THE MARVELOUS SWORD AGAINST THE KING OF WEAPONS
Using a sword to control a spear
There are different ways to classify weapons. One way is to classify them as light and heavy. Another way is to classify them as long and short.
The advantage of a heavy weapon over a light one is obvious. If you clash your light weapon against a heavy weapon, your light weapon may be broken by the heavy one. When you know this important principle, you would realize that many of the weapon-fighting scenes in kungfu movies are just for show. If a heroine, for example, uses her sword to block the chopping attack of an opponent's battle axe, the sheer weight of the battle axe will smash the sword into pieces.
The advantage of a light weapon over a heavy weapon is agility. This is the yin-yang aspect of combat -- an advantage is balanced by a disadvantage, and vice versa. High level combat efficiency entails a skillful application of this yin-yang harmony.
Both the spear and the sword are light weapons. But the spear has the advantage of length over the sword. There is a kungfu saying in Chinese (Cantonese) as follows: “Yeit chun cheong, yeit chun keong”, which means “one inch longer is one inch stronger”. But there is also a counter saying as follows: “Yeit chun thun, yeit chun miew”, which means “one inch shorter is one inch more marvelous”.
In kungfu circles, the spear is regarded as the king of weapons because the spear thrust is technically the most formidable weapon technique. Technically, it is most difficult to defend against a spear thrust. As soon as you deflect or avoid a spear thrust, the spearman can pull back his spear and aims it at you again.
The video clips here show how to use the sword to overcome the formidable spear thrust, and overcome the spear. Great skills, of course, are needed to use the sword well. The sword, therefore, is often regarded as the weapon of masters.
Please click the pictures or the captions below to view the videos
The Most Formidable Weapon Attack
The spear thrust is considered as the most formidable weapon attack. As the spear is light, this attack is very fast. The length of the spear keeps an opponent away, yet the spearman can attack him quite easily. It is difficult to get past the spear head to attack the spearman because he can pull the spear back quickly.
In the past, anyone who wished to be proficient in using any weapon must be able to overcome a spear thrust. This video clip shows a common but wrong way to defend against a spear.
Overcoming a Spear Thrust
How would you defend against a spear thrust? As you ward off a spear and attempt to move into the spearman, he can pull back the spear easily and point it at you. This is the most important point you have to overcome when countering a spear.
Thrusting a spear out is fast and versatile. A spear thrust can follow your movement. Yet, the swordsman's counter looks so simple. It is deadly. His sword slices at the opponent's throat and kidney, which are two fatal spots.
Controlling the Circling Spear
Two more counters against the spear thrust are demonstrated. In the first counter, the swordsman slices the opponent's hand to disarm him.
In the second encounter, the spearman points the spear at the swordsman. As the swordsman brushes the spear away, the spearman circles the spear for further attacks. Circling is an important spear technique to frustrate an opponent's attempt to ward off the spear.
But the swordsman first follows the spearman's circling, then leads the circling to control the spear and slices the spearman's hand.
Frustrating the Circling and Thrusting Techniques of a Spear
Circling and thrusting are two spear techniques that are often used together and are the forte of a spear. The swordsman demonstrates how to overcome these two formidable spear techniques.
Sensitivity to the spear movement and intention is crucial. The swordsman is able to frustrate the combined circling and thrusting techniques of the spearman because he uses his sword as if it were his limb, and he is sensitive to the spear movement and intention,
How to Control a Spear
This video clip further illustrates how to control a spear. After controlling the spear by circling it, the swordsman attempts to slice the spearman's hand, but the spearman neutralizes this attack using the circling technique.
Remember that a spear can also be used like a long dagger. The spearman sweeps the spearhead to cut at the swordsman, who blocks it with the side (not the edge) of his sword, following with a reverse sweep at the spearman.
You can view all the videos above by clicking the picture or the caption below
Sword against Spear -- Marvelous Weapon against King of Weapons from Wong Kiew Kit on Vimeo.
You can also view all the videos here
We wish to thank Sifu Emiko Hsuen and Sifu Michael Chow for providing these video clips
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