Kung Fu Fighting Fans Facts and Features
These kung fu fighting fans or kung fu fans are meant to be used for the demonstration, practice, and training of kung fu and other Chinese, Japanese, and Korean martial arts that require the use of fighting fans. They have 12.5-inch long finished aluminum sticks for their frame, thus, they are basically resistant to tarnishing, and leafed with a half-moon-shaped and waterproof nylon taffeta fabric that features a silkscreen-printed Oriental design on one (1) side.
Each kung fu fighting fan weighs approximately 16 ounces or 1 pound and measures 23.5 inches wide when opened. They are ideal for use by both men and women and have a metal ring fastener, which you can adorn with a Chinese tassel. While created with the goal to ensure they offer the highest safety standards to their user, we highly recommend the exercise of great care when handling these metal-ribbed kung fu fans and using them in martial arts or performances under professional or adult supervision.
About Fighting Fans and their Role in Asian Martial Arts
Fighting fans were made to look like the ancient Chinese courtier's fans, thus, they are usually found as half-moon-shaped folding fans with ribs that are either flat or sharp at the tip and made of wood, bamboo, or metals, like steel, iron, bronze, brass, or aluminum. In the olden times, they were finished with lacquered leaf that features a beautiful Oriental painting that disguises them as a weapon and distracts their user's opponent in a fight, but they are popularly seen today as stretched with nylon fabric, which is a thin, waterproof, and durable fabric that creates a loud snapping sound when opened.
The use of fighting fans is a common practice in the Chinese martial arts kung fu and wushu, in Japanese martial arts, like Ninjutsu and some forms of karate, and in Korean martial arts because of their beauty that obscures their use as a weapon and wide leaf that hides their user's movements from the opponent. How they became a part of Asian martial arts basically stemmed from their popularity among the people in East Asia, which makes them easy to not look like a weapon but, rather, a simple hand fan to an unsuspecting enemy.
Fighting Fans as War Fans
Fighting fans have offered a wide array of uses to the different Asian cultures and are specially famed in Japan and Korea as Japanese war fans and Korean war fans, respectively, because they were designed to be used in warfare and utilized primarily as a signaling device. Several variations in the design of the fan were also made to make them more effective as a weapon. In Japan, the most popular types of war fans were considered as the:Gunsen. Used by the average warriors to cool themselves off, the gunsen have inner spokes that are made of wood, brass, or bronze and outer spokes that are made of thin iron or a similar metal, thus they are both lightweight and strong.
Tessen. These Japanese folding fans or war fans have outer spokes that are made of heavy plates of iron and which, when folded, makes them appear to look just like normal, harmless folding fans but which can be used to club the enemy. They may also be crafted with a sharp edge so that, in addition to clubbing a person, their user can cut as well. Samurais could take the tessen to places where swords or other overt weapons were not allowed, they were also popular among the ninjas, and used, as well, for fending off arrows and darts, as a throwing weapon, and as an aid in swimming.
Gunbai or Gunbai Uchiwa. A non-folding fan that is usually made of wood, it was used in ancient Japan among the samurai officers to communicate with their troops and used, nowadays, by referees of professional sumo matches.
In Korea, fighting fans were made with an ability to cut or club the enemy, there were also called poison fans as they hid deadly or stunning mixtures of irritants and toxins, and explosive fighting fans that were equipped with small compartments where small, explosive pellets, which create a bright and dazzling flash of light when hit on a surface, where hidden.1
Fighting Fans or Martial Arts Fans in Fiction
Want to remember the use of the Chinese martial arts fans, kung fu fans, and fighting fans in Asian martial arts? The following fictional characters in modern games, television shows, and movies have showed us how fighting fans can be used in Asian martial arts:2Yumi Ishiyama in the French animated television series, Code Lyoko
Mai Shiranui, the modern female ninja in both the Fatal Fury and King of Fighters
Anji Moto of Guilty Gear X
Princess Kitana or Lady Kitana of Mortal Kombat
Temari from Naruto, who uses a giant fan as her weapon to do powerful, long-ranged attacks
Kagura from the anime InuYasha who wields a fan to use her powers
Tasuki from Fushigi Yugi, who wields a flaming war fan
The Kyoshi Island Warriors from Avatar: The Last Air Bender, who used metal fans for their weapon and retractable fans as wrist shields
Yori from Kim Possible who wields a pair of tessen in the Third Season episode, Gorilla Fist
Jinta Hanakari from Bleach, who wields an oversized tessen as a weapon
Hakuoro, the masked protagonist of Utawarerumono, who fought with a metal fan in all his battles
Princess Toadstool in Super Mario RPG who had war fan as one of her weapons
Takeda Shingen, who wields a dansen uchiwa in Samurai Warriors and Samurai Warriors 2
Mitsunari Ishida from the Samuraui Warriors, who wields a tessen in battle.
Fighting fans were also seen in the video games Dynasty Warriors and Battle Realms among the Fan Geisha who used razor fans as weapons, and in the film, The Last Samurai, where one of the samurai's was briefly shown practicing the use of a war fan before the final battle.
Be inspired to take on the skills and art of using these AsianIdeas kung fu fighting fans or Chinese martial fans and checkout more of the kung fu supplies that we have to offer, like kung fu sword
, which makes an awesome pair when used together in a decor or in a kung fu fan dance with a kung fu fan; kung fu suits
, which come in a great variety of color and styles for you to choose from; the stress-relieving Baoding balls
; and, kung fu uniform for kids that are sure to let them experience the honor and fun of being a kung fu kid.References: