Twin hook swords are very popular swords in Shaolin Kung Fu and Wushu. Some say that these swords are ancient with a lineage traced back to the Qing Dynasty. Others believe that this weapon is a bit more modern. Nowadays, you see a lot of Southern style Chinese martial arts wield these weapons in their double swords. Practitioners are forewarned due to the sharp nature and design of the blade to be extra cautious. Only an advanced swordsman should really use these because it’s very easy to injure yourself especially when you hook them together. Here is some good footage on different techniques, demonstrations, and types of twin hook swords.
1. Tin Yat Tai Chi Deer Hook Swords
This is a solid Tai Chi based tutorial on the deer horn poke sword. There are two hooks and a sharp poker used for striking. This is more of an ancient weapon and you can tell due to the weight and sharpness. You have to use extreme caution and skill for these weapons. He goes into a very graceful demonstration that involves control and circular movements. The footwork is very light and has a sense of grace. It’s very reminiscent of unarmed Tai Chi. The use of this weapon for defense and offense has a good advantage in facing off against an opponent.
2. Tin Yat Nine Teeth Hook Sword Pair
When I see this sword, I automatically think of shark’s teeth. It almost reminds me of a Maori (Samoan warrior) based weapon. The handle itself looks quite intimidating due to the 9 pokers. It’s not even a question on how meticulous you have to be to handle this weapon because you can easily find your hands wrapped up like a mummy. The hook is great for not only grabbing the sword but using it to hook on your opponent’s vital spots while you use the spear ends (top and bottom) for a good spike.
The 9 teeth are useful for guarding and great slashes along the neck which punctures deep in the flesh. In fact, if you strike with both swords in an ‘X’ like manner, it would be hard to stitch the wounds. The 9 teeth would make it harder because it’s not a straight cut, but a bit jagged. The movements shown in the video are a bit more aggressive and dynamic because of the nature of this weapon.
3. Spinning Your Twin Hooks
If you are looking for a beginner tutorial on the fundamentals of wielding a double sword, this is something you need to watch. This tutorial applies to hook swords, sticks, and other two-armed weapons. It teaches you how to safely spin your sword and where to stop so you have a lesser chance of causing a serious accident on yourself or others. It shows how to properly hold your blade and create different cuts in a three step motion that’s very fluid. When you get more comfortable, you can gradually speed up the motion and let your swords flow. This is also a good exercise to use for your practice sessions.
4. Upward Flower
This is another beginner tutorial on your double swords, but a bit more technical. It’s always important to stay loose in martial arts and this tutorial shows you how to flick your wrist and use your arms to create this motion. The motion is based on a follow through technique. For example, if you do an upward flower with your right hand then your left should immediately follow after. Once you have this down pat, it gives a great and fluid illusion. You can speed up the motion with time as your muscle memorizes the motion. Good video.
5. Spear vs Double Hook Swords
This was a pretty nice exchange of kata and tactics using the spear and hook swords. You see the length of the spear which is quite menacing and how great you can use it to lead the fight. However, the hook sword is great for defense even on the low attacks. There was a great climax towards the end when the guy on the right hooked on to the spear and disarmed his opponent. Also, he hooked on the other sword for extra range. Both fighters showed great expertise in forms and choreography.
6. Bak Sil Lum (Northern Shaolin) style
This is a great sample of the original form or Bak Sil Lum (Shaolin style). You can tell that this form is a lot more precision based and gets to the point. Shaolin warriors were known for having very precise and powerful attacks especially in their weapons. This clip shows great movement with the swords and footwork. It’s beautiful to watch and seemingly simple to the eye, which makes it quite deceptive to this deadly hook, strike, and slash weapon.
7. Choy Li Fut Twin Hook Demonstration
Before we look at this clip, let’s go into a bit of the foundation of Choy Li Fut. It’s a combination of Northern and Southern style Chinese martial arts. You have power and precision from the South combined with agility, dexterity, and circular movements from the North. Weaponry is a big portion of Choy Li Fut making it a versatile and effective form of self-defense. Choy Li Fut started in the 1800s and honored the Shaolin roots of the system. It’s still in practice today and taught by Grandmaster Doc-Fai Wong of the Plum Blossom International Federation. This video shows a great example of Choy Li Fut with the lightning fast circular movement and footwork.
As you can see, the usage of twin hooks can be beautiful and deadly at the same time. If you are going to use it, please take extra precaution and practice with other double weapons before the twin hooks. You can very easily injure yourself so try to be diverse with a bunch of weapons less threatening so you have good foundation. Do you like the ideology behind Choy Li Fut? Are you a bit more into the traditional Shaolin style? Also, could you see yourself using the nine teeth hook sword? Leave your feedback below!