Building and Using an Ancient Chinese Spear (part two)

In the first article in this series of two, we discussed the physical structure of the Chinese Spear, also called the ‘Qiang.’ You might wish to do a search for part one before you continue with this article. This article describes basic Chinese Spear training techniques.

qiang picture

The King of Weapons!

There are several ways to use the Qiang. The easiest and most common would be to cut or thrust, or to simply bash, However, in the hands of a Master, the spear can be used to disarm, take down a horse, the butt can be used, the shaft can be used to trip or even throw lesser trained opponents.

The beginning methods of training with the spear had to do with thrusting and slashing. Once these were learned, other usages could be developed. The one exception to this is taking down a horse, which we will get into in a couple of paragraphs.

To thrust the Qiang, hold the butt of the spear, the arms a comfortable distance apart, and step or shuffle forward as you thrust the spear forwards. Once your arms become strong and you get the feeling that you are holding the spear (instead of the spear wielding you), make a small circle on a tree and start thrusting the Qiang into it. While you can hang a small circle of wire to save the trees, the sensation of striking something, and then having to pull the blade out, is quite worthwhile.

To learn to cut with the Qiang simply hold the base of the shaft, and make small circles in the air. The actual blade is not long, like a sword, but used for circling and flicking motions inside an opponent’s body area…when he is a half dozen or more feet away. Make circles, and consider moving in as you do this, so that the tip of the spear can whack at the opponent’s wrists, and then thrust the Qiang forward.

The third beginning training method is to swing the spear like a staff. No thought of using the blade, just bashing mightily upon the skull, cracking any armor or bones as you please. You want to develop strength with this technique so that you will eventually be able to use the Qiang for other purposes.

Let’s speak of other purposes, so that you may better glean the potential usages of this Chinese martial arts tool. Armies in times past had warhorses, and these mighty steeds would charge lines of infantry. The simple method an infantryman, or pikesman, used for dispatching a charging war horse would be to place the butt of the spear upon the ground, and hold the spear so that the horse impaled itself upon it.

In closing, you should remember that there are methods for training in the spear in other countries, most notably the Japanese Martial Art of Sjutsu, which teaches the use of the Japanese spear called the Yari. The data in this article can be adapted to other schools of the spear. That said, I hope all martial artists have the chance to handle and train with the King of Weapons, the Chinese Spear called the Qiang.

If you want to learn more about weapons, check out the ‘Sixth Sense Swordfighting’ book. It is part of the Master Books program at

If you want to learn the fastest and most efficient method for handling weapons in the world, (people do frown when they see you strolling along with your Chinese spear, don’t they? Grin.) then check out the Blinding Steel course at Monster Martial Arts

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