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Lum Beng Hei (Shaolin Weapons)
has used weapons for hunting and fighting since our ancestors first
learned to use rocks as tools. Through our evolution weapons have
become more and more sophisticated to the point where an "enemy"
can be destroyed from miles away. However there are many traditional
weapons still used in Chinese martial arts today. Emperors and feuding
warlords developed these weapons during the many different dynasties
of Chinese history as they fought for land, power and supremacy.
The weapons used during these times were spears, axes, swords, poles,
bows and arrows and daggers. Many other weapons were developed from
farming instruments so that peasants could defend themselves against
bandits and the warlords.
monks of Shaolin Temple developed many of these weapons using them
to protect the temple and defend themselves while travelling. Generally
it is recognised that there are "The 18 weapons of Shaolin"
traditionally used by the monks. Each of these weapons has it's
own essence and forms. However, even within Shaolin temple individual
monks developed new weapons and created trademark forms, which only
they knew and kept secret, unfortunately as a result, many of these
forms have been lost.
Chinese weapons are broken down into 3 main categories: Long range,
short range and flexible. Many of the weapons used in Kung Fu today
are impractical in our modern world and can not be used as they
once were but they are passed on from master to student as forms
and fighting sets. Through the use of pre-arranged fighting sets
with the various weapons the student will be able take their skills
to a much higher level- increasing speed, focus and agility. There
is much to be gained from having to jump over swords or cudgels
during a set while maintaining balance and focus for example.