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Thread: Weapons Practice

  1. #1
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    Weapons Practice

    Hello All!

    I wanted to ask about weapons practice. I recently went through the entire "forms suck" thread and it brought up a couple questions.

    1) How does everyone practice their weapons outside of using a form?
    2) How do you pressure test your ability with a weapon?

    I personally use only the forms to practice and then get together with a friend to spar a little. This normally means he is using kendo practice swords and I am using a bo or my kendo swords with the cut down handle to simulate a chinese saber. This works o.k. but in my opinion is not a true pressure test. We are not going at full speed and I don't feel like I get the same out of that as I do a sparring session with hands only. I have also seen people use these foam weapons which in my humble opinion is total crap. If it can't hurt you then you will fight way differently then you would against a real weapon. Not a good judge of skill if you ask me. I really just wanted to know what others are doing to test their weapon skills against true resisting opponents.

  2. #2
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    yep, sparring with wooden weapons. you can wear gear if you want to protect yourselves so you can go with more force. if you dont of course you'll eventually hurt each other. just depends on how bad. kendo armor for instance.

    of course if you spar with someone on par with you, you'll only be able to glean experience and understanding just beyond that stage, essentially, what you can gather on your own and make sense of. in other words, if you have someone far better than you to spar with regularly, you would advance at a faster pace, as they would be able to push you to your limits under a more controled atmosphere than someone close to your stage would, knowling point out faults and advancements in your technique and application.

    do both if you can.

    there are some groups out there that you can join that do heavy weapon sparring. most kungfu schools ive seen DONT weapon spar at all. a lot of times this means going to outside sources.

    oh ya, if you are going for the dao, you can buy a wooden one. generally, because of the design, they break far faster than a bokken/shinai, unless you can get a hardwood. so if they are the standard buy a few so you can swing hard.

    just be careful with piercing attacks...

    example:

    Last edited by Lucas; 12-09-2009 at 02:00 PM.
    For whoso comes amongst many shall one day find that no one man is by so far the mightiest of all.

  3. #3
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    another thought, which is to go along with the picture i posted.

    many times you do see the stick fighting for weapon sparring, which with a stick the application of the teachniques will be similar yet different to a dao as it is a saber meant for slashing, rather than the blunt strike. i assume you are familiar with this aspect and difference.

    part of the reason i prefer to use a wooden form of what ever weapon im working on, just because of the feel of it will envoke more often the correct response in me.

    put a stick in hand and i want to hit. put a saber and i want to slice. the weight and balance of the saber lending to this natural response.

    we dont need swords now days, so for realistic training a stick is all you need. however im of the mind that if you want to learn the sword, do it like a sword not a stick like many do. some skills translate but certainly not the hit to the cut.

    its simply a matter of preserving the application of what ever weapon you are working on. in other words, retaining the tradition for traditions sake.

    and because its lots of fun.

    ive always wanted to learn double sai.....
    For whoso comes amongst many shall one day find that no one man is by so far the mightiest of all.

  4. #4
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    Thanks for all the info Lucas,


    The guy that I spar with right now has no real kung fu training. He was one of the top knights here at Medival times in Toronto. So he knows how to use a sword but has no martial arts training. Just Medival times training. Whatever that is. It makes for some interesting sparring. I can't say that I can really learn anything from him. I really only get to test things myself and see what works and what doesn't. I basically use techniques that I have in the forms and give them a try. If they don't work I look at why and if they do work I try to refine it a little. Yes we do use protective gear. It didn't take long to figure out that we needed that. A couple shots in the head with a bo staff and you'll be right out to the nearest Martial arts store to pick up head gear.

    I have tried those wooden dao swords. I didn't really like them. Like you said they broke very quickly and I couldn't use any stabbing attacks. I really like the Kendo swords. You can hit hard and not break them and if you get hit it doesn't hurt to bad. What I have yet to figure out is how to branch out into other weapons. Bo and sword and double sword is all pretty easy to test and spar with. But I find it really hard to use say a 3 section staff. It just can't be controlled at all times which leads to all kinds of issues. But I love the weapon and would like to fight with it. It just doesn't seem possible. The newest weapon I'm learning is Chinese nanchuku. Which also seems impossible to really spar with. Which leads me to think it's a waste of time learning. For one I can't even legally by one here in Canada and two if I did have one I can't just go hitting him in the head with it. Even with gear that would hurt.

    I guess I'm of the mind that if you learn a weapon form that's great but if you can't fight with that weapon then what's the point. But does that mean that some of these weapons nowadays are totally useless other than in forms? I'd hate to think so but maybe that's true. The form can't teach you to fight but if you can't spar then nothing is going to teach you to fight and learning the weapon becomes more about learning a form then learning how to actually fight with that weapon.

    By the way double sai would be super cool. My sifu does know a form for that. Maybe one day I'll get to that one too.

  5. #5
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    haha,

    I'm sorry you read through the entire "forms suck" thread. I had some really long rants to a mentally challenged individual in there.

    anyways, i've always been interested in this as well. To truly train in weapons and still get the aspect of doing it without the crap of forms imo is the way to go. I kinda figured it like other training regements, that you have to spar and fight with them to get better. DOG brothers for example get the point more than most on this. There are some Medieval type schools i've looked at but nothing in my area, for not only chinese style weapons but broadswords/claymore/etc. type weapons.

    don't really have any other info on it.
    Originally posted by Bawang
    i had an old taichi lady talk smack behind my back. i mean comon man, come on. if it was 200 years ago,, mebbe i wouldve smacked her and took all her monehs.
    Originally posted by Bawang
    i am manly and strong. do not insult me cracker.

  6. #6
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    Kungfublow,
    there is a Dog Brothers instructor in our areas ( Toronto), Rene knows his stuff and his guys get together on a regular basis and spar, the degree of contact is up to you.
    Pretty much any wooden weapon is ok.
    I'd help you out be I no longer am part of a school and my time is very limited.
    If you want practical weapons fighting, Rene is a good guy to go to, but if you want to try your hand at a Kali school, I can suggest one too.
    Psalms 144:1
    Praise be my Lord my Rock,
    He trains my hands for war, my fingers for battle !

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lucas View Post
    another thought, which is to go along with the picture i posted.

    many times you do see the stick fighting for weapon sparring, which with a stick the application of the teachniques will be similar yet different to a dao as it is a saber meant for slashing, rather than the blunt strike. i assume you are familiar with this aspect and difference.

    part of the reason i prefer to use a wooden form of what ever weapon im working on, just because of the feel of it will envoke more often the correct response in me.

    put a stick in hand and i want to hit. put a saber and i want to slice. the weight and balance of the saber lending to this natural response.

    we dont need swords now days, so for realistic training a stick is all you need. however im of the mind that if you want to learn the sword, do it like a sword not a stick like many do. some skills translate but certainly not the hit to the cut.

    its simply a matter of preserving the application of what ever weapon you are working on. in other words, retaining the tradition for traditions sake.

    and because its lots of fun.

    ive always wanted to learn double sai.....
    When replacing the blade with a stick you need to be concsious of what you are doing, a hit to the arm doesn't mean "ouch" it means loss of an arm.
    Sometimes guys forget that.
    Psalms 144:1
    Praise be my Lord my Rock,
    He trains my hands for war, my fingers for battle !

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by sanjuro_ronin View Post
    When replacing the blade with a stick you need to be concsious of what you are doing, a hit to the arm doesn't mean "ouch" it means loss of an arm.
    Sometimes guys forget that.
    Man are you right!

    Dog brothers looks great. It's nice to see some other people are thinking along the same lines. When I see these foam sparring sessions I just laugh. That can't teach you anything other then how to look like a goof. They look like they just focus on Kali is that true? Or can I walk in there with a 3 section staff and spar? I'd can't imagine that's the case. That's the type of weapon that can knock you out easy even with a fencing helmet on. Or maybe not I don't know I've tested the theory.

    Well for now I have my hands full with my current sifu. His weapons training is pretty good I love the forms I am learning. But like I said I don't see the point of learning anything if you can't really use it.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by kungfublow View Post
    Man are you right!

    Dog brothers looks great. It's nice to see some other people are thinking along the same lines. When I see these foam sparring sessions I just laugh. That can't teach you anything other then how to look like a goof. They look like they just focus on Kali is that true? Or can I walk in there with a 3 section staff and spar? I'd can't imagine that's the case. That's the type of weapon that can knock you out easy even with a fencing helmet on. Or maybe not I don't know I've tested the theory.

    Well for now I have my hands full with my current sifu. His weapons training is pretty good I love the forms I am learning. But like I said I don't see the point of learning anything if you can't really use it.
    I have sparred with a bokken, stick, "knife" and even a nunchaku !
    The DBMA core is Kali, yes, but if fits well with southern kung fu.
    Last edited by sanjuro_ronin; 12-11-2009 at 06:59 AM.
    Psalms 144:1
    Praise be my Lord my Rock,
    He trains my hands for war, my fingers for battle !

  10. #10
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    Weapons

    Some arts restrict weapon practice to those which will help coordinate & empower the style's key concepts. They are taught later - to ensure a person is able to perform the movement without getting thrown off by the weight of the weapon.

    For example, in Lung Ying, the Butterfly Knife sets (Woo Dip Do) match the hand movements (smash bridge, double grab, boi-gim, etc.). They also strengthen the wrists / forearms in ways that reinforce the hand foundation. Of course, they are also a wonderful way to exercise / stretch, learning how to coordinate whole-body movement. Same as the pole in Lung Ying - it helps the student develop this "root" / coordinate whole body movement & is critical to understand the grabbing "ging". The movements are specific to the style.

    Other weapon forms from different styles can be incorporated / practiced for whatever reason, but I'm not into that.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by sanjuro_ronin View Post
    Kungfublow,
    there is a Dog Brothers instructor in our areas ( Toronto), Rene knows his stuff and his guys get together on a regular basis and spar, the degree of contact is up to you.
    Pretty much any wooden weapon is ok.
    I'd help you out be I no longer am part of a school and my time is very limited.
    If you want practical weapons fighting, Rene is a good guy to go to, but if you want to try your hand at a Kali school, I can suggest one too.
    ya you should def listen to this advice
    For whoso comes amongst many shall one day find that no one man is by so far the mightiest of all.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ao Qin View Post
    Some arts restrict weapon practice to those which will help coordinate & empower the style's key concepts. They are taught later - to ensure a person is able to perform the movement without getting thrown off by the weight of the weapon.
    from what ive found this is very common with northern longfist
    For whoso comes amongst many shall one day find that no one man is by so far the mightiest of all.

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by kungfublow View Post
    1) How does everyone practice their weapons outside of using a form?
    hy

    traditionally u use a training weapon like 50 to 100 pound pole or 20 to 50 pound sword then u hit the air. for normal weapons u practice on a pole or a pig tied to a pole

    when i was first starting i learned weapon training is the main part of kung fu and empty hand is a secondary training . kung fu makes a lot more sense now if u think about it this way.
    training punching and kicking for 10 years doesnt make sense, but training weapons for 10 years makes a lot of sense
    Last edited by bawang; 12-11-2009 at 08:40 PM.

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  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by bawang View Post
    hy

    traditionally u use a training weapon like 50 to 100 pound pole or 20 to 50 pound sword then u hit the air. for normal weapons u practice on a pole or a pig tied to a pole

    when i was first starting i learned weapon training is the main part of kung fu and empty hand is a secondary training . kung fu makes a lot more sense now if u think about it this way.
    training punching and kicking for 10 years doesnt make sense, but training weapons for 10 years makes a lot of sense
    Historically all martial arts were taught weapons first the Filipinos just kept it that way.

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