The cudgel is called the "father of all weapons" meaning all other weapons were developed from it.
As the cudgel is easy to make and use, and is practical, it has become a very popular weapon.
Cudgel play lays stress on a sweeping action so the saying goes "with a cudgel you sweep all around." Some tricks employed for other weapons (such as spear and sabre) can also be used in cudgel play. There are many methods of playing the cudgel. Among the most commonly used are chopping, swinging, jabbing, hanging, jumping, leaping, smashing, pointing, blocking, sheltering, holding, piercing, floating, carrying, poking, and lifting. The different schools of cudgel play have different emphasis.

Cudgel is played as quickly as heavy rainfall and cudgel play combines offence with defence, always changing the ways of play.

The main routines include Qimei, Shaolin, Panlong (coiled dragon), Jiuzhou (nine-continent), Liuhe (six-combination), Tianqi, Bodhi-dharma, Monkey and Drunkard.

Cudgels are mostly made of wood but some are made of metal. In addition to long cudgels, there are two-section cudgel and three-section cudgel.