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Thread: The Kwan Dao weighing 100lbs? That is ridiculous!

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  1. #1

    The Kwan Dao weighing 100lbs? That is ridiculous!

    i was reading about the weapons on this site and i looked at the Kwan Dao

    supposedly it weighs 100lbs. that is ridiculous. that would be like wielding a small teenager or two full suits of plate armor in that polearm

    i don't any hand-to-hand weapon worth using weighs more than 18lbs and that is still going kind of far

    no good two handed sword is more than 10lbs and polearms are not that much different from a half-sworded two-hander, just a bit longer so probably a little heavier

    anyone else notice this as i have?

    (please no "clunky euro swords can weigh up to 40lbs and hammers can weigh 80lbs!" comments on the weight of swords... i have done so much research on it that i would not like to be bothered with that.) I am a member of the Netsword forum. Many Swords enthusiasts there so my information comes from many enlightened people

    (also go to and check there info if u disagree. they make weapons that are well-renowned for all of us sword enthusiasts)

    unfortunately, those forums are mostly dedicated to euro stuff so i posted it here as well as there.... not many people interested in asian-things there.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 1969
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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 1969
    Actually, I heard it was 108lbs. But you know what, that would be very difficult to use, I don't care how strong you are. The torque that could be generated would be almost impossible to control, I would imagine.

    Ok, compare it to this. Take a normal barbell, unloaded. That weighs 45 pounds. Do you think you could swing that around, do forms, or fight with it? What about if it weighed more than twice that much? Exactly.

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  4. #4
    Are there guan dao in existence that weight 100 pounds? Yes. There is some question as to wether they are meant to act as ceremonial items, or training tools. Personally, I believe they are ceremonial items, much like the insanely heavy Bearer two-handers found in some European museums. They are meant for show, rather than use.

    In my own experience if a two hander weighs more than 5 pounds, you are pushing it, but thats just what I have seen.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 1969
    Lakeland Fl USA
    The original "Kwans Knife" is still in display at his memorial site. Its weight has been converted from the "stones" measure to be about 125 lbs. This seems alot but concidering the man who weilded it, Kwan Ti, was preported to be a giant of a man it doesn't seem so unlikely. We was the Michael jordan of his time. Look at the giants in wrestling today, they could throw 125lbs around like it was just so much ham.

    Mainly a cavalry weapon, Lighter versions of the weapon were created for infantry. Trotting along on a big tang horse, its easy to see how a heavy weapon like that could just cleave your head clean off.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 1969
    Fremont, CA, U.S.A.

    Weighing in at 54kg... the 'original' Kwan Dao at Guanlin Temple in Henan. It's a cast iron beauty, around 7 ft. tall. It's one of the touristy things you do at Guanlin, lift that Kwan and take a pic. Now there is no way that this Kwan is the original, I doubt it is even more than a century old. But it's still really cool.

    Kwan Gung is a legendary figure so his weapon has undergone some ludic recombination, exaggerating it's magnitude. Such is often the case with anceint weapons in all cultures, but the Chinese really go for it when it comes to heavy stuff. I think a lot of it is because we are so form based - wielding a heavy weapon in a form is great exercise and excellent training, like warming up with a weighted bat or golf club. Of course, since Lord Kwan is so famous, the Kwan Dao is a popular weapon to be really, really heavy. Heavy Kwan Dao is practiced by strong men, beijing acrobats and some intense old masters.

    Personally, I love heavy Kwans - the heavier the better. I mean, come on, this is not a weapon I practice for self defense. I do it for the training and to honor Lord Kwan so it's like a form a weightlifting that pays homage to our ancestors. Fortunately, the Bak Sil Lum Kwan Dao form can handle a pretty heavy weapon.
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  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 1969
    minneapolis, mn
    I dont know, there is an argument for using heavier weapons. It would cut through armor easier. My argument I guess would be based on this:
    I apprenticed to a longbow maker a few years back and learned a lot about longbows, and other ancient bows as well. Now the basics, well known, is that the average poundage on an English LB is around 100-110 lbs, thats average! A normal man could not just walk up to a 100 LB lonbow and pull, I tried . But if you pull it every day, or more likely once or twice a week, then eventually you would work up to it, and it would become nothing.
    So, if you worked with a heavy kwan, and bult up, a heavier one could be used. I am not sure about 100 lbs but a heavy one could be used.........
    I'd tell you to go to hell, but I work there and don't want to see you everyday.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 1969
    Fort Lauderdale
    Hey Julian. The heavy swords are used for conditioning like weigth training. In combat the swords are little bit lighter since you would want a faster cut.

    Note: Notice made the word little little stand out so don't go mistaking it for those floppy tin foil wu shu swords. In battle the weapons are lighter but not like wu shu, that's just plain exxageration.
    killer kung fu commando streetfighter who has used his devastating fighting system to defeat hordes of attackers in countless combat situations

  9. #9
    the average two-hander weighs about... um... 4-6lbs i think or maybe even lighter

    oh, and i'm not part of the sword forum... i'm part of Netsword (

    i like the people there better :P (than the sword forum heh, i'm not judging anyone here... yet :P)

    anywayz, ceremonial items are still not very heavy... they are overly heavy but not as much as 35lbs over their combat weight

    no bladed weapon can cut thru plate armor. none. well, maybe a massive axe but that is about it. blades even have trouble going thru chain, scale, wooden and studded.

    even though these wrestlers can throw people, they can't wield them... thus, they cannot wield a giant polearm. (even though 7 feet for a polearm isn't really giant)

    the kwan dao is about the same length of that average halbred and the head of a halbred would weigh much more (considering it is an axe/spear/hammer - sometimes)

    and longbowmen weren't exactly fast... they set off about 10 shots a second which is pretty good but does not prove that a very large man could use a 100lb spear.

    i have always been very intolerant of mistakes going towards the length and weight of weapons... dunno why. (swords do not go up to 7 ft...)

  10. #10
    Stacey Guest
    How big was William Wallace's claymore?

    there were broadswords that were 100lbs.

    How? Where do you think all our stances came from? They are for harnessing amazing amounts of power.

  11. #11
    william wallace's claymore was about 4 - 4.5 feet and weighed about 3-4lbs

    claymores don't weigh as much as most two-handers because they tend to be very skinny

    and broadswords are not actually very broad... the average hand-and-a-half is basically what a broadsword is... longswords are usually broader even

    no one can wield a melee weapon weighing over... hmmm... 15lbs and hope to win against anyone skilled.

    ceremonial pieces were usually 10lbs - 15lbs and usually greatly oversized

    sorry Stacey, but that was a very bad estimation for a fact...

    not even the supposed 'unskilled barbaric vikings' got very heavy weapons... same as everyone else.

    2-4lbs for a onehander, 4-6 for a two-hander and that's about it.

    pick up a small hatchet... those are about 1.5lbs, give or take a half pound. very heavy, but mostly due to it's top-weight

    i recently picked up my chin-up bar... made of aluminum or stainless steel - which, i might add, is a terrible weapon metal - and it is telescopal... it is obviously hollow

    i had it at about 2 feet and i picked it up from one end... amazingly heavy. i weighed it... 2lbs.

    go to and click on info. (or maybe it's FAQ?)

    there will be your info on swords... weight and sizes. these people make them and they are just under custom-smiths.

    from there u will have a way to judge weapon weights

    considering a full-plate armor suit is about 50lbs, a weapon weighing more than that is proposterous.

    kwan daos are not very big if u compare them to some other polearms that weigh about 8lbs... and also the cavalry lance weighs only about 12lbs, give or take 2 lbs.

    lances were much longer and just plain bigger than kwan daos... (and believe it, they almost never pierced armor either.)

    i have done my homework :P

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Dec 1969
    Sydney, NSW, Australia
    Stacey makes a good point. William Wallace's claymore was apparently 100lbs. I've heard he used to just swing it in a big circle and if you got in the way too bad.

    I may be wrong, but I believe that people back then were a lot stronger than we are now, simply because they did not have all the conveniences and labour saving devices we have now. They did a lot more physical activity in their day to day lives. As a result they were stronger and fitter (though possibly unhealthier due to the limited medical knowledge).

    Anyway, who knows. We weren't there so we don't know, we can only speculate
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  13. #13
    made big mistake in this post hehe...
    Last edited by Julien; 05-01-2002 at 04:13 PM.

  14. #14
    alright... have you seen how thin a claymore is?

    the blade is about as thin as a regular 1-handed sword... it was just the way the celts made it

    it would not weigh more than 5lbs unless it was made out of lead or gold. and then, only about 8lbs or 10.

    it was made out of iron, or carbon steel.

    also, long swords like those were used to break formations but in a melee, smaller weapons would be preferred... hence his little leather thing over the cross guard

    that leather thing was used for 'half-swording'... kinda like using it as a staff. much easier to maneuver.

    edit: to be 100lbs, william wallace's claymore would have to be... lemme think... about 100ft... (1lb for each foot of steel)

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Dec 1969
    Sydney, NSW, Australia
    Hmmmm. Well, I guess you would know better than I would. Still, 2-4lbs does seem pretty light for a sword, but as I said, you would probably know better than me
    Behold, I see my father and mother.
    I see all my dead relatives seated.
    I see my master seated in Paradise and Paradise is beautiful and green; with him are men and boy servants.
    He calls me. Take me to him.

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