How to Make Martial Arts Weapons

By Kent Ninomiya

Many martial arts weapons can be made out of wood. It is important to use types of wood that are strong yet lightweight. These include ash, cherry, black walnut and maple. Standard measurements for martial arts weapons are included in this article, but they can be adjusted to accommodate special needs. Just be sure to sand down all the rough edges to avoid splinters.

Step 1

Craft a bo staff out of a six foot long piece of wood. Cut the wood into a stick 72 inches long and one inch in diameter. Taper the bo staff so that the tips are 3/4 inch in diameter. Pay close attention to the balance of the bo staff as you do this. It should remain perfectly level if you balance it on your fingers while holding the middle. Sand the bo staff down until it is smooth and round. Apply several layers of laminate to the entire bo staff. This will make it smooth and strong.

Step 2

Craft a jo staff out of a piece of wood 50 inches long and one inch in circumference. This is the standard length of a jo staff, but anything shorter than five feet long is considered a jo staff instead of a bo staff. A jo staff also does not necessarily have to taper at the ends, but it does need to be smooth and light. Be sure to sand and laminate well.

Step 3

Create nunchaku out of two pieces of wood and a sturdy rope. Nunchaku consist of two sticks measuring 12 inches long and one inch in diameter. Drill holes in each stick about one inch from the end. Lace heavy twine or nylon climber's rope through the holes and tie a sturdy knot. Leave six inches of rope between the two sticks.

Step 4

Make a three section staff by using three pieces of wood and rope. This is similar to making nunchaku, except the sticks are 26 inches long and there are three of them. They are also closer together. Leave just two inches of rope between each segment of a three section staff.

Step 5

Make tonfa out of two pieces of wood connected at a right angle. Tonfa consist of a handle held in one hand with a second piece parallel to the forearm. Because of the way they fit a user's arm, tonfa should be made to fit the user. To determine the tonfa length, add one inch to the distance from the fingertips to the elbow. The handle length, add two inches to the width of the hand between the outside edge to the webbing between the thumb and index finger. Measure the distance between the fingertips and webbing. Drill a hole in the tonfa that distance from one of the ends. Insert the handle and secure tightly with glue.

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