While re-designing the site, I ran a broken links check and found that RCS and More’s website no longer exists…It seems I was not the only one to have issue with them.
Searching for a Chinese martial arts weapon, with specifics in mind, is difficult enough; performing this search online is like tip-toeing through a minefield. And I made a mis-step.
I Needed a Chinese Broadsword
This generation of Northern Shaolin students at PATHS Atlanta Kung Fu have trained and progressed nicely, so I began to realize that we’d have martial artists swinging various weaponry around, and that I had better freshen up my skills.
Chinese broadsword forms obviously take up a lot of space – regardless of the Kung Fu style being practiced and even regardless of the type of Chinese Dao.
The broadsword, more accurately known as the “Ox-Tailed Sword/Saber”, or Niu Wei Dao (牛尾刀), and in some circles known as the “Willow Leaf Sword/Saber” or Liu Ye Dao (柳葉刀), is often mistakenly called the Da Dao (大刀), or big knife or saber / sabre. The reasons for this are fairly easy to guess, but are outside of the scope of this review.
PATHS Atlanta Kung Fu Northern Shaolin students’ first encounter with weaponry is the Chinese broadsword, and yet oddly enough, it is via the form named “Pek Kwar Da Dao”. Various names of this “Hanging Thrust” form exist, as well as variations on some of the movements.
Throughout the years, I have bought and owned a great deal of Chinese weaponry, and have spent a fair chunk of change on them as well. Unfortunately, all of these are gone; some stolen and some lost.
But I still need to practice the moves and techniques, the form and the feel of that loved piece of gear for martial arts training: the Dao, the Da Dao, the Niu Wei Dao – whatever – I just needed a Chinese broadsword.
Well…That. And some other goodies 😛
My requirements were fairly simple: the shape and size roughly generic, the material not flimsy, as most contemporary wushu, and yet not sharpened nor not wooden, and priced relatively cheap.
So what it boiled down to was that I was seeking a solid Aluminum Chinese broadsword.
Searching Chinese Martial Arts Weapons & Reviews
During cursory and then more detailed searches online, I found that most of the Chinese broadswords available were of the contemporary wushu variety: chrome-plated spring steel, or fancy pieces well out of the range I was willing to spend. And I sure wasn’t looking for Battle-ready gear.
After more searching, I began to come across a very few listings that fit my requirements, with most of them being sold via online versions of “Mom and Pop” shops. The website designs are usually close to horrible and definitely outdated, and often the products being sold fall into no niche category; rather selling almost anything and everything they can – drop-shipping etc.
As someone in the Online Marketing, etc. industry, you can imagine that these sites make me cringe a bit, however sometimes these can be absolutely great experiences, since a friendly, home-grown feeling is brought about by great, personalized customer service.
But then again, they could also be fly-by-night, quick set-up scams…
Instead of doing research on this one particular company, I fell for it…And boy did it hurt!
Customer Service is Key
The company in question, RC’s and More, seemed to be an online mom-and-pop shop operating through Yahoo! Small Businesses. I ordered their advertised broadsword, and began to wait the 7 – 14 days RC’s said it would take. I noticed that the financial transaction went through immediately, so I was hopeful.
On the 21st day of no delivery, I dialed up the number to talk to Customer Service at RC’s and More. What I got was their voicemail, saying “You have reached our Online Store. Our hours are blah-blah-blah…Leave a message”.
Well, I did leave a message.
No call-back. Then there were the emails I sent. And of course, more calls.
It boils down to this: They took my money, sent me no product, and gave me no communication.
Nada. Zip. Zilch. No Dice…Nothing
Even after investigation and complaints to the Better Business Bureau – nothing. Why? They couldn’t find them or get in touch with them either!
My Advice? Stay the hell away with these Rip-Off Artists!
So I’m having to work with my bank to get the charges reversed, and now looking again, with a much more wary eye, for…A Chinese Broadsword.