"dao"

The Broadsword

About the Broadsword in General

The broadsword is a short bladed weapon. Broadswords can be found in many different shapes and sizes (e.g.: short, long, thick, thin, with steel rings attached and without). Furthermore there are many ways broadswords are practiced, for example: single broadsword, double broadsword, broadsword and shield or in combination with other weapons, for example: broadsword and steel whip, etc. Many Kung Fu styles and families developed their own applications and broadsword forms. The broadsword is the most common weapon in ancient warfare. Therefore it has its place as one of the four major weapons in Chinese Kung Fu (Staff, Broadsword, Sword and Spear are the major weapons.). (In ancient time the soldiers used the Broadsword to push forward in a battle. The soldiers would clash into their enemies’ lines with swinging swords and thus deciding the battle through their broadsword skills.) 

Nomenclature 

The Broadsword is divided into six parts: The tip, the point, the edge, the spine, the finger guard and the handle. Since the tip and the point are the sharpest parts of the weapon they are mostly used to attack in powerful swings. The spine is thick and solid and usually not sharp therefore it is used either for defending or to connect to the body when executing a technique.

Application 

The sword is mainly used to chop with powerful swings and great speed. Traditionally it was designed for close contact combat against one or more opponents. From this ancient idea all techniques are derived. To generate the most possible power the body of the swordsman needs to work as one. Therefore a correctly executed broadsword technique harnesses the power that comes from the legs, hip and waist by translating it perfectly through the shoulder, arm and wrist into the part of the broadsword where the power is needed. The broadsword techniques also often combine the two principles of soft and hard forces.  Most frequently used techniques are: 劈pi-chop, 撩 liao- swing, 扫sao-sweep, 刺ci-stab, 挂gua-block, etc.