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Staff is another weapon form that is performed with the personalities and characteristics made famous by the eight immortals. Ba Xian Gun (Eight Immortals Staff) personifies the immortals and their legend by interpreting the movements into a story, each piece representing something unique to each immortal.
The staff is one, if not the, most common weapon found in Chinese Martial Arts. With this weapon, one can practice sweeping, thrusting, striking, pummeling, smashing, swinging, and breaking techniques. It is the most universal long weapon. These movements mimic and lead the practitioner into patterns similar to the spear, shovel, halberd, chain whip, and three section staff.
The basics learned in the staff form can be mastered on their own and this completes a very balanced practice. A good foundation of staff basics allows the student to express movements in the Eight Immortals Staff form with the attributes characteristic to each immortal. Drunken movements and crippled movements (Lan Caihe and Tieguai Li) soften the body and move in fluid motions while the more direct approaches of the scholar and the noble leader (Lu Dongbin) express upright posture and quick advancing strikes. The variety in this staff form allows one to practice a wide range of coordination, technique, balance, speed , and power drills.
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