Soft Weapons

Soft Weapons

In the arsenal of Chinese traditional weapons, hand held weapons are sub-divided into thee different types: long weapons, short weapons and soft weapons. This article completes the series of three which give an overview of each of these types in turn. Soft weapons are distinguished by their flexibility, which is achieved either by using a soft material like leather or rope, or by linking sections of harder materials together into a chain. The flexibility allows for a number of important advantages: these weapons are easy to carry and easy to conceal, they are light and manoeuvrable and are capable of striking at a great range. Read more

Water Margin Chain Whip

Water Margin Chain Whip

JINAN CITY

The Chain Whip has become a popular demonstration weapon in Competition Wushu and when performed in that setting, it is often combined with highly acrobatic jumps and ground work movements. By comparison, Master Wang Li Sheng's pattern is a no nonsense demonstration of what the weapon itself can be capable of, when the fancy and not so useful stuff is stripped right down. View clip

Water Margin 3-Sectional Staff Style

Water Margin 3-Sectional Staff
JINAN CITY

Mastering a soft weapon like the three sectional staff indicates a stylist's dedication and depth. The recent Jet Li film Fearless portrayed Huo Yuan Jia using a three-sectional staff against a katana, showing brilliantly how effective the weapon can be in practised hands. Similarly, when his opponent attempts to use the weapon against Master Huo, we see how unwieldy it is in untrained hands. The three sectional staff is both a short and long range weapon as it can be folded and extended to suit the distance to your opponent. View clip

Meteor Hammer

Meteor Hammer
PAN GU SCHOOL, HEBEI

The Meteor Hammer is one of the most difficult weapons to master, as it requires total commitment to pull it off. When being used, the weapon is spun around under its own momentum and then spat out in a straight line to deliver a strike. The speed and momentum must never be lost, and the rope should not go slack or the weight attached to its end hit the floor (or yourself). Performed by Master Sun Shao Gang, Hebei Province, 2003. View clip

Cangzhou 13 section Chain Whip

Cangzhou 13 section Chain Whip
CANGZHOU, HEBEI

A different and more acrobatic variation on the Chain Whip pattern than that performed by Master Wang. Sun Zhi Wei is a younger man and so is able to throw more of his body into each movement. It is not difficult to see why the Chain Whip is such a popular weapon, particularly with young practitioners. View clip

Silver content

  • Issue 17 : Tracing the Origins of Baji Quan

    Baji Quan is a well known style in Northern China, but there are still many disagreements over its precise origins, not least whether it is a Daoist or a Shaolin Buddhist style. The article and videos in this issue tries to resolve these arguments by taking a closer look at the patterns of this style and the events in China at the time it was created.

  • Issue 16 : 10 Animals Xing Yi

    When we visited Shanghai in April of this year, we met with local master Chen Ke Qiang, who has studied 10 Animals Xing Yi since childhood. He showed each of the ten animal movements in sequence, explaining with examples how each animal principle could be used for fighting.

  • Issue 15 : The Spear and Long Range Weapons

    The Chinese martial arts culture is rich in having thousands of weird and wonderful weapons. Among them the spear, the weapon of the hunter and the warrior, holds a place of honour. Read on if you want an introduction into this world.

  • Issue 14 : Discovering Wu Tai Chi

    The Chinese government recognises five official tai chi styles. Of them, Wu/Hao style is by far the least known in the west. It features ultra-compact movements with a distinct focus on internal power and practical martial applications. Wushu Scholar was lucky enough to be introduced to this amazing style by a master with close connections to China's most famous tai chi families.

  • Issue 13 : Xin Yi vs Xing Yi

    Xing Yi is one of the most well known internal styles of Chinese Martial Arts. It has a rich history well worth being explored in a little bit more detail than is available to the average practitioner. In particular there are two different names for the style: Xin Yi and Xing Yi. The differences between these are often glossed over, but as this article shows, these differences are intimately connected both with the History and the Philosophy of the style.

  • Issue 12 : Traditional Mian Quan

    Mian Quan or Cotton Style is one of the most important styles of traditional wushu taught in the Shanghai area. It features unique power generation methods, relying solely on the spine, not seen in other styles. In this article, we explore the intricacies of power generation in Mian style as disclosed to us by Master Chen Yong Kang.

  • Issue 11 : The Art of Chinese Swordplay

    The sword is known as the King of Weapons in China, Japan and in the West. In fact every advanced civilisation throughout history venerated the weapon as the embodiment of the heroic ideal.

  • Issue 10 : Five Fuzhou Crane Styles

    This month\rquote s Silver Issue looks at the five Fuzhou Crane Styles and attempts to introduce some of their differences and similarities in a very brief outline. Why is this important? Simply because the Crane System is not only one of the most widely practised in the modern day, but it is one of the oldest and has had tremendous influence over the development of many other styles of Southern Kung Fu \endash Wing Chun is but one example - and also of Okinawan Karate. Flying Crane, Shaking Crane, Sleeping Crane, Eating Crane and Calling Crane - each of their names captures a particular characteristic of the style. Read the article first and then watch the videos and try to pick out these key distinguishing characteristics yourself.

  • Issue 9 : History & Martial Arts of Emei

    Conceived in the lush, semi-tropical environs of Emei mountain, the martial arts of the Sichuan province have come to be collectively known as Emei wushu. Yet unlike many popular kung fu styles, the history, methods and masters of Emei wushu have for many years been closeted away from the western world.

  • Issue 8 : Kicking and Flexibility

    An old phrase runs something like this - "Train your legs twice as hard to get them half as good as your hands". Kicking done properly is inspiring and frightening, but relies on a massive amount of flexibility. This month's Silver article explores the basics of kicking, the difference between performance and power, and why Chinese martial arts (and masters) used to demand that students 'eat their toes' before being taught.

  • Issue 7 : Chen Tai Chi - An exercise of perseverance

    The original style. A family secret kept hidden for over 300 years unleashed on the world only in the last 50 years, Chen tai chi has become a hallmark of excellence in tai chi circles.

  • Issue 6 : The Daoist mysteries of Qingcheng

    Locked away in the misty mountains of Sichuan, a rare style of Daoist kung fu has developed in secret, known only in the martial arts community as "the Robber's Style".

  • Issue 5 : Natural Boxing Fighting Strategy

    Speed, flow and relentless assault - these sum up the fighting style of Zi Ran Men, or Natural Boxing. For Silver subscribers this month, we've compiled video clips showing Master Gu Jian Liang's unbelievable attacking speed, a selection of unique Natural Boxing fighting drills, and a special treat - a section of the Natural Boxing straight sword pattern.

  • Issue 4 : The Muslim Master

    This month\rquote s Silver Issue is dedicated to an inspirational man by the name of Zhang Shao Fu, an 83 year old Muslim Master of Baji style. We met Master Zhang in Cangzhou in the winter of 2003 and were invited to his house.

  • Issue 3 : Shaolin Kung Fu

    Shaolin Kung Fu is the most famous and celebrated name in the world of martial arts. This Silver Issue seeks to dispel some myths about it and establish the real legacy of the monks from Shaolin Temple and the influence they have had in the development of other Chinese styles of Kung Fu as well as their place in the modern world.

  • Issue 2 : The Martial Arts of Wudang

    The Wudang Mountains are one of the most sacred places in China, the centre of Daoist Religion. The mountains are said to be home to numerous immortals and throughout centuries famous scholars, warriors and even Emperors would make a pilgrimage here to learn the secrets of the Dao.

  • Issue 1 : Water Margin Editorial

    The article details Wushu Scholar Team's research trips to Shandong Province in search of any modern descendants of the famous Water Margin Styles of Kung Fu from the time of Liang Shan Po bandits.

Bronze content

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