List of Traditional Martial Arts Weapons
This page provides details on a wide variety of traditional martial arts weapons (i.e. Bo, Nunchaku, Sai and “Meteor Hammer“). These martial arts weapons come from a variety of countries (i.e. China, Japan and the Philippines) and martial arts styles. These weapons are used for demonstrations, katas & forms, etc.
For a variety of Bo techniques (i.e. spins & thrusts), please visit Black Belt Wiki’s Bo Staff Techniques section. If you are looking for martial arts styles that focus almost exclusively on traditional weapons training, please see our Weapon-Based Martial Arts section.
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List of Traditional Martial Arts Weapons
- Bagh Nakh – The Bagh Nakh is an Indian martial arts weapon known as “Tiger Claws”.
- Baraw – Arnis, Eskrima & Kali knife
- Bankaw – Arnis, Eskrima & Kali staff
- Bo Staff – Staff
- Bolo – Arnis, Eskrima & Kali machete
- Bokken – Wooden practice sword used in Japanese martial arts such as Kendo and Aikido.
- Canes – Canes or walking sticks are used as weapons in martial arts such as Hapkido.
- Daab Song Mue – Thailand two-handed swords
- Dan Bong – The Dan Bong is a very short wooden Hapkido weapon.
- Dao – Chinese saber
- Eku – A Japanese weapon that originated from an oar
- Hanbo – Japanese half staff
- Hu Cha – Chinese “Tiger Fork” or “Hunting Tiger Trident”
- Iaito – Iaito is an unsharpened metal practice sword used in Iaido.
- Jang Bong – The Jang Bong is a 6 foot wooden staff used in Korean martial arts such as Hapkido.
- Jian – Straight sword used in Chinese martial arts such as Wushu and Tai Chi.
- Jingum – Metal sword used for cutting practice in Korean martial arts such as Haidong Gumdo.
- Jiu Jie Bian – Jiu Jie Bian is a Chinese “chain whip” weapon.
- Jo – Japanese short staff
- Jutte or Jitte – Japanese weapon similar to the Sai
- Kagum – Blunt metal sword used for training purposes in Korean martial arts such as Haidong Gumdo.
- Kama – A Okinawan/Japanese weapon based on a small scythe for cutting rice.
- Kanabo – Kanabo (or Tetsubo) was a metal mace used by Japanese samurai.
- Karambit – Southeast Asian claw-like weapon
- Katana – Japanese sword
- Krabi – Thailand curved sword
- Krabong – Thailand staff
- Kunai – Japanese Ninjutsu dagger-like weapon
- Kusari Fundo – Japanese chain weapon
- Kusarigama – Chain and scythe weapon
- Kuwa – Japanese weapon based on the garden hoe
- Kwan Dao – The Kwan Dao (Guan Dao) is a heavy Chinese pole-based weapon with a “sword” at the top.
- Kyoketsu-Shoge or Shogee – Hooked dart-rope weapon used in Ninjutsu.
- Lathi – Stick weapon used by Indian and other Southeast Asian police.
- Liu Xing Chui (or Meteor Hammer) – The Meteor Hammer is a traditional Chinese weapon consisting of iron balls on a chain.
- Lujiao Dao – “Deer Horn Knives” or “Duck Blades”
- Metsubushi – Pepper or powder used in Ninjutsu in order to blind or disorient an opponent.
- Mokgum – Wooden sword used for training purposes in Korean martial arts such as Haidong Gumdo.
- Nagamaki – Japanese weapon
- Naginata – Japanese halberd-like weapon
- Nunchaku – Also known as Nunchucks
- Nunti Bo – An Okinawan spear with hooks on the side.
- Pho Bak – The Pho Bak (or Rope) is a traditional Hapkido self-defense weapon.
- Plawng – Thailand long staff
- Police Baton – This traditional law enforcement tool has been used for centuries.
- Pu Dao – Chinese weapon known as the “Horse Cutter Sword”.
- Qiang – Chinese spear
- Quarterstaff – This is a British wooden staff about 6-9 feet long. Famous from the tales of Robin Hood.
- Sai – Three pronged weapon
- Sanjiegun – Wu Shu three section staff
- Sansetsukon – Okinawan three section weapon.
- Sarong – Sarong is a flexible rope-like weapon used in martial arts like Silat.
- Shaolin Spade – This Chinese weapon is also known as Yue Ya Chan and Chan Zhang.
- Shuang Gou – Chinese hook swords
- Sheng Biao – Chinese rope dart
- Shillelagh – Irish stick weapon
- Shinai – Bamboo practice sword used in Japanese martial arts such as Kendo.
- Shinken – Japanese sword used in martial arts such as Iaido
- Shuko – Claw-like weapon used in Ninjutsu
- Shuriken – Throwing stars which are usually associated with Ninjutsu
- Surujin – Surujin is an Okinawan weighted chain or rope weapon.
- Tambo – A very short staff (similar to a baton) used in martial arts such as Aikido, Jujutsu, etc..
- Tanto – Japanese dagger. A wooden version is often used in Aikido knife self-defense training.
- Tekko – Okinawan (Japan) knucklebuster or brass knuckles
- Tessen – Japanese war fans
- Tetsubishi – Metal caltrop
- Tinbe Rochin – Okinawan spear and shield combination
- Tomahawk – The Tomahawk is a Native American hatchet-like weapon and is used by martial arts such as Okichitaw.
- Tonfa – Two baton-like weapons
- Yantok – Arnis, Eskrima & Kali stick weapon
- Yari – Japanese spear
- Yumi – Bow used in Japanese archery-based martial arts such as Kyudo.
Modern Self-Defense Weapons of Opportunity – These are everyday items that you would normally be carrying (due to the rain or an injury) that could be used in a self-defense situation. These are not concealed weapons.
- Backpacks – Backpacks can be used as an improvised “shields” during self-defense situations.
- Canes or Walking Sticks
- Women’s High Heel Shoes
Shaolin Martial Arts Weapons
Japanese Martial Arts Weapons
- Turtle Press, Korea’s Traditional Weapons, http://www.turtlepress.com/articles/traditional_korean_weapons.aspx, Added – 6/5/13
- Confucius Institute Online, Kung Fu Weapons, http://kungfu.chinese.cn/en/node_842.htm, Added – 06/05/14
- Ryukyu Kobujutsu Association GB, Weapons of Ryukyu Kobujutsu, http://www.rkagb.com/weapons_intro.htm, Added – 06/05/14