Weapon training: advanced exercise for spatial intelligence

What we really need to be able to use a weapon in a real situation

In terms of martial arts, to be able to use a proper / improper weapon (read Improper weapons in a real situation) does not mean:
  • Knowing how to perfectly perform codified forms
  • Knowing how to execute fancy juggling tricks
Note – This article has been asked by one of our Core Course practitioners on Patreon (see how to attend our home study classes here Learn Kung Fu online: a beginner-to-expert course).This kind of stuff could be certainly useful but if our real focus is being able to fight (eg. in a self-defense context), it is important to stress that, at the same time, it is:
  • Not necessary
  • Not sufficient
The most important capability is to be able to manage the chosen weapon in a dynamic random context and the exercise we are going to see directly helps us to reach this goal (to deepen the path that the students follow in our school we can read Learning the use of real weapons).A note by Master Kongling – I really want to emphasize that we have the utmost respect and admiration for those who perform forms, acrobatics and juggling performances. 

An exercise to develop a good spatial intelligence

The premises

Our starting points:
  • Spatial intelligence is the ability that in 6 Dragons Kung Fu we identify as “primary” for a practitioner (read The most important skill in combat)
  • This exercise (already described for the free body, read Reflexes and spatial intelligence: an exercise with the Tennis Ball) may be performed either with flexible weapons (rope, nunchaku, etc.), both with the rigid ones (stick, knife, etc.), the only precaution is to execute it only with training tools (no sharpened blades, non-hazardous materials, etc.)
  • We insist a lot on the implementation of unorthodox training methods (read The use of unorthodox methods)
  • This is absolutely not a practice for beginners
To perform this exercise we need:
  • The right technical level
  • A basic control over our power and speed
  • A good balance (eg. it is useless to try this practice if we are not suited to work with the first 3 fundamental practices of our school, read /// Subscribe (it's free!) or Login to see this content ///)
  • The necessary control over the weapon (eg. if we feel it too heavy we will fail)

The base of the exercise

Here is the exercise (in its simplest version):
  • Let’s find a closed room (neither small nor large but devoid of delicate objects)
  • Let’s advise people near us that we are training with weapons and let’s follow all the security rules listed in How to train without risks (for their security and ours)
  • Let’s take a couple of Tennis balls, 1 classical and 1 with reduced elasticity (eg. the ones for dogs)
  • Let’s choose the weapon we want to use (rope, sai, 3-section stick, etc.)
  • Let’s start with the simplest thing, let’s make the ball bounce on the ground (with a random force and direction)
  • Let’s try to hit the ball with the weapon before it hits the ground a second time
A note by Master Kongling – Although we may have already had ample opportunities to work with the chosen weapon, we will probably realize how different is to hit the air (or an imaginary / simulated target) than having to reach a very specific space, in a precise time (that potentially change each time).

The next step: the variants

When we become able to accurately hit the ball, we can move on to more complex and advanced versions of this practice:
  • Sometimes, we can change the ball with the other one (with damped elasticity)
  • We can throw the ball and hit it in the air before it hits the ground (this is slightly more difficult)
  • We can “fight” with the ball and its rebounds on the wall / floor / ceiling, trying not to stop the bounces (much harder)
  • We can “fight” with the ball in the presence of obstacles on the ground (let’s choose non-hazardous ones)

The goal

What we aim to teach our mind, is to perform complex calculations about the scenario and the interaction between its elements (power, distance, position, air resistance, revolutions, etc.): The ideal goal is to be able to project the effectiveness of our weapon at the speed of thought in an infinitely small time / space.A note by Master Kongling – This, together with the absorption of: a good technique, constant practice, deception ability, etc. means knowing how to fight with a weapon (all the rest is simply secondary).In the next article of this series, we will see more exercises with weapons.

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Reply in the comments and share your experience:
  • Can you hit the ball with your weapon?

Author: Master Kongling

Founder of 6 Dragons Kung Fu.

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