Weapons Training at Bradley Karate Studio

How does weapons training contribute to one’s overall martial arts growth? Is there any carryover to sparring (no weapons), striking/blocking techniques (no weapons) and should it be part of a martial arts curriculum (high level, school styles and individual goals/preferences aside) – why or why not?

Reasons to Study Weapons

1 – Improved Coordination

Training with weapons improves your coordination in ways that only controlling something that you don’t have nerve endings in can.

2 – Weapons Of Opportunity

It’s not just a stick. It’s also, potentially, a sword, or a baseball bat, or a lead pipe. By training with a stick, you’re also training with anything cylindrical of roughly the same length. You’ll have to make adjustments for weight/length/feel, but you’ll be better equipped to fight with a pool cue if you’ve trained with a bokken than if you haven’t. The same principle applies, to some degree, to other weapons,  like a chain whip or nunchaku.

3 – Historical Preservation

Whether or not this is important to you is another matter, but many people choose to practice with historical weapons, a category which many martial arts weapons fall into, because they want to preserve, or in some cases, reconstruct, historical weapons practices. This can be because the weapon belongs to a martial art they’ve already invested time into. It can also be because of cultural heritage.

4 – My hand is my sword

That’s a karate saying, based on the idea that, since they didn’t have weapons, they would use their hands as their weapons. This reason actually relates, in a way, to reason 2, in that a weapon can serve as an analog for an empty-handed technique. It can be easier to learn angles with weapons, because the angles will necessarily be larger, and therefore easier to see.

5 – Defense Against Weapons

Even if you have no desire to learn weapons, because you believe you won’t use them, there still exists a possibility that someone will try to use a weapon against you. Learning how to use a weapon will give you a better understanding of the way that weapon moves, and therefore the best way to evade that weapon or disarm it.

At Bradly Karate Studio a student must be at least a green belt before beginning weapons training.