Glenn Wilson’s Advanced Defenses with 3-Sectioned Staff
by Glenn Wilson and Tom Samford
The weaponry used in the Chinese arts is as vast and varied as are the styles they are used in. Just as there are styles which are categorized as Northern and Southern, so the weapons are broken up into long-range and short-range weapons. Many of the Chinese weapons could only be found in particular styles and would actually appear strange and foreign to other kung fu practitioners.
The three-sectional staff is a unique weapon, for it is found in most of today's kung fu styles from the more well-known Shaolin styles to the more secretive Tibetan styles. Another unique aspect of the three-sectional staff is that it can be used as both a short-range weapon and a long-range weapon, a characteristic most weapons cannot claim.
The sections of the weapon are usually made of rattan, Chinese hardwood or rosewood. A chrome metal chain is used to join the sections together, thus enabling the staff to fold up into a short-range blocking and striking weapon. Holding one of the end sections, the practitioner can use it much like a whip or long pole for striking an opponent several feet away, transforming it into a long-range weapon.
As Chinese history would dictate, the three-sectional staff would find its birth during the Sung Dynasty. A chivalrous expert in the Chinese fighting arts, Chao Kang Yin, was considered an umatched expert in the use of the Chinese fighting staff. Known throughout the Hopei Province as a great warrior and an unequalled weapons practitioner, Chao kang Yin would often be asked to escort members of the Royal Family and other notables on their journeys.
During one of his journeys, Chao Kang Yin was attacked by the feared bandit Ho Shing. During their fierce battle, Yin's staff was cut in two by the razor-sharp saber of Ho Shing. Yin survived the encounter and returned to his village and pieced the two sections together, thus creating the forerunner to the three-section staff. At a later date, Yin would then add the third section to add mobility and diversity to his invention. That, then, is the story of the "birth" of one of Kung Fu's most fascinating weapons to date.
Its design allows for blocking and counterattacking simultaneously. In the series of techniques to follow, Sifu Glenn Wilson, a winner of many national weapons titles and considered a top authority on kung fu weapons, will demonstrate some applications of defense and offense of the three-sectional staff against some other deadly Chinese weapons. Along with Gong Yuen Chuan Fa students Jose Hernandez, Reagan Ashworth, and Robin Morphew, Sifu Wilson demonstrates the use of the three-sectional staff against such weapons as the steel whip, single saber, double saber, quando, spear, and staff.
These routines are simulated to educate the series martial artist, and should not be tried without the guidance of a qualified instructor.
I. Three-Sectional Staff Vs. Steel Whip
Sifu Wilson takes an on-guard cat stance, with the front of the 3-sectional guarding down (1A). His attaker swings the steel whip overhead, and Sifu Wilson uses an upward block with the front link of the 3-sectional staff, allowing the steel whip to wrap itself around the staff (1B). With the steel whip trapped around his staff, Sifu Wilson then steps in and does a downward strike, hitting the attacker's knee with the back link of the staff (1C).
II. Three-Sectional Staff Vs. Quando
Sifu Wilson maintains a back stance with both front and back links in the upright position, which his attacker, bearing a quando readies for the assault (2A). Wilson's attacker lunges forward and slashes with the quando, and Wilson steps back and up into a one-legged crane stance while executing an outward block with the front link of the staff (2B). While maintaining that crane stance, Wilson strikes the attacker in the temple with the same link he used for blocking (2C).
III. Three-Sectional Staff Vs. Staff
Wilson prepares his defense for his attacker's overhead strike (3A). As he is attacked, Sifu Wilson steps forward into a cross stance, and simultaneously performs a downward block with the back link and a groin strike with the front link (3B). Maintaining his downward block, Sifu Wilson then rises up to strike his attacker in the throat with an outward back slap (3C).
IV. Three-Sectional Staff Vs. Spear
The attacker has stepped into a front stance in an attempt to make a spear jab, but Wilson drops into a low cat stance to perform a downward outside block with the front link of his staff (4A). Sifu Wilson then steps forward into a front bow stance and executes a poking strike to the attacker's midsection with the same link he had used previously for blocking (4B).
V. Three-Sectional Staff Vs. Single Saber
From a cat stance Sifu Wilson prepares to defend himself with two of the links in the vertical blocking position (5A). His attacker lunges forward with a sharp jab, which Wilson blocks downward with the front link of the staff, remaining in the low cat stance (5B). He follows immediately with an outside slap to the attacker's jaw with the same link of staff that he had used for blocking (5C).
VI. Three-Sectional Staff Vs. Double Sabers
Sifu Wilson assumes a back stance with a cross block in preparation for an attack (6A). His attacker moves forward and executes a double outside slash with his sabers, which Wilson counters with a double outside vertical block, still maintaining his low stance (6B). He now uses the front blocking link to pin down the sabers and finishes with an overhead strike to his attacker's forehead (6C).
Sifu Wilson, a nationally-rated weapons and forms competitor from Florida, is now living in the Galveston area in Texas. Glenn has been an active competitor for several years now and has over two hundred trophies to his credit. He has won or placed in such top prestigious tournaments as the AKA Grand Nationals in Chicago, the Canadian Internationals in Brampton (Canada), OFFICIAL KARATE's Southeast Nationals in Tampa, the United States Open in St. Petersburg, and the list goes on. Recently Glenn received the rank of fourth-level black sash in the World Kou Shu Federation, which is based in Taiwan. He is presently working at promoting the World Kou Shu Federation and, along with other chinese style martial artists in Texas, is trying to unify and establish kung fu in Texas, a predominately hard-style state. With his experience and expertise, Sifu Wilson and his style of Pai Lum Tao should continue to be an active influence in kung fu in America for years to come.