List of Traditional Martial Arts Weapons

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List of Traditional Martial Arts Weapons

This page provides details on a wide variety of traditional martial arts weapons (i.e. Bo staff, 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 (i.e. Ninjutsu, Eskrima, Karate, Kobudo and Kung Fu). These weapons are used for demonstrations, katas & forms, etc.

For information on martial arts weapons techniques (i.e. Bo staff techniques), please visit the main Martial Arts Weapons Techniques section. You should also visit the Martial Arts Weapon Katas section in order to view katas, patterns & forms that use these traditional martial arts weapons.

To learn about martial arts styles that focus almost exclusively on weapons training, please see our Weapon-Based Martial Arts section.

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
  • Wakazashi
  • Yantok - Arnis, Eskrima & Kali stick weapon
  • Yari - Japanese spear
  • Yumi - Bow used in Japanese archery-based martial arts such as Kyudo.

Modern 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.

Martial Arts Weapons by Style

Shaolin Martial Arts Weapons


  1. Turtle Press, Korea's Traditional Weapons,, Added - 6/5/13
  2. Confucius Institute Online, Kung Fu Weapons,, Added - 06/05/14
  3. Ryukyu Kobujutsu Association GB, Weapons of Ryukyu Kobujutsu,, Added - 06/05/14

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