Welcome to the Staff Training Page!
For those of you interested in learning kung fu staff I have dedicated a single page solely to kung fu staff techniques and training. I'll add to this page as more videos are released so be sure to check back in from time to time. I have also placed the following videos in particular order for what I think is the best way to learn kung fu staff and techniques, so if you are just starting your training begin at the top of the page and work your way down! These videos are publicly available on my YouTube Channel, but condensed and organized on this page for learning ease. Make sure that you are safe and responsible when choosing your staff, and location to practice.
Lesson #1: Fundamental Striking and blocking techniques with Single Ended Staff
We're starting with this because first and foremost you need to learn how to use as staff as it's main purpose: a weapon for self defense. This video not only has an explanation of the hoist and smash, but gives you different footwork to challenge your balance and body usage to power the staff strike.
Adding to the hoist and smash
Now let's begin with a side block against a horizontal strike, and then follow with a smashing counter attack, then another hoist-smash-thrust to finish the combo!
Blocking and controlling before countering
This technique utilizes a rolling cover to control the opponents weapon. A very important detail is to keep the circular motion small as you could risk losing the opponents weapon if you move in too large of a motion. The goal is simply to get quickly over their weapon from underneath.
This attacking method is used in combination to force the opponent to block and then attack the opening that has been created. The best case scenario is that all strikes land, but even if only the last strike lands, the set up was worthwhile.
Four Point Striking
This is a very useful training combination as it serves as four strikes that can be used once the staff has cleared to the inner-gate. Alternatively, any of these techniques can be used as blocking if the opponent tries to counter or charge in.
Precision striking - Strategic Targets
This combination can be employed in succession, or as a guide to specific techniques that can be used to strike vital points.
Big Spinning Swing!
Although this is often presented as a "spin" or fancy technique, it is based on a practical application of generating power through rotation of the body, spinning the staff overhead, and forward momentum of the body weight all combined for a devastating strike. Opportunities for this in application are rare, however, very effective when the timing is right and the opponent is open.
Let's Put it Together!
This is a great routine of both striking techniques with some classic Choy Li Fut kung fu footwork that you can use as a training routine to practice your strikes. As you continue on into the spinning techniques you can add those into this short routine as well as other combinations you like to develop your own staff training form.
Kung Fu Staff Spinning Techniques
Besides looking cool, staff spinning has a variety of benefits:
- Excellent method to warm up before training that is directly related to the weapon and training
- Coordination development with intricate timing and detailed movement
- Building strength and flexibility that is again directly related to the weapon and training
- Actual application in the movement. The looped movement is actually a handful of techniques to regain control of a weapon that is blocked, trapped, redirected, or used to created an opening in the opponent's defense.
This is the best way to start staff spinning as it is easy to see and control the weapon, and yet maximize the efficiency of the spin with proper attention to detail, taking it from something you could figure out on your own to a consistent, efficient, technique.
Da-Fa: The Fundamental Staff Spinning Technique
This particular spin is found in not only a number of Staff forms across various Kung Fu styles, but is also performed with many different long weapons. This spin should become fluid and natural to the point that it requires no thought and simply happens smoothly on it's own. Learn this, practice this, master this!
Upward Staff Spinning Technique
Now let's work the same figure eight path, but upward this time. Again, focus on keeping the staff next to the body and the circles on either side of the body.
Single Hand Staff Spinning
This is the upward single hand staff spinning technique. We will again visit this as we start to combine spinning movements together that travel in all different directions.
Advanced Single Hand Staff Spinning
This is a more advanced spin which requires focus on details and awareness in motion. Take the time to as well master this technique because we will be using this in combination with other techniques!
Although this technique may not be exceptionally difficult, it helps as a stopping point from a spin and can also be used as a striking technique.
Advanced Staff Spinning Around the Body
This is an advanced spinning technique so be sure you have a strong command of the previous staff spinning techniques we've already covered before attempting this spinning technique.
And just in case you need clarification as the staff travels behind the body, check this one out.
Advanced Double End Staff Spinning Technique
Let's take a break from the combination and focus on a very important staff spinning technique. I consider this technique to be essential for staff training. It was a tough decision to place it this far into the lessons, but I am confident that learning it now that you've tackled combination spinning will be much easier than attempting this technique too soon.
Advanced Upward/Downward Staff Spinning Combination
This is a very impressive combination spin that only requires practice on timing if you are skilled with the two prerequisite spinning techniques. The easiest way to approach this one is to go as naturally as possible, just spin until you are ready to switch sides and then try to decrease the amount of time you spend on each side to only a single spin before turning to the other side.
Advanced Multiple Staff Spins Combination
This is the big combination of several staff spinning techniques that we've covered to this point. It's a great way to add some flow to your training routine. The next step is to build upon this foundation and create combinations of your own!
Bonus Staff Techniques!
Here are some other staff techniques you will find, from picking up the staff to spinning it under the legs and much more!
Picking up the Staff with Your Feet!
On second thought, I should have taught you this before staff spinning so you could easily recover a dropped staff! It may not be as consistent as just picking up the staff by hand, but here are some cool ways to pick up the staff off the ground with only your feet!
Launching the Staff from Behind the Back
This technique requires consistency and precision. Not meant to be an attack, this technique is actually a grip change or reset from a specific starting position.
Passing the Staff Over the Shoulder
This technique works as a hand transfer while using the arm as a point of contact to spin the staff around.
Staff Spinning Around the Neck
This technique is a lot easier to learn than you think, as long as you watch the video first! Once you get the hang of it while bent over, you will find it much easier to do while standing up straight.
Staff Spinning around the Waist
This is a very common staff spinning technique, usually coupled with overhead spins that eventually into striking techniques.
Overs and Unders
This is an excellent technique that is not only impressive to see, but very useful in training and developing timing and coordination. The key to Overs and Unders is consistent grips and hand transfers.
Spinning the Staff under the Legs
Now that we've spun the staff over and under, and around the waist, let's take it one step further and spin under our legs!
Jumping Barrel Roll
This was previously mentioned in the Advanced Staff Combination video from above, but I go over much more detail on this specific jumping technique. The key is length management, and repetition. Many people shy off from practice and never give themselves a chance to actually grasp this technique. It takes time, so don't expect to get it right away, and if you do get it right away.... good job! Still practice it a lot!
Advanced Spinning and Barrel Roll Combination
This combination is more than meets the eye as it not only changes the direction of the staff spins, but the spinning of the body as well!
Staff Spinning Under the Legs
This can be an impressive technique if the staff can match the same speed as your front spin. Another nice quality to the under the leg staff spinning is the training of the hands, arms, and legs which requires beaucoup de focus and coordination!
Staff Spin on Palm
This technique requires a good understanding of positioning and balance.
Moving Around the Staff : Ducking Under and Kicking Over
This technique builds more coordination and spacial awareness with the staff.
Passing the Staff over the Shoulder to Salute
This technique is commonly used to transfer from a downward flower to a salute at the end of forms.
Staff Form - Siu Mui Fa Gwun - Small Plum Blossom Staff Form
Here is a short Staff form that utilizes many spinning techniques. This form is meant to train the striking techniques as well as exhibit some fancy spinning techniques, but it is important to note the proportion of strikes to spins. The main emphasis is on the applicable striking techniques before adding in fun flair. As you continue your own training, it is important as well to keep your striking training in proportion with your staff spinning training.