Sang Te Pi a Weapon of Goh Cho Kun
Five Ancestors Fist has several weaponries that include staff, pole bladed weapons, lance, swords, mace, chain whip, and broad swords, shield with cutlass, twin weapons such as daggers, tiger hook, sang te kwai (tonfa), sang te pi (sai) etc. All these weapons are design for specific usage and purpose and one of the most versatile weapon of Five Ancestors Fist is the sang te pi 雙短鞭. There exist no accurate records as to who and when the Sang Te Pi was develop it is believed that the Sang Te Pi with the U hand guard early usage was in India and spread to South China and later to South East Asia. The Pi would later be widely used in Southern China most notably in Fujian province by the martial arts community of the southern Tai Cho martial art system, the Goh Cho Kun martial art system and later by Japanese karate. The sang te pi or twin short flog is made of solid iron it is cone shape the stem’s edges can be octagonal or rounded the stem narrows to the end and sharpens, the hand guard is S form that is also refer as yin yang a Taoist symbol this S shape hand guard is believed to have appeared sometime in the 1700’s in the Fujian province martial art’s community.
The S handguard when the two Pi put together resemble the Buddhist religious swastika was this the intent? no one knows it is however a very interesting coincidence this symbol relates to auspiciousness, peace, inclusiveness, and good luck the emblem is in clockwise position this Buddhist swastika emblem has been around for thousands of years that would later be copied by Nazi Germany in 1935 by inverting the directional angle to counter clockwise making it the swastika of the Nazi party of Germany. The swastika of Nazi Germany symbolised aggression, hatred, violence and racism because of this the Buddhist symbol sometimes get misunderstood and mistaken as that of the Nazi swastika but as we know it now they are not the same.
The combat purpose of the S shape hand guard is design in a way that the lower pointed guard protects the entire hand while the upper pointed guard is to protect the upper weapon hand it is also used to trap opponent’s weapon or wrist the tip of the S guard is sharpen for stabbing. The strong structure of the Sang Te Pi which is made of solid steel that is stiff and strong can measures approximately 1” or ¾” diameter from the base and slowly narrows sharpen like a spear head or pick at the end. The total length of the Pi measuring about 22” from the tip to the butt handle it is slim tapered and as mention it sharpen at the end tip the S guard tips are sharpen as well.
The pi aside from being use as a stabbing and striking weapon it is also design as a strong piercing weapon that can penetrate ancient body armours and chain mails. The butt handle has a hammer at the tip that is use in fighting as a small mace or hammering device. The solid stem is strong enough to stop or intercept bladed weapons such as swords or axes the hammer end also prevents slippage when holding the pi. Aside from the symbolism of the S shape hand guard it is also design as an anchor for the thumb use as a means in flipping, in reversing, swinging, and changing the position of the Pi from inside to outside position at different levels from thrusting, to whip strike to handle butt striking, to blocking, deflecting, to parrying, trapping weapons, and to forearm guard.
The slimness and size of the Pi allows it to be easily hidden concealed under clothing’s that give the Pi wielder the opportunity to get closed to its target without being notice. When holding the pi keep the fingers under the hand guard avoid sticking the thumb and index finger outside of the hand guard holding the pi inside of the hand guard is to avoid the finger and thumb from getting hit as the S guard is also use to trap weapons if one’s fingers are outside the S guard it will get in the way. The only time the thumb and index finger are in the outside of the hand guard is when it is about to be used in flipping or changing the position of the pi.