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Weapon Techniques

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.

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  1. Combat Focus Shooting Expert Rob Pincus Discusses the Not-So-Picture-Perfect Reality of Self-Defense Against a Knife Attack on the Street

    Combat Focus Shooting Expert Rob Pincus Discusses the Not-So-Picture-Perfect Reality of Self-Defense Against a Knife Attack on the Street

    Self-defense often doesn’t look like it is, by necessity of the medium, presented in martial arts magazines … but that doesn’t make it any less effective, according to self-defense expert Rob Pincus in this exclusive video.
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  2. “Mack” on Movements, Weapons and Targets in Combat

    “Mack” on Movements, Weapons and Targets in Combat

    In this exclusive video, Richard “Mack” Machowicz discusses and demonstrates targeting principles during an outdoor photo shoot for Black Belt magazine!
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  3. Self-Defense Expert Rob Pincus Shows You How to Use a Firearm in Close-Quarters Combat

    Self-Defense Expert Rob Pincus Shows You How to Use a Firearm in Close-Quarters Combat

    You have a gun. They have a knife. How do you handle this situation? Close-quarters-combat expert Rob Pincus shows you in this exclusive self-defense video!
    Read More »

  4. Counter Knife-Fighting Techniques With 3 Self-Defense Moves From Michael Echanis

    Counter Knife-Fighting Techniques With 3 Self-Defense Moves From Michael Echanis

    According to knife-fighting legend Michael D. Echanis, “Neutralization, stabilization and disarmament of the weapon are the essential factors in survival.” Learn how to achieve these goals in this excerpt from his 452-page ominbus!
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  5. Thoughts on Weapons: Pepper Spray, Kubotans, Knife Fighting and Improvised Weapons

    Thoughts on Weapons: Pepper Spray, Kubotans, Knife Fighting and Improvised Weapons

    Black Belt columnist Kelly McCann, a former U.S. Marine Corps special-missions officer and current president of the Crucible training facility, explains which weapons are best for everyday carry and home defense.
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  6. Jim Wagner’s 3 Self-Defense Moves to Survive a Knife Attack

    Jim Wagner’s 3 Self-Defense Moves to Survive a Knife Attack

    Whenever someone comes at you with a knife and you are empty-handed, you are automatically at a 90-percent tactical disadvantage. Even worse, 99 percent of the disarm techniques and self-defense moves taught today are too complicated and unrealistic to be effective in an actual confrontation. Furthermore, if you do not
    Read More »

  7. Bleeding Edge: The Art in Knife Fighting, Part 1

    Bleeding Edge: The Art in Knife Fighting, Part 1

    Knife fighting has always been one of the most misunderstood topics in self-defense. Although everyone agrees that the knife is a potent weapon, there’s no consensus when it comes to effective edged-weapon tactics. Some practitioners swear by the traditional European and Asian systems. Others look to military combatives as the
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  8. What You Need to Know About the Philippine Fighting Arts: Part 2

    What You Need to Know About the Philippine Fighting Arts: Part 2

    One of the biggest mistakes you’re likely to see in the Philippine martial arts is when a person fights with a knife in one hand and pins his free hand to his chest. Even worse is when the martial artist hides that hand. The Philippine arts teach that the
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  9. What You Need to Know About the Philippine Fighting Arts: Part 1

    What You Need to Know About the Philippine Fighting Arts: Part 1

    In recent years, the popularity of kali/escrima/arnis has skyrocketed among law-enforcement officers, as well as the general public. Experts believe the reason is threefold: The traditional Philippine systems offer all the benefits of the other Asian martial arts, wielding weapons provides a fine aerobic workout and, taught right, they serve
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  10. Krav Maga Gun Disarm Techniques and Tactics: Control the Weapon

    Krav Maga Gun Disarm Techniques and Tactics: Control the Weapon

    Consider this scenario:

    In Lubbock, Texas, police officers responded to calls of an elderly woman in her own home posing a threat to those around her. Unable to contact the woman, the officers identified themselves and entered the home. The woman, unwilling to believe the officers were legitimate, armed herself with
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