22/06/2024

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Spear and Broadsword Defence

Spear and Broadsword Defence

‘Enters the White-Knife Alone’ is another name for this Shaolin Secret Fighting Exercise or ‘Kung’ enabling avoidance of the swords, spears and weapons of others. With mastery of ‘Qiang Dao Bu Ru Fa’/Anti-Spear and Broadsword Arts, individuals lose fear of such edged weapons and develop ability to turn these back upon their owners.

Technical Analysis

Proficiency in other Kungs before training begins is required: Arhat Arts for concentration-power and Light Body Arts for step-work, for example. Anti-Spear and Broadsword Skills, one of the few Yin Rou/Hard External examples amongst the 72 Kungs, contains elements of both key categories. It is also one of the ‘Stake Arts’.

The Internal Kung Fu skills of soft-waist and soft-legs and hand and finger skills also need developing. Most importantly, the eyes must also be trained, alongside hand-eye-body coordination (The Three Positions).

This technique’s Yin/Yang balance is subtle–outwardly dodging opponents’ violent attacks, whilst inwardly conserving energy and waiting to ‘seize the moment’. As the Shaolin Maxim says: ‘Retreat only to advance! Defence is for attack!’

Method

Stage 1: The Eyes

Failing to train the eyes adequately is a severe handicap to this Kung’s mastery. Start by counting inanimate objects: the numbers of tiles on a roof or floor, bricks in a wall and paving stones on a street or path, for instance. Practise estimating their numbers and checking your guesses, until you reach a 95% accuracy-rate.

Progress next to guessing the numbers of animate or moving objects: chickens in a coop, ducks on a pond, fish in a pond, sparrows on roofs, flies wherever and finally ants, milling on the ground in front of you, in that order. When you can count a couple of thousand of the latter within a 5% margin of error you are ready for the next stage.

Stage 2: Flower Poles Exercise

Within a carefully delimited square, erect a number of wooden and bamboo poles of varying height and thickness about one-foot apart and randomly distributed. Next, sprinkle white-lime around their base.

The student then runs side-ways through the poles avoiding touching them or stepping on the white-lime around their base. Whilst side-ways running is difficult initially, practice eventually brings proficiency. Students should avoid running is straight lines and steer a more angular course through the obstacle forest. Running speed through the poles is then gradually increased. When this can be accomplished with ease, it is time for Stage 3.

Stage 3: Sharp Points

Knives and sharp hooks are attached to the tops of poles and sharp nails and spikes lower down (sometimes ‘iron puncture-vines’ are also scattered near their base) and the student repeats the Stage 2 activities, until these, too, are easily accomplished.

Finally, the student runs through an armed group of friends or co-students, who proceed to attack vigorously with their weapons. When this can be done with impunity, the weapons seized and used against their former owners, ‘Qiang Dao Bu Ru Fa’/Anti-Spear and Broadsword Arts has been finally mastered.

Overall

The secrets behind this remarkable exercise were lost until documents retrieved in an archaeological tomb excavation revealed these anew. Such Chinese texts, frequently written on bamboo strips, are often legible many, many years later (1).

Notes

(1) For details of some nearly 2,000 year old fitting this description see ‘Master Sun: The Art of War!’ on EzineArticles.