I've played with a lot of weapons in my day, but the three section staff is a scary one. Does any other weapon scream quite so clearly "hey, hit yourself in the head!"
That's why I decided to check out "The Classical Three Section Staff" by Rick L. Wing.
I had my reservations about the book at first because it seemed like a normal color-by-numbers martial arts text (show a couple pictures, explain some foot positions, call it a day).
Although "Three Section Staff" does follow a pretty standard setup, I was pleasantly surprised by the quality of the content. The author provided excellent information about the history of the weapon and wrote in a very approachable manner. At no point did Wing try to sound like the master of all things staff.
One of my favorite parts of the book was in the beginning when Wing discussed the hand positions used with the staff. Seeing his pictures and examples of how the postures could be used was very enlightening.
Rather than trying to pass on a whole "Style", Wing geared the bulk of his book around a single two-man form. The form is a sample combative engagement of the three-section staff vs a spear. As Wing explains it, the techniques contained in this single form allow the practitioner to understand the core principles of the weapon. Therefore, the methods used here can be used anywhere.
The pictures contained in the book are very well taken and the angles help demonstrate what is happening. Although I personally haven't learned the form contained in the book, I have gleaned a lot from the ideas discussed.
Right now in my training I am not trying to become an expert at three section staff. If I ever did want to significantly increase my proficiency, I would certainly use this text as a highly valuable resource.
Overall, Ikigai108 gives "The Classical Three Section Staff"…
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