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I find my own short-handled Zhan Ma Dao (leftmost image) to be heavy and slow. Of course, once it gets on target it is very difficult to parry, and would likely deliver a lot of damage. I am not altogether sure what use the spur (about two-thirds of the way up the blade on the inside edge) is. One conjecture is that on a lunge it serves to keep the blade from penetrating too far and getting entangled the enemy’s ribs and other hindrances. Obviously, not all blades are made with them. Given the weight challenges and balance problems I suspected that the Zhan Ma Dao really needed to have a long handle in the manner of a Kwan Dao or Pu Dao.

On quite another mission I stumbled across two variants of a long-handled Zhan Ma Dao on the everythingwushu website (images on the right above). Further searches at everythingwushu looking for a keyword on zhanmadao produced 10 weapons so I have added some new webpages starting at http://www.silverwolfwushu.com/WeaponsSaber09.html