Weapons

All weapons need a lot of time to practice!!
If we don’t practice, no matter how good the techniques, styles or form is, it will not work!

Staff

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The staff is one of the most fundamental of the Kung Fu weapons.
It is usually tapered at one end, to give it a distinctive head and tail.
It comes in a variety of different lengths, ranging from eye brow height to 18 feet and is usually made from white wax wood, hard wood or rattan, but the ash tree which is more famous for its use in making Hurley’s, is also a good alternative in Ireland.

Once we get attacked, we use the middle of the staff to protect and block and then use either of the two ends to attack.
Using the staff, we can enlarge our fighting area and generate more force and power using circular motions, or point fighting with the head of the weapon. Once you can generate force with the point of the weapon, it will become very deadly.

Broadsword

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The broadsword should actually be referred to as a sabre due to its shape, but somehow the term broadsword stuck to it.
It comes as either a single or a double weapon. The broadsword is categorised as a short weapon and is single bladed.
When the broad sword is part of a double set, then the hand guard will be in the shape of a half circle, that way, when the two sword are held together, it gives the illusion that there is only one sword. This way you can surprise your opponent, by separating the swords and fighting with the two.
The broadsword uses both sides of the weapon, the sharp side to cut and the other side to block. When fighting, the weapons are spun around creating speed and force. By jumping, the force is generated from the high to the low level.
By spinning, a large area of the practitioner’s body can be protected and a large area of the opponent can be attacked.
Because of the rapid foot work it is compared to the roars of an angry tiger.
For the double broad sword the footwork is increased and is similar to an angry storm coming suddenly and just as suddenly disappearing again. The weapons are spun in a circular motion to protect or attack.
One sword defends and the other attacks, or two attack and two defend, depending on the situation.

Spear

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The spear consists of a sharp metal head in the shape of a diamond, mounted on the head of the spear. It is generally tapered and made out of white wax wood or rattan. It is similar to the staff, but the wood would be not as thick as the staff and thus a lot more flexible.

Not to confuse the Chinese spear with its European counterpart, it is not a throwing weapon, and should be the height of the user’s outstretched hand.
At the joint of the wood and the spear head, there should be generally a red tassel made out of horse hair.
This tassel is used to confuse the opponent during a fight and also to entangle the opponent’s weapon.
The spear attacks between the eyes the throat or the heart.
The famous spears in Choy Lay Fut are the ”plum flower sup saam cheung”, “jor cheung”, “jaung cheung” and “pa kua cheung”.

Straight Sword

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The straight sword is a double edged sword and classified as a short weapon.
The blade is diamond in shape and should reach the practitioners eyebrow when held upright along the arm.
The straight sword is generally referred to as the Gentleman’s weapon due to its sophistication.
The sword in Choy Lay Fut is generally used for attack so there is no tassel attached to the end. (The tassel is generally attached to the sword for Tai Chi)
The tip of the sword is used to attack the vital point of the opponent (eye, heart, throat), and the edge is used to slash the opponent (Death of a thousand wounds).
The footwork must be fast, light, jumping like a phoenix, chasing like an eagle, fighting like a snake, spin in a circular fashion, so the practitioner needs a lot of flexibility and strength to attack, similar to a hammer hammerings in a nail on the wall.
When attacking, we move in and out like a storm like running on a straight line back and forward.
The famous straight swords in Choy Lay Fut are the “dragon style sword”, “7 star straight sword” and “hwo mei jen straight sword”.

Three Section Staff

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The creation of the three section staff dates back to the 1st millennium.
It is said that the First Song Emperor’s favourite staff was broken in three during battle. Since the staff was dear to him, he ordered to have the three sections connected together by chain links and thus created the first three section staff.
The wooden sections are generally made out of white wax wood or rattan and it is quite difficult to classify it as either a short, long or flexible weapon, since it is such a versatile weapon.
The three section staff was used in the warfare and is suddenly extended and then just as suddenly retracted again.
It can be used in ambush and warfare, similar to the chain.
When it is used at full force and spun around, it can generate up to 500 pounds of power.
Once you get hit or caught by it, it is hard to deal with.

Butterfly swords

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The butterfly swords generally come in a pair and are classified as a double weapon.
The blade is rather wide, and the handle has a hook guard.
They are very useful when wearing traditional Chinese clothing with large sleeves. The butterfly swords can be hidden within the sleeves, since they are generally the length of the user’s lower arm, so it does not inhibit the movement of the elbow and they are undetected. The practitioner can hold on the weapon by its hook guard and when needed they can be quickly flipped around and surprise your opponent.
The practitioner of the butterfly swords needs to be very experienced, talented and also needs to be courageous and confident because due to the shortness of the swords, the practitioner needs to move in on the opponent. That’s why the footwork needs to be very fast and strong.
The hook (guard) of the weapon are also employed to conceal their territory or knock the opponents weapon to destroy their attack.

Double Tiger Hook swords

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The double tiger hook swords are a very versatile weapon. The hook at the end of the sword can be used to hook and chop. Since every edge of the weapon (apart from the hand guard) is sharp, the blade can be used to cut the opponent and the half moons above the users handle can also be used to slash and injure the opponent.
Below the users hand guard, there is also a type of dagger that can be used for stabbing.
The most visually appealing about the double tiger hook swords is when the practitioner hooks the two swords together and spins them, this not only gives the weapons a good distance to fight, but also makes the crowd at a demonstration step back a few feet.
When fighting with the double tiger hook swords, the opponent will receive a lot of damage due to the lethality of the weapon, and this is why the practitioner also needs to practice a lot, because if the technique is not proper, he will get damaged as well.

9 section whip

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The 9 section whip, as its name suggests, has 9 sections made out of metal, each section is connected with chain links.
On each chain link, there are about 3 little metal rings, they serve no real purpose but to add noise to the weapon and frighten the opponent (similar to the 9 ringed broadsword).
The 9 section whip is a very handy weapon, since when not in use, it can be easily stored because it rolls up, but when needed, it can extend to its full length of about 150 cm’s.
It is also a very dangerous weapon to learn, because if the end of the chain whip accidentally hits any part of your body, it is quite sore!!
When the chain whip is spun around the body, it will give the practitioner a good area of room of protection and is a good weapon against a number of opponents.
When fully extended it will frighten the opponent with its speed and power and suddenly from long range it can go back to short range to injure the opponents head or ribs, but it depends on the practitioners skill and confidence.