THE SAI – History Behind The Weapon

Sai is a metal weapon and belongs to a type of dagger which is usually used in pairs, each hand using one. It is similar to a short sword, i.e. a trident dagger, but is traditionally blunt on its top. Its optimal length usually depends on the length of the user’s forearm. Most often, its length varies from 37 to 50 cm, as well as its weight which ranges from 1.5 to around 2 kg. Two shorter tines (shields) on each side on the dagger’s handle are turned upwards and are used for blocking, catching, and breaking the attacker’s weapon, for example, a stick, knife, dagger, halberd, or a Samurai sword – katana.

The Sai dagger has a couple of different models (apart from four basic ones, there are a few modifications) and its choice and usage depend on the procedure one wishes to execute with a certain martial technique, i.e. it depends on the goal which wants to be obtained by the technique. For example, blocking an attack, defending oneself from an armed attacker, hitting the opponent, shooting at the opponent with a dagger, apprehending the opponent, or breaking the opponent’s weapon.

It is believed that the Sai dagger was made as a shorter version of the trident. The trident was a well-known and popular weapon among many nations across the world. The history of the trident is extremely long and very interesting. In many world mythologies, one of the most popular deities, i.e. gods who used the trident was certainly the Ancient Greek god of sea and lightning – Poseidon as well as the Ancient Roman god Neptune. The trident owned a certain symbolism in the hands of Poseidon because it represented a division of power and dominion among three gods- brothers by the power of which they ruled. Zeus ruled the land and the skies, Had ruled over the underworld and Poseidon ruled over the seas.

Also, it is known that in Indian mythology some gods used the trident which, in the Sanskrit language, is called trishula or trisula. According to some theories, the trishula (trident) represents three philosophical texts found in Indian Veda’s called Sattvika, Rajasika, and Tamasika. It is interesting that, in Indian – Hindu mythology, the god Indra used the trident and he is also known as the god of lightning. In the later Buddhist period, this role was taken over by the god Shiva.

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