Chicken sickles (simplified Chinese: 鸡鐮; traditional Chinese: 鷄鐮) are a number of Chinese bladed weapons similar to the Hook sword and the Okinawan Kama. They can be used as a single or double weapon. It is considered the special weapon of the Xinyi Liuhe style.
Jī Zhuǎ Lián (simplified Chinese: 鸡爪鐮; traditional Chinese: 鷄爪鐮; literally: "Chicken-Claw Sickle"). The chicken-claw sickle was constructed from a chicken claw-like piece of metal, along with a spear head, on a length of stick. Its length was about 1.5 ft. The details of this weapon are unknown.
Jī Dāo Lián (simplified Chinese: 鸡刀鐮; traditional Chinese: 鷄刀鐮; literally: "Chicken-Saber Sickle"). This weapon was also called the Kǔn Huā Yāo Zi (simplified Chinese: 捆花腰子; traditional Chinese: 綑花腰子; literally: "Binding Flower Waist Carry"). The reason for this optional name is unknown. According to legend, this weapon was created by the founder of Xinyi, Ji Long Feng (姬隆丰), and it became the special weapon of this style. It was made from metal and its length was about 2.5 Chi [32 inches].”
This sickle is similar in appearance to the Hook sword and although it is named a Dao (saber), it is based on the double-edged sword (Jian). There are several variations of this weapon. All have the distinctive hook and chicken "spur" on the head, but the sword blade is sometimes shortened to a small metal pole-arm. (example) It is used for close-quarters combat.
One noted practitioner of the Chicken-Saber Sickles was Xinyi Liuhe Grandmaster Lu Songgao (卢嵩高) (d. 1962), one of the "Three Heroes from Zhoukou". Xinyi Liuhe and Wu-style t'ai chi master Dr. Stephen Yan (Yan Zhi Yuan), weapons champion of the First National Xinyi Liuhe Competition held in Henan Province in 2000, is pictured below wielding the Chicken-Sabers.
In the 2005 film The Legend of Zorro, Ferroq (Raúl Méndez), the bald henchman of Count Armand (Rufus Sewell), wields a chicken sickle during his battle with Zorro’s wife, Elena De La Vega (Catherine Zeta-Jones).
Notes and references
- Yang, Dr. Jwing-Ming, Ancient Chinese Weapons: A Martial Artist’s Guide. Boston: YMAA Publication Center, 1999. (ISBN 1-886969-67-1)
- 中國武術大辭典 ("Chinese Wushu Big Dictionary") (1990) ISBN 7-5009-0463-0
- (in Chinese) 威震上海的回族拳师——卢嵩高（图） Archived September 5, 2006, at the Wayback Machine.. Go the bottom of the page to see several pictures of Master Lu playing the "full-size" version of the Chicken-Sabers.
- Muslim xinyi Archived December 7, 2006, at the Wayback Machine.
- (in Chinese) 绝代双娇
- The Legend of Zorro IMDB profile cast list