The Chinese double-edged straight sword (jian), the “gentleman of weapons,” is the focus of this e-book. There are a growing number of people interested in this fascinating weapon, its history, and its use. For your convenience, this anthology assembles the best articles on this subject as published in the Journal of Asian Martial Arts.
Chapters 1 and 2 were written by Dr. Richard Pegg, a scholar of Asian studies and art curator with over thirty years of studies in the martial arts. With sound academic and practical experience in swordsmanship, Dr. Pegg writes here on ancient Chinese bronze swords and also on the parallels of Chinese calligraphy and swordplay. The analysis and presentation of the calligraphic illustrations give insight into the physical execution of sword movement. These superb presentations provide a perspective that is useful for understanding the technical and historical significance of the sword arts in China.
In the next chapter, Tony Yang, Andy Lianto, and Robert Figler give an excellent overview of the fundamentals of training with the straight sword. This article outlines some of the most famous sword forms in history, Liu Yunqiao’s lineage, solo and two-person practice, as well as details on fundamental techniques and their combinations. For all intents and purposes, the practice and perfection of these fundamentals make one a master of the sword. Over 140 photos are used just in this chapter to illustrate the techniques.
Stephan Berwick’s chapter details the history and practice of a famous straight sword system, the Qingping (Green Duckweed). The study meshes Chinese- and English-sourced research and a revealing interview with Lu Junhai—the grandmaster of this unique sword system. The interview is conducted by America’s senior Qingping disciples, Reza Momenan and Hon Lee.
If you are a serious practitioner of the Chinese double-edged straight sword and have an interest in its history and techniques, you’ll enjoy each chapter included in this anthology. May it be a handy reference work for information as well as a source of inspiration for actual sword practice.