Three-section staff

Last updated
Three-section staff 3-sectional-staff.jpg
Three-section staff

The three-section staff, triple staff, three-part staff, sansetsukon in Japanese, or originally sanjiegun (Chinese :三節棍; pinyin :sānjiégùn; Jyutping :saam1 zit3 gwan3, or Chinese :三節鞭; pinyin :sānjiébiān three-sectional whip), is a Chinese flail weapon that consists of three wooden or metal staffs connected by metal rings or rope. The weapon is also known as 蟠龍棍 panlong gun, "coiling dragon staff". A more complicated version of the two section staff, the staves can be spun to gather momentum resulting in a powerful strike, or their articulation can be used to strike over or around a shield or other defense.

Contents

History and use

Although there is no historical evidence to support it, a popular modern-day legend states the weapon was made famous by Zhao Kuangyin, the first Emperor of the Song Dynasty (960 AD). [1]

Historically made of white oak, waxwood, or Chinese red maple, modern staves are constructed from rattan, bamboo, various hardwoods or aluminum. For optimum fit, each of the three sticks should be about the length of the combatant's arm {usually 60 centimetres (24 in) to 70 centimetres (28 in)} and have a combined diameter that easily fits in the hand {usually about 1.25 inches (32 mm)}. These are connected by chains of rings {usually of five inches (127 mm)}; modern versions use ball-and-socket joints.

The total length of the weapon is about the same as the Chinese staff (the gùn), and greater than that of the single staff (known in Japanese as a ); Its larger size allows for an increased reach compared to the staff. Some of the techniques are similar to that of the staff, so spinning moves over the head and behind the back, such as helicopter spins and neck rolls, can be practised with a regular staff. Other weapon techniques the three-section staff makes use of are similar to that of the pair of sticks used in escrima, a simple short chain, a whip, or the two-section staff. It is therefore advantageous for the user to have some familiarity with these weapons. The three-section staff has the advantage of being usable as a long-range (whip), mid-range (flail or two section staff) or a short-range (pair of escrima) weapon. Acting as an extension of the user's arms, the three-section staff can strike, flail, block, choke, trap, disarm and whip, often with different sections of the staff acting at the same time. The chains or binding ropes of the staff are used to entangle an opponent and their weapons. While it has three ranges, the three-section staff is best used as a short range weapon against longer-ranged weapons. In this configuration, a skilled practitioner can nearly simultaneously block an opponent's strike, trap his or her weapon, and disarm them while executing their own strike with the free end of the staff.

While some martial artists have held that the three-section staff was used on the battlefield to entangle horses' legs or to strike around shields, the complexity of the weapon and the length, difficulty of use, lack of sharp tips or edges and other advantages of such traditional battlefield weapons as spears, polearms (such as the yan yue dao ), swords and so forth meant that the triple staff was more likely restricted to personal self-defense.

One significant weakness of chained weapons in general is a lack of control. At long and intermediate ranges, the strike of a one ends not upon impact but on recoil; even the greatest martial arts masters must use valuable time regaining control of their weapon. Due to the length of the staff sections relative to the length of joining chains, the weapon suffers less from a lack of control than other more flexible chain weapons. In short range mode there are no control issues because the end sections are firmly in hand, and the middle section is unable to move independently. Training with the three-section staff is particularly difficult because it is a multi-mode complex weapon, and is not recommended for beginners. Foam covered versions are now sold to aid in training, but the blows received from the ends on recoil are a relatively rare risk. Instead, the greater danger is the painful impact of the chains or metal parts of the staff that the chains are anchored to upon the hands of the user. This occurs when the staff is improperly used in short range mode and the relative positions of staff sections are rapidly changed, serving as a strong deterrent to casual users. However, motivated self teachers will find the three-section staff and other flexible weapons to be the easiest to learn effectively. This is because flexible weapons provide instant feedback to the user. When used improperly, flexible weapons will either impact upon targets other than those desired, put the user off balance, injure the user, or otherwise be obviously out of control. Through experimentation, technique may be perfected. In contrast, fixed weapons can often be utilized incorrectly for quite some time because they provide little or no feedback.[ citation needed ]

To experience the versatility of both single-staff and three-section staff, some manufactures have created a combination weapon made out of metal. The three sections, linked by chains as customary for this type of weapon, screw together to form one single staff. The transition to full staff to sectioned staff can be done in mid-combat with a few twists. Against an opponent, the transition is often masked, adding an element of surprise to the following attacks.

The ends of three-section staffs sometimes break, but can be replaced with pieces of similar weight and thickness to the other parts.

The three-section staff was brought to Okinawa from Fujian Province by Shinko Matayoshi, who incorporated it in Matayoshi Kobudo with two kata (sansetsukon dai ichi, sansetsukon dai ni) after 1935. Kobudo sansetsukon typically have shorter (usually 50–60 cm.) yet thicker (about 4–5 cm. in diameter) staffs. The sansetsukon is not to be confused with san bon nunchaku (三本ヌンチャク).

There are many stories about how the three-section staff was invented. Some[ who? ] say because of Buddhist tradition, a monk would only have a simple staff. When the staff broke, they would put a chain and continue to use it

Others[ who? ] say that a king or a monk had a favorite staff that when it broke, he kept on using it with a chain connecting the broken pieces.

Related Research Articles

Nunchaku traditional Japanese weapon

The nunchaku is a traditional Okinawan martial arts weapon consisting of two sticks connected at one end by a short chain or rope. The two sections of the weapon are commonly made out of wood, while the link is a cord or a metal chain. The person who practices this weapon is referred to as nunchakuka.

Filipino martial arts fighting methods devised in the Philippines

Filipino martial arts (FMA) refer to ancient Indianized and newer fighting methods devised in the Philippines. It incorporates elements from both Western and Eastern Martial Arts, the most popular forms of which are known as Arnis, Eskrima, and Kali. The intrinsic need for self-preservation was the genesis of these systems. Throughout the ages, invaders and evolving local conflict imposed new dynamics for combat in the islands now making up the Philippines. The Filipino people developed battle skills as a direct result of an appreciation of their ever-changing circumstances. They learned often out of necessity how to prioritize, allocate and use common resources in combative situations. Filipinos have been heavily influenced by a phenomenon of cultural and linguistic mixture. Some of the specific mechanisms responsible for cultural and martial change extended from phenomena such as war, political and social systems, technology, trade and practicality.

Flail (weapon) term referring to two weapons: one a two-handed infantry weapon derived from an agricultural tool, and the other a one-handed weapon

A flail is a weapon consisting of a striking head attached to a handle by a flexible rope, strap, or chain. The chief tactical virtue of the flail was its capacity to strike around a defender's shield or parry. Its chief liability was a lack of precision and the difficulty of using it in close combat, or closely ranked formations.

<i>Bō</i> Weapon

A , joong bong (Korean), pang (Cantonese), bang (Mandarin), or kun (Okinawan) is a staff weapon used in Okinawa. are typically around 1.8 m (71 in) and used in Okinawan martial arts, while being adopted into Japanese arts such particular bōjutsu. Other staff-related weapons are the , which is 1.2 m (47 in) long, and the hanbō, which is 90 cm (35 in) long.

A club is among the simplest of all weapons: a short staff or stick, usually made of wood, wielded as a weapon since prehistoric times. There are several examples of blunt-force trauma caused by clubs in the past, including at the site of Nataruk in Turkana, Kenya, described as the scene of a prehistoric conflict between bands of hunter-gatherers 10,000 years ago. In popular culture, clubs are associated with primitive cultures, especially cavemen.

<i>Tanbō</i>

The tanbō is a short staff weapon used in Okinawa and feudal Japan. Today the tanbō is used by various martial arts schools.

Rope dart

The rope dart or rope javelin, also known as Jōhyō in Japanese, is one of the flexible weapons in Chinese martial arts. Other weapons in this family include the meteor hammer, flying claws, Fei Tou flying weight, and chain whip. Although the flexible weapons share similar movements, each weapon has its own specific techniques.

Chain whip

The chain whip is a weapon used in some Chinese martial arts, particularly traditional Chinese disciplines, in addition to modern and traditional wushu. It consists of several metal rods, which are joined end-to-end by rings to form a flexible chain. Generally, the whip has a handle at one end and a metal dart, used for slashing or piercing an opponent, at the other. A cloth flag is often attached at or near the dart end of the whip and a second flag may cover the whip's handle. The flag or flags adds visual appeal and produces a rushing sound as the whip swings through the air. The rushing noise also helps the user with identifying the location of the other end, since the weapon moves too fast to be normally noticed by human eyes.

Okinawan Kobudō (沖縄古武道), literally "old martial way of Okinawa", is the weapon systems of Okinawan martial arts.

Meteor hammer thrown weapon

The meteor hammer, often referred to simply as meteor, is an ancient Chinese weapon, consisting at its most basic level of two weights connected by a rope or chain. One of the flexible or "soft" weapons, it is referred to by many different names worldwide, dependent upon region, construction and intended use. Other names in use include dai chui, flying hammer, or dragon's fist. It belongs to the broader classes of flail and chain weapons.

Urumi Whip-like blade from Kerala

The urumi is a sword with a flexible, whip-like blade, originating from the Indian subcontinent in modern-day Kerala and Sri Lanka. It is thought to have existed from as early as the Sangam period.

Footwork (martial arts)

Footwork is a martial arts and combat sports term for the general usage of the legs and feet in stand-up fighting. Footwork involves keeping balance, closing or furthering the distance, controlling spatial positioning, and/or creating additional momentum for strikes.

<i>Muyedobotongji</i> literary work

Commissioned by King Jeongjo in 1790, the Muyedobotongji expanded on the eighteen weapons systems identified in the Muyeshinbo of 1758.

Jow-Ga Kung Fu martial art

Jow Ga Kung Fu is a form of Kung Fu. It was founded by Jow Lung who was born in 1891, on the eleventh day of the third lunar month in Sa Fu Village of the Canton Province, and died in 1919. His father was Jow Fong Hoy and his mother’s maiden name was Li. At the time of its inception, this particular style of Kung Fu was labeled as having the head of Hung Gar, the tail of Choy Gar and the patterns of the tiger and leopard, or simply Hung Tao Choy Mei. It was so labeled because the essential techniques incorporated the muscular and mighty movements of Hung Gar and the swift footwork and complex kicking of Choy Gar, making it a very effective form of self defense with emphasis on simultaneous attack and defense.

A chain weapon is a weapon made of one or more heavy objects attached to a chain, sometimes with a handle. The flail was one of the more common types of chain weapons associated with medieval Europe, although some flails used hinges instead of chains.

<i>Chigiriki</i> japanese flail weapon

The chigiriki (契木術) is a Japanese flail weapon. It consists of a solid or hollow wood or iron staff with an iron weight and chain on the end, sometimes retractable. The chigiriki is a more aggressive variation of the parrying weapon kusarigama. It can be used to strike or entangle the opponent as well as to parry his blows and to capture or incapacitate an opponents weapon.

Matayoshi Kobudo is a general term referring to the style of Okinawan Kobudo that was developed by Matayoshi Shinpo 又吉眞豊 and Matayoshi Shinko 又吉眞光 during the Twentieth Century. Martial arts have been practiced by the Matayoshi family for over 9 generations and draw influence from Japanese, Chinese and indigenous Okinawan martial arts styles.

The pyeongon is a nunchaku-like weapon used by the Joseon army and is first mentioned in a martial arts manual called Muyesinbo. The weapon was inspired by the farmer's flail to thresh rice with. In the west it mostly known as a two-section staff.

Matayoshi Shinpo 又吉眞豊 (1921–1997) was a martial artist who lived in Naha, Okinawa during the 20th Century.

<i>Gun</i> (staff) long Chinese staff weapon used in Chinese martial arts

A gùn is a long Chinese staff weapon used in Chinese martial arts. It is known as one of the four major weapons, along with the qiang (spear), dao (sabre), and the jian. It is called, in this group, "The Grandfather of all Weapons". In Vietnam, the gun is known as Côn in Vietnamese martial arts.

References

  1. "Flying Eagle Martial Arts Academy: Three-Section Staff". Archived from the original on April 8, 2009. Retrieved 2009-07-02.

Further reading