According to popular oral tradition, Wing Chun's two weapons, the long pole and twin butterfly swords were incorporated into the combat system in the late 1700s.
Wong Wah Bo and Leung Yee Tai are the two people credited with this as before Wing Chun was essentially only unarmed combat training. As the story goes, Wong and Leung were members of a travelling Chinese opera company and exchanged systems of kung fu. Wong was a disciple of Leung Bok Chau, the husband of Wing Chun founder Yim Wing Chun, while Leung was an exponent of former legendary Shaolin Temple monk, Ji Sin, an expert in weaponry, most notably the long pole and swords.

Eventually, Wong and Leung incorporated the two weapons into Wing Chun. Certain modifications were necessary, however. Long pole skills, for example, had to be adapted to Wing Chun's centreline concept and were based on an exercise known as "sticky pole" (Chi Kwan). The sword techniques were also adapted to Wing Chun principles and movement. Thus, the weapons of monk Ji Sin became synonymous with Wing Chun and today represent the summit of a natural and effective martial art.

Wing Chun's systematic introduction of footwork begins in Chum Kiu, its second form, and is then enhanced through Bil Jee, the third form, and the wooden dummy form (Mook Yan Jong). Finally, this unique system of mobility is completed in the long pole and the butterfly sword forms.

 

Long Pole / Kung Fu dragon Pole (Lim Dim Book Kwan)
Like all of the Wing Chun system, long pole training centres around the "sticky-pole" or Chi Kwan drill. Building up combat reflexes on the pole is just as important as it is in the unarmed system.

In application, wing chun's long pole employs a "four-gate" defensive theory. Divided at the waist, two upper "gates" and two lower "gates" representing possible offensive and defensive positions. This concept also uses the centreline theory, which concludes that maintaining the "inside line" is most favourable.

When in use, the pole adheres closely to the user's body. The elbows should remain close or inward as well. Indeed, in many techniques, one part of the pole should be in contact with the body, thereby offering support to the movement. This is called the "supporting point" and usually indicates the hip or shoulder, etc. Hence, the body and even stances brace the force of many pole techniques. Wrist snap and waist twisting are also vital in applying long pole techniques, allowing the practitioner to literally drill the staff into the opponent.

Generally, the long pole is employed while facing toward the right. However, the set may be performed on both sides, thus developing the body equally. In this regard. long pole training can be associated with strength development.

With the advent of modern warfare, staff fighting has become somewhat impractical. However, strength improvement and greater coordination remain ideal goals' making wing chun's long pole a valuable training method even today. There is however types of everyday equipment that essentially could be used for defence while using the Long Pole techniques. Pool Cues and Broomsticks are just two of the many examples.

Dragon PoleDragon Pole

 

 

Kung Fu Butterfly Swords / Bot Jaam Do
Wing chun's butterfly sword (Bot Jaam Do) technique is the style's most prized skill. It is believed this unique set was developed at the Shaolin monastery, where it was originally known as Dit Bang Do (life-taking sword). It was later renamed Yee Jee Do (character two sword) after the basic stance and double cuts which separate each of its eight sections. Eventually, Wing Chun's twin sword technique became known as Bot Jaam Do (eight cut sword) because of the eight techniques within the set. The techniques are thus distinguished as offensive sword maneuvers which are based on eight "directions" or cutting actions.

Bot Jaam Do is noted for its superior footwork, a majority of which is completely mobile, allowing the practitioner to adapt to a wider range in combat, especially where weapons are concerned. While Wing Chun's wooden dummy form introduces a high level of movement, the butterfly swords have come to represent even greater mobility and hence advanced footwork.

Using the skills learnt in the unarmed training, the swords maintain the centreline theory as well as incorporate many of the hand movements from the unarmed. The swords become an extension of the practitioner's arms and by using the various techniques allow a practitioner to effectively combat any opponent unarmed or armed.

Butterfly SwordsButterfly Swords

 

History | Family Tree | Philosophy | Principles | Unarmed | Chi Sao | Forms | Weapons

Gallery | Controversy | Shaolin Code | Contact Us

Copyright 2008 ID Systems, All Rights Reserved