Do you love watching Jackie Chan movies? Aren't his flourishes and fancy moves thoroughly entertaining? Have you ever seen him wield an impromptu weapon? Did you wonder what kind of training it took to learn such fancy techniques?
With a lot of observation and just a little bit of deduction, it's possible to "unpack" Jackie Chan's weapons training....
Jackie Chan Knows Weapons Balance
Whether Jackie Chan is brandishing a broom or spinning sai, you can tell that he has a good sense of balance ... not only his own sense of balance, but the balance of a weapon.
You'll often see him take advantage of the fulcrum point (the spot of perfect, even balance on a weapon) with his fancy spinning. His hand (or sometimes his leg or foot) starts at a point just to the left or right of the balancing spot. Then, he gets a full rotation as his skin touches the fulcrum, and he often can squeeze one more spin out of it, before he has to grab onto or redirect the weapon.
He does this with benches, spears, garden tools, and so on. Occasionally, you'll even see him use the same principle with the fulcrum point spinning around his neck. No kidding.
Practice both balancing and spinning various objects. By finding the balancing point, you'll develop more control of the weapon. This step is often skipped by those too eager to get to fancier and fancier moves.
Remember, learn to balance the weapon, and practice spinning it with control. Don't allow it to get away from you.
Finding Weapons Flourishes
Jackie Chan has also studied styles that incorporate "flourishy weapons." You can tell. Good for him; he has searched for skills that he could incorporate in his movies. So did Bruce Lee, and also Bruce's son, Brandon.
Jackie Chan has had extensive training in staff (bo), sticks, and even the chain whip.
Jackie Chan's Training Principle of Generalization
Of course, if you train with a variety of weapons, you have to take it one step further. Jackie Chan's best skill is his ability to generalize what he can do with traditional weapons to his supposedly impromptu weapons that he uses in the movies.
His flourishes for, say a stool, have been directly translated from his martial technique with a cane. Anything completely flexible becomes his chain whip.
You could develop this skill, too. Look for similarities. Start flourishing unusual objects. Can you use a vase like an escrima stick?