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.
I have a Hung Gar background (as well as teaching Isshinryu Karate) and we are a pretty easy going lot. Plenty of stabbing, a fair amount of cutting, and Ha Say Fu practitioners flip. Oh, and we do not want humanitarian designs. Pretty much the most we hope for is something that feels half decent in the hand, is solid (real weight weapons for realistic training), stays in one piece and doesn’t rust. If it looks good too, we are wowed. Prior to introduction of the Modell Design LLC Long Stabbers, the best affordable knives for Southern Shaolin exclusive of Wing Chun (my opinion) were the WLE “Combat Steel” Butterfly Swords, a production version of Grandmaster Wing Lam’s personal design, so I had to have my personal Butterfly Swords custom made.
In Wing Chun, the knives are an extension of the open handed system and everyone on the top end of a lineage food chain has a strong personal opinion on what they should be, how they should feel. One of my Sifu friends told me what he thought about the balance of the WLE Combat Steel knives for Wing Chun and had grave difficulty believing I was serious when I said that (at the time) they were the best non-custom out there for Hung Gar. Furthermore, several Wing Chun lineages have traditional designs passed down that they want to use regardless of what would work best with their techniques.
So, hopefully you will appreciate the great job Aaron Cantrell’s Everything Wing Chun is doing bringing innovative high quality, affordable blades to market for a variety of lineages. It is a frustrating and massive undertaking.
If you have any suggestions that will assist in that task, including but not limited to explaining what your school wants/needs, material and aesthetic preferences, or recommendations for improvement of existing EWC (or Modell Design LLC) products, this new Blog will be the best place to do it. If you have questions about making BJD or the right BJD, this is the place. If this Blog inspires you but you prefer a private conversation, feel free to use whatever features it provides to private message other members directly.
Right now there are a number of famous lineage specific projects in the EWC works. Modell Design LLC is proud to be assisting that effort. On our own, we continue to do a few full custom projects and are eagerly awaiting a pair of prototype 12” re-curve blade “Tiger Stompers.”
Jeffrey Modell, Esq.
Manager, Modell Design LLC