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Welcome to one of my favorites. The Long Handled Knife, or Tai Dao, is one of the more popular weapons in kung fu. Even when people don't train it they still stop and look at it with lust in their eyes. The above is actually a chopper used in a slaughter horse to draw and quarter cattle. It was at a flea market and I had to have it.

The techniques of the Tai Dao tend to have a lot of power. Being mostly a horseman's weapon, alot of the movements require a strong upper body. Also being used to fight off other horsemen the forms tend to have a lot of footwork and high attacks. There are some techniques that involve stabbing to earth or dragging the blade so as to finish the opponent off.

The Kwan Dao, named after the general who used it, is considered the ultimate weapon. It was one of the more successful "ultimate" weapons to have been created. It uses the whole body in every movement. It requires precision, power, focus, and the awareness of range. It uses the qualities of every other weapon and requires the skills developed by every other weapon. There is a basic Tai Dao which is basically an unadorned Kwan Dao. Many generals had their own variations also. The Shang Dao is named after General Shang and a few styles use that one instead of the Kwan Dao. There is also the Golden Coin Tai Dao, Elephant Head Tai Dao, Nine Ring Tai Dao and many other variations that can be traced to specific styles and time periods. The Kwan Dao is supposed to work every skill, mental and physical, that Kung Fu develops. It tends to be the last one mastered. Go figure.

The Pu Dao, horse cutter, was an early attempt to combine the power generation of a pole weapon and the usefulness of a sword in a package a foot soldier could use. Before hook swords were developed, the Pu Dao was used against calvary and chariots. Because of its use and the person it was made for, the Pu Dao has never been modified much. There aren't any hook variations of blade differentiations. There is a nine ring variation but that was for reasons of popularity in a specific time period. The Rings did add a little extra to damage but only if you got the blade that deep. Otherwise the blade was too wide and heavy for the rings to add much to the weapon. In Kung Fu development, the Pu Dao is considered an awesome foot weapon. It has the range of any weapon, power, cutting range, and good defensive capacity. There aren't many unique movements for the Pu Dao and therefore isn't a popular weapon. It however has many unique concepts in its use and training. A very good weapon to have training in. While Red Dragon sword play isn't widely known, the Pu Dao lends toward those techniques.

This page has been visited times. This page was last updated Sunday August 24, 2003