Saturday, September 24, 2011

Whip Staff

The last few mornings at tai chi training i've been watching the regulars practising the bian gun or whip staff. The bian gun is a 4-foot staff similar to the jo in Japanese Kobudo or weapons system. It essentially is a short staff designed to strike, block, deflect, parry or poke an assailant or to defend against another weapon. These weapons tradionally were originally based upon farming tools in rural China or Japan - say you'd be out in the field hoe-ing and a group of bandits came to steal your harvest (or wife) and the handiest thing to use would guessed it, your hoe! Bandits stealing your harvest may be a thing of the past but tradition is still sacred in some parts of the world so things like the bian gun and other weapon skills are still practised.

The bian gun they practise in the mornings here in Macau is not the same form as above but the music is almost spot on. Enjoy, and think back to your ancestors hoe-ing that field and beating off those bandits...