Traveling Dragon Thirteen-Technique Spear

Grandmaster Wong demonstrates using a sword to control a spear

There are different ways to classify weapons. One way is to classify them as light and heavy. Another way is to classify them as long and short.

The advantage of a heavy weapon over a light one is obvious. If you clash your light weapon against a heavy weapon, your light weapon may be broken by the heavy one. When you know this important principle, you would realize that many of the weapon-fighting scenes in kungfu movies are just for show. If a heroine, for example, uses her sword to block the chopping attack of an opponent's battle axe, the sheer weight of the battle axe will smash the sword into pieces.

The advantage of a light weapon over a heavy weapon is agility. This is the yin-yang aspect of combat -- an advantage is balanced by a disadvantage, and vice versa. High level combat efficiency entails a skillful application of this yin-yang harmony.

Both the spear and the sword are light weapons. But the spear has the advantage of length over the sword. There is a kungfu saying in Chinese (Cantonese) as follows: “Yeit chun cheong, yeit chun keong”, which means “one inch longer is one inch stronger”. But there is also a counter saying as follows: “Yeit chun thun, yeit chun miow”, which means “one inch shorter is one inch more marvelous”.

In kungfu circles, the spear is regarded as the king of weapons because the spear thrust is technically the most formidable weapon technique. Technically, it is most difficult to defend against a spear thrust. As soon as you deflect or avoid a spear thrust, the spearman can pull back his spear and aims it at you again.

The video clips here show how Grandmaster Wong uses the sword to overcome the formidable spear thrust, and overcome the spear. Great skills, of course, are needed to use the sword well. The sword, therefore, is often regarded as the weapon of masters.

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“Shaolin The Most Formidable Weapon Attack

The spear thrust is considered as the most formidable weapon attack. As the spear is light, this attack is very fast. The length of the spear keeps an opponent away, yet the spearman can attack him quite easily. It is difficult to get past the spear head to attack the spearman because he can pull the spear back quickly.

In the past, anyone who wished to be proficient in using any weapon must be able to overcome a spear thrust. In this video clip, Grandmaster Wong shows a common but wrong way to defend against a spear.
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“Shaolin Overcoming a Spear Thrust

How would you defend against a spear thrust? As you ward off a spear and attempt to move into the spearman, he can pull back the spear easily and point it at you. This is the most important point you have to overcome when countering a spear.

Thrusting a spear out is fast and versatile. A spear thrust can follow your movement. Yet, Grandmaster Wong's counter looks so simple. It is deadly. His sword slices at the opponent's throat and kidney, which are two fatal spots.
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“Shaolin Controlling the Circling Spear

Here Grandmaster Wong demonstrates two more counters against the spear thrust. In the first counter, he slices the opponent's hand to disarm him.

In the second encounter, Sifu Michael Chow points the spear at Grandmaster Wong. As Grandmaster Wong brushes the spear away, Sifu Michael circles the spear for further attacks. Circling is an important spear technique to frustrate an opponent's attempt to ward off the spear.

But Grandmaster Wong first follows Sifu Micahel's circling, then leads the circling to control the spear and slices Sifu Michael's hand.
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“Shaolin Frustrating the Circling and Thrusting Techniques of a Spear

Circling and thrusting are two spear techniques that are often used together and are the forte of a spear. Grandmaster Wong demonstrates how to overcome these two formidable spear techniques.

Sensitivity to the spear movement and intention is crucial. Grandmaster Wong is able to frustrate the combined circling and thrusting techniques of Sifu Chow because using his sword as if it were his limb, he is sensitive to the spear movement and intention,
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“Shaolin How to Control a Spear

This video clip further illustrates how to control a spear. After controlling the spear by circling it, Grandmaster Wong attempts to slice Sifu Michael's hand, but Sifu Michael neutralizes this attack using the circling technique.

Remember that a spear can also be used like a long dagger. Sifu Michael sweeps the spearhead to cut at Grandmaster Wong, who blocks it with the side (not the edge) of his sword, following with a reverse sweep at Sifu Michael.
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Sword against Spear -- Marvelous Weapon against King of Weapons from Wong Kiew Kit on Vimeo.

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We wish to thank Sifu Emiko Hsuen and Sifu Michael Chow for providing these video clips

The Amazing Combat Application of the Traveling Dragon Sword