List of traditional armaments

List of traditional armaments

This definitive list of traditional armaments tries to includes all "traditional" armaments. Essentially anything that is wieldable, excluding "modern" (post civil war) firearms. It lists everything by typography in easy to reference tables for your searching convenience.

This catalog does not however presume to list every dialectal variant for the word spear,sword, etc. It only attempts to give you a broad range of designs or unique characteristics of various Arms of historical or regional significance. Items that "stand out" from the standard norm. This catalog may include some modern examples but it tries to lean towards weapons of the past.

"If you are looking for imagined or fantasy blades then try the following."

How to read this table

Martial uses
*Implement ~(main use is a tool/but has been "known" to be used in battle or modified as a poor-mans weapon)
*War ~(battle tested and usually standard issue)
*Practice ~(hardly functional/can still be dangerous)
*Civilian ~(impractible for warfare/battlefields, similar to martial art category but not as formalized. primarily used as a deterent; for self protection or dueling)
*Improvised ~(make-shift or grab'N'go/but recorded to have been used)
*Martial art ~(dueling and sparring/more likely to see it in a school then on the battlefield)
*Historic ~(not a type but a "named" blade or of historical significance)
*Ceremony/ornament ~(Main purpose is not as a weapon, but it isn't a toy either)
*Parry ~(A parrying knife/ "sword breaker" Typically used off-hand; Paired with a main weapon to shield from incoming blows, counterattack or disarm)
*Relic ~(surviving example of the ancient past, historic and precious )

First column header Prime example for comparison(weapon style/usage notation)

* ANCIENT ~ Dawn of civilization stone/broze age
* ANTIQUITY ~ (MEDITERRANEAN)Time of Greek & Roman states. roughly Iron Age
* MEDIEVAL~ (Europe) Middle Ages 476 ad to 1450 ad
* RENAISSANCE ~ (Europe)14/15/16th century Europe
* MODERN ~ came into use fairly recently in the human timeline
* TRADITIONAL ~ Modern use with roots in the distant past.

Where can I find?

* Throwing axes ~ labeled under tomahawks
* Boomerang ~ labeled as a shuriken
* Wooden swords ~ considered a club or truncheon based on overall shape
* Cane-sword ~ under rapier heading due to its blade function.
* Shikomizue ~ under long truncheons due to its scabbard form.

Pole arms and staff weapons

"A pole with a weaponized tip; often used to counter mounted cavalry or to aid in infantry charges. Their benefit is their reach. Their hindrance is they are often hard to wield and transport, and tie up both hands; this usually leads to the need of a backup weapon such as a sword."

*Pole weapons and arms ~ overview

urmounted "spear-like" head

"conical(spiked) or triangular (dagger) tipped - used primarily for impaling "




"Median between infantry pikes and javelins, often used by auxiliaries or non regular troops. Can be thrown, but best suited as a hand weapon for thrusting. Used in hunting and war. "The signature spear" "

Concave edge/Falcate


Battle staves/counter balanced

*Staves ~ overview -- use & history



hafted-like/short pole mounted


hort swords/long knives

"The iffy category between dagger and knife and sword. Most chopping backswords are here as well as daggers over 12""


* ~ modern sabers



two handed swords

"The two-handed sword's hilt is long enough to accommodate both hands; to increase thrust or chop power. Many can be held with just one hand but are more effective with two"

Katana/2h sabres


Great swords/horse killers



"blunt (but not always) weapons. traditionally fabricated from naturally originating matterial, often using only stoneage technology. Primarily used to cause deep tissue damage (contusions) rather than cuts."
*Club/truncheon/cudgel ~ overview -- History etc.
*Law enforement clubs ~ overview -- types and use



oft and segmented weapons

" "soft" as opposed to "rigid" weapons. Typically they consist of a handle and a weaponized tip attached to each other by a flexible body of rope, chain, etc. This gives them a longer reach or incorporates mechanical advantage to increase momentum and thus striking power. The trade-off is that they are more difficult to control and may harm nearby allies or even the wielder himself. they also require open space so not to be snagged on or impeded by nearby obstacles and thus rendered ineffective. "

courges/short tongs

*Whip ~ overview -- types and function.
*Flagellation ~ overview -- whipping humans.

Flails/Segmented weapons



*Knife throwing ~ Overview -- Info

Fire arms/muskets

"Projectiles often formed from lead and in various shapes; launched by a device using the force of expanding gas created from the burning of blackpowder(gun powder) contained in a semi sealed tube"
*Gunpowder ~ overview -- Learn about this amazing compound.
*Muskets ~ overview-- Learn about Muzzle loaders.
*Carbine ~ overview-- concerning article
*Single-shot -- concerning article
* -- general info.
* -- more information
*matchlock -- trigger type
*Doglock -- trigger type
*Flintlock -- trigger type
*snaplock -- trigger type
*wheellock -- trigger type

"Pistols/short barrel"
*Hand cannon ~ overview -- learn about the first guns
*Handgun ~ overview -- what constitutes a handgun..Main article

Passive weapons/Anti personel/Area denial


houlder and arms


Hands and Feet




**saif- a sword
**Daito-Japanese for longsword
**Dao- Chinese for a sword
**Ken- Japanese for a straightsword
**Golok (a catch-all for several types of sword and knife)
**serrated blade
**ricasso- Dull edge,blade section
**Forte- Strong blade section
**Foible- Weak blade section
**Fuller - blood groove, reduce weight
**Fluke- spike/pick mounted on back of an axehead
**Peen - hammer head
*Hilt- sword handle
**quillon-cross guard
**Tsuba- plate style guard
**Habaki-Japan style rain guard
*Scabbard-Sheath,sword case
**Shirasaya -Japan name
**Horimono-Japan style
*Equipment style
**Daisho-samurai,long & short
**Jintachi- Mounting

List of martial art/styles

weapon play
*List of martial arts
**Academic fencing
*List of Roman gladiator types


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