ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Martial Arts That Use Weapons

Updated on April 25, 2017
NateB11 profile image

I've been training in martial arts since the 80s, consistently since the 90s. I am a 2nd degree black belt in Kenpo Karate.

As the term implies, martial arts are based in war, fighting, combat. For thousands of years, weapons have been used in warfare, everything from spears and swords, to sticks and stones. Martial arts, of course, often have weapons as a backbone of their systems, or, at least, extensively use weapons in their training.

Here we will examine the varied arts that use weapons as a basis for training in some regard, either as a foundation or an integral part of the art.

Here is an assortment of weaponry from the Filipino martial arts, famed for its use of weapons.
Here is an assortment of weaponry from the Filipino martial arts, famed for its use of weapons. | Source

Eskrima

Eskrima, as far as I'm concerned, tops the list of weapons-based martial arts. Weapons form the foundation of Eskrima systems - and many Filipino arts of which Eskrima is one - and learning and training proceeds from there. That is, a student learns to use a weapon, typically a stick or blade, and then translates what is learned to empty-hand techniques. The weapon in hand teaches coordination and dexterity, informs the user of movement and creates a respect for control of the weapon. The training makes the mind problem solve and understand that a weapon is just an extension of the body and what can be done with the weapon can be done with body parts, your natural weapons.

The arts have been used by Filipinos for centuries, defending themselves and their home from numerous invasions. Filipinos in the Southern Philippines are still largely independent and fierce, having kept out invasions for hundreds of years.

Weapons in the Filipino arts include the stick, the knife, blades of various sizes and shapes, and various flexible weapons. The arts are diverse and adaptable, keeping up with modern-day environments, with an emphasis on realism and combat.

Here you see two practitioners of Eskrima, the defender demonstrating a "roof block", the attacker delivering what is commonly called a "1 line" in many systems.
Here you see two practitioners of Eskrima, the defender demonstrating a "roof block", the attacker delivering what is commonly called a "1 line" in many systems. | Source

Kobudo

Kobudo is the term commonly given to the use of Okinawan weapons, which have become famous because of their use in the movies, used by everyone from Bruce Lee to Sho Kosugi, famous Ninja movie star. These weapons include the nunchaku, bo staff and the tonfa, which was at one time used by law enforcement, even featured in the old show TJ Hooker with William Shatner demonstrating its use in fight scenes for the show.

The Tonfa is an Okinawan weapon used in the art of Kobudo.
The Tonfa is an Okinawan weapon used in the art of Kobudo. | Source

Ninjitsu

Ninjitsu is the art of the Ninja, the art of stealth, espionage and assassination. Ninjas were spies in feudal Japan and had an assortment of weapons in their arsenal to use on missions; everything was carried by the Ninja, from grappling hooks to smoke bombs, to caltrops (tacks thrown on the floor to trip up and injure an enemy, used mostly for escape) and swords. The Ninja was well-versed in weaponry, similar to a special forces soldier or intelligence officer in the modern world. He had to be well-trained and knowledgeable in warfare and weaponry to do his work.

Did you know that Okinawan Weapons Arts were called Kobudo?

See results
Depiction of Ninja, also known as Shinobi.
Depiction of Ninja, also known as Shinobi. | Source

Kung Fu

Kung Fu styles are also known for their use of weapons, some clearly used in warfare, being huge and formidable like the Trident, others more elegant like the Tai Chi Sword.

Demonstration of the Tai Chi Sword

Aikido

Although more famous for its fluid movement, its empty hand techniques of locks and throws and using the opponent's energy against him, Aikido actually requires students to learn the use of the Jo staff, a long staff that is about 4 feet long. The student learns a form using the weapon and also its application in self-defense.

Aikido Demonstration of the Jo Staff

Kendo

Kendo means way of the sword. It is a sword-based art, but practitioners use bamboo swords to avoid injury and wear heavy protective gear to allow sharp and strong blows to land when they are sparring. The gear features heavy padding of the body and head and a strong face guard. The idea behind this art is the "one-shot" kill or the typical Samurai approach of taking someone down with one well-placed stroke. The technique in this art is focused, concentrating on precision, hitting the mark in a way that is final. It is the way of the Samurai.

Kendo practitioner wearing his armor and holding his bamboo sword.
Kendo practitioner wearing his armor and holding his bamboo sword.

So those are the arts that make use of weapons either fundamentally as part of their systems or rather extensively. Weapons practice develops strength, coordination and control. It is also wise, in terms of self-defense, to have a certain familiarity with weapons, because they are common and often used by those who wish to do others harm.

Mostly weapons training can be very fun, a challenge and test of reflexes and dexterity. They are a great addition to any martial arts training regimen.

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • Blond Logic profile image

      Mary Wickison 

      16 months ago from Brazil

      I can see that by adding training with the weapons it would keep the classes fresh.

      The Jo Staff video was fascinating but I didn't understand how it could flip a person. I guess it's all about leverage.

      The women with the Tai chi sword, are so elegant in their movements. In the west, we tell the kids not to walk with a stick or they could poke their eye out. Yet with their training and respect for their sport, those women showcase their skills.

      Interesting article.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)