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#130967 - 11/08/04 07:12 AM humerous Kwan Dao story
Anonymous
Unregistered


Please allow me to set up the story. For those that don't know, the kwan dao is a chinese martial art weapon approximately 5-6 feet tall. On the end of it is a 2 foot long blade. There was a legend of a general named Kwan that would use one of these that weighed 110 pounds and charge into battle swinging it. Our school has one that weighs 30 pounds. Our school also has these little statues around the school. With that being said....

A fellow student had just started learning his first kwan dao form. Everyone stayed away from him, and for good reason. Since he had just started learning, and the weight of the kwan dao made his moves slow and hesitant. Everyone standing back to give him room, we watched. In the middle of a jumping-spin attack with the kwan dao, a wooden crane statue was be-headed. It was humerous to see, and the only thing Ryan had to say about it was, "Well, at least we know that technique will work against cranes." And laughter ensues.

Just figured I would tell you this little story.

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#130968 - 11/08/04 07:31 AM Re: humerous Kwan Dao story
Anonymous
Unregistered


[QUOTE]Originally posted by coxne:
Please allow me to set up the story. For those that don't know, the kwan dao is a chinese martial art weapon approximately 5-6 feet tall. On the end of it is a 2 foot long blade. There was a legend of a general named Kwan that would use one of these that weighed 110 pounds and charge into battle swinging it. Our school has one that weighs 30 pounds.[/QUOTE]

Any hand weapon weighing 110 pounds is obviously useless, so I'd venture to say that that particular detail of the General Kwan story is purely myth.

In fact, the 30-pound Kwan Do you describe is also far too heavy for a functional polearm. 4.5 to 6.5 pounds is a more realistic weight range.

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#130969 - 11/08/04 07:42 AM Re: humerous Kwan Dao story
Anonymous
Unregistered


That is why it is a legend (General Kwan), and they use the 30 pound one for conditioning purposes(using a heavier weapon in training, will make for easier testing using a light weapon). There is only one 30 pound one, the rest are, as you say, about six pounds. But aside from the weight issue, I feel the story was humerous.

[This message has been edited by coxne (edited 11-08-2004).]

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#130970 - 11/08/04 12:50 PM Re: humerous Kwan Dao story
sunspots Offline
oldtimer/newbie
Enthusiast

Registered: 05/02/03
Posts: 650
Loc: Southern Oregon, USA
I've gotta get in on this one, as I practice this weapon myself. Even 30 pounds sounds extreme, mine only weighs 5 pounds. But I can certainly see decapitating things with it. I've had neighbors wonder if they should call the cops when I practice outside. (Imagine your normally peaceful neighbor swinging this thing and shouting...)

It's also fun to unsheath it at a tournament, I always hear gasps and someone whispering "What the h--- is that?"

Any other Kwan Dao competitors out there?

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#130971 - 11/20/04 09:14 AM Re: humerous Kwan Dao story
Anonymous
Unregistered


hmm 30 pounds? sounds a bit strange, i would have though the first time he had ever attempted a form, he would use the regular weapon, then after progression and proficiency would condition with the 5 or 6 times heavier one (though 30 pounds is most likely exagurated)

also a bit rusty on china's military practises (ages since ive even looked at the book of war) but why would a general even be in on the fighting? no one would risk the life of the main tactician and commander of an army reagardless of his strength or ability, (they had soldiers for that sort of thing)

in other cultures and military systems maybe but i dont think the chinese did so

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#130972 - 12/14/04 11:49 PM Re: humerous Kwan Dao story
Anonymous
Unregistered


It's a legend, it doesn't have to make sense

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#130973 - 12/17/04 11:47 AM Re: humerous Kwan Dao story
Victor Smith Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 06/01/00
Posts: 3219
Loc: Derry, NH
Actually there are schools that train with very, very heavy Kwan Do, Leung Shum's Eagle Claw in NYC is one of them.

Ernest Rothrock told me to use that Kwan Do it takes two persons to get it out of the rack, and he could then do the form but it would take two people to place it back in the rack at its conclusion.

With the advent of WuShu, extremely lightweight weapons for greater show came into being (similar to the way fake weapons were used in Samauri movies to look better), but the originals were load bearing.

The Kwan Do was heavy because its likely target were the legs of a charging horse, similar to a related weapon the horse cutting lance. No lightweith kwan do would do the job in those venue's.

Weapons originating for the battlefield were for use, hard use. That centuries of firepower have made them obselete, it's easy to suggest using lightweight ones are the same thing. But their original purpose was a way to deliver hard power.

In fact, the true value to weapons today is the strength in grip and body they develop.

Victor Smith
bushi no te isshinryu

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#130974 - 12/17/04 08:46 PM Re: humerous Kwan Dao story
Anonymous
Unregistered


Victor Smith.

The legend goes that (in cantonese)'Kwan Dai Yea' (his 'divine' name -- he is a god to those who worship him in china, parts of south-east asia and china-towns all over the world) got two soldiers to carry his kwan dao whenever he goes into battle.

There are replicas of it in some chinese temples where it is made to the original legendary weight. I've tried carrying these; believe me, I can't imagine fighting with it. But then, I am not a god or will likely ever be.

As for use as a horse-leg-cutting weapon, the kwan dao was never meant to be used as such (as you said, they had dedicated weapons for that)(there was even a chinese proverb which goes that 'always shoot the horse first' -- in non-combat application this can also mean that in certain situations, especially political, do not always go straight for the primary objective; strike at the 'supporting infrastructure' and the primary objective will fall by itself)

As it was the personal weapon of choice for Kwan Gung (his other everyday name)the weapon has acquired some mystical/divine quality and was thus reserved for horse-riding generals; historically the weapon therefore was never used by the lowly foot-soldiers.

While on a horse, using a short weapon would have required the user to lean quite a bit to the side to get within striking range of another rider or a foot soldier on the ground; which is why another favourite weapon for horse-riders was the spear (saw the horse-back 'fight' between Zhang Jiyi and the bandit in Crouching Tiger?)

Another advantage of the kwan dao was you could, while on a horse, cut equally well and quickly to the left or right without having to change or alternate hand positions.

In some very traditional schools, a practitioner of the weapon had to say a word of prayer to Kwan Gung; a sort of asking for permission and blessing; after all it was the personal weapon of a god. Was that why a crane was "sacrificed" in Coxne's school?

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#130975 - 12/17/04 09:03 PM Re: humerous Kwan Dao story
Victor Smith Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 06/01/00
Posts: 3219
Loc: Derry, NH
Believe me I bow to your knowledge on the Kwan Do. My inference on its use for horses was just that, I don't study those arts, it just seemed reasonable that it could be used that way.

I just would remark, a weapon designed for a trained warrior in combat situations would require somebody very strong to use it. If the use from horseback is correct, the weight would be a major factor to drive the cut, again my opinion.

In the Okinawan arts I practice, the same is true with the Bo. When one of my instructors trained there in 1970, the bo's he saw were over 1 1/2" thick, as opposed to the less than a 1" which became the standard, and of course today's 'wushu-ized' pencil bo's for competition that bend when you do a side strike.

I think it quite difficult for most today to realize what hand weaponry was in actual old style combat, weight for driving force made much of the difference.

Thanks for your insight.

Victor Smith

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#130976 - 12/18/04 10:32 PM Re: humerous Kwan Dao story
Anonymous
Unregistered


Was that why a crane was sacrificed in Coxne's school?

Hehehe if only that had been the case =)

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