The Chinese Spear:
The King of Chinese Weapons
Some of the famous spear exercises are from the Stone family; the Horse family; the Yang family, and the Northern Shaolin system.
In the 1950s and 1960s, there were weapon competitions in both China and Taiwan featuring only the straight sword and the spear.
From my experience regarding most Chinese marital arts training programs, the student must learn at least several martial art open-hand, saber, and staff sets before a spear set is taught. The spear is generally taught after the student has obtained a firm understanding of the staff. It is the ideal weapon for the student whose physical characteristics are agility and speed. In the hands of an expert, the execution of a spear can be considered to be nearly invincible.
Regardless of the martial arts systems, spear techniques are designed to teach the principles and the importance of fluidity, grace (smoothness), good balance, precision-based attack, and defense techniques. With proper practice, the quickness and overall agility of the spear player can be enhanced.
While the Chinese straight sword is considered to be the most difficult to learn (discussed in a later article), the spear is considered to be the next most difficult of all Chinese weapons to master. Like the straight sword, the proper execution of the spear can also improve the concentration of the practitioner.
Due to its history and its lethal but proficient techniques, the spear has been nicknamed The Emperor of All Chinese Long Weapons. During ancient China, certain spear forms were practiced on a horse.
With current martial art systems, most of the spear exercises are mixed with staff movements. When utilizing a spear in combat, it is important that one should never move the spear too far away from the center line of the torso.
For basic spear training, the recommended length for a spear with tassel is 7 feet and 2.5 to 3.0 pounds). One way for a beginning spear player to evaluate the proper height of a spear is to point the fingers upward to the sky and then measure from the ground to the same vertical plane where the middle finger is pointed upward. From there the proper height of the spear is assessed.
In the Bagua system, the daqiang ("long spear") has one spear head and is normally a minimum length of 3 meters long. The average Weight of basic spear head is 0.75 lb.