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Martial Arts Weapons

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Each martial arts weapon possesses its own unique strength, but the true power of each weapon comes from the martial artist handling the weapon.  Weapons can be used for both defensive and offensive techniques.  Below we will look at some of the martial arts weapons our DYS students have used for practice, performance, and tournament competitions.  If you practice handling your weapon frequently, in time you can improve your accuracy, speed, and execution.


The Nunchaku, also called "Nunchucks", "Nunchuks" or "chain sticks" in English is a traditional Okinawan weapon of the Kobudo weapons set and consist of two short sticks connected at their ends with a short chain or rope.  A sansetsukon is a similar weapon with three sticks attached on chains instead of two.  Nunchakus was originally used a horse bit and now has become, without doubt, the most well known martial art weapon in the world.

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Katana or Sword

The katana is a Japanese sword characterized by a curved, single-edged blade with a circular or squared guard and long grip to accommodate two hands. It was used by samurai in feudal Japan and worn with the blade facing upward. 


Katana are traditionally made from a specialized Japanese steel called tamahagane, which is created from a traditional smelting process that results in several, layered steels with different carbon concentrations.  Older steel used to construct the katana has a higher oxygen concentration, being more easily stretched and rid of impurities during hammering, which results in a stronger blade.  During one of the blade's cooling processes, a distinct line is created down the sides of the blade called the hamon. The hamon is made distinct by polishing and each hamon and each smith's style of hamon is distinct.


Tonfas, also spelled as tongfa or tuifa, are also known as T-baton.  The tonfa is most commonly associated with the Okinawan martial arts, most sources suggesting that its originates from China. However, origins from Indonesia to Thailand are also possible. Modern martial artists often cite that the tonfa derives from a millstone handle used by peasants. Yet the Chinese and Malay words for the weapon (guai and topang respectively) literally mean "crutch", which may suggest the weapon originating from such device.

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