Posts Tagged ‘Asian’

A Little Something For The Earth Bound Klingon… Or Lord Vader…

Monday, June 7th, 2010

OK so let me pose a hypothetical scenario. Let’s say you are a Klingon. Yes, you are a member of a well known warrior race from Star Trek. Got it? Good. Now lets say you get marooned on earth. No, I don’t know how that happened or what you did to deserve it. Stuff happens alright? Deal.

Anyway let’s say you are stuck on Earth. In prehistoric times. Yes, I said prehistoric. Why? Look, you are asking too many questions. I’m trying to set up a scenario here. Ok fine, we’ll say someone tweaked the nav systems and warp core configuration on your Klingon warbird so that the next time you tried to warp somewhere, you got marooned, on Earth, in the past, and the dilithium crystals in your warp core are broken, so you now cannot get back.

OK? Happy now? Can I continue?

Thank you.

So… Now you are stranded in a prehistoric earth jungle, and you need a bladed weapon to survive… Say what? Why no Disruptors? OH, for the love of… *sigh* Look, work with me here. Lets say you’ve been stranded for some time, and you’re all out of power OK? Does that work for you? Any other details you’d like me to cover before I go on? No? Are you sure…? Wait… What? Recrystallize the dilithium crystal lattice? …

… *veins popping out of forehead*

YOU @*@&#@! IDIOT!!! THIS IS PREHISTORIC EARTH! THERE ARE NO NUCLEAR REACTORS, SO YOU CAN SAFELY ASSUME THERE ARE NO SAFE AND READILY AVAILABLE SUPPLIES OF GAMMA RADIATION TO CAPTURE AND REPAIR DECRYSTALLIZED DILITHUIM CRYSTALS WITH, YOU #*&$%# INSUFFERABLE DWEEB!!!

Jiminy Christmas, enough already!! OK that’s it. No more questions. You’ve ruined my perfect set up.  I’m just going to show you the blade.

Tactical Golok

Tactical Golok

This is the tactical Golok. The Golok is a traditional chopping tool, a kind of short machete, originating in southeast Asia, characterized by a wide tipped, top heavy blade. The Tactical Golok is a a Golok on steroids. Or as would be designed by a Klingon, trapped in prehistoric ages, on earth, who had naught but primitive tools. WITH NO USABLE DILITHIUM CRYSTALS. Ok… gotta breath now… Whooosaaaahhh… alrighty then.

In fact the tactical Golok bears a vague resemblance to a traditional Klingon weapon, the MekLeh’ crossed with a traditional golok…

Klingon Mek'Leth

Klingon Mek'Leth

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Golok

Golok

OK… Too vague. That didn’t work out quite the way I thought it would. All kinds of evil was supposed to ensue. Hmmm… What to do, what to do… Actually, now that I think about it, this Golok has more in common with Kratos’ Swords of Chaos from the game God of War:

Kratos Sword of Chaos

Kratos Sword of Chaos

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Golok

Golok

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Tactical Golok

Tactical Golok

Much better!! Yeah… Now THAT’s what I’m talkin’ ’bout… And you made me go on that Klingon rant, and nearly pop a gasket, all for nothing. Yes, you. It’s all YOUR fault. Yeah, it’s my blog and I can blame who I want to… And today that is… YOU! Put that in your meat grinder and mince it! Bah Humbug!

<Eric Cartman> Man… I really, really hate you guys… </Eric Cartman>

Anyway, this Tactical Golok is the bees knees. Put together by the folks at Szabo Inc., it looks like a mean little chopper, a nice, evil cross between a machete and an axe. With the sweeping curvy edges and dark demeanour to match. My kind of chopper. Darth Vaders golok, if you will. I mean just look at it:

Tactical Golok Demo

Tactical Golok Demo

What more can I say. Short machete. Wide. Heavy. Evil curves. Double edged.  Integral guard and blade finger choil, possibly for choking up and better control. AND it looks like it comes in black. Which is really just all kinds of WIN.  BUT… It costs and arm and a leg. But if you can afford one, at least you’ll know they’ll be harvesting your limbs in style.

Umm… wait… Was I not supposed to say that out loud?

Tactical Golok – [Szabo Inc]

Far East Meets Middle East Meets Left Field…

Monday, October 5th, 2009

Today I have a set of yet more crossover blades. Like most of the others, these knives feature qualities from different cultures, melded together to form beautiful harmoniously wicked looking blades. I refer to the work of Wally Hayes, of Hayes Knives. I suppose I ought to stop flappin’ mah trap, and show you a few pics:

Damascus Dagger - Broad Spear Point

Damascus Dagger - Broad Spear Point

Now this is what I am talking about. The astute among you may have noticed that this little dagger bears traits from three separate cultures. OK, so let’s play a little sleuthing game. Who wants to take a stab at guessing which ones?… Don’t worry, I’ll wait…

*whistling*…

*taps hooves*…

*facepalm*

OOOOK, that’s about enough of the waiting thing.

I’m sure many of you guessed Asia, as the first culture, and you would be correct. The tsuka, guard and habaki  are all Asian in origin. However the other two flavors are a little harder… Actually that’s not entirely true. This here dagger has a damascus blade. That one should be easy… Yeah. really…. Oh, come on… Ok, ok. The damascus betrays the  Middle Eastern genes in this blade. Right? From Damascus…? Got it?  Good. 🙂

Now, last but not least, the shape of the blade itself is neither traditionally Japanese, nor Middle Eastern. Both far and middle eastern blades generally feature curved blades. This blade, carries European lines. And there is our trilogy of genes. And a beautiful child it is too…

If you got all three, you may proceed to pat yourself on the back. Yes, you may sprain your arm in order to do so if necessary. I’ll allow it. Just this once. Feel the burn? Good. Here’s another example:

Damascus Dagger - Fine Spear Point

Damascus Dagger - Fine Spear Point

How about we up the ante. Eh? Try and be a little more specific? What do you think…? This one should be easy, it’s pretty much almost the same as the other… Ok, well here’s my take…

The Tsuka and Guard are almost definitely Asian. Japanese, to be precise. No habaki, like the other one, but these are all hybrid knives, so I’m gonna let that slide. The blade is, again, Damascus, can’t really be precise about it’s origin without a metallurgical analysis, so i’ll leave it at that. The blade shape on the other hand, almost definitely European. I’d guess late British, if I were a betting creature… 🙂

Now here’s another interesting piece:

The Predater

The Predater

Talk about mixed messages! This knife looks like a cross between a Ka-bar, and a tanto. A hybrid westernized tanto at that. The grip features a simple tsuka-maki, running up to a simple stubby upturned guard, and on into a polished, rather beefy looking straight blade, with what looks like it could be a false back edge all running into a hybrid clip tanto point.

Hard to tell from the pic. But it certainly looks like it means “bidness”.

Finally, here’s another quite interesting short sword, for obvious reasons called the “Waki”:

The Waki

The Waki

For those of you wondering why the name is obvious, it may help to know that the japanese have a short sword called the Wakizashi, that is traditionally worn as a pair with a full size Katana. This sword is just the right size, so I presume that is why it was given a contracted form of the name.

Lacking a guard and habaki, this blade might be troublesome to wield in combat, however from an aesthetic standpoint… Whoa… I think it just got a little hot in here… 🙂

I have but one concern though. I don’t rightly know if the “Waki” was really the most dignified name to give this particular blade. But to be fair, a curvy blade of dark swirling damascus would, by any other name, would still look just as beautiful…

What more can I say… It’s a thing of beauty… 😀

The Waki and friends – [Hayes Knives]

The Enigmatic Chinese Hook Sword.

Monday, June 15th, 2009

I have always found Chinese weapons quite interesting. Unlike most of their Japanese counter parts, whose forms seemed to more or less always follow function, Chinese blades always seem, to me at least, to possess a level of aesthetic that supersedes it’s function. Or is highly influenced by it.

You can see this difference in their martial arts. Just compare the fluidity and nature based motion of five animal style Chinese Kung-Fu, to, for instance, the direct, and purely functional approach of Japanese Shotokan Karate. Granted, each of these styles tend to gravitate towards one another in directness/fluidity and vice versa as you progress in skill, but where they each start from is still worlds apart. The difference in their perspective weapon designs are no different.

A typical example is the Black Ronin Ninja Ring I posted about a while back. While it was referred to as a “Ninja” weapon, the design was hardly Japanese in nature, but rather had a lot more in common with the Chinese Deer Horn knife, or Sun and Moon Ring. You will also notice how even the names of many Chinese weapons are based on things that occur in nature.

You can almost always see the influence of this mindset in the design of their weapons. Whereas, in contrast, with little more than a quick glance, you can see exactly where the design of a Japanese Katana, came from, and I can almost certainly guarantee you that neither Bambi, the man in the moon, the sun, or any beasty of any type had anything to do with it.

But today, I thought I’d post about a specific Chinese weapon that I have always found intriguing, primarily because it seems, on the surface, a very wacky design, however it is at the same time, quite a versatile weapon. Almost a Swiss army knife of swords. In trademark Chinese weapon kind of way. I speak of none other than the Chinese Hook Sword, aka the Tiger Hook Sword, aka the Heaven and Sun Moon Sword:

Chinese Hook Sword Set - Black (Red Cord Grips)

Chinese Hook Sword Set - Black (Red Cord Grips)

Nobody really seems to be sure where or when the Chinese hook sword was first made and used. Very little information exists about it, and what little that does seems to be fairly recent, in comparison to many other Chinese sword designs. But what we do know was that it was designed to be used in quite a bit different fashion from any other sword of the day.

This sword incorporates many different design features, many of which I thought were rather clever. Take the hilt for instance. Instead of a pommel cap, like every other sword, the Chinese hook sword has… another point! In fact some traditional designs actually put a full fledged double edged knife/dagger down there. This is not a sword you want to get butt stroked with. 🙂

And then there’s the guard. No square or round guard here, rather, there is a full finger guard, consisting of two steel standoffs at the top and bottom of the cord wrapped grip, at the end of which there is… You guessed it! A half moon blade. Yep. A crescent moon shaped edge sits on the outside of the finger guard. Sporting two points and a blade in between, this is, again, a sword you reeeeaaaallly don’t want to get punched in the face with.

From the hilt up, we have the standard, single edged, straight sword affair, all up until we get to the point. Which, for reasons I will explain a bit later, someone thought would be cool to force into a swift a u-turn. For this reason, the point pulls a 180, and curves back down towards the hilt. With a fancy little outward pointing curlicue at the end.

“What’s this?” You cry “No point?” No, my friends, sadly it has no real point. But that is besides the point. (Yes, yes, my point puns are getting old, I know. But if I can’t make the occasional (read: to death) point puns, what’s the point? 😀 ) The point here 🙂 is that this weapon was designed for a much different purpose than thrusting.

This sword was designed for flexibility of use, and it’s point was sacrificed in order to allow it to be used in a way that a straight sword can’t. Specifically, this sword was designed to allow better hooking (obviously) opponent weapon and limb trapping, and… Surprise, surprise, reach extension!! Yes, you read right. *Reach* extension.

OK so here’s the thing. The traditional practitioners of the hook sword generally used them in pairs. And they did so for very good reason. They actually practiced using them with one sword hooked to the end of the other sword, and swing it around like a flail! In fact, they still do. Using them this way extends the wielders reach to roughly 5 ft.

Except, as you can imagine, with a point on the pommel, and a crescent blade guard, this flail has got at least three nasty points and at least one blade. All swinging around at speeds that are wickedly fast, and itching to leave a mark somewhere.That’s not to say they aren’t evil enough by themselves.

Each hook sword has a blade with an edge that is sharpened from just above the hilt, until just before the hook, much like a regular sword, and, of course, that little curlicue at the end of the hook is also sharpened, (and very pointy!) so that it is still a potent sword in it’s own right.

So, to recap. Blade on the pommel, blade and points on the grip/guard,  blade on the blade… 🙂  a hook, blade on the front of the hook, aaaaaaand a point. Seems to me like they got almost all of the important points covered… 😀

Twin Chinese Hook Swords – Black – [True Swords]

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