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Martial Arts Weapons

Martial arts weapons refer to nonballistic weaponry created in Asia before the 1900s— most of which came out of China. Although the earliest record of an unambiguous weapon (a weapon clearly used for killing purposes) is a 400,000-year-old wooden throwing spear found in Germany, the earliest metal weapon is a Chinese Neolithic (5000 B.C.) lance with a copper spear point.

The Iron Age began in Europe in 700 B.C. and China in 600 B.C., yet the Chinese perfected the art of forging cast-iron weapons 1000 years before the Europeans. No culture in martial arts history has created more diverse martial arts weapons than China.

The study of martial arts weapons offers a window into the past. The legends and folklore surrounding a weapon’s history, as well as the difficulty involved in mastering it, all add to the weapon’s mystique.

Martial arts weapons also can define a person’s martial way. For example, the sword is regarded as a weapon of bravery and justice; a symbol of war; military skill and honor.

  1. Blunt Weapons Blunt Weapons

    One way to distinguish different kinds of martial arts weapons is by using the two-group system, edged (bladed) and blunt weapons (nonbladed). If the weapon doesn’t have a cutting edge for slicing or a sharpened point for puncturing, chances are it’s a blunt weapon. Blunt weapons cause damage by bludgeoning, clubbing or stunning. The ...

  2. Edged Weapons Edged Weapons

    Although classic martial arts weapons are traditionally placed into five categories (see Martial Arts Weapons), there’s also a two-group system used to distinguish weapons: blunt (nonbladed) and edged (bladed). If the weapon has a sharpened edge for cutting, slicing, slashing or a sharpened point for stabbing, thrusting or puncturing, it’s ...

  3. Projectile Weapons Projectile Weapons

    One of the five major martial arts weapon categories (see subcategory Martial Arts Weapons) are the projectile weapons. They are also sometimes known as hidden weapons because of how they would often be concealed on a person before being thrown. The most well-known projectile is the knife, whether it was used in entertainment, sport or combat. ...