LK Chen – Song Zhan Ma Dao


The Zhan Ma Dao of the Song Dynasty (1072 – 1270 AD) is a powerful two-handed cutting weapon designed for elite infantry units to decisively defeat the cavalry of a foe. Two handed “Zhan Ma Dao” swords in a variety of forms had a long history dating back to the Han Dynasty and they were extensively used during the Song Dynasty when the Song military was composed mainly of infantry units due to lack of horses to match the manpower of the Song military. In order to have an effective counter to foes of the Song who could have more plentiful cavalry the Song military fielded significant numbers of Zhan Ma Dao “horse cutter sword” warriors. The Zhan Ma Dao was a weapon emphasized by the Emperor Zhenzong in his military reforms and was forged in the hundreds of thousands by special imperial workshops created just for forging Zhan Ma Dao.During the Southern Song Dynasty, the famous Marshal Yue Fei trained his force to use Zhan Ma Dao and devastated the Jurchen heavy cavalry.

This recreation of the famous Song Zhan Ma Dao by LK Chen has a blade of GB 60Si2MnA High Carbon Manganese Spring Steel with a sharpened edge and a tempered hardness of 56-58 HRc. The blade has a very thick blade spine which not only gives it great durability and rigidity, but also give the back of the blade the mass needed to power through hard-hitting strikes. The blade has a long wedge-shaped cross section and this gives the keen edge a long and gently angled plane which greatly minimizes drag when slicing into and through a target to ensure the blade is striking at its full cutting potential. The guard and pommel are blackened steel and the wooden grip is bound in practical tight hemp cord as recorded in the historical text of Chinese military leader Marshal Yue Fei and his elite Zhan Ma Dao force. Included is a sheath of stitched faux leather.

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