The origin of the Nan Dao or Southern Broadsword is murky, with few historical examples of old weapons that actually match this pattern. The Nan Dao may have been designed for training rather than actual fighting, built in the pattern of the Nine Ring Broadsword or even simpler weapons of China’s peasant soldiers. Tiger Claw’s version strips down the design to essentials to lighten the weight for Wushu competition and forms practice. Wushu spring steel allows the straight blade to bend and return to shape, and the simple construction makes this Nan Dao Southern Broadsword a strong weapon for performance of fast chopping and slashing movements.
The cloth-wrapped handle conceals a solid steel bar which ends in a large steel ring pommel. Protected by an S-shaped steel handguard, the slender handle makes orientation of the blade uncertain. Since the sword isn’t intended for striking practice, that’s forgivable. This Nan Dao Broadsword evolved away from the details of practical weaponry to become a symbol of the real thing — well suited to forms and basic weapons handling practice.
The 26-inch tempered steel blade comes unsharpened, and for forms practice should stay that way. No steel sword is harmless, and a mistake with the Nan Dao can cause serious harm even when the edge is dull. Thirty-six inches overall, the broadsword comes with a black nylon carrying sheath but no scabbard. The soft-sided sheath fits to the weapon neatly but offers only marginal protection for the blade. Consider carrying the sheathed blade in a gym bag for safety reasons.