If there is to be a particular weapon that is distinctively Chinese Kung Fu, I propose it to be the Hook Swords (雙鉤; Shuanggou). Truly a composite weapon, the Hook Swords combine the attributes of the sabre (刀), sickle (鐮), straight sword (劍), dagger (匕首) and Mandarin Duck Knives (鴛鴦鉞; Yuanyangyue). Additionally, they can be linked by their hooks and flung as one would with a chain whip or flail. Their designated use as a paired weapon renders them also with the advantages of twin swords; which allows them to be “lead” naturally by the propulsion that competent footwork gives the body. These weapons can be used to lock, hook, slash, stab, maim, arrest, and are yet sensible enough in form to enable dexterous manipulation. Clearly a design conceived from deeply-grounded combat experience, the Hook Swords are formidable, and the warrior who wields them is certainly one whose martial skill is not to be underestimated.
Unfortunately, the Hook Swords are certainly with limitations, and so are not as invincible as their wielders would prefer them to be. Although a near-perfect weapon when used by the lone-standing martial artist, their many sharp edges and protrusions prevent them from being used in a formations or squad. This danger of catching the swords on people or objects closeby also means that they cannot be used in tight spaces. What truly limits these weapons is that one is required to attain a high level of specialised skill prior to fighting with them. The risk of self-injury is ever present, and students of the Mizong Luohan school have stabbed themselves in the thigh (with the short blade attached to the Hook Swords’ handle end) whilst practicing with them. Furthermore, the Hook Swords do have “nemesis” weapons that can be used to defeat them. Both the Twin Halberds (雙戟) and straight sword are well known to be capable of exploit the Hook Sword’s limitations. Chinese Kung Fu always challenges the notion of an unconquerable weapon or technique, and the astute warrior knows to attain victory through putting his strength against his opponent’s weaknesses.