Archive for the ‘Whips’ Category

Of Dragon Tails and Tigers claws

Wednesday, December 16th, 2009

Konnichiwa! So I thought I’d try and come up with some clever title for this post, since both tigers and dragons are subjects, (in a matter of speaking) of this post. But, as you may probably have guessed by now, the only thing that kept popping into my head was  “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon” Yes. So I took the easy route. Pathetic isn’t it? I have no imagination. *sigh*

Anyway, today I thought I’d show you more great stuff from the site of NineDirections.com, as Matthew was kind enough to send me more pictures of his work. The first item on the list today are more pics of the Ninja Shuko (Tiger Claws) from the last post on the topic. First we have a really cool pic of the Shuko hand hoop being forged.

Shuko - Forging the Hand Hoop

Shuko - Forging the Hand Hoop

And here we have a couple of cool shuko just hanging out and acting all cool…

Ninja Shuko (Toger Claws) - Just Hanging Out

Ninja Shuko (Toger Claws) - Just Hanging Out

A pair of Shuko with their battle faces on… >: (

Shuko - Claws Out!

Shuko - Claws Out!

Enter the Shuko! LOL… OK, ok… I get it. Enough with the Shuko.

So how about… Dragons? Specifically Dragon Tails? Yeah, I thought so… Dragon Tails, also sometimes called Rope Darts or Dragons Tongues, are basically a small blade attached to length of rope anywhere from five to who-know-how-many feet in length.

Dragons Tail

Dragons Tail

They can be spun at great speeds, and controlled via cord or chain, can be used to cut or penetrate hard targets at distance. A rather intimidating weapon, indeed. I’ve always loved the rustic feel of raw sharpened steel, and Matthew at Nine Directions has, as usual, replicated the look beautifully.

Dragons Tail - Edge

Dragons Tail - Edge

So what we have here, folks, is a heavy slab of steel, with sharp edges, on a rope. You can’t beat that with a baseball bat. Yet another example of some excellent work by NineDirections!

Dragons Tail – [Nine Directions]

Ninja Shuko – [Nine Directions]

Ghost Rider… Scorpion Reincarnated?

Tuesday, September 16th, 2008

OK, If my heading made no sense to you, (in which case you have some serious sociocultural catching up to do, since I live in a cave, shun human contact, and even I know who these characters are) I am referring to the “Ghost Rider“, of comic book and now movie fame, (played excellently, I thought, but what do I know…) by Nicholas Cage, and Scorpion, of video game turned movie “Mortal Kombat“.

Now having got the introductions out of the way, a little more explanation of my heading. It is my suspicion, that the Ghost Rider, and Scorpion, are one and the same. Yes. No, my tin foil hat is not on too tight. I just checked it. No seriously.

Don’t believe me? Okeydokey then. I have proof. Really. Yes, of course I can show it to you… (N00b). Allow me to present exhibit “A”:

Ghost Rider Chain Whip

Ghost Rider Chain Whip

[click image to view full size]

Ok, Now see that? That is the Ghost riders chain whip. Yeah huh. Basically a massive chain, weighted on both ends. This one has a solid steel grip on one end, and a spiked weight on the far end, making it all the more… Lethal. Now here comes the fun part. Do you know what kind of weapon this is? No? Well I’ll tell you. It’s called a Manrikigusari.

Yep, a manriki chain. Ah, but of what significance is that? Well being the helpful chap that I am, I’ll say that the Manrikigusari is a Japanese weapon, and is more importantly, a weapon reputedly used quite a lot by… Yep, you guessed it. Ninjas! Now here comes the tricky part. You know who else is a Ninja? If I have to tell you this, you need to go read someone elses blog… Ah, yes. That’s right. Scorpion! You get a cigar and +100 internets.

What is even more interesting is that one of scorpions signature moves is to launch what looks like a chain from his palm at his opponents, which then impales them so he can reel them in and inflict massive close range damage… In later incarnations, the chain actually became a living extension of Scorpion… Sound familiar? Maybe like Ghost riders chains perhaps? I’m just saying…

Ah, but the similarities do not end there. Ghost rider spends most of his time looking like a normal human being (as good old Johnny Blaze, stunt biker extraordinaire, no less). But when he changes to the Ghost Rider, he has a flaming skull for a head. Oooooh Scaaaarryyy… 😛

Coincidentally, (or not) though Scorpion usually has a ninja mask on, what you can see of his face generally looks normal. However he has this move where he takes off his mask and breathes hell fire out at his opponents. And I’ll give you one guess whats under that mask when he takes it off… Bingo! A fire breathing skull!!

And as if that was not enough, check this out. The Ghost rider is a hell spawned creature who has dedicated his life to metering out vengeance on those who have been wronged. Scorpion, is a hell spawned undead ninja who has dedicated his life to visiting vengeance on those who massacred his clan and killed his family… Freaky coincidence? I think not.

I’m telling you… These two are the same guy. Seriously. It’s some kind of conspiracy. No, I’m not a nut. Have you not read everything I’ve said so far?!? More evidence than you can shake a flaming stick at. And you know what they say. Your not a nut if it’s true… Bah. What do you know…

Either way, this is the sweetest manrikigusari evar…

The Ghost Riders Chain Whip – [True Swords]

Another Whip Sword…

Friday, June 29th, 2007

Today I’ll be introducing you to a new kind of whip sword which, unlike the ninja blade whip I blogged about earlier, is actually much, much closer to a real whip in it’s design. This is a weapon of the Indian martial art Kalarippayattu, which is said by some to be one of the oldest. However our interest for today is not the etymology of Kalarippayattu, but rather a very unique weapon used in the art. Say hi to the wicked Urumi/Chuttuval:

Urumi/Chuttuval Battle

Urumi/Chuttuval Battle

This ultra-flexible sword is called the Urumi in the Northern System of Kalarippayattu and Chuttuval in the Southern System. It is little more than a long strip of flexible steel, usually about four or five feet long, and between three quarters of an inch to an inch thick. As you can see, this sword could easily qualify for bull whip duty, and being made of steel, would probably be a good sight more lethal too. As if that weren’t enough, there are varieties of this weapon that incorporate multiple blades, like a cat-o’-nine-tails, for added lethality.

Multi Bladed Urumi

Multi Bladed Urumi

Now my admittedly calculated guess would be that this is probably a very difficult weapon to learn to use correctly (read safely but effectively), likely many times more so than a whip. I suppose it goes without saying that mistakes with this weapon could be very costly to, for instance, a practitioners calves, eyes, ears, nose or other valuable extremities.

Practicing with two multi-bladed Urumi

Dual Wielding Urumi

Dual Wielding Urumi

[Devavision.org]

To my untrained eye, it looks to me like the guy in the little movie above seems a little scared of his own Urumi. 🙂 But apparently even seasoned professionals still have to be very careful with it. Me personally, I would constantly be worried about the blade fatiguing at the point where it is attached to the handle, as that would most likely be the area that would experience the most frequent of high angle flexing during daily use. Nonetheless, it doesn’t take much to see that a seasoned Kalarippayattu practitioner equipped with a pair of multi-bladed urumi would make a formidable opponent, even against multiple opponents. Unless they all also had urumi. Then it might suck to be you.

Sparring with Urumi

Sparring with Urumi

But I’m sure it’s disadvantages become moot once you’ve mastered it and can swing it around effortlessly like an evil steel bull whip of death… Add to that the fact that it can be coiled and worn like a belt, and its like the ultimate stealth weapon!! You know, the kind of weapon that would elicit an aghast “What the…” from an unfortunate would-be opponent as you slowly uncoiled it from your waist, swinging it to the side with an ominous, resonant, pinging “WHAP” to straighten it out…

A different kind of Wiper Blade…

Friday, May 11th, 2007

OOOOKKKK…. I ran into this little gem while looking at some other ninja swords. And boy, this is an unusual one. Now if the title of this post confuses you, there is a reason; it is actually in homage to the typo that exists on the product page of the website I found this on, describing it as a “Ninja Blade Wipe” instead of a “Ninja Blade Whip”, but although I subsequently corrected all of the references in this post to correctly describe the weapon, in the interest of humor, I decided to leave the heading as is.

(OK. This would be an appropriate point for a chuckle. If you don’t you are a cold hearted fish. And you live in a dark muddy pond. With mutant bull frogs. Fine. Be that way.) I’ve seen similar weapons twice, once in a move and once in a video game, just never in real life. But in essence, somewhere between the vast expanse that should theoretically exist between the designs for a whip and a sword, you may run across this:

Ninja Blade Whip

Ninja Blade Whip

Now to be honest, I’m not quite sure what to make of this. The idea is certainly compelling in theory though. Basically, chain a bunch of smaller blades together into a freakishly long whip of blades. Got it. Only thing is, this freak of weapon nature is 46.5″ all told, and it seems like the hinges, and attachment point reinforcement, etc. would add all kinds of weight to the blade. A regular 46″ sword would probably weigh considerably less that this. It’s weight is not listed so I can’t be sure.

A 96″ or even 120″ weighted whip would almost certainly be lighter. But unless it weighs a lot less than it looks, this is not something that a ninja would want to lug around all the time. A kusarigama or manrikigusari would give a ninja the same reach without all the extra weight. Yet Another victim of over-enthusiastic weapons marketing.

But over optimistic ninja labeling aside, you could probably get some great velocity and power out of that, and with the sheer number of cutting edges on it, you could probably do a lot of damage. So from an intimidation and effectiveness standpoint, this might make for a great weapon for a person trained to use heavy/long swords or whips. Oh, and don’t get me wrong, I’m sure a ninja could use one quite effectively. They are masters of all weapons after all.

It just probably wouldn’t be the first weapon they’d pick up going out the door…

Ninja Blade Whip – [True Swords]

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