Check out this video of a Chinese team from the 10th World Wushu Championships held in Toronto in 2009.
Roughly translated, “wushu” is Chinese for “martial arts”. Competitive wushu has two components: taolu (forms) and sanda (sparring). I believe the video is of a performance in the taolu subdivision.
This style of wushu featuring a spear (qiang) in the hands of one of the combatants is a technique in the Changquan (Long Fist) category. The qiang has a red horse-hair fringe attached just below the blade on the tip. The fringe is designed to serve two functions. When the point of the qiang is moving quickly the movement of the fringe makes it more difficult for the opponent to see and grab the haft of the qiang. The fringe also absorbs blood so that the haft doesn’t become slippery or sticky after successful strikes. Qiang used in war are made from hardwood. The ones used in wushu are made from wax wood which is lighter and more flexible.
Here’s another video of the same match from a different camera angle. I don’t even want to think about how many times the woman in yellow was hit in the face while they perfected this routine.