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#253138 - 05/10/06 06:15 PM bitterness learning weapons
18lohans Offline
Member

Registered: 01/16/05
Posts: 321
Not all of us get to stick around the same style long enough to learn all the cool weapons kung fu has to offer. So I was wondering what you guys think as far as how many and which weapons should one have learned before he can feel well versed in weapons?

And have you ever learned a weapon that just didn't feel as cool as it looked?

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#253139 - 05/10/06 06:42 PM Re: bitterness learning weapons [Re: 18lohans]
Fisherman Offline
Veteran

Registered: 07/16/03
Posts: 1656
Loc: Colorado, USA
Quote:

how many and which weapons should one have learned before he can feel well versed in weapons?



I think that the main weapons like sword/saber, staff/spear, and linked weapons (nunchaku, 3-sectional staff, chain whip/rope dart) are essential to being well versed in MA weapons. Once these have been learned then most techniques can be modified and interchanged.

Quote:

And have you ever learned a weapon that just didn't feel as cool as it looked?



Nunchuks. I always felt uncompfortable using them. Out of control and kept smacking my own elbows!!
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#253140 - 05/10/06 08:04 PM Re: bitterness learning weapons [Re: Fisherman]
WuXing Offline
Member

Registered: 10/24/05
Posts: 481
Loc: Idaho, USA
I'm actually at the point where I can do various swings with the three section staff without hitting myself. I don't know yet about hitting anything else with it, though...lol

Personally, I would rather practice the basic weapons in more depth first, than learn basics with twenty different uncommon weapons (which is sort of the way I was taught in my last school). I am glad that I have had exposure to lots of weapons, but I don't feel that I could actually use very many of those weapons.
Staff, Dao, Jian, and spear, I can handle. I consider those the "basics", and maybe add the nunchaku (ar chie kuen), which represent "soft" weapons. I feel pretty comfortable with all those weapons.
The Kwan Dao is really bad a**, but I feel like it's a little unwieldy for me.
Tiger hook swords are a weapon that don't feel as cool as they look to me. If they were sharp all over, like they would be for "real", people would be cutting themselves with those things more than cutting anyone else.
Chain Whip is one that is very applicable, but I haven't worked on it much. We've all see Jet Li and Jackie Chan do chainwhip moves with horseshoes on ropes, and fire hoses
I've never done rope dart or meteor hammer.
One uncommon weapon that I think is great and I practice regularly is damo's cane. The cane is something very useable in real life, and the techniques are some of my favorites. It's so practical (as something you can find or carry anywhere), that I consider it essential, though it's not considered one of the primary kung fu weapons.
The sai (cha) are a common Okinawan weapon, but an uncommon kung fu weapon which I have always liked, though we never got to spend much time on it either. Likewise for the tuifa (tonfa), or batons.

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#253141 - 05/10/06 08:37 PM Re: bitterness learning weapons [Re: WuXing]
18lohans Offline
Member

Registered: 01/16/05
Posts: 321
sounds like you're well versed in weapons wuxing!

I guess I must agree wtih you that there's a consencus that dao, jian, spear and staff are the basics. I've actually just finished a second staff form, so what's coming next is either the kwan dao, double swords, or the jian. (btw, how would you guys rank these in terms of favoritism?)

I find it interesting that you consider the kwan more "advanced" than jian. In my school, jian is actually more advanced. Though I agree kwan is no short of being very intricate and just plain b*tchin'! The soft weapons are even above jian in terms of being complicated (way mor injuries).

I've played with double weapons such as buttefly knives, hook sworsd and double swords, just for fun. Is it me, or they just feel plain awkward and actually slower and less effective than a single weapon?

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#253142 - 05/10/06 08:42 PM Re: bitterness learning weapons [Re: Fisherman]
18lohans Offline
Member

Registered: 01/16/05
Posts: 321
Quote:

I think that the main weapons like sword/saber, staff/spear, and linked weapons (nunchaku, 3-sectional staff, chain whip/rope dart) are essential to being well versed in MA weapons.




aww... the linked weapons won't come for me for YEARS! I guess it's still a while before I become well versed.

how do you feel about double weapons?

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#253143 - 05/11/06 05:16 AM Re: bitterness learning weapons [Re: 18lohans]
WuXing Offline
Member

Registered: 10/24/05
Posts: 481
Loc: Idaho, USA
double weapons can be more awkward at first, but once you learn how they flow it can be just as effective. Double broadswords are pretty nice. Again, the tiger hooks for me are still awkward and slow. I haven't done the butterfly knives...as shorter weapons I think they might be a little easier to handle than double dao or hooks. Double nunchaku take some getting used to, too. I think the jointed weapons are a little more advanced than the others, or at least are harder to learn to use because they hurt you more
I think it's generally understood that the staff is the most "basic" weapon, and is usually taught first. The Dao comes next, then the spear and then the jian. The jian is considered most advanced, I think, because it requires the most subtlety and technique. The dao can hack and slash, but the jian must be precise. You can't do many hard blocks with a jian or it could break, you need to evade or parry attacks while making precision counter strikes.
The kwan dao or da dao is not as "advanced" in technique as either the spear or the jian, I actually learned it before those two, too. It's just not considered one of the four primary weapons by itself. I think it is considered in the category of the dao, because it's a single bladed hacking and chopping weapon. Kwan dao is great for conditioning, too. It takes strength and endurance to get through a long form with a thirteen pound combat steel kwan dao, or even an eight or ten pounder.

my favorite amongst kwan dao, double dao, and jian? would have to be jian. "It's an elegant weapon, from a more civilized age" The jian also is a powerful symbol in Taoism. I really like its techniques.


Edited by WuXing (05/11/06 05:20 AM)

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#253144 - 05/11/06 08:00 AM Re: bitterness learning weapons [Re: 18lohans]
harlan Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 07/31/04
Posts: 6664
Loc: Amherst, MA
Is there anything wrong with learning weapons from a different style/MA the same time? I wanted weapons, and every style seemed to say the same thing ('you have to learn empty hand first for a couple of years'). So, I found a kobudo teacher to study weapons first.

Quote:

Not all of us get to stick around the same style long enough to learn all the cool weapons kung fu has to offer. So I was wondering what you guys think as far as how many and which weapons should one have learned before he can feel well versed in weapons?

And have you ever learned a weapon that just didn't feel as cool as it looked?




And every weapon looks cool...until you realize you have to work at it.

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#253145 - 05/11/06 09:06 AM Re: bitterness learning weapons [Re: 18lohans]
trevek Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 05/15/05
Posts: 3337
Loc: Poland
In escrima/kali you learn sticks before open hand.
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Supporting everyone saying "nuts to cancer"

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#253146 - 05/11/06 09:39 AM Re: bitterness learning weapons [Re: harlan]
WuXing Offline
Member

Registered: 10/24/05
Posts: 481
Loc: Idaho, USA
In some kung fu schools, you begin learning weapons almost right away, along side empty hand. Of course, usually you need to do both. I don't think there are many teachers who will teach selected parts of their curriculum according to an individual's whims. Most believe they know best what you ought to be learning, and if you want the good stuff you need to wait.

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#253147 - 05/12/06 01:07 AM Re: bitterness learning weapons [Re: harlan]
who238 Offline
Newbie

Registered: 12/11/05
Posts: 18
present day CMA is probably mixed with additions from different styles during its development over a few generation, so learning weapons from different styles shouldn't be problem as such.

weapons training are considered an extension of your open hand training so will learning a weapon assist to deepen your power generation, expose weaknesses in your body structure; assist u to develop better cordination, range control, stronger cardio, better awareness, etc. so if by learning from a different style doesn't introduce totally new concepts then it should be a big issue.


I was taught wushu sword to increase my range or movements and improve on cardio. later Chinese bench chair to work with heavier and stiffer weapon and double tonfa to develop faster foot work and better wrist control. Last but not least the long pole to improve power generation which gets better as u age.

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#253148 - 05/13/06 01:38 AM Re: bitterness learning weapons [Re: who238]
Mr_Heretik Offline
Veteran

Registered: 05/20/05
Posts: 1074
Loc: Bronx NY, USA
I always that a staff is a cool weapon, but I make it look like the worst weapon in the world with the way I use it. I dunno but I get much more frustrated when I can't do something with a weapon, whereas if I can't perform a technique too well, I don't mind as much.

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#253149 - 05/13/06 09:20 AM Re: bitterness learning weapons [Re: Mr_Heretik]
Fisherman Offline
Veteran

Registered: 07/16/03
Posts: 1656
Loc: Colorado, USA
Quote:

I make it look like the worst weapon in the world with the way I use it.




And how do you use it?


Edited by Fisherman (05/14/06 08:48 AM)
_________________________
Chris Haynes

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#253150 - 05/13/06 06:00 PM Re: bitterness learning weapons [Re: Fisherman]
Mr_Heretik Offline
Veteran

Registered: 05/20/05
Posts: 1074
Loc: Bronx NY, USA
I'm just really clumsy with it,thats all. In fact...I should correct myself and say that it makes me look like the worst practitioner in the world .

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#253151 - 05/14/06 08:47 AM Re: bitterness learning weapons [Re: Mr_Heretik]
Fisherman Offline
Veteran

Registered: 07/16/03
Posts: 1656
Loc: Colorado, USA
Some things that can help that...
1. A Teacher
2. Practice
3. Practice
4. Practice
5. Repeat #'s 2-4 infinitely
_________________________
Chris Haynes

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#253152 - 05/15/06 01:46 AM Re: bitterness learning weapons [Re: Fisherman]
Mr_Heretik Offline
Veteran

Registered: 05/20/05
Posts: 1074
Loc: Bronx NY, USA
I'll work on that Fisherman.

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#253153 - 05/16/06 10:49 PM Re: bitterness learning weapons [Re: Mr_Heretik]
ButterflyPalm Offline
Enigma

Registered: 08/26/04
Posts: 2637
Loc: Malaysia
The staff is usually taught first because it is the least likely to injure the beginner and also because the way it is held, it mirrors the empty hand forms, with one hand extended and the other chambered and the foot work is identical.

One way to improve the staff routine is to practice at full power without it, this will also improve your empty hand forms. Also break up the routine into parts and work on your weak areas over and over again, like learning a musical score.

The reason why weapons are taught after the empty forms is because of the need to have good foot-work. You can never be good at weapons if your foot work is still clumsy and do not provide a strong base which is essential for issuing power. And because weapons are done at greater speed, stance changing gets more difficult.
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I'll rather be happy than right, anytime.

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