The words practical and impractical seem to be popping up quite often now. I often get e-mails asking me about the practicality, or impracticality of the rope dart. Some of these e-mails are question based, some are factual based and some are way out in left field.
Letâ€™s look at the practicality of the rope dart as a weapon of self defense first. Before we begin, letâ€™s assume that the bearer of the rope dart is fairly accurate and handles it well. By â€˜handle it wellâ€™ I mean they have a rapid, yet controlled speed of the spinning dart. â€™Fairly accurateâ€™, to me, means the rope is at full extension with the dart some where in between 3 feet above the ground and under 6 feet in the air (the average height of a human head and torso). Finally, said practitioner doesnâ€™t worry too much about deception and being fancy and instead approached the situation matter of factly. One shot, one kill.
If a practitioner had these attributes (speed and accuracy) then would it not go without saying that it is a practical weapon for said practitioner? The rope dart is small and compact-able. This is why the rope dart is considered a hidden weapon. It would seem to me that carrying a rope dart in my back pocket is way more practical than carrying a bow and arrow or even a sword or spear in that same pocket (is that a Kwan Dao in your pocket or are you just happy to see me?). To me, those weapons seem impractical to carry (yet still useful and dangerous in the hands of a skilled practitioner) in both Ancient China and todayâ€™s world.
Now, letâ€™s look at impracticality. I agree that if a person can never hit a target with their dart then, yes, it is an impractical weapon for them to use for the time being. These practitioners should work diligently on their accuracy so that they may be able to hit a target. These practitioners should carry their rope dart with them everywhere and practice on anything they can. If a person labels the rope dart impractical they need to ask themselves some questions. Is it their inefficiency that causes them to think that the rope dart is impractical? Is it their lack of knowledge and understanding of technique that causes this feeling of impracticality? Are they really going to blame the rope dart, and not themselves? It is a challenging weapon to learn, the conditioning is intense (much like any other real conditioning for any martial art) and the lessons learned by the swinging dart can be downright mean at times.
I noticed something the other day in the word â€œpractical.â€ If we get rid of the â€œalâ€ and replace it with an â€œeâ€ we get the word â€œpractice.â€
Practice makes the rope dart practical.