In wuxia, there are many different kinds of staves and rods that are used as weapons, symbols of power, or "ordinary" walking sticks. They vary in form and fighting style, but are one of the four most prominent weapons, "the grandfather of all weapons."
When you hear "staff," you might think of a quarterstaff, or picture Gandalf bonking someone on the head with his wizard staff. A gun staff (棍) for example might be as long as a quarterstaff (about six feet long), but is thicker at one end and narrower at the top, whereas a quarterstaff is meant to be equally balanced. A bang staff (棒) on the other hand is shorter staff, which might be called a rod or a cudgel in English.
The Dog Beating Staff (aka Dagou Bang, 打狗棒), from Jin Yong's The Legend of the Condor Heroes, would fall into the second category. While it might be mistaken for a simple bamboo rod, it looks to be made of jade when inspected closely. Like the taller gun staff, it's thicker at one end and tapered almost to a point at the other, with a hand grip (wrapped or carved, depending on the adaption) near the top. But it wasn't just a weapon, it was also a symbol of leadership, and a secret technique. Check out the excerpt below from the 2008 TV series to see how both characters use it:
[PSA - I know what the subtitles say, but please don't Google "Dog Beating Stick," thank you.]
The tremendous popularity of The Legend of the Condor Heroes (with over 11 television and film adaptions to choose from) has even seen this particular weapon introduced as a high level weapon in several wuxia-style video games. Send us a screenshot if you've collected one in the past!
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