Jenn Reese Writer, Artist, Geek

Meet Whisper


I’ve previously expressed my glee at beginning weapons training at White Lotus. I will now be squeeing some more.

On Tuesday, my very own Chinese white maple staff arrived. After using it for a few days, I’ve decided to name her Whisper.

From 2009 Photobook

As you can see, she is formed from the trunk of a slender white maple, knots and all. This gives her character and a wonderful feel in the hands.

Unlike the other staves I’ve worked with before, she is neither one diameter nor tapered on both ends. She is uneven, one end thick and one end thin. This makes finding the center by feel more difficult. It also means there is an appropriate end to be striking with, though either will do in a pinch.

We have been learning figure eights (two-handed and one-handed) and spins, helicopters and behind-the-back maneuvers. Some moves still make me flinch, but I’m getting more comfortable every class, especially now that I have my own weapon with which to bond.

As another grandmaster told me once, the goal is to get so comfortable with your weapon that using it feels like playing with a toy. Tonight I started to understand, as we free-formed spins and experimented with connecting moves. I only bonked myself a half-dozen times, and couldn’t stop grinning.

I don’t understand why I love weapons so much, but I do. And it has nothing to do with fighting.

About the author

Jenn Reese


  • A true warrior's weapon. Congratulations! May Whisper always stike true.

    Weapons training is a side of the martial arts that, aside from some kendo, I've never really explored. Although I'm fairly sure I'd give you a run for your money if we ever went hand-to-hand, you've got it all over me with stuff like this. :-)

  • Let us hope we are never forced to fight to the death! If we must, then my money is on your Japanese sword over my Chinese staff. :-D

  • Well, I’m definitely giving the fight to you if you’ve got the Beretta.

    I’m actually not such a fan of sparring. We’ll have to just grab coffee or tea and chat. :-D

  • How much did you pay for this? Because silver maples (aka white maples) are abundant along riverbanks near where I live.

  • I haven’t paid for it yet, so I don’t know. I imagine it will be somewhere between $15 and $30.

  • That's not bad. I was thinking I could go out and cut a dozen or so down, cut off the limbs, round off the ends, and sand the them. But at $30.00 a pop, it wouldn't be worth my time. Twice that, and I'd seriously think about doing it.

By Jenn Reese
Jenn Reese Writer, Artist, Geek

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