Monday, October 3, 2011

Chinese/Filipino Sword Afternoon

Had a blast yesterday comparing elements from a Northern Shaolin 'Five Tigers' Sabre form with Filipino Barong and Kampilan usage.

The 3 swords we compared are shown below, each is different in some respect from the others -

The Chinese Dao is a curved, single edged, single handed (hand and a half) sword, about 30 inches long.

The Barong is a leaf shaped, single handed blade about 20 inches long.

The Kampilan a long, straightish, 2 handed sword up to 40 inches long.

What they have in common however is that they are all heavy, slashing and chopping weapons, weighted towards the front, with a sharp tip that can be used to thrust or gouge. The Kampilan is probably the only one specifically designed for battlefield use, though all three have been used as battle and skirmishes weapons.
Because of these similarities some of the ways of using them overlap.

I've seen very little Chinese style sword work up close, especially done by someone willing to free flow some ideas, so it was a very cool to have Scott (Phillips) perform the 'Five Tigers' form, I'd comment on certain parts that looked familiar to my Eskrima and we'd compare the body mechanics, observing also the subtle changes that would occur due to the difference in weapon design and cultural flavor. Scott would give insights from his research, and his teachers' comments about it, to add to the mix.

It was also interesting to take out parts that did not look familiar at all, and try to work out how they might be used, or why they looked like they did.

Of course knowing which direction the bad guy is attacking from is part of the puzzle, or if there are multiple opponents.
Wide open space, or narrow street?
If the move is a passing move, a closing move, making distance, targeting hand or body/head, or an 'oh sh*t' last line of defense.

Of course it's all speculation in the end, but great fun never the less.


Scott said...

Howdy Maija,
Here is the video...

Maija said...

Cool Scott - Thanks :-)