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Sword Terminology
by Danny Yinsheng Xuan

About Bat Jum Dao

Although Bat Jum Dao parts are similar to Western swords, there are some terms that require adaptations. For the purpose of clarifications with sword terminologies, I'm presenting some for your reference when reading my articles.

The Sword

A sword is sectioned into two parts: the blade and the hilt. See the picture below. The Blade, outlined in green, is the metal part that is used for cutting, slicing, thrusting. The Hilt, outlined in yellow, is everything other than the blade.

Outline of

 

The Blade

The blade consists of the Back (outlined in green), sometimes called the Spine, if it is a single-edge sword like the Bat Jum Dao. The Point, sometimes called the Tip, is located at the front of the blade. The shape of a Bat Jum Dao blade is called Hatched Point (marked in yellow). The sharp side of the sword is called the Edge (marked in blue). The unsharpened part of the edge, near the hilt, is called the Ricasso (marked in white). The flat sides of the blade is referred to as the Flat (shaded in pink).

 

The Hilt

The Hilt consists of the Grip, Tang, and Handguard. The Grip, sometimes called the Handle (highlighted in yellow), is where one holds the sword for wielding; the Tang, which is an extension of the blade, is usually enclosed and hidden inside the grip. The Pommel (highlighted in white) holds the blade and hilt together. The Handguard (highlighted in green) consists of everything made to protect the hand; which are, the Knuckle Bow (highlighted in blue), which bows around the back of the hand; the Quillon (highlighted in pink), which protects the hand directly behind the blade; and the Finial (highlighted in orange), which extends from the quillon, and is used to trap an opponent's weapon.

 

The Langet

Since the Bat Jum Dao design is very different from Western swords, it is difficult to put specific Western names for some parts. For example, the finial in a Western sword is just a small decorative extension of the quillon. In the Wing Chun's BJD, the quillon extension is long, and is used for trapping opponents' weapons. I was tempted to call the BJD quillon extension "langet," as it looks more like a Western langet. However, the langet on a Western sword is used only to lock a sword onto its scabbard. Some langets are located along the spine of the blade (like BJD quillon extension); some are located on the flat side of the blade. Below is a picture of a BatJumDao I designed, with Western style langets on the flat side (highlighted in yellow) to double as scabbardlock and bladetrap.

 

The Tang

As mentioned above, the Tang is usually hidden inside the grip; however, here's a 2-in-1 Bat Jum Dao design which exposes the Tang design. In this case, the tang is called Full Tang (highlighted in red in the picture below). Also note that the blade part that meets the tang is called the Shoulder (highlighted in green). Each corner can be referred to as "Shoulder" as well.

There are several types of Tang designs, as shown in the picture below.

 

The Scabbard

There are many designs of sword scabbards and sheaths. It is all left to the imagination of the bladesmith or swordsman. Generally, a scabbard includes a body, or case (highlighted in yellow in the picture below), and a throat (highlighted in green). The picture below shows two throats for two Bat Jum Daos.

Copyright (c) 2005 the Wing Chun Archive and Danny Xuan 10/26/05

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