best martial arts weapons

15 Best Martial Arts Weapons

Weapons are a common feature of most martial arts. Training with these pieces of equipment will assist you to build up strength in your arm and shoulder and helps you keep a better fighting distance.

In this article, we’ll be looking at the best martial arts weapons used across the world.

Note: this list is not ordered in any way.

Nunchaku

MENOLY Nunchucks Safe Foam Sponge Training
  • Safe Material: Our Training Nunchucks is completely made of sponge core sticks and surrounded by soft padded foam. The sticks are connected by durable rope.
  • Nunchucks Size: Each stick has a length of 28 cm and a diameter of 3.2 cm. The rope between the two sticks is 13 cm. This standard size will perform reliably and be perfect for using.
  • Easy to Carry: The Foam Rubber Training Nunchucks is lightweight, and a oxford cloth bag for you storage.

Nunchaku, also known as “Nunchuck” or “chainstick”, is a martial art weapon that’s originally developed in Okinawa, Japan. The weapon is designed to have two sticks (made of harder wood), usually connected by a short thin chain or nylon rope and hooks.

Nunchaku has been around for a very long time but it started gaining popularity after the martial artist and icon, Bruce Lee, and his martial arts student started using it in movies in the early 1970s.

Today, the Japanese weapon is used by several different styles of martial arts, including Okinawan Kobudō, Karate, Taekwondo, Aikido, and Eskrima. Furthermore, the basic technique of handling Nunchaku is often based on a centrifugal force, which occurs as a result of swinging the weapon. 

In any training session, the use of Nunchaku helps to enhance posture and boost the development of hand movements.

Spear/Qiang

SV Warrior Spear Chinese Old Weapon Metal 56.3 Inch
  • 1. Cold weapon-spear
  • 2. The total length is about 56.3 inches and the weight is about 3.2 pounds
  • 3. The knife handle is divided into two sections, which need to be connected by rotating

Occupying the second spot on the list of the best martial arts weapons is Spear or Qiang (in Chinese).

A spear is a martial art pole weapon that compromises a shaft (usually made of wood) and a pointed head. The pointed head is either the sharpened end of the spear itself or an attachment. The attachment can be made of several different materials, such as steel, iron, bone, flint, obsidian, and many more.

Martial arts spears are categorized into different types, depending on their sizes. For instance, the Ming military categorized the spears with a length of 14 feet and more as long spears. As for those above 9 feet, they are called short spears while those below 9 feet are spiked staffs.

Today, several different styles of martial arts use spears. Some popular ones are Sojutsu, Tai Chi, and Kung Fu.

Hook Swords

Chinese Hook Swords Set of 2
  • Distinctive hooked ends
  • cloth wrapped handle
  • 33.25″ Overall

Hook swords, also called “twin hooks” or “tiger head hook” is a type of martial arts weapon originally designed in China. Initially, this weapon is only used by the northern styles of martial arts in China. Today, however, the weapon is widely used by both the northern and southern styles of Chinese martial arts.

Hook swords are usually characterized by five common components; the hook, back, sharpened end, crescent guard, and link. The hook is used for slashing, tripping opponents, or catching their weapons.

The back of a hook sword is often used as a sword. As for the crescent guard, it has several different functions, including slashing, blocking, and trapping.

Tonfa

Tiger Claw Foam Tonfa
  • Traditional design
  • Shock absorbing foam
  • PVC core
  • Perfect for practice
  • Sold as a pair

Tonfa, also called tong fa, is a type of weapon that is commonly used in Okinawan martial arts for blocking and striking. The weapon, which is usually designed with a stick, comes with a perpendicular handle. The handle is attached about one-third of the entire length of the stick.

Furthermore, Tonfa sticks can be made of different materials, such as oak, hardwood, rubber, and polypropylene.

As earlier mentioned, Tonfa can be used for blocking and striking, depending on how you handle it. For instance, by holding it along the forearm area, you can use it to protect yourself. Moreover, gripping the weapon by its shaft will allow you to use it as a hook. That’s not all;  Tonfa can also be swung out to strike your opponent.

Bo Staff

Foam Padded Training Bo Staff with Free Armory Carry Bag Case (Black/Single, 4 ft.)
  • Lightweight practice bo staff
  • 1 3/4″ diameter
  • Foam surrounds plastic tube
  • Available in 4′, 5′ and 6′
  • Free carry bag

A Bo staff is one of the most common weapons used in Okinawa martial arts. This staff is usually long; to be precise, the weapon is about 6 feet in length. A Bo Staff is made of oak wood and utilized for a couple of functions, such as striking an opponent, thrusting, blocking, sweeping, and entrapping.

Furthermore, a Bo Staff can also be made of foam and metal materials. The foamy type is what people use when training. As for the metallic type, it’s often used during demonstrations.

Katana

Auicx Handmade Sword,Japanese Samurai Sword
  • Our products are Full Tang/Battle Ready, so please rest assured when buying our products. Each of our products is made by hand using the traditional craftsmanship of “China Longquan”. If you like it, you can collect it or use it outdoors. Our products will not disappoint you.So it is marvelous product, with which you can cut bamboos, straw mats, water bottles, fruits, and the like very easily.
  • The Fittings of this product is made of (Pure copper material), so it is robust and strong. There is no worry about it might get discolored or oxidized. The knife handles is made of wood, wrapped by a non-slippery, sweat-absorbing cotton wires. The scabbard is wooden too, bearing patterns which make the product more beautiful.
  • The material of the blade is (Damascus Foldes Steel ), which gives the blade high hardness and toughness.because of which the blade looks distinctively beautiful

A Katana is a type of sword that originates from Japan. This martial weapon is different from the regular sword because of its features. In case you don’t know, a Katana sword usually comes with a curve and a single-edged blade.

That’s not all; a Katana sword also comes with a guard (circular or square) and a long grip, which allows people to comfortably hold it with two hands.

Originally, the Katana swords were designed to be carried by the Samurai warriors in feudal Japan. The weapon can be used for cutting, striking, and blocking battles. In practice, however, the sword can be utilized for learning different styles of martial arts.

Tekko-Kagi

Sale
Cave Tools Meat Claws for Shredding
  • Not Just Pulled Pork Shredder Claws: These bear claw-shaped utensils can be used on brisket, chicken leg, chicken breasts and more, without needing a fork, knife or meat mallet
  • Dominant, Non-Slip Grip: Shredders are bear paw-shaped so you can pick up and carry hot foods from the grill pit or pressure cooker to kitchen table without dropping or burning yourself

This weapon, also called hand claws, was commonly used by the ninjas for farm purposes. Speaking of the shape of Tekko-Kagi, they are hand claws that come with four iron nails. They are often used by the Ninjas to attack and scratch enemies.

Furthermore, you need to understand that there are two different types of Tekko-Kagi. First, one is designed in such a way that allows the edges to come on the back of the hand. The second type has the edges coming in the palm.

Apart from being used to mark enemies, Tekko-Kagi can also be used for defense and offense.

Nine Section Chain Whips

PHYSKOW Rope Dart Meteor Hammer Exercise Ball
  • ➺Design: PHYSKOW rope dart is made for Chinese Kungfu. It can be used in competitions and daily exercises.
  • ➺Material: The dart head is cut from 304 high quality stainless steel. The special cotton rope has decent grip and without knotting.
  • ➺Style: There are large, medium and small to choose from.

Nine section chain whips, also called chain whips, are a type of martial arts weapon designed with several metal rods. These rods are often connected end-to-end with the help of rings to form flexible chains. As with the name, this type of weapon is made of nine different sections, including two end pieces.

Furthermore, nine section chain whips are made of steel and grip materials. It’s often used in Wushu and Shaolin Kung Fu for different functions, including striking and slashing.

Wakizashi

Cold Steel 88DW Dragonfly Wakazashi Sword
  • COLD STEEL DRAGON FLY WAKIZASHI – This Dragon Fly Wakizashi from Cold Steel is a Japanese style sword that was worn by samurai of small stature in feudal Japan
  • ULTIMATE CUTTING POTENTIAL – Deeply curved and hand polished 1060 steel blade of this Dragon Fly Wakizashi terminates in a long iris leaf point for maximum cutting potential
  • HIGH-PERFORMANCE MATERIALS – Made of this steel, blade shows resilience and a good compromise between hardness and pliability; it is popular among the sword making community

Wakizashi was commonly used by the Samurai warriors in Feudal Japan. The Japanese weapon is more of a sword but different from the regular ones and the Katana sword.

Here’s a brief description of what the sword looks like; it has a blade, which is usually about 12 and 24 inches in length. Furthermore, there are two types of Wakizashi. Those that come with almost the same length as the Katana Swords are called ō-wakizashi.

As for those that have a similar length as the tantō swords, they are often called ko-wakizashi.

In terms of usage, Wakizashi swords are worn by Samurai of feudal Japan as backup or auxiliary swords. They are also utilized to behead any defeated opponent in the 15th and 16th centuries.

Sai

Superdo Octagon Metal Martial Arts Sai Multi Size(Black and Silver) (Black, 19″)
  • Octagon metal Sai
  • Nickel finish Sai
  • Forged from High-quality
  • Rubber bandage handle with shock absorbing and antiskid hand

Up next on the list of the best martial arts weapons is Sai. In 1668, the equipment was used by the domestic police in Okinawa, Japan. Sai is a type of martial art weapon used mainly for blocking and stabbing enemies. 

Furthermore, Sai is typically made of metal. It often comes with a blunt metal prong, which also has two curved side prongs. These side prongs project directly from the handle of the traditional Okinawan weapon.

Sao has several different components; one of them is called Monouchi. This is the main cutting portion of the traditional weapon. Furthermore, Sai’s monouchi can come in two different shapes; faceted or round.

Other components of the Sai weapon are Yoku, Tsume, Moto, Tsuka, Saki, and Tsukagashira. “Yoku” represents the two shorter prongs projecting from the handle. “Tsume” represents the tip of the curved side prongs.

As for “Moto,” is the center, where the main prong and the curved side prongs (Monouchi and Yoku) converge. Furthermore, Tsuka is typically the handle of the weapon. “Saki” is the sharp tip of the Sai weapon while “Tsukagashira” is the handle’s butt end.

Shurikens

Stainless Steel Shuriken
  • Including 2 pack
  • NOVEL PERSONALITY: Made of SUS304 Stainless Steel this decorative wall hooks are sturdy and built to hold substantial weight. Mounting hardware is included for your convenience
  • FANCY MODELING: If you want to keep your entryway tidy and want to create a space that will spark joy, this coat hook will add the perfect touch to your space.

Another type of weapon that’s commonly used for martial arts is Shurikens. In case you don’t know, this fighting equipment originates from Japan. The weapon is more of a concealed dagger used to distract enemies.

Here’s a fun fact about Shurikens; they are illegal in some states in the US. For instance, according to Penal Code 22410 PC, the government says that it’s a crime for anybody to manufacture, sell, give, or own a shuriken or ninja star.

That said, Shurikens, also called “ninja stars” are dangerous weapons used by ninjas and Samurai. They make use of the weapon to target the eyes, face, and other exposed parts of the enemy’s body.

Rope Darts

Traditional Rope Dart Stainless Steel Fiive Styles Diamond Cone and Different Weight to Choose
  • ICNBUYS Traditional Rope Dart Stainless Steel Diamond Style with Free Rope with Red Flag
  • Length: 4.9 inches
  • Weight: 0.33 pounds

Rope darts or “rope javelins” are another type of traditional weapon used in different styles of martial arts. Just like its name, the weapon is designed with a long rope. Furthermore, the rope, which is at least 10 feet in length, often comes with a metal dart attached to one of its ends.

Rope darts offered tons of benefits to the fighters. For instance, they can be used to hitting, piercing, and slashing enemies. That’s not all; the weapon is also effective for several other techniques, including twining, binding, and tightening.

Using this weapon isn’t an easy thing to do. Anybody using the equipment must have a pretty great balance and coordination when shooting it.

Kama

Sale
Zenport K310 Brush Clearing Sickle with Carbon Steel Blade and Aluminum Handle, 9″, 9″, Black
  • Designed for heavy duty clearing and scrubbing of tough vines weeds undergrowth
  • Black soft rubber grips and the 9-inch aluminum tube handle
  • Razor sharp 9-inch carbon steel straight edge hooked blade provides powerful cuts

The Kama is a type of martial arts weapon that originates from Japan. The equipment looks more like a sickle and is designed primarily for farming purposes. Apart from that, the weapon is also essential for several other things, such as blocking, trapping, and collecting an enemy’s weapons.

Furthermore, the weapon comes in pairs; you can either decide to use it that way or utilize it as a single half.

Kunai

Sale
Whetstone Cutlery 12 Piece Set of S-Force Kunai Knives with Carrying Case
  • Stainless Steel, Double Edged Blade
  • Set of 12 Whetstone Cutlery S-Force(Special Forces) Kunai Knives
  • Nylon Carrying Case with Velcro Closures and Belt Loop – Holds All 12 Knives, Case Dimensions: 4. 75 x 8. 125 x 1. 5 inches
  • Knife Dimensions: 6. 5 x . 375 x 1 inches, Blade Length: 3. 125 inches

A Kunai is another martial arts weapon that comes from Japan. Originally, the design of the fighting equipment was based on a masonry trowel, a hand trowel used in brickwork for leveling and shaping concrete.

A Kunai looks more like a Shuriken. The difference, however, is that the former is larger and heavier than the latter. They can be used for stabbing and throwing.

Podao

Sale
Polypropylene Training Swords Knives Medieval Knights Roman Chinese Historical
  • ☑️ COSTUME PROPS – Find the right prop to go perfectly with your halloween costume! If you want something is safer to carry around and is relatively light so you can carry it for hours, you’ve come to the right place. We offer halloween props that go great with a fireman costume, costume, ninja costume, pirate costume, knight costume, spartan costume, roman costume, viking costume, medieval costume, renaissance costume, or any costume you want.

Podao is a Chinese weapon that’s still in use to practice several different martial arts in the country.  Also called a “horse cutter sword,” Podao usually comes with a sharp blade, which takes the shape of Dao, a Chinese broadsword. 

Apart from the blade, the traditional Chinese weapon also packs a long handle, which is usually about 6 feet in length (max).

Vladimir Vladisavljevic has been training in the art of kickboxing for over seven years, holds a Taekwondo black belt, and has a master's degree in sports and physical education. He's also a huge mixed martial arts fan. He's a big deal in Bulgaria as a mixed martial arts commentator, analyst, and podcaster.
Article by

Vladimir Vladisavljevic