Echani Weapons

Weaponry in Echani is highly varied – there are as many weapons forms as there are schools, but it is one of the most integral parts of the art that it is impossible to overlook. There are way too many weapons to cover in a single document, so the most recognizable and common weapons will be covered here, as well as some important concepts for adapting other weapons to existing Echani forms.

Most weapons are taught through forms and free sparring using practice weapons. There are very few ‘basic techniques’ taught per weapon for the sheer fact that most Echani practitioners will liken the weapons directly to the techniques that they are taught from the beginning of their training. However, certain weapons have their own unique techniques that are taught immediately for the sake of maximum efficiency.

Echani Vibrodagger
The vibrodagger is arguably the most commonly used weapon in Echani arts for its simplicity and availability. A dagger is an easily acquired weapon, meaning it can be found almost anywhere in the Galaxy, rendering it a handy and convenient weapon for any practitioner of Echani to use. One unique feature of the normal vibrodagger is that the blade is only three or four inches long, making it concealable and simple to use. Being a standard vibroweapon, it tears through flesh with relative ease, making it an ideal weapon for self-defense in that it will end a fight quickly should it need to be used. For most practitioners, this is the first weapon learned, given how easy it is to adapt the most basic techniques to the vibrodagger’s use.

Echani makes use of the vibrodagger in two ways: first, by holding it in the hand as one would hold a sword; second, by placing the hilt between the first and second knuckles and employing it as a punching dagger for improved impact and penetration of normal techniques. In both cases, it is almost entirely used as basic techniques. Many forms emphasize this early, teaching the vibrodagger to relatively new students to get them used to the idea that a weapon is no more than an extension of one’s own arm. Punching and slashing techniques are the most commonly used for the obvious reason that they are the most efficient with this kind of weapon.

When using a vibrodagger, one must stay in very close range for the weapon to be effective. There is no change to distance of striking based on the weapon in use, so an Echani practitioner with a vibrodagger must be prepared to fight exactly the same as they would without one.

Echani Quarterstaff
The quarterstaff is an iconic weapon, one recognized throughout the Galaxy. In all its forms, it is a telescoping weapon with roughly a one-meter center hilt that extends out to its full height that, on average, is around six feet – very slightly taller than the practitioner, which can scale to shorter or taller users. The telescope allows for ease of transport, as well as added surprise. The weapon is held in the middle, as opposed to one end, freeing up both ends of the weapon for striking and defending. The quarterstaff comes in two forms: first, a simple bludgeoning staff with no bells or whistles beyond its telescope; second, a double-bladed vibrosword that was made most popular around the Galaxy by the Sovereign Protectors of Emperor Palpatine’s Royal Guard.

The primary concepts of the quarterstaff are that it is held in two hands, whether one end or two are extended; new techniques such as the straight thrust and the figure eight are taught. In both variations of the weapon, the staff is used exactly the same: an unending flurry of blows, using the same rotation to deflect an attack and then follow through with a strike. Typically an attacking weapon will be deflected out wide in order to give the second end time enough to come through and strike. Spins and twists are very common with the quarterstaff, in order to maximize the rotation of the weapon and deliver more force per strike. The reach of this weapon makes it ideal for long-ranged attacks and keeping an opponent at bay. The major appeal of the quarterstaff is that it can be used to hold an opponent away from their strike distance using only the length of the weapon.

Other Weapons
While the vibrodagger and the quarterstaff are the most famous weapons, they are by no means the only ones. Single and paired swords, tonfa, ball and chain, mace, flail, spear – even blasters have their own place in certain schools, much to the chagrin of some practitioners; this is a highly controversial move in certain circles, but one nonetheless effective. The idea that Echani only ever employ melee weapons is a myth, one that many opponents have discovered the hard way – with a blaster bolt drilled perfectly between their eyes by an Echani practitioner with an unerring understanding of angles.

What is most important to remember that any weapon can, in theory, be adapted using core principles. Even a chair or a stick can serve as an effective weapon in the right hands. Body mechanics do not just go away, and it is this idea that makes any weapon a deadly one in the right hands.

Weapons Concepts
  • Extension Of The Arm – All weapons are treated as an extension of the arm. One does not just move the weapon; one moves their whole body. One must strike as if it was their fist doing the attacking directly.
  • Grip – The grip of almost every weapon is performed exactly the same. The grip is similar to a pistol grip; the thumb rests between the index and middle fingers, not locking over other fingers. The little finger is the tightest held on the weapon for most dexterous control, while the index finger is the most loosely held. Holding too tightly prevents the weapon from being pliable and having the weapon struck may break your grip; too loosely and you may drop it mid-strike.
  • Basic Techniques – In almost every weapon form, the techniques employed by the weapon can be directly compared to a technique from unarmed combat. This is a very important idea that needs to be kept in mind no matter what weapon is being used.
  • Never Ignore Your Unarmed Concepts – Every concept that applies to unarmed combat applies to armed combat, too. Use the hips. Weight forward. Strike vital points. Keep rooted. Everything above still applies here, and in many cases it is doubly more so important given that you are employing more than just your body.
  • Constant Flow – A weapon must not stop moving in order to maintain its momentum, unless it is a requisite that it comes to rest for a reason such as trapping an opponent’s weapon against it. These situations are rare. As such a weapon should, in almost every situation, continue to move and attack consistently.
  • Maintain Appropriate Distance – Safe distance with any weapon is one step outside the maximum reach of any weapon that your opponent uses. To maintain safety with two equal weapons, one should remain one step outside of the maximum striking distance using the weapon that you are employing. Always be mindful of the reach of your opponent’s weapon, as well as yours.