уторак, 26. август 2014.

Butterfly knives

The most famous weapon of Wing Chun , represents “Trade mark “ of the style along with Wooden dummy .Like in everything else connected to China and Kung fu there are a lot of wrong believes , legends and misinformation about butterfly swords , its purpose and techniques.

I will try to present facts and to avoid as much as it is possible legends and peoples believes .

It is commonly accepted that butterfly swords are developed in Shaolin monastery . The fact is , there are no substantial evidences to support that clam . Origin of the butterfly swords will probably remain mystery forever. The things we know for sure are that butterfly swords are weapons of Chinese southern kung fu styles and they exist in this form at last 200 years , although they are probably older. Nothing else  can be said for sure about history of this weapon .

About the shape of the weapon , different martial styles developed different shape of the blade and the handle , also, the shape of the hilt can vary from style to style . It is important to say that modern shape of the butterfly swords is not good representation of the original weapon shape and restrict weapon usage greatly . Original blade was more narrow then today's models for two reasons . First , metal was expensive , from amount of steel used today to make one modern blade it is possible to make a pair of swords . Second reason is related to combat efficiency . Modern , wide blade , restrict about 50 percent of possible techniques and these techniques are most efficient ones . Regardless of the name , “butterfly swords” are not swords but knifes . Wide blade of the knife , especially tip of the blade make stabbing almost impossible , and stabbing techniques are the most efficient ones in close combat situation . It is hard to believe that old kung fu masters who actually had to fight with this would allow that kind of restriction and put them self in a mortal danger . Original blade looked like big butcher knife . One more misconception is that people wore butterfly swords in their boots. First , people on the south do not use boots , second , modern wide blade is impossible to put in any kind of boot besides rubber fishing boots . More , it is not easy to reach weapon “hidden” in the boots . Original butterfly knifes were hidden in the sleeves , there is no need to explain why is that so much better then “boot” version .

About techniques and a significance of the butterfly swords in a Wing Chun system we have to be aware of some facts . First , in a time of “birth “ of Wing Chun system , around 1850 s , fire arms replace almost all other weapons and in that time Hon people in China could not have a weapon of any kind legally .

Therefore ,like long pole , butterfly swords became training tool ,an important part of the system . By practicing butterfly swords , practitioner can learn advanced footwork , advanced power generation , can achieve high level structural alignment and many other important parts of the system which later are incorporated in “empty hand” combat .In rare occasions , one can learn advanced knife fighting system but there are only true masters who still posses this type of knowledge .