Martial arts weapon techniques refer to nonballistic weapons. Historically, the earliest known weapons were simple clubs (wood, bone, stone); the individuals with clubs discovered they had an advantage over their unarmed adversaries. This led to armed conflicts in which both parties carried weapons. With both opponents armed, it became necessary to develop weapon techniques to defeat the opponent—small differences in technique and timing could spell the difference between life and death. The various archaeological ages (Stone, Bronze and Iron) ushered in weapons that were increasingly intricate, efficient, sharp and deadly. More complex weapons often required more advanced training methods: thus the arms race was on.
As martial arts weapons evolved, so did defensive tactics. Specific defensive weapon techniques included blocks, parries, using an object (i.e., shields) and, of course, running.
Offensive tactics were devised based on whether a weapon was bladed/pointy (swords, knives, daggers, axes, pole arms and maces), nonbladed (simple clubs, hammers, pole arms) or projectile (hand-thrown and device-assisted missile weapons). Offensive maneuvers mostly centered on out-swinging, -thrusting, -slicing, -poking, -clubbing, -bludgeoning, -slashing, -twirling and -shooting your opponent. Many of these striking techniques resembled empty-hand movements, thus inspiring the philosophy that weapons are an extension of the hand.