From the Once Upon a Time in China 2 movie, I found it rather hard to believe that the way the 'cloth stick' was used, would actually be feasible.

The list of martial arts weapons does not have it. There seem to be a lot of functionality conjured up for towels, but none seem to describe anything like what was shown as a long piece of cloth in the movie.

Is there any historical and practical validity to it? Do any Kung Fu schools still teach how to use wet cloth as a weapon?

  • 5
    Many things can be used as a weapon, and you should never rely on your weapon for long. I think it is quite obvious that many laws of physics and material dynamics are being broken in that fight sequence, so consider it to be for entertainment purposes and not historically accurate.
    – slugster
    Commented Apr 1, 2018 at 9:41
  • No. You have baseball bats attached to your legs (shins) and clubs on your arms. I'll take those over a wet cloth any day. You might be able to beat up a complete dummy with a wet cloth, but at that point you could use anything.
    – coinbird
    Commented Apr 3, 2018 at 15:47
  • 2
    We used to turn our swim towel into rat-tails and have snap fights on the team, but at most we drew a little blood. Nothing like the shown clip, that is entertainment only.
    – JohnP
    Commented May 22, 2018 at 20:35

1 Answer 1


Well, you can block with flexible objects (T-shirt, towel, chain, scarf) and trap arms, legs or strangle someone.

But there are limits as an impact weapon. If you hide a padlock in your towel, it can ruin someone's day - but that would be cheating, right?

That clip is mostly for entertainment.

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