Qi-Ja Yao Dao (General Qi's waist saber) is a single handed military saber. The blade has a gentle curve, a single fuller and a flat back ridge. Most saber fittings of this era were made of iron with solid and austere aesthetics.
This Yao Dao is is closely modeled after an antique Ming Dynasty Yao Dao in LK Chen's private collection.
In General Qi JiGuang's (1528-1588) treatise "Practical Guide for Military Training" he stated: "To forge a good Yao Dao, iron needs to be folded many times to improve it's quality, the edge needs to be of hard steel. The blade needs to be polish with smooth profile, the tip needs to be sharp ...."
During General Qi tenure in the northern frontier against Mongolian invasion,
General Qi specified the type and number of weapons:
For a cavalry unit of 2992 men,
Single handed Yao Dao 1152,
Double handed Chang Dao 432,
Spear and Staff 432,
Large Forks 432
For an infantry unit of 2699 men,
Double handed Chang Dao 1080,
Single handed Yao Dao 216,
Rattan Shield 216,
Long bamboo Wolf Spear 216,
Long Spear 216,
Yao Dao was the sidearm for the riders in the cavalry.
For infantry units, Yao Dao was used in pair with a rattan shield.
Sword only weight: approx. 800 g (1 lb. 14 oz)
Blade length approx. 69.6 cm (27.4")
Handle length approx. 17.34 cm (6.83")
Total length approx. 89 cm (35")
Point of Balance 12.0 cm (4.7")
at base approx.: 6.5 mm
4 cm from tip approx.: 3.3 mm
at base approx. : 34 mm
6 cm from tip approx.: 25 mm
Steel option 1
Folded pattern steel:
1060 carbon steel + T8 tungsten-vanadium high-speed tool steel
1060 carbon steel
T8 tungsten-vanadium high-speed tool steel
Tungsten <= 0.30
Vanadium <= 0.02
Molybdenum <= 0.20
Steel option 2
GB 60Si2MnA High Carbon Manganese Steel
(Compare to AISI/SAE 5160 steel)
Element % 60Si2MnA AISI/SAE 5160
Carbon 0.56-0.64 0.56-0.61
Silicon 1.60-2.00 0.15-0.35
Manganese 0.60-0.90 0.75-1.00
Phosphorus <=0.030 <=0.035
Sulfur <=0.030 <=0.040
Chromium <=0.35 0.70-0.90
Nickel <=0.35 <=0.25
Superior heat treatment: Hardness 50-53 HRC.
Pommel secured by peening.
High quality white wood scabbard wrapping with "vegan" brown grain leather
"Fang Shi (Square style)" Iron Fittings
** In Ming and Qing Dynasty, military Dao use Iron as the hand guard material
instead of brass, a softer metal. **
Hand guard, handle ferrule and pommel - Iron metallic
Scabbard fittings - Iron metallic
Yellow cord wrapped handle and wrist cord.
Fit and finish
We perfected the fit and finish of our swords and the assembly is meticulously performed by our senior craft masters. It takes one whole working day for a craftsman to assemble our swords.
Detailed examination of General Qi Ji Guang's impact on Chinese weapons during the Ming Dynasty
Swordsage offers a detailed review of Qij Ja Yao Dao