The Miao Dao is known as a Chinese double-handed saber that appeared during the Republican era. Miao Dao translates to sprout saber which refers to its likeness between a freshly sprouted plant and a weapon.
While the weapon is just a recent piece, the name has been applied to earlier varieties of long Chinese sabers like the Changdao and the Zhanmadao. Together with the Dadao, the Miao Dao were utilized by a few Chinese soldiers while battling in the Second Sino-Japanese War.
During the twentieth century, the Miao Dao has lost its popularity due to the more favored dao a broadsword, the guan dao a staff that features a large broadsword blade right at its end, the da dao a huge broadsword, and the jian the double-edged and straight Chinese sword.
Yet historically, this weapon was highly favored on the battlefield and today, the Miao Dao is regaining its popularity in numerous Chinese martial arts communities, as well as in other areas such as South East Asia and even the West.
While the weapon is rarely practiced for the modern Chinese martial arts, a couple of schools of tongbeiquan, piguaquan, and the xingyiquan practice with the Miao Dao.
The Central Military Academy in Nanjing is said to have been teaching individuals how to utilize the Miao Dao, yet this information is claimed to be false.
The weapon is actually said to be a European-styled saber utilized by officers though some later schools have based the weapon’s techniques on this form.
Appearance of the Miao Dao Sword
The Miao Dao swords have narrow blades that measure around forty-seven inches or more in length; aside from this, it also has a long hilt for better gripping. Additionally, the Miao Dao has a lot of similarities with the Japanese katana.
Although the Chinese and the Japanese have not really been fond of each other over the last few centuries, General Qi Jiguang had his soldiers Miao Dao swords made just like the traditional, high-quality katana which had a laminated construction; this created a hard and solid steel edge plus a more malleable iron spine.
There are some claiming that the Miao Dao was the weapon that inspired the production of the katana which is actually reasonable since Japan had borrowed a few aspects of its art, philosophies, culture, and the writing system of China.
Although the weapon greatly varies, one characteristic that has been constant is that the sword is much longer compared to the katana so it is not really suited for quick drawing. Unlike the Jian, the Miao Dao was not created for dueling and were specifically made for the battlefield.
History of the Miao Dao
The history of the Miao Dao has been debated by numerous scholars and sword enthusiasts yet all of these individuals agree that the weapon re-emerged in the mid-sixteenth century.
The sword was resurrected by General Qi Jiguang to defeat the pirates who were raiding the Chinese coastal cities, and after their victory, the Miao Dao continued to be a useful weapon for battling enemies from the Ming dynasty.
The Miao Dao for Sale
For those individuals who are searching for Chinese swords like the Miao Dao, these can readily be purchased from weapon shops that offer Chinese swords for sale.
These shops offer a variety of Miao Dao swords and these can be fully functional swords that are designed specifically for heavy-duty cutting practice and for frequent use.
Aside from the fully functional blades, there are also decorative swords that are available which can be added to one’s growing collection of Chinese swords, as well as other types of weapons for display.