Reason for the Existence of Weapons

At the early days of mankind, due to the need to hunt and protect themselves from animal attacks, men learned how to increase the reach and strength of their limbs by using weapons made of stone, wood, and later, of metals.

In ancient China, the martial arts masters could not simply know how to fight. They also had to know, among other arts, the art of weapons’ making. The weapons’ making is an important part of the martial art that was, and still is, taught only to family members, which almost led it to extinction. Today, very few people know how to make weapons.

However, Sifu Cai Wen Yu believes that those teachings, formerly secret, must be taught to all admirers of the art, in order for that craft not be lost like so many others with the passing of time.


The stick is one of the oldest weapons of mankind. A thousands years ago, in China, the then abundant jujube three and the date palm three were used in the manufacturing of sticks. The threes that were used came from a special place, Xixishau, and they needed to be from rock slopes, for they endured great hardships, such as lack of water, excessive sunlight, and other inclement weather conditions.

For the manufacturing of sticks, the threes had to be between 10 and 20 years old. According to tradition, there are sticks that are made for males, the Yang sticks, which came from three that were located in a place where the sunlight was more intense. The sticks for female were called Ying sticks, and they were made from three that received little sunlight. Ying three were reaped during the summer and Yang three during the winter. During Song Chao Dynasty (China’s first emperor), Zhao Kuang Yin used this three to manufacture his personal weapon and conquer China.

  Sifu Cai Wen Yu training Xing Yi Quan’s spear

A thousand years after emperor Zhao Kuang Yin, at Wu Tang Shan there was a monk who discovered the Bai La Gang three, used to manufacture sticks. This three grows very slowly, and its fruits and leaves can be used to make medicines.

For the manufacture of sticks, there are two kinds of Bai La Gang: the wild kind, and the vase-grown kind. To find a good wild three, it was necessary to enter deep in the forests. To cultivate a vase-grown Bai La Gang, one cannot use a seedling or root, but only the seed. The vase needs to be very big and it must be filled only with Bagua earth.

Throughout the years, the vase had to be moved every day, always according to the sun, and it had to be rotated in order for the trunk to receive sunlight equally by all sides. That made the stick to become symmetric, both in shape and endurance.

The jujube three, the date palm, and the Bai La Gang could not be decorticated without previously going through a process of fiber hardening. They were buried in the mud of rivers for a 64 days period. After that, the stick had to be carefully treated with fire in an oven, alternating with beating it against the mud and returning it to the oven for 16 days. Only then the bark was peeled. The art was made on the wood, by carving or painting something.

Only a stick made following these instructions could maintain life and energy when used, and the more it was used, the better it got. The best sticks could be bent until their ends touched each other. When used, the stick could be as hard as steel, and as flexible as a whip.

The stick must be always at arms length. Wherever its owner went, it should be taken, including during sleep. Only this way the stick and the owner would be as one, sharing the same energy.

Today’s sticks are not like those of past times. They are only tools for health exercises, not weapons of war.