Explore weapons fighters use to supplement their technique

Dao (Chinese Broadsword)

The dao has a curved blade that is dull on one side and razor-sharp on the other. It was designed for cutting through armor and slicing across the body.


Protection for hands acting as weapons, gloves are used in both boxing and mixed martial arts matches. Boxing gloves weigh in at eight to ten ounces, while the lighter grappling gloves required for mixed martial arts fighting weigh only four to six ounces.

Jin (Chinese Straight Sword)

The jin, lightweight and flexible, was designed for stabbing vital organs.

Kyudo Archery

Modern kyudo is practiced primarily as a method of physical, moral, and spiritual development. Through intense concentration, archers can slow their respiration and reduce tiny tremors in their hands. They can even slow their pulse so much that they can fire between heartbeats.


The weapon of choice for Bruce Lee — the nunchuk — originated in the 13th or 14th century as a concealed weapon. The nunchuk originated as a horse bit, but it developed into a formidable three-section staff, used for blocking, striking high or low, and grabbing/retaining. One blow can shatter a kneecap, crack a skull, or break an arm.


The legendary unbreakable sword of the samurai, the katana, created from folded steel, is designed for one purpose — to kill in one stroke. It is capable of cutting a body in two.

Shuriken (Throwing Star)

Small and a quick draw, the star-shaped metal shuriken, with its pointed blades, is an "invisible attacker." Its flight dynamics are like those of no other weapon. The shuriken behaves less like an arrow and more like a Frisbee®. It pierces the air like it pierces flesh. Like a gyroscope, its spin creates stability.


Using cutting-edge technology, revolutionary high-speed photography, and state-of-the-art 3-D animation in a custom designed laboratory, we reveal the science behind what makes the ultimate soldiers.

  • Some snipers claim they can control their own autonomic functions and actually shoot between heartbeats for pinpoint accuracy, and even heat can affect the shooter.

  • The heartbeat controls the pulse in the trigger finger which is enough movement to cause a slight deviation in the sniper’s shot making the difference between a direct hit or a missed target.

  • Shivering is the body’s way of producing heat by triggering muscles to expand and contract.

  • Fighter pilots use an adaptive mechanism called central vision, which allows them to tune out peripheral vision and focus straight-ahead.

  • The average respiratory rate is 12 breaths per minute, something that trained pilots are able to control when put in situations that would typically speed up or slow down the rate.

  • When oxygen is limited, the body increases the production of lactate allowing glucose breakdown and a temporary boost of energy--in trained athletes this can be used as fuel.

  • Much like a weapon is designed for a particular purpose, each branch of the special operations forces specializes in a different environment.

  • One unit that trains to operate in all terrain is the U.S. Navy SEALs. They are required 35 months of rigorous training before deployment.