We recently made some customized swords for one of our customers, Sifu German Ferrer. Sifu Ferrer was kind enough to take some photos of himself with the swords and we thought it might be a great opportunity to ask him some questions about why he chose the design he did and about the process in general. His design was a mix of elements we use on the Flagship line of Swords and the Tomb Warrior line of swords. This is what he had to say:
Can you tell us a little bit about your Wing Chun background?
Here’s a link to my Bio: http://calgarywingtsun.shawwebspace.ca/profile/
After doing other martial arts for almost 40 years, I started learning Wing Tsun in 2002 and opened Calgary Wing Tsun in 2004. I wanted something special to commemorate my school’s 10th year anniversary in 2014.
Can you tell us a little bit about the design you chose and why you wanted each of the customized elements?
I saw your Flagship and Tomb Raider swords. The Wing Tsun I practice is the Leung Ting lineage. The Tomb Raider guard is similar in design to GGM Leung Ting’s swords. As a martial artist, I’ve had the opportunity to learn how to use Asian weapons from sticks, knives and swords. As a Professional Engineer, I’ve always been interested in the effectiveness of bladed weapons design. The angled handle design of the flagship line made chopping and stabbing more efficient, similar to a kukri.
How do the swords handle – what do you like/dislike about the final result?
Jeffrey Modell and I eventually came up with a design that was not only practical to produce and practical for training but, was also awesome to look at. Jeffery provided a lot of finishing touches that completed the swords’ looks. It is a commemorative sword befitting Calgary Wing Tsun’s 10 year anniversary! If I were to change anything, and this more for aesthetics of a pair I would use for display purposes (though functional), I would have the guard and tang in brass* to make the swords look more like the ones found in archaeological sites.
[* Jeff’s Comment: 304ss is the strongest most durable material for bolsters, eclipsing brass – so tough to work even few US custom knife makers use it, and allows us to use argon welding for highest quality construction, better than historical peening. That is why production was 304ss instead of brass.]
How are the swords different from the swords you learned the form/applications with originally? How hard was it to adjust?
I purchased a Hybrid Flagship line prior to designing the custom commemorative sword. In comparison to the other swords I’ve used in the past, the Hybrid Flagship line was balanced, handled well and properly fit the hands. As a training tool, it helped in strengthening and stretching the muscles, fascia, etc. I had no problem adjusting to the Hybrid Flagship design and, it was after handling it that I decided to pursue the custom design.
Who is the ideal practitioner of your sword design?
If someone is looking to purchase your design, what would you like them to know about its function/use, etc? This design is an ideal training tool for anyone practicing Wing Tsun / Wing Chun / Ving Tsun. The design makes it more efficient for chopping and stabling techniques. Some don’t realize it but, there is a connection between empty hand and weapons training. It is true that sword training is an extension of empty hand training but, proper sword training also enhances the practitioner’s empty hand techniques.
Anything you would like to add about wing chun, the swords, or just in general?
It was an absolute pleasure working with Jeffrey Modell in coming up with the custom design. His attention to detail was nothing less than I would expect from any of the design Engineers working on my projects. Basecamp was also an awesome way of communicating preliminary ideas and final design specifications for the construction of a custom sword.
Thanks, Sifu Ferrer! Congratulations on the 10th Year Anniversary, and thanks for taking the time to answer a few questions about yourself and your customizations!
If you would like to learn more about Sifu Ferrer, don’t forget to check out his webpage: http://calgarywingtsun.shawwebspace.ca/