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Richard Jao





Joined: 15 Jun 2010

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PostPosted: Fri 25 Jun, 2010 9:25 pm    Post subject: Chinese iron claw?         Reply with quote

We're all well aware of Deadliest Warrior's gross inaccuracies when it comes to representing various warrior cultures. However, they're apparently presenting a Chinese weapon that I'm seriously questioning the existence of: the long handled iron claw.



As someone who's seen a lot of different Chinese weapons, this one completely puzzles me. Apparently this was an eight foot polearm that has an iron claw at the end. Said iron claw would've been used to hook and tear at enemies in battle and it doubles as a bludgeoning weapon. I don't know if it's just me, but the design of this weapon looks so ridiculously impractical that even if it did exist it would've never seen any use in the battlefield. The weapon of choice would've been a dagger axe from what I could tell.

The only kind of Chinese iron claw I've ever seen was tied to the end of a rope, and even then I think this was more of a mythical kung fu weapon than an actual battlefield tool.



In any case, I'm completely stumped as to whether or not this weapon actually existed. If it does existed then I'll be surprised, but if it doesn't then it's solid proof that Spike TV knows nothing about history and we should expect to see Conan as a warrior soon.
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Timo Nieminen




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PostPosted: Fri 25 Jun, 2010 10:09 pm    Post subject: Re: Chinese iron claw?         Reply with quote

Richard Jao wrote:
However, they're apparently presenting a Chinese weapon that I'm seriously questioning the existence of: the long handled iron claw.



As someone who's seen a lot of different Chinese weapons, this one completely puzzles me. Apparently this was an eight foot polearm that has an iron claw at the end.
[...]
In any case, I'm completely stumped as to whether or not this weapon actually existed.


Yang, Jwing-Ming, "Ancient Chinese Weapons", lists the long-handled claw as a real weapon:

"Long-Handled Claw (Zhua, [character]). The Zhua consists of a metal or wooden rod ending in a metal hand with sharp fingers or claws (Figure 2-38). The Long-Handled Claw was used in big battles in ancient times. The main technique was using the claw to hook or to injure the opponent. The Long-Handled Claw may have been developed during the Chinese Han Dynasty (206 B.C.-220 A.D.)."

While this doesn't mean much for ancient origins, it means it is known as a recent martial arts weapon. Comparing with the various long-hafted Buddha's Hands, it might just be another two-handed mace that you can pretend is a non-weapon. The picture you gave looks identical to the one in Yang.

Zheng Yiwei, "Ancient Chinese Cold Weapon" (all in Chinese) has a couple of 1-handed ones. Basically like the usual truncheon/"sword-breaker" with a claw. One has the grip, then a steel bar about 4 handles long (18"?), then a clawed hand, perhaps 4" long. The finger tips aren't sharp, just somewhat pointed. The other is longer, with a larger claw (and an opposed thumb, like a giant chicken foot). Maybe 3 feet long, 10" claw? The claw looks much more useful for trapping sword blades between the fingers, hooking the clawed fingers over a spear shaft, etc. than for striking, clawing, or hooking the opponent. A two-handed version could be functionally similar to Japanese police polearms.

I haven't seen any with sharp claws like Yang's picture, just somewhat pointy fingertips.

"In addition to being efficient, all pole arms were quite nice to look at." - Cherney Berg, A hideous history of weapons, Collier 1963.
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Jeremy V. Krause




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PostPosted: Fri 25 Jun, 2010 10:19 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Ah- the origins of the back scratcher!
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Timo Nieminen




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PostPosted: Fri 25 Jun, 2010 10:33 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Jeremy V. Krause wrote:
Ah- the origins of the back scratcher!


Not surprisingly, the Indo-Persian version is commonly called a "back-scratcher mace". (Tirri has "Pushtakhar" as the proper name.)

"In addition to being efficient, all pole arms were quite nice to look at." - Cherney Berg, A hideous history of weapons, Collier 1963.
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