Forged In Fire: Top 5 Chinese Blades Tested | History


Hi, this is Dave Baker. And today we’re
going to take a look at some of the most
iconic Chinese weapons seen on “Forged in Fire.” Now, the Chinese culture has
a documented history that goes back thousands of years. And in those years,
they’ve developed a wide array of weapons. So let’s take a look
at some of the weapons we’ve had on “Forged in Fire.” This is the Chinese dao. The very first Chinese daos
were made of bronze and use during the Shang Dynasty. The handle of the
Chinese dao in combat was often wrapped in silk. It was believed to bring
luck and bravery to the user. In martial arts movies, the
dao is often depicted as having this wobbly, flexible tip. Though flexible, these blades
were stout cutting machines. These are a Chinese favorite
of mine, the butterfly swords. These swords were designed
to be carried in one sheath. They could be drawn
and used with one hand. They could also be offensive
or defensive weapons. The design of the guard
on the butterfly sword has a knuckle bow to protect
the hand and the knuckles. And a rear quillon
that allows the sword to be dropped into a
defensive position, but also defend
from another blade. Nice. DAVE BAKER: Now,
the butterfly swords were very popular in southern
China in the mid 19th century, when many martial arts forms
were built around their use. As far as short
sword design goes, these give you both an
attack and a defense. Makes for a good blade. These interesting blades
are deerhorn knives. Designed by the creator of
the martial art Baguazhang, these blades were both defensive
and offensive in nature, consisting of sharpened
points and long curved blades that not only cut and thrust,
but protected the hand. Whoa. Now, the story is told that
the creator of these weapons was a tax collector, and he use
these for personal protection while collecting taxes
for the Chinese emperor. I think I’d pay my taxes. This is the Tai Chi sword,
the jian, the jian dao, the scholar’s sword— one of the oldest
sword designs in China, and one of the
oldest sword designs still in use on the planet. It consists of a long
straight, double-edged blade with a thrusting point, a
small guard for the hand, and a single hand handle. These blades were designed
to be light and fast. There are many martial arts
built around this blade, the biggest being Tai Chi. Now, these swords
became a status symbol in the late 19th
century and were carried by educated gentleman often used
in self-defense or in dueling, and that’s how they got their
name, the scholar’s sword. Now, these nasty looking
things are called hook swords. And usually, these
weapons are used in martial arts demonstrations. Forms like Wushu often
use these, hooking them, spinning them, and doing forms. I’m good with that. The hook sword
has a hook that’s sharpened on the outside, a
blade sharpened on the inside, and that crescent which protects
the hand is also sharpened. Then on the back, a
point, giving you multiple places to attack and or defend. When used together,
this pair of weapons could be used both to hook an
opponent as well as attack him.

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