1. #1

    Join Date
    Sep 2005

    Lets Talk Taiaha

    The Taiaha is a spear-like traditional Maori weapon. Of the many weapons used by the Maori, this is one of the best known.
    Prior to European colonisation/conquest, the Maori had not yet discovered the use of metals.
    Their weapons were mostly constructed of wood, various types of stone and bone.
    Many of these weapons took years to make and were treasured over the generations. Elaborate carving and precision workmanship were a common feature.
    I don't think I have seen a weapon of design conceptually to the Taiaha in any other culture (I could of course be totally wrong).
    The head of the weapon is sharp and usually diligently carved with artistic representation. The 'neck' of the weapon typically has feathers tied around it for the purpose of distraction.
    The lower part of the weapon is carved into a flat, sharp, blade like plane (excellent for hacking through skulls etc).

    Most Taiaha use that is I can find on video is confined to either ceremonial or basic demonstration purposes. The quality of these depictions that I have found have not shown the real speed and focus common to adept Taiaha practitioners.
    My own experience with the weapon is virtually non existant- only the few training sessions
    in Taiaha use that we had on basic training in the army. This was more of a cultural awareness thing, the Taiaha not being used in modern warfare (we have **** that goes bang now).
    I have jsut sent off a couple of emails to various people close to the art to see if they have digital vid of the art being practiced in its alive context. This is fucking impressive to watch.

    But, in the meantime to give an idea of technique etc, I have attached a few you tube links.
    A better idea of the actual practical application of the weapon can be gained by watching two skilled practitioners sparring. But as I say, no footage found of that yet, but I have sent enquiries.
    I am really jsut interested in sharing a little awareness of this beautiful and lethal weapon with the good folks of Bullshido.

    Heres the youtube links:


    this ones from a movie:


    The pronunciation of Maori words, including the word "Maori" is abysmal here, as a matter of interest:


    Anyway, if I can get really good footage, I will add it to this thread

  2. #2
    DdlR's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Yep, the taiaha is good stuff.

    Re. live sparring, the best YouTube has to offer is snippets from the TOA reality show -


    I saw a couple of episodes when I was in NZ last year. It was typical reality TV hokum but the fights were full-on.

  3. #3

    Join Date
    May 2009
    Mau Rakau
    I train using the Taiaha,i have been training for years ,its hard becouse we use the old methods of training,swiming up river for 3 hours full contact sparring nearly no padding,one of my cousins lost two fingers.

  4. #4

    Join Date
    May 2009
    Mau Rakau
    you should look up matarua it is a group that is trained to use the taiaha and other Maori weapons to kill.

  5. #5
    Scott Larson's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Buffalo, NY
    Bazhengdao Quan, Bajiquan
    Do any of you know about the PS2 game "The Mark of Kri" ? The main character used a Taiaha in it.

  6. #6

    Join Date
    May 2009
    Brazillian jiu jistu, Mua
    Were can someone actually get a taiaha? particularly in the U.S.


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