Weapons - Axe  
Versions taught: Shaolin (Grandmaster Wing Lam).  Wushu axes typically come with two types of heads (single- bladed versus double-bladed); two types of spikes (straight and snake) and three lengths of shaft: very short (12 inches or less); medium (30 inches) and long (48 to 60 inches). Shown here left is medium shaft, single-blade with snake spike. The Yin Yang daggers on the right have a six inch handle; are 10 inches across the blade and 18 inches from top to bottom. Historically, bronze dagger-axes were used in the Yin Dynasty (1400-1100 B.C.). In the Spring and Autumn and Warring States periods (770-221 B.C.) dagger-axes were still in wide use. Military
usage began to decline in the Qin Dynasty. By the Han Dynasty (206 B.C.-A.D.220), the cheaper, faster and longer spear had swept the battlefields and barracks. Recommendations: in all variations a very specialized weapon - I have not located an authetic set for the daggers yet. What is taught with one or two medium shaft axes is more like a conditioning exercise, as opposed to a combat application. Zhaobao style tai chi chuan has a set for long-handled axe. Cost: varies from $75 per pair for the daggers to $65 for a single medium axe to $160 for the long-shafted axe. 2013 Peter F. Zoll. All rights reserved.

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