Top 10 List of the Most Badass Martial Arts Weapons

martial arts weapons

So I’m doing a top 10 most badass martial art weapons! It’s my first top 10 list, but by the time I actually finished this thing, I think I realized why there are so many of these out there. They’re fun to research and make, so I don’t think this will be my last.

With that said, here’s my list in no particular order, as all of these are sweet for their own reasons. If you are interested in the weapons themselves, click the headings at the beginning of each segment.  I hope you enjoy my list!


Of course we start with the traditional samurai swords. When most people in the west think about martial arts, they think of ninjas, many of whom were samurai and would carry these. While the wakizashi is smaller and better for close quarters, it is just as deadly as the longer, more battlefield-ready katana. Here’s a pretty cool class showing how to use both at the same time. Looks like fun!


Who in this world does not think of nunchaku when they think of traditional Japanese martial arts weapons? It has been a widely held belief that these were originally rice flails used in Okinawa but had to be used as weapons by farmers to defend their land. Unfortunately, this may not be accurate, and the history may not be nearly that exciting. Either way, nunchaku are some of the coolest weapons out there, and they are far more versatile than most people realize! For your pleasure, here is a gratuitous video of a hot girl doing some cool nunchuck slinging. 🙂



These are pretty obvious. Sickles! Like Children of the Corn stuff. Is there really any need to explain what makes these things so BA? I mean, come on – sticks with blades on them that can be used for hooking, slicing, stabbing… You get the point. This guy in the video below is freaking awesome. Not particularly practical in application, but damn he’s good!



While shiruken can technically refer to any throwing weapon, we tend to think of ninja stars! Yep, good ol’ shiruken. We’ve seen them, we’ve owned a set, we’ve pretended to know how to throw them… These are the easiest throwing weapons to learn, and though meant primarily for distraction, they can determine the fate of a fight from the onset. Master these and you can own your opponent before it even begins! So good videos of shiruken demos are hard to find (or at least they’re boring for the most part), so here’s a fun one.


Chain whip

The chain whip is one of kung fu’s deadliest weapons, and its popularity is clearly the result of its total badassery. If you can master this thing, you are a force to be reckoned with. Be careful, though. This weapon is extremely difficult to really learn, and it can be quite frustrating. However, if you have the patience to learn it like this guy, you will totally look cool kicking the crap out of your opponent!



Oh, yeah. The tonfa are great, practical weapons, especially on the streets. In fact, many police nightsticks are the same thing, which makes sense when you consider how effective and up-close weapon this is. There are so many things you can do from strikes to disarms, chokes, throws, and pins. Awesome stuff!


Yawara or kubotan

So that last video actually showed someone attack the tonfa expert with a yawara or kubotan. Believe it or not, it’s just a short (like 6 inches short) stick that can be used to poke, lock, throw, choke, and even break bones. Yep, you just ruined somebody’s day with a Sharpie! This next video is in German, but you can see just how versatile this little thing can be.



Ah, the kusarigama. This was a cool one used by Kohaku on Inuyasha. It’s basically just a kama with a weighted chain connected to it. That little addition makes for an entirely different experience, though, as it opens an entire world of great stuff you can do. Check out this guy. It’s not a long video, but he’s got some inventive ideas!


Tiger hook swords

Check out these nifty little bits of awesomeness. The hook swords are a kung fu weapon, and they don’t look like the kinds of things you could really do much with. Well… the Chinese are not known for NOT being ingenious folks, and centuries of development have given us some pretty sweet stuff. These were used by Jet in Avatar: The Last Airbender, and since he was animated, he was amazing of course. But watch this real life dude nail this amazing hook sword form!


While commonly viewed as Chinese martial arts weapons, there are a number of different weapons that are really this but called by a different name based on where they’re from. The Japanese have the naginata and the west brought us the glaive, but they’re all the same thing in the end. They’s meant for chopping off horse legs! This is a nasty “little” war weapon that has deadly merit that left soldiers soiling their armor. After cutting down mounted men from their horses, quick work would be made of them from a distance while they were distracted from, well, being thrown from a horse! Craziness. Anyway, this is the last one. Enjoy!

Thanks for reading and checking out our videos on cool martial arts weapons.  Don’t forget to take a look around at some of our other popular posts.  Because freestanding punching dummies have become so widely used, one of my personal favorites is my review of the Century Body Opponent Bag, or BOB.  I go into detail about the different styles and which is most appropriate for whom.  If you’ve been thinking about a BOB for your school or home, swing by and check out the post.  I think you’ll like it.  There’s all kinds of great stuff here, so hang out a while!


I'm Steve D'Agostino, founder of Martial Arts Weapons and Training. Thanks for visiting and reading my article! I hope you enjoyed it.

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  • Ilias

    Hi Steve and thanks for sharing.

    These videos are great, I am not familiar with martial arts but I am always enjoying watching videos with action.

    Can you learn how to use these weapons if you get trained?

    • http://martialartsweaponstraining.com/ Steve

      I’m glad you enjoyed them, Ilias. Absolutely you can learn. Until recently, I did not do much weapons training, but I’ve been learning several very quickly (and I’m almost 40). If you practice and always try to be creative, you can learn fast. Mastery is another story, but in a real life situation, just being proficient is better than being a victim!

  • Manasir

    I’m always a big fan of the martial arts – the weapons I love it. Especially I like nunchucks which made more famous by Bruce Lee. But your facts concerned I believe you have given the right order for the instruments. I will bookmark it to buy a best nunchucks – Do you have any idea which one to get for a beginner?

    • http://martialartsweaponstraining.com/ Steve

      Any of the ones at Century will work as real ones (the “Nunchaku” heading is a link), but for a beginner, I always recomend foam, especially if you practice with partners. These are the ones my kids and I all use: http://amzn.to/2eHHhdP. They have a great weight and no one gets hurt!