Each weapon has its own use and set of techniques. Although not always practical to modern times, each weapon has a value in what it can teach or give the practitioner that will enhance the empty hand applications and techniques. Also it will help develop power, strength, and agility enhancing the practitioners physical conditioning.
Long Handle Hung Ying Chong (Spear)
The spear is called the king of all weapons. It is one of the major long-shaft Kung Fu weapons. The spear was the major military weapon of ancient times and compact techniques were developed. The main characteristics of spear use are flexibility in body movements, lightness and agility in footwork, quickness and steadiness. The movements are clear and the tricks are practical. The basic techniques of the spear include pricking, thrusting, circling, blocking, pointing, poking, holding and wringing. When you practice, you are advised to hold the spear firmly and flexibly, advance and retreat freely and smoothly, pricking the opponent quickly and directly, with the force on the point of the spear.
The Three-Sectioned Staff is one of the most difficult and versatile weapons within the Chinese Martial Arts. Typically thought of as a Northern Chinese weapon, the Three-Sectioned Staff can be used as both a short range weapon and as a long, flexible whip-like weapon. Only a few Traditional Chinese Martial Systems teach Three-Sectioned Staff sets.
Northern / Southern Sword*
The sword is the “gentleman of all weapons” and is the most widely used of all weapons. Sword use is brisk, agile, elegant, and natural in action. Attention is paid to both motion and stillness. There are many sword techniques, such as pointing, hitting, piercing, chopping, blocking and leaping. These actions, accompanied with body movements and foots
The saber is called the marshal of all weapons. It is one of the most used weapons in Chinese Kung Fu. According to the shape and size, it is divided into the Short-Hilted Saber, Twin Short-Hilted Saber, Saber, Nine-Ring Saber (named as nine rings on the handle), Broad Sword, Long-Bladed Short-Hilted Saber and others. Saber techniques are vigorous and quick in defence and offence so it is likened to the “fierce tiger.” The main techniques of saber include chopping, hacking, cutting, pricking, lifting, poking, winding, blocking, pushing, and knocking. When you have saber practice, the cooperation between the saber and the hands is very important and both hands must closely coordinate with each other, so as to maintain balance. Saber calls for rigorous training and constant practice. The saber and the body must also be consistent. “Make sure that saber is always around your body, and your hands, feet, shoulders, and arms turn together with the saber.”
Kwan Dao is made up of a long curving blade used for slicing and chopping that tapers up to a sharp pointed end used for stabbing and thrusting. The backside of the blade has a sharp upturned hook toward the base that is used for catching and trapping an opponent’s weapon. Between the hook and the pointed tip are several saw teeth, which are also very sharp. The blade is firmly attached to a long wooden staff with a metal cap at the opposite end. This cap sometimes has sharp thorny protrusions and a pointed tip for piercing the ground to assist in blocking sweeps. The 12 basic movements are: hack, grind, slice, upward slash, stab, dragging cut, flipping cut, block, overhead block, tickle, pick off, and pierce, along with the twirling motion that one would see in staff movement.
This weapon has a large flatted out piece of metal mounted on a 6 foot pole. Primarly like the Kwan Dao, but uses bludgeon techniques instead of slashing. A long range weapon with a half moon blade on one end and a spade head on the other. The Monk Spade is a famous weapon of Shaolin Temple. Though it did serve to protect the wielder on journeys, its secondary use was to fulfill the monk’s religious responsibility to the dead by burying them. Due to its fan-like shape, the Monk Spade performed ably as a shovel for digging, hence its name.
Hu Cha (Tiger Fork)
A long range weapon originating in the south of China. Its original purpose as its name indicates was to hunt tigers. This weapon has a three pronged fork at the top, the middle prong being longer the the two on the outside.
Nine-Sectioned Metal Whip
The chain whip consists of a handle and nine metal sections connected by metal links. The last section is a hard metal dart used for slashing or piercing an opponent. The whip chain can be folded and hidden from view, making it an easy weapon to carry. It is also powerful – a light hit can cause a serious wound. Typical movements for the nine-sectioned whip consist of twirling, flicking, and catching. The chain whip can be seen thrown in the air and caught, flicked around the neck, coupled with jump kicks and acrobatic movements, or flung around underneath the performer while the performer is on the floor.
The rope dart is basically a long rope with a metal dart tied to one end. This was an ideal weapon in ancient times because the user can throw the dart out at a long range target and uses the rope to pull it back. The rope dart can be used for twining, binding, circling, hitting, piercing, tightening and many more. Skillful use of the rope dart can easily trick the opponent because the dart can shoot out very suddenly. Once mastered, the rope dart is a very fun weapon to play with. Just like the whip chain, high hand-eye coordination is a must for the practitioner to do this weapon well. Normally the whip chain and Changquan are the prerequisites for the rope dart. *Note: The Northern Sword is similar to the Southern, only longer.