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One of the basic flexible weapons in the Kung Fu armory, the three-section staff is one of the most difficult and versatile weapons within the Chinese Martial Arts. More prevalent in Northern Systems, the three-section staff can be used as both a close-quarters weapon, a trapping weapon and as a long-range flexible whip-like weapon.
The legend behind the development of the three-section staff begins when Chao Hong-Yin, before he became the first Emperor of the Sung Dynasty (960 CE). A shaolin trained martial artist, he was known throughout Northern China for his expertise as a bodyguard. Once while guarding a royal client, they were attacked by bandits, and Chao leapt to defend his charge. His mighty blow against the first banditäó»s head broke his staff. Undaunted, he had a local blacksmith in the next town link his staff pieces äóñ one long and one short- together with iron rings. A further encounter again broke his weakened staff, and Chao again had a blacksmith connect the pieces together, now three of equal length. Chao realized the devastating potential of his new weapon — it was small and easily carried and concealed, it could be used for poking or striking like a broadsword, it could be used as a whip and it was very useful for joint-locking techniques.