Using Weapons in Training: Beginners

Incorporating weapons in beginners’ martial arts training is one that brings on huge contention. Whether it’s the bo, nunchaku, or swords, many traditional martial arts have weapon arts in their teachings. Not only are these teachings good for maintaining the full experience of the martial arts, many of these skills is very rewarding for the students. However, beginning this training can sometimes be easier said than done.

In any which case, we outline some of the most common weapons, as well as tips on beginners training with weapons:

Types of Weapons

There are a large number of martial arts weapons, but some of the most common ones include bo, nunchaku, dagger and swords. Some of the more popular martial arts that utilize weaponry in their art include Karate, Kung Fu, Kumdo, Kendo, and many more. There are many lists of weapons on the internet you can find. Black Belt Magazine also has a beginner’s guide to Japanese swords .

Types of Weapon Training

With some weapons, there are many different styles: freestyle, competition, traditional, combat/sparring, etc. Not every style will make sense with your particular martial art but knowing the different forms and functions of the different styles will be worthwhile. Give students at least a small array of weapons to understand and utilize, to present a more well-rounded training regiment.


Safety is key, especially with beginners training with weapons. Ensure the weapons themselves are safe for training. For example, if you are sparring with weapons, ensure your weapons are padded or you are wearing protective gear. Getting hit in the head with a solid wooden bo isn’t going to be fun for most. As many (if not most) weapons have training versions of the real thing, be sure to equip your students with the safest option.


The age of your students will be an important one for weapons training. Too young and your students may not be mature enough to handle weapons. This will vary from person to person, as we all mature differently, but it’s an important aspect to think about when establishing a weapons training program at your school. Many instructors find that first instilling a strong degree of both respect and self-control in students first makes for more effective, safe and rewarding weapons training for students.

What’s your most important tip for beginning weapons training? Let us know on Facebook, Twitter or Google+ and connect with our social accounts, to stay up to date with all of your ChampionsWay news.