Wudang Blog

The Origin of the Crescent Moon Knives

Crescent Moon Knives (Chinese: 鸳鸯钺; pinyin: Yuānyāngyuè), are Chinese bladed weapons consisting of two steel crescents crossing. They are used in Chinese martial arts. This crossing produces four curved, claw-like points, one of which is extended as the “main” blade. The practitioner grips the wrapped middle of the lengthened crescent with the other acting as a hand guard. Relatively short weapons that were easily concealable in traditional Chinese clothing, they are usually trained in pairs, one for each hand.

Crescent Moon Knives are especially associated with the soft style Chinese martial art Baguazhang, which is known for its diverse weaponry. They are mainly used in trapping an opponent’s weapon in aid of tying up or breaking the opponent’s weapon, disarming the opponent and other close combat applications.

The Crescent Moon Knives are normally used against longer weapons such as spear, sword, broadsword, or any weapon which uses safe distances to attack from. One advantage of the Crescent Moon Knives in comparison to a longer weapon is that seeing as the deer horn knives are direct appendages of the hands, they can be moved with great speed and precision, and along with their ease of concealment, can easily be used to catch their opponent off guard.

Some variations of the Crescent Moon Knives include pairs with one crescent being longer than the other, the large blade presumably being used as the “main” hand and the smaller blade as the “guard” hand.

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The Monk Spade (or Fangbian Chan) a Buddhist and Taoist Weapon

wudang monk shovel

The origin of the Monk Spade

A monk’s spade (Traditional Chinese: 月牙鏟; Simplified Chinese: 月牙铲; pinyin: yuèyáchǎn; literally “Crescent Moon Spade”; also, Traditional Chinese: 禪仗; Simplified Chinese: 禅仗; pinyin: chánzhàng; literally, “Zen Weapon”. Romanized Japanese: getsugasan, Hiragana: げつがさん), also called a Shaolin Spade, is a Chinese pole weapon consisting of a long pole with a flat spade-like blade on one end and a smaller crescent shaped blade on the other. In old China, Buddhist monks often carried spades (shovels) with them when travelling. This served two purposes: if they came upon a corpse on the road, they could properly bury it with Buddhist rites, and the large implement could serve as a weapon for defense against bandits. Over time, they were stylised into the monk’s spade weapon.

wudang fangbian oksana zabudska

The Monk Spade as Taoist weapon

The Fangbian Chan (or Monk Spade) is an unusual kind of weapon, which also Taoists possess and wandering Taoists bring with them in their travels. It is said that the Fangbian Chan is Laozi’s creation. In the field of Daoist studies, practicing the Fangbian Chan not only demands rigor, but it also builds rigor. The Fangbian Chan is divided into 3 parts.

First, the head of the shovel: its length of 1.8 feet represents the secret space between the 18 levels of Hades. The shovel face’s 2 curved edges each have a ring, which represents the 2 energies of Yin and Yang. The neck of the shovel head has 5 iron rings, representing the 5 elements (fire, wood, water, metal, earth). So the idea of the 5 elements is that practicing the Dao to keep Yin and Yang balanced in order to have the power to break away from the abyss of misery, and suppress the 18 levels of Hades with the shovel.

Second, the handle of the shovel: its length of 3.3 feet represents the middle 33 heavens. The idea is to manage cause and effect, good and bad oneself.

Third, the end of the shovel: its length of 8.6 inches represents the 8 directions and 6 sides because the 3 curves of the drill it forms brings about conformation and represent 3 Cai (Heaven/Earth/Humanity). In addition, each curve has a loop representing 3 treasures (Jjing/Qi/Shen). In this way, there is Heaven and Earth, and people have life from the 3 heavenly treasures. For this reason, people who go out into the world and experience life must follow the natural way of the existence in this world and universe. Laozi created the Fangbian Chan form with 81 movements; the original idea was to remind his disciples to always keep Yin and Yang, always practice with the heart, body, and mind, and help others along the way. Keep doing this again and again throughout your life and you can become immortal in the end. After this, you can suppress the force of Hades and rise to the Heavens.

The Fangbian Chan is a complete weapon. It can be used as a staff, spear, long broadsword, and trident. It can be used to hook, hitch, chop, block, thrust, shovel, sweep, smack, beat, twist, etc. These applications are used to understand the principles of defending and attacking, backwards and forwards, slow and fast, hard and soft, etc. Here is the path to the product list with Monk Spades

shaolin monk spade

 

 

 

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Where do I buy a real Taoist Uniform?

The Wudang Mountains are located right next to the small city Wudangshan, where our tailor is working with his wife in their own atelier, every piece of clothing he tailors is made accordingly to traditional ancient Chinese standards, the materials he is using are of natural fiber - a special combination of cotton and linen material, which was used by tai chi masters and students long time ago in Old China, so it is until now. Each taoist garment and tai chi uniform ordered from our store you can be sure is made by hand up to your exact body size using best materials possible. 

Wudang-Store is supported by local taoists in Wudangshan, since we opened our store in year 2012 we have happy customers only, because to find a better quality is simply not possible in whole China nor the internet.

On the picture below is the inner life of the working place of our tailor Lou He Hua

When I visited our tailor Lou He Hua I made few pictures of the view outside his atelier, those are rare pictures of Wudangshan, because since now it is forbidden by the Hubei province government selling vegetables from the ground and street food in the Wudang Mountains area.

wudang market

nostalgic wudangshan

Now everybody has the opportunity to buy a Tai Chi Uniform directly from Wudang online in our Online Shop.

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The Origin of the Double Hook Sword

Twin Hook SwordThe hook sword, twin hooks, fu tao or shuang gou also known as hu tou gou (tiger head hook) is a Chinese weapon traditionally associated with northern styles of Chinese martial arts and Wushu weapons routines, but now often practiced by southern styles as well.
Reliable information on hook swords is difficult to come by. While sometimes called an ancient weapon and described as dating from the Song dynasty to Warring States or even earlier, most antique examples and artistic depictions are from the late Qing era or later, suggesting that they are actually a comparatively recent design. They were also an exclusively civilian weapon, appearing in none of the official listings of Chinese armaments. Surviving sharpened examples point to actual use as weapons, but their rarity, and the training necessary to use them, strongly suggest that they were only rarely used as such.
Double Hook SwordAlso known as "tiger hook swords" or qian kun ri yue dao (literally "Heaven and Earth, Sun and Moon sword"), these weapons have a blade similar to that of the jian, though possibly thicker or unsharpened, with a prong or hook (similar to a shepherd's crook) near the tip. Guards are substantial, in the style of butterfly swords. Often used in pairs, the hooks of the weapons may be used to trap or deflect other weapons.

There are five components to the Twin Hook Sword:

  • The back, which is used as a regular sword.
  • The hook, which is used to trip enemies, catch weapons and for slashing.
  • The end of the hilt, which is sharpened.
  • The crescent guard, which is used for blocking and slashing.
  • The link, which is used when using a pair. The two hooks can loosely connect, and the wielder swings one hook sword, in a way that the second is extended further out, almost six feet. While the second is in the air, the dagger upon the hilt slashes the target. In this way, the wielder can extend their reach out from three feet to six.

Twin HooksRoutines for hook swords are taught in such northern schools as Northern Shaolin and Seven-Star Mantis, and in some schools of southern arts such as Choy Lay Fut. Modern routines for hook swords are often very flashy, and may involve techniques such as linking paired weapons and wielding them as a single long, flexible weapon. Most routines are single person. Some schools of Baguazhang also teach a similar weapon, often called "deer horn knives" or "Mandarin duck knives." These weapons typically feature a much shorter or entirely missing main hook, and instead focus on the various cutting and stabbing blades arranged around the guard. Because of the various protrusions and the high possibility for accidental hooking or stabbing, they are almost never used in sparring, and are used sparingly in two person routines. Check out our Double Hook Swords Selection at the Wudang Store.

 

 

 

 

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The Wudang Fuchen - Horsetail Whisk

Fu Chen is a soft weapon originally used by Taoists for their travels designed to whisk away flies and mosquitos. Later generations have created the Fuchen form performed with a Horsehair Whisk.

Wudang Fuchen

The use of the Fuchen as a martial arts weapon was popularized by the Wudang Daoist Monks. They brought the whisk to its current level of notoriety especially given that many lay people believed it to be the only thing the Wandering Monks had available to protect themselves while out on their pilgrimage for acceptance by their masters. In actual fact, one of the other things the Wandering Monks were given when leaving the temple was a sword, so it can safely be assumed they would have used both weapons for self-defense if required. Wudang Fuchen is a weapon that truly combines the Yin and the Yang, with a hard handle and a soft tail. A weapon that on its shaft has one end rounded and the other end mounted with a conical metal tip hidden under its tail.

horsehair wudang fuchen horsetail whisk

The movements of this form are made up of dusting, sweeping and picking. This weapon looks very soft and gentle but is extremely hard and strong for the opponent. The Horsehair Whisk or Fuchen is a special Taoist weapon. There is a saying: “The person who holds the Fuchen is not an ordinary person.” In Taoism, the Fuchen is for those who want to study seriously.

The Fuchen is essentially a whisk made by binding the hair from a horse’s tail to a long wooden handle. Throughout Chinese history the Fuchen has come in many guises from being as simple as palm fibers bound to Smilax root, through to the use of a variety of animal hairs including Yak, being bound with hemp onto a wooden shaft. The most luxurious and expensive were of course the whisks combining unusually colored horse hair with handles made from things such as Cinnabar, Ivory, Mahogany, Sandalwood and Ebony.

A long time ago, the Taoist temple was very serious in finding students. Usually, the Taoist master takes a long period of time to test and observe a disciple, after which the master will especially choose him for deeper teachings. Usually, a disciple will do simple work in the first three years, and learn some basic skills about Tao and kung fu, during which time, the master is still testing and observing the disciple’s patience. After 3 years of testing is complete, the master throws a ceremony to show his acceptance of a real disciple. Then the master allows the disciple leave to travel and study more, but he is worried the disciple will be tempted by many things and will not return. Therefore, before the disciple leaves, the master gives him a few things to remind him. One of these things: 1. a red belt (3.3 feet means to tame the mind) for this time period, he has to be serious and keep his mind at peace. 2. the Fu Chen, during his travels, befriend good people and help others. If he is enamored with something and is tempted to return to society, he must whisk away these ideas, like the Fu Chen. 3. the sword. If he has lost his way and has lost himself, the disciple remembers that his master has given him the sword to cut away these ideas, so that he may continue on his path. After 3 years of traveling and studying, he returns and the master sees that he has enough patience and steadfastness to live a lifetime at the temple, to learn the Dao, and finally for the master to teach him how to be immortal.

The Fuchen style is one of the soft weapon styles. wrapping and pulling, snapping, whisking, poking, sweeping, etc. It can be used like the broadsword, straight sword, scourge, and dart weapons. When you practice the Fuchen, your movements must be in tune with your intention, your intention must be in tune with your Qi, and your Qi must be in tune with your Shen. Its movements are smooth like the wind and flowing like water.

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Introduction from the Wudang Store Master Tailor

Hello! My name is Lou He Hua. I am a Master Tailor and have my Clothing Shop in Wudangshan since 16 years! My Tailoring is first class and unmatched in quality and durability. I received many awards and my shop is well known in Wudang.

Please take your time reading this blog before purchasing in Wudang Store.


Many people come daily to my shop and order Tai Chi, Kung Fu Uniforms. But also Business, Casual or Traditional Clothing. Men and Women, Dresses, Skirts, Pants, Jackets, Mao Suits.

I opened my Shop in Wudang because i like Taoists. Tailoring is my way of life and i use everyday to polish my tailoring skills.

I like to tailor for living. And i respect the traditional way of chinese tailoring. There are many other tailors in Wudang which learned only the basic tailoring or even the worst industry way of tailoring a chinese uniform. The difference in the traditional way is the quality of tailoring.

I lay my hands into fire if i cannot differentiate my way of tailoring with the other tailors in Wudang. I am always tailoring with my heart and soul and each piece of clothing resembles my personality and my way of tailoring. Where normal tailors dont care, i deeply consider your satisfaction in terms of performance, durability and movability.

Every part of clothing has its problem parts. Some areas might last shorter than others. If considered correctly the clothing overall will last very long without breaking. As a tailor it is important to understand this. I know many stitching and sewing techniques and use them for the correct situation to get the best quality and use from every part of clothing. The traditional way of tailoring is not easy.

From the looks the clothing might look the same like others. But turn the clothing inside-out you will see the difference in tailoring. My tailoring is very clear and visible. Where others choose the easy way, i prefer the most durable one.

Besides my chinese customers, i have alot of experience with western people. This is important when tailoring clothing for western people. Since there is alot of difference in proportions and sizes when it comes to western people. The most common problems for beginner tailors with western people are: "long or too short pants or sleeves, wrong collar sizes or shirt lengths."

I mostly use natural Material with natural coloring. The fabrics are not heavy chemical colored, this maintains the durability of each fabric. But if you expose our natural fabric to alot of sunlight the colors might weaken. To our natural fabrics we have: "Hemp, Bamboo, Linen, Cotton, Sheep Wool, Silk" Most of this materials are woven by hand. You can see the difference on each fabric line. The lines are not 100% the same like machine woven. Our natural materials are 100% non allergic, antibacteral and skin friendly. Doesnt smell and will not shrink when washed.

This is my contact information. Feel free to come to my shop in Wudang or order here online.
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