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Crafting To Save Money

3 Metal Martial Arts Weapons For Close Combat

by Thibaut Caron

Close combat weapons are incredibly important in martial arts. This is because of the focus on hand-to-hand fighting. There are projectile weapons such as blowguns and throwing stars, but most fighting styles will focus on teaching students on how to operate either wooden weapons (bo staff, nunchaku) or metal weapons. 

This article will cover 3 of the most important metal weapons.


The sai resembles a short trident. It has one long metal baton, sometimes sharpened to a point, and two prongs on either side. The weapon has a short handle. It is meant to be used with one hand. The sai gained popularity in Okinawa where it was originally used by the police for crowd control. Some theories have the sai originating in India (the trident is a popular symbol in Hindu and Buddhist culture) and making its way east. Eventually, it became popular with the Okinawan civilians for use in self-defense.

Martial artists will normally use two sai, one in each hand. The weapons are used to block large sword attacks and counter-strike. The sai can either be used to bludgeon or land puncture strikes.


This is a curved blade that resembles a jungle cat's claw. It was developed in Sumatra by farmers for use in fieldwork. Eventually, the blade was lengthened and sharpened and began to be used in self-defense. The popularity of the design spread to other countries, particularly the Philippines, Cambodia, and Thailand.

The top of the karambit has a small finger-ring sized hole. The fighter places their index finger through this hole when handling the knife. This hole creates a "brass knuckle" effect, which means that the knife can also serve as a bludgeoning weapon. Additionally, the finger hole makes it easier for the fighter to hold on to the weapon, and conversely makes it very difficult for their opponent to disarm them in close combat.

Butterfly Knife

The butterfly knife is synonymous with Philippine martial arts. While Philippine martial artists perfected the butterfly knife techniques, there is some debate as to where the knife was created. Some evidence suggests that the knife was originally created in France in the early 1700s. However, the knife was never integrated into the French culture the way it was in the Filipino culture. The primary feature of the knife, its folding handle, was utilized by martial artists in the Philippines to develop a lightning-fast knife fighting skill.    

Unlike regular folding knives that have the blade inside on a fixed handle, the butterfly knife can be opened in one hand in a flourish. The speed at which the knife could be opened made it a superior blade for hand-to-hand combat. Fighters could flick open the knife and produce a blade in a mere instant. Fighters could also develop fancy "fanning" technique. Fanning the knife involves a showy display of opening and closing in a rapid motion. It would impress, and possibly intimidate others. Contact a local outlet, such as Discount Knives and Swords, for further assistance.