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Thread: Butterfly Swords

  1. #1
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    Butterfly Swords

    Quick question are these of Shaolin origin?

  2. #2
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    Southern styles seem to think so

    It opens up a huge can of worms however, given the murkiness of the Southern Shaolin Temple. However, I recall another name for them - gai do - or punishment blades. I'm not sure of the Cantonese, but the term was allegedly in reference to the blades being used to punish sinners. I know, that's very colloquial, but such is Southern Shaolin research.

    Excuse me for a moment - gotta plug these here. It's my job.
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  3. #3
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    Ah ok thanks for the info Gene.

    I always thought they were connected with the whole Wing Chun thing.

    But had never heard or seen for that matter these connected with Shaolin.

    Big Up!

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by Blacktiger View Post
    Ah ok thanks for the info Gene.

    I always thought they were connected with the whole Wing Chun thing.

    But had never heard or seen for that matter these connected with Shaolin.

    Big Up!
    ------------------------------------------------------------

    In Ip man wing chun the bot jam do is a little different from the common butterfly swords

  5. #5

    butterfly swords are NOT related to SongShan Shaolin

    the name Shaolin is used loosely. there are many southern schools that call themselves Shaolin (southern Shaolin), even many irrelevant schools of north China also call themselves Shaolin (northern Shaolin). though their history has had some relations from time to time with the Shaolin temple of Song mountain, but the systems are totally different, in almost all aspects.

    now, if you mean Shaolin kung fu, the original SongShan Shaolin kung fu, i must say since the number of weapons in SongShan Shaolin system is uncountable, you may find some paired weapons that have some similarity to those butterfly swords, like double broadswrods and double knives, but your answer is definitely a big NO!

    however, if you mean other schools that call themselves Shaolin (which are much more popular in western countries than the SongShan Shaolin itself!!!), in northern schools, as far as i've seen, again NO, those butterfly swords are merely southern weapons as far as i know.
    Last edited by SHemmati; 02-05-2013 at 04:34 AM.

  6. #6
    wherever they come from, they are unwieldy and lame. Or maybe I haven't held a decent pair, I dunno.

  7. #7
    wherever they come from, they are unwieldy and lame. Or maybe I haven't held a decent pair, I dunno.
    butterfly knives unwieldy and lame? this is the most inexperienced answer i've ever heard in my time as a martial artist.

  8. #8
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    There's nothing like a good pair of Butt Knives.

    Embarrassingly enough given my background, I never formally trained with Butterfly Knives personally but I love the feel of them - part meat cleaver, part parrying hook, part knuckle-duster. It's a brutal, rugged sort of blade, perfect for CQC like on a boat or in an alley. They remind me of WWI trench knives, only with a butcher knife instead of a dagger. They would be really messy to use, but I'm sure you could get the job done.

    Quote Originally Posted by Blacktiger View Post
    I always thought they were connected with the whole Wing Chun thing.
    Exactly. Such are the southern Shaolin legends. The major southern styles connect back to Shaolin. Therein lies the rub. Songshan acknowledges Southern Shaolin to some degree as most of the Kung Fu diaspora emerges from there prior to the last two decades or so. They'd be fool not to do so. However, the legends are still very murky, so intertwined with secret societies and Ming rebels, a research nightmare that no one has really tackled from a true scholarly standpoint. My friend Professor Meir Shahar was looking into it and we discussed it many times. He thought it was a mess too, but some he did some exploratory research and found some interesting aspects. However, he's moved on to other research, outside the martial arts.

    BTW, this is a little OT, but our new issue is out, the March/April 2013. Our cover story, The Southern Sword of Wushu, discusses nandao and its relationship to butterfly knives.
    Gene Ching
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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by GeneChing View Post
    BTW, this is a little OT, but our new issue is out, the March/April 2013. Our cover story, The Southern Sword of Wushu, discusses nandao and its relationship to butterfly knives.
    Love the nandao! People use it in Shaolin nowadays. I've yet to see the butterfly knives though.

  10. #10
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    roflmao!

    Excellent point, LFJ! You are spot on!
    Gene Ching
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  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vajramusti View Post
    ------------------------------------------------------------

    In Ip man wing chun the bot jam do is a little different from the common butterfly swords
    +1

    The bot jam do differ from the traditional butterfly knives as the handle is in line with the back of the blade and, for the most part, the blade is tapered (aka less wide towards the base).

    This design difference allows one to flip the knife around via the thumb guard/hook to cover the form arms.

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by Snipsky View Post
    butterfly knives unwieldy and lame? this is the most inexperienced answer i've ever heard in my time as a martial artist.
    lol well I could show you my proficiency with most classical weapons if it helps, but I doubt it would. I never had too much formal training with them, but I did have one teacher that was pretty keen on them but I just couldn't get into it.

    Again, I may have just had a clunky pair made for practice, I don't know it's been a long time, but they just don't feel as great as double sabers or even double hook swords for that matter.

    We all have our favorite weapons, and like Martial Arts in general, some fit us and some don't. I don't know about you, but I also feel this way about Okinawan Sai. As cool as they look, they don't impress me with their weight and balance for what they are supposed to accomplish.

    But hey, thanks for the insult, that was super cool.

  13. #13
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    Butterfly Knives are one of my favorite. Their concealable and very practical. if you can use a short stick, you can use the butterfly knives.

    here is one of my students practicing them:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OgBp-BPMWLA
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  14. #14
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    Just because of Gene I'm going to call these Butt Knives from now on.
    For whoso comes amongst many shall one day find that no one man is by so far the mightiest of all.

  15. #15
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    I feel ya, OP

    I used to think sai were sexy, especially when Electra Assassin was hot. Then Chris Colfer happened.


    Quote Originally Posted by Lucas View Post
    Just because of Gene I'm going to call these Butt Knives from now on.
    Haaa. Yea, I've been calling them that for years. It's not out of disrespect. It's just less syllables.
    Gene Ching
    Publisher www.KungFuMagazine.com
    Author of Shaolin Trips
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