KUNGFU WEAPONS ENHANCE ADVANCED PRACTITIONERS IN KUNGFU AND CHI KUNG
Sifu, for those of us who are already instructors or advanced students, how will weapons training further enhance our kung fu and chi kung?
— Sifu Lee Wei Joo, Malaysia
Some techniques, skills and philosophy are peculiar to certain weapons. By training these weapons our instructors and advanced students benefit from them which enhance their kungfu and chi kung.
The Chinese sword, for example, is very special. It is light and can be easily broken into pieces by other weapons that clash into it. Hence, a swordsman will not clash his dainty sword with another weapon. As it is light, it can be used for many sophisticated techniques that heavier weapons would be unsuitable.
Training the Traveling Dragon Sword will provide our instructors and advanced students these techniques, skills and philosophy which can enhance their kungfu and chi kung. For example, in kungfu they will be able to avoid powerful attacks and defeat their opponents with delicate techniques. These abilities enable them to better perform chi kung exercises that require agility and flexibility.
Some features are emphasized in certain weapon sets, for example courage and integrity in Green Dragon Crescent Moon Knife. Training this weapon sets increase courage and integrity in our instructors and advanced students in their kungfu and chi kung training.
The principle of safety first, the superiority of skills over techniques, and applying our strength against opponents' weakness are also trained in unarmed combat, but it is in weapons that these qualities become immediately important. For example, if you are careless in your defence, you may be punched or kicked, but if you make similar mistakes in weapon sparring your life may be at stake.
You may not be skilful, but if you have many techniques and are forceful, you may still win. But in weapon sparring, the deadliness of weapons often overshadows the superiority of techniques and force. In other words, if you are holding a pointed weapon, you may not have a lot of techniques or a lot of force, but if you are skilful in just a simple thrust, you may kill an opponent.
Applying our strength against an opponent is useful in unarmed combat, but when weapons are used, understanding and applying this principle becomes crucial. For example, if you are small-sized and are being attacked by someone powerful with long reach, understanding and applying the relative strength and weakness between you and your opponent is useful.
But if you are holding a pair of short Southern Knives facing an opponent with a heavy and massive battle axe, understanding and applying the relative strength and weakness between the two weapons is not just useful but has become crucial if you want to come out alive.
These benefits as a result of weapon training will enhance all aspects of kungfu as well as chi kung. In chi kung training, safety first reminds our instructors and advanced students not to make serious mistakes while training or to over-train. Realizing that skills are more important than techniques enable them to be cost-effective in their chi kung training. Understanding and applying strength and weakness enables our instructors and advanced students to choose suitable exercises wisely in their chi kung practice.
The above is taken from Question 6 March 2013 Part 1 of the Selection of Questions and Answers.
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