Also known as “Shéng Biāo” in Mandarin, the rope dart was first introduced as a weapon during the Tang Dynasty (618-907 AD). It was influenced by Chinese Wushu, which was also known as kung fu in the west. Traditionally used as a weapon with Chinese soldiers, it was considered a last resort after all other weapons failed. This was due to its compact form, allowing it to be hidden away and easily retrievable from the body. In the 1980s, Grand Master Dennis Brown brought this equipment to the American population when he returned from his martial arts studies in China. As time went on and more people ended up learning about the rope dart, it soon became adopted into flow art spaces. No longer used for its intended purpose, the rope dart is now used to create entertaining performances, incorporating all kinds of material from a yarn ball to LED lights and even fire.
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