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Special Weapons Course: 10 Questions to Grandmaster Wong

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  • #46
    Dear Shaolin Family,

    Sifu has started posting the weapon sets on the home page of the website. The first set is the Ho Family Flowing Water Staff Set. Link below. Let us take the preparation for this course to the next level

    http://www.shaolin.org/video-clips-2...aff-video.html

    Below also find the next question and answer of this series. Enjoy

    Blessings,
    Claude

    Question 1b:

    What are the considerations for the length of a sabre so that it can be most effective in combat?


    Answer:

    Those who used a sabre for combat found that an ideal length of a sabre, including its handle, was slightly longer than their arm. If you hold a sable at its handle, and place it along the back of your straightened arm, the pointed tip of the sabre should be a few inches above your shoulder.

    This length is best at bringing out the fighting qualities of a sabre. If it is too short, it looses its ferocity, which is a prominent feature of a sabre. If it is too long, it looses its flexibility, which is another important characteristic of a sabre.

    The main fighting features of a sabre are cutting, chopping, slashing, and reverse sweeping. This length is ideal for such features. This length keeps an opponent far enough so that he cannot grip the exponent’s hand holding the sabre. If the sabre is too short, an opponent can grip the exponent’s hand before he can executes the various sabre techniques. Hence, in order to m move into the sabre exponent, an opponent has first to move past the threatening blade of the sabre.

    On the other hand, if the sabre is too long, it will interfere with executing these techniques flexibly. An important technique of the sabre is known as “weaving flowers”. Here a sabre exponent uses his sabre to deflect an opponent’s weapon attack, like the thrust of a spear, the chop of a Guan Dao or slash of another sabre, then circulate his sabre round his head and body, and strike the opponent with a characteristic sabre attack, like a slash, a cut, a chop or a reverse sweep. If the sabre is too long, it would be clumsy to execute theis “weaving flowers” technique.

    Besides its length, some considerations should also be given to its weight. A sabre is heavier than a sword but lighter than a Guan Dao. It should be heavy enough to chop an opponent into two pieces or cut straight into an opponent’s armor. The sabre normally used in wushu demonstrations today is too light and flimsy for such purposes.

    <End>
    Love is wonderful, because anyone with love in his heart wants to see everyone in bliss, everyone healthy and everyone availing freedom. This is the state of a man who considers the world as his family. Such are the wise man, the great souls. (Shri Shantananda Saraswati)

    Comment


    • #47
      Thank you, Claude for updating this thread and thank you Sifu for offering such a wonderful course!
      I have been really looking forward to this one!

      I started training the Ho Family Flowing Water Staff set yesterday, and it was a very nice experience. I have not yet learned any of the weapon sets, but once I got the staff in my hand and started practicing, it felt like coming home. The staff felt like a long lost friend and I thought "Ah, so this is what was missing."
      My girls were playing outside, making soap bubbles, and before I noticed it, I had been practicing the set for 45 minutes..
      (Thank you also for Markus for showing me the right stances and how to hold the staff.)


      Now I'm looking forward to the course even more.


      Best wishes,

      Nessa
      Nessa Kahila
      Shaolin Nordic Finland

      www.shaolin-nordic.com

      Comment


      • #48
        Dear Family,

        Wowowowowowowow! I've just seen the weapons line-up of the course. My eyes are popping out of my head!

        What a priceless, priceless opportunity!

        No doubt, this will be an excellent time of also meeting other Shaolin brothers and sisters from around the world. How much fun it will be for everyone to train hard together under the watchful eye of our Sifu/Sigung!

        I would like to thank Sifu for offering such a rare opportunity to receive near-extinct, authentic teachings on weapons.

        Shaolin salute,

        Emiko
        Emiko Hsuen
        www.shaolinwahnam.jp
        www.shaolinwahnam.ca

        INTENSIVE & SPECIAL COURSES -- PENANG 2018
        Taught by Grandmaster Wong Kiew Kit
        4th generation successor of the Southern Shaolin Monastery
        Small and Big Universe Course: Nov 21 to 25
        Becoming a Shaolin Wahnam Kungfu Practitioner: Nov 26 to Dec 2
        Cultivating Spirit Nourishing Energy: Dec 2 to Dec 8
        Intensive Chi Kung Course: Dec 9 to Dec 13
        To apply, send email to: secretary@shaolin.org

        Comment


        • #49
          Dear Nessa Sije,

          Thank you for sharing your beautiful experience with the staff My staff training is underway too and it is truly a beautiful set.

          How is the weapon's training for this course going for my other brothers and sisters?

          Dear Emiko Sije,

          Yes, it is truly a priceless experience

          Dear Family,

          Following please find part 1 of Sifu's beautiful answer to question number 2.

          Blessings,
          Claude

          Question 2

          I have always been fascinated by both Shaolin knights and European knights. Hence my question: Could you compare the philosophy, form, skill and application of typical Shaolin weapons with weapons used by typical 12th century European knights (for instance knights Templar?)

          Sifu Roeland Dijkema


          Answer

          I don’t know much about European knights, so my answer will mainly be on kungfu knights in China. In the question you mentioned about Shaolin knights. I reckon you meant kungfu knights, as many of these kungfu knights might might not belong to the Shaolin tradition. There were, of course, also many kungfu knights related to Shaolin.

          Right at the start we need to know that the word “knight” in “kungfu knifght” is my translation from the Chinese word “xia”, or “hap” in Cantonese, and is quite different from the word “knight” as used in “European knight”. But the English word “knight” was the best term I could think of for the Chinese world “xia”.

          A European knight had his title bestowed upon him by a monarch for gallant service to the government. The European knight was typically seen on horseback, wore armour and led an army of soldiers. These images that typically describe a European knight are totally untypical of a Chinese kungfu knight.

          A Chinese kungfu knight disdained government service and was honoured not by a monarch but by the people. He was rarely on horseback, never wore armour, and had no soldiers, though he might sometimes fought against them. Hence, the images typical of a European knight and of a Chinese kungfu knight are diagonally different.

          There were, however, two similarities. Both were chivalrous and both were greatly admired by women. It was mainly because of their chivalry that I chose the English word “knight” for the Chinese word “xia”, and the admiration from the fairer sex add romance to the concept.

          What I know of the philosophy, form, skill and application of weapons of the European knight was from movies, and I suspect it might not give an accurate picture
          of European knight weaponry.

          The philosophy of the weapons of both the European knight and the kungfu knight was similar and highly admirable. Their philosophy was that of righteousness. Both the European knight and the kungfu knight used their weapons to right wrongs. But the depth of their philosophy was different.

          Mainly from movies, my impression of the philosophy of a European knight regarding his weapon was to defend his honour, often without much logic! For example, if Knight A thought that Knight B had an affair with his (the former’s) love, they would settle the issue over a duel.

          This was illogical because the outcome of the duel would only show which knight was more combat efficient, and would not show whether Knight B had an affair with the love of Knight A.

          Leaving logic aside, it was believed at that time that if Knight B were guilty, God would make him lose the fuel or his life. If he were not guilty, God would make the false accuser, i.e. Knight A, be defeated, fatally or otherwise. It showed their great trust in God, or if they secretly did not believe in God, their great pretense to believe in God.

          The Chinese kungfu knights were more logical, if not less devotional. If Knight X suspected that Knight Y had an affair with his (the former’s) love, he would not settle the issue over a duel, but he would ask Knight Y, knowing that Knight Y, guided by his code of honour, would always tell the truth. If they ever had a duel, it would not be because of this issue, it would be because they wanted to find out who was more combat efficient.

          What would Knight Y say? He would say the truth. If the accusation was true, he might say, “Yes, it is true. I would sincerely suggest that you spend more time with your love.” If the accusation was not true, he might say, “No, it’s not true. Don’t listen to rumours.”

          (Part 2 follows)
          Love is wonderful, because anyone with love in his heart wants to see everyone in bliss, everyone healthy and everyone availing freedom. This is the state of a man who considers the world as his family. Such are the wise man, the great souls. (Shri Shantananda Saraswati)

          Comment


          • #50
            Dear Sifu,
            Thank you for this incredible gem! Looking incredibly forward to the second part.

            Dear Claude,
            Thanks for making this Q&A happen!

            Best wishes
            Roeland
            www.shaolinwahnam.nl
            www.shaolinholland.com

            Comment


            • #51
              Dear Shaolin Brothers and Sisters,

              Sifu's answers are truly gems as Roeland Sihing says

              Following please find part 2 of the answer to question 2.

              Enjoy,
              Claude

              (Continued from Part 1)

              The form of their weapon was different. The typical weapon of European knights was the lance, whereas the typical weapon of Chinese kungfu knights was the Chinese sword. As European knights were often on horseback, using a lance was appropriate. As Chinese kungfu knights were usually on foot, using a sword was ideal.

              Judging from the way movies show how European knights used their weapons, which I suspect might not give a true presentation of the situation, the European knights were not skillful. In fact, they depended more on the strength of their shields and the pointedness of their lances than on their combat skills.

              For one trained in martial art, it is indeed shocking to see European knights who were supposed to be experts in combat, charging wildly and thrusting their lances at each other with total disregard of their own safety and an exhibition of a total lack of combat skills, tactics and strategies. Yet, reflecting on the situation of martial arts today, we may not be so surprised after all. It is commonplace to see martial artists today generously exchanging blows with each other with total disregard for their own safety and an exhibition of a glaring lack of self-defence, though shockingly they may not realize it.

              On the other hand, Chinese kungfu knights were very skillful in combat. They could fight their way through an ambush of over a hundred opponents, and come out unscratched.

              If a kungfu knight were to fight a European knight in a duel on horseback, the kungfu knight would not fight the way European knights fought as shown in movies. He would dodge his opponent’s lance, or use his spear to deflect the opponent’s weapon, before thrusting his spear into the opponent. Or he might first injure the opponent’s horse, then thrust his spear into the opponent while he lied helplessly on the ground.

              If a kungfu knight were to fight a European knight in a duel on foot, the kungfu knight would also not fight the way European knights fought as shown in movies. The kungfu knight would not, for example, clash his sword against his opponent’s heavier weapon, as doing so would break his sword into pieces. He would slash the attacking hand or wrist of the opponent as he attacked to disarm him before executing a coup de grace. If his opponent lifted up his weapon to get ready for a downward chop, or swing his weapon to a side to prepare for a horizontal sweep, the kungfu knight would thrust his sword into the opponent’s ribs even before the opponent could start his chop or sweep.

              In general, a kungfu knight used brain, whereas a European knight, as shown in movies, used brawn.

              Of course both European knights and kungfu knights applied their weapons for combat, not for decoration. But how they applied the weapons was different. To a kungfu knight his weapon, almost always his sword, was his life, even more important to him than his lady-love if he had one, and usually he did not have one though he might have many ladies who loved him, unlike his European counterpart who considered his lady-love, real or imagined, the inspiration for all his endeavours.

              But the European knights did not give me this impression that the weapon they used in combat was the weapon, and not just any weapon, even when this any weapon was of the same kind, like a lance. To kungfu knights the weapon they used, almost always a sword, was always the same weapon, the same sword.

              Interestingly, European knights and kungfu knights viewed their weapon and lady-love in reverse perspective. To European knights, their lady-love, real or imagined, was always the same lady-love, but they changed weapon frequently. Kungfu knights usually did not have a lady-love, though many ladies loved them dearly, because they considered a lady-love a hindrance to their freedom of movement, but their weapon, always real, was their sole dedication. So if you are an unmarried woman looking for a modern knight, finding one who believes in the European tradition is more worthy.

              (Part 3 follows)
              Love is wonderful, because anyone with love in his heart wants to see everyone in bliss, everyone healthy and everyone availing freedom. This is the state of a man who considers the world as his family. Such are the wise man, the great souls. (Shri Shantananda Saraswati)

              Comment


              • #52
                Thank you, Claude.

                I am thoroughly enjoying Sifu's answers and can't wait to read more!

                Shaolin salute,

                Emiko
                Emiko Hsuen
                www.shaolinwahnam.jp
                www.shaolinwahnam.ca

                INTENSIVE & SPECIAL COURSES -- PENANG 2018
                Taught by Grandmaster Wong Kiew Kit
                4th generation successor of the Southern Shaolin Monastery
                Small and Big Universe Course: Nov 21 to 25
                Becoming a Shaolin Wahnam Kungfu Practitioner: Nov 26 to Dec 2
                Cultivating Spirit Nourishing Energy: Dec 2 to Dec 8
                Intensive Chi Kung Course: Dec 9 to Dec 13
                To apply, send email to: secretary@shaolin.org

                Comment


                • #53
                  Dear Shaolin Family,

                  Following find the last part of the answer to question 2

                  Really beautiful answers

                  Blessings,
                  Claude

                  P.S. - It is a pleasure to post these answers dear Emiko Sije

                  (Continued from Part 2)

                  The impression I have of weapon application by European knights is that they used only techniques, and seldom considered tactics and strategies. If they ever used tactics and strategies, as some clever ones in movies did, the tactics and strategies were incidental and personal. Kungfu knights used tactics and strategies besides techniques. To them tactics and strategies are not incidental and personal. While these are still kept as top secrets, tactics and strategies were taught to them by their masters as a legacy from institutionalized training.

                  Just considering techniques, those used by European knights were crude by comparison. Typically a European knight would charge at his opponent on horseback in a duel, and it would be over in one encounter. The knight would either remain triumphant on horseback, probably receiving a flower form his lady-love, and surely applaud from the cheering crowd, or felled by his opponent, lying dead or wounded on the ground.

                  If he fought on ground without the burden of his heavy armour, he could use more techniques, but the techniques were still crude and straightforward. If an opponent chopped down with a heavy weapon, he would block it with his won heavy weapon. Often he had to wrestle with his opponent, where muscular strength, instead of skills, was a decisive factor for victory.

                  This imagery of fighting by European knights was derived from movies. Frankly, I don’t think European knights really fought this way. It would be rewarding if any family members or guests who know how European knights fought, can give some description on our forum.

                  Kungfu knights never fought this way. Unlike Chinese generals in battles, kungfu knights rarely fought on horseback. The techniques employed by Chinese generals on horseback were much more refined and sophisticated. They also used a lot of tactics and strategies.

                  A popular tactic used by Chinese generals, yet many unsuspecting opponents still fell into it, was known as “wooi ma cheong” (in Cantonese), or “hui ma jiang” in Mandarin and literally “return-horse-spear” in English. The general pretended to lose the fight and fled. The opponent chased after him. Suddenly the general turned around – himself on his horse, or together with his horce – and thrust his spear into the opponent.

                  A popular strategy was for the general to run away with his soldiers with the opponent general and his army chasing after them. When the opponents were trapped in a steep valley, fire torches, rocks and arrows would rain on them.

                  Long ago the great strategies, Sun Tzu, advised generals to study the terrain as well as the weather before engaging in battles. Had Napoleon followed Sun Tzu’s advice, he would have saved millions of his soldiers from the bitter Russian cold.

                  The techniques of the kungfu knights in their weapon application were refined and sophisticated. If an opponent chopped down with a heavy weapon, for example, a kungfu knight would not block it with his sword. He would, for example, move his body slightly away from the direction of the downward chop, and simultaneously slash up his sword at the opponent’s wrist. He would not wrestle with his opponent. He might circulate his sword at his opponent’s arm or turn his waist to throw the opponent onto the ground before finishing him off with a decisive thrust.

                  We are very lucky to live in the present world where return-horse-spear, fire torches, rocks, arrows and slashing sword are not our daily concern. Even when you are in the Russian cold, heaters will keep you warm. Yet a comparison of the philosophy, form, skill and application of weapons used by typical kungfu knights and European knights will benefit us in daily life. We learn, for example, that using brain is usually better than using brawn.

                  <End>
                  Love is wonderful, because anyone with love in his heart wants to see everyone in bliss, everyone healthy and everyone availing freedom. This is the state of a man who considers the world as his family. Such are the wise man, the great souls. (Shri Shantananda Saraswati)

                  Comment


                  • #54
                    Dear Sifu,
                    Thank you so much for your illuminating answer! It is a true joy to read this.

                    Dear Brother, thank you for posting these gems!

                    Best wishes ,
                    Roeland
                    www.shaolinwahnam.nl
                    www.shaolinholland.com

                    Comment


                    • #55
                      Another great series

                      Best wishes
                      Mark

                      Comment


                      • #56
                        Dear Family,

                        I am delighted to post the next question and Sifu's awesome answer. Enjoy No 3

                        Blessings,
                        Claude


                        Question 3

                        Is the methodology to acquire Golden Bell for withstanding weapons attack (cutting, slicing, piercing, dotting, etc) similar against unarmed attacks ( strikes, kicks, qinna, dim mak etc) but takes a longer time to achieve? And presumably there are also Bell-breaking skills-techniques using weapons as in unarmed combat.

                        Dr Damian Kissey


                        Answer

                        Yes, the general methodology to acquire Golden Bell for withstanding weapon attack, like cutting, slicing or piercing, is the same as that for withstanding unarmed attack, like strikes, chin-na and dim mak. However, different specific techniques may be used by Golden Bell specialists to withstand particular form of attack, like a specific technique is trained to withstand the cut of a sabre, and another specific technique is trained to withstand chin-na.

                        The general methodology of Golden Bell is to develop a core of energy from inside a practitioner’s body and let it radiate out like a bell to act like a buffer so that any attack, weapon or unarmed, will be bounced away. When an opponent cuts with a sabre or applies a chin-na technique, for example, the attack is only on the energy of the practitioner, and not on his body, and it is bounced away by the energy.

                        An experienced Golden Bell master would not just depend on his Golden Bell to withstand the attack. The split-second protection of his Golden Bell would give him sufficient time to physically ward off the attack, or to counter-strike. In fact, he would not let his opponent know that he has Golden Bell.

                        Yes, there are Bell-breaking skills and techniques. Dim mak, chin-na and palm strikes are the well known skills and techniques to break Golden Bell. The form of dim mak, chin-na and palm strike constitutes the techniques, how these forms are used constitutes the skills.

                        How do you know that your opponent has Golden Bell? He is unlikely to tell you. It is quite simple. If your punches do not hurt him, you can reasonably suspect that he has Golden Bell. You can then use Bell-breaking skills and techniques to defeat him.

                        Your phoenix-eye fist striking the zhu-san-li point of Kevin at the recent Dragon Strength course in Penang, causing him to black out immediately, for example, was an excellent Bell-breaking skill and technique.

                        The kungfu genius, Pak Mei, was famous for his high-level Golden Bell. But he was defeated by the combined effort of Hoong Man Ting and Chow Yein Kit. Chow Yein Kit’s chin-na techniques with Tiger-Claw skills could not break Pak Mei’s Golden Bell, but Hoong Man Ting’s Single Legged Flying Crane broke it.

                        Many of the masters in our school, including you, have Golden Bell, though they may not realize it. For us in Shaolin Wahnam, the best benefits of our Golden Bell are not to withstand weapon and unarmed attacks, but it gives us good health, vitality, longevity, peak performance and spiritual joys.

                        <End>
                        Love is wonderful, because anyone with love in his heart wants to see everyone in bliss, everyone healthy and everyone availing freedom. This is the state of a man who considers the world as his family. Such are the wise man, the great souls. (Shri Shantananda Saraswati)

                        Comment


                        • #57
                          Dear Family,

                          Following is Part 1 of the answer to Question 4 .......beautiful

                          How is the weapons set practice for the course going?

                          Blessings,
                          Claude

                          Question 4

                          I would like to ask about the weight of weapons in training and combat application. For instance, I've seen kungfu staff sets practiced with a heavy cast iron staff, and the original guan dao is reputedly a very heavy weapon.

                          Can you tell more about the weight of various weapons as they were used by past masters? What would be the benefits of training with various heavy weapons (intrinsically heavy or purposefully made so), and using a heavy weapon in combat?

                          Sifu Markus Kahila


                          Answer

                          There are two traditional ways to classify kungfu weapons – heavy and light weapons, and long and short weapons. Heavy weapons are usually, but not necessarily, long. Some heavy weapons are classified as short, while some long weapons are considered as light.

                          Examples of heavy weapons are Guan Dao, various types of Big Knife, Big Trident, Battle Axe, Square Spade, Crescent-Moon Spade, Long Staff, Round Hammers, Steel Whip, and Steel Rods. The former seven are long weapons, and the latter three short.

                          Examples of light weapons are Spear, Lance, Crescent-Moon Spear, Staff, Three-Sectional Staff, Sabre, Sword, Tiger-Hook, Clutch, and Dagger. The former three weapons are considered long, whereas the latter seven are short.

                          It is interesting that the Staff and the Three-Sectional Staff are considered short weapons though they are relatively long. Uncle Righteousness told me that the Staff was considered a short weapon in relation to the Long Staff. I guess the Three-Sectional Staff is also considered short because it issues from the Staff.

                          It is not clear whether the Soft Whip is considered a long or a short weapon. I would reckon that the Three-Sectional Soft Whip and the Five-Sectional Short Whip would be considered short, whereas the Seven-Sectional Soft Whip and the Nine-Sectional Soft Whip would be considered long.

                          It is also not clear whether the Soft Whip is considered a heavy or a light weapon. I would reckon it depends on the weight of a particular weapon itself, indicating that the Chinese were pragmatic, and not restricted by rigid classification, as some Westerners or some Western-educated Chinese seem to be. My three-sectional soft whip is heavy, whereas my nine-sectional soft whip, which is not much longer, is light.

                          As a side-note, in my early years of chi kung healing, some Western-educated Chinese asked me how I knew it was chi kung that cured some patients of cancer. Initially I was surprised at the question which suggested that they were restricted by classification. Later I actually told such people that it did not matter whether it was chi kung, or the food they ate, or the colour of their dress that cured the patients of cancer. The important thing was that they were cured.

                          Now I don’t have such silly questions. I attributed this to the high fees I charged for my chi kung healing. If they were ready to pay the high fees, they already knew they had a good chance to be cured by practicing chi kung.

                          It is the same with classifying weapons into heavy or light, long or short. What is important is that our weapon training gives us benefits in our daily life.

                          Hence the weight of a weapon must serve our purpose in our training, and effective in combat application. If it is too light or too heavy, it defeats the purpose of our training, and is ineffective in combat application.

                          The wushu weapons one purchases on the internet are too light. Not only they cannot chop through armour, an important function for many of the kungfu weapons in the past, it is likely that the weapons themselves would be damage rather than the opponents, when chopped on even scantily dressed persons. Even for wushu demonstration, they are not suitable. They fail to give an impression of power and ferocity they are meant to give or to train.

                          On the other hand, if the weapons are too heavy, they also defeat the purpose of training and combat application. Practitioners would be too pre-occupied with merely holding the heavy weapons to derive benefits for which the training is suppose to give. Burdened by the heavy weight of their weapons, they will be slow and clumsy in combat.

                          A heavy cast iron staff reminds us of the “yu yi jin gang bang” or literally “according to intention gold forceful cudgel” used by Monkey God. How heavy it was can be suggested by the legend that it was formerly used to support the Palace of the Dragon King in the Eastern Sea. Of course, to Monkey God, it was light and handy.

                          (Part 2 follows)
                          Love is wonderful, because anyone with love in his heart wants to see everyone in bliss, everyone healthy and everyone availing freedom. This is the state of a man who considers the world as his family. Such are the wise man, the great souls. (Shri Shantananda Saraswati)

                          Comment


                          • #58
                            Dear Shaolin Family,

                            Following is Part 2 of Sifu's answer to Question 4

                            Enjoy this beautiful answer

                            Blessings,
                            Claude


                            (Continued from Part 1)

                            Amongst other benefits, a heavy cast iron staff would be useful for students to develop force. Ideally, there should be 10 different classes of staffs with weight ranging from fairly light, but students still need some effort to perform them, to very heavy where the same students initially could not even hold the staffs.

                            The ideal is for philosophical conceptualization. In practice it is sufficient to have three classes of staffs according to weight – light, medium and heavy. After a few years of training, if students find the staffs in the heavy category light and handy, they would have developed much force.

                            The same principle applies to other weapons. But staffs are most widely practiced, and are usually chosen for this purpose.

                            When I first learned the Fifth Brother Octagonal Staff, or Ng Long Pakua Kun in Chinese, I wanted to practice it daily (actually, nightly) to be skilful. I had one specially made of hard wood. I found it quite heavy.

                            Recently I used the same staff to be videoed for my autobiography, “The Way of the Master”. Despite a passage of more than 30 years, I was pleasantly surprised to find it light and handy.

                            The Guan Dao used by Lord Guan, a hero of the Three-Kingdom Period, was recorded to weigh 82 catties. A catty, which is a Chinese weight measurement, weighs more than one British pound, or more half a kilogram. So the Guan Dao was really heavy.

                            However, the value of a catty varies according to different periods. So the Guan Dao may not be as heavy as a hundred pounds or 50 kilograms. Some experts have estimated the Guan Dao used by Lord Guan was about 35 to 40 kilograms of our time, which is still a very heavy weapon by any standard.

                            Except for the weight of the Guan Dao used by Lord Guan, as it was recorded in the famous Chinese classic, The Romance of the Three Kingdoms, I don’t know the weight of the weapons used by other past masters. I wonder whether the masters themselves knew the weight. As a master, he or she could use any weapon of any weight. If an available weapon were too heavy or too light, he or she would not use it.

                            However, I know of some past masters whose weapons were heavy. I also knew some masters whose weapons were light.

                            During the Three-Kingdom Period, Xu Chu and Dian Wei, who were Cao Cao’s generals and known for their enormous strength, used short, heavy weapons. Xu Chu used a pair of steel whips, and Dian Wei used a pair of short halberds, known in Chinese as “fang tian ji”. On many occasions Dian Wei, whose special duty was to protect Cao Cao, fought through ambushes to save Cao Cao.

                            Another warrior known for his enormous strength was Xue Ren Gui, a general of the Tang Dynasty. He used a heavy Big Trident.

                            However, both his son, Xue Ding Shan, and the son’s wife, Fan Li Hua, a Turkish princess, used light weapons, the spear. Fan Li Hua was so skilful with her spear that there was a style of spearsmanship known as Li Hua Spear.

                            Their son, Xue Gang, used a pair of Rround Hammers. They were so heavy that they just smashed through any enemy.

                            The great Song Dynasty marshell, Yue Fei, used a heavy spear, though the spear was generally classified as a light weapon. Yue Fei’s spear was heavy because it was totally made of metal.

                            The Venerable Chee Seen, abbot of the secretive Shaolin Temple on Nine-Lotus Mountain, and his disciple, the Venerable Sam Tuck, abbot of the Western Zen Temple in Guangzhou, used a Zen mace, a long heavy weapon with thick metal stripes on top in the shape of a gourd. This was no surprise as many monks used Zen maces.

                            Pak Mei and Fung Tou Tuck, both Taoist priests, used a light weapon, a sword. Again, this was no surprise as all Taoist priests used swords.

                            Although Ng Mui was not Taoist, but a Buddhist nun, she also used a sword, although when she fought, which was not often, she did not need any weapon because she was so excellent in kungfu.

                            It was believed that before she renounced worldly life to become a nun, she was Lu Si Liang, a female kungfu knight. She used a sword to fight single-handedly though layers and layers of palace guards to assessinate Emperor Yong Zheng, who himself was excellent in kungfu, to avenge for the burning of the Shaolin Temple.

                            The main benefit of training with heavy weapons is to develop force. Good stances and speed are also trained. When a heavy weapon used in training is replaced with a similar lighter weapon in combat, the exponent can be very fast and powerful.

                            Using a heavy weapon in combat presents a lot of threat to opponents. The heavy weapon bulldozes into them. Those who try to block a heavy weapon would have their own weapons broken. Those who try to stand in the way would be pushed aside, unless they wanted to be smashed by the heavy weapon. This was a main reason how Dian Wei could protect Cao Cao on many occasions.

                            But there is no absolute in kungfu, or in life. While heavy weapons have their advantages, light weapons have their benefits too.

                            <End>
                            Love is wonderful, because anyone with love in his heart wants to see everyone in bliss, everyone healthy and everyone availing freedom. This is the state of a man who considers the world as his family. Such are the wise man, the great souls. (Shri Shantananda Saraswati)

                            Comment


                            • #59
                              Wonderful

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                              • #60
                                But there is no absolute in kungfu, or in life. While heavy weapons have their advantages, light weapons have their benefits too.
                                Thank you, Sifu, for this profound teaching.

                                Shaolin salute - with gratitude, love and respect,

                                Emiko
                                Emiko Hsuen
                                www.shaolinwahnam.jp
                                www.shaolinwahnam.ca

                                INTENSIVE & SPECIAL COURSES -- PENANG 2018
                                Taught by Grandmaster Wong Kiew Kit
                                4th generation successor of the Southern Shaolin Monastery
                                Small and Big Universe Course: Nov 21 to 25
                                Becoming a Shaolin Wahnam Kungfu Practitioner: Nov 26 to Dec 2
                                Cultivating Spirit Nourishing Energy: Dec 2 to Dec 8
                                Intensive Chi Kung Course: Dec 9 to Dec 13
                                To apply, send email to: secretary@shaolin.org

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