First weapon, Tanto

Bujinkan Ninjutsu (or Ninjitsu) is very much a weapon focused martial art, traditional Ninja would adorn themselves with a variety of tools to cause bodily harm in a variety of ways, so in training its not unusual that at some point everyone trains with a weapon during lesson.

From my perspective weapon training is important for a variety of reasons, first your taijutsu (unarmed) techniques should be similar to your weapon techniques, your movements when avoiding a punch should be the same as if that hand was holding a bottle or a knife since in real life you will move by instinct and your movement will be based on what technique you practice most.

So unless you have an unlimited bank account and an wife that understands that you really do need to spend money on an assortment of pointed and blunt sticks (rather than a new carpet for the hall), its best to buy the weapons incrementally (that way you can hide any new purchases amongst the old kit).

The first weapon I suggest you buy is a tanto (knife in simple English), why? Because it’s a weapon that’s regularly trained with and is often used on the street (unlike say a naginata for example), tanto’s can come in a variety of shapes and sizes here are my suggestions regarding the variety of options.


Traditionally they are made of wood and have a cutting edge on one size, wooden tanto’s are often listed on ebay, but so far the cheapest place that I’ve seen is dealextreme. The advantages of a wooden tanto are that you’ll probably only ever need to buy one, ever however the disadvantage is that they are not necessarily like the sort of knife you will face in the street.


An alternative is the rubber knife, great for randori since they are less likely to damage your opponent when training (so you don’t need to hold back as much) sadly the bendy blade often prevents the use of certain techniques and rubber knives often have a limited shelf life.

Plastic training knives

Plastic training knives come in a variety of shapes and sizes from the more traditional tanto style to the more commando like stiletto, the advantages of these knives are the realistic look, they can be double edge (unlike the traditional tanto), the disadvantages are that they are often relatively brittle compared to the traditional tanto and can be just a little to pointy for use in randori.

Larp (Live Action Roleplay)

It is possible to buy LARP knives which can look relatively realistic and are also relatively safe, however they are also relatively fragile (as they are not designed for disarms in mind) and are relatively expensive.


DIY training knives can vary in quality, these can be simple affairs such as cut foam taped with duct tape to more elaborate pieces, however they should only ever be used if its club policy, anything else should never be included in training unless permission has explicitly been granted.