In a world where wars are fought with modern technology and militaries, sometimes the interesting and unique weapons of our past can be forgotten. We put together a list of weapons that are not only unique, but are commonly made from wood. Without a further ado, take a look at 5 of the most fascinating wood weapons.
In western martial arts, a waster is a practice weapon that is usually in the shape of a sword. Wasters may sometimes be weighted for strength training so as to make the movements of an actual sword easier and quicker. Wasters have been found as practice weapons in various cultures over numerous centuries.
Bokken, (bok(u), "wood", and ken, "sword") is a Japanese wooden sword used in traditional Kenjutsu training. Usually about the same size and shape of a katana, they are traditionally composed of red oak or white oak. Many bokken are ornamental and have ornate, elaborate carvings etched into them. In addition to being shaped like a katana, they can sometimes be shaped as wakizashis and tantos.
Similar to a waster and a bokken, Shinais are a Japanese-like sword typically made of bamboo instead of dense wood. Also known as kendo sticks or Singapore canes, they are used for practice and competition in kendo. As opposed to the heavier wood used for bokkens, shinai are distinguished by their lighter and softer wood.
Traditionally made from red or white oak and wielded in pairs, the tonfa is a melee weapon used in Okinawan martial arts. The tonfa is also known as tongfa, tuifa, and as the T-baton. The sticks have a perpendicular handle attached to the staff a third of the way down and is about 15–20 inches. Although the exact origins of the tonfa is disputed, the tonfa is believed to have originated in either China or Southeast Asia where it is used in their respective fighting styles.
Popularized by actor and martial artist Bruce Lee, the nunchaku is a traditional Okinawan martial arts weapon. The weapon is usually made from two wooden sticks connected at one end by a short metal chain or rope. A person who practices this weapon is referred to in Japanese as nunchakuka. The exact origin of nunchaku is unclear, but the popular myth is that Okinawan farmers used them as a rice-flail for threshing rice.
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