Ancient Chinese Weapons and Weaponry
Popular Ancient Chinese Weapons:
The ancient Chinese civilization was one of the most powerful for many centuries. The 4 basic Ancient Chinese Weapons used were Staff, Broad Sword, Spear and Straight Sword. Later, renowned martial arts and battle techniques were developed; a predominant example of such arts is Kung-Fu. These earliest weapons used by most Chinese martial arts were then divided into 4 categories, namely, impacting, cutting, flexible and projectile.
Shaolin Weaponry in ancient China- This was the art of using and defending against objects that can be used as weapons but were not so originally designed. This was considered to be the highest form of weaponry where the practitioner learned that everything can be used as an offensive or defensive weapon. Some of the more famous of these are The Bench, Monks Spade (or any shovel for that matter), Rake, Monks Lantern and others.
Other ancient Chinese weapons:
Apart from the Shaolin weaponry, the Ancient Chinese Weapons which evolved throughout the history of China and were used by the ancient Chinese army were masterpieces of engineering. These made Chinese army fierce and a feared force in Southeast Asia during the ancient times. The 4 classes of weapons predominantly used by the Chinese army were:
1.The Gun-. It was actually a simple staff made from bamboo and its usage was accompanied by martial arts, which made it a fatal weapon. It was mainly used to train new recruits but rarely used on the war field, as bladed weapons dominated the Chinese arsenal.
2.The Dao- The term Dao referred to any kind of long weapon used for hand-to-hand combat to cut, slice, chop and even hack. The evolution of the Dao started in the Bronze age. Most of the Dao was long weapons that had blades mounted on their long shafts. The blades of these weapons are, even today, considered as masterpieces by the ironsmiths of the Chinese civilization.
3.The Qiang- Qiang, a class of spears, was believed to have evolved from the prehistoric spear that was known as the ‘Mao’. The common Qiang could be described as a spear that had a long staff and had a steel, iron, or bronze mounted tip. It was used by the Chinese army for long distance combat that involved throwing these spears, even after firearms were introduced by the Qin Dynasty.
4.The Jian- It was the king of weapons in ancient China often known as the ‘sovereign of blades. Not only was this sword used for a very long time, but it was also one of the greatest masterpieces of Chinese craftsmanship which could be used by all, including the cavalry and the infantry, irrespective of the functions that the regiment performed.
The four basic Ancient Chinese Weapons are no longer used in combat but some of them, like the Jian, are used for ceremonial purposes. Martial arts institutes across China have re-developed the techniques of using these weapons. Today, there are very few of these weapons in existence.
However, once upon a time, the four basic Ancient Chinese Weapons, established the supremacy of one of the biggest and most ancient civilizations of Southeast Asia.