Chinese Butterfly Swords were primarily used in Southern China, although you’ll see them used in Northern China occasionally. To give you an idea of the blade length of this weapon, they are about the length of a forearm. This makes it easy for someone to hide these weapons inside their sleeves or boots. Also during close quarter combat it makes it easy to when rotating and spinning these. These weapons most often come in pairs of two.
Chinese Butterfly Swords have a small crossguard attached to them. The reason for this is that they tend to protect the hands of the owner. These crossguards are also great at blocking an opponents weapon and can be used as hooks. The blades on these weapons are usually very short, heavy and thick and are great for slicing. What most people don’t know unless they own one is that usually only 1/2 of the blade is sharpened, which is the upper half that extends out to the tip of the blade.
The reason the bottom half of these blades aren’t sharp, is to allow the user of these swords to inflict non lethal blows to their opponent. The other reason is to block other objects without damaging the blade. Typically the blade is 11 1/2 Inches in Length and the Handle is 5 Inches in Length. Another common name for Chinese Butterfly Swords is Butterfly Knives. This is used mostly in the English translation. It is understandable that this term would be easily confused with the Butterfly Knive, which is a single knife that is only about 4 inches long.
The term Dao in Chinese is a very general term that is used to describe any blade that is used for the purpose of slashing, no matter what length the Sword Blade is. Chinese Butterfly Swords are presently being used in a variety of Martial Arts, not only in China but all over the world. However in China, some of the main styles consider this weapon as their base weapon over all other weapons. A Wing Chun practitioner will use the same movements as they wield with the Butterfly Sword to just about any other two handed weapon that they come in contact with.