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Why Is The Dandao Chinese Long Saber So Long?

The Chinese Long Saber is probably the longest Chinese sword in history. What is the reason behind its long length?

First, we have to remember that the Long Saber is designed to fight against the Spear. In Chinese martial arts, the Spear is considered the King of the Battlefield for its effectiveness in killing. So with that, we will begin by looking at 3 basic methods of Spear thrusting:

Spear's starting position

1) Stationary Thrust

2) Shuffle-Step Thrust

3) Stepping Thrust

The thrusts will begin from a typical middle guard stance, and the thrust's reach length will be measured from here.

The 2 red cones indicate the starting positions of the right-hand and Spear-tip.

Spear Thrust #1 - Stationary Single-Handed

This is the fastest way to thrust, leaving little reaction time for the opponent. But this also has the shortest reach: 143 cm.

Stationary Single-Handed Spear Thrust

Spear Thrust #2 - Shuffle Step Single-Handed

The 2nd thrust makes use of the hip-twisting movement to propel the Spearman slightly forward to gain a little more reach. The Spear's reach length increased slightly to: 178 cm.

Shuffle Step Single-Handed Thrust

Spear Thrust #3 - Stepping Single-Handed

The Spearman takes a full step forward with his rear leg, dramatically increasing his thrust's reach to: 210 cm. However, this is also the slowest method and easier for the opponent to intercept or deflect away.

Stepping Single-Handed Thrust

Safety Distance For the Dandao Swordsman

Assuming that the 150 cm Long-Saber is held in a typical middle guard stance, from the throat region to about 10 cm down from the Long-Saber's tip, the distance is about 140 cm. Let's call this the "Safety Distance".

Safety distance for the Dandao Long Saber swordsman


The Safety Distance for the Swordsman is about the same as the thrust's reach of a Stationary Single-handed Thrust, both about 140 cm. Though it's the fastest way to thrust, the Swordsman have the same amount of distance allowance to react to attacks.

The other 2 types of thrusts have a longer reach, but the speed is slower, thus giving the Swordsman additional time allowance to react.

Hence, this is why a 150 cm Long Saber is an effective design to fight against the Spear!

To find out more about the Dandao Chinese Long Saber, please visit:

Thank you,

Jack Chen


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