I learnt this wonderful weapon form while in Hong Kong in the early 80's and have never had a real pair of the weapon. Adapted by the Baguazhang people in the 1800's from a farming tool, a sort of small scythe for sorting out brush and other long grasses etc., They modified the original tool into a most formidable weapon. It is my belief that this is the most deadly in close weapon ever invented. You cannot walk down the street with it: Well you might get away with it saying that you are a farmer?
See the diagrams for the actual knives. We asked one of our more metal minded students/instructors to make these for us out of high tensile and stainless steel. I remember the size around about what it should be by placing the original weapon onto my torso, so ours I guess to be around the correct size but what does it matter?
The knife has two very sharp cutting edges, top and bottom (hook) as well as a very sharp point and because of the metal it is made from, is quite well balanced and not flimsy. It also gives an excellent forearm, shoulder and upper body work out; especially the wrists and forearms.
The Bagua Gou Dao follows much the same patter as the classical Bagua circular form. However, it is less complicated (why would you want to be with such a weapon), and more flowing. Each of the eight Knife Changes contains a health giving part in the true spirit of what is Bagua. The weapon can be used in defence against other edged weapons, even spears and broadsword as it is very powerful at catching and flicking the other weapon out of the hands of the attacker with great force.
The form, as with baguazhang, is always aimed at the most dangerous situations where we are being attacked by more than two attackers with weapons. It teaches us to move in accordance with what is happening at any given time, using the bagua stepping method to avoid and attack instantly in any direction. No sooner has the knife parried an attack as the other knife has broken a hole ni his temple!
Each side of the knife can be used to great effect and because of the shape of the weapon, it is easy to flick from one cutting edge to the other. You might slice his wrist off, then come back up ni an instant, changing the position of the knife to attack the head or neck with the point.
An excellent body workout is had when practising the whole Bagua Hook Knives form, weight loss, aerobic and anaerobic ability is attained as well as perfect natural body flowing movement where one move slips effortlessly into the next without any stops.
And this form has a very good incentive to do it correctly because if you don't, you could just cut your own wrist off! The definitive MTG Video series on this weapon is will be coming at some point. Erle only ever taught this form to Eli, but did not put it down on video, so Eli will put out the video when he is ready. Keep an eye on taijiworld.com for details.