The other night I watched a movie called “Paradox” (2017 aka Saat Po Long: Taam Long). This was described as a “neon noir”, and given that it was set in Thailand, made me think of the goddam awful “Only God Forgives”. Paradox was actually an entertaining action film, and is worth a watch.
In one notable scene we see a fight with Thai swords (daab/dhaab/krabi). At least I think they are all Thai swords. Given the scene is set in a meat processing plant it is quite possible one or more of them is actually a butcher’s tool.
Much that I respect the katana, it is rather overused in action and superhero movies and it is nice to see something else for a change. I tend to favour shorter blades anyway. Long swords have a lot of momentum, which can be hard to manage if you are not a full-time swordsmen. Shorter blades such as a wakazashi, on the other hand, tend to be swift and highly agile. Come the apocalypse and I will probably reach for one of the shorter swords or machetes in my collection.
I found these interesting videos:
In the first video we see some inversions and hand-switching, the latter of which is not a tactic you usually see with swords. This gives some rationale to such long grips on single-hand weapons. Flips, swaps and inversions are covered in Attack, Avoid, Survive. In the second video we see these techniques used in some sparing. As well as switching we see good use made of the empty hand, as well as elbows and even kicks, which is to be expected from Thai fighters. Such techniques can also be used with knives, nightsticks or riot batons.
Siam Blades have some very nice looking Thai-inspired designs, which are sadly way beyond my budget. Cold Steel has a Thai-inspired machete that looks to be more affordable (but I am still skint. Buy more books!). There is a rather fun review of the Thai machete here: