18 Weapons of Kung Fu (Which version is true?)
Holy crap, this is more than 18 weapons! Oh yes that is right. Many people heard of the 18 weapons of kungfu and usually will be amazed already because they only get used to other martial arts like kendo, karate and so on. Usually they only stick with one to three weapons only. Usually you see the Japanese guys with the katana (Japanese Sword) a staff and maybe the tonfa, and that’s about it (common types). Here you see kungfu is a system that have tons of weapons that you will be not even to remember their names… how come so many?
To be honest, most of these weapons were used for farming in the ancient time and because the fact that kungfu were used for self and home defense, the people started to invent techniques by using these daily tools to fight against their enemies. So yeah, it is like taking a hammer, a wrench, a screw driver or even your gardening big shovel to use as a “weapon” too. Now you can see how come we have so many weapons! The Taoist horse tail whisk, what is that? It is a Chinese old style duster! The monk’s spade, what’s that? It’s a shovel for farming! Okay, enough said, you know why we got so many weapons.
When it comes to the 18 weapons of kungfu, people usually get confused, how come 18? The only reason for this “18” is because 18 sounds lucky and it is a common number to use. Back in the Sung Dynasty, it is the first period in history that people started to talk about the “18 categories” of weapons which also involve bow and arrows, shield and so on. Later on in the ching dynasty, people changed it and many more versions were born. So nowadays, there are many versions of what is the “18 weapons” should be. If you are into kung fu and you want to find out, I would say, don’t waste your time on memorizing them, it’s a waste of time. You will remember this version and later forget the other versions. What’s important should be, do you know them and know how to use them?
I would change the way to categorize weapons into a more systematic way. This is also a way most system use now to categorize their weapons as well. First let’s see how this is done…
Short Weapons 短兵器
Easily as said, short weapons that do not flex and usually held by single hand. This is like sword, saber, broadsword, hard whip, hammers, deer horn blade, single hand axe, and so on.
Long Weapons 長兵器
Anything long and held by two hand (usually). This is like the kwan dao, spear, staff, wolf teeth club, Dang, halberd, paddle, rake, shovel, fork and so on…
Soft Weapons 軟兵器
Anything flexible or in sections chained toether. Just like the big sweeper staff, nunchucks, chain whip, rope dart, meteor hammers, rope, chen fu (whisk), or even the flying hammer and so on.
Hidden Weawpons 暗器
Throwing weapons, things like throwing knives, darts, and so on which are hidden, hard to see and usually used in sudden split seconds. Dart is something common but it can be a hidden weapon too!
As you can see, there are nothing such as “exotic weapons” in our eyes, it’s just because something looks weird, that doesn’t mean it is “exotic” to us. haha! Things like the nine teeth hook swords can be very exotic in people’s eyes but in our eyes it is just “short weapon”. Now you can see a more systematic way to define weapons and categorize them. There are no need to have that 18 weapons memorized.. really. As long as you know your stuff, it’s already good enough. In Tin Yat Lineage, we have more than 18 weapons too, so what?
Take a look at the chart of our weapons and forms uploaded on youtube! (scroll down in the link below)
|Mak Jo Si (Master Mak) is a cheerful and friendly 100% truly pure Taoism Master who hates evils. He is the owner of Chi in Nature Ltd. Taoism Temple located in Markham, Ontario inside Canada. He is talented in Taoism, Exorcism, Fengshui and Kungfu. Since 1996, Mak Jo Si started his life time career of Taoism which ensure you that he is positive, friendly, trustworthy and skillful! (more info…)|