Project X Forge Direct: Blade of the Month

In March it was the Dragon Boar Killing Spear that was featured as Forge Directs Blade of the Month. And in April, it is another perennial favorite – and one of the most affordable entry level Master Smith money can buy – the Classic Peony Jian. (click any of the images for a larger, high resolution picture of the sword)

Some Background on Classic DanJian (one handed Jian)

Weight wise, most antique Jian like the one the Classic Peony is based on weighed between 1.76lbs to 2.42lbs (800 to 1100 grams) though some like this antique (3,500GBP) had slightly shorter blades and weighed a mere 732grams (1.61lbs) though this was relatively rare. Indeed, many people tend to think that functional Jian should be as light as the ultra flexible Wushu Training Swords such as shown in the video below.

This idea that antique Jian are super lightweight is compounded by the fact that many antique blades are weighed WITHOUT the fittings. But to get the complete picture most later period Jian that surviving martial arts such as Taiji,Wudang, Shaolin, etc still use – the so called Danjian 单​劍 –weigh and balance about the same as a Viking sword, that is to say, approximately 2-3lbs and balanced at 5.5″ with fittings.

Indeed, it even had similar dimensions with an blade around 30″ long and a 6″ long handle – though that is of course where all similarities end as the Viking sword has a broad, flat cutting blade while the Jian has a raised central ridge to reinforce the thrusting point (though was no slouch in the cutting department either).

The ideal point of balance for a Jian with a 30″ does vary, some suggest they should be balanced at the guard, two fingers width from the guard, at the pommel (impossible) or even up to almost half the way up the blade. But again, the Viking sword analogy holds true. with most antiques balanced around 5.5″ from the hand guard.

The reason we bring all this up is because there really is a lot of misinformation out there about what the correct or ideal weight and balance of a functional Jian should be (for example at the other end of the spectrum this post on quora.com someone states with authority Jian should weigh ‘between 3 to 7lbs’!!).

Our Classic Peony

The Classic Peony Jian is based on an antique Qing Dynasty design with a beautifully folded blade typical of the period.

The fittings of the Classic Peony are dark brass with polished highlights detailing the Peony theme throughout (once exclusively the domain of the Emperor, the Peony came to represent good fortune, wealth, honor and success) and it comes complete with a matching black ebony wood scabbard.

Blade wise, it is approx 29.5″ from guard to tip with a slightly longer 7.1″ Ebony wood handle to accommodate those with larger hands.

Weighing in at 2.86lbs (1.3kg) it is on the heavier side for a Jian, though still within the ideal weight of 2-3lbs, and is balanced at 3.93″ from the guard, resulting in a Jian that is forceful and strong, yet balanced close enough to the guard to allow easy transition from one movement to the next.

With a relatively common blade style requiring only expert folding technique, the blades are simple for the Master Smith to make – taking much less time and with a lower error rate than the more challenging blades in the collection (Wind Steel, Differential Hardening, Pattern welding, etc). Once forged and shaped, the blades are completed by the smiths team of workers – thus the rather shockingly low price point of $599.99 SHIPPED.

But as Forge Direct Blade of the Month, you can pick it up with a whopping 25% discount – down to only $449.99 all month long!

If you are a practitioner of Taiji or a traditional Chinese martial art and want a blade based on an antique that handles close to the how the original should (and much closer than the vast majority of replicas out there) THIS would have to be your best bet.

“The Peony Jian may be the Forge Direct entry level Jian, but nobody would ever guess it isn’t the best. If you tell your friends it is the best, then they will believe it is the best. I love mine. ”

Richard R. Rose

Store Officially Re-Opened!

Plus Some Sneak Peaks at what is planned for the first couple of months…

Hey everyone,

Thanks for bearing with us while we took some time off during the holidays. As of today we are officially back to work, though personally I am still in transit back and there might be some minor delays with personal correspondence until the end of the week as there is a ton of stuff to catch up with, and as you will see in this blog post, a ton of new projects and ideas that need to be addressed..

So in the meantime, we are pleased to advise that the 5% coupon code will remain active until the 17th of January!


5% OFF STORE-WIDE COUPON CODE:

SALE2020


Simply click the coupon code to automatically add it to any and all products in your cart.

CONDITIONS: Please note that this coupon MUST be used at the time of purchase to qualify. It cannot be retroactively applied to an order, so please ensure you double check it has been applied BEFORE you pay for your order. The coupon code will become inactive at midnight the 17th of January 2020.

What is planned for Jan-Feb 2020..

A sneak peak…

First off, January is the lunar new year – and so as it has become something of a tradition over the previous years, stay tuned for the CHINESE NEW YEAR MEGA-SALE on Forge Direct Chinese..

But another HUGE new project planned that will dominate the early part of 2020 (and continue to expand and grow over the course of the whole year) is related to my current trip to Japan – our first offering of genuine ANTIQUE and GENDAITO Nihonto (Katana made in Japan!).

More on this will be released on the blog, social media and our various newsletters over the course of the coming days and weeks, but in the meantme, here are a few sneak previews..

First off, the Japanese Sword Smith who has made all of this possible as we took a stroll around the Masumida-jinja Shrine in Aichi province, a relatively short distance from his forge on the outskirts of Seki City.

Yours truly inspecting one of the many Nihonto antique swords that we will be making availble to collectors and enthuisiasts over the following weeks right here at the SBG sword store (and yes, it is hard to disguise my feeling of AWE looking at these blades, almost all of which are several hundred years old..)

And just a sneak peak at two of the actual antiques that we will be offering at the most reasonable price possible.. (though naturally, being the real deal – they will be more than most swords we usually offer at SBG, but as always, sold with the fairest and best margins we can muster to give collectors the world over a fighting chance to own one).

Naturally this ‘working holiday’ was extremely educational, and I will be doing my best to share what I learned with all of you as many questions I had about Japanese swords were clarified, and I have necer seen or handled as many genuine antiques at one time as I have during this incredibly eye opening trip.

So I hope that you will all bear with me over the coming days as I catch up and prepare to share everything I have learned and everything that we can offer you!

Talk again soon.

  • Paul

Store Holiday Schedule

Dec 20, 2019 -> Jan 13, 2020

Our store is officially closed from the 20th of December 2019 to the 13th of January, 2015. During this time a skeleton crew of staff will still continue to process and arrange shipping of as many orders as possible – though delays in the early part of the holiday schedule are to be expected.

Email support will still be available during our official close sure but only to a limited degree, again, especially in the early stages of the holiday season.

To try and make up for all these inconveniences and the extended length of the holiday schedule this season, we are offering up a 5% discount coupon on ALL products in the store, as the vast majority of any orders placed now will arrive well after Christmas and possibly even as late as early January.

5% OFF STORE-WIDE COUPON CODE

SALE2020

Click on the link for the coupon code to be automatically applied to any and all orders in your shopping cart. It can be used on any and all products currently on sale at the store:

IMPORTANT CONDITIONS: The coupon code and 5% discount is ONLY valid if used at the time of purchase. We will not backdate it, nor will we refund you if you forget to enter it when you place your order. The discount may be withdrawn at any time up to the official re-opening on the 13th.

Sorry to anyone who recently ordered, but any orders from now will shipped significantly later than any placed before the close off date (as it is a weekend too) so the coupon is to make up for much slower shipping and response times. Thanks for your understanding..

That’s all for 2019 – the reason for the long vacation period this year is the director and owner of Sword Buyers Guide (yours truly who writes all the blog posts, Paul Southren) will be taking a visit to Hokkaido, the Northernmost island of Japan for Christmas and New Years with his daughter, and in early January will be spending time with a Japanese Master Smith and his friends delving deeper than ever before into the world of the genuine Japanese Nihonto as explained in the Christmas Edition of the Sword Buyers Digest Online Magazine (click here to read the back issue).

Hope you have a great holiday season and look forward to talking to you all again when we open up on the 13th.

All the best,

SBG Store Owner and Founder, Paul Southren

Cas Iberia Price Rise: We knew it was coming, but didn’t know it was so close..


As many of you know, 2019 has been a rough year for the sword industry in a series of bad years that started around 2010-2011, but this time the pressure on the industry, which is about as small and ‘niche’ as any market you can imagine, has passed the point of no return..

Trade wars. Loss of access to international markets due to severe and new shipping restrictions specifically targeting swords. The loss of trade agreements with India and lower volume of sword making around the world due to predatory trade practices – all of this has reached the point of no return, and it’s either put prices up or go out of business..

So effective immediately, ALL product lines distributed by CAS Iberia (including Hanwei, Kingston Arms, A.P.O.C. and Dragon King) will be going up by 10%..

That’s the bad news..

The good news? Well, if you use the following coupon code you can get back the original prices PLUS a further 5% discount..

15% OFF COUPON CODE: FINAL15

The coupon code applies to ALL products from the following product lines:

A.P.O.C. Tactical Swords

Hanwei Forge (Paul Chen)

Kingston Arms

Dragon King

True, it might not be as good as the deals that were on offer during Black Friday/Cyber Monday. Anyone who got in on one of those deals should consider themselves VERY lucky. But this is the next best thing – the best we can do.

Just enter the coupon code FINAL15 (all capitals, no spaces) and get one last chance to save..

And so, another year is coming to a close..

While there may be some last minute frantic sales here and there elsewhere, anyone who has read our official guide to buying swords at Christmas time will know that if you want a smooth Christmas sword buying experience, you need to get in early.

Many of our customers purchased during November, and right now we are winding down for the holidays as I will be taking time off to concentrate on spending uninterrupted time with my family – something I rarely do as the time demands SBG put on me are intensive to say the least..

No more products are planned to be launched this year, and as you can see from the holiday schedule above – we are about to close down in a few days time. However, during the holiday period there WILL be a skeleton crew manning the store to process and ship orders whenever possible – but please be aware that delays are to be expected (as many of the shipping services and warehouses we use are also on holidays during this period) and email support will be very limited.

Thanks for your understanding and Happy Holidays!