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How to Do a Baat Jaam Do in Wing Chun

Learn how to do a Baat Jaam Do from Sifu Alex Richter in this Howcast Wing Chun video.


So now I'm just going to talk real quick about the Wing Chun Baton Dough, or the knives that are in the Wing Chun System. The Baton Dough form is actually the last thing one formally learns in the Ip Man Wing Chun System, and there's a lot of debate nowadays about where the knives actually, when they came into the Wing Chun System. Now they're generally regarded as top secret in the Wing Chun System, because not only, or the knife technique themselves quite advanced, but also the footwork that accompanies them can also be used in the fist fighting portion of your Wing Chun as well, which will greatly expand the way you move when you're doing your normal unarmed fighting.

Now there are a couple things to observe about the Wing Chun Baton Dough. First of all the knives themselves have a slightly different shape than what's commonly referred to butterfly swords or butterfly knives. It's very important not to mix the two. There are a lot of people that call Wing Chun knives butterfly knives or butterfly swords, and in fact this is an error. The Chinese title for these knives, actually the same as the form, they're called Baat Cham Dao, which means eight flashing knives. They're not called Wu Dip Dao, which would mean butterfly swords. A lot of people unfortunately, because there are other styles that use a wider knife, which has a similar shape, but the handle is in the center of the blade, and if you look at the Wing Chun knife, the handle is in line with the tip.

That's a unique shape for the Wing Chun style. Also the knives come together so they're flat-edged in the center. All these things are unique to the Wing Chun knife, so the Wing Chun knives are not, in fact, butterfly knives. Another thing that's different in the Wing Chun knives compared to the butterfly knives, we do not flip the knives when we're using them in combat. If you see, there are a lot of people when they 're using their knives, they're flipping them around and doing all these kind of things. When you're fighting in a real life situation with knives, that means you're fighting with weapons, you're fighting for your life, the last thing you want to do is stand there flipping this blade around doing a bunch of things that might end up with you using the blade and losing your weapon. In fact there was a magazine called Modo, which was an old martial arts magazine from Hong Kong, and there was an article about Baat Cham Dao, which was written by Grandmaster Leung Ting.

This was written during the time that he was learning from Great Grandmaster Ip Man, and Grandmaster Ip Man actually gave him a lot of information and source material to do this article, and one of the things that Great Grandmaster Ip Man really discussed was that in Wing Chun we do not flip the knives, okay. Flipping the knives is a very, very dangerous thing to do because you may lose them. And he even noted that a lot of Hong Kong triads or gangsters, when they would go in for a knife fight, would even wrap their hands to the blade, sorry, to the handle, so that they wouldn't lose the knife in fighting. And this makes a lot of sense, because if you have to fight, you don't want to lose your weapon. So no flipping in the Wing Chun Baat Cham Dao.

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