Tag Archives: qiang

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

Building and Using an Ancient Chinese Spear (part one)

Construction of the Chinese Spear!

One of the most potent Martial Arts Weapons from olden times was the Chinese spear which is called the ‘Qiang,’ which is frequently referred to as the King of Weapons. It was held in high esteem because in the hands of a Shaolin Master, or other Gung Fu Expert, the long length would give one a decisive advantage in combat. In this bit of writing we will go over the basic structure of the Qiang, in a second article we will detail a couple of Martial Arts training methods for this incredible weapon.

qiang imageThe Qiang has been around as long as people have found straight branches. It is predominately a pre-modern martial arts weapon, and it is popular in many schools of Gung Fu, notably Shaolin and Tai Chi Chuan. Several schools, such as Hsing i and Bagua Zhang, claim that the weapon was crucial to the founding of and the main concepts of their particular schools.

The shaft of the weapon is made out of wax wood, which is very resilient and springy, and it normally ranges in length from 6 to 12 feet. One can make a small circle at the wrists, and because the wood bends so easily, the tip will make a big circle. This also gives a tremendous amount of back and forth ‘snap,’ should the practitioner so choose.

The blade is normally, but not always, shaped in the pattern of a leaf. This makes it perfect for either small knife-like cuts when you snap the wrists and slash the tip back and forth, And, of course, the thrusting power of the tool is incredibly potent.

The blade is usually butted by a tubular section, which will be affixed to the end of the shaft. This tube is hollow, and it has a hole in it, and a small ball bearing. This particular arrangement is brilliant, and shows the Chinese ingenuity in crafting the blade.

The hole, when the spear is swung at high speed, will create a whistling sound. This can distract the enemy and fool him long enough for the spear to have…impact. The bearing contained in the hollow of the tube pushes any blood that has seeped into the tube right back out.

Lastly, we have the tassel, a hunk of horsehair tied to the base of the blade. This is incredibly useful, as it tends to blur the vision of the person being ‘poked’ (smile), so that they cannot create a defense, or even grab the spear, A second purpose of the tassel is to stop any flow of blood from coming down the shaft of the Qiang and making it difficult to use.

To finish up, a Qiang is a powerful and far reaching weapon. A favorite of pre-modern armies, it could be used to keep an enemy at bay, and even kill a horse. Please look for part two, in which we will deal with the training methods for the ancient Chinese spear.

If you want more information on weapons, check out the ‘Sixth Sense Swordfighting’ book. It is part of the Master Books package at MonsterMartialArts.com.

If you want to learn how to make ANYTHING a weapon, (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.