Today I wanted to tell you about a few of my favorite Asian martial arts weapons. Most forms of combat use the typical swords, knives, etc. but occasionally you see the oddball weapon like the tessen and tekko-kagi pop up.
Tessen (Iron Fan)
The tessen is a small fan that was often carried by samurai when swords were not allowed in a building. Some swordsmanship schools even trained their students to use tessen. The fan when unfolded had spokes made of iron that could be used to deflect darts and arrows if the wielder was skilled enough and had fast reflexes.
One example of tessen in pop culture is Kitana from Mortal Kombat. In many of the games she uses a pair of tessen with deadly accuracy to finish her foes. Although her fans are perhaps a tad larger than you would’ve seen in the days of the samurai, they are an accurate representation of how the ‘war fans’ would have been used.
Tekko-kagi (Hand Claws)
Tekko-kagi were usually made from aluminum, steel, iron, or wood and would attach to the hands to be used both offensively and defensively. For a samurai, they could use the tekko-kagi to defend against another samurai and even swipe the sword out of their hands. Ninjas, however, were able to strike hard and fast with deadly accuracy to fell their opponents quickly.
These remind me just a bit of Wolverine’s claws from X-men. Even though Wolverine’s claws were part of his skeleton and could not be detached like a tekko-kagi, the idea behind the concept is still similar. Wolverine’s claws acted as a devastating offensive weapon but he could also use them to block knives and other projectiles coming his way.
Chain Whip (Nine Section Whip)
The chain whip, also known as the nine section whip, consists of several metal rods joined by rings at the ends to form a flexible whip. Usually the whip has a handle for the wielder to grasp at one end and some sort of dart or spike at the end to slash or pierce the opponent.
Chain whips are used mostly in traditional Chinese marital arts but modern day wushu also utilizes them. Characters such as Marvel’s Thundra, DC’s White Canary, and Spawn can also be seen to use variations of a chain whip as their main weapon.
Do you guys have a favorite martial arts weapon? Let us know in the comments!