Back in the early 2000's after watching Kill Bill, my friends and I decided we would make our own gory/martial/hiphop/western. Our production was cheap and so were our props, but the heart was there, we had a vision. Although we shot 80% of the film, we never finished and nothing came of it, except a very particular lesson that I still bring up to this day.
In one fight scene my character with the Chinese broadsword was pitted up against the lead antagonist with a Japanese katana. My sword was a cheap flimsy wushu pressed steel sword and his a cheap smoke shop katana, so we didn't mind making direct blade to blade contact as they could be easily replaced. We filmed our fight for just over an hour and were satisfied with the shots so we decided to pack up and head home for the day when we looked at the damage.
The katana had many bites, burrs, and serious gaps up to an eighth of an inch deep whereas my flimsy, wiggly wushu sword had only a few scratches. We laughed at how cheap the swords were and went home. But I kept thinking about it. The katana was really not that bad in quality and the blade was much thicker than the pressed wushu steel, so how come the situation wasn't reversed or at least equal?
I realized later that it all comes down to experience and energy. Though my friend was an avid martial arts fan, he had absolutely no experience that some film combat we would do, so he had no fundamental structure. I had already learned and had been working with swords regularly for a couple years at that time. The other, and most important factor was energy. His blade took the damage of each clash even when he was striking, because my movements had weight and the energy I was using was more than what he was putting into it. This is not "energy" like chi, but literal momentum, force, energy. Each impact went back into his weapon and even a simple flimsy wushu blade could cut into a katana.
Just in case you were expecting an opinion of which style is superior to the other... this isn't it. It's just the beautiful lesson that is learned when cheap swords clash 😅
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Thoughts, memories, lessons and the little tidbits of martial philosophies I stumble upon along my journey.