The Shaolin Meteor Hammer

The Shaolin Meteor Hammer (Liuxing Chui)

  • Type of weapon: flexible / soft
  • Used by: Shaolin monks (China)
  • Martial arts: Kung Fu (various styles, it is one of the 18 Shaolin weapons)
  • Diffusion level: very low (only in specific and high-level Kung Fu circles)
  • Cost: medium-low cost

Technical characteristics

  • Composition: it is basically a rope tied to 5 rings (3 of which are made to help the flow of the movement) and a spherical metal weight; a small colored flag is also attached to the hammer part to make the motion more visible /earable (during demonstrations and / or training sessions) and to add a better balance to the weapon
  • Materials: the hammer and the rings are normally made of copper / iron / steel, the flag (the “hammer silk”) is made of fabric and the rope
  • Measures: the diameter of the metal weight is 4-8 cm; the diameter of the rope is about 1 cm and the total length should be proportioned to the practitioner (generally 2-3 m); excluding the hammer (and its knot), the perfect length is the widest horizontal opening of the 2 arms of the practitioner plus the distance from his shoulders from the ground (standing normally)
  • Weight: from a minimum of 400 g for the training / exhibitions versions (very fast) to the tremendous 3000 g of the combat ones (very dangerous)

Combat performances

  • Speed: it is very fast to manage and to follow
  • Effectiveness: to make it useful in real combat it is necessary an extremely high skill level (unknown in our century)
  • Power: due to the inertia of the movements it gains a big amount of power, enough to broke human bones
  • Advantages: long range, fast, hard to follow with the sight and devastating impacts
  • Disadvantages: at close distance and / or grasped, it loses a big part of its effectiveness

Practical use

  • Self-defense: it is a weapon hard to recognize but not enough versatile to be used in an improvised street context (it is very long)
  • Useful to: in training to develop high-quality spatial intelligence (read The most important skill in combat)
  • Ideal environment: open areas, both in training, both in combat
  • Effective applications: against unarmed opponents or to catch someone by surprise
  • How to evaluate the quality level: the rope must be strong but comfortable to grab, the metal must be good quality, filled and not too small

How to learn to use the meteor hammer

Variants and related weapons


  • The double-headed meteor hammer – A very similar weapon but with 2 metal weights at the 2 extremities
  • The dart rope – A very similar weapon but with a metal dart instead of the weight
  • The training / exhibition version – It is the same but lighter and faster
  • The beginner training version – Instead of a metal head it is possible to use a tennis ball or a voluminous knot

Related weapons:

In-depth articles


Reply in the comments and share your experience:

  • Have you tried the meteor hammer? Do you have something to add?

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