Tao of the Dan Dao workshop Paris, 20-21 May 2022 Jun 28, 2022 15:15:54 GMT
Post by RufusScorpius on Jun 28, 2022 15:15:54 GMT
Here is the long awaited videos from the workshop I attended in Paris back in May. I apologize for the video quality, it was taken on random cell phones, uploaded and downloaded to different platforms, then finally processed into a single video.
The workshop was held at the dojo of Leroy Jean-Baptiste who is an expert in Chinese martial arts. He was assisted by Alexander Long Trinh (known on this forum as Dalaran1991). And please, no comments on what I'm wearing since Deutsche Post and German customs thought it would be a good idea to hold my sparring gear until the day I left Germany to come home. I had to buy whatever was available on Amazon for overnight delivery- so it is what is is and that's that. I also had issues during sparring due to the armor jacket being too small for me and making it difficult to breathe.
The focus of the workshop was a study of the first kata of the dan dao and it's use in combat against the spear. We spent very little time on the dan dao as a single combat weapon vs. other swords. There is a significant difference in technique and application between those two concepts.
The dan dao is NOTHING like a katana or similar weapon. It is in fact a ONE HANDED sword with the other hand occasionally being used to help out. Please remember when watching this video that this represents less than 11 minutes of a two day workshop. There's a ton of subtle details of technique that really cannot be learned without an instructor and obviously not all of it appears in these few minutes of vid.
Used correctly, the dan dao is easy to use with one hand, strikes very hard, and is very nimble. Katana techniques definitely don't translate to the dan dao- it's a completely different animal. I think that any nodachi/odachi or longsword like that would be employed in the same way, and also I think that many people have trouble with those blades because they don't have the knowledge to use them correctly. My first thought was to adapt katana techniques as others have don, which is logical, but also wrong. It simply doesn't work that way.
I learned a lot, but I also have a ton of practicing to do before I would feel comfortable with the basics that we covered in this workshop. Hopefully on my next visit we can cover the second kata and maybe even take time to do an armor workshop.
I thank Jean-Baptiste and Alex for opening their dojo to me. Huge respect to those guys for accommodating me!