from Beijing that explained it to me didn't know what he was talking about. If it isn't a "Blood Groove", then could you please explain what it is?

OK, in some ways I just shoved my foot in my mouth, but I was taught that his groove should more appropriately be called a fuller. I have heard several people mention that the Chinese do call this a "blood groove" but I have never been able to find the Chinese term that translates to this. Could you provide the Mandarin term to me? I guess I object to the term "blood groove" because it indicates that its function is related to blood flow rather than reduction of the weight of the sword.

Thanks,

Lamont
 
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Despairbear

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Not Just reduction on sword weight but also strengthining (sp?) the blade. Kinda the same idea as corigated steel.


Despair Bear
 
Y

YiLiJingLei

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Hi, Lamont,
"Fuller", "Blood-Groove", whatever you'd like to call it, it serves the same purpose, a means to help break the vacuum when a blade enters a body--not to get too gory here, but that's what it's for. The Mandarin term is 'Xie Tsou'. Xie="Blood". Tsou="Trough", or "Groove".
For many cutting techniques with the big Bagua-Dao, the lip between the spine/back of the blade & the Fuller/Blood-Groove is gripped by the finger/thumb tips to control the blade edge & cutting angle. The hand on the spine of the blade often slides forward & back along the length of the blood-groove depending on leverage for the cutting angle needed. Though using this heavy of a weapon does require some gripping strength, more emphasis for actual usage is on the complex stepping & body-coiling/turning methods in Bagua Zhang. Because the blade of a Bagua Dao is so wide & long, the fuller/blood-groove isn't there so much to make the blade lighter, it's there to control the blade & to make it a little easier to recover it once it's cleaved into the target (messy work). I hope this helps.
:asian:
 

Blindside

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"Fuller", "Blood-Groove", whatever you'd like to call it, it serves the same purpose, a means to help break the vacuum when a blade enters a body--not to get too gory here, but that's what it's for. The Mandarin term is 'Xie Tsou'. Xie="Blood". Tsou="Trough", or "Groove".

Thank you for the term, but now I'm going to disagree with you again. :p

There is no "vacuum" in the human body. If anything it is either under positive pressure, or equal pressure with the surrounding environment. Have you seen pictures of a person with a cut abdomen? Their entrails are literally spilling (bursting) out of their body, because they are actually quite tightly packed. If you penetrate the chest cavity, the lungs and air passage would neatly do the trick of equalizing pressure. Muscles and tendons are also tightly packed into their sheaths, that is fundamental to their function. A weapon becomes lodged in bone or when the muscle tightens around the blade. A fuller would solve neither problem.

Also, most of the fullers that I have seen are on slashing weapons; dao; katana; cut and thrust swords; etc. A slashing weapon is cleaving its own path in the body, something that would be very difficult to creat a vacuum in, your escape path is already formed. If the vacuum issue was truly an problem, your thrusting weapons would be having the greatest difficulty, because their entrance is naturally the same size as the blade cross-section. But the jian, rapiers, and sideswords do not typically have fullers.

A much better explanation is the reduction in weight of a slashing weapon, that also provides a minimal decrease in structural integrity. I don't think a fuller makes a blade stronger, but it makes a blade stronger compared to the same weight blade that is unfullered. And there is a limit to this of course. Diamond cross-sections seem to be favored for most pure thrusting weapons.

Lamont

PS Not trying to be obnoxious here, now I have to go respond to a fire....
 
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chufeng

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I think that the terminology for the groove differs depending on where the blade was made...

Blood groove in China....Fuller in Europe...bottom line, it's a groove.

In some blades it WAS used to reduce the weight of the blade to #1) Balance the blade to make it easier to control, and
#2) To make it easier to develop blade velocity with less effort...
net result...increased efficiency.

But in the PaGua Dao...I believe the groove was more to control the weapon...a place to put the fingers...

The diamond shape of the straight sword not only provides for a sturdy shape, but also creates a hole in the blood vessels and organs that will not seal...a single thrust into a vital target WILL insure the demise of the opponent because of the shape of the wound...

Now, to throw a wrench in this very interesting discussion...how does a kanji or dragon carved into a blade improve its performance, or does it?

:asian:
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Yari

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Originally posted by chufeng

how does a kanji or dragon carved into a blade improve its performance, or does it?

:asian:
chufeng

Scientifically the answer has to be that it would degrade the "performance". I define a part of the preformance as to compair it with a sword that didn't have anything carved into it.

What happens is when you carve something into a peice of metal, your making a edge , either on the side or in the middel of it. This edge is alot more sensitive to metal fatigue.
If you put a notch in a stick the probablility that it'll break there is 100%, if the stick homogeneous all the way through.

Of course a notch in a sword would give the same result, specially if the notch is on the blade side and not on the tang side.

Concerning carvings and the like on the blade. It doesn't have the same effect as the notch, but it can be compared to a small notch, and as time goes by and it's used, that sword would have a greater chance of breaking/bending in that area.

Another issue is corrosion. Which eats it's way through any sword. It's harder to keep out of the way when there are carvings and so on the blade. And corrosion will weaken the sword really fast.

There a lot of parameters concerning the lenght of life on a sword, and some of these might come before a problem with the carvings (or the like). But concentrated on the carving; no carving is best.

All whole other ballgame is if you believe that objects are beings, and that a certain kanji or picture will enhance that beings powers. Well, like I said it's another ballgame, and it isn't mine. But maybe somebody else could elaborate on this.

/Yari
 
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theneuhauser

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yilijinglei

thanks for the bagua broadsword description, im really getting a mental picture of the sword's application now.

and as far as the blood groove issue goes, i dont know the history, but i can say that a groove would strengthen the lateral flex in the blade and would also help avoid the "vaccum effect" which is actually very possible, blindside. all that positive internal pressure created by the organs, combined with the surface tension of the liquid substance, could very easily put the "suck" on a planar surface (blade with no groove). kind of like getting your shoe stuck in the mud. a thin groove could remedy that possibility if it is carved in correctly.

slashing the abdominal wall might cause the entrails to "unpack", but a direct thrust would not, and would require a strong pull, in order to retrieve the weapon. i have a hard time getting my fork to come out of a raw potato (i dont bake, microwave only folks)



:)
 

Blindside

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but a direct thrust would not, and would require a strong pull, in order to retrieve the weapon. i have a hard time getting my fork to come out of a raw potato (i dont bake, microwave only folks)

I agree, that is part of my argument. If this was the case then the weapons most likely to have fullers/blood grooves would be thrusting weapons, they do not. Look at jians, rapiers, estocs, or gladius (admittedly western fuller technology seems to appear with the Norman's slashing weapons, so this could be a poor example). I'll also go back and look through some references to find thrusting weapons with fullers.

I actually have a rather disgusting experiment to look at this planned. I'll let you know how it goes. :cool:


Lamont
 
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YiLiJingLei

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Hi, Lamont,
Thank you for your scientific interjections. Some of your points are worth considering.
For examples of straight bladed swords with fullers/Blood Grooves (does it make you cringe every time I reference that term? ;) ), take note that the older Chinese Jian, the heavier battlefield versions (dating back to the Han Dynasty and before, to the Warring States Period), were often 2-handed or hand-and-a-half weapons, and were commonly designed with this feature.
Also reference Norse Long Swords, which were both cut & thrust weapons, most of which were designed with a wide fuller/blood-groove along the middle length of the blade.
Please also consider various spear and pole-arm blades from various cultures. The Japanese Spear, or 'Yari', on most examples, have a very deep Blood-Groove. Also reference countless bayonett designs. Bayonetts & Yari are primarily thrusting weapons, and I would argue that the purpose of the groove along the blade length has very little to with lightening it's weight.
The weight of heavy steel for real weapons is a benefit to penetrating armor, flesh, & bone, weather sword or pole-arm. Learning how to handle that weight, learning how to let the tool do the job, is one of the tricks to making them practical. Theatrical or sport weapons don't count here, where lightness is important for either a flamboyant display, or for scoring points. Just a different perspective.
Thank you for your thoughtful reply. :asian:
 

Blindside

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Also reference Norse Long Swords, which were both cut & thrust weapons, most of which were designed with a wide fuller/blood-groove along the middle length of the blade.

Some of them were cut and thrust, I've seen two samples personally that had almost square tips that would have been useless on the thrust. I didn't add the cut-and-thrust swords to this argument because they were inconclusive regarding their use in cutting or thrusting, you could argue them either way. As a result I didn't mention the later hand-and-a-half swords that used FULLERS :)D) either.

The weight of heavy steel for real weapons is a benefit to penetrating armor, flesh, & bone, weather sword or pole-arm. Learning how to handle that weight, learning how to let the tool do the job, is one of the tricks to making them practical. Theatrical or sport weapons don't count here, where lightness is important for either a flamboyant display, or for scoring points.

I agree that weight is important, but so is speed of recovery and velocity of the weapon. I absolutely with you regarding the difference between real and sport weapons, which is why I didn't cite any sport weapons. (One of my greatest pet peeves is the whippy spring steel "wushu" blades. Just the sound makes me grit my teeth.)

Good discussion, and thanks for the pointers regarding the yari, and I'll have to look up the bayonets (neither of my bayonets have fullers).

Lamont
 

Blindside

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The Gladius:
The is the short thrusting sword of the Roman infantryman. Over its lifespan it varied from being wasp waisted (mainz style) to straight sided (pompeii). It is most familiar to the public as being used in the Gladiator movie with Russel Crow. (Incidentally, the term "gladiator" comes from the base word of "gladius.") It was a short one-handed weapon primarily using thrusting techniques, though the gladiators may have used them differently than the legions did.


Estoc description is pulled from the HACA site (its a pretty thorough description):

The Estoc
A form of long, rigid, pointed, triangular or square bladed and virtually edgeless sword designed for thrusting into plate-armor was the estoc. Called a stocco in Italian, estoque in Spanish, a tuck in English, Panzerstecher or Dreiecker in German, and a kanzer in Eastern Europe. They were used with two hands and similar to great-swords (but were unrelated to later rapiers). They were used in two hands with the second hand often gripping the blade. Some were sharpened only near the point and others might have one or two large round hand guards. Rapiers are sometimes mistakenly referred to as tucks, and there is evidence that during the Renaissance some rapiers may have been referred to as such by the English. In French "estoc" itself means to thrust.

Lamont
 
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