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Old 27th March 2009, 03:34 AM   #1
Gavin Nugent
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Default Hudiedao

Some variations of the Dao and Hudiedao.

Questions and comments most welcome.
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Old 27th March 2009, 04:27 AM   #2
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What was the Hu-die-dao's main application? Was it a civilian self-defense weapon? Obviously good weapons were hard for commoners and peasants to afford, so only a full-time martial artist (bodyguard, soldier, thug) might be able to afford it, or willing to invest so much in weapons. I have heard things like they are southerner's swords, that they were used by monks, and that they are defensive blades....
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Old 27th March 2009, 06:06 AM   #3
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Default Some very good questions

Some very good questions and to fully answer these some other learned collectors may wish to come in.

The form and function of the weapon enables it to be used in unison as an offence and a defence. in very tight/ confined situations.

From the historical images I have on file it appears in a number of cases that these were a very serious combat weapon though not military in nature.
They have been referred to as river pirate swords by many and although unknown to me as factual, it is very plausible that they were used in this way.
I say this because of the images I have are from Taipei in the hands of militia, the photos date to the 1850/60s with providence and Taiwan being water locked, it presents itself as possible though not limited too being used aboard boats/ships.

I have seen images of the shorter style used in civilian hands in street performances and I surmise that the shorter pair presented, although far thicker than modern equivalents could well have also been related to a form of Wing Chun Kungfu as we know it today.
It is fair to say only based on the photos I have seen, this is mostly a Southern weapon as they appear in images from Taipei mentioned above. There is also an image of Chinaman who immigrated to America available on the net somewhere (I can't put my finger on the link), who is using a pair of these, the article from memory may or may not indicate from where he came but if it does, it may also help establish firmer origins of these weapons.

These pieces I have here are heavy and very well made weapons, all thick in the spinal area, some being 3/8th of an inch some being 1/2 and inch. Lengths range from 16&1/2 to 24 inches long. All with distal taper, some with clipped hatchet points, others with penetrating needle points, most with large thick bronze/brass hooked guards, one with an iron guard.
They all feel very powerful and manageable in the hand and they are all very well forged and fabricated, most present a very nice fire like lamination in the steel, the longer iron guarded ones almost look horse tooth lamination to some degree though I have never cleaned any of these as yet.

One thing that has come to light whilst playing with these weapons it the effectiveness in tight narrow alleys, hallways or rooms, they manoeuvre well and confidence is greatly improved in these situations so they most likely saw a lot of use in the back streets and alleys of greater China and the USA too I would think.

Below are images from a couple of other angles.


regards

Gav
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Old 29th March 2009, 06:29 AM   #4
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Default Another image

Another image off the net of a Street performer in America circa 1900.
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Old 29th March 2009, 03:16 PM   #5
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Neat pieces, and an excellent collection, FB. I'd like to know the size on these pieces, if you have a chance.

I know that the books on wing chun (one of the systems that uses the hudiedao) that they were thought to be monk's weapons, perhaps kept in riding boots. Personally, I put that in the same slot as capoeira being developed by slaves in the Brazilian plantations, but whatever.

Of more interest, I recall seeing paired korean swords that were used by female guards of the emperor's harem. The idea was that they were somewhat smaller (for women) and good in enclosed spaces.

I'm not arguing against your alley swords, but I wonder if they started in alleys, started as indoor weapons, or were just recognized as a good design that works well in confined spaces, whatever those are.

Best,

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Old 1st April 2009, 01:15 AM   #6
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Default Thank you

Quote:
Originally Posted by fearn
Neat pieces, and an excellent collection, FB. I'd like to know the size on these pieces, if you have a chance.


Thanks Fearn,

Comments like that are always appreciated.

In time I will post the data you are interested in, it is just that at the moment I am short on time for as many posting as I would like too within this forum.
Please feel free to contact me via email for interim correspondence about these pieces, I check email daily.

Gav
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Old 29th March 2009, 03:19 PM   #7
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That's fascinating...

I have very little idea what Southern Chinese used weaponry-wise...
now I know Hu-die-dao are among them Thanks

It seems S.Chinese and the Hoklo people aren't ones whose martial arts and weaponry are spoken of often... but it is these people that spread to Taiwan and SE Asia. They brought their weapons, martial arts, blacksmithing skills, commerce, and ships to distant places. Why is kun-tao well-known down in the archipelago? Why was Taiwan's robber-hero a martial artist (according to legend)? Why did the Spanish fear the sino-populations in the Philippines even though the illustrious Chinese were very productive?
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