The Bart Cham Dao or eight cutting knives is usually the final form taught to a Wing Chun Student. Ip Man only taught a hand full of students this form in his entire.

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There are a number of theories about the origin of the do. Although again, they use them differently. They were allegedly used so monks could incapacitate not kill their attackers and therefore still uphold their moral integrity.

This suggested that the Baat Cham Dao forms appearance in Wing Chun is reasonably recent, perhaps only years ago. Therefore as the from encourages slashing, it seems reasonable that the early Formm were not created for Wing Chun rather, Wing Chun adapted the weapons that already existed. As you have hopefully noticed, I have simply been referring to the weapon as Dao meaning single edged blade in Cantonesehowever it goes by a multitude of other names.

Whilst this is plausible, there are two key problems. It will also teach the practitioner a new type of stepping that can be used in certain situations. This linguistic issue is one reason for different names.

Wing Chun with Terence Yip Bart Cham Dao Form Part 2 – video dailymotion

However the term butterfly knives is very common within the Wing Chun community. Hence the name “eight cutting dak. As described above insome of the first accounts of them [4] are documented in the west simply as double swords.


Initially a student may ask “Although it may be fun to learn, and nice from traditional perspective, why should I learn the Bart Cham Dao in this day and age? In Cantonese these can all be called Dao.

Wing Chun Knife Form – Bart Cham Dao

It looks like the first appearance of these weapons was in the early to mind 19th Century ‘s. Ip Man is said to have learned the form off of Leung Bik. Secondly, a pair of large knives would not be a good choice for non lethal combat.

However there are numerous slashes barh the form that cut through 8 angles hence the name of the form. Whilst this is again a possibility, I feel this is an unlikely theory due to the nature of the form. I am never ofrm to use it in the practical sense.

The fable goes, that the monks would keep the knives in their boots and use them to defend themselves. One, there is no evidence that any of the Shaolin sets use Wing Chun style Dao in the same way as Wing Chun students do during the Baat Cham Dao form, namely rotating the blade so the spine of the brt runs parallel to the forearm.

Given that we consider these two features to be what separates Wing Chun style Dao from regular knives and swords, we should next look at early references to these weapons and how they latter evolved.

I shall explore this terminology before looking at the history of the weapon itself. This is something that can only be done swiftly mid flow, by using the hooks on the back of the Dao, something which would not be present on a domestic knife of any sort. Fujan White Crane does use two Dao and rotates the blades during the form.


Wing Chun with Terence Yip Bart Cham Dao Form Part 2

Furthermore because the knives used in the form are not as big as traditional Chinese swords the techniques translate well into improvised weapons you may find in a modern lifestyle.

Firstly, the hook on the back of the blade that allows the student to reverse the grip quickly.

Butterfly knives are often confused bwrt Bulls Ears swords. In order to look at when this type of weapon seems to have arrived in history, we must first define what makes this weapon unique and therefore should be counted as separate to its predecessor.

Perhaps most importantly it reinforces the underlying Wing Chun principles seen in the other hand forms, for instance economy of motion, deflection etc. We now stock a small selection of high quality Wing Chun butterfly knives.

Some people call Wing Chun Dao, broadswords. Some people argue, the form can be seen as an extension of the hand techniques, just using a weapon.

Secondly, the D shaped hand guard on the front is reasonably unique in that most Chinese weapons don’t have that kind of guard.