Chinese Martial Arts weapons are often used as an extension of a practitioner’s physical limitations. Weapons are used to cover more ‘attack distance’ and increase ‘attack damage’. In general, the longer the Chinese Martial Arts weapons, the more the attack distance but the harder it is to control it. The heavier the weapon, the ‘attack damage’ it can inflict, however, it also means that more strength is needed to maneuver the weapons and it can also slow the welders’ attacks.
The 4 main Chinese Martial Arts weapons taught and used in Wushu in Singapore are 1) The Broad Sword (Dao), 2) The Cudgel (Gun), 3) The Sword (Jian) and lastly 4) The Spear (Qiang). The sequence I have introduced the Wushu weapons also notes its’ level of difficulty, with the Broad Sword being the easiest to learn and master and the Spear being the most intricate.
Chinese Martial Arts weapons 1 – The Broad Sword
The broad sword is a curved one edged flat sword with the other edge straight and blunt. The main attack move of a sword is to slice and inflict deep cut wounds. Their broader surface areas also allow the broad sword to be used to block straight thrust attacks. One signature move of this Chinese Martial Arts weapons is ‘Da Hua’ whereby the practitioner will spin their broad sword at great speed as close to their bodies as possible. This move is mainly used to deflect and protect oneself from flying weapons such as darts and arrows.
Chinese Martial Arts weapons 2 – The Cudgel
The cudgel is basically a wooden stick, usually made from teak or xxxx due to the wood’s naturally bending strength and durability. The cudgel’s attack move is mainly slapping its extended portion into the enemy at great strength, although it can be used for thrust attacks as well. This Chinese Martial Arts weapon is highly popular among monks as it is able to inflict wounds painful enough to deter enemies from further attacks without killing them. The cudgel is also a popular Chinese Martial Arts weapon in modern times as a handy and practical weapon in times of sudden attack or street fights.
Chinese Martial Arts weapons 3 – The Wushu Sword
The Wushu Sword is a straight double edge sword with a sharp pointed tip. The sword has two main attack moves – the thrust and slice attack. The pointed shape and slim design of a sword allows it to be pierced into an enemy’s body and subsequently retracted for a new attack quickly and easily. The sword is an advance Chinese Martial Arts weapon whereby practitioners usually need to have a certain level of Wushu mastery and skill. Due to the high level of difficulty yet beauty and elegant execution of this Chinese Martial Arts weapon’s moves, the sword is a particularly popular weapon among advance practitioners.
Chinese Martial Arts weapons 4 – The Spear
The Spear is a wooden staff with an added sharp metal point at one end, called the spear head. The spear can be used like a normal wooden staff, however its sharp spear head gave it added uses. This Chinese Martial Arts weapons when used as a thrust weapon is able to inflict great damage with its spear head. The spear head can also be used like a knife, slicing and inflicting deep cut wounds into enemies while maintaining a good distance from close physical attack at the same time. With great strength and accuracy through trainings, a spear can also be used as a javelin to shot down escaping enemies from a distance. Due to its versatility, the spear is one very popular weapon in Ancient Chinese Times.
Chinese Martial Arts weapons are used very differently in southern China compared to northern China. The southern Chinese lived in great grasslands and meadows, suitable for the rearing and riding of horses. As more strength is needed to rein a horse, the southern Chinese are used to holding weapons on their left hands, attacking with great speed while mounted on horses. The northern Chinese on the other hand lived in areas with great mountains and steep slopes. This trained their sense of balance, stability and strength. The northern Chinese style of attack is therefore based on strength which comes predominantly from their master hand, the right hand.
What is your favorite weapon among these four main Chinese Martial Arts weapons in Singapore? Are the 4 main Chinese Martial Arts weapons the same as in your practicing country? Leave a comment!