The Jian sword or Chinese straight sword is probably one of the weapons that greatly represent the Chinese swordsmanship. It is a straight, double-edged sword that has been utilized for the last 2,500 years in the country.
The very first sources that have mentioned the Jian swords date back to the seventh century BCE during the period of Spring and Autumn, and one of its earliest pieces would be the Sword of Goujian. Professional practitioners of the Jian are called the Jianke which literally translates to swordsmen or sword guests; this term dates all the way back to the Han dynasty.
The Jian is a common weapon used by the heroes in martial arts movies but in folklore, the Jian is considered as a Gentleman of Weapons; it is also known as one of the primary weapons of the Chinese together with the staff, spear, and the saber.
The Jian with a straight blade became highly popular and was known as an aristocratic piece among professional martial artists, high-ranked military officials, as well as the wealthy individuals who wielded this for training, personal defense, ceremonies, and as a prestigious décor.
Chinese Jian For Sale
The material of the Jian Sword
The Chinese Jian were originally made out of bronze, but as metal technology developed, it was then made using steel; some Jian swords, specifically for ceremonies, are carved from a piece of jade.
Classic Jian blades are commonly made of the three-plate construction which involves the process of sandwiching a core of hardened steel in-between two plates of much softer steel.
The central plate of the sword slightly protrudes from the surrounding pieces which allows for a sharper edge while the much softer spine safeguards its brittle core. Some of these blades feature the five plate construction where two additional soft plates are utilized at its central ridge.
The Jian made from bronze are commonly created in a similar fashion: in this case, alloy with increased copper content is utilized to create a flexible spine and core while its edge is made out of high-tin content alloy for adequate sharpness; it is also welded throughout the rest of the blade.
In schools of martial arts, wooden swords are commonly utilized for training, so most of the students are able to use the Jian together with the wooden swords. In a few religious Taoist groups, the wooden swords for practice appear to have a ritualistic purpose, and some claim that these represent the discipline of an adept student.
Modern versions of the Jian are usually forged and assembled using classic methods specifically for training the specialists of Chinese martial arts all over the world. Additionally, these Jian swords vary in historical accuracy and quality.
Characteristics of the Jian Sword
The weapon is depicted by elegance and grace since these swords are subtle and devoid of hard strikes or blocks; it is also described as something similar to a flying Phoenix.
Historical versions of the single-handed Jian swords feature blades that have varying sizes ranging from eighteen to thirty-one inches in length; its weight (usually the average seventy centimeter Jian sword) commonly reaches about 1.5 to 2 pounds.
Despite these measurements, there are also much bigger double-handed versions utilized for training in different kinds of Chinese martial arts. These swords are generally flexible along a single axis which makes these unsuitable for combat.
Sword of Goujian
The Sword of Goujian is known as one of the earliest Jian swords; it is a straight double-edged sword that has been utilized for the last 2,500 years. The Jian swords are also among the earliest types of Chinese weapons that are closely linked with the country’s mythology.
In Chinese folklore, the Goujian is called the Gentleman of all Weapons and it is also considered as one of the primary weapons together with the spear, staff, and the saber. Goujian was a popular emperor who ruled over the Yue state in 771 to 476 BC during the Spring and Autumn period; this specific era was a time marked by turmoil in the Zhou dynasty.
Historical Use of the Jian Sword
Originally, the Jian sword is similar to the bronze dual-edged daggers when it comes to varying lengths, and the sword reached the contemporary length around 500 BC.
There are significant differences in the balance, length, as well as the weight of the weapon and these all depend on the period; the main function of these Chinese swords is to work as a multi-purpose thrust and cut weapon that is also capable of stabbing.
Even if there are numerous schools and forms of swordsmanship that make use of the Chinese Jian, its general use and purpose are still not lost.
The historical wielders of the Jian usually engage in practice cutting called the Shizhan where these individuals enhance their skills on targets that are called the Caoren or the grass men. These kinds of targets were commonly made of rice straw, saplings, or bamboo.
Today, a lot of Chinese martial arts just like the Taijiquan continue to have their practitioners train extensively using the Jian sword. The famous forms of the Jian include the Kunwu Jian and the Sancai Jian yet today, most of the swords appear as the Wushu Jian or the Tai-Chi Jian.
These are mainly utilized for performance or ceremonial purposes and are not made to be used in combat. These Chinese swords have very thin blades and a higher level of flexibility compared to the historical Jian that are quality-made specifically for the battlefield.
Jian Sword for Sale
For those searching for Chinese swords to add to their growing collection of weapons, we offer several Jian swords for sale, some of them can be customized to better fit your needs, simply contact us for inquiry with more details.
The Chinese swords for sale come in different categories and all are full tang and fully functional that have sharpened for target training and practice.