Sanjiegun (Three Section Staff) – Chinese Martial Arts Weapon
The Sanjiegun (also known as the Panglong Gun) is a Chinese Battle martial arts weapon dating back to the Song Dynasty. It consists of 3 sticks typically between 24 and 30 inches long with the outer 2 staves connected to the middle stave by around 4 to 5 inches of chain or rope. Thus the name the weapon is often referred to in the west the 3 section staff.
Historically, the main functions of the weapon were to attack mounted opponents and to attack opponents protected by shields, other weapons, trees or any other obstacle that would make a direct assault with other weapons difficult (with a 3 section staff you can literally strike an opponent round a corner).
The overall length of the Sanjiegun is around the same as a typical Bo Staff and indeed many Bo like techniques can be utilized with the weapon. Nunchaku like techniques can also be performed by holding 2 of the staves in one hand and swinging one of the outer staves in an arc toward the intended target area of an opponent. Also the 2 outer staves can be held one in each hand to execute double stick techniques (though this requires a considerable degree of skill to master owing to the intervening middle stave. The 3 section staff really comes into it’s own though when used as a sort of whip where holding one of the outer sticks in a one or 2 handed grip it is swung at long reach and with great force either horizontally, vertically or diagonally at an opponent. However, as with the slightly less tricky Nunchaku, much of the skill involved in wielding this weapon correctly (and safely) revolves around the control of the independent staves when a blow misses or is blocked, In addition, the control of the weapon when it connects with the target (as with the Nunchaku), the jointed staves have a tendency to rebound on impact.
The Sanjiegun is also an excellent defensive weapon as all 3 staves can be used to block (it is also one of the few one piece martial arts weapons that can be used to block and strike simultaneously). Also as with Nunchaku, the 3 section staff is well suited to trapping an opponent or their weapon and can also be used in conjunction with locks and throws. Overall, though it is one of the trickiest of all traditional martial arts weapons to master, it is also one of the most versatile.
For other traditional Chinese martial arts weapons, please visit the main Martial Arts Weapons section.
Demonstration Video of the Sanjiegun