12/19/2011 1:50am, #1
CMA obscure weapons documentary&discussion
The following link is a program produced by the discovery channel available on topdocumentaryfilms.com: http://topdocumentaryfilms.com/kung-...liest-weapons/
In the film they showcase the "10 deadliest kung fu weapons". They show the usual ones most of us are familiar with and some that are more rare. (Spoiler alert) the film concludes with the number one most deadliest weapon being the flying guillotine and the legends and rumors of the weapon are discussed. CMA guys have a watch and tell me what you think.
My questions: How true and accurate is this show? Have the weapons demoed actually ever been used to harm someone? I assume the more practical and historical weapons like the ge (polearm) have their obvious documented use and practicality. However, what about other weapons like the fan for emample? Are there any cases of a fan actually being used to kill someone? How about the "antlers" (circular/crescent blade thing)?
Feel free to comment on any weapons in the video or link and discuss others you are more familiar with.
My biggest problem with CMA weapons is that as a person with a casual interest in CMA all the weapons stuff I see appears to largely be for demonstration and performance purposes. To me the Ren Faire crowd appears to have a better grasp on the historical use of weapons in actual combat than the CMA community. I don't mean to sound like an ass but as a FMA practitioner I have a genuine interest in weapons and some CMA weapons especially interest me. Where are the practical CMA weapons practitioners?
12/19/2011 12:50pm, #2
I didn't see the show so I can't really comment on that. As for practical CMA weaponist, I've only ever met a few. In my experience, the part of the kung fu community that's into practicality and fighting tend to focus on unarmed stuff (san da, pankration etc), while the weapons folks tend to be more into the larping side of things. I can think of just one of my old kung fu partners who had a real interest in weapons that extended beyond kung fu forms (was always down to weapon spar, and had a side interest in learning the European longsword). There are groups that are focused on sparring with the jian and dao though. You'd probably have more luck looking into that than into CMA styles in general- weapon fighting tends to be just a small part of those styles; in a CMA sword style the practitioners are most definitely interested.
12/19/2011 12:54pm, #3
I've seen one legit, IMO, org trying to introduce Tai Chi Sword sparring. We have the thread somewhere, but I am feeling lazy.
CMA weapons are larpy unless you go to a really good school. Even then, I might still say larping.
Oh and I do have two all steel fans. Larp larp larp.
12/19/2011 2:45pm, #4
I saw this when it aired. It's National Geographic; they do have a certain journalistic integrity. Some of their CMA coverage is not that great, but they do try to check their sources objectively (as with most subjects). In fact NeoGeo is one of the first big organizations that I know of that tried to start testing kung fu claims with actual science (e.g. "Fight Science"). Note I said "tried" because some (not all) of their tests were kind of silly. I think they may have also been hoodwinked by at least one Chun Master. But what NeoGeo does is definitely a step in the right direction.
Based on what I've read to date, the more "standard" weapons (saber, spear, etc) tended to be found amongst the military, and the training forms were very basic but techniques obviously worked. The exotic weapons like the deer knife, hooked swords etc were often civilian weapons. Historical relics really, they are a neat combination of ancient weaponsmithing and creative Chinese design. Why put hooks on swords? Why make sure the polearm blade is exactly 100 degrees? The Chinese were good at math and engineering long before most cultures and warlike as well, so they put their creative energies into their weaponmaking.
That said I'm sure for every one decent, efficient, lethal Chinese weapon maybe there are ten that failed on delivery, died on the battlefield, or only survived because they are, in fact, so odd looking.
Last edited by W. Rabbit; 12/19/2011 2:48pm at .
12/19/2011 2:50pm, #5
Dude stop. Fight Science? No. Step in the right direction? No.
12/19/2011 2:53pm, #6
What I think is the right direction is that they're even inviting scientists to come look at Martial Arts claims at all.
Some of it was definitely downright silly, like when they compared the tiger playfully swatting the soccer ball with the "tiger style" Wushu guy whacking it with full force.
"OMG, HE'S AS STRONG AS THE TIGER".
I showed that video to my sifu and he said it was, and I quote, "crap".
Last edited by W. Rabbit; 12/19/2011 2:56pm at .
12/19/2011 3:05pm, #7
Spanish knife makers used to make large presentation/display versions of knives to keep in their store, like this:
Not practical, but it shows the craftsmanship skills of the guy that made it.
Similarly, European blacksmiths would often have extremely large swords in their collection. A functional longsword weighs a few pounds, but they've found old examples weighing like 15lbs and too big for combat. The rationale for making them is the same as above (or they were used as display/parade weapons when doing public marches and such).
I wonder if something like this accounts for some of the odd Chinese weapons out there. A nice pair of deer antler knives would show some advanced bladecrafting abilities by its maker. Add thousands of illiterate people over hundreds of years and a little creativity and maybe you end up with fighting styles around these relics.
I think that a lot of people take old weapons stories at face value because even exotic edged weapons could be dangerous. A sharpened pair of these looks deadly enough:
Last edited by Permalost; 12/19/2011 3:10pm at .
12/19/2011 9:55pm, #8
I tend to agree with IIF ,,most of the weapons crap is LARPing and used by schools to impress potential students ( customers?).
That said..when I was doing CMA it was a refreshing break now and then to spend a class on the staff/spear or do some baton work.
Now that I think of it.the weapons rack at my old club didn't have any of the 'impractical' one's on it.
Unless you consider a tiger fork or a kwan impractical.
Here's one I found that I hadn't seen before..a ' monk's spade ' set:
" If one wants to have a friend one must also want to wage war for him: and to wage war one must be capable of being an enemy." - Fr. Nietzsche 'On The Friend' Thus Spake Zarathustra
12/19/2011 10:13pm, #9
That is the chan zhang, a weapon largely based on a shovel, which I think anyone would argue is a handy weapon and tool.
It is my favorite CMA weapon and the next I think I'll pick up after some staff training.
12/20/2011 1:51pm, #10