6DKF’s basic equipment: explanation

6 Dragons Kung Fu’s equipment: how it is used

After having listed the tools we need to start our training path (read The basic equipment for training in 6DKF), here, in broad terms, we want to describe the general use of each of them.

A note by Master Kongling – I really want to emphasize that our choices regarding the basic equipment have been focused on obtaining the maximum result at the minimum price; having said that, no one forbids to opt for high-level technical material but usually, this is something that makes sense after having developed a certain skill level. At the beginning it is always better to focus our budget on a quality training path (read Martial arts: how much is it worth to spend?).

The implementation of the basic training tools

How and why we have chosen the 6 Dragons Kung Fu’s equipment.

Long sticks:

  • We study them primarily as effective weapons (even in a self-defense scenario, it is not strange to recover an improvised one)
  • Secondly, as preparatory to the use of other ancient and more complex weapons (halberd, etc.)
  • Another big advantage in terms of skills development is that we are not used to manage with dynamic dexterity a so cumbersome type of object and this increase our spatial intelligence and the reach of our strikes (we are naturally led to try to hit further, even when we are with bare hands)
  • Last but not least, they are necessary to perform some exercises (eg. wrists’ conditioning, stretching, etc.)

The shorter stick:

  • It simulates primarily the classical knives (like tanto, poignard, etc.)
  • At an advanced level, it also acts directly as an impact weapon (like brass knuckles, kubotan, etc.)
  • Collaterally it can be implemented also for self-massage techniques

The 2 short sticks:

  • They are deeply studied as a weapon (again, in any street context, a stick is one of the most common improper weapon that we can find)
  • Secondly they are preparatory to the use of other rigid (truncheons, machete, Wing Chun’s butterfly knives, wakizashi, etc.) and flexible (nunchaku, etc.) weapons
  • The fact that they are also used at the same time, increments also our coordination, spatial intelligence and multitasking capability
  • They are also useful for stretching

The average stick:

  • As for the short sticks, it is studied as a weapon itself
  • Secondly it can simulate the various types of swords (with 1-2 hands grip, like katana, ninjato, jian, the other chinese swords, ecc.)

The nunchaku:

  • It is used as a weapon itself
  • It is a preparatory weapon for the advanced use of the rigid weapons and for all other flexible ones (3-section stick, 9 sections chain, etc.)
  • The most important fact is that it teaches us to move our limbs as flexible weapons (and this has no equal in terms of body mechanics development)
  • It is also implemented as a tool for some exercises

The elastic ropes:

  • They are key components for about 2/3 of the exercises we will perform (first of all, hanging speedball training, read Basic tools: the Hanging Speedball)
  • They are fundamental for the practical learning of a big part of 6 Dragons Kung Fu’s technical baggage
  • They are preparatory to flexible weapons (whip, kusarigama, etc.)
  • Most of all, they teach us the secrets of precision, timing, power release, muscle chain and instinctive defense

The Tennis balls:

  • They are used for many exercises (starting from an intermediate level of preparation)
  • In terms of weapons, they are good and safe subsitutes for the throwing weapons (rocks, etc.)

The chopsticks:

  • They serve as a second approach to throwing weapons (throwing knives, darts, shurikens, etc.)
  • They can also be used as impact weapons

The passive equipement:

  • Broken stockings – They are needed to compose many of the training tools that we will gradually use
  • The football balls – They are a good obstacle and a fondamental complement of certain exercises / tools
  • The rice bag – It is needed for the first phase of the conditioning of our body (read Hands conditioning: first approach with a bag of rice)
  • The fabric bags – They are necessary to hang football balls (if we do not have speedballs)
  • Broken T-Shirts – They are necessary for the the fabric cloth training we mentioned above (one of the most important exercises, read Basic tools: the cloth)
  • The sandbags – They serve as ballast for particular execises
  • The diary – It is the best friend of the good practitioner, here we can write down everything that we need (errors, ideas, questions, etc.), it is one of the most important tools (far from the training context it is in fact difficult to focus on those thoughts that, previously, seemed so clear and obvious)
  • The fisherman vest – It serves us as a garment to be ballasted with sandbags (read The weighted vest); it helps us to build speed, power, balance and resistance
  • The dumbbells with weights – We need them not only for arms muscle’s development but also to fortify various parts of our body and to learn certain dynamics of the weapons

The practitioner’s basic uniform and protections:

  • The black T-shirts – They serve naturally as a dress for training; they must be various because, if we will train seriously, we will broke a lot of them (tears, cuts, sweat, etc.)
  • The gloves – We will wear them a little but we need them to make uncomfortable the grip with weapons and to do not cut off our skin superficially in certain exercises (our conditioning aims above all to sculpt / develop muscles and bones and not so much to develop excessive calluses)
  • The football socks – They must be the same color of the pants and they go over the pants (to avoid obstructions near the ankles, ad Shaolin monks were used to do)
  • The polyester pants –  They allow us to bend / kick without constraints (at each heigth) letting slip the fabric on the skin without rubbing (with the time, we will understand that these are not secondary aspects)
  • Low shoes – We need them to get used to do not have any benefit / alteration in terms of vertical thrust and to have a good perception of the ground (however, some exercises are performed in bare feet and some other with everyday shoes)

Final notes

A few conclusive thoughts:

  • The first thing that should stands out is that we do not study weapons only as elements in their own but mainly to educate our body (read Learning the use of real weapons)
  • The ones we have described are not all the possible implementations of these tools (nor generally nor in relation to our practice), we have simply explained some of the core reasons why we have chosen them
  • The basic equipment (except for the bow, blowgun and a few other weapons) provides us the foundation to use and / or learn with greater ease any type of similar (proper / improper) tool
  • Finally it should be said that this is the basic equipment for training, everything else is a consequence of what we have already listed and it is up to us to decide whether, in due time, we want or not to procure / construct / assemble to test (or learn) a specific one (flexible sword, hatchet, tiger claw sword, kama, 3-sections stick, tonfa, 9 sections chain, kusarigama, manrikigusari, sai, meteor hammer, all the other ninja gear, all the other Shaolin weapons, etc.)

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Author: Master Kongling

Founder of 6 Dragons Kung Fu.

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