The Shaolin 9 Section Chain Whip

There are two versions of this chain, a lighter one (usually used in wushu exhibitions) and a heavier one used to all effects as a weapon.

It is an extremely dangerous weapon and can be handled only after a long workout with the elastic rope (first free and then with a light weight).

In 6DKF the first thing we learn is its “soft swinging”, then we switch to rigid rotations, to stopping, to achieve a static target (without getting hit bounce), a moving target… and gradually we come to the last stage, the motion of the dragon (but only after years of training).

The Shaolin 9 Section Chain Whip (Jiujiebian)

  • 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: medium-low (only in specific Kung Fu circles)
  • Cost: medium-medium-low cost

Technical characteristics

  • Composition: it is basically a series of 7-9 segments connected one to each other by 3-5 rings (as for the Meteor Hammer, the rings that are not used to connect, are made to help the flow of the movement); at the end, on one side there is a tip (cut in the training version), on the other the handle (covered with a band); a small colored flag is also attached to the tip part to make the motion more visible / hearable (during demonstrations and / or training sessions) and to add a better balance to the weapon
  • Materials: the entire structure is normally made of copper / iron / steel, then there is the fabric / plastic band over the handles and the fabric flag
  • Measures: generally the diameter of the sections (in the larger area) is 1-2 cm for the combat versions and 0.6-0.7 in the training ones; the diameter of the tip (in the larger area) is about 2-3 cm; each section is 10 cm and the total length is normally around 150 cm (but in some cases, it can vary depending on the school / practitioner); the training / exhibition version has almost the same length but the sections can also have half or 3/4 of the diameters previously declared
  • Weight: from a minimum of 400-500 g for the training / exhibitions versions (very fast) to the tremendous 1000-3000 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 a high skill level (rare in our century)
  • Power: due to the inertia of the movements it gains a certain amount of power, enough to broke human bones
  • Advantages: medium-long range, fast, hard to follow with the sight and devastating impacts
  • Disadvantages: at close distance and / or grasped, it loses part of its effectiveness

Practical use

  • Self-defense: in the hands of a real expert, it is a potentially effective weapon, relatively easy to transport (in a pocket), able to scare most of the common aggressors but easy to recognize (too similar to a chain); in the hands of a beginner-intermediate level practitioner is more dangerous for him than for the eventual aggressors
  • Useful to: in training to develop high-quality spatial intelligence (read The most important skill in combat), to learn how to hit freehand (read The metal sphere: how to release the force of a punch or a kick) and to start to condition the strength of the arms (the inertia that it involves is very stressful for a not trained person)
  • Ideal environment: open areas, both in training, both in combat
  • Effective applications: against armed or unarmed opponents, to maintain the distance, to catch someone by surprise but even as an impact weapon (when folded) and as a strangling tool
  • How to evaluate the quality level: the metal must be good quality (filled and not too small, especially in the connection areas); the entire structure must resist to the tension that we can impress with our arms; the cover of the handle should not be folded with cardboard (under the fabric) and must not be easily uncovered

How to learn to use the 9 sections chain whip

Variants and related weapons

Variants:

  • In China there are plenty of variation of this weapon, it is very hard to add them all
  • The dart rope – A very similar weapon but longer and with a rope instead of the chain
  • 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 video courses

In-depth articles

Questions

Reply in the comments and share your experience:

  • Have you tried the whip chain? Do you have something to add?

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