Shaolin Weapon Training – Four Basic Weapon Types
Shaolin Master Liu of the Middle Kingdom Traditional Kung Fu School demonstrating Shaolin spear.
Shaolin Weapon Training
In the past, Shaolin monks learned the art of handling weapons so as to protect their temples from those looking to plunder them for the food and any riches thought to be housed within. Partly due to the need to keep the temples and monks safe and secure, Shaolin weapon training evolved. Through the years, a variety of weapons have been added to this discipline as well as a host of specialized skills. Through a long and demanding training period, students of the Shaolin training “graduate”, having attained special skills in handling weapons. Although the need to protect oneself and property through the use of Shaolin weapons may not be there today, many people still value the skills on offer.
Below we will look at the four basic types of weapons usually included in Shaolin weapon training. This will give you an idea of which weapon is best for your needs before broadening your training.
The Straight Sword
This weapon is referred to as the Lord of all Weapons due to the fact that it was mainly affordable to the rich and powerful due to its high asking price. When learning how to use the straight sword, it is important to note that this is a finesse weapon. Its proper usage requires speed and accuracy, as opposed to the use of power and strength. As you will learn during the Shaolin training course, there are two sizes of the straight sword; a short 12-inch sword and a long 40-inch variant. Traditionally the trainer would choose one for the student once training was complete.
Tiger Broad Sword
This is essentially a chopping/cutting weapon. During training on how to use the broadsword, students need to cover three unique aspects.
This highly versatile weapon can be used in chopping down, thrusting through and cutting just about anything. As opposed to the straight sword, students will learn through Shaolin Kung Fu training that this weapon requires force and power to use properly.
Shaolin Iron Staff
Also referred to as the Shaolin gun, the staff has a variety of uses from simply being a walking stick to helping carry buckets of water. This is one of the first weapons to be used in Shaolin training and is one of the basic weapons to be learned today.
Shaolin Red Eagle Spear
This weapon is referred to as the King of All Weapons. The spear is usually the height of the person using it. It is made of tapering flax wood, has red colored horse hairs on the tip and a small head. After completing Shaolin training with the red eagle spear, one can use this weapon with devastating effect.
The Middle Kingdom Traditional Kung Fu School in China offers students practical lessons on all of the above basic Shaolin weapons. You can find our more details about the Shaolin kung fu training offered here - learn Shaolin kung fu.