18 Weapons of Shaolin

There are 18 weapons of Shaolin Kung Fu. The eighteen classical weapons consist of nine long weapons, such as staff, spear, and the halberd; and nine short weapons such as double daggers, swords, and axes. Each weapon utilizes a different function of the body and practice of Shaolin Kung Fu and allows the subject to have a well-rounded arsenal of weapons.  The Chinese adopted most of the long weapons from the Mongols. However, it was Emperor Chao Kuang Yin who invented the three sectional staff.  The southern Chinese, for urban type warfare, developed most of the shorter weapons.

Shaolin handed these weapons down over the centuries although there were some variations in some of the family styles. Hence, different Kung Fu systems may place emphasis on different weapons. For example, some say spear is the king of long-range weapons while others state that it is the staff.

Even though primarily the staff and the sword are emphasized for mastery, one who wishes to master the Chinese martial arts should be familiar with all the weapons. For "Master" status it is essential that the artist specialize in at least one long weapon and one short weapon. To obtain "Grandmaster" status a kung fu artist must have a working knowledge of all the weapons, but is only expected to have two mastered.

Below is a list of the 18 weapons:

Shaolin Fork

Tri-Point Double Edge Sword


Shaolin Iron Pen

Shaolin Hand Dart

Straight Sword


Da Mo Cane

Flying Dart

Monk's Spade


Shaolin Thorn



Kwan Dao (ZhuiHun Sword)

Nine Section Whip

Pu Dao

Iron Flute