“If you can move the palm, you can move the steel”

So said master Li, Zhang-Lai of the Daoqiquan system. Chinese weapon work is similar to the hand forms all it takes is the specialized knowledge of how to adapt the special quality of the weapon to the principles of the art. The Nine Dragon Baguazhang weapons methods taught by Dr. Painter originated with the Li Family as a part of the Daoqiquan family system.

Classical Chinese internal martial art weapons training develops patience, discipline, agility, hand eye co-ordination. Students learn speed, timing the ability to project energy or Jin into an object and a respect for the rights of others. Studying weapons is a great way to get an aerobic workout for cardiovascular fitness.
Today most weapons training are of the contemporary Wushu variety for demonstration purposes only. Students’ practice with light flimsy weapons made of dull aluminum or light steel. Much of the original intent and purpose of traditional weapons has become a lost art. Real combat weapons are much heavier and have sharp edges. They were designed for soldiers and Yuxia (Knight-errant) who fought in life and death struggles.

Jiulong Baguazhang weapons programs are not taught as fancy demonstration forms. We use real combat steel weapons and iron wood staves. Jiulong Baguazhang weapons are trained, as they were two hundred years ago, as real combat tools not fancy demonstration toys.

Students work on the basics of movement, control, power, and internal / external energy. Combat stance, and speed drills, fencing with the weapons and how to adapt the weapon to your style of internal art is the key to understanding weapons. Each weapon is to be learned, as Chinese master bodyguards would use it in Baguazhang.

The focus is on strategy, striking zones and real combat principles using the eight postures (palms) as expressed by the particular weapon. These methods were used effectively in life and death combat for over three hundred years by the bodyguards of the Li Family in China.

Li, Zhang-Lai’s – Song of the Sword Mind
If my palm becomes empty.
The sword becomes alive.
If my feet are empty.
The body is carried nimbly.
If the mind be empty.
The body and eyes are receptive.
I cannot fail to strike like the lightning.
When least expected


Basic Jiulong Baguazhang Weapons
The Double Edge Sword
The sword is the emperor or all weapons in Chinese martial arts. It is very difficult to master and is wielded like a surgeons scalpel. Sword Methods taught by Dr. Painter originated on Emei San Mountain in Sichuan province as a part of the Daoqiquan family system. The Jian (sword) is a refined weapon using basic movements that can be transformed into hundreds of defensive and offensive techniques. There are two courses in this series.
The first is the Xingyiquan five element sword and the second is the Jiulong Baguazhang long sword art. These are not fancy demonstration forms. Our program instructs the basics or actual combat sword principles and teaches sword sparring under simulated combat conditions. These methods were used effectively in life and death combat for over three hundred years by the Li Family in China.
The Double Edge Sword.
Saber Bagua-Hu Dao. Saber Bagua-Hu Dao
The saber of Daoqiquan art is the weapon of the tiger. The shorter version was used by the common foot soldier with devastating effect on ground troops and mounted cavalry. A saber expert can surround himself with a razor sharp dome of whirling steel.
Dr. Painter teaches the Bagua-Hu Dao (Eight Diagram Tiger Knife) and the twin Hu Dao style of saber fighting. For advanced students there is the Tai Dao or large saber a five long weapon weighing over nine pounds is taught.The Tai Dao shown here is a traditional weapon of all Baguazhang systems. We do not use light weight “tinfoil” contemporary Wushu weapons in our training. All weapons are combat steel and are designed to weigh and move exactly like the original weapons of Baguazhang warriors.
Bagua Iron Fan
The iron fan is a truly beautiful but effective weapon. The iron fan is an ancient weapon with modern urban combat applications. Today these fans are made from high quality steel and silk or satin cloth. The can be used my men and women alike for self-defense.
Students who learn the fan can use the weapon for striking with the open ribs, raking with the sharp edges of the ribs or strike with it closed as a club or thrusting weapon.One who learns the fan can also make use of a short stick or even a pencil in the same way the fan is used to strike pressure points or lock joints and take an attacker down. Advanced training in Baguazhang Iron Fan also included the method of throwing concealed darts from the folds of the fan. This ancient method is a rare treasure almost lost today.
Bagua Iron Fan.
Jiulong Baguazhang Staff. Jiulong Baguazhang Staff
The staff appearing to be only a simple stick about six feet long comes alive like a coiling dragon in the Jiulong Nine Dragon Eight Diagram Palm Staff method.
This program teaches defensive and offensive basics for using the Li Family Bagua staff in actual combat. Jiulong uses many different forms of the “cudgle” or staff.One type of staff is a simple rattan rod while another has iron tipped ends and yet another is made entirely of metal. Some of the staff training is done with the six to eight foot varieties while others are done with shorter sticks similar to walking cane sizes.

We do not instruct fancy show forms. Our methods are derived from realistic combative usage. Each student will learn practical down to earth combat principles using a long stick for self-defense against armed or multiple opponents.

General Kuan’s Knife
The large long handled saber is a weapon designed to be used in medium to long range defense on the battlefields of ancient China. Known as the Kuan Dao or General Kuan’s knife the weapon takes balance, strength and timing to be wielded properly.
It was originally used by foot soldiers to do combat with mounted warriors. The weapons can slice through a horse and rider when properly tempered.Today we do not do battle with men on horseback. The Kuan Dao is a great training weapon to develop strength and balance. It requires a high level of control and discipline to master.
General Kuan's Knife.

Dr. Painter specializes in the Bagua Kuan Dao methods of Li, Zhang-Lai known as the Silver Dragon’s Wing method.

Spear. Spear
The Mao (spear) is a direct and subtle weapon using only eight basic movements that can be transformed into hundreds of defensive and offensive techniques.
Spear is known as the king of weapons. The Li family used both a normal six-foot spear and a long twelve-foot style for unseating horsemen. Both arts teach the basics or actual combat spear principles used effectively for over three hundred years in China.Training in the Baguazhang spear takes deft footwork and keen awareness. It also teaches depth perception.
Double End Dragon Spear of Jiulong
The Bagua-Lung Mao: The Baguazhang dragon spear is unique in that it has two blades at each end of the shaft. The twin blades are used for thrusting and cutting. It can be used as a long, medium or short range weapon and is designed for dealing with multiple armed opponents. The Jiulong Lung Mao creates a wall of whirling steel around the master as he spins, turns and glides in his circling patterns.
This is a very difficult weapon to master as one has to be always mindful of the proximity of both blades in position and angle both to ones self and the opponents. Students learn the basics or actual combat spear principles against other edged and blunt weapons. These are the same combat tactics used effectively for over three hundred years in China. This weapon trains awareness and tremendous depth perception along with hand and eye co-ordination.
Double End Spear of Jiulong.
Jiulong Twin Knife. Jiulong Twin Knife
Er Long Dao: This was a specialty of Li, Zhang Lai. He carried two long slim single edged knives in a double sheath worn in the sash at the side or back. Known as Dragons teeth or Dragons claws the 13 inch blades are of a V shape design and have needle like points and razor sharp edges. The back of the blades are thick and broad for blocking other weapons and for blunt force striking. They are held in each hand either in the front or reverse hand position and were used for thrusting and slashing.
This is a direct and practical edged weapon method using both linear and circular methods of the basic movements from Jiulong Baguazhang. Making use of Li, Zhang Lai’s “Square Circle” principle one can transformed nine tactics into hundreds of defensive and offensive techniques. As no existing examples of Master Li’s knives remain Dr. Painter has designed new blades based on his teachers drawings and notes.
Three Section-Staff
The three section staff is a wooden stave consisting of three parts, with the end section of each outer leg connected to the middle segment by metal rings. Each wooden section is made of a very hard wood with the tips being covered by brass or iron.
It can be used against swords, spears, knives or multiple opponents. It is used as a flail with one or both ends or as a long three-section whip. The staff held in both hands the staff becomes two short clubs and a shield, reversed it can catch, lock or break arms, legs and necks with relative ease. Students must supply their own weapons for training.
Three Section Staff

Jiulong Flexible Weapons

The Lash / Dragons Tail
Known in the West as a bullwhip, the Lash or Dragons Tail is an easily concealed weapon made of braided leather from a horse or water buffalo hide. Li family Dragon Tail weapons were normally about six feet in length four use in rooms and confined spaces. The tip of the lash was often one to three pieces of six to eight inch metal wires. A wire tipped lash can in the hands of the experts cut through thick leather jackets and some armor. A master of the Dragons Tail can use his weapon to cut almost like a small dagger, entangle weapons or arms and legs with the flexible leather shaft and use the weighted handle like a blackjack. Dragon Tail weapons can also be reversed and used like the Meteor Hammer as a flexible impact weapon.

Meteor Hammer/ Dragons Fist
The meteor hammer sometimes called the Dragons Fist is a round metal ball about the size of a large walnut fixed to a length of braided horsehair or rope. The rope can range in length from eight to twenty feet. The hammer like its brother the Rope Dart is spun at tremendous speeds and released to punch outward at any angle. In the hands of a master the Meteor hammer can punch, entangle or strangle from a distance.

Rope Dart / Dragons Tongue
Sometimes called the Dragons Tongue the rope dart is similar to a Meteor Hammer except the metal ball is replaced with a five to six inch double edged dagger blade. The dart can be made to penetrate up to one half inch of pine due to the great velocity achieved by spinning it on the rope. Master of Dragons Tongue can shoot the steel dart out at almost any angle and instantly retrieve the weapon by a sharp tug on the tether.

Chinese Sword Fencing
Chinese Sword Fencing Dr. Painter and Master Adam Hsu pioneered the use of “Soft Swords” for weapons sparring in national tournaments back in 1992. In July, 1993 The Gompa began the distribution of “free” Copyrighted IAM instructions of “How To Build Chinese Fencing Swords. These were sent to schools and distributed at fencing seminars taught by Dr. Painter to promote Chinese fencing and improve quality of sword forms among Chinese Wushu and all Gong Fu students. Today Chinese Sport Fencing is the fastest growing sport in the Chinese martial art world.
The purpose is to safely learn the methods of real sword combat in a safe fun environment. At the Gompa Dr. Painter can train you to use the Chinese sword properly for realistic combat. Also included are sport fencing rules and judging methods for tournament play. Each student who completes the program will receive a judges certification by the Chinese Weapons Sparring Association.

Shifu Garza and Ben Hazan Dr. Painters Weapons Background.
Dr. John P. Painter began learning the Chinese internal weapons combat methods in 1957 under the tutelage of Master Li of Sichuan province. During college he also studied European fencing, Rapier and Elizabethan weaponry for five years with Maitre d’Armes, Perry W. Langenstein. Training in rifle, shotgun and hand gun, whip and knife throwing was taken under the tutelage of former “Special Texas Ranger” C.V. Allen.

Study Traditional Weapons at The Gompa.
The Gompa offers small group and private instruction in the above-mentioned programs in a number of formats. There are weekly classes in the Chinese Internal Systems or each month local and out of town students may attend a two-day workshop in a Bed and Breakfast setting. For students with a particular interest in one of the Jiulong weapons a study program of one week or a weekend can be set up.

Contact Dr. Painter here for more details.


If you would like to find out more about Jiulong Baguazhang and would like to talk with other students of this martial art, about the art, then you might want to consider joining our Jiulong Baguazhang Facebook Group. Click below to join.