Weapons Training Failures: Share Your Story

Oops The Samurai
(Hat Tip: Ikigai – Blogging the Martial Way)

As a complete list of my own training failures is far too long to recount, I’ll share just one here.

My Taijiquan practice includes the Yang style jian (straight sword) form. Out of respect for myself and my art, I usually play with a steel blade–no wooden or collapsible toys (though for practical reasons, its edges remain unsharpened).

One evening, my treacherous shoe launched a surprise attack. Midway through a jumping, stabbing movement, the shoe somehow entangled itself with my sword’s tassel. As my foot landed, the sword flipped out of my unsuspecting grip, and its blade slapped me across the cheek. Had it landed one inch higher, I might have lost my right eye.

Fortunately, not all martial arts training accidents are so dangerous.

Weapon or no, do you have a tale of fail to share with us? If so, please do.


  1. I use wooden jians for training had they been real I’d be dead from a severed artery in my leg. I have some real swords but limit my use of them to the moves I have down.

    Doing patterns with escrima I’ve conked my arms plenty, if they were knives I’d have been cut.

    Training with rope dart I’ve gouged my shin.

    I’ve had to dodge about a half dozen bounce back shuriken over many thousands of throws, a few got me and drew blood on my arm where I warded them off.

  2. One time while demonstrating nunchaku bunkai the swinging shaft broke in two during an impact with a bo. The shattered piece went sailing back into the seated audience, coming to rest just in between two people’s legs.

  3. Wow! I’m sorry to hear that happened to you. In my opinion, they make tai chi sword tassles too long! I know it’s placed on the jian to create confusion with your opponent, but it seems to always get in the way! Sometimes, I may wrap the tassle around my wrist to keep things like that from happening.

    One of the stories I can recall is when I started training for the 3 section staff and hit my shin bone and head.
    After that happened, I switched to using a foam covered weapon.

  4. I have a failure video of me kicking a wavemaster kickstand.
    I was on a slick floor and the pressure of my kick took me right off my root and slammed me down onto my tailbone. It hurt for over a month… one day I may post that video somewhere.

    I have also landed on my back before when my kick went up too far and my body and root followed. I was only 15 or so then, I tried kicking up high and found myself horizontal to the ground and landed right on my back, hitting the back of my head pretty good.

  5. One time I was fighting my bro and we had bo’s but he was going to fast and I got nervous so I struck my bo down to hard quickly and it broke were I was holding it so my hand got cut.

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