Thai swords (DAAB) are unique in the world and are not related to any other sword type. They belong to the arm-long, one-hand and one side sharpened blank weapons and are divided into three equal-length sections.
The first section is the so-called sword face (Weak), which measures about one third of the blade length from the tip of the blade. It is mainly used for attacks. The lower part of the blade (Strong) is called the sword catch and is used for defence. While the sharp side of the blade is used for chopping, cutting or tearing, the blunt back of the sword can be used for a material- saving defence of attacks and for crushing bones. Some swords have engraved writing or symbols on the blade, which are said to have a magical effect.
Due to the low purity and quality of Southeast Asian steel, these swords have always tended to wear out relatively quickly. Aggressive striking of the blades against each other is therefore avoided. A Thai sword is not a hammer – therefore the power of the opponent‘s attack is preferably used to reposition the own blade and to gain power for counter attacks. In times of war, sword blades were occasionally pulled through decomposing corpses or excrement to increase the blade‘s effectiveness through the cadaveric poison and bacterial infections.
Bild: Dab (Dab Ayutthaya)
Between the blade and the hilt there is sometimes a very small guard. A hand protection is not provided for Thai swords, because it would interfere with the handling of the sword. Unlike it is taught in other sword fighting styles, between a swordsman and the blade of his opponent lies only the skill of the one who is using the DAAB.
The hilt (Grip) covers another third of the sword and serves the balance. Traditionally the sword has a round handle, which allows a secure hold and a smooth change of the grip (e.g. blade pointing up or down).
The end of the hilt (Pommel) is often reinforced with a solid steel knob. Stabs with the tip of the sword (Point) are rather unusual because of the curvature of most swords and the often broad blade tip. Instead, it is preferred to stab or strike with the end of the hilt. It is said that in the course of time more people have died by the pommel than by the blade of such a sword.
The scabbard is usually made of hardwood and can be used for defense and attack due to its high stability. The original form of fighting with double sword is with the scabbard in one hand and the sword in the other. The rope attached to the scabbard is mainly used for transport purposes and to secure the scabbard. With teacher‘s swords, the transverse bands or stripes can be an indication of the years of educational practice already completed.
Thai swords are not top-heavy but balanced. They are held relatively close to the balance point of the sword. This provides a high turning speed and enables complex movement patterns by changing direction. Thumb, index finger base and forefinger act as axis of rotation, while the opening and closing the hand produces the rotary swing. Sword strokes can thus be generated not only from the arm or body rotation, but also from the hand or wrist.
An experienced DAAB warrior knows how to handle both one and two swords (or one sword and one scabbard). However fighting with a single sword is generally preferred and considered as the highest form of swordsmanship. He also masters the fight with arm-length objects (e.g. baseball clubs, batons and cudgels) and the fight against one or more opponents with the same or different armament.
A DAAB warrior integrates bodily weapons (fist, foot, elbow and knee) as well as ground fighting and grip techniques into his fighting style. He has a considerable repertoire of pommel attacks and turning techniques. This enables him to manipulate the opponent‘s weapon (winding / Winden im Band) and to act with deadly precision in very close quarters (e.g. in the jungle or on the battlefield).