In modern Wushu, performers focus attention on eighteen ancient weapons and their variations. Countless variations exist in construction and usage, depending on the style and set being performed. Not all Wushu performers study all of the arms, but the compulsory four are the straightsword, spear, sabre, and staff. The eighteen arms are typically considered to be:

1. Straightsword /Gim- a simple, straight double-edged sword.

2. Spear - a waxwood staff with a spearhead and decorative tassle.

3. Sabre/Broadsword - a single-edged sabre, shorter than the straight sword; the blade widens and curves in a cresent shape as it rises from the hilt.

4. Staff/Cudgel - a waxwood staff sized as per the users height, nearly all Wushu styles incorporate staff sets.

5. Mace/Jian - consists of a diamond-shaped head, rod, and a short section similar to a chain whip. A shorter weapon, twin maces are common.

6. Halberd - a combination of a spear and a battle axe. Its western relatives include the poleaxe.

7. Axe - typically used as twin axes, these are short blocky axes used much like twin hammers

8. Battle Axe - an obvious relative of the twin axes, this two-handed weapon is much larger and sports a large cresent-shaped head

9. Guan Dao - a variation on the halberd popularized by it's use by Guan Yu following the collapse of the Han dynasty. Its design is essentially that of a halberd but with a much larger, cresent-shaped head.

10. Tiger Fork/Trident - originally a fishing implement, most Wushu forks look like stylized pitchforks.

11. Spade - a long, two-handed monk's spade. Originally used for plowing and typically associated with Shaolin monks, it is typically used much like a halberd or Guan Dao

12. Chain Whip - a long chain with small weights on either end. In typical Wushu performance, each end of the whip will have a brightly colored flag to provide additional noise and visibility.

13. Hammer - two hammers with melon-shaped heads, wielded one per hand; a variation is a single hammer with a long handle, held in both hands.

14. Meteor Hammer - a melon-shaped hammer-head attached to a long rope; usage is similar to a rope dart.

15. Talon - typically held in the hand, the talon is a five fingered claw used for slashing and grasping.

16. Hooks/Twin Hooks - one or a pair of weapons similar to a dagger-axe, with the exception of a hooked end in place of an axe. Variations include single long hook and antler hooks. Occasionally, twin hooks are referred to as sun-moon blades.

17. Trident-halberd - a sharp steel head with a halberd-styled cross-section, most closely resembles certain variations of the medieval warhammers.

18. Rings - a pair of ornate metal rings whose outside edge is lined with blades. In modern Wushu, they are usually tied with ribbons for performances reminiscent of rhythmic gymnastics.

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