Friday, September 25, 2015

Assessing the Quality of a Chinese Training Spear (Knowing the Process)

(updated at 13:13 hrs)

In a previous post, one of our associates discussed about the way of the Chinese spear (the qiang).   He later asked us to publish a brief post on how to assess a Chinese training spear before purchasing it.

The assessing process begins by knowing the factors (aka the point) for assessing the spear.

Lets assess your spear.

We are presuming that the material preference for the staff is wood.

Assess the singularity of the staff by examining the quality of the wood  in regards to its sturdiness and its weight.  Check for wood mites and possible loose fragments of wood.   Inspect the straightness and the  weight distribution of the staff.

Examine the spear head in terms of the quality of the metal, the balance, the shape, the fastening screw and the weight.

Examine the connectivity between the spear head and the staff in reference to its singularity and the weight distribution..

Assess the "feel" of the spear by lifting the spear upward to see if you can "lift" and "flick" the spear with one hand (while using the whole body).

After performing those steps, are you planning to stay with your current spear or are you planning to upgrade to a better one?

Comments From The Compass Desk
There are more factors (points) to assessing the quality of the spear,  we will updated this post later

'It is by scoring many points (factors)  that  one conclude the right choice before the  actual decision in a rehearsal in their own mind;  it  is  by  scoring few  points  that  one  conclude the incorrect choice before the actual event  in a rehearsal  in their own mind.  The choice which scores many  points  will be the better decision;  the  choice which  scores few points will not  be the decision,  let  alone the  choice which scores no  points  at  all.  When I make observations on the  basis of this,  the outcome of the decision becomes apparent."   (Paraphrased from Roger Ames's Sunzi's The Art of Warfare)

Side Notes
We did not add the factor of "sharpness of the spearhead"  for the obvious reasons.

In our world of justice-based law and order and automatic firearms, why is it important to practice the spear- an near-obsolete implement?

Metaphysically, good spear exercises have emphasized the "conscious"  unison of the body, the qi and the spirit in each and every specific movement regardless of the strategic sequence of the movements.

Whether it is a direct thrust or a coordinated sequence of figure eight slashing movements, the spear player must focus on being personally "centered" while centering one's self  to the singularity of the situation before implementing a decision.

While some pseudo spear exercises emphasized the twirling movements and the chopping movements, the technicalities of an authentic spear exercises are focused toward the vertical directness of the spear's slash and thrust movements.  ... 

Some martial art systems have always emphasized the spear as an technical extension of the Chinese double-edged straight sword.  Connecting the movements of the sword to the spear is another subject that my associate at Cook Ding Kitchen is qualified to talk about.

While this perspective is more of meta-psychological driven than a philosophical talk, understanding how to assess an object or a situation is the significance point of this post.


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