THE BUTTERFLY KNIVES AND THEIR COMBAT APPLICATIONS

butterfly knives against spear

An Amazing Application of the Butterfly Knives Against the Spear

The Butterfly Knives are short, light weapons. How would you apply your Butterfly Knives against a long weapon like a spear, or a heavy weapon like a staff?

Applied skillfully, the Butterfly Knives are formidable. It was heartening to note that at the beginning participants at the weapon course felt helpless when facing opponents with long weapons, but at the end of the course they could handle these opponents competently.

Besides having the advantages of a double weapon, whereby you may, for example, use one weapon to defend and the other weapon to attack, the Butterfly Knives can be held in a normal way as well as a reversed way. These give the Butterfly Knives added advantages.

A picture-series and a video series of the Butterfly Knives Set can be found here and here


You can also view all the videos here


1. Introducting the Butterfly Knives

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This Butterfly Knives Set is called “Human-Character Double Southern Knives”, and is composed from “Crossroad Double Southern Knives” of Uncle Righteousness' Southern Shaolin, and “Human-Character Knives” of Sifu Choe Hoong Choy's Choy Family Wing Choon. This video series shows the beginning of the set taught by Grandmaster Wong at the UK Summer Camp 2007 in Canterbury, England. Grandmaster Wong explains how to generate internal force and how to perform an important pattern, “Fierce Tiger Descends Mountain”, where rotation of the waist is essential.

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2. Fierce Tiger and Moon-Gazing Rhinoceros

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As in unarmed sets, various patterns in weapon sets are linked in some meaningful ways into sequences. This video series shows the first two sequences of the Butterfly Knives set, “Human-Character Double Southern Knives”. These two sequences, which are named after their two crucial patterns “Fierce Tiger Descends Mountain” and “Rhinoceros Looks at Moon”, incorporate some important techniques of the Butterfly Knives. A combat application is explained here. More combat applications are explained in the next series.

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3. How would you Counter a Spear Thrust?

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A spear thrust is technically the most difficult of all weapon attacks. Hence, in the past no practitioner would be considered competent in his weapon until he could successfully counter a spear thrust. The Butterfly Knives are short weapons. How would you use these short weapons against a spear? This video series shows how you can overcome this problem. You will also learn how to counter an opponent who attempts to disarm you.

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4. Counters against Chops and Sweeps of Heavier Weapons

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Another common but wrong defence we often see in kungfu movies is using a light weapon, like a pair of Butterfly Knives or a sword, to block a medium or heavy weapon, like a staff or a halberd. The light weapons will be broken by the sheer weight of the heavier weapons. Theb, how would you counter a downward chop or a horizontal sweep of a staff with your Butterfly Knives. This video series gives some examples.

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5. Butterfly Knives against a Saber

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A saber is both heavier and longer than Butterfly Knives. It is also very agile. These factors give a saber many advantages. Butterfly Knives have other advantages. As they are in pairs, a practitioner may use one knife to cover the saber, and the other knife to counter-strike. Their sturdiness due to their shorter length gives them better control and solidness when covering a saber. This video series gives some examples how you may use Butterfly Knives to counter thrusting and chopping attacks from sabers. It also shows how you may escape from an ambush using the pattern “Whirlwind Sweeps Leaves”.

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6. How to Perform Butterfly Knives With Force and Speed but Without being Tired

butterfly knives

Grandmaster Wong reveals the secrets that enable masters in the past to be fast and powerful yet not tired when using weapons for an extended period of time. There are three steps to accomplish this. (1) Be able to perform the required patterns in picture-perfect forms. (2) Performing the patterns smoothly without using muscular strength as if performing Taiji dance. (3) Back up the movements with flowing internal force. Obviously, the pre-requisite is being able to generate chi flow and internal force. If one has no chi flow or internal force, he would be unable to accomplish the task even if he knows the techniques.

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7. Yin-Yang Butterfly Knives and Close-Combat Applications

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The Butterfly Knives are unique in that they can be held in the normal manner, and also in a reverse manner, conveniently refered to as the yang-way and the yin-way respectively. This yin-yang way of holding the Butterfly Knives give us some useful techniques for combat. The yin-way is effective in close-body combat, and this video series shows some interesting applications. You must, of course, be skillful in changing from the yang to the yin way of holding, and vice versa, quickly and spontaneously. Sequences 4 and 5 of the Butterfly Set provide some systematic practice

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8. Some Interesting Applications of Butterfly Knives Held in Reverse

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Many people may wonder how the reverse-way or yin-way of holding the Butterfly Knives can have any combat functions. Have a look at the Butterfly Knives patterns like “Bar the Big Boss”, “Double Leopards Speed through Jungle” and “Black Tiger Guards Door”. How are they used in combat? Grandmaster Wong demonstrates some interesting combat applications with these patterns. They are excellent for releasing many different types of holds and grips. And you can choose to damage him in different ways — mildly, severely or fatally

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9. Combat Training with Weapons Must be Injury Free

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Not many kungfu practitioners nowadays know how to apply their unarmed kungfu patterns for combat. Knowing combat application of weapons is naturally even less. Surprising it may be, in many martial art schools today sustaining injuries in sparring is taken for granted. This is quite ridiculous. A main aim of practicing any martial art is not to be hurt at all in combat. This is expecially important in combat application with weapons. In our school combat application, whether unarmed or with weapons, is not only injury free but also full of fun. Of course, one must be able to perform the weapons patterns in solo very well before using them in combat.

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10. How do you Release your Butterfly Knives from being Locksed?

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If an opponent attempts to hold your or disarm your Butterfly Knives, you can counter effectively by changing from your normal yang-grip to a reversed yin-grip. How would you release your Butterfly Knives or your arms if an opponent locks them with his weapon? A skillful exponent of a Big Trident, for example, may employ the three prongs of the Trident to lock an opponent's weapons or break his arms.

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11. Learning to Make Flowers Systematically

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An important technique found in many weapons is known in Chinese as “khuen fa” (Cantonese), which may be roughly translated as “making flowers”. There are different variations of this technique, and it is implemented in patterns like “Double Butterflies Flying” and “Big Blossom of Plum Flowers”. Amongst the many combat applications of the technique are to attack an opponent continuously, to break out of an ambush by many attackers or to deflect countless “flying weapons” thrown by opponents.

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12. Combat Applications of Double Butterflies Flying

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Having acquired the technique and skill of “khuen fa” or “making flowers” implemented in the pattern “Double Butterflies Flying”, the next step is to learn its combat applications. It is a formidable technique. When applied skillfully, amongst other functions, it can be used to continuously attack an opponent almost irrespective of his responses! On the other hand, participants also learn how to counter attacks of this formidable technique, thus making our combat training complete. Much skill is required to execute the technique and its defence effectively.

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13. Human-Character and Cross-Road are Found Here

butterfly knives

This set is called “Human-Character Double Southern Knives” because it is derived from two Butterfly Knives sets, namely “Human-Character Knives” from Sifu Choe Hoong Choy's lineage, and “Cross-Road Double Southern Knives” from Uncle Righteousness' lineage. “Human-Character” is so called because the two Butterfly Knives form a pattern that resembles the Chinese character for “man” or “human”. The term “Cross-Road” is derived from the two Butterfly Knives forming a cross in the pattern “Breeze Sweeps Lotus Leaves”. Both these two patterns are shown in this video clip.

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14. Kungfu Training and Mental Clarity

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Most martial artists take a few months to learn a set. But in our school we often learn a set in a few hours, yet can perform it quite well! How do we achieve such a remarkable feat? There are some good reasons, one of which is that we have mental clarity, which we develop from our kungfu training itself. In our school every movement is a training of energy and mind. Whatever movements you make, whether in form practice, force training or combat application, you have to be relaxed and be free of irrelevant thoughts. When you are relaxed, you generate energy flow. When your mind is free of irrelevant thoughts, you attain mental clarity.

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15. Learning the Combat Applications of Butterfly Knives against Other Weapons

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Instead of merely telling the participants the applications of the Butterfly Knives against various weapons, Grandmaster Wong asks them to work out the applications themselves. This is an invaluable part of the training, as it enables the participants to experience the actual process of how combat applications were evolved by past masters. It also enables the participants to have a deeper understanding of combat principles, which they can later apply to other weapons as well as to unarmed fighting.

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16. The Benefits of Combat Training with Classical Weapons

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Many people think that learning classical weapons is no longer meaningful in modern societies as we do not use classical weapons for fighting any more. We soon find out that this way of though is flawed in our combat training with weapons. Not only an understanding of classical weapons will enable us to better handle modern improvised weapons like a cleaver, a spike or a broken bottle, it highlights many combat principles that are not only useful in unarmed combat, which may still occur in modern living, but develops qualities like calmness and agility in a more cost-effective manner that enhance our daily life.

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17. From Slow and Systematic to Fast and Spontaneous

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Others looking at our videos may criticize our combat applications shown here as too slow for actual fighting. We should feel complimented instead of insulted. Although they never mean it, they are actually saying that we understand and practice systematic training whereas they don't. An analogy may make this clearer. When you first learned how to drive, you didn't go fast. You went over the various necessary maneuvers slowly, not only because you were unfamiliar with them yet, but also this enabled you to perform the movements correctly and smoothly as well as to take note of mistakes made. Now that you know how to drive, these movements have become smooth and fast spontaneously.

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18. First-Class Kungfu Calls for Great Skills and Techniques

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The great Taijiquan master, Wang Zhong Ye, once said, “If you are strong and defeat a weak opponent, that is third-class kungfu. If you defeat an opponent who is stronger and bigger than you, that is first-class. It calls for great skills and techniques.” The combat applications of the Butterfly Knives manifest this aspect of first-class kungfu. And we are very proud of the progress of the participants in this course. Sifu Anthony Korahais described this progress succinctly when he said, “At the beginning, most of the participants did not know what to do with their Butterfly Knives when facing an opponent with a long, dangerous weapon like a spear. But by the end of the training, I am so confident with my Butterfly Knives against the spear that I actually feel pity for the opponent.”

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You can also view the videos here

LINKS

Review of UK Summer Camp 2007 Weapon Course

  1. Introducing the Butterfly Knives
  2. Fierce Tiger and Moon-Gazing Rhinoceros
  3. How would you Counter a Spear Thrust?
  4. Counters against Chops and Sweeps of Other Weapons
  5. Butterfly Knives Against a Saber
  6. The Secret of Performing Butterfly Knives with Force and Speed but Without being Tired
  7. Yin-Yang Butterfly Knives and Close-Combat Applications
  8. Some Interesting Applications of Butterfly Knives Held in Reverse
  9. Combat Training with Weapons Must be Injury Free
  10. How do you Release your Butterfly Knives from being Locked?
  1. Learning to Make Flowers Systematically
  2. Combat Applications of Double Butterflies Flying
  3. Human-Character and Cross-Road are Found Here
  4. Kungfu Training and Mental Clarity
  5. Learning the Combat Applications of the Butterfly Knives against Other Weapons
  6. The Benefits of Combat Training with Classical Weapons
  7. From Slow and Systematic to Fast and Spontaneous
  8. First-Class Kungfu Calls for Great Skills and Techniques

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