The Zhanmadao is a single-bladed Chinese weapon that is also known as an anti-cavalry sword, this was most common in the years 960 to 1279 during the Song Dynasty.

The weapon may have been the basis of the zanbatou since both are written using the same characters; additionally, there are claims that also state that both of the swords were utilized for killing the cavalrymen and their horses with just a single swing.

General Characteristics of the Chinese Zhanmadao

The Zhanmadao sword is a saber that features a single yet long broad blade; it also has an extended handle for increased double-handed gripping. The weapon was utilized as an anti-cavalry tool and was specifically designed to slice or cut through a horse’s legs.

Surviving pieces of this include a sword that somewhat resembles the Nagamaki when it comes to its form: it featured a wrapped handle that was thirty-seven centimeters in length, making it easier for the wielder to grip with two hands.

Aside from having an extended handle, the Chinese Zhanmadao is generally long; in fact, the weapon measures over two hundred centimeters which allow for extended reach while simultaneously keeping the wielder safe and at a distance from their opponents during battle.

Additionally, the blade of the Zhanmadao measures more than a hundred and fifty centimeters and is ideal for perfectly cutting targets despite utilizing different points of the weapon’s blade. The sword’s blade also features a single sharpened edge which means that only one side is able to cut.

The Zhanmadao sword also includes a strong and durable sheath that is long enough to protect and accommodate the blade. Aside from this, the sheath also helps the wielder easily carry the weapon while on horseback or when walking. When the blade is inserted, it can be hung around the waist and drawn only when necessary.

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History of the Zhanmadao Sword

The Chinese Zhanmadao was produced around the year 960 and it was primarily utilized by the Han Empire’s army which was ruled by Emperor Cheng.

During the period of 1072, the weapon was used for slicing through the enemy horse’s legs; and in the years 1129 and 1141, the weapon was utilized to win the war against the Jin Army.

Types of Zhanmadao

Just like most Chinese weapons, the famed Zhanmadao has been subject to quite a lot of misconceptions. Throughout the country’s long and rich history, the term had been applied to different types of weapons which confused numerous people regarding the true purpose and origin of the weapon.

Yet upon closer inspection, there are very evident similarities between the various iterations of the Jian / Zhanmadao and generally, these can be categorized into three types:

Jian sword

Executioner’s Sword (from the Han Dynasty to the early Song Dynasty)

Not much is known about this weapon, yet based on its name, it is believed that the sword was a double-edged piece yet its shape and size still remain a mystery.

Cleaver (from the Song Dynasty to the Qing Dynasty)

The Zhanmadao of this era was undeniably long and it ended in a reverse tanto point; the blades can either be slightly curved (which was common during the Qing and Ming era) or simply straight (which was a common feature during the Song era)

Odachi-inspired (Ming to the Qing Dynasty)

This was obviously inspired by the Odachi from the Japanese; it was adopted by the Chinese as the Chang Dao. This weapon has a long and slightly curved blade plus it also has a hilt that is fashioned for double-handed use. Although this is not specifically designed as an anti-cavalry piece, it was utilized as such by the Chinese soldiers.

Zhanmadao Sword for Sale

There is a wide variety of Chinese swords for sale and among these is the Zhanmadao. You can search through our shop to find the appropriate sword for you, all of our swords are full tang fully functional and can be utilized for cutting or target practice. if you require additional customization, don’t hesitate to contact us.