Sanjiegun – Three Section Staff


Sanjiegun – Wu Shu’s Three Section Staff

The Sanjiegun, Wu Shu’s three section staff is a traditional Chinese weapon that has been used for centuries. It is a long staff that is divided into three sections, each of which can be used as a separate weapon. The Sanjiegun requires a great deal of skill to master, and it is an excellent tool for both self-defense and physical fitness.

In this article, we will discuss the Sanjiegun, Wu Shu’s three section staff, including its history, usage, and techniques. Our goal is to provide you with comprehensive information that will help you outrank other websites and become a go-to source for Sanjiegun enthusiasts.

History of Sanjiegun

The Wu Shu’s three section staff has a rich history that dates back to ancient China. It was primarily used by the military as a defensive weapon during battles, and it quickly became a popular weapon in the martial arts community.

According to legend, the Sanjiegun was invented by a Buddhist monk named San Zhan during the Ming Dynasty. He was inspired by the flexibility and versatility of a snake and created the three section staff to mimic the snake’s movements and despite the absence of historical proof, another  widely accepted contemporary myth suggests that Zhao Kuangyin, the inaugural Emperor of the Song Dynasty in 960 AD, was responsible for popularizing the weapon.

The three-section staff was introduced to Okinawa by Shinko Matayoshi from Fujian Province. Post 1935, he integrated it into Matayoshi Kobudo with two kata – Sansetsukon Dai Ichi and Sansetsukon Dai Ni. The staffs used in Kobudo sansetsukon are typically shorter, generally ranging from 50 to 60 centimeters (20 to 24 inches) in length, but thicker with a diameter of about 4 to 5 centimeters (1.6 to 2.0 inches).

Traditionally, staves were crafted from materials such as white oak, waxwood, or Chinese red maple. However, modern iterations are typically made from rattan, bamboo, a variety of hardwoods, or even aluminum.

To ensure the best fit, each of the three sticks should approximately match the length of the user’s arm, generally falling within the range of 60 centimeters (24 inches) to 70 centimeters (28 inches). Additionally, the combined diameter of the sticks should be comfortable to grip, often around 1.25 inches (32 mm).

Historically, these sticks were linked by chains of rings, typically about 5 inches (130 mm) in length. In contrast, contemporary models commonly employ ball-and-socket joints for connection. This modern design allows for greater flexibility and fluidity in movement.

Sanjiegun Construction

The Sanjiegun, Wu Shu’s three section staff. The weapon is made up of three sections of equal length, which are connected by two chains or ropes. Each section is approximately 12-18 inches long, and the overall length of the staff is around 6 feet.

Contruction Materials

The Sanjiegun is typically made from either hardwood or metal. Hardwood is the most common material used for the staff, as it is lightweight and durable. The most popular woods used for Sanjiegun construction include white waxwood, red oak, and Chinese bamboo.

Metal Sanjiegun is less common but is considered to be more durable and long-lasting than the wooden versions. The metal Sanjiegun is usually made from steel, aluminum, or titanium. However, the metal versions of the staff are heavier than their wooden counterparts, making them more difficult to wield.

Construction Process

The construction process of the Sanjiegun typically involves several steps. The first step is to select the appropriate wood or metal for the staff. Once the material has been selected, it is cut into three equal sections and sanded to create a smooth surface.

Next, the sections are drilled at each end to accommodate the chains or ropes that will connect them. The chains or ropes are then threaded through the holes, and the ends are secured tightly.
Finally, the staff is coated with a layer of varnish or lacquer to protect it from moisture and to give it a glossy finish. Some craftsmen may also add intricate carvings or designs to the staff to make it more visually appealing.

The Sanjiegun is a traditional Chinese weapon that has been used for centuries. It is made up of three sections connected by chains or ropes, and it is typically made from either hardwood or metal. The construction process involves several steps, including selecting the appropriate material, cutting and sanding the sections, drilling the holes, and applying a protective coating.

Overall, the Sanjiegun is a beautiful and practical weapon that requires a great deal of skill to master. It is an excellent tool for self-defense and physical fitness, and its construction is a testament to the skill and craftsmanship of Chinese artisans.

Usage of Sanjiegun

The Sanjiegun can be used in a variety of ways, including striking, blocking, and trapping. Its three sections allow for a greater range of motion and a wider range of techniques. The staff can be used to defend against multiple attackers and is particularly effective in close combat situations.

In addition to its self-defense capabilities, the Sanjiegun is an excellent tool for physical fitness. It requires a great deal of skill and coordination to master, and practicing with it can help improve one’s balance, agility, and strength.

The total length of the Sanjiegun is comparable to that of a standard Bo Staff, allowing for the application of similar techniques. By holding two of the staves in one hand, it’s possible to execute Nunchaku-like maneuvers, swinging one of the outer staves towards an adversary’s target area.

Moreover, one can hold the two external staves, one in each hand, to perform double stick techniques. This, however, demands a substantial level of skill due to the intervening middle stave.

The true potential of the three-section staff emerges when used like a whip. Holding one of the outer sticks with one or both hands and swinging it forcefully at an opponent from a distance, either horizontally, vertically, or diagonally.

Like the slightly less complicated Nunchaku, much of the proficiency required to handle this weapon safely and effectively lies in controlling the independent staves when a strike misses or is blocked. Additionally, upon striking the target, the jointed staves tend to rebound, requiring careful control.

The Sanjiegun also excels as a defensive weapon as all three staves can be used for blocking. It’s one of the few martial arts weapons capable of blocking and striking simultaneously. Similar to the Nunchaku, the three-section staff is apt for trapping an opponent or their weapon, and can also be used in coordination with locks and throws.

Despite being one of the most challenging traditional martial arts weapons to master, its versatility is unmatched.

Techniques of Sanjiegun

There are numerous techniques that can be used with the Sanjiegun, each of which requires a different level of skill and coordination. Some of the most common techniques include the following:

  • Striking: The staff can be used to strike an opponent from a distance or up close.
  • Blocking: The staff can be used to block an opponent’s attacks.
  • Trapping: The staff can be used to trap an opponent’s weapon, preventing them from using it.
  • Sweeping: The staff can be used to sweep an opponent off their feet.
  • Disarming: The staff can be used to disarm an opponent, taking away their weapon.

Final Thoughts

In conclusion, the Sanjiegun, Wu Shu’s three section staff, is a traditional Chinese weapon with a rich history and a wide range of applications. It is an excellent tool for self-defense and physical fitness, and it requires a great deal of skill and coordination to master.

We hope that this article has provided you with comprehensive information on Wu Shu’s three section staff, the Sanjiegun, and that it will help you outrank other websites and become a go-to source for Sanjiegun enthusiasts.

Seeking More Details?

We hope you appreciated this article. For more information on traditional martial arts weaponry, we suggest reading the subsequent articles.

Next Martial Arts Weapons article: The Sansetsukon: Okinawa’s Three Section Weapon

Previous Martial Arts Weapons article: Quarterstaff – British Wooden Staff

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Updated: February 8, 2024 — 12:39 pm