Wing Chun Weapons
Shaolin Jee Shin Wing Chun trains two principal weapons - the Dragon Pole and the Butterfly Swords ...
The Dragon Pole
- Look Dim Boon Kwan (Six and 1/2 Point Pole)
Pole training is very common in all form of ‘traditonal fighting from all over the world. The staff or cudgel were common in Medieval times. Poles are common as they were readily available. The most common length being approx 5–6ft as poles of this length were used to tranport pails of water from wells. However, the Wing Chun pole can vary up to around 9ft.
With such length there will be limited need for movement, indeed the 6 1/2 refers to the number of techniques in the Pole Form. The tip is used to devastating effect and, with accuracy and focus, it is a formidable weapon.
There are many different pole forms and most styles of Wing Chun and Kung Fu have their own unique version.
The history of how the long pole was introduced to Wing Chun is much clearer than that of the Butterfly Knives. Aboard the Red Junk (a boat of opera performers that would travel from harbor to harbor) were Wong Wah Bo (a master of Wing Chun), Leung Yee Tai (the poler of the Red Junk) and Master Jee Shin, a surviving monk from the burned down Shaolin monastery.
Showing a great interest in learning pole fighting techniques, Leung Yee Tai learned this skill from Master Jee Shin. Meeting and befriending Wong Wah Bo, Leung Yee Tai showed Wong Wah Bo the pole techniques while, in exchange, Wong Wah Bo taught Leung Yee Tai the art of Wing Chun.
Altering the pole movements to fit the Wing Chun theory, as well as adapting the stances to fit the length and weight of the pole, the Luk-Dim-Boon-Kwun was born and became the first of only two formal weapons in the system.
The Butterfly Swords
- Bart Jarm Dao ( Eight slash swords)
The name Bart Jarm Dao was derived from the intention of the striking technique mainly aiming for the wrist, elbow, knee and ankle.
The purpose was to main the opponent rather than to kill since the Wing Chun Bart Jarm Dao was originated from the Shaolin temple and used by the monks and nuns of the temple in their travels. They frequently carried sums of money donated by their worshippers.
Often they would be met by bandits who intended to rob them. The monks were prepared for this, and they were equipped with butterfly swords hidden in the side of their boots. When they were confronted by the bandits, they would pull out the swords to defend themselves. Since their religion did not allow them to slaughter anyone, their initial target was to maim their opponents on the wrists, knees and ankles.
Along with the development of the Wing Chun system, the butterfly sword (bart jarm dao), was chosen as the only concealed weapon in the wing chun system because the length of the bart jarm dao made it easy to hide. It could be used as a extension of the arms, and they were the most deadly and effective weapons of all.
This was because the bart jarm dao system emphasized the training of coordinating the two swords, the training of the eyes, wrist and footwork. The principle was based on the fact that every defense was accompanied by a counter attack, and every attack was accompanied by a trapping, parrying or immobilizing move of the other sword.
Plus, it was designed to use the ingenuity of the wing chun footwork to its fullest extent, making it the champion of all weapons.