There are 18 traditional weapons having in their turn different variants in the Chinese martial arts system. These weapons can be generally divided in long and short weapons, or flexible and rigid ones. There are also special weapons, specifically handled – for example those which can be thrown or those which are made up of different parts. Further on we intend to describe some of these weapons.
The CUDGEL – GUN – the father of all weapons
The SABRE – DAO –the Marshall of all the weapons
The SPEAR – QIANG – the Queen of all the weapons
The SWORD – JIAN – the Gentleman of all the weapons


  1. The CUDGEL – GUN

Being called the Father of all the weapons, the stick is, alongside with the stone, the oldest weapon used by man. Long or short, rigid or flexible, the stick is present in almost all the styles. The Shaolin monks were by far the most famous stick fighters. A famous exercise is the Ta Mo’s Stick. Being easy to use, it became a very popular weapon. By spinning the stick one can get a most efficient sweeping movement. Many specific techniques for the other weapons can be easily demonstrated by using the stick. It can be used to strike or hit, to jab, to whip, to hang, to knock, to block, to jump and so on. The Monkey style and the Drunken Man style also use famous methods of handling the stick.



‘Commander of all weapons’, the saber was the standard weapon of the Chinese Army. Throughout the history there had been used wider or narrower sabers, longer or shorter ones. The ‘ox tail form’ of today, dates back in the 19th century, when it became known by the people. The saber can be handled in one hand, both hands and double saber - one in each hand. It could be compared with a ferocious tiger. Having only one edge, it makes possible the palm to hold the blade in certain situations. While being handled, the saber makes continuous circles around the body, thus making possible a kind of shield protection. The saber exercises belonging to the Bag style, the Meiwa style and the Shoaling style are famous. Wu Song, the legendary fighter used as his favorite weapon a wide short saber, which he handled in reverse order.



Being called ‘the Queen of the weapons, the spear is a supple and elastic weapon. According to the form of their points, there are different kinds of spears. There are even two points spears. The use of the spear requires or implies the body elasticity, the speed of the steps’ game, complicated twistings and whippings. It is very difficult to master the use of such a weapon, but it is very efficient. A well-handled spear can be compared to a flying dragon. While used, the spear can pierce, block, circle or whip. There are famous spear exercises in the Bagua style, the Meihua and the Snake style.




Being called ‘the Gentleman of weapons’, the sword is a most refined weapon. It was first manufactured during the Bronze Age, having two strata, an elastic core and a special edge. The bronze sword is very heavy. During the Iron Age, the steel swords became easier and supple. The weapon of the elite, the sword is elegant, nimble and graceful. Having two edges, it can be used single or double. The handling of the sword has profound philosophical meanings. The sword was intended to continue the arm of the fighter during the fight. Fencing with the sword implies cuttings, piercings, jabbings, blockings, circles, sweepings combined with quick and nimble steps, jumps and twists. The most famous sword school is that of Wu Dang, alongside with those of the ‘Mantis style’, the ‘Drunken Man style’ and that of ‘Taiji style’.