Weapon-based martial arts usually goes hand-in-hand with unarmed fighting techniques. While it is more popular to learn hand to hand combat, there are instances when learning how to use a weapon is also beneficial.
Some forms of martial arts are partly weapon-based. For instance, Kung Fu and Karate teach both unarmed techniques and also the use of weapons. But there are also those that only train with weapons. Take note that when you talk about this type of discipline in martial arts, we are referring to close range weapons.
Why should you study weapons in martial arts?
But before we dwell on the different types of martial arts that use weapons, let us ask ourselves why one would want to study it in the first place. After all, most of the weapons used are outdated anyway. Most of the weapons used include a sword, a staff, a chain whip or a spear. When you are faced with a gun, weapon-based martial arts can prove to be useless, right?
Well there are specific reasons why knowing this discipline is beneficial.
First of all, it helps you with coordination. It takes skill to wield something that is not a part of your body. You have to concentrate and makes sure that it goes where you want it to.
Probably the most important reason to learn this discipline is to help you identify and use every day things as a weapon. Think about it. If you train with a staff, you are actually training to use any long and cylindrical object as a weapon. In the hands of a capable martial artist, that umbrella can be an efficient weapon for defense. In the same way, studying how these weapons are used will help you in self-defense – since you know how such weapons can be used.
Finally, it is a good idea to study these because it somehow preserves history. In the future, your knowledge of weapon-based martial arts will help preserve it for the future generations.
List of weapon-based martial arts
Now that you know why you should learn it, here are different martial arts that will teach you how to wield a weapon.
- This focuses on the use of a long staff, or what they call, a Bo.
- Canne de Combat. This is a French martial arts that will teach you how to use a cane in fighting.
- This is used in the Philippines and focuses on stick fighting. The locals call is Arnis or Kani.
- While this is usually associated with the Olympic-sport, it is considered as a form of martial arts. It uses pointed swords as a weapon.
- This is a form of martial arts in India that uses various weapons but usually concentrates on swords.
- Haidong Gumdo. This is a Korean martial arts discipline that teaches sword techniques. Some elements of Iaido and Kenjutsu is used.
- This is martial arts from Japan that teaches you how to use a Hanbo, a 3-foot wooden staff.
- HEMA (Historical European Martial Arts). This refers to the martial arts discipline that uses a sword. This is reminiscent of how the weapon was used in Europe during the 1300s to 1800s.
- Iaido/Iaijutsu. The Iaido is a Japanese form of martial arts that focuses on how to draw a sword from the scabbard. The weapons used are iaito, bokken, or shinken. The Iaijutsu is the version that uses the sword in combat.
- Itto-Ryu. This is another form of martial arts from the Japaneses that uses a sword. This had a huge influence on the modern discipline, Kendo.
- This is an Okinawan martial arts from Japan that uses a short Jo staff.
- This is another martial arts from Japan that uses a bayonet.
- This is a Japanese martial arts that use batons (police stick) for fighting.
- This is a form of martial arts from Japan that focus on sword fighting (e.g. Bokken and Katana)
- This is a Japanese style of martial arts fighting that is like Kendo but with less sparring.
- This is an Okinawan martial arts style that focuses on sai, tonfa, nunchaku, and bo staff.
- Krabi-Krabong. This is a weapon-based martial arts that hailed from Thailand. The main weapon used is a krabi (sword) and a krabong (staff).
- This is the Korean version of the Kendo – a form of martial arts that use a sword in combat.
- This is a form of martial arts from Japan that focuses on the use of a Naginata (a long pole).
- Nunchaku Do. This is the martial arts that focus on the use of a nunchaku (nunchucks).
- This is a hybrid martial arts that combine Kenjutsu, Bojutsu, and Karate. The discipline also uses spiritual and meditation elements.
- It is a form of martial arts from India that uses a staff as a weapon in fighting.
- Silijun Dobup. This is a martial arts that focuses on sword techniques from both Japanese and Korean traditions.
- Sojutsu or Yari Jutsu. This is a Japanese martial arts that uses a spear in fighting.
- This martial arts hail from Egypt and uses a 4-foot wooden stick as a weapon.
- This is a weapon-based martial arts that use war fans or Tessen.
- Zulu Stick fighting. Also known as Nguni stick fighting, this hails from South Africa and uses one stick to attack and another to defend.
These are your options in case you are interested in learning weapon-based martial arts.