* Read More Shaolin Weapons
The first Shaolin Weapon we will discuss is the 6’ Staff or Kun. This is usually the first weapons learned in most Shaolin Kung-Fu Systems. It is also the first weapon (Bo Staff) learned in Okinawa or Japanese KuBudo. It was very accessible and easily found outside the Temple walls. Sometimes called the Shepard’s Staff, or Eyebrow Staff, it was the same diameter on both ends, similar but different than it’s Okinawan Ko-Budo Cousin the Bo. In Kung-fu terms it is referred to as a double ended staff, the Okinawan Bo,which is also a double ended staff, but is tapered on both ends. Both versions probably served as layden poles for carry water, or other objects.Several variations or the Staff exist, such as the single ended pole, and will be cited later in this book.
The Kun symbolized the connection to the earth and links the lower Dan Tien (2 inches below the belly button) the equivalent of the conscious mind of the individual with the upper Yin Tang (the 3rd eye) or the sub-conscious mind of the practitioner. When used properly this weapon connects the grounding nature of the earth to intuitive mind of the individual. In our system of Shaolin 8 Animal kung-fu it relates to the Leopard, which builds strength of stance, the roots of martial arts and of beginning Chi Kung (Qi Gong). I also increases speed and will open new doors of perception.
The Staff also called Gun (Long Rod) in Northern systems, or might use the name Barn (Long Staff), depending on province, town, or city you lived. The Barn or Long Staff will be discussed further in the section under the Long Pole or Tiger’s Pole (Fu Kun). This weapon tracked back in history to a time before the Spring and Autumn period sometime around 700 BCE (before common area) used in place of BC (before Christ). Whether you call it a Kun, Gun, Barn, or staff, it is the most simple and practical of all the weapons used in most martial arts styles and systems.
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