In various martial arts movies set in China, we see swords that are "wobbly" (for lack of a better term).
Sometimes the effect is subtle, visible only if you pay attention to the moment when two blades clash.
Sometimes it's very pronounced, even pointed out by the choerography. I remember a scene where a combatant was hit around a bamboo pole because the sword blade of his opponent was flexible. Double-take and all.
This doesn't mix with what I know about either European or Japanese sword smithing, where a blade has some flexibility to avoid breaking, but certainly nowhere near flexible enough for "hitting around the corner", and definitely not to the point of becoming a part of the fight technique.
And yesterday I watched another such movie where the female lead character unsheathed a sword from her belt. As in, the sword was in her belt, bent around her waist. That was the "wobbliest" I've seen so far (including appropriate sound effect), and I finally wanted to know:
Are, or were, "wobbly" swords a "thing" in China?
- Are they historically acurate? (I know nothing about ancient Chinese weapons.)
- Are they a "stunt prop", somehow making the fights safer? If yes, how?
- Are they an "item of legend", something that didn't really exist but is a staple of Chinese mythology?
- Can a "wobbly" sword actually work as a weapon?
What are they about?