The first thing to consider when choosing your weapon material is what type of practice or training your are engaging in, whether it is daily training in a class, in a demonstration or grading, or for display purposes only. Each material has its own distinct benefits and features that can be utilised to fit the needs of your martial arts weapons training.
The most commonly used wood is red oak. This is the most cheap and reliable type of wood and ensures you get the best value for your money. The red oak is also heavier in comparison to other woods, with light impact resistance and durability, so is perfect for conditioning and every day training.
Beech is a strong hardwood with a tight grain and high shock resistance ideal for wooden weapons. It is also very cost effective, making it perfect for every day training.
With more durability than the red oak, the tight grained white oak is more suitable for partner training. It is important to remember that whilst the white oak is more durable, it is not immune to breakages especially if repeatedly hit with something harder.
The bamboo weapons have longer fibres and is less dense, meaning it is more elastic than hard wood. This makes it more ideal for partner training, as the elasticity means that it is likely to hurt less if you were hit with the bamboo, than if you were hit with hard wood. That’s not to say it won’t hurt at all, so remember that the next time you go full force with your opponent.
The white wax is white oak which has been treated with a white wax coating. This means that it has all the durability of white oak, but less of the rough grip you’ll get from raw, unwaxed wood. The white wax offers a smoother and comfortable grip.
The lotus wood has many great properties such as being light weight yet hard and resistant. This makes it ideal for accuracy and speed training. They are normally coated in a decal for the extra ‘wow’ factor during demonstrations and performances.
Polypropylene is a military grade plastic and commonly used in industrial environment. With UV and heat stabilisation, the weapons are designed to be unbreakable in every day and partner training.
Chrome is commonly used for sais. It is a very durable and heavy material, making it ideal for everyday training.
Aluminium is commonly used for sai’s, kamas and swords. Compared to steel and chrome, aluminium is by far a more cost effective solution. Whilst it may not be as durable as chrome and steel, it is very lightweight.
Steel is much more durable than aluminium and easy to maintain. It is commonly used for swords.
Foam weapons are perfect for beginners or children, as it allows them to ease into training with less fear of getting hurt, and less chance of getting bruises. It is important to note that some foam weapons are not 100% constructed of foam, and may have plastic interiors to hold their shape, so full force contact should be avoided.