While wandering through an ancient garden in Suzhou this month, freezing cold, I noticed a small shop with a bucket full of kung fu weapons (kids ones of course). Tai Chi Swords, Kwan Dao, Fans, spears, Chinese broadswords with scabbards. AS tie went one I noticed more and more shops were selling kids size wooden Kung Fu weapons. It’s really rare to any of these weapons in adult size outside of Shaolin. It was strange to see such a thing, as my experience of China so far hasn’t seen a huge amount of Martial Arts. All I have seen is Tai Chi being practiced near to where I live and some of the parks.
Tai Chi has traditionally been known for relaxation rather than more fighting based systems. Admittidly I have been mainly in the Shanghai area, known for being a modern forward thinking city but I did think I would see more than virtually nothing. So far, in Shanghai I have found plenty of Thai boxing, Brazilian Ju Jitsu, Taekwondo but very little Kung Fu, especially Kung Fu weapons. Hopefully as my language improves and i get out in the provinces I’ll be able to find more kung fu finally see some being performed in China.
Anyway, it nice to see kids running around with plastic kwan dao playing pretend martial arts games. Happy as can be, keeping off the cold winter. Not a plastic gun in sight.
If you ever get the opportunity to get to Suzhou do it. We spent days there and it wasn’t nearly enough time. There are so many beautiful gardens, pagodas, temples, a bustling modern city, lots of picturesque canal walks and even part of the city wall still remaining.