Chain whip


Chain whip
An example of a chain whip

The chain whip is a weapon used in some Asian martial arts, including Chinese martial arts, in addition to modern and traditional wushu. It consists of several metal rods, which are joined end-to-end by rings to form a flexible chain. Generally, the whip has a handle at one end and a metal dart, used for slashing or piercing an opponent, at the other. A cloth flag is often attached at or near the dart end of the whip and a second flag may cover the whip's handle. The flag or flags adds visual appeal and produces a rushing sound as the whip swings through the air. They also help stabilize the whip, enhancing the user's control. This reduces the risk of the user inadvertently striking themselves.

Contents

History

According to the book Soft Weapons: Nine-Section Whip and Rope Dart, "The nine-section whip, regarded as a 'powerful hidden weapon,' was first used on the battlefield during the Jìn Dynasty (265-420)."[1]

Techniques

The chain whip is heavy but flexible, allowing it to be literally used as a whip to hit, hook and bind an opponent, restrict his/her movement, and to deflect blows from other weapons. The dart is used for slashing or piercing an opponent. In some cases, the dart might be coated with a poison. Because the whip is flexible, it can be used to strike around obstacles, including an opponent's block. The whip chain can be folded and hidden from view, making it an easy weapon to carry and conceal.

Chain whip forms are often extremely elaborate. In some, the chain whip is thrown in the air and caught, flicked around the neck, or flung around underneath a recumbent performer. One classic technique, used to accelerate a spinning chain whip, involves rapidly wrapping and unwrapping the length of the chain around various parts of the body, including the legs, neck and elbows. Various twisting or flicking motions cause the chain whip to gain momentum as it unwraps.

Chain whip techniques may be combined with jumping kicks and other acrobatics.[2] Double chain whip forms have been developed[3], as have forms in which a chain whip is coupled with a broadsword.[4]

For performance the chain whip can be used to perform meteor moves such as one hand or two hand meteor rotors and weaves. At the end of the performance the chain whip segments can be pulled and collected into the hand holding the handle.[5]

As with all weapons that are either chained or tied together, the whip chain is hard to control without practice. In fact, it is harder to control than a traditional rawhide or bull whip because the linked sections provide looser joints while a bull whip is a continuous piece. The chain whip is sometimes considered one of the hardest weapons in martial arts to apply in combat, simply because the wielder's sole focus of control of the overall weapon is through the handle.

Whip variations

  • Jiujiebian (九節鞭) - nine section whip
  • Qijiebian (七節鞭) - seven section whip
  • Sanjiebian (三節鞭) or plum flower, Meihuabian (梅花鞭) - three section whip.

See also

References

  1. ^ Li, Keqin and Li Xingdong. Soft Weapons: Nine-Section Whip and Rope Dart. Beijing: Foreign Languages Press, 1996 (ISBN 7-119-01883-3)
  2. ^ Shaolin Kung Fu Guy with a whip Chain! on YouTube
  3. ^ Double Chain Whip - John Su - 6 Time World Champ on YouTube
  4. ^ dao jiujiebian on YouTube
  5. ^ Learning to spin the chain whip on YouTube

External links


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