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Chinese Weapons - Spear vs Sword

Spear vs Sword - YMAA

The Chinese Spear and Chinese Sword are both traditional weapons that have been used for centuries in martial arts and warfare. While both weapons have their unique characteristics, they are best suited for different fighting scenarios.

Chinese Spear

Chinese Spear (know as King of Long Weapons) is a long-range weapon that has been used since ancient times. It is a versatile weapon that can be used for thrusting, blocking, and even for throwing at an opponent. The Chinese spear, also known as the Qiang, is a long thrusting spear that has been an essential weapon in Chinese martial arts and warfare for over 2,000 years. Typically made from bamboo, the Qiang has a pointed metal tip and a broad blade with a length of up to 9 feet. It is fired by thrusting or stabbing with great force, and the length of the spear provides versatility in attack and defense.

Master Robert Was (YMAA Poland) - Kung Fu Spear

The Chinese Spear was widely used in ancient times where it was favored by Chinese soldiers for its long distance effect and powerful striking capabilities. Today, the Qiang continues to be a popular weapon in Chinese martial arts, featuring prominently in the training regimens for many Kung Fu based martial arts styles. Its versatility remains evident in demonstrations of techniques such as the “long spear technique” and the “short spear technique,” which highlight the effectiveness of this weapon both in close combat and long-range engagements. This weapon is ideal for fighting in open spaces where its long reach can be utilized to keep the opponent at bay.  Yang Lu Chan, the founder of the Yang style of Tai Chi Chuan was famous for his use of the spear and his feats with it are legendary.

The red ponytail on a Chinese Spear is known as a tassel or horsehair tassel. In Chinese culture, red is considered a symbol of good luck and prosperity. The tassel on the spear is believed to enhance the weapon's power and bring luck to the bearer. Additionally, the tassel helps to distract opponents and hide the movement of the spear, making it more difficult to predict and defend against. Overall, the red ponytail on a Chinese spear is a traditional feature that adds to the cultural significance and practicality of the weapon.

Chinese Sword

On the other hand, the Chinese Sword (King of Short Weapons) is a close-range weapon and is primarily used for cutting and chopping. It is made of metal and has a double-edged blade that provides a clean and precise cut. The Chinese Sword is usually shorter than the Chinese Spear, ranging from two to three feet. It is used for quick striking motions and is ideal for fighting in confined spaces like buildings or narrow pathways. Yue Fei, was a Chinese military general who lived during the Southern Song dynasty is considered as the best swordman.

Tai Chi Sword - Zibi Panasewicz

The Chinese sword, also known as the Jian, is a weapon with a long history in China, having been used for over 2,500 years. The Jian is a double-edged straight sword with a length of up to 36 inches, crafted from various materials, including bronze, iron, and steel. The blade of Chinese Sword is sharp and lightweight, making it an agile weapon for thrusting, slicing, and defensive purposes. The Jian was popular among the Chinese aristocracy and military officials, and its proficiency led to its use in martial arts practice. The iconic "three fundamental techniques" in Chinese swordsmanship, which include slicing, thrusting, and chopping, have been taught to generations of martial artists. The Chinese sword has since been adopted into Chinese culture as a symbol of power and bravery, with swords being often presented as gifts to heroes who demonstrate the virtues of the noble warrior or with a red ribbon to bring good luck. The grace and skill of swordsmanship continue to be admired, with Chinese sword practitioners continuing to train and perform today.

They may be different in shape and size, but the Chinese Spear and Chinese Sword share the same spirit of martial arts - discipline, precision and the courage to face any challenge.

When it comes to which weapon is best for fighting, it really depends on the situation. If you are fighting in an open area or field where you need to keep your distance from the opponent, then the Chinese Spear is the best choice. Its long reach allows you to attack your opponent from a safe distance while also keeping them at bay.

However, if you are fighting in a confined space or narrow pathway, then the Chinese Sword is a better option. Its short length allows you to wield it quickly and efficiently, making it ideal for quick strikes and chopping motions.

In summary, the Chinese Spear and Chinese Sword are both traditional weapons that have their own unique advantages depending on the situation. Both weapons require extensive training and practice to master, and it is essential to choose the right weapon for the scenario to ensure victory.

Both (Chinese Spear and Chinese Sword) are included in the YMAA curriculum - join TaiChi4U classes (first session FREE) to learn them.


  • 0%Which weapon will you choose?

  • 0%Spear

  • 0%Sword


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