The Kwan-Dao is similar to the eastern alberd or alabarda and the Japanese naginata.
It is one of the most traditional weapons of the Kung-Fu and worth of attention.
The kwan-dao (quandao, kwan-tao, quan-dao, etc.), also known as the Green Dragon or the Crescent-Moon broadsword and meaning "big knife" or "the way of Kwan" (knw more about Kwan Yu in the story below), is considered a heavy and long weapon weighting betwen 10-40 pounds. It is a blade monted on a pole. The curved blade is wider and, thus, heavier than the naginata's.
I'ts size does not use to vary. The pole is around 5 feet and the blade is 1 foot. It has a hook on the other side of the blade wich is used to catch and trap the oponent's weapon and betwen it and the poit of the blade there uses to have several sharpened saw teeth. It's used to have a very sharp spear point on the other end. The red tassel is common among the Chinese weapons used to distract the oponents attention.
Despite it's frightening and respectfull apearence it is used with elegant and smooth movements.
The story I'll put here was copied without changes from the site http://www.quandoman.com/kwandao.htm
The Kwan Dao is named for its originator, the legendary hero General Kwan Yu. Upon entering many Gung Fu schools, a statue or painting of General Kwan with a long beard and vivid red face clutching the broadsword, can be seen. Over 1,700 years ago, during the latter part of the Han Dynasty, then a commoner unaware of his destiny for greatness, Kwan Yu came to the aid of a neighbor who was being victimized by corrupt government officials. Kwan was a very large, powerful man with a distinctive red face and made a most formidable adversary. As word of his insurrection spread, he became a hero to his peers as he continued to help those who were being exploited in his quest to uphold justice and to propagate peace and order. He was also gaining a reputation among the nefarious officials who vigorously stalked him in light of their growing abhorrence of him. Much to their chagrin, Kwan's good deeds did not go unnoticed by the Emperor, himself an honorable man, who elicited his aid in eradicating the wickedness and treason which permeated the infrastructure of the palace, the government, and the army. He successfully weeded out the unsavory elements for the Emperor and was appointed the lofty position of General. He led the Emperor's army and was renowned for his strength and military genius. General Kwan always stood up for just causes and showed mercy to defenseless opponents, and was highly revered for his wisdom, honesty and compassion. A true legend, to this day he is still highly exalted for his high standards and virtue as he is recognized as the Patron God of Chinese Martial Arts. His likeness is maintained in traditional Shaolin kung fu schools as well as in many government offices in China such as police stations and post offices. He was the epitome of righteousness, loyalty, humbleness and justice.
During his reign as General, he found the need to develop a weapon that could best take advantage of his great size and superior strength. Additionally, since many battles ensued from horseback, the weapon needed the versatility to be effective from atop a horse or on foot against either a horse, the rider, or a foot soldier. His creation, the Kwan Dao, is named after the General who, additionally, was the greatest master of the weapon. The original Kwan Dao weighed between 100-200 pounds. The present-day Kwan Dao weighs between 10-40 pounds and other than its weight, has changed very little throughout the years. Because the manner in which war is now waged has changed so drastically, relying almost exclusively upon high-tech fire-power; the Kwan Dao's present-day usage is mostly for shows and demonstrations as with most martial arts weapons.
All that's in this wiki was based in personal knowledge and research. The page I used as reference to write the description of the weapon and source of the story I copied was http://www.quandoman.com/kwandao.htm
Please leave your comments, share your knowledge and fell free to make any question. If you prefere you can contact me personaly, I'm willing to answer anything about the topics I have posted about in the Fencing and Martial Studies.
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