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What is a Dragon Staff?

Momo Bonobo

fire performers holding fire dragon staffs

While the Dragon Staff is a relatively recent addition to the flow arts community, its roots can be traced back centuries. It originated from a Chinese weapon known as the Fei Cha, or “flying fork”. This trident-like weapon served as a staple in the martial arts repertoire for centuries.

Fast forward to the early 21st century, and the Fei Cha found an unexpected renaissance among a collective of flow artists in the United States and Europe. By attaching two extra rods to each of the staff’s ends, a new fire prop was born. The dragon staff made its fiery debut in 2005 at the European Juggling Convention in Ptuj, Slovenia. Originally christened “10 headed staff,” its name was soon changed to “dragon staff” by its creator, Gora Krisztian. This not only resonated with the prop’s impressive appearance but also evoked the mythical allure associated with dragons.

Quickly gaining popularity, the Dragon Staff became one of the most sought-after fire props worldwide. Its use extends from solo practice to dynamic performances at festivals and events. Some even consider it the gateway drug to the wider world of flow arts.

The dragon staff is a challenging prop to learn, but it is also very rewarding. The spinning motion of the staff requires a great deal of concentration and coordination, and the tricks that can be performed with a dragon staff are truly impressive.

If you seek an engaging, rewarding prop that pushes your skills, the Dragon Staff stands as an excellent choice. With diligence and practice, you’ll find yourself performing awe-inspiring tricks that will WOW any audience.

Additional Facts and Key Points about Dragon Staffs:

  • Dragon staffs originate from the Chinese martial arts weapon called fei-cha
  • The chi roll is an essential trick in Dragon Staff flow, maintaining a continuous spinning motion using the staff’s momentum.
  • Pixie Dragons, at about 4 feet long, are shorter than traditional Dragon Staffs and allow for more intricate maneuvers as well as the possibility of dual wielding (double dragon staff).
  • Partner Dragons, usually about 6 feet long, allow for coordinated performances between two people.
  • Modern Dragon Staffs are commonly constructed from carbon fiber or aluminum. However, DIY designs made from steel, PVC, or wood can still be found.
  • Gora is credited with first creating and coining the term “dragonstaff” in the early 2000s in Europe. He is also a well-known performer and instructor, and he has helped to spread the popularity of dragon staffs around the world.
  • Other key players in popularizing the dragon staff are Brettdstar Schmerl, Jed Fowler, Adam Lobo, and Threeworlds
  • Dragon staffs (or dragonstaffs) are also referred to as dragon sticks, or simply just dragons.

The dragon staff offers an exciting path to improving coordination, balance, and focus. Hopefully this article has enriched your understanding of the history and evolution of Dragon Staffs. If you don’t have one already, check out what we have available here!