Da Dao Footage 1930s

Chinese troops drilling with the Da Dao 1930s. Feng Yuxiang’s recollections describes a scene similar to the one in the picture.

Hope everyone is doing well during this quarantine. As many of you we are also working and schooling at home. It has been a while since we posted anything for the blog. In part because there is always something to do with the family and by the time the weekend arrives we are busy and tired to write. In any case we just saw a Facebook post by Wong Yuen Ming we thought worth sharing.

The two short clips below show a group of Chinese soldiers drilling with the Da Dao. There is little information other than the approximate year of 1932. One detail of interest is the grip and sequence shown with the weapon. None of which resemble two of the Da Dao manuals published in that period and covered in previous posts. The two manuals in question included one by Bagua teacher Yin Yuzhang and the other by Jin Enzhong who served in the North West army. Both manuals were published in 1933 depicting people wielding the Da Dao with a two hand grip. Footage by the Italian Instituto Luce in 1932 at the Temple of Heaven in Bejing, shows Chinese troops drilling in Chinese martial arts (some Tan Tui exercises) including Shuajiao, Da Dao and bayonet fighting.

The DaDao techniques in the Italian footage is performed with a two hand grip. We can assume based on footage and photographic evidence that there was not a unified methodology to teach the use of the Da Dao given that different units were trained by teachers from different martial arts styles during the Sino Japanese conflict.

If you have more information about the footage we would love to hear it, in the meantime stay safe.

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