Recently, I was very lucky to sit down and chat with the owner of Modell Designs LLC, Jeffery Modell. Which is the company that helped Everything Wing Chun with the design many of their mid to upper-end Wing Chun Butterfly Swords.
Before I started my conversation with Jeff, I had one main question in mind, “how does one master the art of producing great butterfly swords?” The journey of learning how to design swords is nothing like I expected. I originally thought it started with long nights in garage, hammering away at steel and similar metals until you finally figured it out. It turns out a designer of swords starts out very differently; it starts with the NEED for a good weapon.
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Perhaps the most valuable Randall knife is the big Sasquatch recurve designed by Doug Kenefick. They sell for about $1100 to $1300 per single knife on eBay. I have one on order from him, but meanwhile I got to thinking about what a nice Wing Chun chopper an enlarged, modified Sasquatch style blade would make. Read Full Post
Designing knives for the Wing Chun community is tough because it is an aggregation of different lineages and schools. While the length of the knife is determined either by the inside or outside measure on the elbow (depending on the lineage), there are no consistent preferences on any of the other key design elements such as: blade profile (stabber, chopper, good mix of both), blade capabilities/purposes (i.e., demonstration only or serious weapon vs. weapon training), D Guard purpose (trap, flip, combination), preferred knuckle bow shape, handle style, handle materials, point of balance and weight. Read Full Post
I design Butterfly Swords (“BFS”) for personal use and on a professional basis (in the evening, not my day job) under the Modell Design LLC umbrella, http://www.modelldesignllc.com website. You can also see work product at http://www.everythingwingchun.com/wing-chun-butterfly-swords-s/35.htm web-site (look for the integral knives and flagship line). I recommend that anyone who has a serious interest in BFS read the following two articles:
– Jeffrey Modell, Esq., “History & Design of Butterfly Swords”, Kung Fu Tai Chi Magazine (March/April 2010)
– Jeffrey Modell, Esq., “Modern Butterfly Swords”, Kung Fu Tai Chi Magazine (July/August 2011)
BFS were actually used for the village water wars, by militia, security guards and criminal gangs. You can design them for cheap manufacturing or you can design and spec them as real weapons. I only do the latter but once you have weapons-grade design, balance, construction and materials, the knives are dangerous even if blunt. Read Full Post
Weapons grade steels corrode. Period. This is true whether it is high carbon steel or whether it is stainless steel. If your weapon has a stainless steel that will not rust, that steel is too soft for use as a true weapon. Read Full Post