The Tai Chi Taiji Kung Fu fighting fan, also commonly known as the "iron fan," is an ancient martial arts weapon that was popular in China many centuries ago. Perhaps more so than any other weapon, the Tai Chi Taiji Kung Fu fighting fan personifies combat as an art form. For the most part, iron fans were ceremonial but could be used in combat if needed. In some cases, a geisha would use such a weapon to assassinate a target.
This article will go over practical advice for using an iron fan as a weapon. However, if you truly wish to master the art of wielding one, seek out a martial arts trainer who can help. Also, be aware that the iron fan, like any weapon, can be very dangerous; use it with caution.
Step 1: Bludgeoning Techniques
As the name implies the "iron fan" is in many cases made fully or partially of metal. This makes the weapon a potent bludgeoning device when folded up completely. This is the simplest way to use the Tai Chi Taiji Kung Fu fighting fan. Using the fan to strike vital areas of the human body is a legitimate combat technique that can be extremely effective. These areas include the temple on the side of the head, the septum (the nose bone), and the throat. Bludgeoning someone in their eyes is also a viable option. Be aware though that striking a person in their vital areas can seriously injure or even kill them so make sure you don't use such attacks lightly. Also you should study up on anatomy to truly make the most of these kinds of attacks.
Step 2: Cutting Techniques
In many cases the iron fan's edges will be sharpened and can be used for a variety of cutting and slicing attacks. Practicing with a sharpened fan is very dangerous so make sure you are under the supervision of a skilled martial arts teacher when you're first starting out. To use the fan in this manner takes a bit of skill but can be high effective in combat. Target areas to cut include the carotid artery in the throat, the brachial artery in the upper arm, or the femoral artery in the upper thigh. Warning: slicing any of the body's major arteries will likely kill the person. In some cases the fan can be used to slice tendons or ligaments to disable your opponent. This is known as "mechanical cutting" and can be viable if you're very skilled with the fan.
Step 3: Distraction and Concealment
A master of using the Tai Chi Taji Kung Fu fighting fan can use the weapon for more than simple bludgeoning or cutting attacks. They can use the fan to conceal their kicks and punches as well. Being able to pull this off takes years of training but when mastered can be used to easily defeat many opponents. The key to this technique's to swing and hold the fan at certain angles that it blocks your opponent’s line of sight and disguises the next kick or punch that you attack with. This will make it extremely hard for your opponent to dodge or block your attacks.
Step 4: Understanding the Law
This step's important to know where and when to wield a weapon. In any sort of physical confrontation using a weapon, even in self-defense, can cause you legal problems and even lead to prosecution in some cases. Make sure you familiarize yourself with your local laws so that you know when, where, and how you can use a weapon to defend yourself without being arrested for it. Also, be aware that nothing in this article constitutes legal advice, please speak to a lawyer if you need to.