We were doing some preliminary filming for the batons set since it is the first weapons set in Chen Family style Tai Chi Chuan that we teach. Here’s a quartet of still photos with padded black batons, smooth (sanded and polished) oak batons, red-black rattan batons and combat steel maces. We were trying to decide which batons photograph best. Actually, we should likely change the tassels on the maces to white – the maces are HEAVY. They are too slow even for strong people to wield as a combat weapon. If you ever manage to hit someone, especially in the head or neck, that’s a different story. The list of weapons that I would trust with my well-being or maybe even my life when blocking an incoming steel mace would be short. It feels like directly blocking a steel mace blow has to be done with a two handed weapon – I would think something like a one-handed saber will get slammed back into the fencer’s body. I cracked one wooden staff before deciding I should let my adventurous readers splinter and break THEIR weapons.