Tag Archives: kung fu weapons

Martial Arts Zen Training with Guns

Newsletter 995

The Gun, the Sword, and the Martial Arts

The gun extends a straight line
The sword extends a straight, or curved line.
The bullet goes further than the sword,
even with training,
not too much further.
Odd statement, eh?
I mean, the bullet disappears into a mile away.
The sword ends at three feet or so.
But here’s the kicker,
the further away you are,
the more control of your body you must have.
Beyond a certain distance,
probably 15 feet,
control goes out the window,
and you miss a lot of shots.
(We’re not talking about sniper rifles here)
So let’s look at the basic-basics of the sword—and the gun.

Sink the weight for both.
Breath deeply and control that breath.
Align the body properly.
Move the body with CBM
(Coordinated Body Motion).

we are fine through the first four items.
Sink, breath, relax, align.
Motion (CBM) is where it all falls apart.

I was watching a movie last night,
Jason Statham shot about 40 guys
in about five minutes.
He shot them while he turned flips,
under his arm,
behind his back,
swinging off the side of a ship,
during explosions.
40 guys,
and he wasn’t even nicked.
I guess he had that motion thing down,
The camera had it down.
The script had it down.
In reality he would have been shot,
filled with lead actually,
by the time he hit the second or third guy.
That’s just the way it is.

(why do you think SEALs sneak in?
Because charging in an easy way to die.
Why do you think ninjas sneak in?
They don’t want somebody to fight back-
they don’t want to get hurt.
Why do you think your friendly neighborhood mugger
attacks from the rear,
swinging a weapon…
he doesn’t want to risk getting a boo boo!
It’s not actually cowardice,
it’s simply good tactics:
hit without getting hit.
Deliver a force or flow,
without receiving a force or flow…)

It is INCREDIBLY difficult
to hit a moving target.
(People tend to shoot where something was,
and not where it is going to be)
And it is harder to hit a moving target…
while you are moving.

When you train with a gun you have to have a stable platform.
You run from place to place,
momentarily freezing and shooting,
then continuing.
Only when you make the final approach
do you unload,
firing everything you’ve got,
because during that last few feet,
when you are running,
you’re probably going to miss,
so shoot a lot of bullets and hope.

Of course,
all statistics can be improved by practice.

motion is a killer.
In the martial arts
you are closer,
and there is this thing called ‘block’ and counter.
You train to handle the attack.
With a gun the only way to handle the attack
is to duck,
get a mile away.
No blocking.
So you do not develop the idea of motion against motion.
At least not to an appreciable degree.

there are gun tactics,
training in them helps,
but if you really want to know tactics,
you must have an intuitive understanding
of how to respond with your body
to the motion of his body.

You really need the martial arts
in addition to training in shooting.
You need that ‘zen’ frame of mind.

And here is where it gets interesting.
Here is the point that led me to write this little squib.

When you train with the martial arts
you develop a state of mind.
This is a ‘zen’ state of mind.
A peacefulness during combat,
a peacefulness during…motion.

You actually develop this same state of mind
with any other practice.
Practicing something until you have mastered it
brings calmness, certainty, peacefulness.
You can attain it with a gun,
while you are ‘in platform,’
but there aren’t any practices that I know of,
in gun training,
to impart that zen state of mind
while you are using a gun while in motion.

So if you want to learn a gun,
it is a tool for a martial artist,
if there ever was one.
But you need something like ‘The Gun Kata,’
made popular in ‘Equilibrium.’
I am really waiting for some fellow
to send me a video,
or a link,
to somebody doing an effective Gun Kata.

Here’s a link for weapons training…


Have a great work out!


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 MonsterMartialArts.com.

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

Three Most Excellent Martial Arts Weapons Training Methods!

In all the martial arts weapons history, of all the martial arts styles I have studied, the three training drills I am about to give you are the best. They are simple, don’t require much equipment, and increase your sixth sense. They do require that you latch on to a different way of thinking.

I played with the tonfa, and the sickles, and all that sort of thing, and I realized something: a weapon is a line. Nun chucks have a hinge, tonfas have handles, even a gun projects on a straight line. Even a sword, appearing curved, is a straight line moving in a circle.

Understanding this, I began two specific exercises: one was thrusting, and the other was cutting. Yes, there is always butting, or some other odd technique, but everything should revolve around these two things: poking and slicing. Thus I came up with two specific drills.

One drill was to hang a tire from a tree, and cut it so it turns in one direction, and then cut it again so it turns in another direction. If it starts swinging, I cut it so that the swing is stopped, and the rotation is begun again. You will find that using a martial arts sword in this fashion requires some finesse.

The second drill I developed using self defense weapons had to do with the straight thrust. I hung a six inch circle from a tree and practiced thrusting a pole through the center, making sure not to touch any sides of the circle. I wanted to make my thrust straight and true, and not have it deflected by any extra contact.

I took a year off and practiced these two strikes, hour after hour, day after day. It was a rigorous and pure martial arts training, but it really worked. I could feel my muscles become lean and dense, and my strikes were becoming effortless, and then I developed my third method.

I got into my car and stuck the key into the slot. I blinked, and realized the similarity to a sword strike, so I closed my eyes and practiced putting the key in without the benefit of eyes. Then I attached a key to the end of a pole, fastened a lock to a wall, and practiced putting the key in without using my eyes.

This was a logical extension of the weapon, and a logical extension of my physical into the spiritual and ethereal. Doing this trains one to know the space about oneself, as opposed to having to look at the space one is in. I totally recommend these martial arts weapons training methods if you want to elevate your art beyond what is normally taught in martial arts dojos.

You can find out more about unusual training methods that really work at Monster Martial Arts.