Weapons have been used in martial arts for centuries. The majority of weapons were invented as a way to continue practicing martial arts when it was outlawed by government. Weapons are still an important part of martial arts, not just for defense, but for exhibition as well.
Types of weapons: There is a large variety of weapons available, and many of them are used in more than one discipline of martial arts. Weapons such as the bo staff, which historians believe was created from a long stick that was used to carry water to the village. This versatile weapon is used not only in Kung Fu, but in Karate. In fact, a form of bo staff is used in almost every other martial art discipline there is.
The Nunchakus are very popular weapons, partly because of the huge influence of Bruce Lee and his masterful wielding of them, and partly because they are a fun weapon to use. They are, however, very difficult to learn to use properly, so most instructors recommend starting off on the foam version of nunchakus first.
Escrima sticks are used as an extension of your arm. Even though they do not have any blades, they still pack a powerful punch and are excellent for defense against any weapon. Swords have become extremely popular, not only for use in exhibition, but for collecting as well.
The Sai is a much misunderstood weapon. Due to its dulled middle blade, people tend to think of it as more of a defensive weapon. However, it can be manipulated many different ways, and its tip makes it perfect for close contact thrusting. The sai, like the escrima sticks and bo staff, is a weapon that is exceptional in both defense and offense.