When you think of Taekwondo, your first thought is probably of a martial artist performing a ridiculously difficult jump kick. Taekwondo is well known for its flashy kicks and flexible artists — and most of the damage they deal is with their feet.
But did you know there are a few notable weapons used in Taekwondo as well? From swords to nunchucks, there are several different weapons used by practitioners of Taekwondo. Let’s explore and help you find which Taekwondo weapons might be right for you as you expand your study of martial arts!
Table of Contents
- Does Taekwondo Use Weapons?
- Taekwondo Weapons Forms
- Taekwondo Weapons List
- What Is the Taekwondo Sword Called?
- What Is Korean Stick Fighting Called?
- Are Nunchucks Used in TaeKwondo?
- Which Taekwondo Weapon Is Best?
- Incorporating Weapons in Your Taekwondo Training
Does Taekwondo Use Weapons?
Yes, Taekwondo artists sometimes use weapons! While the art is mostly focused on using hands and feet for self-defense, practitioners also use traditional and modern weapons to enhance their combat skills.
From swords and staffs to eskrima sticks and nunchucks, there is a wide variety of interesting weapons that may be used.
Whether you’re looking for something more offensive or defensive, there’s sure to be a weapon out there that fits your needs. Finding the right one for you can be a trick, but with some trial and error (and a bit of practice!), you’ll eventually find the right fit!
Taekwondo Weapons Forms
Students may learn Taekwondo weapons forms as a way to practice and master their chosen weapon. As in typical Taekwondo training, forms are a fantastic way to develop balance, coordination, and strength.
Weapons training is not part of formal Taekwondo study, though many schools offer instruction in various types. There are a few standardized weapons forms, but also some schools teach their own versions of weapons forms.
Weapons forms often appear as a category in Taekwondo competitions. There are usually strict rules about the weapons, such as the student may never release the weapon and dull, safety weapons must be used.
The type of weapon that can be used is also limited. Color belts are allowed to compete with fewer types of weapons than black belts.
Taekwondo Weapons List
Now, let’s take a look at a few of the most common weapons that are used in Taekwondo. If you know anything about martial arts, some of these will be familiar to you, but there might be a couple of surprises in here too!
1. Jahng Bong: Bo Staff
The Jahng Bong or Korean Bo Staff is often where beginners start their weapons training. It is a simple weapon, just a long wooden pole. But with practice, you can learn how to use it to block attacks as well as deliver powerful strikes with accuracy and precision.
Though simple, the Bong is quite versatile. Aside from blocking and striking, the weapon can be used for sweeping and entrapping, as well as unusual moves like throwing dust into your opponent’s eyes.
The Bong or Korean bo staff is probably the most common weapon seen in Taekwondo.
Check out this amazing demonstration of the bo staff here:
2. Sang Jeol Bong: The Nunchaku
The nunchaku or nunchucks has been popularized in the Western world by martial arts movies. The weapon is basically a pair of sticks connected by a chain or rope, used for both striking and blocking. The sticks may be made of wood, rattan, aluminum, or high-impact plastic.
Whether you’re using the nunchaku for self-defense training or just showing off your skills in style, this versatile piece of equipment is sure to impress. With practice, you can learn how to move quickly and accurately with the nunchaku while maintaining control over its sharp movements.
It is recommended to start with foam nunchucks as practitioners will surely strike themselves a time or two while mastering this weapon!
Curious why? Check out the nunchucks in action and you’ll understand:
3. Bahng Mahng Ee: Eskrima Sticks
Though used in Taekwondo, Eskrima sticks come from Phillipino martial arts. These two short sticks can be used for both striking and blocking techniques. They’re lightweight and easy to handle, making them a good weapon for beginners.
They are usually made of rattan which is very durable despite its light weight. They do not splinter like wood and can be used as a defense against blades.
Modern Eskrima sticks are sometimes made from aluminum or high-impact plastics.
Check out this impressive demonstration of eskrima sticks here:
4. Dan Bong: Short Stick
The Dan Bong is a short stick similar to Eskrima sticks, but a little shorter and with a rope on one end. At only 8 – 12 inches long they are ideal for carrying a concealed weapon. Plus, they are useful for short-range attacks in close quarters.
Dan Bong is often taught as part of the Hapkido curriculum, which is a Korean martial art similar to Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. The sticks are used to reinforce joint locks, poke pressure points, and choke or strike your opponent.
Check out a few techniques here:
5. Sahang Naht: Kama
The Sahang Naht is more commonly known by its Japanese name Kama. In English, they are often called Kama knives.
The weapon comes from a sickle-like farming tool used for harvesting. It has a short stick with a wicked-looking curved blade on the end. The weapon can be used for slashing, blocking, trapping, and disarming an attacker.
Watch the deadly blades in action here:
6. Gumdo: Wooden Swords
Gumdo is a wooden sword, much like that used in Japanese Kendo fighting. It can be used to block and attack, like a traditional sword but less sharp.
The Koreans actually developed their own version of Kendo after it was introduced to Korea during the Japanese occupation. This separate style of Korean martial arts is called Kumdo and is similar to the European art of fencing, though with a distinct martial arts bent.
Check out this amazing demonstration here:
7. Sam Dan Bong: The 3-Section Staff
The Sam Dan Bong (or 3-section staff) is an extremely versatile weapon. However, it is also one of the most difficult to use. As the name implies, it is like a bo staff that has been divided into three parts with short chains between them like the nunchucks.
In the hands of a competent practitioner, this powerful weapon can serve three purposes. Use it as a close-quarters weapon, as a trapping weapon, or as a long-range weapon (almost like a whip).
The articulation of the weapon is also helpful when you’re trying to strike around an object, such as your opponent’s shield.
Curious how this seemingly awkward weapon works? Watch this demonstration here:
What Is the Taekwondo Sword Called?
The Tae Kwondo sword is known as a “Mok Gum” or “Mok Geom,” which translates from Korean to English as a “wooden sword.” This traditional weapon is used for both offensive and defensive purposes, and it can be wielded with either one or two hands.
Gumdo or Kumdo (depending on how it is Romanized) has become its own art of study. It requires more strategy than physical prowess and is favored by older Taekwondo students.
What Is Korean Stick Fighting Called?
The short stick is called the Dan Bong and is usually taught to advanced students of Hapkido. This branch of Korean martial arts is similar to Jiu-Jitsu in that it focuses on grappling and joint locks.
Are Nunchucks Used in TaeKwondo?
Yes, nunchucks are used in Taekwondo. Nunchucks can be a great defensive tool in sparring or competition as they help to keep your opponent away while you set up for an attack. They can also be used offensively when striking at various targets such as the head, chest, or abdomen.
Which Taekwondo Weapon Is Best?
When it comes to the best martial arts weapon, there’s no one-size-fits-all answer. It really depends on what kind of techniques you prefer and how comfortable you are with each weapon.
Some people like the traditional Mok Gum sword for its offensive and defensive capabilities. Others prefer nunchucks for their fast strikes and ability to keep opponents at a distance.
If you want something in between then maybe try the eskrima sticks as they offer both range and control.
And don’t forget about your own physicality too. If you’re tall then longer weapons such as a bo staff could be ideal whereas shorter fighters may opt for smaller weapons like the kama.
Incorporating Weapons in Your Taekwondo Training
Overall, Taekwondo is a fun and engaging martial art that uses a variety of weapons to increase its effectiveness. From sticks and swords to nunchucks, it has options to suit various preferences and levels of experience.
As with most activities, practice and patience is key to mastering the use of any weapon within the martial art. Whichever you choose will be sure to take your taekwondo abilities to the next level!