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Chinese Jian - The Two Types of Test Cutting - Scott Rodell
The Two Types of Test Cutting
"When I began cutting practice, no one was test cutting with Chinese swords. In fact the common refrain was that straight swords like Jian didn’t cut well, or at all. Aside from oral transmission, there was no foundation from which to begin training. Fortunately, I was good friends with Paul Champagne, a noted swordsmith with decades of cutting experience. I was quite fortunate to have him as my cutting mentor.
The first important point Paul clarified is that there are two types of cutting. The first type of cutting tests the sword. The second type tests the sword and swordsman. The first type of cutting requires only two components, proper edge alignment and a powerful enough swing. Since the objective of the first type of cutting is to simply test the sword, the sword is typically swung through a much larger arc than necessary. This almost always ends with the sword swinging well past the target. When the sword is swung through such a wide path, from the view point of swordplay, the weapon is well out of play. This is one notable manner that these two types of cutting differ.
In my next post on Test Cutting I will elaborate the four parts of a correct cut. All the best to everyone in their training." (attached photo of Paul Champagne) - Scott Rodell