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Baji Sword: from Workshop to Battle


Baji Sword: Making of a Sword + Traditional Sword Fighting

Baji SwordI had a problem: after purchasing an original Baji Sword during my last trip in Northern China, I realized her weight was too much for my wrist: in fact, performing the Baji Sword Dao lu (the pattern at the end of the video below) resulted in a very slow motion and a lot of stress for both my wrists, although I’ve been training them steadily for years. Don’t get me wrong: a true warrior should be able to fight with any weapon, regardless of its weight, but under a preference point of view – well – I prefer speed rather than power.

The original weight of the Baji Sword purchased in China was almost 1,5 Kilograms: she was a long handle, double grip good looking sword, but merciless after every training session due to her weight. The idea of a lighter sword then came into my mind, and after few minutes I found myself searching for some good quality hardwood from my workshop spare parts.

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For this project I combined the blade of my first Taiji Sword, bought in China back in 2006 when I started learning Sword fighting and Baji Quan, with a set of totally brand new components hand-crafted by me: the choice of keeping the existing blade, and not to make one from scratch, wasn’t because I am not capable of making it (as a matter of fact it would have taken me less time forging a blade than making the handle), but I wanted to honor my first Taiji Sword keeping her heart alive: the blade.

The process begins. The entire sword took me years to be finished: I had to design a handle that could be as light as possible, but also balanced and above all comfortable to the wrist during movements that require the pommel and the cross-guards not to interfere with my arm.

Baji Sword – Specifications

  • Wood type: Australian Red Jarrah
  • Blade: Spring Steel, chromed
  • Tassel: Red Nylon twisted cord
  • Grip: Carbon Fiber
  • Weight: 740 Grams

The result of this Baji Sword project was fine to me: to be my first sword, I am pretty satisfied: she does the job and she is very solid and balanced, even during the most stressful movements. I used medium strength thread locker for securing the stainless steel screw at the end of her pommel: a special hooked screw that secures the pom-pon (or tassel) to the sword.

Baji Sword designed, made and performed by Fabio Zambelli – 100% Italian Artisan Product

Pro et Contra: our Verdict

  • nice medium-range weapon
  • good looking form to master
  • the pom-pom is essential for a correct motion, but sometimes can be annoying
  • merciless when you are not concentrated: it’s not like self-hitting with a shuangjiegun: don’t forget that it’s a blade-based weapon