A jian is a traditional Chinese sword. It is perfectly straight and double edged, and comes in one-handed and two-handed versions. The jian's metal blade, guard, tang, and pommel were traditionally one piece, with a handle made of wood or cloth and wrapped in rayskin, sharkshin, or cord.
The jian was held to be the "gentleman" of weapons, and was considered one of the four main weapons in Chinese martial arts, along with the gun (staff), qiang (spear), and dao (backsword).
The use of the jian in China has been attested in historical sources dating back 3000 years. Originally the jian was made of bronze, later iron, and then finally steel.
Today the jian is still used by practitioners of traditional Chinese martial arts such as wushu, often in versions made of flexible metal for safety purposes.