Chinese Kung Fu Weapons
Chinese Martial Arts are extensive and profound with various forms and classifications. Chinese Kung Fu weapons interest many around the world. There are several types of Chinese Kung Fu weapons including long weapons, short weapons and concealed weapons.
There are uncountable kinds of Chinese Kung Fu weapons, while the most well-known Chinese Kung Fu weapons are the eighteen arms that have been used since ancient times; Dao (broadsword), Qiang (spear), Jian (straight sword), Gun (Staff), Ji (halberd), Fu (axe), Yue (battle axe), Gou (hook sword), Cha (trident), Bian (chain whip), Jian (mace), Chui (hammer), Wo (talon), Tang (trident-halberd), Shuo (lance), Bang (short cudgel), Guai (crutches or tonfa), and Liu Xing (meteor hammer). At present, these Chinese Kung Fu weapons are mainly for martial arts performances.
The most widely used are the Dao, Qiang, Jian and Gun, which are the four major Chinese Kung Fu weapons. Dao means a kind of broadsword with single-edged blade. It tends to be quite small. In the very beginning, Dao was mainly made from stone or animal bones and then there emerged wooden Dao and steel Dao, etc. In ancient China especially Han Dynasty, Dao was not only a kind of useful weapon, but also a symbol of high dignitary. Officials of all ranks and descriptions, and even the emperor were armed with a Dao. There were several famous Dao in Chinese history: "Da Xia Long Que" used by Duke Wen of Jin, who was one of the Five Hegemons during the Spring and Autumn Period; "Zhang Fei Dao" also named "Xin Ting Hou" used by Zhang Fei, a famous general of the State of Shu during the Three Kingdoms Period; "Ming Hong Dao" used by Emperor Wu of Han and then sent to his advisor and scholar-official Dongfang Shuo.
As one of the four major Chinese Kung Fu weapons, the Jian is a kind of straight sword with a double-edged blade. Jian has a very long history in China and has been around since the period of Xuan Yuan the Yellow Emperor. Jian is mainly made from bronze and steel. The most well-known bladesmiths were Gan Jiang and Mo Ye, who made two famous Jian also named Gan Jiang and Mo Ye. There were quite a few famous Jian in Chinese history such as "Xuan Yuan Jian" made and used by Yellow Emperor; "Ding Qin Jian" made and used by Qin Shihuang.
The Chinese character of "Gun" means staff, one of the four major Chinese Kung Fu weapons. Gun is a kind of long weapon mainly made from wood. In ancient times, Gun was firstly used by primitives living in caves to fight against wild beasts. Then, Gun became one of the earliest weapons for war. After the invention of firearms, Gun became less used in wars and mainly turned into a kind of Chinese Kung Fu weapon just for martial arts.
Qiang is a kind of spear with high lethality, and is historically know as "The King of Weapons" in Chinese. It is another long weapon listed as one of the four major Chinese Kung Fu weapons. The most common kind of Qiang is red-tasseled spear. Many famous military leaders in Chinese history used Qiang as their weapon, such as Zhao Yun and Zhang Fei, generals of the State of Shu during the Three Kingdoms Period, with the names of their Qiang being "Ya Jiao Qiang" and "1.8 Zhang Long Serpent Spear" respectively.