Martial Arts do - the long way of the fighting styles

Combat weapons

There are several weapons-based fighting styles.

A cold weapon multiplies force, concentrates power, and extends range. But to be effective, a weapon must have good impact, range and control.


It designates the traditional techniques of fighting with swords.


It is a long Japanese sabre that was worn by the samurais. With a 60~90 cm length, it is characterized by a slightly curved, slender, single-edged blade with a circular or squared guard and long grip to accommodate two hands.

The balance between the extreme hardness of the cutting edge, its elasticity and resistance to shocks comes from a flexible steel core enclosed by two more resistant steel bars. This set is welded in a blade during the forging, with the blade later polished with vulcanic stones.

Antique Japanese katana
Antique Japanese katana
Photo: raybdbomb/Wikimedia Commons

According to the documentary 'Fight Science' , the samurai sword can be considered as the ultimate weapon where warrior and weapon are truly are one. Using the upper hand to push and the lower hand to pull the weapon, it is able to cut the body into two with a single blow. Its sharp end also pierces an armour.


Called the "way of the ancient martial arts", it is a fighting style that combines the use of different weapons whose traditional technique has been developed or improved in Okinawa and other islands in the Ryukyu archipelago, south of Japan. Like Karate (coming from the same region), Katas (practice of logical sequences of techniques) are associated with these weapons.


A bar whose length respectively measures 1 m, 1.82m or 2.80 m depending on the model. It was designed from an agricultural tool called Tenbin, which was a stick placed behind the shoulders with hanging baskets or bags on each side.


A small wrought iron bar with two large hooks built on its handhold, used to defend against saber attacks.


Similar to a police truncheon. Originated from the handle of a millstone stone used to grind grain. Made of red oak, it can be hold both by the short perpendicular handle as by the fist, which is longer.


A weapon made of two wooden pieces connected by a chain or rope. There are numerous variations of the nunchaku. Its origins are uncertain: it would have been an old tool used by farmers for separating rice, or was originally used to guide horses, being placed in the mouth of the animal.

Various types of nunchaku.
Various types of nunchaku.

Its drawback is that it lacks control immediately after impact and the one who uses must absorb part of the impact.


A traditional sickle, is considered one of the most difficult weapon to handle. At the point where the blade joins the handle there is a concavity intended for defense against Bo attacks.


A kind of brass knuckles. It is found predominantly in aluminum, steel, iron or wood.


It consists of a shield and a short spear. Most commonly found in metal.


It's a leather cord or chain endowed with a weight in each of its ends. It can be short (Tan Surujin), measuring 150 to 152 cm, or longer (Naga Surujin), with 230 cm or 240 cm.


The name of an oar made in Okinawan style, with sharp edges.


A short bar made of hard wood or bamboo.


It is a hoe with a handhold generally thicker and shorter than those used in gardening.


Composed of a Bo with a Sai fitted on its end.


Meaning the "way of the sword", it is a modern Japanese martial art developed from Kenjutsu.

The practice of kendo is the handling the Shinai (bamboo sword), Bokuto (wooden sword) and Katana (seen above), but also covers the cultivation of mind and reigi (label). A protective armour (bogu) is used.


A Japanese martial art that emerged from the need for the use of spies (Ninja) during the medieval period. It consisted of a set of techniques that enabled agents to act in all situations on the battlefield.


A curved sword, similar to katana, but smaller.


It designates a throwing star. At impact, the deep pointed stars deliver a deadly force. they are more effective at distant range.

A modern shuriken.
A modern shuriken.
Photo: M Disdero/Wikimedia Commons


A small and straight sword.


A claw iron used on the hands both for combat and for climbing.


Abrolhos made of metal. Served as a device against persecution.


Like a shuriken, it is a blade iron used to throw and sometimes climb.


Any material capable of penetrating the opponent's eyes (earth, gray, waterborne, filings).


A rope with hook cross, used to climb walls and houses.


A fishing net used to be thrown against the opponent and immobilizes him.


A zarbatana. It is a silent and deadly weapon when used with poison.

Yumi and Ya

An archery. The arrows can be incendiary, sonorous, poisoned.

Other weapons


A flexible and narrow Chinese sword that provides 4 feet of range. It is good for piercing, although his thin blade can be shattered at impact. Because it is lighter, it lacks cutting power.


A broad Chinese sword designed to cut into armour. On flesh, it cuts 5 inches deep.

Kali stick

The Filipino kali stick offers an excellent control with a range by 2 feet. This linear stick provides a superb circular force (1,200 pounds of force on impact) that can break bones, but is rarely deadly.


It designates a Japanese archery. At more than 100 feet, it has the greatest range among weapons. And at a speed of 150 miles an hour, it has a deadly impact. The drawback of this weapon is that it is useless at very close range.

Those data were measured in the documentary 'Fight Science'.

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