Taekwondo Weapons: Explained

Taekwondo Weapons

When people look into Taekwondo training, one of the things they look for is if there is Taekwondo weapons training. It’s a common question that many people have, and we will answer it for you.

Let’s review the Taekwondo weapons and if weapons training is included in the martial arts. Read below to learn about all of the different Taekwondo weapons.

Is Weapon Training Part of Taekwondo? 

Weapons training is actually not part of the official Taekwondo curriculum. However, many Taekwondo practitioners are also expert weapons practitioners.

Along with formal Taekwondo, these instructors will offer various weapons training. More specifically, Korean based-weapons are taught within the country.

If you walk into any Taekwondo school in the world, you will more than likely see weapons training offered.

Taekwondo Weapons

There are around 14 different types of Taekwondo weapons that are commonly used. Consisting of various types of staffs, swords, daggers, and sticks.

  • Dan Bong(Short Stick)
  • Jang Bong(Bo Staff)
  • Ssang Jyel Bong(Nunchucks)
  • Bo(Japanese Staff)
  • Sam Dan Bong(3-Section Staff)
  • Gumdo(Wooden Sword)
  • Geom(Sword)
  • Dan Gum(Dagger)
  • Bahng Mang(Escrima Stick)
  • Sai
  • Spear
  • Jitte
  • Sahang Naht(Kama)
  • Jee Pahng Ee(Combat Cane)

Dan Bong (Short Stick) 

Dan Bong was one of the most used Taekwondo weapons used in South Korea. It’s a short stick similar to an Escrima stick but with a loop on the end.

The Dan Bong stick was perfect for self-defense as it was portable and easily concealed. Training of this weapon includes everything from striking, blocks, and even joint locks, thanks to the loop on the end.

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Jang Bong (Bo Staff) 

The Jang Bong is the Korean version of the bo staff. South Korea has its own style of wielding a staff that’s similar to every other bo staff art. 

It’s common for Korean martial arts practitioners to be proficient with a bo staff and their principal fighting discipline. The Jang Bong is a simple long-range weapon that can improve your self-defense skills.

Bo Staff

Bo (Japanese Staff)

Due to the occupation of Korea by Japan during the 19th century, Koreans began using the Japanese bo staff. It’s similar to the Korean Jang Bong staff, with a few alterations. It’s common for bo staff practitioners of the region to learn techniques from both styles.

Sam Dang Bong

Another version of the staff that’s used in South Korea is the Sam Dang Bong or 3-section staff. This is a versatile weapon that has three wooden pieces connected together with a chain. 

The addition of the chains makes the Sam Dang Bong snap like a whip when thrusted at an enemy. It’s great for long-range attacks, defensive maneuvers, and tripping enemies.

Jee Pang Ee (Combat Cane)

Like the Dan Bong, the Jee Pang Ee, or combat cane, was another popular weapon used by normal Koreans. From the looks of the Jee Pang Ee, it’s a normal walking cane, but it’s one of the most diverse Taekwondo weapons.

The use of the Jee Pang Ee is similar to Canne de Combat, which is the art of using a cane as a weapon. It’s made of hardwood but light, which makes it a great weapon to deliver fast and powerful blows to an enemy.

Combat Cane

Ssang Jyel Bong (Nunchucks)

One of the most unique Taekwondo weapons is the Ssang Jyel Bong, which is a Korean nunchuck. The Ssang Jyel Bong nunchakus are wielded nearly the same as the Japanese and Filipino versions.

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Practitioners of this version of nunchucks use the Ssang Jyel Bong for striking, blocking, and disarmament. They also did cool forms that you’ve probably seen on YouTube.

Gumdo (Wooden Swords) 

The Gumdo or wooden swords are the Taekwondo weapons used to practice Korean swordsmanship. Practice with the Gumdo is similar to Japanese Kendo practice.

Students wear armor and go through live sparring to learn how to wield a real sword. Young students will use Gumdo swords in preparation to use real Geom Korean swords. Korean sword practitioners will also frequently use Gumdos to improve their skills.

Geom (Sword) 

One of the most notable Taekwondo weapons is the Geom or Korean sword. It’s a classic Korean-style long sword with thousands of years of history.

The Geom is generally constructed as a double-edged sword but is also made as a single-edged sword. Any time you look at the ancient art of Korean wars, you will see warriors using spears and the Geom.

Dan Gum (Dagger)

Dang Gum, or a dagger, is one of the Taekwondo weapons with the longest history. Just like with swords and staffs, various knife fighting techniques have been practiced throughout history.

In Korea, the use of the Dan Gum was commonplace for centuries for the same reason every culture used them. They are easy to hide, allowing you to deliver lethal blows and quickly walk away.

Bahng Mang (Escrima Stick) 

One of the Taekwondo weapons that was adopted from Escrima was the Escrima sticks. In South Korea, they use the name “Bahn Mang” when referring to an Escrima stick.

Bahng Mang sticks are used for the same reason Escrima sticks were popularized in the Philippines. They’re lightweight, sturdy, and can deliver quick and devastating strikes.

You can go to Taekwondo competitions and see practitioners using Bahng Mang sticks in the form competitions.

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Sai 

One of the Taekwondo weapons that is also used in various martial arts is the sai. The long, handheld dagger-like weapon with 2-3 prongs sticking out from the base.

If you’ve ever watched the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, you are familiar with this weapon. We already mentioned that there are no formal Taekwondo weapons, but sais are commonly used in different forms.

Spear 

Arguably, the weapon with the longest history of use in Korea is the spear. The use of the spear in Korea dates back thousands of years before the Korean Three Kingdoms era.

They were the most sturdy weapon that could deliver deadly strikes from long range. Just like every culture, spears in Korea evolved with the times, as numerous types exist.

In modern times, they are one of the most used Taekwondo weapons. You can see thousands of Korean spear demonstrations online.

Jitte (Nightstick)

The Jitte, or Japanese nightstick, is another one of the Taekwondo weapons that was adopted from Japan. During the 18th century, Japanese police began to be formed, and they were given Jittes to defend themselves.

Due to the Japanese occupation of Korea, Japanese law enforcement would be brought to Korea. Jittes were used to beat the population and were later adopted by Korean martial artists for their practicality.

Sahang Naht (Kama)

The last of the Taekwondo weapons that will be covered is the Sahang Naht or kama. Just like the Japanese version of the Kama, Sahang Naht were originally farming tools called sickles or scythes.

Since possessing weapons was prohibited, Korean farmers would use the Sahang Nahts to defend themselves. Being sharp, lightweight, and sturdy made them perfect for Korean peasants to defend themselves against abusive overlords.