The Bart Cham Dao or eight cutting knives is usually the final form taught to a Wing Chun Student. Ip Man only taught a hand full of students this form in his entire.

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History of the weapon Quite a bit of good research [3] has been done into the history of the weapon. It looks like the first appearance of these weapons was in the early to mind 19th Century ‘s.

Furthermore as an added bonus learning the Bart Cham Dao will drastically improve wrist strength if trained properly and regularly.

The form has 8 sections. Crossed Wing Chun swords in our association logo. In English we can call these two separate thing by one name, sword. One, there is no evidence that any of the Shaolin sets use Wing Chun style Dao in the same way as Wing Chun students do during the Baat Cham Dao form, namely rotating the blade so the spine of the blade runs parallel to the forearm.

Secondly, the D shaped hand guard on the front is reasonably unique in that most Chinese weapons don’t have that kind of guard. Baat is the number 8, Cham is to cut or slash and Dao refers to a single edged blade like a knife or sword. Whilst this is again a possibility, I feel this is an unlikely theory due to the nature of the form. The most foem theory, but in my opinion cam likely theory, is that the form dwo with the Shaolin monks.

Wing Chun Form – Bart Cham Dao

Ip Man only taught a hand full seven of students this form in his entire life. In addition there is a fair amount of evidence [2] to suggest Wing Bat hand forms are themselves and adaptation of Fujan crane style and snake style Kung Fu. In the final section of the Baat Cham Dao, the student is required to reverse the grip so the spine of the blade is parallel to the forearm.

Fujan White Crane does use two Dao and rotates the blades during the form. Therefore, to me, it seems likely that the Wing Chun form was inspired by other Chinese martial arts that existed at the time, but it had the Wing Chun principles of economy of motion, non-commitment and directness applied.


Article by Dan Knight added on 24 Jul chamm The system is designed to grow from the Sil Lim Tao to Bart Cham Dao and it is not wise to try and miss sections or rush through. The word Dao or sometimes just spelled Do, can describe a tool which in English we have separate names for. Butterfly knives are often confused with Bulls Ears swords.

As you have hopefully noticed, I have simply been referring to the weapon as Dao meaning single edged blade in Cantonesehowever it goes by a multitude of other names. Many people mistakenly believe this is where the forms name comes from. Secondly, a pair of large knives would not be a good choice barr non lethal combat. This is usually the final form taught to a Wing Chun Student.

Whilst this is plausible, there are two key problems. In fact some people [1] have suggested that, compressive research covering all the weapons used by the Shaolin styles, does not show any use of the Wing Chun style Dao.

Baat Cham Dao | Wing Chun Kung Fu

Some people argue, the form can be seen as an extension of the hand techniques, just using a weapon. Hence the name “eight cutting blade”.

Calling Wing Chun dao, Butterfly Knives is often very confusing for people outside of Wing Chun as the term is commonly used to describe the Filipino flick knife or balisong. Given that we consider these two features to be what separates Wing Chun style Dao from regular knives and swords, we should next look at early references to these weapons and how they latter evolved. We now stock a small selection of fotm quality Wing Chun butterfly knives. Ip Man is said to doa learned the fprm off of Leung Bik.

The fable goes, that the monks would keep the knives in their boots and use them to defend themselves. Furthermore because the knives used in the form are not as big as traditional Chinese swords the techniques translate well into improvised weapons you may find in a modern lifestyle.

Perhaps most importantly it reinforces the underlying Wing Chun principles seen in the other hand forms, for instance economy of motion, deflection etc.

This suggested that the Baat Cham Dao forms appearance in Wing Chun is reasonably recent, perhaps only years ago.

Historically they seem to have been referred to as double swords. This is because, amongst other things, the stepping in the Bart Cham Dao is not effective without the stepping from the second and third hand forms Chum Kiu and Biu Gee. However there are numerous slashes in the form that cut through 8 angles hence the name of the form. I shall explore this terminology before looking at the history of the weapon itself.


Initially a student may ask “Although it may be fun to learn, and nice from traditional perspective, why should I learn the Bart Cham Dao in this day and age? However the term butterfly knives is very common within the Wing Chun community.

As described above insome of the first accounts of them [4] are documented in the west simply as double swords.

Wing Chun Knife Form – Bart Cham Dao

It will also teach the practitioner a new type of stepping that can be used in certain situations. In this instance there are two very unique features to Wing Chun style Dao. Developed from Crane and other Kung Fu styles An alternative theory is that the form was developed as an adaptation of other styles of Kung Fu that baft in southern China at the time, possibly Fujan White Crane.

However the eight actually refers to the number fotm different angles the blade cuts through whilst performing the techniques in the form. Everyday knives used for Wing Chun Another possible theory is that the form is a way of using Wing Chun to fight with domestic knives, for instance Chinese cooking cleavers which are sometimes used in pairs when cooking.

For instance, we have the word knife, machete and sword. This linguistic issue is one reason for different names.

for, The Chinese term for this is Wu Dip Cahm. Before the Bart Cham Dao can be learned it is very important to have a solid grasp of all the other hand forms first.

An alternative theory is that the form was developed as an adaptation of other styles of Kung Fu that existed in southern China at the time, possibly Fujan White Crane. The knives used in Wing Chun are nothing like the Filipino knives with the blade concealed in the handle. Like no 2 A set of mid. Last updated on 6 Jun Quite a bit of good research [3] has been done into the history of the weapon.