I keep hearing dragon pole and 6 and half point pole. Are they two different Wing Chun weapons? Are there two different forms?
Answer:There are only two traditional Wing Chun weapons. The Wing Chun Butterfly Swords, which is a short distance weapon. And a long distance weapon that has different names… the two most popular are “Dragon Pole” and “Six and Half Point Pole”.
The Chinese name is written: 六点半秆. In Mandarin Chinese (Mandarin is the “standard” dialect that everyone in China learns at school) it’s pronounced “Liu Dian Ban Gan”.
But China has many dialects that change depending on which province you’re in, and sometimes which city within each province your in.
These different dialects and pronunciations lead to different sounding (and spelling) names in English.
Despite the common confusion, the English translation of “liu dian ban gan” is “Six and Half Point Pole”. The name refers to how many moves the form has — 6 and a half.
The other common name is Dragon Pole. Same weapon. But it sounds better and is a cool name. Dragon Pole — that sounds dangerous!
I couldn’t find who coined that name first. But if I have to guess, the name is partly due to the fact that this long distance weapon — a pole — can reach anywhere from eight feet to thirteen feet (up to about four meters) in length!
The extreme length is probably also the reason why the form has so few moves – only six and half.
You can’t really do many fancy moves with something that long, right?
But don’t think its economy of movements means it’s not an effective weapon. Just get hit once, and you’ll respect its power.
Or you should…