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The Staff June 5, 2009

Posted by warriorspath in Uncategorized.
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Ahh… the staff! Despite my limited experience with kung fu, I feel quite confident that the staff is its most fundamental weapon. Functionally the staff is extremely versatile; fully capable defensively and offensively. For one of kung fu’s earliest practitioner’s the Shaolin monks, the staff embraced their philosophy of nonviolence. The staff can disable and deter an attacker without seriously injuring them.

Often the staff is fashioned from white wax wood along with many other traditional Chinese weapons, a practice that dates back thousands of years. The white wax wood is prized for its durability, flexibility and shock absorbing attributes. Structurally the staff is fairly long, often slightly taller than its user, with a ‘head’ and a ‘tail’. The staff is thicker towards the ‘tail’ and then thins out toward the ‘head’.

Simple and elegant...

Simple and elegant...

This is for the purpose of counter balancing the staff, as the staff is often held closer to the thicker ‘tail’. The position of the hands and greater weight of the ‘tail’ allow the wielder to strike quickly and accurately with the head. However, the staff is not a ‘one-headed’ weapon like its close cousin the spear. The staff is still even enough in shape to be usable from both ends thus making the weapon ‘two-headed’.

A martial artisit with a heavier, more ornate staff

A martial artist with a heavier, more ornate staff

Functionally the staff is a jack of all trades. While it will not deliver crushing blunt blows like a hammer or the savage slashes of a sword, the staff most often far surpases them in range. The staff is one of the longest weapons wielded by martial artists, sometimes giving the fighter a 4-5 foot attack radius. In addition to its range, it is also very lightweight, making quick successive and pinpoint attacks possible. Furthermore the staff’s length also allows it to be used defensively. The middle of the staff can be quickly brought in front of the body to block or parry blows. It is also very easy to spin the weapon like a fan which can be used to block, distract, or strike an opponent.

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Comments»

1. jo thomas - June 6, 2009

This blog is really starting to take shape — I not only like your sharing of the moves and weapons, but the fact that you add your personal thoughts to this … it gives it a very rich dimension that makes good reading! jo 🙂


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