The Hook Swords
Reliable information on hook swords is difficult to come by. While sometimes called an ancient weapon and described as dating from the Song dynasty to Warring States or even earlier, most antique examples and artistic depictions are from the late Qing era or later, suggesting that they are actually a comparatively recent design.
They were also an exclusively civilian weapon, appearing in none of the official listings of Chinese armaments. Surviving sharpened examples point to actual use as weapons, but their rarity, and the training necessary to use them, strongly suggest that they were only rarely used as such.
Also known as tiger hook swords or qian kun ri yue dao (literally “Heavenly Sun and Moon Sword”), these weapons have a blade similar to that of the jian, though possibly thicker or unsharpened, with a prong or hook (similar to a shepherd’s crook) near the tip.
Guards are substantial, in the style of butterfly swords. Often used in pairs, the hooks of the weapons may be used to trap or deflect other weapons. There are five components to the hook sword:
- The back, which is used as regular swords.
- The hook, which is used to trip enemies and to catch weapons, not to mention the rather more obvious use of slashing.
- The end of the hilt, which is sharpened into daggers.
- The crescent guard, which is used for blocking and slashing.
- And the link, which is used when you have a pair. The two hooks can loosely connect, and the wielder swings one hook sword, so in a way that the second is extended further out, almost 6 feet. While the second is in the air, the dagger upon the hilt slashes any target. In this way, the wielder can extend his/her reach out from three feet to six.
Info source: Wikipedia
Photo source: Knives by Nick