Unusual Weapons From Around The World And How To Use Them

Unusual Weapons From Around The World And How To Use Them

Knowing about a diversity of unusual weapons and understanding what kinds of objects might work as a tool of self-defense is vital. Read on to learn more.

In this article:

  1. Nunchucks
  2. Tonfa
  3. Bullwhip
  4. Sling
  5. Macuahuitl
  6. Boomerang
  7. Emeici
  8. Katar
  9. Man Catcher
  10. Chakram


Unusual Weapons and How to Use Them


The Weapons

Weapons are my business – you name it and I’ve seen it, or used it, or seen it used. Much of my life has been spent familiarizing myself with such tools of destruction: bombs, guns, knives, projectiles and blades of all kinds, bashers, bangers, swatters, whips, clubs, and flames. If it serves to destroy, I probably know about it. It’s an evil specialty, but a decisive one that has saved my dastardly ass on multiple occasions. As such, I shouldn’t have been surprised when I was approached and asked to write this article on unusual weapons. I should have seen it coming. At first, I refused – what if this deadly, dark information got into the wrong hands? What if this guide served to enable evil and enact terror?

Well, it still may. I’ve come to terms with that. The way I see it: if I didn’t write it, someone else would, and better the resident expert of deadly devices write an article on strange and obscure weapons than some chump who doesn’t know half about the subject. Right?

So I accepted, begrudgingly, and here I am: writing a guide for anonymous masses of the Internet, about odd, unusual weapons and how to use them. Perhaps I have too much faith in you people. Regardless, at this point, all I can do is implore you to use this knowledge for good instead of evil. Refrain from engaging in any tonfa whooping sprees, or katar massacres as best as you can. Such aggressive endeavors are severely frowned upon, and I don’t want any part in them.

With that in mind, let’s dive in.


Nunchucks | Unusual Weapons From Around The World And How To Use Them


These are the classic martial arts movie weapons, made famous by fighters like Bruce Lee, who was a true master of nunchucks. The weapon itself is relatively simple: two wooden handles connected by a string or chain. By whipping the nunchucks in half and full circle swings you can turn yourself into an unapproachable wielder of pain. And they are painful. Being struck with a real pair of hardwood nunchucks is enough to drop a full-grown man on his ass. They come in a variety of sizes and shapes, colors and styles, but generally the simpler the design, the better.

Nunchucks are supposed to be gripped high up, close to the chain/string that links the two handles together. The first basic strike taught to most students is to hold one handle in your hand, and the other in your armpit, flick the nunchuck out of your armpit with a quick jerk of the wrist. The handle held beneath your arm should flip out and downwards in an arc that will whip the nunchuck back up and into your armpit – essentially reloading with every strike. I wouldn’t recommend getting too much fancier than that, lest the inexperienced nun chucker injure themselves. Here is a good video that covers more technical ways to use nunchucks.


You might recognize the shape of this club-like weapon because the modern police baton looks very similar. Police adopted the handle club because of its versatility and utility – it can be used as a restraint, a club, a prod, extended reach, a strong block or amplified striker.

There are a few basic strikes with tonfa, the first of which is to hold the handle loosely and swing the tonfa downwards in a big semi-circle so that the long end whips downwards like a club, striking your target and returning to your arm. Another is to simply hold the grip and straight punch. The extra inch or two of wood makes any strike hurt a lot more. Here is a guide to some more basic tonfa strikes. Tonfa is usually used in pairs (one in each hand) but if you prefer to keep one hand free, using one work just as effectively. They also are wonderful for reinforcing blocks, if you are defending yourself.


Bullwhip | Unusual Weapons From Around The World And How To Use Them

They aren’t the most common weapon you’ll find laying around, but Indiana Jones sure made his work wonders, so maybe there’s something to it. Use extreme caution though: whips strike with more than enough power to flay flesh wide open, so try a couple practice strikes before going full throttle 100%.

The crack made by a whip is actually a small explosion caused by the sound barrier breaking – like when jets exceed the speed of sound and cause blasts big enough to break windows. The basic concept behind using a bullwhip is to change the direction of the tip fast enough to break the speed of sound and create that small break in the sound barrier.

So most of the strikes involve swinging the whip in one direction and then very quickly snapping that movement in reverse to change the direction of the whip tip. It takes some practice to get good at this, but once you have the concept down, you can successfully apply that to many different whip striking techniques. This guy (Adam Winrich) is the Internet’s bullwhip-master, and in his videos, he demonstrates several different ways to use one.


Slings are one of the oldest weapons in human history, and in their simplicity is a great functionality. As the name implies, slings were designed to sling blunt projectiles with tremendous force. They basically consist of two lengths of rope or cord with a pouch tied between the two (the same thing can be accomplished with one length of cord and a pouch tied along it).

Load the projectile into the pouch so it sits snugly, and grip both ends of the sling in one hand. Twirl the sling with increasing speed above your head and when you are ready, release one end of the sling (while maintaining your grip on the other end) and the projectile will be released. It will likely take some practice to find the correct release timing for proper aim, but once you get the hang of this simple weapon it can be very deadly.


This bladed paddle was popular amongst the civilizations of the Americas (ie Mayans, Inca, Aztecs). It is essentially a long wooden paddle fixed with short obsidian blades at intervals along the edges of the paddle. The weapon was used much like a sword or an axe, and swung at enemies with the intention of ripping through flesh. Obsidian, for those who don’t know, is one of the sharpest substances on earth – so sharp, in fact, it slices through different materials on a molecular level – that’s why they are popular in the medical field.


Boomerang | Unusual Weapons From Around The World And How To Use Them


Most of us have heard of boomerangs and even tested them. This ancient form of projectile technology was developed by the aboriginals of Australia as a means for hunting. While boomerangs are famous for their ability to “come back” to the thrower – typically when aboriginals hunted for animals with boomerangs, they would aim their shots so the boomerang flew outwards and upwards, and would come back to strike down upon the unsuspecting animal.

You can also just chuck them straight at your target and do some damage if you aren’t feeling really fancy. Boomerangs are surprisingly effective weapons for self-defense too – if thrown at an assailant they can strike with enough force to break the skin, and if used as a club they can be deadly.


The Chinese are famous for strange weapons. Kung fu is full of oddly shaped, strangely designed weapons that look like great ways to hurt yourself. Emeici are one of those. Basically, these pointed rods are attached to your hands via rings. The rods can then be spun and manipulated in wildly complex patterns and techniques. Here is a video of someone using them. I’m not even going to try and explain how to use these – just jab your attacker and try not to harm yourself.


This is a very old form of push dagger, characterized by its H-shaped handle. These were unique to South Asia (India especially) and were used for both combat and ceremonial worship. Just from looking at this age-old fighting knife, one can kind of tell how it is meant to be used. It’s pretty simple actually: hold the handle, stab your enemy. The bonus to using one of these is they are easily concealable.

Man Catcher

I don’t ever want to run into someone wielding one of these awful, nightmarish weapons. If you’ve seen dog catchers use those long rods with a loop on the end, to snare dogs by the neck and keep them away at a safe distance, then you understand the concept behind the “man-catcher.” Except instead of a harmless loop at the end, this weapon has a ring of hooks, meant to tear and cut and stab into the neck of whoever might be unfortunate to get “caught.” Just imagining being stuck in one of these is enough to send shivers down my spine – but if you’re on the delivering end of a man-catcher, you will probably be just fine.


Imagine a frisbee that is ringed with a razor sharp edge. That is the idea behind a chakram. It was the weapon used by Xena the Warrior Princess, and Odd Job from James Bond (sort of – in hat form). Usually, these are circular disks that can be hurled across great distances to cleave into a target a long ways off. Just throw it like a Frisbee, stand back, and watch the carnage ensue.

A Note on Creative Weapon Uses

Here’s the thing when it comes to using weapons in an emergency situation, you might not always get to fight with your favorite weapon. Likely, you will be forced into combat unexpectedly and you’ll have to use whatever resources are laying around at your disposal. That might mean using a strange and unknown weapon you’ve never seen before. That might also mean improvising and using something weapon-like as a weapon.

And that is the real point of this article: knowing about a diversity of different types of weapons, and understanding what kinds of objects might work as a tool of self-defense. This is an extremely important skill – something any survivor should be keen to hone.

So keep that in mind moving forward. It’s not that you need to master every weapon ever devised, but understanding the concepts behind different weapons might enable you to think outside of the box when threatened – and that can make the difference between life and death.


Watch this video by Top 10 Trends and discover some interesting weapons used during the medieval times:

It doesn’t hurt to simply be familiar with a lot of different hand weapons. Even if you avidly practice your marksmanship or swordsmanship, if you neglect to understand how other weapons work you aren’t doing yourself any favors. The more you know the better, and the more you know about weapon use the better prepared you’ll be able to protect yourself in a dangerous situation.

Did you find this list of weapons useful? Let us know in the comments section below!

Up Next: 20 Essential Homemade Weapons For When SHTF


Editor’s Note: This post was originally published on February 24, 2017, and has been updated for quality and relevancy.

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Old World Primitive Survival Skills

Old World Primitive Survival Skills

As survivalists, most of us are constantly honing our craft and figuring out new ways to put our skills to the test. We do this to keep our minds sharp and to make sure that we have the primitive survival skills necessary to survive in whatever situation might come our way. And sometimes, we find the best survival techniques by looking back… WAY back.

Primitive Survival Skills For When SHTF


Surviving in an urban environment in the backdrop of modern technology requires very specific survival skills. That’s why survivalists like us should always stay on our toes and keep abreast of what’s going on in the world — so that our skills can evolve and change with the times. Some skills, however, are evergreen, and that’s why they’re passed down from generation to generation. These primitive survival skills, combined with the right survival gear, might just save your ass in an emergency situation someday. Here is a list of some of the most important primitive survival skills you can apply to your survivalist life.

1. Make Simple Tools from Flint

Make Simple Tools from Flint | "Old World" Primitive Survival Skills You'll WISH You Knew Before SHTF

FREE Survival Tool Offer

FREE Survival Tool Offer

This is where ancient survival skills can be your best friend. Long before the industrial age, humans had to survive by making their own tools from natural materials. While it’s no longer the norm, with practice anyone can learn to make their own tools in the wild. These tools are always going to be useful, and require nothing more than wood, rock, twine, and a bit of know-how. Check out this video to learn how you can make simple tools from flint.

2. Find Your Own Food and Water

Find Your Own Food and WaterFind Your Own Food and Water | 19 "Old World" Primitive Survival Skills You'll WISH You Knew Before SHTF

You may think now that have plenty of food stored up. In a SHTF scenario though, your supplies will run out eventually. You will need to know how to find alternate sources of food. Fortunately, the earth is brimming with edible plants and other food sources if you know where to look. Plants and fungi that are safe for human consumption include Morels, Chanterelles, Puffballs, polypores, Japanese Knotweed, and Dandelions. Knowing to tell fungi and plants apart is an indispensable survival skill. To learn more about these edible plants and other food and water sources, click here.

3. Trap for Your Life

Trap for Your Life | "Old World" Primitive Survival Skills You'll WISH You Knew Before SHTF

Foraging isn’t your only option for getting food in the wilderness. Learning how to build simple traps out of found materials could be a truly lifesaving skill. Learn how to make one of our favorite primitive traps, the squirrel snare, here. Squirrel stew anyone?

4. How to Prepare a Rabbit for Eating

How to Prepare a Rabbit for Eating | "Old World" Primitive Survival Skills You'll WISH You Knew Before SHTF

Whether you raise, hunt, or capture rabbits using a primitive trap, you need butchering skills to prepare them for eating. This article will teach you how to prep, kill, and butcher a rabbit – an essential primitive survival skill.

5. Find the Perfect Skinning Knife

Find the Perfect Skinning Knife | "Old World" Primitive Survival Skills You'll WISH You Knew Before SHTF

This is a survival skill that’s been around since primitive times. Every hunter worth his salt should know this. If you’re gonna skin your fresh kill, you can’t just use any old knife. They are not all created equally. A skinning knife needs to be thin and curved so it cuts through the epidermis quite easily without damaging the meat. Click here to check out a few of our favorite knives.

It just doesn’t get any better than these 7 fixed blade knives. See the full list here: https://t.co/Zgdc5o2a9t pic.twitter.com/7yGxdSZMEQ

— Survival Life (@SurvivalLF) August 10, 2016

6. Make Your Own Knives

Make Your Own Knives | "Old World" Primitive Survival Skills You'll WISH You Knew Before SHTF

In a SHTF situation, you can’t always just walk into a store and purchase a weapon. You need to know how to make your own. People have been making weapons since the beginning of time. These tutorials will increase your knowledge in making knives from stuff that you use every day. These 5 tips will also help you learn how to sharpen your knife effectively.

7. Make a Knife from an Old Wrench

Make a Knife from an Old Wrench | "Old World" Primitive Survival Skills You'll WISH You Knew Before SHTF

Being resourceful will help you survive. As shops close and sources for personal defense weapons grow scarce, you may find yourself having to improvise. Weaponry will be a major concern during a survival situation, so resourcefulness is key.  This video will teach you how to turn common everyday items, like a wrench, into a knife.

8. Forging your Own Weapons and Tools

Forging your Own Weapons and Tools | "Old World" Primitive Survival Skills You'll WISH You Knew Before SHTF

Blacksmithing is a very important primitive survival skill. Not only can it help you make your own tools for your own survival, but it can also give you an edge to trade for other items you might need. This at-home knife making furnace burner is perfect for any amateur blacksmith, grab it here.

9. Make Your Own Pack Basket

Make Your Own Pack Basket | "Old World" Primitive Survival Skills You'll WISH You Knew Before SHTF

A pack basket is undeniably useful for quick transport. If bags are unavailable for you, you might need to make your own packs. The one in this tutorial is great for carrying camping supplies and other gear. Wicker baskets like these are sturdy, self-standing, easy to pack, versatile, and durable. This article will teach you how to make them yourself.

10. Make Your Own Bow

Make Your Own Bow | "Old World" Primitive Survival Skills You'll WISH You Knew Before SHTF

Making your own bow is essential for your survival. There’s a reason why bows are still in use around the world today. It is the most basic ranged weapon you can have and will put you in advantageous situations when SHTF. Besides being a self-defense weapon, it is also a great hunting tool. It is silent, light, and versatile. While it’s not easy to master, you’ll have a lot of time to get acquainted with it. Your bow will help you hunt your own food and you can also use it as a weapon for self-defense. To find out how you can make your own bow the primitive way, click here for the full tutorial.

11. Archery for Beginners

Archery for Beginners | 19 "Old World" Primitive Survival Skills You'll WISH You Knew Before SHTF

This article is perfect for beginners in learning the fundamentals of archery. Plus, it also shows the different kinds of bows that you can use. This is one primitive survival skill you need to know.

12. Archery Sighting Exercises

Archery Sighting Exercises | "Old World" Primitive Survival Skills You'll WISH You Knew Before SHTF

Hunting with a bow and arrow takes hours of practice. By doing these exercises, you will be shooting with great accuracy in no time. You don’t need to have top-of-the-line bow hunting accessories to hunt well using just a compound bow. Keep in mind though, that constant practice is the only thing that will make you really accurate with this weapon. Take the time to know your weapon and understand its strengths and weaknesses.

13. Bow Shooting in Detail

Bow Shooting in Detail | Old World" Primitive Survival Skills You'll WISH You Knew Before SHTF

For those who learn better visual, this infographic will show you how to shoot a bow and arrow in detail.

14. Archery from a Female Perspective

Archery from a Female Perspective | "Old World" Primitive Survival Skills You'll WISH You Knew Before SHTF

Archery is a little different for women due to differences in weight distribution and upper body strength. This video shows how women can best use the bow and arrow. It teaches the stance and release, as well as the follow-through techniques. While being a lone wolf is appealing, you will inevitably hook up with a group to survive. Therefore, you should learn how to teach the fairer sex about properly defending themselves to increase your chances of survival.

15. Hone Your Fishing Skills

Hone Your Fishing Skills | Old World" Primitive Survival Skills You'll WISH You Knew Before SHTF

When SHTF, it’s all about going back to your roots, and this means capturing fish for food. But even if you’ve never been fishing, don’t you worry. Being a great fisherman is a skill that takes practice and precision… and a little redneck ingenuity. This article will teach you how to combine all three. Fishing will be a major food source for you during survival situations. Learning how to efficiently fish will ensure a steady food supply for years to come.

Another one of my favorite fishing hacks is this tiny but incredibly effective paracord fishing pod. You can get one for free HERE and it’a full of the items below – basically everything you need for some emergency/SHTF fishing.

16. Identifying Animal Tracks

Identifying Animal Tracks | 19 "Old World" Primitive Survival Skills You'll WISH You Knew Before SHTF

A lot of your time will be spent foraging and hunting for food. A skill you will need to learn when hunting is tracking. This includes being able to tell which animals leave which tracks. Rabbits leave different prints than gophers and squirrels, for example. This skill will help you catch your next meal in the shortest time possible. Plus, it can help you avoid dangerous animals as well.

17. Staying on Course Without a Map or a Compass

Staying on Course Without a Map or a Compass | Old World" Primitive Survival Skills You'll WISH You Knew Before SHTF

Can you find your way without a GPS? There are a lot of tools available out there that can help you stay on course, even if you don’t have a compass or working phone. Our ancestors used the stars to find their way, and so can you. Learning how to tell directions using only the sky is a primitive survival skill that will save your life in a pinch.

18. Fortify Your Emergency Shelter

Fortify Your Emergency Shelter | Old World" Primitive Survival Skills You'll WISH You Knew Before SHTF

You can protect yourself from harsher elements in the wild by making DIY cement for your emergency shelter. While having a thatched hut may be enough for you, it’s not exactly a long-term solution. Learn how to make a more resilient shelter and ensure long-term survival.

19. Going Ballistic Old School Style

Going Ballistic Old School Style | "Old World" Primitive Survival Skills You'll WISH You Knew Before SHTF

While it’s true that you should never bring a knife to a gun fight, you’ve gotta keep in mind that a gun eventually runs out of ammo. Knives don’t. If you run out of ammo, you can use your knife as an effective throwing tool to incapacitate or deliver a fatal blow to an animal or a hostile intruder.

A #tomahawk is a surprisingly useful tool for #camping and #survival. Learn more here: https://t.co/R30AcfpioC pic.twitter.com/pwJtZWAt0G

— Survival Life (@SurvivalLF) August 10, 2016


Make your ancestors proud by learning how to make fire. Thanks to AZ Film Company for this video.

Modern day technology has made living so much easier. But when all else fails and SHTF, these primitive survival skills will be absolutely vital. One can only prepare for a SHTF situation for so long, and things may fall through the cracks. Learning how to do a lot of things without the help of modern tech will put you at an advantage in a society that’s become very enamored with its tech comforts. Remember, when everything collapses, you can only depend on yourself for survival. We hope these tips can help you out in dire situations in the future. Keep going, survivalist!

Do you have any primitive survival skills or tips to share? Let us know in the comments below!


Primitive Survival Skills | 19 “Old World” Primitive Survival Skills You’ll WISH You Knew Before SHTF

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