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#311396 - 10/07/07 11:37 AM Re: Purpose of Rings in the 9 Ring Broadsword? [Re: shinkengata]
northstar Offline

Registered: 04/30/07
Posts: 40
Hi guys.

The 9 rings were meant for catching the tips of swords and spears. The Chinese back in the day also loved weapons that 'rattled' which is why chains had an extra link in them (3 section staff, chain whips, etc).

The 'flag' tied onto the handle was there for a few different reasons.

It served to wipe blood from the user's hand.

It was also wrapped around the hand before the person would grab the weapon. Remember that it was probably pretty easy t drop a weapon in the heat of a battle.

From wrapping the flag in his hand, my old master could also 'throw' the broadsword and pull it back and catch it ! One of the more impressive things I have seen.

Regarding 'who' used swords, it was in the Ming Dynasty that jian started to become obselete on the battle ground (dao were easier to use more effectively) and jian became favoured by martial artists or worn as an accessory.

Tashigae, can't say I agree with you about how Chinese swords were always made quickly and poorly; Japan actually learned their metallurgy from the Chinese orginally and Chinese metallurgy itself was highly sophisticated. It was during the peaceful periods in Japan were there swords became the most sophisticated (i.e. polished to high degree, intricate fittings). Japan mass made HEAPS of stainless steel katana for their soldiers during WW II.

Traditional Chinese swords could and were:

-water quenched (more difficult but produced better results than oil quenched blades)
-folded for resilience
-edge hardened using clay. I know that the Japanese use clay in their differential heat treatment but the Chinese used it differently. A clay mixture would include things such as grass, hair, nail clippings, etc (these were like 'secret' recipes of the sword makers) to feed carbon into the blade.

Chinese also made 'inserted blades' (jia gang) which were composed of a body of lower carbon steel with a high carbon steel blade inserted. Low carbon had great flexibility but could not hold an edge; high carbon made a great, tough edge but would break (think kitchen knife). Properly forged together, you would have a great, toughened and sharp edge on a blade that would flex and save it from breaking or snapping.

The tassel on a jian was originally not as long as today, if I recall the string between the handle and the tassle was meant to be as long as a fist to save it from tangling in a swordfight. All notions aside about being skillful enough to avoid any tangling, the essence of a sword fight is to strike quickly and accurately, not avoid being tangled in your own decoration ! Not all people used a tassle, I have a loop of braided cord on mine.

Spot on about sashes though, they are great for back support. In shuai jiao (Chinese grappling/throwing), controversially argued to be the predecessor of jiu-jitsu, judo and aikido, a belt similar to the Japanese one is worn and was meant to protect the lower back as well.

Edited by northstar (10/07/07 11:46 AM)

#311397 - 10/29/07 08:11 AM Re: Purpose of Rings in the 9 Ring Broadsword? [Re: northstar]

Im sure the rings are to create a confusing noise, aswell as trap weapons. Imagine the sound of all that metal clanging while you are trying to concentrate on getting the first hit.

#311398 - 01/23/08 08:47 AM Re: Purpose of Rings in the 9 Ring Broadsword?
Vennificus Offline

Registered: 01/21/08
Posts: 206
Loc: The frozen realms of Kah-Nah-D...
Keep your keys separated in the deadlist way possible
Livestrong Johnnyboxcutter!!

#311399 - 08/24/08 07:56 PM Re: Purpose of Rings in the 9 Ring Broadsword? [Re: Shouji]
Bodhidharma Offline

Registered: 08/24/08
Posts: 1
I think that the reason the rings are there are for a combination of all the reasons, distraction, traping, and stoping the blade from being cut in half. There is probably another reason such as adding weight to the blade, after all leather armor was resistant to slash attacks. Also it could probably break others swords, the one handed broadsword was mostly useless for leather armor. Also it is said that the broadsword takes power instead of that much skill, unlike the chinese straight sword. The 9 ring broadsword would just be more powerful than the one handed broadsword was and easily learned. If someone has already suggested this then I apologize because I didn't read the rest of the replies.

#311400 - 09/26/08 11:44 PM Re: Purpose of Rings in the 9 Ring Broadsword? [Re: Bodhidharma]
NoImDave Offline

Registered: 09/26/08
Posts: 1
well i have been puzzled by rings on the back of a sword. I don't remember rings on the back of any european sword. They had on some edged weapons slots to catch a sword. So why in China would you have rings. One thing is the influence of Buddhaism. If they didn't do anything they would be found around the hilt and probably very small. The antique that I have has some thick rings nearly all the way to the point. Definitely functional. One thing they would prevent is cutting so deep that you would have a dead body hanging off of the blade or a live one hanging on and draging you down. You only cut as deep as the width of the blade and stab as long as the point. I can see where someone could get med enough to take a sword to the body while his buddies hack the swordsman to death. If you use the rings as a secondary grip you can slam with the handle end or the point just like the old time battering ram. Use the edge to scrape someones face off. Chop and twist breaks off big pieces of sharp bone on the head or shins. In close grapling combat you would have leverage and speed holding both ends of the sword. The broad hooked point on my sword stuck in the armpit and twisting into a hip throw is a nice close range crowd pleaser. Using a ringed sword for short medium and long attacks would leave the battle field looking like a tiger had been there. The nine rings would be a reminder of Buddha have mercy on the people left maimed and dead.

#311401 - 04/25/09 09:58 PM Re: Purpose of Rings in the 9 Ring Broadsword? [Re: shinkengata]
SifuHax Offline

Registered: 03/12/09
Posts: 84
Loc: Westfield, New Jersey
From my understanding, the rings produce more kinetic energy to flow with the sword's. Similar to fighting with rings around your forearms, like in Fut Sao and S. Mantis.
I am no sifu.

#311402 - 05/19/09 01:16 AM Re: Purpose of Rings in the 9 Ring Broadsword? [Re: SifuHax]
SifuHax Offline

Registered: 03/12/09
Posts: 84
Loc: Westfield, New Jersey
A chi amplifier, if you will.
I am no sifu.

#311403 - 05/19/09 10:41 AM Re: Purpose of Rings in the 9 Ring Broadsword? [Re: SifuHax]
karl314285 Offline

Registered: 02/17/09
Posts: 326
Loc: The Matrix, Serif is Teacher
Hi there kids

As I was informed with 3section staff and also 9 section chain whip (both if made traditionally Chinese have extra rings twixt each section that have no purpose towards strengthening or 'catching' objects), that noted....

IMHO, as I was informed, the extra rings are there...

1.) to distract/dismay/break opponents focus....esp.

2.) practitioners of these particular weapons were rather exceptionally skilled (Not me...others) and in general an opponent upon hearing the oh so distinct noise made by each had a choice to make...test 'em, best 'em or run

3.)As a cool aside...the 9 section chain whip (a flexible weapon) and the 3 section staff (still considered a cudgel) were so renown in the past that caravan and Royal guards often flew banners of said weapons to discourage bandits.

.....BUT, as always, I'm wrong so often even this statement is erroneous..

-Karl. Peace.
do not try to spork the post, for that is impossible, only realize there is no post to spork

#311404 - 06/15/09 05:32 PM Re: Purpose of Rings in the 9 Ring Broadsword? [Re: karl314285]
BigWiggly Offline

Registered: 06/15/09
Posts: 50
Loc: Ohio
northstar obviously has done some research, or even practiced some 9 ring. I personaly love the weapon as it has a few nice uses, trapping, distracting ect.. but the distraction is usually underestimated, colors and loud sounds from this particular weapon confuses people who arent used to it fairly easily. Light can shine off the weapon as it is whipped around, sounds making it hard to determine the location of the weapon as well, my favorite move in a form is bringing the from left to right with the blade going that same direction, then flicking it around to change direction, in an attempt to make a loud noise to get the enemy to look at the sword to your right, as you bring the blade through their throat, slice and dice baby ;D

btw, anyone have a good place to get a real, sharpenable and weightable 9 ring? i need a new one...

#311405 - 06/16/09 04:33 AM Re: Purpose of Rings in the 9 Ring Broadsword? [Re: BigWiggly]
DeadlyKnuckles Offline

Registered: 07/26/08
Posts: 130
Loc: United States, Florida
The purpose of the rings in the 9-ring broadsword is to annoy your neighbors as you frantically swing it around on your front lawn. Trying, amidst the chaos and confusion, to imitate that which you saw in a kung fu movie.

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