Martial Arts Weapons Safety - Potential Issues & Considerations

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Martial Arts Weapons Safety - Potential Issues & Considerations

Training with real martial arts weapons (i.e. Katana) can be very dangerous. Therefore, here are some issues that students, instructors and school owners must consider in case someone is injured when using a real martial arts weapon versus using a safer practice weapon (i.e. Shinai).

Please visit the main Martial Arts Safety section for other safety tips and procedures.

Issues & Considerations

  • What is the impact to both sides (cutter and one who was cut)?
  • Will there be the loss of use of a body part (i.e. hand), loss of quality of life, loss of income (was the individual someone who uses their hands such as a mechanic, musician, electrician, surgeon, etc.)?
  • Does his family rely on this person as the sole income?
  • What about medical bills?
  • The guilt and anger they might carry forever – how will they deal with this?
  • Will they be able to train again and to what capacity?
  • Will they remain friends with the person who injured them?
  • Will the person who had the weapon be able to train with that item?
  • Will there be retaliation or retribution?
  • What about the training facility owner? Will there be lawsuits? Do they have insurance? Will the people involved go after the owner financially?

Safety Procedures

  • Consider banning the use of real weapons at your school. Considering only using practice weapons (i.e. martial arts practice weapons made from bamboo or plastic).
  • Consider having everyone sign a waiver in order to reduce potential legal liability. The waiver will also reinforce to students that martial arts training can be dangerous if done incorrectly.
  • Have a clearly defined emergency plan.
  • Post your address in case someone needs to call emergency services (so they can give the correct address to the dispatcher). Some people may be attending the class or seminar from out of town.
  • Have a safety briefing regularly. Tell people where they can find first aid kits, review emergency procedures in case of an injury, etc.


  1. Colorado Kodenkan, Safety in the Dojo/Training Area: Why Live Weapons in Class Are a Bad Idea,, Added - 10/23/14

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